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Wild Rainbow TroutAfter 8 months away at college, there was one thing that kept dancing in my mind – fly fishing. Ever since junior high, fly fishing has played an important role in my life and has helped me grow into the person I am today. As of lately, the only fishing I had partaken in was for “ladyfish.” So, when friends told me that fishing had been great in both fresh and salt water around the state of Maine, I called up my long time fishing buddy and friend Jeremy. We kicked around some ideas and inevitably we decided to try our luck at our favorite wild Rainbow Trout spot. There I was again surrounded by crystal clear (and surprisingly cool for July) water, endless mountains, and picture-perfect rainbow trout. Even though we did not catch lots of trout, the fish that we did catch were very memorable. The rainbow trout that I caught was the first fish I had landed on a fly rod since last September of 2009! We beached the 16 foot skiff on a rocky island where we had fished many times before. After switching from dries to nymphs and back to dry flies countless times to try and fool the notoriously picky trout, we moved up river to fish a different run. With the sun and water still rising, I figured that the trout might be avoiding the daytime heat by laying deep in the run. I used Jeremy’s nymph setup while he used my dry fly rig. I waded into the shallows above the deepest part of the run and casted upstream to give the appearance to the trout that my flies were natural bugs falling off the shelf into deeper water. Since the water was still low, I used very little weight and allowed the current to drift my flies as naturally as possible. After a few casts, my indicator plummeted in the deepest part of the run. The trout surprised me with a great couple of runs and sprints back downstream and into deeper water, and came to hand shortly afterwards. It felt great to be back in the pristine wilderness and hooking into beautiful wild Rainbow Trout again. With that said, this trip to the Maine north country was particularly special and I appreciated every moment. Highlights included, but were not limited to, the catch and release of some of the most beautiful rainbow trout I have seen, the christening of our boat into this freshwater river and, of course, the colossal thunder and lightning storm that Jeremy, Greg and I endured on the water. After Jeremy had landed a beautiful (and very large) trout on a wolly bugger, pictures were taken and shortly afterwards the sky began to turn angry. In this region of Maine, storms move fast over the mountains and travel up and down the river valley with impressive intensity. It was the last evening of the trip and we weren’t going to give up on the evening hatch without a fight. The skies grew darker and I became particularly nervous. Jeremy and Greg who were downstream retreated to the woods for shelter, hoping for the possibility of clear skies and rising trout when the storm passed by. I did the same, only I was hoping that I would still be alive after what seemed to be a lifetime waiting out the crazy storm in the shrubbery. I must admit, as the thunder and lightning cracked overhead, I got a little bit shaken up as I believed this would truly be the end of me and my friends downstream! Thankfully, the fish gods spared us and we returned to camp unscratched after the storm passed. Little did I know that when I was hiding face down in the foliage earlier that I was surrounded poison ivy! In the days to come, I realized that an itchy rash covering my entire body was the better outcome than actually being struck by lightning. So, what was the highlight of my trip? In the end, it’s all about being in the outdoors and camaraderie! Jeremy, Greg and I were blessed with perfect summertime weather, overall peaceful surroundings and great rainbow trout fishing. It was great to rekindle relationships with old friends and pick up right where we left off – fishing, joking around and waiting to see what nature will dish out next.