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by Pete Kallin
This has been a busy week with a bit of rain and a bit of wind, unfortunately usually at the same time. Fishing in a light rain is often productive and fun if you are dressed properly. The light noise of the rain hitting the water masks boat noises, makes it a bit darker underwater, and knocks insects into the water, which can bring small fish up to the surface to feed, followed by the big fish looking for the small fish. Sailing on a sunny, windy day is exciting but can be cold and wet when it's also rainy.
As the water in the lakes has been warming, the trout are heading for deeper, colder water, while the bass and pike have finished spawning and are moving into the shallows to hunt sunfish and yellow perch that are now spawning. Bass fishing in particular is picking up at most of the lakes. The North Pond Association, which partners with the 7-Lakes Alliance to provide the courtesy boat inspectors (CBIs) at the North Pond boat launch have installed a "Fish Bragging Board" in their kiosk and are encouraging fishermen to log their catch and submit their photos for posting. It shows they are getting some nice fish at North Pond. Meanwhile, over at East Pond, a sharp-eyed CBI found variable milfoil on a boat being launched there. It was actually inside a canoe that had previously been in the Belgrade Stream and emphasizes the fact that any boat, even unmotorized ones, are capable of transporting invasive plants. There is no room for complacency.
I had one of my oldest friends visiting this week from Michigan and we spent a couple days fishing on Long Pond, catching up on each other's lives, and carrying on long conversations aimed at solving the world's problems. We saw a lot of loons sitting on nests, eagles and ospreys soaring overhead, and managed to catch quite a few fish, although no real "lunkers." I did manage to land a 2-ft pike on my 6-wt flyrod with a light tippet. The fish made several strong runs, and I was lucky that it didn't chew through the leader before I landed it. The next day, I added some tarragon to the butter left over from the previous night's lobster dinner, brushed the pike filets with it and broiled them. Served with a nice tossed green salad, some pasta with a couple of different sauces, and a fresh-baked baguette from Hello Good Pie, it made for an excellent meal. It was a nice finish to an enjoyable visit from an old friend.
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. And make sure you take a kid along on your next outdoor adventure. Also, please check the 7-LA Facebook page for details on some interesting events scheduled this summer.
Pete Kallin is a past director of the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance, which merged with the Maine Lakes Resource Center in December 2017 to form the 7-Lakes Alliance.