My name is Annarose Yvon and I live in the Highlands region of Maine.
My family and I moved to Maine, just before I was two years old, from Connecticut. We moved because my parents wanted our family to live in an area where we could enjoy the outdoors. I live on a small tree farm with my Mom, Dad and my younger sister, Amanda. I am truly blessed because it is the perfect place to live when you are a person who loves the outdoors. I have had the pleasure of fishing and hunting in Maine since I was a toddler. My grandmother was originally from Maine and my Dad spent much of his childhood fishing and hunting with my Great-Uncle Rodney in the great north woods. Uncle Rodney is a Master Maine Guide and he inspired my dad to become a Maine guide.
My Dad introduced me to hunting and fishing. Over the years, we have done many types of fishing together. We’ve done open water and ice fishing on lakes, ponds and rivers. We’ve taken our jet boat up the rocky waters of the Penobscot River for bass fishing. We’ve done dip net fishing for smelts in the springtime and we’ve gone fly fishing as we drifted the rapids of West Branch River of the Penobscot. Each of these trips offers a unique experience and is always a great time spent with my Dad.
Our salmon trip started out by preparing for our fishing adventure. I had to think about what I had to do and bring. We started out by towing our drift boat down many miles of bumpy, dusty, dirt roads. I’d say the trip was already an exciting adventure, passing by Mount Katahdin and the beautiful, big Maine north woods. When we got there, we checked into the Big Eddy Lodge. Don, the caretaker, was there to greet and welcome us to the camp and river. We unloaded the truck and settled into our campsite. Now the excitement really started when we launched our drift boat into the Big Eddy. Dad and Don had to shuttle the truck and trailer to the takeout spot, as I patiently waited with our drift boat.
As we started fishing, Dad gave me instructions on how to nymph fish. After practicing how to properly drift the fly, I had my first hook up. I was so excited! Dad coached me on how to keep the line taut; I can hear him now, saying, “Annarose! Constant pressure! Don’t drop your rod tip!” I fought the salmon and grabbed the net. Then I leaned out to get the fish, trying to not go overboard! Finally, I was able to remove the hook and release the beautiful fish unharmed. I didn’t think that I would catch a fish because we had not had any luck … so I was quite surprised. I was very proud of myself because all my Dad did was just stand there with the camera. That is why fishing can be a big surprise!
That was one of the most exciting fishing trips I’ve been on. I loved the feeling of getting excited and reeling the fish in, but mostly because I love using a fly rod. This fishing is fun for all ages! As I think about this trip, I’m wondering what crazy things will happen next year!
Our fly fishing adventure on the 63-mile bass waters of the Penobscot river is another trip which will resonate into my ‘forever’ fishing memories of childhood. My Dad, our dog Belle and I headed out one Saturday morning for some smallmouth bass fishing. Dad mentioned that this was a fly-only trip and we left all our spinning gear behind. I remember feeling somewhat nervous about a fly-only trip because of my lack of experience on the river with a fly rod.
The morning started out with beautiful weather with no wind. This definitely made me feel more confident. As we anchored the boat in the current with our trolling motor, my Dad instructed me to drift my popper against the shoreline. I proceeded to cast toward the bank where I know big fish live and then my fly got snagged on a tree limb. I looked at Dad with disappointment in my eyes. I remember him saying, “That’s ok honey… let me help you get that out.” While retrieving the fly with a hook and telescoping handle, Dad brought the branch down to my level and I was able to unhook my fly from the limb. After we resumed our fishing, I watched Dad catch a few bass which really got me excited, but made me feel excluded at the same time. Dad noticed I was feeling kind of down so he made the boat drift the same speed as the current. He said, “This might help you with casting and mending your line.” He was right! I was able to drift my fly much easier, which I preferred and so did the fish!
We stopped fishing midday because my tummy was rumbling and hurting. We pulled up under a huge red oak tree with plenty of shade. I love country music, so I asked my Dad to put on his speaker. We started listening to music as Dad took out the gas grill and hamburgers. We ate our lunch and talked about our morning, which made me giggle and smile! Having a full belly, I was ready to continue our special time together, not even caring if we caught a fish or not. After drifting for some time and least expecting it, I suddenly had a smallmouth bass come up from an undercut at the bank of the river! “Fish on!!” I yelled, as Dad brought over the net. My Dad kept saying “ Rod tip up… don’t give him any slack!” Dad brought the net underneath the fish, as I was grinning from ear to ear!
We ended our day pulling our boat out of the water and stopping in at the local ice cream shop. Special times with my Dad is what I will always remember. Hopefully, someday I’ll my kids will have the same special memories. I am very grateful to my parents for raising us in the outdoors where I can learn and appreciate the wonders of nature. I wish this for every kid: to have the opportunity that I have been blessed with.