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, www.pleasantstreetinnbb.com, 207-864-5916.