July 28 – August 3, 2023Vol. 25, No. 7

Families Everywhere

Tim and Doina Harris with Tom and Doini

by Pete Kallin

It’s hard to believe this is already the seventh 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 high 70s, 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.

With the frequent rains we have had this summer, the flows over the dams are higher than usual for this time of year. This has extended the time the fish “stack up” below the spillway in Peninsula Park. The water is too warm for the trout but the white perch and smallmouth bass are hanging out there feeding on small baitfish and crayfish, as well as a few big pike feeding on all of the above. I have been catching quite a few nice (14″–18″) smallmouth by bouncing a black wooly bugger, leech pattern fly, or small jig along the bottom in 3-4 feet of water right where the flow enters Long Pond.

Hex Mayfly
A smallmouth bass caught using a leech fly.

I’ve been getting a few hikes in and doing some mushroom and berry foraging in the Kennebec Highlands. I am also seeing a lot of kids out hiking with friends and family. Last week I met Mary Kahler from Skowhegan on The Mountain hiking with her grandson, Finn. Mary hiked The Mountain last winter with her husband and enjoyed it so much she wanted to come back during the summer with Finn. My friend, Mike Guarino, of Maine Wilderness Tours, has been introducing a lot of families to bass fishing in the Belgrades. Recently he took Tim and Doina Harris from Connecticut out on Great Pond along with their kids Tom and Doini, and niece, Sam Leach. Everyone got in on the action and caught some nice smallmouth bass.

Mary Kahler with grandson Finn on The Mountain.

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 the 7LA building. Also, please check the sign out front and the 7LA FaceBook page for details on some interesting events scheduled this summer. The Tuesday afternoon presentations by Chewonki are especially popular with kids.

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