Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Blowin' In The Wind...

The rain had stopped..the rain that we really needed..the rain that came down so hard and with such intensity that a lot of it quickly found it's way to the ocean rather than where we needed it the most. However we did receive the moisture that we have been desperately needing .

The morning dawned with a lightning sky and a few patches of thinning clouds with a hint of something bright hiding behind them. The radar was showing showers moving through the mid-coast and onward toward our brethren Downeast. There was a slight breeze. All the signs seemed to be aligning properly.  This could be the day for an eventful fishing experience..something that I have been sorely lacking so far this spring. 

I haven't done much fishing yet this thing or another has been conspiring against me. So with the conditions deemed acceptable, I started to gear up. I really didn't have the urge to try fly fishing some stream or brook, it would be folly and they surely would be blown out. Even the little runoff "brook" in my backyard had overflowed it's bank into my wife's flower garden. So I figured that my best bet would be to have a go at some rainbow's and bass at nearby Lake Megunticook.

Big Ray and I made our way down Rt.52 to the boat landing and sure enough, it was deserted except for a Maine DOT truck parked in the lot. We had come across the crew repairing washed out shoulders along the road that travels the base of the rock cliffs of Mt. Megunticook. 

Our boat is a 17' Lund Rebel Sport with an open "cockpit", no bimini top. But such a top would not be needed  this morning as the lake at the landing was calm and serene, being sheltered from the ocean breezes by the Camden Hills. Trolling the shoreline, backtracking Rt 52 back toward Lincolnville Center, things started off on a positive note. There was a slight breeze to our backs, a small chop on the water and best of all fish showing up on the sonar...things were looking up but as we made a turn under the cross at Lover's Leap things started to change.

Immediately Ray and I felt the bite of the breeze that had now turned into a raw wind once we had came about.  Taking on a bit of bowspray from that small chop, I closed up the midsection of the windshield and Ray hunkered down on his boat bed. Both of us trying to find some shelter against the elements.

About now it's getting close to lunch time and we started searching for some calm water in the lee of the approaching western shoreline. Spotting some flatwater in a small cove we came upon the only others on the water that late morning...

We managed to peacefully eat our lunch, Ray being very helpful in the sharing of mine, and spent some time casting for bass to no avail. About this time my fingers were starting to loose the feeling in them with the combination of 49 degree water and colder air. And I was bemoaning the fact that I had decided against bringing along a thermos of coffee when I left home only 3 hours earlier.

So with no fish but a fistful of numb fingers I decided to abort. It wasn't long before I had the Lund lined up for re-entry between the markers..

And with no sign of life amongst the cottages we cruised by..

we were soon happily trailering the boat and headed home via Lincolnville Center, and a hot cup of coffee. A little worse for wear but hopefully a little wiser. Fish? Maybe next time...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Just Hangin' Out..

These whitetails started to appear in the mist outside my home this morning and they knew almost immediately of my presence. Perhaps from the sound of the lens on my camera touching the window pane.
But they continued to feed and hang out long enough for me to change lenses and sneak around the corner of the house..
And it wasn't until they heard the squawking of little Zed, our newest yellow lab pup,  that they decided it was time to move into the trees...
A great way to start my day off.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fun, Fishing and Family

I spent most of the day spring cleaning The Lund Rebel Sport. It got a good washing, the scratches were touched up and then a coat of quality wax, glass cleaned (maybe tomorrow) , vacuumed out, batteries charged and set back into their cradles. All done with tender loving care.

This annual rite is one of my favorite day's of the year. It is so-o-o-o  great to pull our boat out of it's winter shelter to start a new season of fun, fishing and family.
So tomorrow or the next day my wife , our dogs and myself will be out on a local lake, that just happens to host a good population of landlocked salmon, and enjoying the Maine outdoors. 
Can it possibly get any better? 
Well perhaps..
I could catch a salmon or two..

Monday, April 9, 2012

Don't Get Tick-eled This Spring

With the onset of spring and especially the outburst of warm weather we had about two weeks ago, ticks are on my mind. We have two great dogs in our household, Ray and Zed. And we love to take them with us either on a hike or brook fishing but they are tick magnets. We've already been finding them on our short haired, yellow pups but it doesn't take much hair for the little buggers to disappear into their undercoats. And even though we religiously apply Frontline to them, we are always on high alert.

One of my prior posts entitled

"Doesn't It Just Tick You Off?"

displays a map of tick prone states in the eastern half of the U.S. and there's a lot of red in New England. 
I've just found another tick map but this time of our state showing the occurrences of Lyme Disease per county and it's very alarming.

Living in Waldo County I'm afraid we are on the doorstep of being the next hotbed of Lyme Disease. And it's interesting that the cases seem to be moving up the coast. 

I know 
"the woods are lovely, dark and deep" 
but BE CAREFUL when you are enjoying our wonderful  (I was going to say marvelous but I guess that word  isn't used much anymore according to someone higher up than me) Maine outdoors. No more red counties..sorry Governor LePage..

Tick ID Game;

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Canoe In The Woods In Waldo County

We decided to do a little exploring the other day as it was one of  my days off. This was one of those combo hikes which would include a little fishing.  I've been trying to re-visit some of the places that my Dad used to take me fishing as a kid and one of those places is a little "mountain" pond nestled in the back woods of  Waldo County. 

This little gem of a pond is surrounded by private land and is managed for wood harvesting.   But the owner allows access to his property for sporting interests. The trail leading into the property is gated so this means that a hike of approximately 2 miles is necessary but the hike is a very pleasant one with a layer of pine needles for carpeting.  The woods road follows the shoreline of one pond before splitting off onto the path to the next, our destination. No people and no cars to worry about which is great for our two sniffing pooches.

The path leading into the pond with a glimpse of blue..

End of the trail...  
Little Zed , not sure of what to make of this...

This pond is not at all conducive to fly fishing from the shoreline so I brought along my ultralight spinning rod and even with that it wasn't easy. Spotting a boulder to my right I did a little bushwacking to get to it in order to provide a bit of elbow room for easier casting.  Along the way I came across an upturned canoe.

I got to thinking about the considerable carrying and pulling it must have taken in order to get it there but clearly the owner knew that the fishing would be worth the effort.
Making it to the boulder I stood there for a while just to enjoy the scenery.

Hard to believe that this seemingly remote pond is less than a half hour from downtown Belfast. So I'll be back soon for a more serious fishing effort which will include my fly rod and hopefully I'll have some success to report...

Monday, April 2, 2012

St. George River Race

We took a few minutes out of our normal Saturday routine to drive out to Searsmont village to check out the 
33rd St. George River Race

The little town was buzzing with excitement as the competitors milled around the starting line, which is actually in the Quantabacook Stream. Once started the racers enter the St. George a few hundred yards down stream.

According to Dale Cross the director of the Waldo County Y, there were 111 watercraft entered and they would navigate the
six mile course, ending at the Rt. 105 bridge in Appleton.

So rather than hang out on the Searmont bridge to watch the race start we walked down to the confluence of the stream and the river to get a little different perspective.

Once the racers get through the initial flat water they join up with the St. George. 

This large boulder is an appropos marker that literally divides the two waters. 

Here's a view of the Searsmont bridge as we climbed back up to our car to head down to the Ghent Road bridge and the "falls" 

The Ghent Road bridge is "notorius" for those spectators looking for some canoe flipping over action but not so much on this day. The water was just too low so the most excitement we witnessed was the occasional hang up with one of the paddlers having to jump out to give a push. 

The safety team was ready for any unfortunate mishap but in the time that we were there no one was in danger of being swept out to sea.

The kayaks seem to have a much easier time of it with some of the paddlers enjoying a make shift slalom run.

So even though the conditions were a bit bony leaving many a river rock with a new color scheme of green and red, the race was a huge success to the benefit of the Y.  

And now the fly fishermen can reclaim the river for their own as I hear there is some good action to be had for browns and brookies. Sounds like a plan....