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Improving Your Mokai

General => On the Water => Topic started by: niteshft on November 29, 2019, 08:26:43 PM

Title: Fishing the West Branch of the Penobscot River in Maine.
Post by: niteshft on November 29, 2019, 08:26:43 PM
 I used my Mokai from the "Big Eddy" campsite. Great place! Solar panels for electric energy with a generator backup for cloudy days. It's nice to be able to take a hot shower after a long day. It's the World premiere fishing for Landlocked Salmon and large Brook Trout can be taken there as well.
 Down the road is a much cheaper site run by the State. It doesn't have any amenities but a good deal for those that like to rough it. Fire pits are in place but you have to supply your own wood "and" purchase it locally, within 50 miles of the site..., (we don't want to spread wood pests).
 For those that don't mind the current of the river, I will give a description for going down river and back. Remember, it's up to you to make the decision to do the run and always look ahead. I will be as detailed as possible but not to be your sole source of information. I will say, it's a very easy run for those that have owned a Mokai for a bit.

O.K., here we go!
 The "Big Eddy" is a wide spot on the West Branch of the Penobscot River. The sides of the river water rotates creating, what's called an eddy, and swirls because of the current of the river flowing through the center. This makes favorable spots for Salmon as they can sit and take food floating by. The pool is a small part of the river, though. You can put in at the Eddy and take out over a mile downstream. There is the issue of going through the "Little A" to get to the "takeout" but that's close to the end of the trip.
 You can turn back upstream before you get to the "Little A" and get back to the campsite. First you need to learn a little nomenclature if you haven't learned already. River "Right" is the right bank of the river when going downstream. River "Left" is, of course, the left bank of the river when going downstream.
 Below the Eddy, there is a boulder in the river about 1/3 across from "river right". You want to go downstream on the right side of the boulder and just ride through the wakes...it's O.K. Stay river right after that and anchor out after the first right bend. You may need to extend anchor line because of the current. It's important to have at least 50 ft of line with you and a backup line for reserve.
 There are several spots on each side of the river and I fish both before I go to "Takeout". I've gone back to camp riding the boat upriver. What you do is aim for that same boulder while going upstream and move over to the left a few feet back and continue up the current. The 6 hp Mokai had enough umph to get me through at reduced power. I didn't know how much the other campers could hear so I would back off after I passed the faster current.
 As for the "Little A", it's about the same process. You can see the current before the "Little A" goes towards the right. Just like the rock at the Big Edy, stay to the right but near the rock. What I'm saying is, stay to the left of the slick that is making an "S" curve to the right. If you allow yourself to go to the bank, river right, you will bump against the ledge on the right. It's easy to go through but you don't have to anyway. You can motor back to camp and fish along the way.

 I haven't mentioned "Big A". Big A is further down river than the "Takeout" but not by much. What I mean is that when you can see a lot of rocks in the river, it's time to turn back.

 Anyways, The Big Eddy on the West Branch of the Penobscot River, is as Deep Woods as you can get and still have amenities. I forgot to mention that the State run site has a boat launch and is in a part of the river where the current is very slow. You can motor up or down river to find current and fish can be found anywhere in between. Up river will take you to the bottom of "Big A".

Here's a link if you want to check out the Big Eddy. https://bigeddy.chewonki.org/
Title: Re: Fishing the West Branch of the Penobscot River in Maine.
Post by: CC-CODER on November 30, 2019, 10:00:12 AM
Your description sounds amazing, your lucky to live in that area of the country. I follow the Appalachian Trail thru hikers on Youtube and it sounds like they get views of the Penobscot from the ridges as they hike. The campsites seem reasonably priced compared to other places we've been with our Mokai's too. Thanks for posting, another destination for us to add to our ever growing list!
Title: Re: Fishing the West Branch of the Penobscot River in Maine.
Post by: niteshft on December 01, 2019, 09:46:44 AM
 One thing I forgot to mention is the campsite will follow you to the take-out and return you so you can leave your vehicle if you want to do the full run...it's part of their service and free. You cannot drive your Mokai back up Little A.

