I took a trip to the Androscoggin yesterday. The section I fished is wild trout water and is not stocked. I started in a side channel of the river, and immediately landed two small bows and many fallfish in the first pool. The guy across from me even caught a nice bow on a wooly bugger. Once the action slowed there, I decided to move to the main section of the river.
The water here was a long stretch of riffles. The fish sit in the riffles this time of year so I looked for any soft spots in the current. I wasn’t there long before I hooked into a nice fish that got off quickly. After that, nothing. I dropped my nymphs into every likely seam and behind every rock without a bump for two hours. The windy and clear conditions made it tough out there.
I then decided to make my way back to the side channel to get out of the wind. I walked downstream to the confluence of the side channel and the river. Immediately, I noticed a nice seam where two currents came in. Within a couple casts, I had a hit. I proceeded to go 1 of 5. These fish fought harder than any stocked fish I have ever hooked. They knew the river and immediately headed for the fast water and cartwheeled all over the place when hooked. I’ve heard people compare the wild bows in this stretch to landlocked salmon and even steelhead! I can’t back the last comparison. If it’s true, I want in.
The action stayed hot as I made my way up the side channel. I landed 3 bows here including my best of the day (a chunky 15+ in. fish). It ran downstream, jumped twice, and pushed my 9 ft 5 wt to the limit. No amount of side pressure could budge it and I was forced to chase it downstream. After landing this fish, I took one more on my way back to my car. Although I lost more fish today than I landed, that one big fish made it all worthwhile.