Dispatches from Maine

Just another person of little note writing about ordinary things. That I reside in Maine is icing on the cake.

22 June 2005

Podcasting Old Radio Shows

My addiction to podcasts is quite serious. I even got a shout-out from Kris and Betsy of Croncast fame for enjoying their hilarious show while on a fishing trip in West Forks, ME. The podcasts I listen to regularly include: Not Your Usual Bollocks, The Sounds in My Head, Celtic Music News, Good Beer Show, Croncast, Wizard News Radio, Catholic Insider, Sci-Fi Retrospectives, Slice of Sci-Fi, Hometown Tales, The Ol' Hippie, ZenCast, Live Ireland, and MommyCast. The only time I even listen to the radio now is to enjoy a Red Sox game.

To this substantial list of shows two have been added: Radio Memories and Superman. The Radio Memories podcast includes great shows from the 1940s and 1950s. I have been listening to both the SciFi and Detective shows will great interest. What a fine job they did back then and with such limited tools. The recent Philip Marlowe show was excellent! The Superman show is from 1939 onward and is serialized as short, ten minute episodes each day. This week the storyline is the theft of an "atomic ray" weapon. This too is a show worth listening to. I look forward to more material being drawn out of the archives, perhaps The Shadow?

18 June 2005

Father's Day Weekend

This has been a wild weekend already. My youngest bought me a fly fishing net from L.L. Bean. I had asked for the small Pleasant River net version, but the sales person was extremely effective. My poor wife and daughter did not have a chance. My oldest requested a set of new flies for me among my favorites is a Brite Wing Parachute Mayfly. She also picked me up a thermal travel mug.

Tomorrow morning I plan to get up at 4:30 and head to the Pleasant River and fish down through the Pope Road area. I brought my very first fish to hand in this section of the river: a tiny six inch brook trout. It was a thrill, but since the fish was so small it did not seem right to count as my first landing. That honor goes to a fifteen inch landlocked salmon I caught in front of a rock on Spencer Stream. It was delicious, rolled in foil and roasted in the coals of our camp fire.

I am looking forward to getting in the water again. I have to make more time for fishing in the off hours.

12 June 2005

Assaulted by a Trout

[I really was attacked by a trout, stay tuned.]

This past weekend was my summer fishing trip with my father-in-law and his college buddy. I spent Friday through Sunday, my father-in-law spent Saturday night and Sunday, and his buddy was there Thursday through Sunday. The site is a great spot near Enchanted Pond up in Northern Maine. The sunsets are grand, the finger of God painting the sky.

On Friday, just to wet my line, I went down to the Dead River, near Spencer Landing. The bugs were fierce and the water high. In less than an hour we were high-tailing it back to the site for beer and food. We planned to hit the Kennebec by 5am, so I sacked out early reading "Tea with the Black Dragon" by R.A. MacAvoy.

As agreed we rose about 4:30am, whipped together coffee and muffins and hit the road. The best spot on the Kennebec was taken, so we moved down a ways. I saw some terrific rises on the far side of the river, about twice the distance of my cast: every fish is. I did hook a fish which wriggled off to its freedom. After another hour or so I managed to hook and bring a fish to hand with a short, ten minute fight. The reward? A chub. A fish which, to our circle, apparently counts for nothing.

After a few hours we went from there to the West and East Outlets of Moosehead Lake. The West Outlet was a blast. The three best positions were already taken by people catching a fish every other cast. I took a spot under the bridge and had several rises but no take. The East Outlet had a serious rubber hatch going on with water too high to easily fish. Then we went back to the site to rest. I listened to some podcasts (Croncast and The Good Beer Show) while sitting by the stream. Later that night my father-in-law arrived.

One again we rose early to a quick breakfast of coffee and muffins at the site. Then on to the Dead River to fish down as far as 10am, my planned departure time, would take me. I was ready first and dubbed around near the shoreline seeing rises for my dry fly. Soon enough we were all ready and I moved toward the center of the river with my father-in-law taking my spot. Within a few casts he had a hit and pulled a big bass from the water.

In just a few minutes, I too had a hit. The fight was raw pleasure and already gave me the feeling, at 7:00am, that this would be a good morning of fishing! I have no net so I bringing the fish to hand is a difficult, slow process. At last a gorgeous 9" Brown Trout was resting before me, appearing to give up the fight. I reached down to lift it from the water when it gave a powerful thrash spitting the hook from its mouth...right into my hand. The trout swam away while I stared at the size 12 hook embedded tightly in my thumb. I tried to pull it out, cut it out and will it out to no good end. Finally, after twenty minutes of torture I broke down my rod and headed for home, three hours away.

By 11:00am I was in the Brighton First Care center, great people by the way, where they numbed my hand, removed the hook and stabbed me with a tetanus booster. The nurse said he had never seen someone so "hooked on their hobby." The doctor who removed the hook offered to write me a prescription for a net. I hear my youngest, a little fishergirl in her own right, is going to handle this for father's day.

If I could find the fish...I would sue. Of course, if the fish could find me I would be in for a lot worse. ;)