by Pete Kallin
Last week a friend of mine from MA rented a camp on Long Pond for a week's vacation with his family. Paul is a professional nature photographer and I took him out one morning at sunrise to get some wildlife photos. We found loons with newborn chicks, and he and I each got some good pictures, although based on the size of his lens compared to mine, I suspect his were much better.
Later that morning I called him to see if he and his family wanted to hike one of the local trails. Coincidentally, they were just packing a picnic lunch and getting ready to head out. I packed a quick lunch and we met ten minutes later at the Sanders Hill trailhead on Watson Pond Road.
The Sanders Hill loop is perfect for a lunch time hike as the Maine Conservation Corps has recently constructed a picnic table on an island in the Beaver Brook roughly half way around the loop. It is a very scenic spot and the brook babbling over the rocks on either side makes it very peaceful and cool, even on a hot day.
Along the way, we ran into numerous hikers, including Chris and Mike from Hawaii and MA, respectively, who were running along the trail. They didn't stop long because they were afraid their families who were walking along behind them would catch them, AGAIN. Shortly after Chris and Mike got on their way we met the rest of the family, including Grandpa from Pittsburgh who was hiking at a pretty good clip.
When we stopped for a water break at the top of Sanders Hill, we met Bob, a retired Pfizer executive and avid hiker from Stonington, CT, who was in the area to attend the dedication of the new, fully accessible playground at Pine Tree Camp on North Pond. Bob was actually on his third hike of the day, having already done Mount Phillip and French Mountain before tackling Sanders Hill. He was profuse in his praise of the variety and overall quality of the local trails he had hiked in the last couple of days.
I also managed to get in some crepuscular fishing this week when the lake was dead calm either early in the morning or late in the day. I had good success spotting schools of baitfish and casting my trusty white zonker streamer into the mix. I caught quite a few nice bass and the photo shows how well that fly "matches the hatch" when compared to an alewife regurgitated in the bottom of my boat by one of the fish I caught. Because of the way the fly is weighted it rides with the hook up, which reduces snags when fished deep near the bottom where the larger fish hang out.
Pete Kallin is a past director of the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance.