Luke Schafermeyer

Luke Schafermeyer enjoys a summer sunset on Lake Umbagog.

WE ARE about to go to the all-star break in Major League Baseball. The unofficial halfway mark of the season, this time allows players, coaches and fans a short break in the action and a time for reflection.

The standings tell with mathematical certainty where each team ranks and, in some ways, where they are headed. It is as much a time to evaluate successes and failures as it is to plan for the second half.

Trade deadlines loom, some players are injured, and teams are devising strategy in their drive for the ultimate success of the playoffs.

Fishermen might follow this lead and use July as a time to collect their wits and move forward in a way that brings more fish.

Although my fishing season does not have a halfway mark — it never really begins or ends — I will use this time to re-stock equipment, correct mistakes and formulate an approach for the rest of the summer. Even when I am not on the water, I communicate with a lot of anglers who are.

With this cumulative knowledge, I try to convince myself and anyone who will listen that things will always get better. The glass is always half full and opportunity abounds for anyone willing to chase it down.

The year started cold and wet. Once spring arrived, it did so sheepishly and translated into limited fishing. I had most of my success on small streams with a resilience to these conditions. The Connecticut and Androscoggin rivers are my two favorite, and embody everything I want from a New England flyfishing experience. As they ran cold and deep, I fished their feeder streams where small brook, brown and rainbow trout were aggressive and plentiful. Only recently have I waded into the bigger rivers where I’ve had limited success.

Bass fishing has really started to get exciting as these fish have fulfilled their obligation to reproduce and now focus all of their energy into feeding. They can be found in any type of water and will strike quickly at the correct presentation.

Last week, I caught big bass on a spinner-bait, a soft plastic, a heavy jig, and a top-water prop bait. They were hitting almost everything I threw at them. I expect this type of fishing to only get better as we head deeper into July and August.

Trout ponds have been great this year as they have been consistently refreshed with lots of rain. Normally slowing down by July, they have been producing great fishing for several months. If Mother Nature continues her pattern, this type of fishing could last all summer. Should water temperatures really start to climb, it may be a sign to fish remote trout ponds, where I catch beautiful fish in picturesque settings.

My angling plans for the next two months are simple: I am going where the fish are. If one approach or location is slow, I will move on to another. I will adjust with the weather conditions and find fishing opportunities that are best suited by them. I will use methods and equipment that have proven effective and try a lot of new stuff as well. I will have fun, enjoy the experience and solidify my love for the sport.


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