Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

RISE in Maine

Coastal Fly Angler (Capt. Eric Wallace) is hosting two showings of the new fly fishing film from Confluence Films - RISE. The second full-length movie project from Confluence Films, RISE is a 70-minute feature that spotlights a line-up of interesting characters, captivating locales, and a series of stories that provide a fantastic look at the industry, the sport and the places fishing can take us. RISE showcases some of the world's finest angling destinations, including Venezuela, Idaho's Henry's Fork River, the Florida Keys, Argentina, New Orleans and the Katmai Region of Alaska. Mark your calendar and make plans to see this film plus support some good organizations at the same time. The location is the Frontier Cafe Cinema and Gallery (14 Maine St. / Mill 3 / Brunswick, ME). The dates are November 6th and 7th at 7pm. Profits from these two showings will benefit Stripers Forever for their striped bass game fish initiatives and the Crooked River Project to help restore Sebago Lake landlocked salmon habitat. Check out the 7 minute trailer and if you have questions call 207-671-4330. Operators are standing by.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Darkness and Color

As soon as I set out on a mid-October brook trout quest I was immediately struck by how deeply Fall had penetrated everything. There was a darkness about that felt secretly ominous. This darkness was expertly concealed by lavish splashes of color. Leaves ran the hue gamut from lime, tropical yellow and mango to spawning brook trout red. This was masterfully juxtaposed with rich evergreen and the blackness of forest shadow. The sky was a range of grays with cool blue peaking out of the rare cloud crevice. The wind helped animate the whole scene and fueled the seasonal take-over. I drove by Bath (“City of Ships”) and nodded to the Ironworks monument along the mighty Kennebec. I tooled by Wiscasset (“Prettiest little town in Maine”) and felt the summertime fire of the area fading to hearty coals. I rode down business Route 1 through Damariscotta and was surprised by the bustle in town, but then remembered the boost that the pumpkin festival infuses in this village as I passed massive painted pumpkins in front of almost every establishment.

I arrived at the quest location and met up with my friend and Master Maine Guide Sean McCormick. We wandered down the trail only stopping to peer into the “spring hole” surrounded by a patch of watercress. I saw a few finned shapes dart this way and that but couldn’t quite see any parr markings. We continued onward. At the trail’s end we readied the canoe and set out on the breezy Maine pond in search of Labrador-like cousins of the char. We quickened our pace as we saw several smashing rises near the lily pads along the far bank. Rigged with Buzz Balls and Serendipities we paddled to where we thought the trout lanes were and set our window sash canoe anchors.

I was shocked when a full head and shoulders came up to one of my early casts, so shocked that I didn’t set the hook immediately. I wasn’t expecting things to go easily. When you are told about wide-body brookies climbing on to dry flies you tend to protect yourself with the idea that it all could be a tall tale and that the pond could prove sterile. But the pond was not still on this evening. Our casts were met with some aggressive acceptance. Our 6X was put to the test (and occasionally snapped) by wildly colored slabs that you couldn’t get your hand around. Sean was concerned that the net he brought might be too small, though he didn't miss any.

After we both caught, photographed and released some special trout in the crystal clear water of this pond, a cold and determined wind changed the landscape. Small white caps put down the risers. We knew in a short span that the curtain had fallen. Darkness had overtaken color. We paddled back, stowed the canoe and shook hands, then made plans to fish for sea-runs in November.

Story and photos by El Pescador

Friday, October 16, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009


I took two ten year old boys fishing at a small freshwater quarry pond near the house. It sits less than a half mile from the open Atlantic. We were hoping to catch something armed with plain bread, minimal weight and tiny hooks. Here are the first images in a short art series of upcoming posts from that trip to the pond.

Photos/arrangement by Steve Stracqualursi Pond Series

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fish Dish

Seared Sheepshead fillets in white wine sauce with avocado/tomato salad and Laguna Madre green beans.

THE SALAD - Place halved avocado (pit and skin removed) on 2 thick slices of large vine ripe tomatoes, sprinkle coarse chopped cilantro over avocados then dress by putting several dashes of hot sauce in the avocado cavities, sprinkle w/sea salt/black pepper and squeeze half a key lime over them.
LAGUNA MADRE BEANS - Place a bunch of whole green beans in a medium sauce pan with a small amount of water, 2 cloves of whole crushed garlic, one small yellow onion quartered, sea salt/black pepper, cover and steam on medium high heat while the rest of the meal is prepared. Add a quarter stick of unsalted butter and coat bean mixture evenly before serving.

THE FISH - Coat 2 sheepshead fillets with "BT's fish breading" (1 part cornmeal-1 part flour/salt/black pepper/cayenne combination). Set aside for a while. When all other parts of meal near completion heat a pan coated with light olive oil to medium high, lay fillets in skillet until browned then turn and do the same to the other side. Sheepshead is a very light mild fish but tricky to get. Red snapper or black drum would make a good substitution.

THE SAUCE - Pour a liberal amount of white wine in a sauce pan then thick slice one lemon and place in the wine, cover and simmer on high until the wine reduces by about half. Remove lemon slices, add a bit more white wine plus 2 cloves crushed and coarse chopped garlic, bring to a high simmer then add 1/4 stick of unsalted butter, a couple dashes of hot sauce, sea salt and ground black pepper. Let that simmer for a while to reduce then add a 1/4 bunch of cilantro (coarse chopped) plus one spoonful of capers. As soon as that comes back to a simmer add one large spoonful of real mayonnaise and stir gently until the sauce creams, then let it simmer until it slightly thickens.

PRESENTATION - Place seared fillet in center of plate with salad and green beans on either side. Spoon sauce over fish and serve. The Estancia Chardonnay shown is a good match with this fish dish but you can substitute any number of beverage choices.

Food photo and recipe by Captain Billy Trimble
Mike Thompson's sheepshead photo taken by Ray Box