Ed DeMar was the quintessential Maine Guide. When Ruohomaa photographed him and some of his colleagues in 1958, DeMar was a veteran of 32 years. Being a Rangeley Lakes native and a lifelong sportsman, his knowledge of the area and its fauna was instinctive. In the woods, his leadership of his clients- who were often influential professionals- was second nature. As was typical for wilderness guides, he could skillfully alloy fact and fiction to tell a good story. He also made sure that the “sports” under his guidance never went home empty-handed; state law was sometimes relaxed slightly to accommodate this custom.
DeMar served as an officer in the Rangeley Lakes Guides Association; in 1958, the organization represented around 130 members, establishing pay scales and prescribing working conditions. Presumably DeMar’s fees were typical for a seasoned expert: he charged each party $10-$17 a day, depending on his services. Like all guides, he kept harmony with game wardens and conservation officials, and was licensed by the state. The stringent expectations of the licensure kept mishaps and accidents to a minimum.Browse Images