The following appeared in the June 5, 1906, edition of the MAINE WOODSMAN newspaper and shares a regular column by the famous Cornelia “Fly Rod” Crosby known as FLY ROD’S NOTE BOOK. Spring has sprung, so get outside and make some great outdoor history of your own!

(Contemporary commentary shared in Italics).

Fly Rod’s Note Book

There are many attractions at the Mountain View House, and one which the guests enjoy is taking a walk up to the large stable where Landlord Bowley has some of the finest horses in this part of the state. You will most always find George Church who handles the reins with much skill as he drives parties over the hills. George has just added a Rambler, we mean a rambling automobile, to his possessions, and if he can drive that with the same skill he does the horses, automobiling will be quite a fad at the Mountain View.

(By 1906, Rambler was a major brand and produced around 2,500 autos a year from one of the best-equipped automobile factories in the world). 

Not only do the fine horses receive much admiration, but there is a pair of handsome yellow cats, Punch and Judy, who for five years have made the stable their home and they never have been to the piazza of the hotel. These cats are quite jealous of a beautiful Scotch collie “Pete,” the new dog that everybody has a good word for.


Yes, it is the old story not always the expensive tackle skillfully handled by the expert city fisherman takes the biggest fish, for even a maiden can “catch ’um” and the young lady living on the lake shore near Bemis holds a record that many an angler would give a good sum to claim as his. Last Tuesday this maiden went-a-fishing, and something happened. A big fish struck, he made a mighty pull at one end of the line, and at the same time she began to pull at the other. For a time, it was a question of who would win, but hand over hand excitedly she pulled him into the boat. It was an old time Rangeley trout that brought the steelyards down to the notch of 8 pounds 15 ounces!!! This is a real fish fact and we can prove the story even if old Bill Jones is dead.

(I have no clue who the old Bill Jones mentioned was. And, given the fact that Fly Rod was a notorious name dropper, I find it odd that she did not convince, or just perhaps bothered to share the young lady’s name? This was a real angling feat as by 1906, many of the 7 pound plus fish were long gone).

On the steamer the other morning I met Frank Jacobs who with a crew of men for several weeks past, has been engaged in building a fine set of camps on Cupsuptic Lake for Messrs. Teel and Patterson of New York City. These camps are called “The Ledges” and are to replace the set that were burned last season. There are three log camps under one roof 43×90 feet. They have large stone fireplaces, broad piazzas and every comfort and convenience. The party is expected on the first of June. Mr. Jacobs has also built a camp at Gull Pond this spring for Mr. Wadsworth of New York.

(The Ledges Camps perched on a giant rock ledge, remain to this day and are one of the most impressive locations in the region).

One of the best stories that has occurred this spring happened at the Mountain View House last week. A city “sport” who with his guide had trolled all day, and not a strike, returned quite disgusted, and standing on the piazza remarked before the others; “I don’t believe there is a Damned fish in this lake.” A nine-years-old lad, Master Fred Young, who boards at the hotel and has caught some fifty trout off the wharf, quickly answered. “Oh, yes, there is lots of them, Mister. I can catch them.” “You catch fish! I’ll give you a dollar for every fish you can catch, youngster,” said the disgusted fisherman. Master Fred took his rod and tin can of worms and ran down to the wharf, dropped hook with a tempting bait into the water and in less than ten minutes landed two good sized trout. Of course, the crowd on the piazza had increased and they gave a shout as the gentleman passed the little chap a $2.00 bill, and it will cost him many a cigar, for the story will be repeated. “Not all who fish catch fish” is as true now as ever it was.

(Two dollars in today’s money equals about $70.00. A nice haul for the young man).

Upper Dam with anglers on aprons, Circa 1906

I was over to Upper Dam this week just long enough to take a few notes while talking fish with some of the guests. W. D. Brackett of Boston one of the “old timers” was contented even if his largest was “only a 4-pound salmon.” Mr. B. has during his more than thirty springs fishing at Upper Dam landed many an 8-pound trout. I think he is the only one who still “cars” his fish as all used to do in days gone by. That is, when a fish is not badly hooked, it is put in a box made of slats, or in such a way that the water passes through, and kept there until one is wanted to eat, or when ready to go home. The fish that are to be taken are killed, and the others returned to the lake. Mr. Brackett is a most entertaining gentleman, and his stories of what the fishing used to be, the many changes and improvements is very interesting.

(Upper Dam Pool has seen three renditions of the dam above its nationally recognized fishery. I miss the Old Lady the current dam replaced, but still enjoy fishing there. Have a great week everyone)! 

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