July 30, 2015
One of the charms of Fletcher’s Cove is that much of what one experiences here has remained unchanged for generations. I dare say that if a person walked through a time-portal from the late 1800s and emerged at Fletcher’s, he or she might feel quite at home. The “horseless carriages” would be fascinating. The swooshing jets and rumbling helicopters certainly would be frightening. But the human experience, the essential soul of the place, would be comfortably familiar. The natural qualities as well, the view out upon the water, the wildlife, the C&O Canal and the fishing all would be pieces of a finished puzzle in the eyes of our time traveler.
I believe that people are drawn to places such as this. It’s a shared experience not only with contemporaries, but with those across generations. In doing some serious historical research on behalf of The Friends of Fletcher’s Cove, Brian Cohen, Mark Binsted and Mike Bailey have assembled a treasure trove of articles, anecdotes, old maps and photographs from the Cove’s past. As I have spent most of my working life and much of my recreational life here, it is of particular interest to me to see just how the dots are connected. Names and faces change and it wasn’t always Fletcher’s Cove of course, but the characters and landscape of the past seem quite familiar. When one pulls on a set of oars here or brings a fish over the gunwale of a boat, he or she does it in the shadow of a thousand previous actors who did just the same thing. And another summer passes at The Cove.
We have quite a crew of young anglers working for us this season. I won’t play favorites, but suffice it to say that the fish are lucky it’s mostly catch-and-release! Oh, there WAS a snakehead fry, and the occasional walleye hits the grease, but these energetic anglers are in it for the sport and camaraderie. An old guy like me enjoys seeing that. The social side of fishing was always as important to me as catching anything. (That was good, because I’m not the most skilled angler on the water!) On old maps from the 1800s, you can see a favored fishing hole called “The Parlor.” It got its name because anglers would line their boats close together while fishing and chat like they were sittin’ in a home’s parlor. (It’s just the same today.) I feel good watching these young characters give a little bit of themselves to the place while hopefully absorbing and respecting some of the essence of its past.
I’m asking our webmaster to post a smorgasbord of summer photos. It’s lush, beautiful and always a photographer’s paradise at The Cove. If you like wild flowers and plants, native and invasive, now’s the time to visit the river-bottom land.
Come be a piece of our history and thanks for reading this.