Place Where You Live:

Basin Pond, ME

It was November of 2000 when I first stepped onto the shores of Basin Pond in Fayette, ME.  My family had just moved from Newport, central Maine, to Fayette which was in the western part of the state.  I was enrolled at the local college preparatory school and was struggling with the fact that most of my friends, people I had known since I was four years old, were back in Newport.  When I was in seventh grade I taught myself how to fly fish and had since become obsessed with the idea of catching a native brook trout on my fly rod.  I was amazed to find Basin Pond sitting in the middle of nowhere with deep turquoise colored water.  Surely there had to be native brook trout here.  I gracefully laid down a Gray Ghost into the water cutting through the crisp New England fall air.  I made one strip, two strip then shoom!  My fly went running in the opposite direction.  I reeled it in to find a brilliantly colored six pound native brook trout.  I could tell that her blood red belly was full of little trout that had yet to touch the water of their native pond.  Sensing the fragile state of this beautiful fish I frantically attempted to remove the hook from her mouth.  The hook would not budge.  I was forced to cut the hook off the line hoping that time would remove it somehow.  Exhausted from the ordeal the mother trout lazily finned off.  Basin pond became my special place.  I returned there often and fished there many times but never have caught another native brook trout.  In some ways I felt responsible.  Had I killed the last reproducing female of the entire pond?  After a few years I found bass in the pond which was upsetting because of the species ability to decimate brook trout populations.  I don’t really fish for native trout anymore because I know how fragile they are.  It has become clear to me over the years that places like Basin Pond exist all over the world and they need to be protected from the smallmouth bass of the world.