Report from the Field: Sebago Lake Region, Day 2 & 3

Beaching the Pusuit on the backside of the Songo River inlet sandbar
Beaching the Pusuit on the backside of the Songo River inlet sandbar

Day 2: In terms of a fantastic boating destination—or vacation destination in general—the Sebago Lake Region did not disappoint (as New England Boating TV viewers will see this fall).

The crew shoots leapers at Frye's Leap
The crew shoots (illegal) leapers at Frye’s Leap

As you may recall from the report last Thursday (July 24), the crew was base-camped at Sebago Point, a venerable, family-friendly campground and resort on the shores of Sebago Lake. We had a protected cove virtually to ourselves, complete with resident loon (and no, I am not referring to second cameraman Joe Vallier).

Meanwhile, our Pursuit C 260 was based at the Moose Landing Marina on nearby Brandy Pond, which is where we started Day 2 of our shoot by heading down the Songo River, which flows into Sebago Lake, guided by Moose Landing Sales Manager Will Monson. It was a neat trip, especially negotiating the lock with its human-powered gate system. We even beached the Pursuit briefly at the famous sandbar at the river mouth, and can see why it’s such a popular hangout.

After entering the big lake, we ran south to a rendezvous with David and Amy Wagner, the owners of Frye’s Leap General Store and Cafe—both well-known establishments among Sebago boaters. The Wagners treated us to a delicious lunch, plus a sampling of microbrews at their recently renovated bar.

Parker and Tom interview Dave and Amy Wagner of the Frye's Leap General Store and Cafe
Parker and Tom interview David and Amy Wagner of the Frye’s Leap General Store and Cafe

Frankly, we could have hung out at Frye’s Island for the rest of the day, but we had a date with the folks at Sebago Point, so we reluctantly left the Wagners and headed north. Along the way we passed the actual Frye’s Leap, a towering granite cliff that drops into 100 feet of water. While Parker and I had originally planned to perform a leap from this Sebago landmark, we learned that doing so is officially off-limits, so we gave it a pass.

Tom and Point Sebago General Manager Don Toms
Tom and Point Sebago General Manager Don Toms

We arrived at Sebago Point just as the resident “pirate ship” was disembarking on one of its scheduled “battles”, then docked the Pursuit and went ashore for an interview with General Manager Don Toms, who gave us the rundown on the many activities and accommodations at this beloved vacation spot. One such activity is PWC rentals, and Parker and I availed ourselves of the opportunity to take two of them for a spin.

Full disclosure: I have long been a vocal opponent of these fast and noisy machines, particularly since I’ve had many a peaceful fishing outing ruined by rude and/or ignorant PWC operators. However, in the spirit of “don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it,” I decided to give it a whirl. And yes, I begrudgingly admit to having a pretty good time. While I don’t envision myself owning a PWC, I can see why some folks might find them entertaining. And that’s fine—as long as they don’t run doughnuts around my fishing spot!

Perhaps in reaction to what my angling friends will consider an act of betrayal, I returned to our quiet campsite, rigged up my fly rod and spend the next hour ineffectively flailing away at the water, trying in vain to coax a smallmouth into eating my Clouser Minnow as the rest of the crew enjoyed the magnificent sunset around the campfire.

The float plane lifts off from Long Pond
The float plane lifts off from Long Pond.

Day 3:

We “broke camp” early on Friday then checked out of Point Sebago and headed back to the Long Lake Causeway, where a special treat awaited. Pilot Matt McFadden had generously offered to take me, Parker and Director Gene Allen for a ride in his seaplane, which he operates from a dock along the Causeway.

The Pursuit passes paddlers on the Songo River
The Pursuit passes paddlers on the Songo River

Neither Parker nor I had ever flown in a seaplane before, and the experience could only be described as “awesome.” We basically got a birds-eye perspective of our entire 3-day trip in 15 minutes. But what may have been more amazing was Matt’s uncanny ability to dock his plane perfectly alongside its float. Talk about humbling.

With some spectacular aerial footage in the can, the only thing left to do was hitch up the Pursuit to the GMC Sierra 2500 Denali and head for home. Fortunately, the good folks at Moose Landing had spent the morning running the Pursuit from Point Sebago back to Brandy Pond. They even went the extra mile by loading the boat onto the trailer and washing her down! That kind of treatment seems par for the course whenever we come to Maine. No wonder the crew can’t wait to get back to Vacationland for the Portland episode, scheduled for late August.

The Sebago Lake Region episode to air this fall on NESN. We’ll keep you posted on exact dates and times.

The two boats in the Songo River lock
The Pursuit in the Songo River lock.
Tom, pilot Matt McFadden and Parker at the seaplane dock on the Long Pond causeway
Tom, pilot Matt McFadden and Parker at the seaplane dock on the Long Pond Causeway.
Tom tries fly fishing for smallmouths on a Sebago Lake cove
Tom tries fly fishing for smallmouths on a Sebago Lake cove.
Parker and Tom receive instructions from Michelle on how to operate a Jet Ski
Parker and Tom receive instructions from Michelle on how to operate a Jet Ski.
Our private beach at the Point Sebago campground
Our private beach at the Point Sebago campground.
Parker and Will Monson of Moose Landing Marina
Parker and the ever-helpful Will Monson of Moose Landing Marina.