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by Pete Kallin
It always amazes me that that although summer days are the longest of the year, they seem to go by the fastest. My grandson, Nathan, came to stay for a couple of days while his sister was away at acting camp. He is an avid fisherman and we spent a couple of days fishing.
The first day, we began by catching quite a few nice bass on streamer flies fished near schools of alewives. He then announced he wanted to try to catch a salmon so we headed down to one of my favorite spots in lower Long Pond. I rigged up one of my trolling rods for him with a Mooselook flutter spoon and he began trolling 30 feet down, just below the thermocline. I told him to catch a nice one because I needed a good picture for this week's column. He assured me he would.
Ten minutes later his rod bent over and he yelled, "I have a big one on!" Thinking he might have a good-sized pike on the line I reached for my net and started looking for my pliers. Suddenly a huge salmon jumped out of the water 30 feet from the boat. Fifteen minutes later I was netting one of the better salmon to come out of Long Pond in quite a while: 24 inches and 4.25 pounds. Judging by the smile on his face I think he'll remember that one for a long time, as will Grandpa.
My friend Dick Greenan also had kids and grandkids in town for the week. They spent time hiking, fishing, water skiing, and sailing, all activities that created memories that will be with them the rest of their lives. Every day included a boat trip to Day's Store for ice cream.
Mel Croft and I also led a geology-ecology hike at BRCA's The Mountain property last week. We had thirteen intrepid hikers and a couple of big dogs that joined us to learn about how the Belgrade Lakes region has changed over the past 200 million years. We discussed plate tectonics, ice ages, rocks, minerals, lichens, mosses, trees, salmon, and how all these things helped create the landscape we have today. I think everyone had a good time and learned something in the process. Bill Hankermeyer was there with his wife Sharon and several of her family from Indiana, as were new Great Pond resident Tim from Tennessee and long-time BRCA members Michael Bernstein, Dave Gay, Kathy Croft, and Chris and Andy Cook (with dogs). Mel and I will be leading a similar hike for families, sponsored by the Belgrade Lakes Association, on July 13 on French Mountain.
This is a perfect time to enjoy the outdoors in this area. Now that school's out, it's easy to take a kid fishing or on a hike, or paddling in a canoe. You won't be sorry.
Pete Kallin is a past director of the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance.