Life could be getting back to normal. For me it took five negative Covid tests, one positive antibody test and the two-part Moderna vaccine (with all the accompanying side effects) to get to the point where I could start thinking about fishing plans. Now that I am out of those woods, I look forward to getting back to the real thing. Colorado, the High Sierras in California and beyond our borders to Iceland, where the Atlantic Salmon and Arctic Char fishing is world class–they all beckon. But Maine is my priority. Last week I tried reaching out to Wheaton’s Lodge in Forrest City, to see about the start of landlocked salmon season. Although the ice is still thick, Patrick is usually a good predictor of the start of the melt. Wading in open waters is my preferred way to fish for salmon in Maine.
The lodge phone was out of order. It wouldn’t be unheard of if a moose ate the line for lunch. Internet in Forrest City is spotty at best, so I tried Andy, my faithful friend and guide, who spends his winter in Bangor, a more modern wilderness outpost. Andy was a bit more responsive than Wheaton’s, after several voicemails. Yes, the melt had just started and the last week of May would be the best time to come north he reported. Time to set the wheels in motion.
My journalist friend from Atlanta, Billy, has informed me that Delta is flying direct from Atlanta to Bangor on Saturdays starting next month. One more way to get from Florida to Maine and now I can stop in Atlanta for a visit en route. I have blocked out my office calendar with dates from May through September. Filling the slots with friends and family takes more time. I want my best lady, Patti, to join me, as well has my high school buddies from Rochester. My children and grandchildren have priority and get first dibs on which days to come up.
As remote as the camp may be, I rarely find myself alone there. Especially since Lori and Ted, my neighbors, have promised to visit more often. Last year Ted and I found the Beaver Dam Pond where we caught the lovely Brook Trout. This year we plan to fish Dark Cove for trout in my new acquisition: a 20-foot Grand Lake canoe. I am planning to spend more time at camp this year to make up for the absences due to Covid.
The other day I got a call from my friend Erik to join him fishing in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in August. We had fished together several years ago in Colorado. My date card is filling up and I am excited. The fishing gods are looking down, promising a wonderful summer with plenty of fish and friends. I hope the mice get the message and vacate the cabin before I arrive.