Friday, September 23, 2011

4th of July – Grand Lake Stream Style

This past July we made our second pilgrimage to West Grand Lake in Washington County Maine. We planned the timing of our trip so that we could be there for The Grand Lake Stream 4th of July parade. The year before, sitting around a beach fire, I had heard a lot about the parade from my extended families, the Bailey’s and the Vose’s and all thru the following winter and spring I was anxiously awaiting the opportunity to experience it for myself. Maybe even getting a look at the “World’s Largest” Tied Fly float.

Grand Lake Stream Marching Band

 After some early morning fishing on West Grand and a delicious campfire breakfast we all piled into two boats, Rob’s Pro Sport Avenger and the Lund Rebel Sport...( we are a “sporting” bunch) and headed down  to the public ramp area at the outlet to Grand Lake Stream. We did a tandem tie-up and walked into the village, alongside the canal ,opposite the Canal Side Cabins.  We settled at the front of The Pine Tree Store for a good vantage point to watch the parade. Not ever having attended before I can’t say if the turnout was average or better than average but, to me, there seemed like a very good crowd lining the route.

Prime Viewing At The Pine Tree Store 

GLS has maybe a couple of hundred year ‘round residents, The Pine Tree Store, a salmon fish hatchery, the Historical Society Museum, a Post Office, the highest density of Maine guides in the state and not a lot more, but that’s more than enough for me.  It also has of course the stream itself which happens to be one of the top fly fishing destinations in the country and West Grand Lake which is on my very short list of lakes that I’ll never get tired of returning to. ( Is this a dangling something?)

Maine Guide Extraordinaire and Veteran , Jack Perkins

The parade didn't disappoint as there were floats honoring past Maine Guides, the Grand Lake Stream marching band, veterans, a good amount of Grand Lake canoes, tractors, scouts, candy pelting us like hail, patriotic displays of the flag, fire engines, antique trucks and lots more. However no sign of the “World’s Largest” tied fly. Perhaps next year…

A Tribute Float

To me there is something very, very special about a small town parade such as this one at Grand Lake Stream and the annual Memorial Day parade in Searsmont, another small town which is near my home. These parades display patriotism, reverence, pride in community, fellowship, honesty, non-commercialism and a basic and heartfelt joy mixed in with a sense of innocence. It just doesn’t get any better. 

One Of Those Puffy-Headed GLS Guides

After the last fire truck and ambulance had filed by we headed down to the park where the parade entries were gathered on display and to catch a glimpse of cousin Kim dutifully flipping burgers and tending fries.  Not long afterward we strolled back to the public landing for the boat rides back to Hazelwood’s , lunch and another try at those wily salmon lurking in the cold, deep holes of West Grand Lake.  

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bassin' at Swan Lake - Large or Small ?

I took my grandson Dustin and his Dad, Gary out for a few hours fishing at a local lake near my hometown. The lake is Swan Lake in the town of  Swanville. It's about 1200 acres and has a decent population of togue, landlocks, and bass. Not one of my favorite spots but very handy with the potential of some decent fish.  We trolled for salmon almost the entire length concentrating on the two 85-90 foot deep holes but with no luck. The nature of trolling, most of the time not being high on a five year old's to do list, soon was supplanted by some bass fishing fun.

 We scooted up to the north end of the lake where there are a couple of rocky outcroppings. However one small problem..I had forgotten to re-charge the trolling motor battery. So while Dustin and Gary were casting a multitude of different lures, (and I mean multitude, about every 3rd cast) I was navigating around the boulders with the big motor trimmed up enough so that  the water intake could just keep the  motor cooled. 

Now the wind comes up , pushing us onto some barely submerged rocks. I trim the motor all the way up and shut it down as we ground out on a glacial pebble. Gary and I are scrambling for paddles and he is quickly retrieving his 47th choice of lures when it was hammered. 

Now be aware that I am not an avid bass-man so with some thoughtful discussion both Gary and I agreed that his " biggest bass ever " was a largemouth (very green in color with a horizontal black marking). We didn't know about the mouth to eye thing until later. 

Anyways..Those of you out there who actually know what your talking about? Some assistance please.... 

Oh yeah I managed to get us off the rock...Dustin released the bass and for the rest of the day..nothing more was caught..

Above is a small large ? that Gary caught about 10 minutes before the large large ?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Jammin' The Wind

  This past weekend, the family (me, Pat and our guide dog to be Tessie, big Ray missed out on this one)  decided to spend a few hours checking out the Camden Windjammer Festival. So we headed down the backroad , Rt.52,  to  "quaint" Camden town. I must admit that even though we Belfast-ers have an inate disdain for the supposedly better than thou Camden attitude, I do very much enjoy my visits there, either by car or by boat. It really is a pretty town but best visited after the Labor Day holiday.

  After a good amount of snooping around the festival we strolled on to see if we could catch up with Barb Goos , a one time guide dog puppy raiser and who is also the Dockmaster at the Camden Yacht Club. Luckily she was at the dock preparing the shuttle to pick up some yachting types and bring them ashore and she graciously invited us out for an unexpected boat ride. It's always nice to get out on the harbor to view the boats with the Camden Hills in the background.

  Our visit with Barb and her release pup Olive done we headed back into town for a cup of clam chowda' with a homemade biscuit, crackers and a cold brew at Cappy's Chowder House.

 Here are a few photos of the goings on...

Harbor view 

Stern of the schooner Mary Day

 Camden town dock 

Bow and anchor of the Nathaniel Bowditch

Barb and the shuttle

The harbor and the Camden Hills