October 2015: Highland Green resident Peter Blackman first fly-fished in Maine in 1964 and became hooked. He went on to become a Registered Maine Guide and expert fly-tier and angler. He even fished a couple of times with Ted Williams, who Peter says may have had a better casting technique than baseball swing. Peter’s many other interests include painting nature scenes and woodworking.
That the Green Highlander is one of the older and most famous Atlantic salmon fly patterns is not in doubt. Who first tied it, where and when appears to be up for debate. It seems clear that the Green Highlander first surfaced in the late nineteenth century, probably between 1885 and 1895. It was either designed by Major, Grant, Collins, Francis, or Kelton in anywhere from Pennsylvania to England, depending on which fish story one reads.
Hundreds of folks have been attracted to Highland Green by its real integration of conservation and nature. Another major attraction is the ability to interact with others who share common interests through resident-driven activities both at the Highland Green Community Center and nearby.
As a member of the resident-organized Fishing Group at Highland Green, Peter tied several Green Highlanders. In the Painting Club he created a water color of the historic fly.
Resident Bob Munier was the first to organize a Woodworking Group at Highland Green. He recently volunteered to create a wooden shadow box to be used to display one of Peter’s Green Highlander lures and his painting (shown above).
In October, Peter completed a woodworking project of his own. For the last two years he has been carving and painting a replica of the “catch of his life.” In 1990, Peter caught and released a 41 inch, 39 pound male Atlantic salmon on the Miramichi River in New Brunswick. “And that’s no fish story,” says Peter.