Memories from an old fly-fisherman

William J. Lord, PhD, retired Professor of Pomology from UMass-Amherst has co-authored 200 research and extension publications in addition to uncounted articles to a bi-monthly publication.  Born and reared in Farmington, New Hampshire, he now enjoys retirement in the Sunderland, MA area where at 89, he continues to wet an occasional fly. Known as “Uncle Bill,” he is the surviving patriarch of our family. Here is a recent email I received from him.

“I use to drive the dirt road towards the camp ground to fish the Conn and Perry Stream. Perry Stream was quite productive during the 1980’s. In the 1990’s fishing the Perry was generally a waste of time. I often fished in the area where Perry drained into the Conn. In the earlier years this part of the river was quite productive. The catches in Aug. were much smaller than July and the number of fisherman much less. Perhaps if I was younger and my nephew Bill was along, I could find some good fishing spots. It sure would be an easy area to get lost. I looked forward to my trips to Pittsburg NH. I miss the smell of the balsams and the cries of the loons."

"I finished your book. It held my interest as you are a good teller of a story."

"My wife and I went to Pittsburg twice a summer for about 20 years. We rented a cottage on Back Lake. I did a lot of fishing from the boat house waiting for my wife to get stirring in the morning. The water in Back Lake is actually too warm for trout. A little stream of water drained under the boathouse into Back Lake so trout would stay under the boat house. It was a favored fishing spot for loons. Under water they had the coloration of skunks. One year I had to beware of otters since they like trout and would attempt to catch the trout that I had hooked."

"I then fished the Conn. The fishing wasn’t that great except the first week of July when they stocked trout. My wife was happy as I would take her out to eat daily. If the temperatures were too hot we moved to Colebrook where some cabins were air conditioned. I enjoyed fishing the Mohawk but wished I was younger for climbing around rocks."

"Your book shows a good understanding of the North Country and its people."

"The Murphy Dam was being built in 1939 and that same year was the first year I went fishing in the North Country. We would hike into the woods and stayed at a camp. The camp was owned by my brother Bob’s friend from UNH. We once made coffee in a pot that had a nest of mice. So we had mice hairs with our coffee. We also fished Indian Stream in 1939. The walking was slippery because of pulp wood floating down to the Conn."

"I disliked driving at night because moose are difficult to see. Nephew Bill hit a moose years ago. My nephews, Bill and Bob, know the North Country. Nephew Bob lives in Errol."

"The trout fishing is great on the Swift and Deerfield Rivers in western MA. I use to go 4 or 5 times week. Some of my friends fish the winter months. I didn’t fish when there was snow on the ground. I sure miss my catch and release fly fishing."

"I am home and feeling better and dreaming of the days of yore.”

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3 Responses to Memories from an old fly-fisherman

  1. Kathy Grady says:

    Your Uncle Bill loaned me Loon Cove to read. I loved it! I really enjoyed spending time in the North Country. Books about transitions are hard to do and wonderful to read. Your pacing was just right, and the characters were well drawn and very believable. I thanked Bill for loaning me the book, and now I thank you for writing it. I am looking forward to a sequel.

    • Pam Lord says:

      Thank you, Kathy. Positive comments like yours are the motivation that keeps me writing. I’ll try not to make you wait too long for Lakeside Lodge.

  2. Carol Morgan says:

    Just bought the Kindle version of your book, Pam. Look forward to reading it!

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