Alert “06880” reader — and avid fisherman — David Ader writes:
I’m a recently retired, now former financial strategist, who has decided to fish until I get bored.
I’m not bored yet.
I like to fish along Ford Road because it’s convenient, beautiful, and there’s not too much garbage for me to clean up to keep the place neat.
For the last while, especially in the morning, I’ve fished beside a mink who keeps me company. The mink bounds along the shore, stops to stare at me in sort of an acknowledgement, and in contrast to the osprey, kingfisher and once in a while bald eagle, doesn’t compete for the trout I dutifully throw back when I catch, which is rare enough.
Today I was saddened to find this fine furry fellow squashed in the middle of Ford Road. That’s a bit gross, I admit, but there was something really lovely going on.
As I watched him from a rock near the bridge that leads to Bridgewater, I saw all the cars and trucks passing by slow down to give the mink wide berth. Some slowed to a real crawl to look at it. Others just went by, still with a sense of respect or at least curiosity.
A cyclist on a very expensive bike, wearing racing clothes, stopped and just stared by himself for a moment.
I heard a story that may be apocryphal: Some years back, enviro-activists freed minks from a mink “ranch” somewhere in this county; the minks we encounter are descendants of those coats that never were.
It’s possible, though I imagine cage-raised minks couldn’t survive in the wild and that this one’s line runs back to the beginning, to Indian times surely.
A few months ago I was picking myself up from the bank, having slipped in the river under the eye of that mink, or a relative perhaps. I picked up a stone that was clearly made for some purpose by the original inhabitants.
I liked the mink for its own antics, but too like to think that he’s a holdover from Westport’s more ancient heritage.
I hope another one, or two, show up when the weather warms up.
Oh, I did catch a large rainbow trout as well.