gadabout gaddis

Gadabout Gaddis: The Flying Fisherman Who Captured Our Hearts

In the golden days of television, when screens flickered with the promise of adventure, one man stood out for adventure-loving viewers in New England and around the world. Gadabout Gaddis, born Roscoe Vernon Gaddis, was affectionately known as “The Flying Fisherman" to his eager audience. 

With a spirit of excitement and a fishing rod in hand, Gaddis transformed angling into thrilling escapades that captivated millions. He made his home in Bingham, Maine, and he loved the region’s natural beauty. He showed his neighbors the majesty of Maine–and the wonder of the broader world around us all.

Imagine this: a small plane slicing through the dawn mist over Maine’s rugged wilderness. At the controls was Gaddis, his eyes sparkling with mischief and determination, chasing the perfect catch. 

In one episode of “The Flying Fisherman," he landed his plane on a makeshift runway, a narrow strip of open space amid the dense forest. It was a daring feat of skill and courage. And when the fish were elusive? Gaddis crafted lures on the spot, his ingenuity as boundless as the rivers he explored.

From humble beginnings, he rose to fame, driven by charisma and a thirst for adventure. He whisked viewers away to the Amazon, a realm of mysterious waters and lurking dangers. Picture him there, navigating treacherous currents, evading caimans and piranhas, each cast a bold challenge. His stories were epic adventures of survival and triumph, vividly painted in bold strokes.

But Maine, with its rugged beauty, had a special place in his heart. The team at North Country Rivers considers him a kindred spirit, and we keep a framed photo of Gaddis on our property. His love of Maine is an inspiration to what we do today.

The state’s rapid rivers called to him, and its lakes whispered stories of the wild. Gaddis, a passionate advocate for the environment, showcased the breathtaking beauty of the Kennebec River and the enchanting mystery of Rainbow Alley. 

His show was a rich blend of local wisdom and the allure of Maine’s landscapes. These segments, running in the 1960s and ‘70s, inspired viewers to explore and fall in love with the wilderness.

Gaddis’s journey continued with “Fishing USA," where he turned his attention to the diverse waters of America. This show highlighted the country’s varied fishing spots, with Maine’s serene locations often taking center stage, boosting tourism and supporting local economies.

In “Fishing USA," Gaddis was a storyteller guiding viewers through incredible places on the map. He shared practical fishing tips with a touch of magic and explored the lives of those fish with a naturalist’s curiosity. His warm, engaging style made viewers feel like fellow adventurers, deepening their love for the sport and underscoring the importance of conservation.

Gaddis’s legacy is a tapestry of daring exploits, masterful storytelling, and an enduring spirit that revolutionized outdoor television. Whether navigating the wild waters of the Amazon or drifting through Maine’s tranquil streams, Gaddis’s life was a vibrant celebration of adventure, creativity, and a deep passion for the great outdoors.