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“Something for everyone!”
Review of Weatherby's

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Weatherby's
Bethel, Maine
Level 6 Contributor
126 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Something for everyone!”
Reviewed January 5, 2014

This traditional Maine sporting camp has something for everyone. Calling it a sporting camp isn't complete. You wouldn't be wrong if you called it a wilderness lodge for the whole family or a summer vacation place on the water. You don't need to hunt or fish to enjoy Weatherby's.

If you are interested in a sporting camp Weatherby's certainly qualifies. The fishing is excellent in Grand Lake Stream. I've caught more than 30 fish a day on several occasions with several decent sized land locked salmon in the 18 to 22 inch range. It's called Grand Lake Stream not Grand Lake River, a fish in the 18-22 inch range is a challenge in this small, fast water. The fish get strong from fighting the current all their lives. A 19" fish can weigh 2 pounds, a 20" fish probably weighs 5 pounds, it's amazing how a little increase in length adds to the girth. I've also been skunked on days when the stars weren't aligned. The water is so clear you can see the salmon holding in the current. This makes it easier to survive a slow day.

While the stream is famous for salmon there are other fish to be caught. Some of the less frequent catches come to the stream from Grand Lake or the flowage to the Atlantic Ocean. During 10 years of fishing I've had the good fortune of catching one Atlantic Salmon! Slightly more frequent have been catches of Lake Trout and large Whitefish. Both of these are a challenge to land in swift currents. Brook trout can be caught at times as well as Small Mouth Bass in the dam pool.

Many huge dark fish can be seen holding in the tail waters of the dam pool. Let others fish that spot, those fish are suckers, notable by their dark color and thick pectoral fins. Salmon will be holding a little downstream of the suckers, feeding on sucker eggs in the spring and on bottom dwelling insects in the fall. The salmon will be harder to see and a light green color. Sometimes it's easier to see their shadow first and then the fish.

Pick a rock off the bottom, it will be covered with Caddis larvae. Unless the fish are rising the caddis larvae will be your best gauge to match the hatch. Check the rocks downstream as well. The caddis will be there but the color and size will be different. A Brassie or a Copper John of the appropriate size and color are good choices but they must get to the bottom. If you are not catching fish make sure your leader isn't drifting ahead of your fly! For dry fly fishing a caddis emerger fished in the surface film will work most of the time. I like a parachute version on a curved hook. If the fish are rising you have to match the hatch. Fishing during a Hendrickson hatch can be incredible and sometimes frustrating. The air can be full of Mayflys but the salmon are rising to tiny black caddis or midges. If you like to use streamers then a Wooly Bugger is hard to beat. Jeff stocks all these flies at the shop in the lodge.

I've always fished the stream but the lakes and rivers also have incredible fishing especially for Small Mouth Bass. Many nights in the dining room I'd hear stories of 80 fish days from guests that had a guide show them the way in a Grand Lake canoe. Maybe they exaggerated with 80 but even 30 or 40 fish would be a great day.

If you choose to visit in October the stream is still open for fishing and the hunting season for upland birds is also open. This makes for a nice mix of stories at the evening meal. While the fishing is catch and release the hunters get to keep what they shoot, partridge and woodcock. There have been many times when the day's quarry would be shared with all the guest in the dining room. If you get a chance to try the partridge jump at it. It's like the best chicken you've ever had. Woodcock may not be to everyone's taste. The little medallions of meat look and taste like filet mignon, very rich!

I started out saying Weatherby's has something for everyone. I stayed several times with my wife who doesn't share my passion for fishing. She comes here to relax, read, sit by the fire in the lodge or our cabin. We share a picnic lunch on the banks of the stream at the "picnic pool". There are opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, tubing or swimming in the lake and stream. Walking, hiking, nature watching are right outside your door. The lodge is in a very tiny village, I think there are 4 stop signs! A few minutes by car and you can be in the wilderness with the eagles, moose, and bears.

The food is wonderful. The lodge is a museum of sporting history from the 1800s with photos of famous celebrity guests lining the walls. A wonderful porch with rockers and swing seats for nice evenings and a cozy fire in the library for the cooler nights. The cabins are rustic and constantly being updated. You'll have your own little log cabin with hot water and shower, sometimes a bath. Heat comes from a fireplace or stove if you what to make the effort or make use of the propane heat.

