May 27, 2007
How Sebago Got it name.....maybe.....
(from Maine today, by Marc Gilbert)
The great Landlocked Salmon is scientifically known as Salmo Salar Sebago. Salmo Salar is the scientific name for Atlantic Salmon. Salmo Salar Sebago is named for the Atlantic Salmon found land locked in Sebago Lake.
At one time the, Sebago Lake was quite an out post. It was a thriving wilderness area servicing "gents" from Boston and New York. The trip by rail was made conveniently to Portland, then to Sebago Lake Station. The station is still referred to in the 2007 fishing laws handbook.
When rail visitors would arrive in Portland, a fountain bubbling with fresh Sebago lake water would greet them. Its cool refreshing taste called out to the wild boy resting in every man. Sebago Lake Station was a place where a man could find comfort in luxury surroundings. He could let go, find the little boy in himself and be Thoreau.
Things have changed from then to now. The motor car has taken place of the rail car. Airplanes are for travel not just delivering mail. And, Sebago has become a refuge for cigarette boats not for fisherman. But, the little boy in all men still seeks out a place of refuge. A place were a man can be a little boy again, a boy with his own destiny, a boy seeking out a place to chop wood, fire a gun, hunt and fish.
I satisfy the child in me by fishing for the Salmo Salar Sebago at this time of year. It races to the surface when feeding on its preferred forage, the Rainbow smelt, which is coincidentally another landlocked species. I prefer to fish the Rangeley Lake Region. It calls out to the boy in me.
Several years ago, I had taken my friends on a fall fishing expedition to Rangeley Lake. We based ourselves at the famous Sam-O-Set cabins, not to be confused with the resort. The Sam-O-Set Cabins cater to families with outdoor interest. A marina is present on site, boats and jet skies are available for rental. It is a place where the little boy can roar and the little girl can grow wings and fly.
One evening while tending our lines during a slow troll, the release clip popped on one of our lines. A Salmo Salar Sebago had taken one of the dead sewn on rainbow smelt we were using to troll with. As Richard began to reel the fish in, it broke water seventy five feet behind the boat. It broke water again and again, and on it last run we were able to make a pass on the Salmon with the net.
The pass with the net was in vain. The salmon broke the line, the salmon was free. As three of us looked at each other, sadness filled our faces. Then, the fish jumped out of the water not more than fifteen feet from the side of the boat. It was as if the Salmon was bidding us farewell. I think not!
My eyes were much keener several years ago. And, when the fish jumped, I noticed a fly line in its mouth. It was dark green. We had been fishing a dark green line on top of the water. It was still out and showed no tension. I quickly grabbed it and reeled. I felt tension. I set the hook and another battle ensued. This time it ended with a three and a half pond Salmo Salar Sebago on the end of a Boga Grip. Who needs a net? I can see why Leon Bean loved this lake. It is full of Landlocked Salmon. LL Bean still maintains a compound on Rangeley for its employees.