Tales From Woodhull Lake: Two Stories A Man Named Lee Spinning
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Tales From Woodhull Lake: Two Stories A Man Named Lee Spinning

A man, myth, and legend all in one. A story about a monster fish and a crazy tubing experience.

Tales From Woodhull Lake: Two Stories A Man Named Lee Spinning
Amanda Simon

Years ago, one of the lake’s most notable people was a man who went by the name of Lee Spinning. Honestly, an entire book about him would be far more interesting than anything I can write, but I think I’ve heard enough stories about him to do his story justice.

Lee Spinning was born in the mountains, lived almost all of his life in the mountains, and died in the mountains. He grew up on this lake year round. He was there for some of the coldest reported days in New York State history. His mother and father had a place on Woodhull and he lived to be there. They certainly did not have very much money as a family. They ate off the land, they canned the meats they took in season, and survived.

One day, when Lee was a young man, he and his sister, Myra, were out fishing in a little row boat in the middle of the lake. Lee lived to fish. He caught some of the biggest lake trout in the lake during his lifetime. When we fish for lake trout on this lake, we usually cruise at a slow speed and drag a line behind the boat with a spoon on the end of it, usually at about 30 feet below the surface. When Lee started fishing, his family couldn’t afford a motor, so they rowed if they decided to fish for lakers.

The two of them were out in deep water and had been out for a long time without so much as a nibble. Lee was pretty upset at this point, after rowing around most of the lake. Lee stops rowing and peers over the side of the boat and sees what appears to be the tail of a fish on one side of the boat. Myra looks over the other side, and sees what she thinks is the head of a fish. Both of them look at each other, smile, and call it quits on fishing for the day. Lee named the fish Big Louie, and ever since, the best young fisherman on the lake can be found chasing after him, hoping someday to hook into the fish of their life.

Another great story about Lee goes back to when my dad was bout my age. He and one of his friends were out on the lake tubing. Now, let me tell y'all something. Tubing back then was much different than these high falootin tubes with wings and shock absorbing float chambers for eight or more people. No, they took an inner tube from a tractor and tied a rope around it. That was it.

Well the two of them were out doing laps in front of Lee's place one day when he flagged them down. Lee was an old fashioned curmudgeon who thought boats should be used for fishing and transportation. Any excess use of boats was a waste of gas and a waste of time.

Lee went out on his dock and flagged the two of them down and they quit tubing and puttered into his dock. He told them he wanted to try tubing. They were all for it, thinking, ah, yeah, we'll be able to throw him all around the lake. When they told him to get in the water, Lee said he'd rather do a dock start. My dad and his friend were fine with it, so they puttered out just a little bit and Lee gave them a thumbs up. So my dad hit it and Lee threw the tube around one of the corner posts of his dock.

Lee thought that it would rip the transom off the back of the boat. What actually happened was the boat pulled the dock with Lee on it out into the middle of the lake. Lee was furious. Dad and his friend almost peed their pants laughing. Quite a change of events.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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