I haven't said much about the people yet and I'm asking myself why. I'd like to include the people of Weatherby's in this review but I'm finding it hard to separate them from the guests. Many of them are from the local area and share the passions and interests of the guests. Not that they insert themselves into "your" visit but they fit in perfectly with your visit if you are open to that. It's been a pleasure meeting every one of them. Some year after year, some for just one season but all fondly remembered. The place is busy with guests and staff in the mornings and evenings. Each morning the driveway is lined with canoes and trailers hauled in by the guides hired for the day. The lodge staff is busy serving breakfast, delivering picnic lunches for the day, connecting guests with their guides, pulling the days equipment together for the big adventure. In the middle of this are the guests that are having a leisurely breakfast, enjoying the attention of the waitstaff and kitchen. In the evening it's tired guests getting their gear sorted, a hot shower and then gathering at the lodge waiting for the dinner bell to ring.

You can probably tell I've enjoyed my visits to Weatherby's.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank kevin w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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53 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
West Palm Beach, FL
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 3, 2014 via mobile

Fish in the stream or on the lakes during the day and relax with a fire in your cabin at night. Enjoy excellent meals with fellow fishermen. My son and I loved the Maine wilderness on our second trip together to Weatherby's. Looking forward to our next trip.

Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Phil O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Red Bank, New Jersey
1 review
Reviewed January 3, 2014

My son Scott and I first came to Weaterby's Lodge when he was 8 years old. He is now 43 and we have been back every year since with just a couple of misses. First, the fishing is great! There are great guides, unforgettable campfire lunches, moose, bald headed eagles, occasional bear. The lakes are beautiful and most of the day you fish this wonderful wilderness without seeing another person. The lodge itself is immaculate, the cabins the same and the food is superb! Best of all, The owners, Jeff and Beth and their kids go out of their way to do anything they can to make your experience the very best it can be, as does Frank who's hospitality is as friendly and helpful as it gets. And then there's the guests, many who have been coming for years. It's a very special group and it's so much fun to share your fishing stories and days experiences on the porches before and after meals. We have recommended Weatherby's to many of our friends and always receive their thanks when they return. Call them. I guarantee you won't be disappointed!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bob B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
League City, Texas
2 reviews
Reviewed October 10, 2013

Let me start by saying everything about Weatherby's is better than advertised and exceeded every expectation by a huge margin.

My 12 yr old son and I do a father-son trip every year. We alternate educational and adventure trips. The previous summer we went to Washington DC, so this year we took our adventure trip and chose Weatherby's Lodge in Grand Lake Stream, ME. The goal was to learn how to fly fish and make some memories. We stayed 3 nights, took 2 guided fishing trips, and had the time of our lives.

Details:

The moment we arrived it was clear things operate at a different pace up there. Everything is calm and everyone is like family, from the moment you arrive. Don't be fooled by the relaxed pace, it is by design, but the operation is so well run and the abundance of expertise makes the resort run like clock work. If you cannot relax at Weatherby's you can't relax anywhere.

Frank, the General Manager was so helpful while planning the trip and while we checking in. Our cabin was ready and perfect. We enjoyed coffee and hot chocolate on the porch with Frank right after getting settled.

The meals were splendid. The chef is an artist. Each meal was not only delicious, they were bountiful. Breakfast to order and 4 course dinners everyday. The main house, where the meals are served, was full of families and groups either headed out to fish or telling stories of their day on the water. By the end of our stay, we knew everyone that was staying there and were exchanges stories and spots to try and catch the big ones. The staff was superb. Attentive, friendly, and genuinely interested in you and your adventures.

