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.
We secured two others in the afternoon, each of us losing one, after being fast some time. But the only really exciting sport was with the last one that S. hooked. It was nearly dusk, and we had landed from our boats. Lew and I were seated on the bank, when S. said, " I'm going to try a Jenny Lind a very bright fellow ;•" so we noticed he had thrown out his fly standing on the shore, not supposing for a minute he would start a fish, when he shouted, " By Jove! I've got one! Come quick I He's started down the stream." At such a command as that we were soon into my boat, and following him.
We had started from opposite the mill, but found it was so dark that we could not see to gaff him from the boat. It was therefore decided he must be worked into water so shallow, he would have to flounce, and thereby direct us to him. So when he struck a deep pool, we let him rest, and all landed on the mill side, where the water was quite shoal some little distance off the shore. S. with his rod marched up the bank straight away from the shore, thus leading the fish, and forcing him to run himself into the shallow. Lew and I were standing with gaffs, waiting for the splash, for by this time the line was invisible. Very soon, directly in front of Lew, came the looked-for flounce and splash. He made a jump with his gaff, but missed at the first attempt, only striking the side of the fish. He soon made a second thrust, and got him into the boat. This was later in the day than I ever knew a fish caught with a fly. He was 17 lbs. This was the best single day's sport known on this river. Some seasons my companion and I have fished from Monday morning until Saturday evening, only capturing as many as we did that afternoon.
Hitherto the sport has been of one kind only. I propose varying it in this narrative, by introducing scenes of an exciting character, in which larger game than the ordinary salmon enter.
During the month of May, with two young companions, sturdy fellows, we were found fishing on this La Have pool recently described. We had occupied the boats unmolested, and with the consent of Messrs. Davison, who controlled them for two days, having had more than ordinarily good luck. One Wednesday afternoon I walked with a lady friend to the mill, hoping to see the boys capture a fish. While there, F. was in the boat on the upper pool with old Lew the Indian, and I was to use the lower one with Tom the Indian. My lady companion and I sat on a lumber pile near a pool, and just opposite F.'s boat, when up came a fish in the pool close by. My rod was at Lew's house near by, so I got it, and began fishing from the end of a pile, which brought me within easy reach of the pool. After making a few casts with a Black Doctor, up came the fish. I gave him the fly for an instant, then drew it, and he was fast. He proved a wild fellow, and sailed out into the strong current, jumping and running; hut it was not long before he was back into the pool. My lady friend had become greatly excited over the sport, and watched every movement. I knew, unless some help came, she would have to take the rod, while I gaffed the fish. He had become helpless, so I ranged him near the breastwork, where he could be reached with the gaff, then handed her the rod, leaned down, and brought the fellow out, 8J lbs. She was more delighted with her part in it than seeing a dozen caught. While I was playing my fish, F. had one on for some time, but lost him.
We were admiring our catch and rehearsing the different scenes in his capture, still holding the rod, when we were approached by a tall, rather powerful-looking man, accompanied by two ladies. I bade them good afternoon, when he accosted me, " We fishermen who come from a distance think you local fellows ought to stay at home, and let us have the ground." "Indeed; that's strange logic," said I. "Are you a fisherman?"
"Yaas. I'm Captain C--1 from Haalifax." "Ah! indeed. Well, those young men in the boats have come 75 miles further away, and have been here two days ahead of you. It is not likely they will make way for you at your demand, and I am sure I am not going to do so. But see here, sir, why do you come here at this particular season ? " " To fish for salmon." " I thought so. Why don't you come in March ? " " Oh, there are no salmon then, and it is too cold." " Exactly so. According to your idea, I infer you think it is great sport for local fishermen to stand on these banks in March and thresh the water, that they may give place to such men as you whenever, in the fishing season, you may choose to come on the scene and order them home? Oh no, my dear sir, you have made a great mistake in thinking sportsmen in this country are made that way. At any rate, this one is not. When a gentleman, however, comes where I am fishing, it is a very great pleasure to give place to him, and a still greater one to see him hook a fish and land him." Out of supreme contempt for this "fellah," I continued fishing, not to catch a fish, but to hold my ground. After making a few casts, I reeled up the line, and gave my place to him, then moved off some distance with my lady friend, to watch his style of fishing. The ladies with him we discovered later were his wife and sister-in-law English ladies.
When he began casting, they sat down a few yards from him, on the lumber-pile, and were intently watching him, not supposing, of course, he would try his skill on anything but a "sarmon." His style of fishing was most amusing, reminding me of old country-women driving their horses with little jerks a kind of "get up and get" motion. His second cast was so ridiculous and different from anything seen by me that I was in the midst of a hearty laugh, when my attention was attracted by a most alarming screech, followed by a great commotion on the lumber-pile, which caused me to hasten there, and to find his fly fast into a strange fish nothing less than his wife. This wonderful "fellah," who was going to show local fishermen how to do it, was showing his skill by fastening a fly into the back of ' his wife's neck. Fortunately, it hooked just inside the skin, so we were able to remove it without assistance. This act closed scene number one.