John Kirk of Portland releases a smallmouth bass on the Penobscot River in Veazie in this May 2018 file photo. Credit: John Holyoke

Editor’s note: While lining up sources for a story on fall fishing in Maine, one of those sources responded with a short essay via email that didn’t really fit into the format I had planned. It also couldn’t be ignored and deserved to be published as-is. Fishing isn’t just a hobby, you see. And sometimes, time spent on or in the water can have a much greater effect on the angler. Here’s what Portland attorney John Kirk had to say:

I will find a reason to like every month of the year but September and October are by far my favorite months. The days are shorter and the nights are colder. I have long referred to the autumn late-afternoon light in northern New England as “the golden light.”

The foliage, the often unpredictable weather and the fishing all combine to make those months stand out for me.

[Alone on a Maine river, fly-fishing again]

Fall fishing in Maine is still my favorite fishing of the year. The fish are aggressive, colorful and powerful. There is a sense of urgency for the salmon and brook trout and for me. Pretty soon, I’ll only have only be able to think about the fishing next fall and remember this year.

I went for a day trip up to the East Outlet on Sunday, by myself. Fifteen years ago, I was making that trek every weekend from Bangor, by myself, to hide from what was going on in the real world and find some peace in the river. Those trips were only memories this week.

A cold morning, some willing fish and a talkative bunch of fellow anglers made the 12-hour day and 341-mile round trip completely worth it.

My life is a lot different now than it was 15 years ago, but the river still provided me with peace.

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