Robert Romano’s book, Shadows in the Stream, includes a lot of his fishing adventures in the Rangeley region. But the book includes a lot more than just fishing stories.
Bob and his wife live out of state but they bought a camp on Aziscohos lake, and he shares a lot of their outdoor adventures as well as the fun they had hanging out camp.
I fished all the waters Bob writes about and his stories took me right back there. I can no longer fish because of my illness, ALS, and it was wonderful to remember all the great adventures I had in the Rangeley region.
One of Bob’s chapters is about the Rapid River. He stayed in the former home of writer Louise Dickenson Rich, who wrote about her life there with her husband, in her book We Took To The Woods. I stayed there once too, and every time I fished the Rapid, I caught beautiful brook trout and salmon.
Bob wrote a lot about the Magalloway river, a big favorite of mine. I have a friend who owns a camp on Rump Pond on the northern end of the Magalloway. In the fall when salmon and trout migrate up the river to spawn, we’d catch some beautiful fish, including 5-pound brookies.
I enjoyed phenomenal fishing at Upper Dam, and Bob’s story about the dam, where Carrie Stevens tied her famous flies, took me right back there. One year I successfully got the fishing season on some waters, including Upper Dam, extended into October and on my drive in to fish there, I was be able to get out and shoot grouse. Fun!
As much as I enjoyed Bob’s fishing stories, I also enjoyed his stories about camp. My dad had a friend with a camp on Aziscohos lake, and they spent a lot of time hunting and fishing up there. They took me several times to fish and I caught some beautiful fish right in front of the camp.
Bob and his wife became good friends with Tom Rideout, who owned, for many years, Bosebuck Mountain Camps on Aziscohos Lake. Years ago I enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Bosebuck, which is a very special place.
Tom Rideout, in his wonderful introduction to the book, wrote that Bob’s “magical descriptive narrative is one of those works that allow the reader to accompany him on his journeys through the mountains of Western Maine during a time that is lost in the past.”
Tom also wrote, “few writers can write with a conviction that allows the reader to feel the intensity of each emotion. Bob is one of those few whose descriptive words evoke his passion.”
Tom is right, on all of this.
I love Bob’s advice at the end of the book: “Hey, the next time you have a few moments, why not leave the laptop at home? Park the SUV by the side of the road. Put aside the earphones of your portable CD player, and sit beside the stream.
“Let the spray of the falling water refresh your senses. Listen carefully and you may hear footsteps muffled by the fallen pine needles. Watch the shadow and you may glimpse a form nearly indistinguishable from the conifers that stretch skyward. Perhaps, just maybe, you too may encounter truth along the moss-covered trail.”
Good advice, but I’d be casting a fly, not just sitting there!
While I raced through the book to write this review, I will now start over and take my time, enjoying every chapter and remembering my wonderful fishing adventures all over that region. Thank you Bob!