Topographical maps show an area of slack water with no contour lines crossing the stream for a very long ways. From the nearest logging road it’s more than a mile in, five times that from the asphalt. It’s grouse and woodcock country, so there’s bound to be alders and woodcock come fall. But it’s the promise of brook trout that draws me in.
It’s a stream noted for wild brook trout and it weaves through back country, most of the way tumbling down bony grades. But one stretch in the middle is slower, where the water winds through a valley with high undercut banks shouldering the stream. Large brook trout aren’t usually found in the pocket water of tumbling streams. It is more likely they are king of the meandering streams, hiding in the deep holes or under overhanging banks.
The place needed a closer look.
With backpack loaded and accompanied by my dogs, following a compass course to the west from my parked truck, I headed into the woods.
It was easy going, mixed softwoods and hard. Often the ground became soggy enough to warrant detours. Moose tracks turned up the mud. In a gully more than ten feet deep, we encountered a stream too wide to jump. Downstream a couple of hundred yards a half dozen rocks provided stepping stones to cross. Soon we came to alders and the progress slowed. We had to be close to our intended goal.
So many things in life are like that…you get close to your goal and the progress slows. Finally we broke from the alders onto a bony beach. In front of us water tumbled over rocks after funneling between boulders. Upstream the water appeared a glassy slick lined on either side by alders.
It appeared to be exactly what we were looking for.