Fishing the Quabbin
Ever since we moved to Petersham in 1997 we have known that the Quabbin Reservoir is a special place. In fact, the natural beauty of the North Quabbin area is one of the reasons that we purchased the Inn at Clamber Hill. (There is actually a view of the Quabbin Resevoir on a small knoll in the woods behind Clamber Hill.) And many of our guests over the years have come to visit Petersham because of the Quabbin.
The Quabbin Reservoir was created in the Swift River Valley of Central Massachuestts during the late-1920's and 1930's as a source of fresh water for the city of Boston. The towns of Dana, Enfield, Greenwich and Prescott were "discontinued" to create the reservoir. There are many books written on the Quabbin's history. For those who would like to know more try reading some of the books by J.R. Greene and Michael Tougias.
Recreational activities are limited to hiking, bird watching, fishing and hunting. You're not allowed to hike with your dogs, ride horses, wade or swim. And if you're planning to fish, you need to either fish from the shoreline in designated spots, rent one of the Quabbin boats or provide proof that your boat has been properly decontaminated. Canoes and kayaks are no longer allowed. You can obtain a copy of the Quabbin Reservoir Fishing Guide, complete with map, on the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation website.
Although we have lived next to the Quabbin for thirteen years now and have hiked many of the "gates", until yesterday we had never fished the Quabbin. We did not know what we were missing.
The water is beautiful. We spent five hours on the water and everywhere we looked there was a gorgeous view. We rented a boat from Fishing Area 2, at the northern end where there are many islands. As we headed out to find a good fishing spot we passed a pair of loons. Not only are they majestic birds, their call is hauntingly beautiful.
Navigating around the islands, the water was crystal clear, the sky was bright blue and the wind kept a cool breeze on us. We encountered more a couple of other fishing boats, more loons, duck and some turtles sunning themselves on a log. We even managed to catch two fish, a large bass and a small perch. Beginner's luck or not -it was a wonderful day.