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Blueback Trout


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...aka Arctic Char..aka Sunapee Trout. In the US, the Blueback Trout is only found in about a dozen bodies of water in Maine. We stayed at a sporting Lodge on Penobscot Lake in ME for a few years. It took hours of driving on logging roads and the proprietors had to pick you up in a boat at a parking area and ferry you to the lodge and cabins. 
 

I caught a few Blueback Trout in this lake. The largest at around 12” was off the lodge dock using a fly rod and a streamer of which name I can not recollect. Pretty fish. Looked like a very darkly colored Brookie.
 

Anyone else caught the rare and elusive Blueback Trout?

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I can't say that I've ever caught a blueback trout in the lower 48, but have caught Arctic Char in AK. They are a nice looking fish! I've caught Bull trout and Dolly Varden trout here in ID, the Bull Trout years before they were protected....I would imagine they are related in some manner to the Blueback Trout.

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 I should have said the lower 48 I think. My understanding is they were native across New England but no longer and are, and are only found in a dozen lakes in Maine now. I know some of those  lakes were stocked from other lakes holding the Blueback.

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18 hours ago, Brad Eden said:

...aka Arctic Char..aka Sunapee Trout. In the US, the Blueback Trout is only found in about a dozen bodies of water in Maine. We stayed at a sporting Lodge on Penobscot Lake in ME for a few years. It took hours of driving on logging roads and the proprietors had to pick you up in a boat at a parking area and ferry you to the lodge and cabins. 
 

I caught a few Blueback Trout in this lake. The largest at around 12” was off the lodge dock using a fly rod and a streamer of which name I can not recollect. Pretty fish. Looked like a very darkly colored Brookie.
 

Anyone else caught the rare and elusive Blueback Trout?

 

Never even heard of them before this. 

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I've heard of them by both names but never seen one.  My trout fishing experience is way more from reading than casting...SelbyLowndes

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On 9/11/2020 at 5:01 PM, Brad Eden said:

...aka Arctic Char..aka Sunapee Trout. In the US, the Blueback Trout is only found in about a dozen bodies of water in Maine. We stayed at a sporting Lodge on Penobscot Lake in ME for a few years. It took hours of driving on logging roads and the proprietors had to pick you up in a boat at a parking area and ferry you to the lodge and cabins. 
 

I caught a few Blueback Trout in this lake. The largest at around 12” was off the lodge dock using a fly rod and a streamer of which name I can not recollect. Pretty fish. Looked like a very darkly colored Brookie.
 

Anyone else caught the rare and elusive Blueback Trout?

I read about them in either one of John Prosek's books or Karas's book entitled Brook trout         All good reads.  But never caught one.

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Learn something new everyday...also know as the Quebec Red Trout...so in this case surprisingly yes.

 

BTW, here's what Captain Goigle has to say about it...

 

There are three subspecies of arctic char:

1. Salvelinus alpinus ssp. erythrinus, which is the typical anadromous arctic char of Canada's north.

2. S. alpinus ssp. taranetzi, a dwarf form found in the Alaska/ Kanai region.

3. S. alpinus ssp. oquassa, the landlocked char found in Que/NB/NFLD/Maine and NH. It is this fish that is traditionally known as Quebec red trout in Quebec, and blueback or Sunapee trout in the NE. USA.

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If my fading memory is correct the Blueback is a land locked Arctic Char. Never caught a Blueback but have caught lots of Arctic Char in Alaska. The most memorable was while fly casting from the float on a float plane. You have to really watch your back cast.

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Igor Sikorsky who owns Bradford's has been involved with the rehab and promoting of these fish for a number of year. They were just featured in The Maine Mag this past month https://www.themainemag.com/features/a-rare-catch/. I tried to plan a cast and blast trip this year for the blueback before Covid struck...will try again next year. 

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This was to be the year for Blue Backs for me.  We had reservations at Red River Camps in Deboullie but things kept getting so messed up with Covid that we finally cancelled the trip.   Most of the ponds you are talking about are in the Deboullie wilderness area.  I have stayed there for the past two fall bird excursions and that's what the area is know for. 

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  • 3 months later...

NW River Mac beat me to it.  I have stayed at Red River Camps and they are smack dab in the middle of Blue Backs.  And if you ever get the chance to stay at Red River Camps, do it, the camps, the vibe, the host are amazing.  One of my dad's favorite trips.  I always wondered how the bird hunting was up there. 

 

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Tomato can, the hunting was marginal up there.  The birds were hard to get to and the roads are well traveled so that fact drives the birds back.  The forestry practices are more like agribusiness than traditional logging.  Soon the nature of all that Irving land will change with their harvesting methods.  I do not like what I see happening up there on land owned by foreigners.  

 

Jen is a great host and the food cooked by Gloria is always a treat. 

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Well that is a shame.  I had a wonderful time fishing at Red River Camps.  I don't know what it is but after I visit an area in Maine and get to know the folks I just want to go back.  Jen and Gloria were wonderful, the food was great and the atmosphere was wonderful.   The fishing wasn't easy and I trout fish a LOT.  I did catch some nice ones nonetheless.   One of my father's favorite trips.  I also think about hunting Grant's camps.   I have an acquaintance who guides for them in the fall. 

   

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