The calendar says it’s April Fools Day, and that means a couple of things in these parts. First, anglers will celebrate the traditional opening day of open-water fishing season. And second, they’ll likely freeze their tails off in the process. I joined BDN visuals editor Brian Feulner early this morning and headed to one of my favorite spots, Grand Lake Stream, where the water’s always flowing and the anglers vie for spots in the famous Dam Pool on opening day. The purpose of the trip: Find a few fishing fools, explore the little sporting town a bit, and tell a story or two.
Of course, my car might also have a fly rod or four in it … and my waders and vest have already taken up their summer residence next to the spare tire. I suspect that Brian and I will find the time to wet a line while we’re there, and we’ll let you know how it turns out later this week.
— John Holyoke
Snow is deep in the woods, and snowbanks cling desperately to the sides of our roads, gritty and grimy, but still lingering 10 days after the official beginning of spring.
Spring in Maine, of course, is our most reluctant season. It teases and taunts for a day or two, then recedes for another week, leaving bitterly cold gusts and that insult of insults: More snow.
Still, there are places that we can count on, year after year, spring after spring. Places where “spring” is simple, predictable and constant.
For generations, Grand Lake Stream has been one of those special places.
Dale Cross has been paying close attention to the St. George River recently. As the race director of the first two canoe races of the season, he’d really appreciate a break from cold weather and ice.
On Tuesday, Cross reluctantly admitted that Mother Nature has again forced the postponement of both events.
“I went out last night and looked the rivers over,” Cross explained. “We’re not doing a skating party. It’s going to be a canoe race.”
Each week the BDN Maine Outdoors team takes a look at different gear you might need for your next outdoor adventure. For this week’s Gear Bag, we looked at different water bottles and water purifiers.
Join Aislinn, Derek and their dog Oreo on a snowshoe of Snow’s Cove Preserve, a 58-acre chunk of beautiful, hill forest on the Bagaduce River in Sedgwick. The two-mile trail network leads them to fern-covered boulders, giant white pines, trees covered in lichen and moss, and the frozen river, melting in the spring sun.
Maine biologists have consistently warned us to avoid feeding deer during the winter. A recent incident in New Hampshire illustrates how things can go wrong, and the toll it can take on animals whose bodies can’t process the food that they’re given by well-intentioned people.
On the horizon
In addition to checking out the fly fishing action in Grand Lake Stream, John and Brian will also touch base with the new owners of the iconic Pine Tree Store, the town’s one-stop shop for anything you might end up needing in the Maine woods.
Meanwhile, keep an eye out for Aislinn’s story on cottontail rabbits, which will be on the website Wednesday afternoon. And along the wildlife vein, she will also be writing a story on some of the challenges birds faced this winter by taking a look at the many feathered patients of Avian Haven, Maine’s largest bird rehabilitation center. That story will appear later this week.
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