Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking Toward 2011 - Stonington

So here we are..the last day of 2010, and a very successful year it was highlighted by a week spent fishing and la-dee-dahing in August at West Grand Lake..salmon and bass fishing on Lake George.. Pat and I mackerel fishing with our 5 year old grandson, Dustin, and, with our dogs, spending a lovely afternoon on the Penobscot River enjoying the Bangor Folk Festival ..a flat calm afternoon with my sister Linda observing a a "pod" of about 15 seals in a feeding frenzy.. an early morning breakfast on Flat Island with Mike and Deb.. and exploring many beautiful islands of the western gut of Penobscot Bay
In retrospect , I should have done a lot more photo documenting and started a log book of our trips from last year..Hopefully 2011 will show a better effort on my part in these respects..

So..time to move on to planning out 2011 and some new spots that we hope to enjoy.

First on the list is the very pretty harbor and village of


My plan is to set out from Rockland very early in the morning..thru the Fox Islands Thorofare and due east to Stonington..I'm thinking there should be some pretty fine fishing and photo ops in and around the many islands and maybe an opportunity to work our way over to Isle Au Haut.. But that my require us to camp out on some deserted horrible would that be..and on the way back we would have to spend some time cruising around and about North Haven and Vinalhaven..

Next Post..

The Kennebec River and Merrymeeting Bay

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Twas The Night Before Caddis

T'was The Night Before Caddis
by Richard Frank
Thanks to mountain river journal blog

"Twas the night before Christmas when down by the stream
The full moon looked out on a chill winter scene.
A lone trout was sipping a midge in his brook,
Untroubled by worries of fishers with hooks.
Then from above a small sleigh did appear
Pulled by a brace of eight tiny reindeer.
It swerved of a sudden and down it did glide,
Settling its runners along the streamside.
The fat, jolly driver dove into his sled
And emerged with his three weight held high over head.
“Thank you my elves for this wand smooth as silk.
This break will be better than cookies and milk.”
So saying, he jumped from his sleigh with a chuckle,
Hiked up his boots and cinched up his belt buckle.
Santa meant business that cold winter’s eve.
A fish he would catch – that you’d better believe.
Looking upstream and down, he spotted that trout,
Then he open his flybox and took something out – “Size 32 midges are only for faddists
I’ll go with my favorite tan reindeer caddis.”
So he cast out his line with a magical ease
And his fly floated down just as light as you please.
And it drifted drag free down the trout’s feeding lane,
But the fish merely wiggled a fin of distain.
“Oh Adams, oh Cahill, oh Sulphur, oh Pupa,
Oh Hopper, oh Coachman, oh Olive Matuka!
I’ve seen every fly in the book and the box.
I’m old and I’m wary and sly as a fox.
To catch me you’ll need an unusual gift,
For a present this common no fin will I lift.”
Old Nick scratched his head for his time it grew short
The reindeer behind him did shuffle and snort.
He looked once again in his box for a fly
When a pattern compelling attracted his eye.
“The Rudolph!” he muttered and grinned ear to ear
“Far better to give than receive, so I hear.”
So he cast once again and his magic was true,
And the trout it looked up and knew not what to do.
“This fly has a body of bells don’t you know,
And if that’s not enough there’s a shining red nose!
I know it’s fraud and I know it’s a fake,
But I can’t help myself. It’s I gift I must take!”
So he rose in swirl and captured that thing,
Flew off down the stream. Santa’s reel it did sing.
“Ho!” shouted Santa, “You’re making my day.
If the heavens were water, you’d be pulling my sleigh.”
So, Santa prevailed and released his great rival
First taking great care to ensure its survival.
He then mounted his sled and he flew out of sight
Shouting, “Merry Caddis to trout and to all a good night!”

Friday, December 10, 2010

Big Ray

Our big boy..Ray

I just don't GET people who don't like dogs..We just LOVE our big boy Ray..He is a released Guide Dog and the very best dog I have ever, not owned, but been BLESSED with.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Maine Warden Service 130th Anniversary Documentary :: Section 1

Nice video on the Maine State Warden Service celebrating it's 130th anniversary.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Where Oh Where Art Thou Grand Lake?

The snow is falling and I'm thinking about fishing at West Grand Lake & Grand Lake Stream next I settled in at the keyboard with my coffee and started exploring literature related fishing blogs and at the same time looking thru some photos of our trip to West Grand last summer. It seems like a long time ago...

Thoroughfare Between West Grand and Pocumcus Lakes
So..I came across the really struck me as the perfect way to describe the joy of fishing in such a setting as Grand Lake..

"With many persons, fishing is a mere recreation, a pleasant way of killing time. To the true angler, however, the sensation it produces is a deep unspoken joy, born of a longing for that which is quiet and peaceful, and fostered by an inbred love of communing with nature, as he walks through grassy meads, or listens to the music of a mountain torrent. This is why he loves occassionally — whatever may be his social propensity indoors — to shun the habitations and usual haunts of men, and wander alone by the stream, casting his flies over its bright waters: or in his lone canoe to skim the unrufflled surface of the inland lake, where no sound comes to his ear but the wild, flute-like cry of the loon, and where no human form is seen but his own, mirrored in the glassy water."

> Thaddeus Norris, American Angler’s Book, 1864.

The day is done at West Grank Lake from camp - August 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Saying Hello To The Neighbors..Tis The Season

My lab Ray and I had a nice walk yesterday down the field to say hello to our neighbors..An inquisitive yet shy group and somewhat suspicious..we did our best to be friendly..well Raymond was a bit peeved at their stand-offish-ness and voiced his opinion. They reciprocated by grumbling and growling at him , strongly getting the point across that our visit was totally unnecessary, and even trying to get Ray to electrocute himself on the fence. Ray, having in a previous walk, touched his nose to it and had apparently learned his lesson, would have none of their exhortations. I fear that there will be no detente in our relationship..It could get ugly..

Friday, December 3, 2010

My Bad..


I've been a real slacker about my blog for the past two stuck in neutral on the story about hunting with my Dad as I have so much stuff running thru my head that I got brain freezure (?)...gonna' put that one on the back burner until next fall..I've learned a lesson tho...gotta' have stuff "in the can" and ready to post for something like that...

Anyways..went fly fishing on the Georges River last weekend..No hits at all but I did manage to stumble around on the rocks and get achy knees from the cold water . Good thing I took a "wading staff", actually a snowshoe pole, with me to keep my upright....but it did help..I'll try a different spot this weekend if the weather co-operates... Maybe not...Rain/snow?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mamosas and Flat Island with Mike and Deb

Setting up our breakfast site

Last July my wife Pat, my brother in law Mike , sister in law Deb and I struck out of Belfast Harbor bright and early. It was a beautiful early morning on Penobscot Bay. Flat water, incoming tide, warm air. We headed over to Islesboro and trolled for mackerel down the eastern shore , not finding much luck. But by then we were ready for breakfast so decided to move on to Flat Island.

Deb Preping
The menu consited of coffee, cheeses, fruits, bread, Prosciutto, salami, homemade jellies,fruit and of course Mamosas. We lingered for sometime enjoying the companionship, the warm morning, the conversation and the basic joy of being on an island in Penobscot Bay.

Packed Up

So after a bit we decided to try our luck at more fishing and headed over to the mainland toward Lincolnville Beach and back up the coast to Belfast Harbor. We did hit a few fish off Northport with a spirited fishing contest ensuing between Deb and Mike. Mike hitting it large

It was one of those truly great days on the water. Hard to believe it was over 4 months ago. But we have already started our planning for next summer. Hopefully that morning will be warm and calm . And in the company of family, it will definitely be another great day on the bay.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tough Past Week

As you may surmise, I  use this blog as sort of an online diary of what's going on in my life. I try to keep it on task, you know, fishing and hunting stuff. But sometimes I digress and throw in some other things that you may find off subject but that make me feel a little better if I write about here I go again..

The past week has been a tough one for daughter had surgery (she's ok), we had to put down our 14 yr old lab (previously noted), I've been sick with a lousy cold and to top it all off..we had to "put up" our boat for the winter..all these things have gotten me down but it's a new week and time to move on.

So with that in mind..

This week I will be smiling about all the wonderful time we were able to spend with Dove,  looking forward to Thanksgiving and major family time, continuing my hunting story, and planning our next season's fishing trips on West Grand Lake, Moosehead Lake, Lake St. George, Lake Megunticook, Penobscot Bay and River, Casco Bay, the Kennebec River and elsewhere..What, maybe 5 1/2 months till ice out?  Not really so long if you don't think about it much..Of course I will..every day!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dove , A Goodbye

We've had a sad occurrence at our house yesterday..Dove..our 14 year old lab , had to be put down. Dove led a life of service, she was a Guide Dog For The Blind and came back to us after she retired. My wife was her puppy raiser so long ago. Pat taught her basic socialization , fundamental commands, and preliminary guide dog skills. Then Dove went to "college" (Guiding Eyes For The Blind in Yorktown Heights NY), graduated top of her class and was a highly successful guide dog and companion for nearly 10 years for a very nice lady in Albany. And when she had had enough she came back home to live her final years with us as a regular , ordinary dog.. Of course she wasn't. She was special, very special. We will miss you Dove..Enjoy your well deserved reward..

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Up North Maine Fly-Castings

My sincere thanks goes to Ben at Up North Maine Fly Castings for "highlighting" this humble blogger on his website..  It's a terrific website to check out great hunting and fishing stories and photographs about Maine. If you haven't checked it's a must!  Thanks again Ben...Mike

AND..I am working on another "installment" to my hunting with Dad post..Lots of stuff going on right now and just haven't gotten to it but will very shortly..thanks!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Deer Hunting With Dad - Intro

I've been doing a lot of thinking of deer hunting lately..mostly in the reminiscent mode, back to "yesteryear". Actually many years ago, my grade school years,  when my father would allow me , include me, put up with me, (probably the put up thing more than the others) to accompany him on one of his frequent deer hunts. 

As I've mentioned in earlier posts that my Dad was an avid fly fisherman but he had a special love for deer hunting. I'm not sure why he held it so close to him. Maybe it went back to his childhood on the family farm in Monroe, maybe it was the time of year, maybe it was the comradery with his hunting buddies..Not sure, never asked..

So I'm putting together some thoughts,  I actually have been doing so very sporadically for a few years now, on my impression of "it", the feel of "it",  the lasting significance of "it",  the it of "it".  Why, at this time of year, every year, "it" takes hold of me so firmly. I seemed to be warmed by the bosom of "it". 

Funny..because I'm not an active hunter any longer and haven't been for many years..and bird hunting was always more enjoyable to me..AND...I am definitely not anti-hunting, just haven't done it in a long while.

So in future posts I will be trying to explain what it was like to go "Deer Hunting With Dad". The basic story is absolutely true..some of the comments that I attribute to my father and myself?..I think they are close but, I'm not sure , probably an interpretation of what I think was said some 50 years ago.

To my readers..please comment on my posts. I really like your insights on what I write.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Deer Season Warmer Upper

Now that deer season is upon us, one's thoughts must travel to preventing hypothermia whilst sitting in a stand or on top of a very cold stone wall.. I would suggest taking along as company a small amount of the Dr.. Purely medicinal of course. I have warmed up my belly with it many times on the barren , cold, windswept plains of the Northport Golf Club.. All hail the Dr.!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Flashback - Grand Lake

Here's an old photo that I found somewhere on the net and had stored on one of my computers.Just now came across it.Apparently it was taken in 1920. 
 When we were at GLS this past summer we heard  stories from Jack Perkins about the steamers that hauled  the sports canoes uplake and they would fish back. I found it fascinating to hear some of the stories of the old timers. Can't wait to get back for more!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Flashing Back To Summer - Mackeral Fishing - Penobscot Bay

Here are some shots taken last July in Penobscot Bay, just up the coast from Lincolnville Beach.

My sister and brother in law were visiting from Ct. and we headed out on the bay for a little action..
And we got it..lots of it..the bay was full of fish..we were hauling them in 2 and 3 at a time..and as an added bonus..the fish went to a good cause..lobster bait for my nephew who fishes and had an awful time finding bait..No herring processors left in Maine..very sad!

Then we all headed up to Grand Lake Stream for a week..SWEET!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

False Start..

While finishing my 3rd cup of coffee and  standing on my front deck , looking at all the leaves that have accumulated in The Rebel Sport, I came to the conclusion that something had to be done about them. I could either sweep and then vaccum or run the boat west on Rt 3 at 60 mph and let nature have it's way with them..And since it would take me at least a half hour running time to clear them out, I may as well stop over at Lake George, as I would be in the vicinity anyways..Great idea, to take advantage of both situations and plus it seemed to be the making of a nice , mid Autumn day. I geared up.  Extra clothing, 3 different varieties of fishing rods, PFD's, camera, net , etc.. Backed up to the tongue , hooked up, fired up the Jeep and nothing except a cloud of blue exhaust smoke..After  a number of tries, the engine kicks in but won't stay running in park.


I haul out the air filter and knock it on the bumper..looks ok..Try it again, same thing..I can keep it running if I start it in Neutral and drop it into Drive with foot tweaking the gas peddle ..The little devil on my left shoulder keeps telling me..what the hell...go for it..submit to the tempation..While the little angel on my right shoulder tells the right thing as temptations yield to nothing but trouble, such as not being able to get the Jeep started with it on the ramp and the boat on the trailer..


As much as I wanted to go with my old friend the tempting one, I decided to give it up and make the right decision (one of the few times I might add). After unhooking the RS, I make it down to the local Irving..dump in too much dry gas and head back home..I ran the Jeep all around town with no trouble and it turns out that the wind really started to kick up, so maybe things do happen for a reason... Maybe today will be the day to take care of those pesky leaves.. Here's hoping....

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I'm Gone!!

Hmmm..A FREE breakfast courtesy of LL Bean...20% off a new fly line..Back home before 9... Come the 30th..I'm out of here !

On My Way To Work

I just love Maine ... How lucky are we to live here and get to see this on the way to work...Wicked Good!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Rainy Day Doings

A nice way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon...

Hybird Boat - Belfast Harbor

Here's an interesting boat that I encountered this summer while putting my boat in at the Belfast Public Landing, for a little mackeral action..It was designed by Stephens, Waring & White Yacht Design. And built by French & Webb here in Belfast - "Zogo" would be her name. - She uses a diesel engine and a electric drive driven by solar panels set in her roof. A very pretty and interesting boat and she created quite the stir in town as well as some national publicity

Filming..didn't go well...

I just got a HD Flip Camcorder so I decided to record a afternoon fishing adventure for lake salmon at one of my local haunts..Lake St George in Liberty..Geared up my boat and together with my my Yellow Lab, Ray, headed out to the lake..Of course the town had removed the dock at the boat landing so that complicated matters somewhat because Ray was reluctant to get into the boat because he was way too content to check out all the PeeMail that had been left by his fellow canines around the landing..On top of it the wind was blowing directly onto shore causing my boat to bounce a bit on the rocks..But with a bit of conjoling and bribery using a Milk Bone , Ray finally hopped in and away we went..So..The wind is blowing..the dog isn't real happy and I get one on..I'm trying to keep my boat off the rocks..keep my dog from tripping me up , boating the fish and filming at the same time..Needless to say I have a long way to go..Here is my first attempt..

Ok..not exactly Academy Award all ended well..the fish got boat on the rocks..and Ray got another Milk Bone.

Part 3 at GL

After lunch we headed into Whitney Cove. Fished really close to the eastern shore and picked up a few more bass. Kim constantly monitoring the fish finder and every now and then directing us to "take in a color boys" or "let another color out"..with me , being a complete novice at fishing with lead line, wondering how soon it will be before a underwater boulder strips all my line from my new trolling rig. I did snag bottom later on in the day but with Kim's expert canoe handling ability and Steve's running commentary, I managed to retrieve it all.

Anyways..No salmon..we fished "The Narrows" ...and on the way back to the the public landing we fished just beyond Caribou Rock in another deep spot salmon.. We did encounter a party barge with 3 lovely ladies, a blond at the helm who yelled out.."Kim, how are you doing sweetheart?"..To this day Kim is still trying to ID this maid with the flaxen hair.. By this time we decided to head back to the landing..I wish I could show you some photos of some nice lake salmon but no luck on this day..But it was a great experience just the same..Fine weather..Wonderful company and a GREAT LAKE!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Back to Grand Lake...September Past

So to continue my story...We headed up lake..Kim at the mid canoe and Kim's brother Steve in the bow..We trolled around the hole at Dyer Cove for a while..nothing going on although the fish were holding very deep. Steve did pick up this massive smallmouth..just not sure where..but for the sake of argument..let's say that it was going toward our next fishing spot..Whitney Cove..but before we got there I had to find an excuse to get ashore so I could go pee..not gonna use the canoe pee bucket when I'm sitting in the middle..there is no where to turn to satisfy my need for on the semi-rouse of needing to stretch my aching legs , I asked Kim if it would be allright to go ashore to we stopped for lunch..that Kim the old Doolittle Camp..yes that Doolittle who bombed Tokyo soon after Pearl Harbor...

It was absolutely gorgeous for a lunch/pee stop..The warm September wind..a very little breeze..perfect..I just don't understand why more people don't consider this part of Maine, Paradise..Like Steve said..Lucky for us that they don't. So after knocking down a ham and cheese sandwich I had a chance to stroll up the shore a bit and took a few photos..

Kim and Steve...relaxing in the warm sun..

Looking up lake toward Whitney Cove..our next fishing destination..

Kim's Grand Laker...

