By Rob Potter
WURTSBORO November 22, 2005 In the 30-plus years he has been collecting fishing lures, tackle and accessories, Pat Salimeno has amassed quite a collection.
The Wurtsboro resident owns scores of lures of all shapes and sizes, a variety of rods and reels, dozens of books about fishing and several colorful prints of fish and/or anglers. He also has many flies that were tyed by legendary fly tyers such as Floyd Franke and the late Poul Jorgensen.
A love of fishing was something Salimeno developed as a young boy.
When I was growing up there was no football for me and no baseball for me, I just was interested in fishing. I loved to go fishing.
His affection for collecting fishing equipment began as a young adult. The first item in Salimenos collection was an Orvis rod which his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Kenneth and Helen Lowe, gave to him more than three decades ago.
Salimeno knows that certain items in his vast collection are worth more than others. But earlier this month, he found out how extremely rare and valuable one of his lures is.
While looking through a catalog for Lanes Sporting Collection, Inc. in Boxborough, Mass., Salimeno saw a lure that looked very similar to one that he owns. The lure pictured in the catalog was called the Chautauqua Minnow. The accompanying description stated it was a weedless trolling hook which was manufactured by Anderson & Company in Jamestown, NY.
The Chautauqua Minnow was patented by Krantz and Smith of Jamestown in August 1909.
The Lang catalog further described the lure as exceedingly rare and noted that there are only 3 known examples.
Salimeno recently found out that a Chautauqua Minnow was sold at the Lang Auction that was held in Boxborough on November 4 and 5. The winning bid was more than $35,000.
So, Salimeno began to examine his lure more closely. He believes that it is an earlier model of the Chautauqua Minnow and that it was made in the late 1800s.
He noted that the newer model has painted eyes. The model Salimeno has is gray and the body is made of bronze.
Salimeno recalled that he obtained the prized lure about 10 or 15 years ago while helping his wife, Joyce, with a benefit auction at what was then known as Community General Hospital. Joyce Salimeno has been the president of the board of trustees for the hospital, which officially became Catskill Regional Medical Center a couple of years ago, for the past several years.
Pat said that he was helping the auctioneer when his friend Hank Panchyshyn, who was also helping out at the auction, came up to him and mentioned that a gentleman at the door had a unique lure and he thought that Salimeno might be interested in purchasing it. Because he was so involved with the auction, Salimeno suggested that the stranger give him a call at home sometime.
The next afternoon, Pat was mowing the lawn when Joyce came out of the house and told him that a man was on the phone. Sure enough, it was the man with the Chatauqua Minnow and he still wanted to sell it.
The following day, which was a Monday, the two men met and Salimeno decided to purchase the special lure.
Now that he knows how rare the lure is, an obvious question is, Will he sell the lure?
His answer is quick and clear.
No, Salimeno said when asked the question on a recent day.
He also has no plans to stop collecting fishing equipment and memorabilia.
Its a nice hobby, he said. You never know what you are going to find out there.