Awesome mounted fish – and fishing stories – at Rangeley B&B

IMG_2011 (2)I first met Rob Welch at the annual meeting of the Maine Woods Consortium, a group that works to improve the rural Maine economy. We hit it off immediately, because Rob is an avid angler in one of my favorite regions, Rangeley, where I’ve spent a lot of time fishing over the years.

So Linda and I scheduled a travel column visit to the Pleasant Street Inn B&B owned by Rob and his wife Jan. The 5 room B&B is wonderful, as is the hospitality. Rob’s a retired school principal and Jan teaches fourth grade math at the Rangeley school.

Rob’s been coming to Rangeley since he was a kid and after he retired, he suggested to Jan that they open a B&B here. Wandering the large inn with Rob I was thrilled to find two fish mounts by Dave Footer, one of Maine’s all-time best taxidermists and artists. And Rob’s fishing stories were very entertaining, although he made me promise not to disclose his favorite spots!

But I will share one of his stories with you. Rob was standing on “his rock” in one of my favorite rivers, in a pool where I have caught some great fish, a bit before sunrise with his brand new 3 wt. fly rod. His small black ghost fly enticed a nice brook trout to grab hold and the fight was on. It went on for more than 10 minutes and when he finally landed the fish, it was in bad shape. He tried to revive it, without success, so he kept it.

When he drove into the yard, his 12-year-old son suggested, “Let’s have him for breakfast.” But before they did that, he took it to the Rangeley fly shop to be weighed and was surprised to be told the 4 pound trout put him into the lead in the shop’s fishing contest. And he won that contest, receiving a very nice $400 sage rod. So he decided, rather than eat the fish, he’d have it mounted.

He was very lucky to know David Footer. The mount is gorgeous, as is a salmon mount that Dave also did for Rob.

There are a lot of good reasons to say at the Inn, but one of the best is Rob’s fishing stories. If you are lucky, he may even take you fishing! A frozen shoulder prevented me from doing that this trip, but I’m counting on Rob for a fishing adventure at one of his secret spots next spring!

Contact Info: Pleasant Street Inn,, 207-864-5916.


George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.