Fishing Isn’t Only About The Fish – Evening on East Musquash

Fishing Isn’t Only About Fish

It was hot Wednesday, 88° when Steve got home at 5:30 pm. He called on his way home. “What’s for supper?” He suggested something simple like sandwiches because we were going fishing. Tuna sandwiches and drinks were in the cooler, the cooler in the boat, the boat trailer on the truck, and we were ready to pull out when bad news arrived via Steve’s phone. He made a few phones call and then became quiet. Fishing isn’t only about fish sometimes.

I was away last week so Steve had to do all of my homestead work on top of his own work here and at the office. We worked through the weekend and at night after supper, and it’s been an aggravating week. Some down time together was due. It was time for a break and all things considered, sometimes fishing isn’t only about fish.

beaver, East Musquash,
fishing isn't, sunset, east musquash
musquash mountain, fishing isn't,
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Sunset, East Musquash, Topsfield

East Musquash Lake

East Musquash isn’t the nearest lake but it’s the easiest to get to from here. Thirty minutes after leaving the house we putted across the lake to the far side, and there we sat, quietly for a while. “I guess if I’m going to fish I should get moving,” I said. “I don’t care if I fish tonight,” he said. We did fish. Steve caught smallmouth bass, yellow perch, chain pickerel and a big fat chub. I caught two bass and stick. A nice stick but still, a stick. We stopped to watch a beaver coming toward us. With the trolling motor silent and being far enough away from the road, we could hear everything.

Did you hear that?

“Did you hear that? Sticks are snapping in the woods over there.” I watched the shore, hoping to see an animal come out for a drink. I didn’t think to grab the camera. It was quiet a few minutes before more sticks snapped further away. A few more minutes passed before we got to see what was happening. Something ran out of the woods and into the water so hard and fast the water splashed over its back, above its head and so wide beyond its sides that I thought a moose calf was in the water. Squinting didn’t help me see through the water that sprayed for 100 feet as the animal ran. It wasn’t until it stopped running that we could see it clearly.

“A deer. A doe.” She  stood in water up to her belly. I remembered the camera but it was too late. By the time I changed lenses and aimed she was gone. I might have gotten one shot if the camera were a split second faster on the focus.


We put our rods down and floated. No breeze but no mosquitoes. Laughter from a camp across the lake reached us, and an occasional chip or log truck passed by so far away they looked like toys. Chip trucks…the bad news was about a truck driver Steve knows well who rolled his chip truck into the woods.

The beaver came closer, almost to the boat before turning around to swim away. We watched the ripples start at his head and fan out behind him as he moved. He disappeared and we started trolling again, catch and release, catch and release, catch and release. We didn’t keep any fishing last night. The beaver reappeared as we were trolling, moving slightly slower than the boat. We eventually caught up, getting close enough to annoy it. It slapped the water with its tail. Nope, no camera in hand. I wasn’t thinking enough about photography last night to get the best photos.


We watched the sunset. It wasn’t spectacular. The sky wasn’t full of brilliant colors. It was peaceful and relaxing, exactly what we needed. We fished but sometimes fishing isn’t only about fish, or about fish at all.

(We are waiting on updated news about the friend.)