Awesome stories in fishing guide’s new book

You’ll want to muckle onto this wicked cocker of a book, Behind the Cast, by legendary Maine guide Dale Wheaton, who owned Wheaton’s Lodge in Grand Lake Stream with his wife Jana for 34 years. If you don’t read this book, I’m going to cold conk you, and you’ll catch didley-squat on your next fishing outing. Oh, sorry, don’t get frazzled. I’m just yanking your chain.

These are words used by Maine guides and included in a wonderful glossary called Guidespeak at the end of the book.

Dale’s long career as a guide (he started guiding as a teen-ager) has given him lots of great stories which he shares with us in this book. But his book is much more than hearty laughs, or stories about customers from hell. You will treasure these stories and share them with friends.

Of course, I loved the stories about those customers from hell. Turns out Dale had a lot of those! And he also shares stories about some of his worst guiding mistakes. He had customers fall out of his grand laker, get in a snit and refuse to continue fishing after losing a couple of fish while his wife was hauling in some big ones, and oh, those guys who peed in the boat (lots of those).

There are also stories that will bring tears to your eyes, and lots of stories about amazing days of catching fish.

Yup, this book is a keeper.

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.