 It's a great place to stay, I've spent the full season there a few years in a row. There are rafting outfits in the area, which is a blast to do. They have 1/2 and full day trips with a noon meal. The trip I took had a choice of steak or chicken. Mt. Katahdin is nearby if you like to hike and numerous views of the mountain as you travel to the site.
 If you flyfish, I recommend you pick up a few West Branch Caddis on the way in Millinocket. These hatch on a daily basis throughout the season and are the hottest fly on the river.
Title: Re: Fishing the West Branch of the Penobscot River in Maine.
Post by: BoFly on April 13, 2020, 04:47:40 PM
Hey Nitshft I just read your post your post! I’m very much interested in taking a trip to Maine this summer May-June to the Penobscot this year. I would very much love to take a crack at some of those giant brook trout and salmon there with my fly rod and mokia. Could give me some more details on flys for salmon and brook trout, fly shops you like, other rivers or streams in Maine to check and anything we might want to see in the Great State of Maine.
Title: Re: Fishing the West Branch of the Penobscot River in Maine.
Post by: niteshft on May 03, 2020, 11:22:49 PM
 I tried contacting you but I haven't heard back.

Wow, so many places to see and things to do in this very large state. Google "Big Eddy Campground" for starters. There is also a remote site a few miles before the Big Eddy that is run by the State and very affordable. Bring your own shower bag. To the east of Greenville, I recommend Indian Pond. It is remote with a gravel beach and boat launch. Cast the waters in front of the beach at "day break", and you can catch brook trout for breakfast. They come in to the shallows for feeding early well into July. There are various campsites around Moosehead Lake, both rustic and full amenities. Restaurants in the area offer a wide ranging pallet. Dine fine or kick back in a more formal environment, it has it all.

 Contact me and I may provide more information for your interests.
Title: Re: Fishing the West Branch of the Penobscot River in Maine.
Post by: OutdoorAdv on May 05, 2020, 02:12:05 PM
Sounds like a great trip!  That area is amazing and one I will hopefully return to soon.  For many years, I used to take a float plane from Katahdin Air on Ambajejus Lake and get dropped off at Rainbow Lake.  Lots of great trips and memories up there.  On a couple of those trips, I climbed Mt Katahdin and stayed at Baxter State park before flying out to Rainbow Lake. 
Title: Re: Fishing the West Branch of the Penobscot River in Maine.
Post by: Craig5251 on May 07, 2020, 10:13:10 PM
I haven’t been to Baxter in twenty years! My wife and I used to go every Fall, before she got ill. Beautiful area!
Title: Re: Fishing the West Branch of the Penobscot River in Maine.
Post by: niteshft on May 25, 2020, 08:39:07 PM
 They've finally opened up the campsites but for Mainers only unless, you confine yourself for 14 days first. That's unfair, but I can understand why that needs to happen. There aren't facilities available to care for those that get sick in this neck of the woods. And those that try to help may get sick themselves. With the limited supplies of everything in the area, it could be a disaster here.
  These are unprecedented times, and takes unprecedented actions.

 Stay safe everyone!
Title: Re: Fishing the West Branch of the Penobscot River in Maine.
Post by: niteshft on May 27, 2020, 04:38:23 PM
 Unfortunately, Maine requires anyone out of state to self quarantine for 14 days. ??? It seems absurd but there are things everyone needs to do when they stay for any amount of time and that's preparations. Whether it's shopping for groceries or other supplies, it causes concern for possible spread and the State has done a great job of keeping spread down. More than one third of those that contract COVID 19 show no symptoms but can spread the virus. It's important that everyone understands that, no matter where you live, and take care to observe the six foot rule as well as other safety precautions.

 I hope to see any of you that would like to visit this great state in the near future. In the mean time, enjoy the great outdoors where you are at and promote safe practices so you and your loved ones gets through this dilemma.
Title: Re: Fishing the West Branch of the Penobscot River in Maine.
Post by: niteshft on May 29, 2020, 08:00:43 PM
 At the Big Eddy, and probably all other campsites, any out of state must quarantine for 14 days first. Owners are fighting so time will tell.

  The Shad are starting to come up the river so it's going to be busy around here for the next month or so. I'll be chasing the shad for the duration of the run in my JetAngler! After a couple of hours of use the engine seems to be mellowing down at low speeds. The vibrations doesn't rattle the "wet-well" covers as much, making trolling much nicer.