I have been thinking about this ever since I read the post by Joel Anderson on "The Season of Reflection". Who influenced me and helped me to be the fisherman that I am today. This will be about the people that have given me direction and substance to my Fishing. Please give it a read and let me know what you think, this may be a good way for others on the site to educate us all about them and their influences.
Influences in my Fishing
By Lee Goldsmith
Lee's Fishing Page
There is no question who was my first influence in Fishing, it was my father (O. Bruce Goldsmith). He was an outdoorsman of the first order and loved to hunt and fish. He was a very good shot with a rifle and because of this had claimed many a good White Tailed Deer in his life. He also loved to Fly Fish in Pennsylvania when I was very young ( ages 1 to 4 ). The first time I remember Fly Fishing with him was in New Jersey when I was in High School. We fished the rivers in Stokes State Park in the north west corner of the state. I must have to admit that we also did a lot of worm fishing as well. When my dad retired in 1968 we moved to where I live now, Acton Maine. Most of the fishing that my father did here was on Great East Lake and a few of the streams near by. We did a lot of Ice Fishing in the winter and some stream and river fishing in the spring. Sad to say my father has been gone now for almost 20 years now and a lot has changed since his passing.
Nichols Collage and UHN
In collage I fished very often in the small streams around the rural collage I attended in Dudley Mass. It was worm fishing but with a fly rod.
Using a fly rod for worm fishing small streams is a blast, use it like a long rod and place the worm right were you want it. UNH (University of New Hampshire) was where I resurrected my fly fishing. We had moved to Maine by this time and I fished both Maine and New Hampshire as I do today. New Hampshire has some fly fishing only streams and rivers and this was what got me going again and learning how to fish this way. Mostly streamer fishing, small Mickey Finns, Muddlers and Black Ghosts. People at UNH got me going on this again and I was able to influence others in the Grad School to also take up the activity. Phil Dunphy was one who was influenced by me and now is a very avid Fly Fisherman.
Friend of my youngest step son
The next influence has to be a young man that went to school with my youngest step son. He was nice enough to show me the ropes on what is now my home river, The Little Ossipee River in Newfield Maine.
This river I had fished some with my Dad when he was alive, but I never really got to know this river until Ian Roberts showed it to me. Back in those days, the mid 80's, the fishing on this river was very good if not exceptional for southern Maine.
Little Ossipee River
We became very good friends over time and fished alot together in the 90's and up until around 2004. Not sure why we have been unable to get together and fish, but I plan on making a trip with Ian somewhere this year. We fished the Rapid River a lot together and those trips were a blast. We both learned from this experience and we are both better off because of it. I think the most memorable moment with Ian came one day we were fishing the Rapid River and the riffle above Joel's Run. I had hooked a nice Brook Trout about 16 to 18 inches long and I asked Ian to net the fish for me. When he tried to net the fish Ian missed and the fish broke off with my size 18 pheasant tail nymph. Because the water was so shallow in this riffle the Brook Trout was just laying there getting its breath back when Ian went under the fish with the net and netted the rascal. I was able to retrieve my fly and we then released the fish. Ian looked at me and said "Do you think that is legal". We both agreed it was OK because we released the fish.
Rod builder, Pflueger reel guru Bill Franke
I met Bill in my early days of fly fishing in New Hampshire, he had a shop in North Conway and I purchased several Timberline Rod kits from him.
They were 4 piece rods, one was 7' 5 wt. and the other was 6' 5 wt. I made the 7' rod and did a terrible job on that rod but still have it and should have Bill rebuild it for me. The other rod the 6' rod I never made so had Bill make it up for me, and this without a dought was the nicest rod I have ever owned. To make a long story short I don't have that rod anymore, it was stolen from my car at Sebago lake one fall. That rod had more backbone then most 8'6" 6 wt rods do yet it was as light as a feather and a dream to cast. Was a great small stream rod. So last year I asked if Bill could make another rod for me like it. He has and it is close but not quit the same. It is Glass and 6'6" two piece rod that I now use most of the time on small rivers and streams. I also have a Sage rod that Bill made for me, an 8'6" 6 wt, this is my all around rod for trout and salmon.
Bill Franke and Myself
I think one story needs to be told about fishing with Bill on the Rapid River. We met at his house and I was driving my car that day and off we went to the Rapid River. When we got to the road into the River the gate was closed and locked. We were devastated to say the least. We got out and surveyed the situation and then Bill said to me, "I think you can drive under that Gate". We did a quick measurement and sure enough the car went under the gate, we were in and off we went to the river and a good day we had. I am not sure if this was the trip I caught this beautiful Brook Trout or not but it was on a trip with Bill that I caught this fish. Bill was too far away to help with a picture so I tried to get to a place were I could lay the fish out and get a picture. Going over toward the island I spotted a rock I tried to lay the fish over in the net to get a picture. Needless to say the fish fell into the water and I thought all was lost to get a picture. But the fish was tiered and I was able to snap two shots of the fish in the shallow water and this one was just great. That fish was an 18" male and about 2 1/2 lbs. and did he have colors.
Rapid River Brook Trout
My last influence is Joel Anderson
I know the first time I met Joel was on the Little Ossipee River at Bridge street.
It was here that Joel gave me a marabou muddler to try in the river. He was so nice and was leaving to go home that I did not have much time to talk with him, but to this day I will always remember that meeting. Later on, maybe 4 or 5 years later I got to know Joel over at Sebago Lake Station. Joel works for the Portland Water District and the plant he works at is close by. He invited me to go to the Rapid River and fish with him some Saturday, so we made a date. I just had started a new job in Portsmouth with Newmarket International and did not know that I was going to be on call that Saturday, but I went anyhow. I met Joel in Bethal on Rt 26, he said he would be there at 7am and he was there at 7am. Off we went to the river and when we got to the river there were about 6 to 8 other fisherman on the river. I asked Joel if they bothered him and he said "no they just take up space".
Little Ossipee River at Bridge Street
And he was right because they were not catching many fish and Joel was hooking fish one after another. I learned so many things from him, how to fish a nymph correctly, also how to skate an Elk Hair Caddis Fly. Drives the salmon crazy. I think that one of the best stories about Joel is after he taught me to fish nymphs I fished the local stream in Standish, the Presumpscott. This river is loaded with fish that the state stocks and used to be a lot of fun to fish. I fished it one day with small streamer flies, Mickey Finn and had a great day with about a dozen fish caught in the 12 to 16 inch range. I went back the next day and fished the same piece of water the same way and managed only one fish. Then I remembered that Joel had said some days are great on streamers and maybe even dry flies but fish are always feeding on nymphs. So I changed to fishing nymphs and managed to catch at least 8 to 12 nice fish in one hole in that piece of water, the fish were there, just needed to fish for them with what they wanted.
Joel has shown me more about fly fishing then any other person in my life and I really look up to him as a mentor. He is a great rod builder (Bamboo Rods) and a great fly tier as well. It is a plan of mine to make sure I get in a couple of fishing trips with him this year.
I hope everyone likes this story and I am hoping that others will add a story of their own about who influenced them in their fly fishing.