That morning I anchored a big away from the spring hole and began trying different patterns. Nothing. Fish boiled all around the spring hole. I tried five patterns, making roughly 30 casts with each. Then I came to the Frenchie portion of my nymph box. I decided to try something much smaller than I had been. I went with a size 20 black bead Frenchie with an olive collar. I think it was on my first cast that I got a take. I didn't feel the actual take, it ate moving toward me. I was just suddenly into a big pond brookie on light tippet. It was quite a battle, and it was a fish that I REALLY didn't want to loose. Fortunately it wasn't going to end badly, and I got to hold a truly large Maine wild brook trout. It was a strong, lean 16 incher. Awesome! I called it quits then.
But that was not the end of the epic fish catching that day. We headed west out of Rangeley instead of going straight south. I was not leaving Maine without fishing one of the areas most famous spots: Upper Dam. The area bellow the dam between Mooselookmeguntic and Richardson Lakes is famous for producing big char and salmon. It id where Carrie Stevens first fished her Grey Ghost. It is a landmark of fly fishing history, and very productive. When we got there (it was a mile long hike in) I made a few casts with the Hornberg in the big eddy before making a bee line for a big deep run. I KNEW there were going to be fish there, and it only took a couple of swings before a large brook trout came up for the skating 'berg and ate it with a loud slurp that sound like a toilet being flushed. It got in the fast water and took off, with me not far behind. Eventually I got it to hand, another PB. It was a little shorter than the pond fish but probably a quarter of a pond heavier. It was so thick and heavy!
So basically I beat my previous personal best brook trout twice in one day. I wasn't done yet. I have an obsession. Other than just fishing... I am obsessed with Atlantic salmon. They are the most amazing fish I have ever targeted. One of the up sights to fishing the Rangeley area was that I would have a shot at wild landlocked salmon. I hadn't caught any grown ones yet, though I got close. With about 10 minutes left to fish, I made my next cast into that run. And BAM! Salmon. It jumped twice, the first time clearing about 3 feet. Then it pulled. Salmon are incredibly strong. I can't wait to come back and hook a bigger one.
A big brookie and a landlocked salmon. Two consecutive casts, two amazing fish. What a way to close out one of the coolest weeks of my life.