Written by: Chase Bartee, Tight Loops
Aimee and I once spent an entire summer living out of our van, gallivanting around the western United States and soaking in every bit of its wondrous beauty. But where would we go from there? How could we follow up an experience like that? We often found ourselves bemoaning the fact that “we don’t live near anything that awesome” back in Massachusetts. But the truth is that’s a load of BS, and the opportunities for adventure in this country are only as limited as your imagination.
For reasons entirely unclear to me, despite decades of drooling over media and print about Maine and its world class brook-trout fishing, we’d never investigated it for ourselves. Maine is a strange and wonderful place, and as outsiders looking to discover its secrets, we had our work cut out for us. Initial probing in the obvious areas of What, Where, and When was met with understandable reservations and hushed tones from the locals. After all, if you’d been fishing a river that can produce five-pound brookies your whole life, and two young folks come sweeping in from the south with cameras asking for your honey holes, you’d probably be a little hesitant, too. But after several hundred hours scouring every nook and cranny of the available literature, and many long, good, talks on the phone with soon-to-be new friends, we had an itinerary.
The truth of the matter is that, just like everywhere else, good people have a way of finding each other, and the hospitality of the local guides and fisherman in Maine was second to none. Don’t expect to see any geotags of these rivers on Instagram, for the folks up there keep things pretty close to the chest, but if you make the effort and earn your stripes, I guarantee you’ll be put on a 3-plus-pound, wild Maine squaretail in no time. The only question is, how the hell are we going to top that?