This section is from the book "Moose-Hunting Salmon-Fishing And Other Sketches Of Sport Being The Record Of Personal Experiences Of Hunting Wild Game In Canada", by T. R. Pattillo. Also available from Amazon: Moose-Hunting, Salmon-Fishing and Other Sketches of Sport: Being the Record of Personal Experiences of Hunting Wild Game in Canada.
This portion of the river has always been the sportsman's choicest ground, not only for salmon, but for its superior trouting on the main river at the foot of the Rocky Falls, and on Murray's Brook, which empties into the river at the head of Salmon.
Our ground was reached at 7.30 the next morning, and we went at once for the morning's fishing, S. and Peter locating at the head of Salmon, while Sol and I anchored at the head of Deep Pool, some 200 yards above Rocky. I started with a Durham, and had not made many casts when I saw the wave of a fish, but could not move him again, although trying Butcher, Yellow and Silver Doctor, Certain Death, Prairie Dog, and Yellow-leg. Then we went to the head of Rocky Falls well named, as it was a long, very rough sheet of water, that no boat ever attempts to run, but is only overcome by dropping it down near the shore with ropes. The head of it was divided into two smooth runs by a big rock just about the centre. We anchored above the western run, and with a Grey Doctor made a cast without any response. The next throw my fly went nearer the shore, in the shadow of a maple tree. The fly stops: the line draws. I straightened up the rod, and he was fast, hooked under water. "Look out, old man," said Sol, " that he don't take down the Falls! Keep a good strain on him, for most likely he'll try to. I'll work the boat up into smoother and deeper water, so as to have a better chance."
By his actions I was convinced he was not well hooked, and would have to be carefully handled. Sol had scarcely changed the position of the boat, when he started to run the Falls, and I knew he was lost unless he could be checked immediately, so I decided to settle the matter there and then by putting the brake on my reel, and made it so difficult to draw out, while it gave a little, that he stopped running and faced the stream, which at that spot was very swift.
I began to wind up, and gradually got him coming towards the head of the pool. If I could get him a few yards further, there would be some prospect of saving him. Soon he began to shake his head usually an ominous sign when, very unexpectedly, he started with a rush up the stream, and stopped opposite the boat. We changed our position, and soon he moved up further, but I worked him towards the boat, and found he was weakening, so brought him to the surface and dropped him towards Sol, who soon lifted him into her, saved as if by chance, for no sooner did he touch the boat than he unhooked, the hole had torn so large.
Sol was so delighted at our success that he kicked up his heels and shouted. Then we shifted over to fish the eastern run, so with the same fly I made a cast, and instantly a fine trout took it. As he was a trout only, I handled him carelessly, and lost him within a foot of the boat. It was not long before I was fast to another, which we saved. Then another, the largest I ever caught or saw in any river 3½ lbs. What a beauty I I thought at first it was a grisle, as he fought so hard. Here my morning's sport ended, and we started for the camping-ground. Before we reached it, we came to S. and Peter, anchored below Little Salmon (which Falls can be run without risk) at the head of a deep pool, and by the position of his rod I concluded he must have a fish. As we approached him he accosted me, " Pat, come and gaff this salmon for me. He is a big fellow, and so slightly hooked I dare not attempt to draw him to the boat." So we pushed out until we were right over him, when Sol cautiously put down the gaff below him, and soon he was coming up and into our boat. He weighed 16½ ,lbs. a very pretty fish. The hook had the merest hold of him, and it is a wonder to us all that it held him. He had him over half an hour.
We then went for the camp gear, which was removed to an island between Little Salmon and Deep Gove, and erected it there a most beautiful place, away from the gaze of strangers. At our first meal here we feasted on trout, which Sol knew how to cook to tempt the appetite. At three o'clock we resumed fishing, but found none until nearly sundown, when I put on the most unattractive fly and the least likely one in my book to start a fish. The fact was. I had become disgusted, after having tried at least twenty flies, any one of which I thought would start them; but as soon as this one went over the water I had been threshing so long, up came a fellow, fairly rolling out of the water. I gave him the fly for an instant, then drew it, and he was fast.
He was a lively fellow, and gave me great sport, racing and jumping, but he was soon in the boat a 9½-lb. fish. After this, we moved to the head of the run, where the trout were caught. At the second cast a fish came which I knew was more than a trout, so, after giving him a rest, I fished over him again, and then he came as if meaning business, so, as we were both that way inclined, we hitched together, and there was a hustle. No single cast this time. He was determined not to come up the stream, and I was disposed to make him. He was well at the head of the pool when hooked, so Sol hauled the boat up into deeper and less swift water, and I reeled him. When he jumped, we saw he was well fastened, consequently I used him more roughly than usual; kept shortening him in until nearly up to the boat, when he made a run and a jump, and up the river he went, much above the boat, and there was danger of his crossing the bow and under the mooring which he did. I passed the rod to Sol, who, quick as a flash, passed it under water between the mooring and the boat, and when he straightened it, the lino was clear with the fish still fast. It was an anxious moment, and by just such a trick has many a fisherman been disappointed of his game. By this time he was wavering, showing his sides as he was being reeled towards the boat. We had changed positions for the final action, and when he was raised nearly to the surface Sol had hold of him and into the boat.