I spent some time fishing the waters I grew up on last week, in the lower Penobscot valley. I fished Mud Pond, Pushaw Stream, and the mainstem of the Penobscot. The Penobby was pretty similar to years past, plenty of smallmouth to be found, really a hoot on a fly rod when you get into them.
Pushaw Stream and Mud Pond were different. I caught a fat Pike in Pushaw stream and a fat Largemouth in Mud Pond and didn't catch a pickerel in either one! We also likely lost another pike in Pushaw stream and another largemouth in mud pond. The pike is now turtle/eagle chow, thought about keeping and eating it, but didn't really start with a plan to deal with pike. The bass I released, not sure what I was supposed to do with it, probably shoulda been prepared to keep that one, too. It just hadn't occurred to me that I would encounter a largemouth and I honestly hadn't caught more than 1 or 2 in the last 15 years. But that's what it was. Not many fish can take a moving 5 inch streamer off clean on 0x without bending the rod... My 11 year old daughter said to me, "A fish just jumped back near where my fly is." "Did you feel it," I responded. "No." A few minutes later, when she reeled up, there was nothing there.
In any case, it got me thinking about what has changed in what's really a pretty short period of time. Now there are pike, largemouth, and a boatload of alewives that were all pretty near non-existent 20 years ago. Before, I was angry/frustrated about pike introduction. Now I guess I'm just resigned. I just need a crappie for the Maine invasive trifecta.