When son Josh suggested a Father’s Day weekend fishing adventure, I was ecstatic. Josh lives in Massachusetts and doesn’t get much time off, so he doesn’t get much chance to fish – especially with his Dad.
Our north woods camp was too distant for a weekend trip to Maine, so I suggested the Rangeley region. Josh dipped into my book, Maine Sporting Camps, published last year by Down East Books, and chose Bald Mountain Camps in Oquossic, a very good choice.
The Philbrick family’s historic camps now include a great public restaurant, and Sue, an employee who does everything here from working the front office to serving in the restaurant, quickly set us up in a great 4-bedroom cabin with a full kitchen and living room.
There’s a beautiful sand beach, a special area for weddings and other events, and 14 cabins that house from 2 to 8 people. I loved seeing families with kids enjoying the place.And all the camps have front porches where guests can linger and enjoy the view of the lake and the forest beyond.
That’s just where I was sitting when Josh arrived about 1 pm. We grabbed a quick lunch and headed up the road to the Outdoor Sporting Heritage Museum, a wonderful place where Bill Pierce, despite being very busy, gave us a personal tour. I’ve visited here many times and was impressed with all the new historic items on display. If you have never visited the museum, put it on your bucket list.
Bill was also very helpful in suggesting the hot places to fish, and we headed right to one of his recommended spots, Upper Dam, where I’ve caught lots of fish over the years. It was a rainy afternoon, perfect for fishing, and we caught fish nonstop for 3 hours, from 3 to 6 pm. We were supposed to be eating dinner at Bald Mountain’s restaurant at 6, but they were very understanding when we showed up an hour late. You can’t be expected to stop fishing when the fish are biting!
Like several Maine sporting camps, Bald Mountain opened a very nice and very popular restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner during the summer months. Linda and I wrote one of our weekly travel columns about the camps and restaurant last fall. You can read that column on my website, www.georgesmithmaine.com. Select Best of Maine, then Oquossic, and our column will come up.
Saturday was hot and sunny, slowing the fishing down. Well, not the fishing, but the catching. I took Josh to some of my very favorite Rangeley region fishing spots, all rivers, and we also got back to Upper Dam. We did catch fish, but not many, and I caught one really nice brook trout in a favorite pool.
It was a great day and we both enjoyed the fishing and our time together. That night we drove over to Rangeley to enjoy a fabulous dinner at Forks in the Air, a restaurant that Linda and I wrote about last fall (you can read that review on my website by selecting Best of Maine and Rangeley).
I was very pleased when Josh suggested getting up early on Sunday morning to get in some fishing before he had to head home about 10 am for his own Father’s Day celebration with his wife Kelly and our two little granddaughters.
And I was even more pleased when Josh suggested we return to the Kennebago River, which he loved when I took him there on Saturday. The Kennebago has been a favorite of mine for decades, and it meant a lot to me that Josh felt the same about this very special river.
We got to a favorite pool early and was pleased that no one was there. And boy, did we catch fish, and some nice fish. We’d intended to fish several of the river’s pools, but stayed right there, catching fish for a couple of hours.
We got back to camp at 9:30, grabbed a quick breakfast, and got Josh on the road towards home at 10 am.
And I drove all the way home to Mount Vernon with a big smile on my face, and many wonderful new memories.