George Smith's blog

Legislature overrides Governor's veto of Public Lands bill

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 After several years of intense effort, a bill governing our public lands has been enacted, thanks to votes in the House and Senate to override the Governor’s veto of the bill. Several legislators, including my State Senator Tom Saviello, and our state’s major environmental groups, deserve credit for crafting this bill and never giving up on it. Last year, the same bill was vetoed by the Governor, and the veto override failed.

Among other things, this bill:

Botanical Gardens are spectacular this time of year

City or Town: 
Boothbay Harbor
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 Get yourself down to Boothbay Harbor now, to enjoy the spectacular flowers in the Botanical Gardens.

 

Attean Lake Lodge is an amazing sporting camp

City or Town: 
Jackman
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George

           The website of Attean Lake Lodge describes it as a “unique” place, and it is, but it’s much more than that. It’s an island paradise which draws visitors back year after year.

You’ll love this 1901 article about Maine guides

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 Enjoying a notebook of historical stories at Attean Lake Lodge in Jackman, I came across this wonderful article about Maine guides. Wanting to share it with you, I asked Andrea Holden to copy it for me. I am sure you will find it as interesting and enjoyable as I did. The article, published in Outing magazine in 1901, was written by Herbert L. Jillson.

The Maine Guide and The Maine Camp

The Maine guide, in the mind of every sportsman who has “done” Maine properly, is closely associated with memories of pleasant and successful days with the rod on lake and stream, or long tramps through the woods with the rifle. It is his guide, not the sporting camp proprietor or the people he meets, that the sportsman, after return to civilization, remembers most of all.

George Smith and the Quest for a Most Favorite Fly

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 By Jim Hynson

I made my first trip to our camp at Camp Phoenix on Memorial Day weekend of 1991. George came for his first weekend the following week. That gave me one week’s head start in discovering what fly might work on the lake at that time.

George spent much time before his trip collecting what seemed to be every trout fly commercially available in the State of Maine. He reported having shopped at the Kittery Trading Post, LL Bean, the Maine Guide Fly Shop, Van Raymond Outfitters, and the North Woods Store, just to name a few. He accumulated a vast store of flies but also a much thinner wallet by several hundred dollars.

Great stories from a Maine bush pilot

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 Jake Morrell offers many great stories in his book, Hardscrabble Lodge. I got to visit with Jake at an authors’ event in Boothbay Harbor and eagerly grabbed a copy of his book.

Jake and his wife Beth lived an interesting and unusual life as the owners of Hardscrabble Lodge in the north woods. They purchased the abandoned and dilapidated remote camps and turned them into a popular destination.

Jake loved flying, and most of the stories feature his flying adventures and challenges. And yes, some were scary. Glad I wasn’t in the plane that time his engine quit – twice! His story of a trip to northern Quebec brought back my memories of fishing in that same region.

Not all stories are about planes. Wait ‘til you read about that time millions of blue insects surrounded the camps! There are also some great color photos in the book.

Mount Chase Lodge is a great north woods get-a-way

City or Town: 
Patten
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George 

            Mount Chase Lodge on Upper Shin Pond is a wonderful north woods get-a-way. Close to the northern section of Baxter Park and the northern entrance to our new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, the area just west of Patton offers everything from superb biking and hiking to exceptional fishing and kayaking, and all the winter sports.

            Michael and Lindsay Downing took over the historic sporting camp last year from her parents, Rick and Sara Hill, who provided wonderful experiences there for 40 years. I took the entire Board of Directors of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine there once for our annual planning retreat, and we had a great time.

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