Sports Editor’s note: With the ongoing restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of local sports happening because of those various rules and regulations, one of The Telegram’s advid readers approached the sports editor with an idea of sharing with the public some of his fishing experiences. The subject was passed around between the paper’s editor and the sports department and was unanamously approved, especially since this reader – Tobb Weber – has regaled us with most of these experiences already.
Mr. Weber is known throughout the local judiciary system as a “court jester,” but is better know locally by others as one of the leaders of the area’s Viking crew. Todd, and his Viking Horde, have been part of numerous parades, weddings and other social gatherings – a definite sidebar that is not fit for publication.
Most readers should have surmised by now, Todd is a jokester, so take his stories, although mostly true, with a small grain of salt.
Here is what he has to say:
The year was 1978, a big year for me. I graduated from Albany Law, took and passed the New York state bar exam in only one try (some have expressed amazement at that), moved to Malone to take a job with the state court system and got married (the bestest part!). That job lasted until June of 2011, when I retired. I was the law clerk to the Honorable Jan H. Plumadore for 31 of those years, worked with the town and village judges during the last two and helped teach them for 14 years. The Honorable Jan H. Plumadore’s portrait will be hung in the Malone courthouse if our local Bar Association President Joe Nichols hasn’t sold it, as he recently claimed to have done. I used to say that Judge Plumadore got mad and fired me five or six times, but forgot to send in the paperwork. When I said it in front of him, he said “I won’t the next time.” I learned from that: I never said it in front of him again even though we got up to eight or nine times.
When I (we) moved here, I couldn’t wait to start fishing the local Salmon River (there are at least three rivers in the state with the same name). Folks in the courthouse told me to seek out Neil Johnson, a Sheriff’s Department civil deputy who’d recently lost his long-time fishing partner. We hit it off immediately and had many great local adventures. Being young, and with no hourse or kids, I was ready to go three or four days a week; Neil not so much ....
The brown trout you see in the accompanying photo was the result of a solo trip – the one and only time I fished off the Barnesville Road in Owl’s Head. Neil Seymour, the former Franklin County tourism director, told me his dad had been after that fish for years. It now resides in my finished basement along with two splake from Lake Colby caught in the same week, two salmon, one steelhead, numerous books, one inflatable doll (don’t ask) and a truly ridiculous amount of Viking weaponry, helmets and shields from my role as leader of the Viking Horde: a dominant force in local parades, nursing homes, schools and not one, but two weddings.
Along about 1980 I read an article in an outdoor magazine about these giant salmon being caught in the Salmon River in Pulaski (the one in New York). What I hope to do over the next six, seven or eight weeks is take you with me in recalling my almost 40-year journey chasing salmon. The number of weeks will depend on how good my memory is and the Gokemon’s (my nickname for the sports editor) patience and will include topics like how I got started, snagging verus fishing, other legal issues, kid trips, memorable stories and characters.
I hope you enjoy the ride!