What’s so special about Big Eddy? A few guests share their thoughts:
For Judy and me it is the joint love of fly fishing, the north woods, the solitude of the trout waters in the West Branch Region, and the liberty of knowing a stint on the “Eddy” is mere feet away – these experiences shared with good friends of similar minds are a blessing to our husband-and-wife team of over 50 years.
For Judy, it is home – born and raised in East Millinocket, who sports the claim of a fishing “tomboy” if ever there was one. For me, an old forester who has spent nearly a lifetime professionally and personally in the Maine woods – a sojourn at the “Eddy” conjures up fond memories on each trip to the “Nesourdnahunks”, Ten-Forty Pond or when coasting “Ladd Hill” down into the valley of the West Branch.
- From Elbridge & Judy Cleaves
This summer (2021) will be the 40th year I have camped at the Eddy, without missing a year. (Last summer having a small camper meant we could do it safely.)
I was the first woman licensed to guide the river (1982). I’ve been a mom floating the “circuit” up in the outflow from Big Eddy rapids, my daughter and I laughing at the push of it. With Nick Albans, I have been a river advocate, co-organizing the West Branch Coalition to Save the Penobscot, a coalition that grew to over 30 state, regional, and national groups that worked to stop the Big A dam. (It would have dewatered Horserace and then made a lake to the power station, a lake so vast Great Northern Paper proposed to relocate the Golden Road over the ridge next to Rainbow Lake.
I hatched my first novel about the loss of the north woods while sitting with my feet in the river as caddisflies stained my paper. Nick Albans taught me how to fish so now at age 71, I cast into the Eddy’s green swirls but often just sit long after dark, eyes closed, happy knowing the river will murmur for my granddaughters. (Nick has a rock and plaque behind the eddy lawn down by the river. Stopping by to thank him is a good thing to do.)
- Sandy Neily