|The Lyman Cottage|
On our recent visit to Red Brook we were invited to take a tour of the Lyman cottage on the grounds of this reserved property. We were hosted by Warren Winders, of Trout Unlimited, Geoff Day, of the Sea-Run Brook Trout Coalition, Megan Duffy, and Brittany Morford, I hope I got everyone's name spelled correctly. They were very gracious and informative and I hope to convey their words to you.
The Lyman family bought several acres of land that bordered Red Brook. They were enamored by the sea run brook trout that called this stream home, and in future times were to be a force in getting this wonderful stream and land protected. Hal Lyman knew that doing this would require the help of others and so Warren Winders was there to answer his request. Along with TU, the Mass. Fish and Wildlife, and others the project was started. The result of endless hours of volunteer work on the brook and the land, planting native plants, trees, helping to stabilize the stream banks, and the removal of several dams. They also reached agreements with the major cranberry grower in the area, to purchase land to protect Red Brook all the way to where it starts.
Our tour of the cottage was a walk back in history. Although wealthy, the Lyman's cottage was modest and it was laid out to be a simple retreat from the rigors of everyday life.
The concept of catch and release was not used in the early days of Red Brook. Here on the wall were wood cut-outs of the fish from Red Brook, these were impressive brook trout. Most of these fihs were to be fine table fare in the cottage for supper. I could see the menu....baked sea-run brook trout, fried potatoes, baked beans and bread, wish I were there at the supper table.
The Lyman's kept journals of their catches. Here is a metal tag on one of the wood cut-outs.
Almost unbelievable the size of the sea-run brook trout that swam in the brook.
"Simplicity"......one of the reasons I love this place.
One of the streamer flies that were kept in the plaques. I determine it was either an Edson Tiger Light, or the Dark Version, maybe a "Wardens Worry". The "Muddler Minnow" was also a popular fly.
I would like to thank these wonderful people for taking the time to show Jeanette and I this beautiful piece of angling history. From left to right...Warren Winders, Geoff Day, Megan Duffy, Brittany Morford. Not in the picture but also deserving much credit in the work of this valuable fishery is Steve Hurley, biologist for the Mass. Fish and Wildlife.