Brettuns Village Trunks & Leather
Old Trunks, New Leather. All from Maine.
June 16, 2006
June in Maine is a lot like May or April, weather-wise, but the roads
are starting to get a little more crowded. It’d be nice if the temps
went up and stayed there, but it’s really a so-so month. The weather
in June is why most folks say that Maine summers start on 4th of July.
That’s also about the time the highways get so packed full of tourists
that the locals stay mainly on the byways. Eight weeks of crowds,
honking horns, screeching brakes, curse words, and then we’re back to normal.
Normal, come to think of it, usually means older cars belching clouds of
smoke, no brakes available even if you need ’em, and horns that stopped
working right after that night you laid on it for hours when Neil Armstrong
took his leap. Some of you younger subscribers will have to Google
that one to understand what the heck I’m talking about. Without horns
we have to rely more heavily on the cursing than the tourists do, but,
fortunately, most Mainers have a pretty good handle on this tactical skill
and are able to let forth with a blue streak that’ll just about give you
laser eye surgery if you stare directly at their mouth when they let it
We’re kind of having a leather sale – we have a lot of consigned lots
in the barn – leathers that we sell for some of our partner (and owner)
companies. Some of these companies dictate the price to us, and sometimes
they ask us to step on the gas a little to help them get their corporate
vehicle up a steep financial hill (I never plan these newsletters – I just
drop the reins and let my fingers run, and sometimes they create metaphors
that come from who knows where). So, last night we sat around and
punched some calculator buttons while eating crab salad (excellent, this
time of year), and beat down prices by about 35% on quite a few of the
leathers we’re offering on our Sides page. Mostly printed suedes
and printed finished leathers, but we also marked down some sheep hides,
and some odds and ends. Thought you might want to take a look:
The trunk business is booming – having a great year, and we’ve been
fortunate to find time to get quite a few antique trunk refinished and
posted on the website. If you’ve been looking for one, right now
would be a great time to look. Here’s the For Sale page:
We’re heading into Father’s Day weekend, so, for the sake of all that’s
kind and good, do something for or with your Dad if you can. Phone,
visit, e-mail, whatever suits your personal relationship with your personal
Dad or the person you consider to have served in that role or would play
your Dad in a movie some day. Want to know what to give him?
Here’s an idea that I came up with, and I’m an actual Dad so there may
be some credibility involved in this – give him a free day. That’s
what Amanda and the girls are giving me – a day off. This is huge
– and I have it all planned out. I’m taking the truck up to Oquossoc,
Maine (look that one up on Google Earth and I think all you’ll find is
a blank map). I know an old dirt road there that will take me right
up close to one of the best trout/salmon rivers in this part of the country
– the Kennebago. That’s a Native American word that means ‘place
where Dads go once a year.’ The road leads you to a dead end, but
the trail continues, so I bring along my bicycle and from that point I
pedal my way in, fly rod in one hand, backpack with my stuff, a lunch,
and that one bottle of beer that I saved for this trip. The trail
is smooth, very easy riding, and it’s quiet as can be. No traffic
noise, no nothing. A few times I’ve had to stop and wait for moose
to move out of the path, but they’re not much trouble. By and by
the road meets up with the river again, so it’s just a matter of leaning
the bike against a tree and wading out, casting to the pools. I’ve
ridden the bike upstream, so I fish my way back downstream, taking the
rest of the day to eventually end up back at the truck. The fish
aren’t huge, but they’re there. I always seem to have good luck on
the Kennebago, catching/releasing a trout or salmon that’s a little north
of the three pound mark. Lots of chubs too, sort of like shiners,
but they fight hard so I don’t mind them. Bugs are thick up there
this time of year, so a little bug dope, or one of those nine-inning stinky
cigars that they sell at the gas station -the ones that have been back
there on the shelf behind the register for about 4 years – can be effective.
The river is only about 15 yards wide, really more of a stream, so you
wade down the middle, cast easily to each shore. I throw my favorite
streamer here – the Black Ghost – because it looks like the little minnows
I see skittering along in the shallows. Spruce trees line the banks,
reaching up about 80 feet high is my guess, so you’re in an outdoor, pine-scented
hallway with rushing water about knee deep and I’m telling you it’s an
outdoor experience that can be so captivating I’ve fished for long periods
of time before I realized that I’d long ago left my streamer on a tree
branch behind me, so I’m now casting an empty line, making great casts
to excellent spots, wondering why I didn’t get a bite. That’s one
of those moments when I’m glad nobody else is around. That’s another
thing – in the last couple of decades I’ve made the trip to fish that stretch
of river a lot of times, but I’ve never seen another human being fishing.
They all go to Steep Bank Pool, back where I left the truck, so they can
compete for the one salmon that got caught twice there yesterday.
That’s the pool that’s in the guidebooks, so that’s where they go.
They can have it.
So, on Saturday, I’ll be up there, casting away, sitting down when I
feel like it, stopping to eat lunch on a rock when my gut tells me it’s
time to stop, and I’ll have that beer after letting ti cool in the stream
for ten minutes or so first. When it gets dark, which is about 10
pm up there, I’ll pack up and drive back to our camp at Brettuns Pond,
meet Amanda and the girlie-girls, and That Dog, to give them the full report.
Right about that time I’ll realize how much more fun it would have been
if they’d come along, so, later in the summer we’ll all make the trip and
fish together on that same stretch, eat lunch on that same big rock right
in the middle of the stream, see that same moose cross by the meadow, no
velvet on the horns anymore, and catch some of the same fish. That’s
something to look forward to.
So, that’s what I’m doing. Hope your weekend is a grand one.
Happy Father’s Day.
Fly Thrasher/Hackle Whipper
Up Maine Way