A year ago, the Veazie Salmon Club was at a crossroads. Older members scaled back their activity, and a handful of others had died. In April, in fact, a couple of longtime members announced that the club would cease operations.
Fast forward 13 months, and a new Veazie Salmon Club is emerging. President Andy Fitzpatrick said membership is approaching 100, and activities have resumed at the facility on Old County Road. On Saturday, the public is invited to observe the 41st anniversary of the club’s founding in 1978 at a breakfast and barbecue at the club.
“[The idea is] to try and continue to spread the word about fishing, the local rivers and the value of gathering sportsmen and sportswomen together,” Fitzpatrick explained.
The event will run from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., and includes raffles, fly tying, casting lessons and a silent auction.
One highlight: At about 12:30 p.m. the club will rededicate the Atlantic salmon weather vane, which is now mounted on a new cupola on the clubhouse. The weathervane was donated to the club by Thomas Hartranft about 25 years ago in memory of Roger Bennett. The weathervane was carved by Leroy Joseph Klitch of Old Town.
The rededication of the weathervane is symbolic, and represents the struggles the club has overcome, Fitzpatrick said.
“[The weathervane] has been broken, stolen, repaired. The club was also almost dormant for over a decade,” Fitzpatrick said. “Saturday represents the resilience of our community and the strength of Maine’s fishing heritage. Shad, stripers and many other fish still exist for angling and will keep fishermen coming.”