Friday, June 27, 2008

Valley Forge

We were in the mood for some Apollo's pizza and grinders, so we headed up to Belchertown late Friday afternoon. I've had fishing on my brain lately, so I secretly plotted to stop off at Forge Pond in Granby first, just for a couple casts. To head off a potential revolt from Kelly, I discretely loaded up a folding chair for her, so she could at least find some comfort, and maybe allow me to concentrate on the fishing for a bit...

On the way up I noticed this roadside ranch on Rte. 20 had some nice colors blooming behind their long wooden fence.

A small waterfall marks the edge of Forge Pond.

Forge Pond is a place I keep meaning to bring my kayak to, but keep forgetting. It's a good size body of water, and a pretty popular fishing spot. There were 4 or 5 small boats out there when we showed up, as well as a similar number of people fishing from the banks.

Algae seems to be the order of the day for this pond. I don't think I've ever seen it without it's thick green coating all along the edges, and in huge swathes out in the middle. Bass Country.

Also, apparently Duck Country. There were at least 4 families of the water-foul present, slowly criss-crossing the pond. Most of their young were juveniles, nearing full size already.

We witnessed an incident in one of the families, where two of the young broke off from the group, and headed off in there own direction. This caused complete chaos with the rest of the siblings, who couldn't decide whether or not to follow their bold brothers, or stay safe with their mother. They swam back and forth between the rebel siblings and their mother until the two drifters rejoined the group. Teens...

It was nice, hot, sticky Bass fishing weather. I thought for sure I'd reel one in today. I did get several nibbles, but unfortunately no takers. Kelly sat there in the folding chair behind me, critiquing my fishing techniques, and offering up advice after each near miss. Eventually she bored of the easy mockery, and went exploring; She soon discovered some huge snails on the muddy bank.

Becki's World

The sun had set by now, and the boaters were coming in to the launch area where I was fishing from.

One lady came coasting in on a bright yellow kayak, apologizing nicely for interrupting me. I assured her she wasn't interrupting anything. She had on a fly fisherman's vest, with a fishing licence displayed prominently on it. Getting out of the kayak, she claimed she had caught three small bass, but the big one, of course, got away. She lamented that until now, she had thought the story of the big one getting away was purely a male phenomenon.

As she was putting her gear away, she went into a story of how while fly-fishing on the Swift River once, her line had gotten caught behind her. Giving a sharp tug, she managed to pull the line loose, and then noticed a small Doe, bounding away into the woods. Then looking at her lure, she found a few tufts of hair on it! She had almost caught a 90 pounder..! Now that's a fish story.

The charming lady is named Becki Smith; she used to be a teacher, and now spends a lot of time teaching children about the great outdoors. She also runs a little operation called the 'Take A Hike' company, out of Belchertown, where she hires herself out for educational children's nature hikes. Here's her card, should you ever need to avail yourself of her services:

It was beyond time to eat. We headed for Belchertown and Apollo's. It was now about an hour before closing time, and they were still pretty busy. We thought about ordering out, but the waitress insisted we still had plenty of time to sit down and order.

Ahhh. Steak and Cheese grinders, after a little fishing... that considered surf and turf...?

1 comment:

Mary E.Carey said...

That's a great duck tale! Ms. Smith has a good idea; I wonder if she gets much business.