Getting my dad out on the water with me has been a challenge. I have never given up trying, but it is hard to get him to break away from his work. He is a self-employed contractor and it always seems as though he is straight out with no end in sight. This is not a behavior that just came about when he got married and had kids, but rather it was a work ethic that was instilled in him at a very young age. For him work is life and he loves what he does. Not to say that every day is all roses, but he loves his craft, just not all the fuss that surrounds it. Whenever I am up visiting I always ask if he would like to come fishing with me. Up until this past weekend the answer was always that he was too busy. So when he finally was able to go fishing with me I was beyond excited. I also realized that he had not been fishing with me since I became a Registered Maine Guide, so I had much to prove to my old man.
Leading up to this trip I was asking all of my usual questions regarding taking someone out on the water. Most of the questions had to do with the overall experience of the trip and less with the actual fishing that we were going to do. That part I can control very easily, but as I have said before the food and experience can make or break any trip. This was no ordinary trip as I wanted to show my dad what I do when I take clients out onto the water. I am sure I am not the only young man that wanted to impress his dad. Dad kept telling me that I was over thinking things, but I really wanted this trip to be special.
The original plan was to fish a section of the river that is my favorite by far, but an increase in the flows put that thought to rest very quickly. So we headed to a different section that is a little different, but is just as productive. The views of Katahdin are tremendous and there are very few camps along the lake to obstruct most views of the water. The only weird thing was that even though it was the day before Memorial Day there was very little competition on the lake or the river. Not that I am complaining, but sometimes you wonder if you missed something or if there is a better spot. I wasn’t so sure as the day before Dan and I boated a good amount of salmon and lost even more. Maybe it was the effort to work your way up into the river with heavy current that kept people away. Not really sure. Will not lose any sleep over it for sure.
As we worked our way into the mouth of the river we got our lines in the water and began trolling along the bank with both lures and streamers. I wanted to take a few passes in calmer water to get a feel for the fishing and how dad would do in the boat. The last time I had him fishing we were wading and his vertigo reared its ugly head and I did not want a repeat of that event. Of course the usual question of how will we know when a fish is on the line came up and I just smiled and said you will know. The first few fish we lost, but we managed to land some nice fish before moving up into the heavier current. The look on my dad’s face was priceless when that first fish hit. That made the trip for me for sure.
Lunch for us is a lot easier up north than it is back home in the Sebago area. As we were trolling up river we noticed a spot that looked good so we beached the boat and set up for lunch. Strip steaks, potato salad and cole-slaw hit the spot and this lunch spot was nice and sunny with a slight breeze to keep the bugs at bay. When selecting a lunch spot up north just keep a few things in mind. Try to find a spot that is not marshy or too exposed. One can be just as bad as the other. Too many bugs or your stuff is being blown all over the place. If you are planning to build a fire, just make sure you check the regulations and obtain the necessary permits to do so. During lunch it was just nice to sit next to my dad and remember all of the times growing up when we camped on Jo-Mary Lake. I find many of my best memories come back to me when I am in the outdoors. This recent trip I will keep close and cherish it.
After lunch I wanted to share with my dad a little piece of local history. The Ambejejus Boomhouse is an extraordinary exhibit that will bring you back to the height of the logging industry. The things that they did without the aid of electricity would astound those that are unaware of the major feats that were accomplished. As we walked into the kitchen area I simply asked dad if he could imagine ever living in a place like this. I hadn’t even finished the sentence and he confirmed that he would love to live in a place like this. I’m not sure why I even asked. I knew it before I finished asking. Dad is old fashioned and would thrive in that environment. After exploring we ended up sitting on the front porch just enjoying the views and taking in the whole experience. I couldn’t have asked for a better day to take my dad out. I am just glad that he really enjoyed himself and that he caught fish. That part will stick with me forever.