George Smith's blog

Getting the lead out just got easier – and it’s the law

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 Free fishing sinkers and jigs were handed around the table at the annual meeting of the Minnehonk Lake Association a couple weeks ago. I didn’t take any because I’ve already swapped out my lead sinkers and jigs for those that don’t kill loons and other critters.

            If you haven’t gotten around to that yet, I’ve got good news. And you ought to be paying attention because larger lead sinkers and jigs will be illegal soon.

Coplin Dinner House brings fine dining and fabulous food to Stratton

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 You would expect elegance, very creative food, exceptional wine, an extensive menu, and superb service at many Portland restaurants. But in Stratton?


                Don’t get me wrong. Given my choice of Portland or Stratton, for pretty much everything I enjoy in Maine, you’d find me in Stratton every time. And now, the only thing missing for me in some rural Maine areas is available there: fabulous food.

                Plus it doesn’t take Linda and I any longer to drive to Stratton than to Portland, and the views traveling north are outstanding. So get in your car sometime soon, enjoy the ride, and dine at the Coplin Dinner House.

The Old Woman is back and wait til you read her stories!

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             The old woman hasn’t run out of stories.

The subtitle of Return of Old Maine Woman, written by Glenna Johnson Smith and published this year by Islandport Press, is Tales of Growing Up and Getting Older.

Glenna grew up in the 1920s and 30s in rural Hancock County, eventually moving to Aroostook County where she lived on a farm and taught school.

I guess you can tell from the title that Glenna is some old pleased to be an old woman.

It's all about good food on Saturdays in Skowhegan

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The Farmers’ Market and Pick-up Café should be your Saturday destination.


If you are looking for the perfect way to spend a Saturday morning in Maine, head for Skowhegan. We chose to hit the Farmer’s Market first, then have lunch at the Pickup Cafe.

As soon as you step out of your car you’ll be met with lively music. Twisted Springs was playing that day and let me tell you, that was great fiddling. This market sources locally grown food from 17 farms in the area. I spotted several meat venues which offered turkey, duck, rabbit, sausage, and organic beef.  The Maine Meal has gourmet frozen meals in individual servings. What a great concept!

Shooting bear cubs in their den, killing 100 trout in a day – these Old Tales of the Maine Woods will amaze and appall you

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I had been fishing for about two hours. On counting the catch, we had one hundred and thirty-seven trout.

This might be my dream fishing experience but it is not my story. Its Heber Bishop’s story, written in the Guide Book to the Megantic, Spider, and Upper Dead River Regions in 1887, and reprinted in Steve Pinkham’s amazing (and sometimes appalling) Old Tales of the Maine Woods published by Merrimak Media in 2012.

Bishop’s story continued: My heart smote me for taking so many, but we had carried them up to camp before counting them and it was too late to put any of them back then. So we did the best we could to prevent willful waste, by gutting them, building a smoke house, and giving what we did not eat that day a smoking all that afternoon, night and until noon the next day.

Time to catch Rangeley’s Famous Trout and Salmon – at the Outdoor Heritage Museum

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                Gigantic trout and salmon taken from Rangeley’s famous waters are every angler’s dream. I’ve caught five pound brookies and salmon there, but nothing approaching the mounts I’ve seen at the Oquossoc Angling Association.

                And that’s just one reason I’ll be visiting the Outdoor Sporting Heritage Museum in Oquossoc soon, where they are featuring a special exhibit: “Rangeley’s Famous Trout and Salmon.”

The best place in the world to fish for brook trout is…

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I’ve caught everything from giant King Salmon in Alaska to huge Brown Trout in Montana to 23 species of fish in Florida, but brook trout are my passion. It saddens me that we haven’t done more to protect, enhance, and cherish Maine’s native brookies.


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