Where Cool Waters Flow: Four Seasons with a Master Maine Guide


Master Maine Guide Randy Spencer knows the lakes, streams, and woodlands around Grand Lake Stream, Maine, like few others. He has learned the ways of the old Maine Guides-from the proper way to prepare shore lunches, to where to find the best salmon and bass, to how to survive in the wilderness-from some of the area's local legends. Now, in his first book, Where Cool Waters Flow, Randy puts you in the casting seat of his Grand Laker, introduces his many "sports" who come from miles away to decompress, brings you...
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Master Maine Guide Randy Spencer knows the lakes, streams, and woodlands around Grand Lake Stream, Maine, like few others. He has learned the ways of the old Maine Guides-from the proper way to prepare shore lunches, to where to find the best salmon and bass, to how to survive in the wilderness-from some of the area's local legends. Now, in his first book, Where Cool Waters Flow, Randy puts you in the casting seat of his Grand Laker, introduces his many "sports" who come from miles away to decompress, brings you out on the trail during fall hunts, and takes you on many other adventures as only an insider can.
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Editorial Reviews

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Portland Magazine called Randy Spencer, the author of this book, one of the "10 Most Intriguing People in Maine." Yankee Magazine included him in its feature of the "25 People You Need to Meet Most This Summer." The State of Maine certifies him as a Master Maine Guide, qualified to guide clients on fishing, hunting, and recreational excursions. In Where Cool Waters Flow, Randy demonstrates that he's also an engaging author, capable of weaving together an informative book about what he's learned along the trail and on the lake's edge. A pleasant mix of local lore and fishing and wilderness tips.
Bangor (ME) Daily News
Spencer's book, quite simply, is the rare local volume that I can honestly recommend with the highest praise a fellow writer can muster: I wish I'd written it. But I couldn't have. Spencer's prose is clean, quick and witty. He successfully transports readers from their living room easy chairs to the wilds of Grand Lake Stream, and does so without bombarding them with strings of adjectives designed to paint the picture he sees in his mind. Instead, like the songwriter he is, he picks his words judiciously, commits to them and makes them do his bidding. And the result is a stunning portrait of a truly special place, illuminated by the people who live for their yearly visits to those remote Maine woods. You may find a better Maine book than Where Cool Waters Flow. You may find a better outdoor book. You may. I haven't.
—John Holyoke
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781934031285
  • Publisher: Islandport Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/19/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 316
  • Sales rank: 789,030
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Randy Spencer is a Master Maine Guide, which means he is qualified and certified by the state of Maine to guide clients on fishing, hunting, or recreational adventures, although Randy's specialty is fishing. His guiding business is based in the remote eastern Maine town of Grand Lake Stream, home to some of most beautiful scenery and some of the best fishing in the nation. In addition to guiding, Spencer is a talented singer/songwriter who has released five CDs. In fact, he regularly writes a column for the Northwoods Sporting Journal that is titled "The Singing Maine Guide." He is also a freelance writer for other outdoor publications. In 2008, Yankee Magazine named him one of the "25 People You Need to Meet Most This Summer" and Portland Magazine named him one of the "10 Most Intriguing People in Maine."
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Read an Excerpt

"I don't know how long I sat on my guitar case on the Grand Lake Stream town dock that June afternoon thirty-six years ago. I wondered how I was going to make the final twelve miles of a journey that began eighteen hours earlier in Maryland, but it didn't seem like an emergency. The view stretched forever and I was lulled.

There wasn't a soul in sight until an orange Duratech emerged from a cove across the way and moved toward me. As the boat approached the dock it turned broadside to reveal a bedraggled, sixty-ish man with an even more bedraggled Pug pooch in his lap.

"Can you play that thing?" he hollered over the outboard.

I nodded and gave him a thumbs up.

"Where ya goin'?"

"I'm supposed to be at Darrow Camp today, but I don't know how I'm going to get there."

The man - Warren Arthur Whiting - got up and weighed the boat's fuel tank in his hand.

"Tell ya what. You play, the dog and me'll listen, and if you're any good, we'll get you to Darrow's."

This looked like the only game in town, so I threw my lot into the hands of a complete stranger, never bothering to ask what might happen if I didn't pass the audition.

Stepping into that orange boat was one of the most fateful decisions of my life. "
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 5, 2010

    Very highly recommended

    Where Cool Waters Flow: Four Seasons With a Master Maine Guide, Randy Spencer, 2009, ISBN 9781934031285

    This book looks at a year in the life of a Maine Guide, a person who is certified as knowing the lakes and forests around Grand Lake Stream, Maine. For most people, it's an isolated bit of northern Maine, with a population barely over 100. For those who take their hunting and fly fishing seriously, it is an important place to experience.

    Winter is a time for repairs or preventive maintenance on their specially built square stern canoes, called Grand Lakers. Most people need a second job to make it through the long winter. The author is a singer/songwriter who released several CDs. Mud season happens somewhere between winter and spring, when it seems as if the entire world has turned to mud. It is also a time to curse the roads and trails, made by the timber companies, which are frequently little more than collections of ruts and potholes.

    Spring means the return of guiding clients, called "sports." Many sports have become friends, returning year after year. It's an important psychic boost to the year-round residents (and the money doesn't hurt). April 1 means the opening of fly fishing season. It's totally unimportant if there is still ice on the rivers, or if there are giant snowbanks leading right down to the water; serious fly fishermen will be there.

    In summer, guides make use of every square inch of storage space in their canoes as they take sports out for an all-day fishing trip. The guide knows where trout or salmon are likely to hang out; it's not enough to simply cast and expect the fish to bite. There are a number of occurrences where sports experience emotional decompression or confess things to their guide while in the canoe. To be the only human beings on a lake with no other signs of human habitation, and to watch an eagle snatch a fish out of the lake, or to watch a moose or black bear rumble past, the term "religious experience" comes to mind.

    In the autumn, fishing season gives way to hunting season. Some people have to use the newest "guaranteed" rifle or hunting gadget, while others stick with family heirlooms that have worked in the past. Autumn is also the time for house repairs, and wood chopping, that weren't taken care of during the summer.

    Along with being a Maine Guide, and a musician, Spencer is also an excellent storyteller. He does a fine job of putting the reader in the canoe, or up a tree waiting for a large animal to walk by. For armchair sportsmen, and serious sportsmen, this is very highly recommended.

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