The fishing was the best we ever had! Jeff, the owner, was our guide. Everyone raved about their guides, so I am sure they are fantastic too, but we were blessed to have Jeff. He taught how to cast and use the fly rod. He was terrific with me, but the way he helped my son was the highlight of the trip. The first day, we stood in the stream surrounded by 50 - 60 salmon and had a blast pulling those salmon out of the water. More importantly, Jeff taught us how to fly fish on our own and we were able to fish together after our lesson and guided fishing trip. Nothing beats being in the river with your son. The second day we went spin fishing and on one of lakes. We pulled 15 keepers out of the lake. My son caught a monster smallie, it was the highlight for both of us. As if the great fishing wasn't enough, Jeff brought his daughter along, who is an accomplished guide. My son and I really felt like we connected with Jeff and Weatherby's and understood why the family approach to the lodge is why it is truly one of the top 10 Fly Fishing destinations in the world. My son was so impressed a new word was invented. He was trying to explain the Jeff's depth of skill as a guide and his prowess as a teacher and all he could come up with was "Mr. Jeff has the Protitude" We all laughed, but now when something demonstrates great expertise, we call it "The Protitude". And, yes, Jeff has it.

At the end of both 4 hour fishing trips Jeff and his daughter prepared a fish fry from some of the fish we caught (NOTE: fishing was catch and release for us, except what was caught for lunch). Lunch was out of this world, cooked over an open fire and eaten together like a picnic.

In the evenings we relaxed in our cabin, played cards and connected. If you were to look up Father/Son trip in the dictionary, this would be the definition.

There is another level to how impressive and genuine Jeff and Weatherby's is. Jeff gives time and his lodge to support veterans. Specifically, organizing events that allow recovering veterans enjoy the soothing and rejuvenating peacefulness of Weatherby's for a getaway, which would be amazing by itself, but he recently supported an event that included access to professionals to help Vets cope, adjust, get direction, etc... Jeff, you are special!

Find a reason to visit Weatherby's. You will not be disappointed. On guy was there with his daughter and has been bring his daughter, son or wife every year for 15 years. I can see why.

We stayed June June 29 - July 1, 2103. We are going back this weekend. We will be going back several more time.

Thanks Jeff, Frank and the whole Weatherby's family!

Alvin

Room Tip: Ask Frank or Jeff which room best fits your group's needs. They love answering questions and wa...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AlvinUSC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
College Station, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 12, 2013

I drove to Grand Lake Stream from my summer home in Bar Harbor, ME for a day of fly fishing on Grand Lake Stream and the St Croix River with Rod. I have been on guided trips before in the Rockies and Ozarks, but I have never had as good a guide as Rod. He has a love for fishing and the Maine outdoors that is obvious from the moment you meet him. Even in a rainstorm, his enthusiasm and positive attitude never wavered. He is also an interesting conversationalist about a wide of array of topics and simply just a nice guy, which made for a very pleasant day.
Frank and the staff were equally as welcoming and accommodating, completing a great experience.
They represent the best of what made our family fall in love with Maine.

Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank Michael C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fountain Hills, Arizona
Level 6 Contributor
129 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed July 30, 2013

We spent an extended weekend at Weatherby's and enjoyed our stay very much. The cottages are rustic, but surprisingly well equipped (even down to an ice chest refilled with fresh ice every day at 4:00 p.m.). Each cabin has a screened porch, with rockers or old fashioned gliders, which is where I spent most of my time. The cottages are log and most are quite old. The beds were firm and very comfortable. If well behaved, dogs are allowed. No TV. No video games. But there is a great lobby complete with books, piano, and board games. The staff is friendly and helpful. We were in Grand Lake Stream with a large group of skiing friends, so we did not sample food in the lodge.....but reports are that it is very good. All-in-all, this is a good place.

Room Tip: We were in The OverLook Cottage, which was good.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank D H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
713 reviews
103 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 169 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2013

Grand Lake Stream is the perfect destination for the fisher; and, Weatherby's is an excellent lodge. The accommodations are clean and comfortable. Jeff and family are gracious hosts. The rooms and cabins are comfortable. The food in the dining room is well prepared. The lodge has a good relationship with Maine fishing and hunting guides, which makes the experience all the more memorable.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Orso52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Weatherby's

Property: Weatherby's
Address: Grand Lake Stream, ME 04637
Location: United States > Maine > Grand Lake Stream
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Grand Lake Stream
Number of rooms: 15
Also Known As:
Weatherby`s Hotel Grand Lake Stream

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