My dad and I had an incredible experience on a backwoods stream the other night. I don't think it was something either of us will forget any time in the near future. I think I can die happy, especially if my last thoughts are the images of what occurred that evening.
We had gotten tired of catching creek chubs, so we went to a stream very close to the one we had been on, to the spot where we caught the amazing hex hatch on Sunday. The water was much lower and very warm in that spot, and it was abundantly clear that the fish were not where they had been. We just had to find them. and I had a hunch about where they'd be. we trudged up that thick muddy creek for what felt like half an hour only to go about 70 yards. it was killing us both. but I could hear running water and I knew that must be where the brook trout had gone. Finally we made it. There was the freestone entering what was more or less a beaver pond, and where it entered there was a huge deep hole, so deep we could not see the bottom. "This must be it" I thought.
I tied on a beadhead Picket Pin and began working it slow and deep. The reaction was quick and I had the first brook trout on.
I caught a couple of nice brookies and a few fallfish, then something remarkable happened. I told Dad to tie on a wet fly. I made a few casts and didn't hook anything, then, just as he was making his first cast with the wet I hooked up and immediately knew it was a giant. It came to the surface and we both saw it for a brief moment, and then all of a sudden Dad was into one too. It came to the surface and I looked over and it was just as big if not bigger. We both settled in to work our fish, and after a spirited battle they both cam to hand at the same time. It was incredible. They were both huge brookies for such a small stream-pond system, and they could not be more different. His was a skinny, long female with relatively light coloration but more spots than could possibly be counted. Mine was a deep bodied male, about an inch shorter, dark with fewer but much bigger spots and an orange body. They were both easily over 12 inches. After a quick photo shoot they went back strongly, hopefully this old pair of fish will make a bunch more this coming fall. It was one of the coolest fishing moments I have ever experienced, truly one for the record. We laughed and shook our heads the whole way to the cabin. It was like a dream.
I've caught bigger brookies, and I've had doubles with quite a few other fisherman, but this was something truly special. Those fish out of that stream, a place that doesn't even have a significant game trail, let along foot path leading to it? They had probably never seen flies before. That is just magic. Serendipity on a Maine brook trout stream.