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Author Topic: April....Natives Early, Then Roamed the Lake Drop-Offs  (Read 812 times)

Jim C.

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It was sure nice to have all the open water options available after the statewide opener on the 1st.  I am first drawn to the native trout brooks that have been closed since Fall.  A buddy and I hit several brooks toward the coast since the Winter isn't as strong and the early bite is usually good.  Opening Day 2022 was no exception. We teamed up for 50 natives on small jigs tipped with maggots.  The waters we fished are tight and brushy for much of their length.  Where there are undercuts, the trout are almost as black as their hiding places.













A second native trout venture was to a more inland brook, with conditions being a decided step back to Winter.  This shoreline ice was hell on the ankles, but I wanted to stay on the bank to avoid any redds in the steam bed from the prior spawning season.



With the tough conditions, the fishing was slow, but the trout that I could entice were of decent size quality.





With ice out on nearby lakes coming by mid-April for the most part, I turned my attention to holdover trout and salmon.  Bluebird skies are great for bikinis and sun tans, but for the fishing not so much.  I fished the lakes on dark, wet days as much as possible.





A little onshore chop to stack up warmer surface water was also a friend.  On the other hand, there were definitely times in April when there was too much of a good thing and the rocky drops became a bit precarious. :P







Shore fishing on lakes is a definite challenge in ways beyond the wind direction and velocity.  Public access is a real issue.  Boat ramps are often in shallower coves that aren't big fish magnets.  Predators are also keying in on smelt, so casting is often a hit or miss proposition depending on whether bait is around or not.  That's the draw for me though.....the harder I work, the more satisfying the rewards.  Even on days with action, I'm usually only fishing for a hit or 2.  On the other hand, the fish that do reach the net are often quality fish.  Surprisingly, I went splakeless and didn't get into any salmon either.  Browns, however, are always welcomed. The stocking trucks hadn't made their rounds when I caught these.  The holdovers weren't all large, but when I'm sloshing around in 39* water, anything bigger than a Frito corn chip will do.  :laugh: Perhaps,some of  these are the leading edge of the Seeforellen strain introductions? 



]













And when the water hit 45* or so, some solid bass filled in the gaps in the action.









More often than not, a jig (usually a marabou) suspended under a bobber was the ticket.





As I said, I often ground it out for a hit or 2 on the lakes.  At one point, I had a 4 trip streak of "one hit wonders" where I kept the skunk at bay by making the single hit for the day count.  That's pretty close to the bone, and the streak ended with a thud on 4/30.  I got the 1 hit not long after my lure touched down over deep water, but my line fell slack after a couple cranks and no more action followed  :'(

April ended without a ton of progress toward Spring.  As this pic of the tree line at dusk at the end of the month showed, the life of a green leaf in Maine is pretty short :laugh: 



On the bright side, there may still be a shot at lake shoreline trout and salmon in May, and I might have a road trip in the works as well  8)




Smallmouth Squarepants

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Re: April....Natives Early, Then Roamed the Lake Drop-Offs
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2022, 06:49 AM »
Great job and post as always Jim!

filetandrelease

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Re: April....Natives Early, Then Roamed the Lake Drop-Offs
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2022, 07:58 AM »

 Great pics thanks for sharing

saltyshores

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Re: April....Natives Early, Then Roamed the Lake Drop-Offs
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2022, 12:16 PM »
Another wonderful report with photos. Thanks, Jim!

NBourque

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Re: April....Natives Early, Then Roamed the Lake Drop-Offs
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2022, 01:13 PM »
Impressive browns jim! What did you catch those on?

Jim C.

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Re: April....Natives Early, Then Roamed the Lake Drop-Offs
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2022, 01:26 PM »
Thanks, Nick.  I caught most of the fish with Voodoo jigs (marabou) under a bobber about 3-4 feet down.  Others were on Little Cleos or Mepps spinners (copper was the best color).  The nice fish I lost at the end of the month was on a Little Cleo in rainbow trout color.


Impressive browns jim! What did you catch those on?

fish wayniac

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Re: April....Natives Early, Then Roamed the Lake Drop-Offs
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2022, 04:31 PM »
Jim, Great photos and report. Some of those Browns had shoulders . I liked those little native Brook trout. It brought me back to being a kid in Vermont. I don’t do much stream fishing anymore. Mostly fish from a boat now. The water was only 42* yesterday on Sebago and got skunked . Doh!

Jim C.

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Re: April....Natives Early, Then Roamed the Lake Drop-Offs
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2022, 06:56 PM »
Thanks, Wayne.  I bet you had some nice spots for natives in VT!  Your 42* on Sebago is still cold water.  I expect the temps will go up soon and your results will follow!


Jim, Great photos and report. Some of those Browns had shoulders . I liked those little native Brook trout. It brought me back to being a kid in Vermont. I don’t do much stream fishing anymore. Mostly fish from a boat now. The water was only 42* yesterday on Sebago and got skunked . Doh!

JDK

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Re: April....Natives Early, Then Roamed the Lake Drop-Offs
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2022, 12:59 PM »
Good looking browns.  Your reports are always outstanding.

# SAND

TightLinesMaine

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Re: April....Natives Early, Then Roamed the Lake Drop-Offs
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2022, 03:15 PM »
Outstanding Jim.  Some of those browns are surprisingly chunky, especially for Spring, lake run fish i bet?

I only went fishing 3 times in April.  Every trip was depressing (for various reasons i won't get into here), haven't caught a fish yet.  And honestly, I may not even go again until June.  At least i can live vicariously through your reports!  ;D

Jim C.

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Re: April....Natives Early, Then Roamed the Lake Drop-Offs
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2022, 08:26 AM »
Thanks, Randall.  Yes, all the browns are lake run fish.  The bite is far from fast and furious, but they are quality fish.

Sorry about your slow start.  The way I would look at it is the best flyfishing waits till June and beyond anyway ;)



Outstanding Jim.  Some of those browns are surprisingly chunky, especially for Spring, lake run fish i bet?

I only went fishing 3 times in April.  Every trip was depressing (for various reasons i won't get into here), haven't caught a fish yet.  And honestly, I may not even go again until June.  At least i can live vicariously through your reports!  ;D

lowaccord66

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Re: April....Natives Early, Then Roamed the Lake Drop-Offs
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2022, 06:57 AM »
Awesome Jim.  Looking forward to the next one.

taxid

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Re: April....Natives Early, Then Roamed the Lake Drop-Offs
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2022, 07:23 AM »
Thanks for sharing.
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