Summertime in the Belgrades
July 20 – 26
Click any blue-bordered photo on this page to enlarge it.
by Pete Kallin
It's hard to believe this is already the 7th column of the summer. I couldn't believe it when my morning paper had a "Back to School" flyer in it already! I don't think the kids are reading the paper, though. They are too busy having fun in and around the water and hiking the nearby trails.
As the water has warmed into the mid 70's, the trout fishing is slowing down but the bass and pike are continuing to feed on schools of alewives. The bass are also hitting big Hex mayflies that are hatching in the evening and early morning. I have had good luck with spotting feeding fish on the surface early in the morning and casting big flies or poppers to them. A three-pound smallie on a 6-wt. flyrod is a lot of fun. I also got to spend a few hours fishing with my grandson, Nathan, on Long Pond. We got several decent smallies and a very nice "Jumbo" yellow perch. Also got to see a couple of recently fledged eagles and some brand new loon chicks.
I've been getting a few hikes in and doing some berry foraging in the Kennebec Highlands. I am also seeing a lot of kids out hiking with friends and family. This morning I met young Morgan McKay from New Sharon who was taking her parents hiking for the day. They had just finished French Mountain and were headed up the Sanders Hill Loop when I met them. Morgan's dad is a firefighter in New Sharon. I also met the Vink Family of Jupiter, FL, and Village Camps in Belgrade Lakes. They were getting ready to head up French's with some friends from NY City, who were visiting.
This area offers some great outdoor recreation, whether you like to hike, bike, birdwatch, fish, sail, or paddle a canoe or kayak. Pick up a map of the local trails at Day's Store or from the 7 Lakes Alliance at the Maine Lakes Resource Center. Also, please check the 7-LA Facebook page for details on some interesting events scheduled this summer. Also keep an eye on the sign out front. And make sure you take a kid along on your next outdoor adventure.
Pete Kallin is a past director of the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance.