Most things in northern Maine are remote. Graded dirt roads are a luxury and paved roads are as rare as the crown jewels. Aldro French’s Bare Bones Fly Shop is at the end of one of the more lonesome stretches of unpaved road in the Rangeley Lakes region along the famous Rapid River.
There’s no false advertising in the shop’s name; it’s little more than a shed. The shed is well-stocked, though, with the tackle you need to hoist a behemoth brookie from the many pools along the Rapid. Across the dirt road from the store sits the Winter House and the Guide’s House, two landmarks made famous by Louise Dickinson Rich’s memoir, We Took to the Woods.