George Smith's blog

The best fly fishing spots in the Northeast are revealed here

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 From the stunningly beautiful photographs to the detailed access information, 50 Best Places – Fly Fishing The Northeast by Bob Mallard will be the standard guide for fly fishermen for decades to come.

Mallard is an outspoken fisheries advocate, fly shop owner, and obsessive angler. I’ve fished with him. You have to be prepared for a long day. I really don’t know anyone who brings as much passion to the sport. So he was a good choice for publisher Stonefly Press to pull this exceptional book together.

To Mainers, October means "Don't you move a gosh darn inch."

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            October defines my Maine. If we could extend one month to an entire year, this would be the one.

            The weather is perfect, sunny and cool. The crops are in, the bugs are gone, the hectic summer schedule is behind us.

            Proof that there is a God is found in the spectacular splash of color on every hardwood ridge. I spend a lot of October looking up.

            My favorite outdoor activities are never better. Fall fishing is the best fishing of the year. It took a long time for Maine to offer fishing in the fall. Our fishing season always ended on September 30. Now, we can fish year-round in many places. I am proud that the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine led the way on this.

A Favorite Destination: Bar Harbor's BlueNose Inn and Looking Glass Restaurant

City or Town: 
Bar Harbor
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Bar Harbor’s BlueNose Inn' Looking Glass Restaurant has added vegan dishes to its already amazing menu.

George

                We had the best view in the state for a morning cup of coffee, enjoyed on the deck of our fourth floor suite at Bar Harbor’s BlueNose Inn, high on a hill above the town overlooking the open ocean. Of course the BlueNose also offers the best view in the state for breakfast and dinner at its hilltop restaurant, the Looking Glass.

                But this story begins about 9 pm on Friday night, sitting in the lounge where Bill Trowell’s extraordinary piano playing has entertained the BlueNose’s guests for 18 years. Bill is amazing and we make sure to spend some time enjoying his music whenever we’re in Bar Harbor.

Maine needs a bare knuckled bear debate

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The only way we’ll get a real debate about bear hunting and trapping is to clear the room of reporters and moderators and let the two sides go at each other – a bare knuckled bear debate.

Otherwise, we’re going to get the standard questions and the rote memorized answers – and Maine voters won’t know any more about bear hunting and trapping when the campaign ends than they do today – which is next to nothing, judging from the questions people are asking me.

Here’s how it might go. To make this simple, we’ll call those opposed to the referendum the Opponents, and those who support the referendum the Supporters. Each side would get five minute opening statements and then we’d get right into it.

While the opening statements are being delivered, you can get your beer and snacks. You’ve already heard those statements, boiled down to 30 second TV ads.

Rockland’s LimeRock Inn – Affordable Luxury and Comfortable Elegance

City or Town: 
Rockland
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There are two reasons the LimeRock Inn has been the choice of DownEast magazine’s readers for Best B&B two years in a row: Frank and PJ.

George

                At opposite ends of the dining room sat unacquainted couples from London, England, when Frank came out of the kitchen where he was preparing our breakfast, to introduce them to each other. Before long, the couples were seated together, engaged in eager conversation - not unlike the conversation Linda and I were enjoying with a couple from Rhode Island who we first met hanging out in the kitchen the day before.

Hounding and Trapping Threaten to End Maine’s Bear Hunt

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Few Mainers hunt bears with hounds and even fewer trap bears. But the decision by the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and other sportsmen’s groups to reject an offer that would have avoided this year’s difficult referendum on bear hunting and trapping gambled our one and only effective means of keeping bear populations in check: hunting over bait.

The Humane Society of the United States made the offer last spring during the legislative session, telling the leaders of Maine’s sportsmen’s groups that they would not take bear hunting to referendum if their proposal to ban bear hounding and trapping was enacted. SAM and the other groups quickly rejected the offer, calling it extortion.

That rejection was a real gamble. Without question, if this referendum was just about baiting, our campaign would be a lot easier. In fact, there probably wouldn’t have been a referendum at all.

Paid outdoor recreation – including hunting - on farms brings promising profits to farmers

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Outdoor recreational opportunities on the Nation’s privately-owned farm, ranch and woodlands, which comprise nearly three-fourths of our land area, are virtually unlimited.

Many farmers and landowners have already found recreation to be a new and profitable crop. Land formerly in grain is now meeting the needs of fisherman, hunters, campers, hikers, and others who seek the out-of-doors.

The new farm enterprises range from a few acres for picnicking and camping to watershed lakes of several hundred acres. The crops harvested include fish, duck, mink, muskrat, pheasants and quail. The recreational areas established are ideal for swimming, camping, boating, hiking, and nature study.

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