Monday, April 8, 2013

Butterfield Pond Recon Mission

Still snow on the ground at Butterfield Pond.  This is a nice hike at only a half mile. The pond still has ice on it but today's weather and the forecast with favorable temperatures, "ice out" should be in time for the opening of trout season.

I've decided to make Butterfield Pond our first remote pond trip of 2013. The short hike and hopefully hungry trout will make for a great first experience for the boys. I remind myself that it is my goal to make great memories with them and not to frustrate them.

Lake Solitude is a much longer hike then I expected.  It's a 2-3 hour hike.  For two young boys, this may prove to be too much right now.  But, Lake Solitude remains on my list of remote trout ponds.

The stream leading out of the pond is crystal clear and I'm sure there are native brook trout in it.  We shall see soon!

Rue loved the hike and the view from the bridge...

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Feels Like Spring

I'm really excited about spring today.  There are a lot of factors contributing to my spring time mood.   It's kind of like the perfect storm for spring time mood.  Although, I look out the window and still see snow, and a lot of snow, too.

First, it's day light savings time and we sprung ahead an hour.  That wreaks of spring time.  I worked last night, so I got to work 23 hours rather than my 24.  Feel like I cheated Derry Fire some how, but I'll get over it.

Secondly, the sun is shining and the temperature is 42 degrees.  I see lots of melting going on.  Snow off the roof is melting, blue sky is beautiful and no snow in the 5 day forecast.  I'm sure we've lost a few inches of snow pack.  Driving home, the rivers looked inviting because the ice and snow was missing.

Thirdly, I'm watching the Red Sox play Tampa Bay and even though they are playing in sunny Florida, it feels like spring, especially while the sun filters through the living room window and heats up the house.

All three of the float tubes are inflated and ready to go.  My fly rod is ready as well as the boys' rods.  The canoe trailer is snowed in, but we won't get into that.  I think I'll buy a fishing license today!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Blair Fish Project


The Blair Fish Project is an annual fishing trip, mainly with coworkers at the base of Mt. Katadin in Maine.  Last spring was the 7th annual trip.  Below, is just one story.

The sun sank below the trees, but still shot rays across the pond.  It had been a good 45 minute walk on a very descent trail to arrive at this fishing hole.  The anticipation was met with excitement as fish after fish rose to the surface and made a bulls eye ripple.  The pond was littered with bulls eyes, a convenient target for flies.

The race began!  Packs were dropped and stripped of float tubes, waders, bug spray and hats.  Ryan was the first on the pond with a canoe he had stashed earlier, but Scott was right behind him with his gear on and his float tube inflated and fins on.  Everyone else fell in line after him.

I'm glad I didn't rush to much.  The fish were biting all day and into the night.  I must have caught and released 25 fish that afternoon and evening.  However, the 21.5" Brookie stayed on the tube with me.  He was smoked back at base camp that night.

Reflectively, I observed everyone on the pond.  We were dotted through out the entire flat, glassy surface and my quite observations were interrupted by the sound of a Canadian Goose distress call.  The sound was definitely distressed with two loud honks that tailed up in pitch.  Clearly, Shawn had violated international waters by floating to close to the goose's nest on the small island.

The alarm had been sound and like toothpaste on the counter, you can't put it back in.  From across the pond, another loud, deep honk followed by the beating of wings.  Another goose was launched at the sound of the alarm and without waiting for clearance from the tower, he lifted off in afterburner mode.  His flight plan was simple, fly low, fly fast and in a straight line because the shortest distance between the runway and Shawn was indeed a straight line, the way the crow flies.

The gap was closed in a short time, I suspect I heard only one plea for help from Shawn and he only was able to spin his float tube 1/2 way around in an effort to escape.  Shawn's big white eyes were in contrast to the green background but his cry for help was less dramatic and would have gotten him a better score if it had been more original.  "Help", just doesn't rise to the level of fear one must have when in the sites of a 30 lb goose.  "For the love of GOD" or "Geronimo", might have been more original.

I had enough time to imagine in my mind the beat down this goose was going to provide Shawn.  I envisioned a "thud", body on body.  I saw a hat fly off Shawn and in slow motion white and brown feathers spoofed in a ball like flies around your head.  Then, a wounded plane doing barrel rolls and into the water the goose goes, thus dinner.  However, I was surprised and a bit disappointed that the goose was only playing chicken when he broke off his angle of attack, gained altitude but didn't circle back.

Hiking back in the dark was made easy by another avid fisherman who spent time putting up reflectors on every other tree.  It looked like a runway, probably used by the goose, and was a reflection of the dedication sportsman have for their sport.

Do as I say, not as I do.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Weather Or Not

Today: Bright but windy and cool. Mostly sunny skies. Highs in the low 50s. Wind: West-Northwest 15-30 mph with higher gusts.

Do you know what it's like to go fishing in float tubes with two kids and windy weather?  It's not much fun!  We'll try again when the wind is down!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Quiet Observer

In the stream above a small pond in Andover, is a wonderful place to get away.  It's quiet, save the sound of the water and the birds.

We should all have a place to get away.  It doesn't have to be a trout stream, but this particular one is mine.

I sometimes bring my two boys here to be quiet.  The flow of the water around your waders and the sound of the "rapids" makes for a quiet moment.  Its power rises above the energy of two young boys, long enough for me to enjoy it, too!

Sometimes it is the quiet observer who sees the most.” 
― Kathryn L. NelsonPemberley Manor

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Relieving The Crew Before Me

Beaver Brook in Derry, New Hampshire
Crummy, crummy day light savings time!  Before I go to work, I stop in at a stream or a pond to do some fishing.  But now, it's dark at at 6:30 am, so the fishing time has been compressed into 30 minutes or less.

I feel kind of bad because I like to relieve the crew member before me early, but fishing trumps my conscience!

This photo was taken on Transfer Lane in Derry.  This section is upstream from the transfer station and it's loaded with trout.

It is usually stocked by NH Fish and Game at the Central Fire Station in Derry.  Since this stream is relatively small, the fish spread out quickly.  Until fishing season is over, I guess I won't be relieving the last crew as soon as I usually do during the winter.  Sorry.