June 3, 2021
I’m the Maine Guide that lives on the lake.
I knew when I retired from my law enforcement career I wanted to be a Maine Guide on Sebago Lake. I have always loved to fish and being a Guide, always had a romantic aura. I thought it would be a great retirement gig. Quite frankly, I don’t do it for the paycheck, but it pays for my hobby and I get to introduce and share my fishing passion.
Two winters ago, I started writing again. In college I’d written for the campus newspaper and when I was living in Auburn I wrote a Maine Sportsman column. That winter, the days were short and the nights were long. When I got home from work I started chronicling the year of an average sportsman. I followed the months in sequence and added a few extra chapters. It took me two weeks to pull together. I walked away from it and then polished it up before exploring publishing.
I talked to some friends who’d written books and they all said if a publisher picks it up, they think there’s an interest. I submitted my book to three publishers and two of them picked it up. Patricia Newell from North Country Press was the first to respond and her comment, “It’s a good camp book,” resonated with me so I chose to work with her. I did the photography, but hired someone for pencil sketches to start each chapter of: A Sporting year in Maine. When my hands wrapped around the physical copy of my hard work it was the most amazing feeling.
My inspiration for the outdoors started with my Dad and Grandfather, who I talk a lot about in the book. They started the fishing bug with me and I say that I got a Bachelors from Dad. My Lieutenant when I was a police officer, who I also mention often in the book, gave me a Masters Degree. My Dad said years ago, “I wish they had someone that would take out and show the lake, the boat, the hazards and where to get gas.” That stuck with me, so when I started being a Guide, I advertised that I’m the guy that lives on the lake who provides Boat and Lake Orientation Tours.
Watching the excitement of someone who's never caught a fish, or felt a big fish on their line is the big thrill for me. I have a passion for fishing and the outdoors. I enjoy seeing someone catch a fish more than I enjoy catching one myself; my goal is to give them a good experience.
- Tom Roth: Maine Guide and author of “A Sporting Year in Maine”