Monday, October 11, 2010

2 Bulls and Cow Moose

I headed up to Grand Lake Stream yesterday to check out the salmon action. There were probably between 20 and 30 fly fishermen and women around..either on the the stream fishing or milling around..or at the store buying coffee..cold wind out of the north or northwest...but it was chilly..nothing to report for me..not even a bump..I did see a decent fish taken by a fellow fisherman who was nymphing..but that was the only one I saw..people were telling me.."you should of been here last weekend" that made me feel good....anyways..on the way up I spotted these 3 moose just off the South Princetion that was my excitement for my daytrip..gotta get a telephoto for my Canon..I'm missing too many good shots...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fishing Lake St George

I tried my hand at a little late season salmon fishing at Lake St. George in Liberty yesterday..Had the whole lake to myself , practically..Only one other boat out there..Didn't have any luck with the salmon..but did manage this nice trout..released it back..Nice day on the water..the leaves are only about 30%..

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Beautiful Morning & Heading Out

After a great breakfast at Kim's , the GMC and the GL canoe were mated for the short trip to the public landing. With Steve and Kim doing the honors it wasn't long before the Grand Laker, circa 1963, was in the water, packed, and ready to head up lake.

With a few quick pulls on the starter cord, some minor tweaks on the engine controls and Kim at the controls, off we skies..bright sun..flat calm.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fishing Grand Lake Part 2

A couple of weeks ago I contacted a couple of my wife's cousins, who happen to be Maine Guides (and know West Grand Lake) via Facebook and mentioned that I was planning a day trip to the lake on the 18th. to go fishing. (I wanted to pump some insider info from them.) It just so happened that Steve and his brother Kim were planning to do the same and that all of us should get together. I of course jumped at the chance to be taken under their wings and show me the ropes of late season fishing.

My previous experience for lake salmon fishing was with my Dad, many years ago. We would go to Swan Lake in the spring, just after ice out, and troll. Of course surface trolling was out as the water in Grand Lake apparently is still quite warm as a result of the balmy summer weather. Clearly I needed different gear other than my fly rod and streamer flies that I normally use for trolling..So..on to the Cablea's website I go to pick up an appropriate combo package.

Friday after school I headed to Herman to pick up fisherman extraordinare, Steve Vose. Off to GLS we go and end up at Kim's house around 5. After a marvelous baked ham dinner that Kim provided , we ( including JR who had stopped by) settled in for some good spirited chat and world problem solving..Up next , fishin' day..

Friday, September 17, 2010

Boating To Castine

Fishing Wharf
Tide Running Hard - Out!

Dice Head Light

Monument and Bell #2

Belfast Harbor
On Sept. 11 my wife and I and our dogs had a very nice cruise to Castine..The weather was great..calm seas..water temp still ranging from 57 to 60 degrees..In my calculations there is approximately 4 more weeks of boating left on the bay..We'll be taking our annual foliage run pretty soon to the eastern shore of Penobscot Bay ..Bucks Harbor , Deer Island, etc..

Monday, September 13, 2010


>Year: 1957 or so

>Dad's shotgun for bird hunting: Remington 12 ga semi automatic - He loved that shotgun (Note my trusty BB gun in the porch boot box)

> Dad loved bird hunting, particularly pheasant hunting..He often went to Frye Mtn in the Montville area. Today it's a Maine Wildlife Management area but I'm not sure if it was back then. We never had bird dogs so he would hunt with a friend who did have them or he would just go out and tramp around or ride down old dirt roads , looking for partridge. Anyways , clearly I was impressed..

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11th

Today my thoughts go to the families that were so sadly affected on this day 9 years ago.

Friday, September 10, 2010


I'm going to be including in my blog some flashbacks of my family and their connection to Maine and Maine sports..I'll start off with Don, my father, who was an avid fisherman and hunter. I shot my first deer under his tutelage and traveled with him many times on various fishing trips..both fresh and saltwater. But..not on those trips to The Miramachi River in New Bruswick where he fished for his favorite..The Atlantic Salmon..He reserved those for himself and his buddies. I always anxiously awaited his return to see what luck he had and he always had good luck..Here is a photo of him and one of the salmon he caught..Good going Dad!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My New Read

Started reading this book sometime ago and have recently picked it up again..This is a great fly fishing/life story about two old men and their disappearing way of life on an Arkansas farm. Written by an amazing author, Harry Middleton, who died a garbage man in 1993..Very sad..But if you are looking for a great book to help get thru the coming winter..this may be the one..

August at Grand Lake 2

Here are a couple of cousins, Steve Vose in his Grand Laker that he built over the course of last winter and Mike Bailey in the "A T Lahaye" that was his grandfathers canoe. Mike restored the old girl to superb working condition. I had the very distinct honor of going out fishing with Steve and managed to land a couple of salmon..Unfortunately I forgot my camera..Better planning on my part next time..I hope!