Ten Days' Sport on Salmon Rivers

ONE morning last March I was accosted by my friend, the general, as follows: “ How would you like to go salmon-fishing next June? Sir Hugh Allan has just invited me to bring two friends to his river, the Upsalquitch, in New Brunswick, and I at once thought of you and Haines as the two most likely to appreciate such a chance.”

The unexpectedness of this proposition added to its charm; both Haines and I accepted it joyfully and quickly; and the months intervening were passed largely in anticipating and preparing for our destined sport.

Several delays occurred in getting off, owing to the backwardness of the season and the immense preparations which the general deemed indispensable; but on the 28th of June, having received intelligence that the salmon had commenced ascending the Restigouche River, of which the Upsalquitch is a tributary, we started for Boston on the Sound steamer, with enough impedimenta to supply a modest regiment. For our tent, as we expected to camp out, our military friend had provided one of the kind known as “hospital,” as large as a

small house, and which with its long poles was the terror of all who were obliged to handle it. Boxes of canned fruits, meats, and soups we also had, besides Bermuda onions and other necessities. Onions should never be neglected in a trip of this kind. They cannot be had in Canada in the early summer, and camp-life invests them with a charm which they never have in cities. Our fishing equipment consisted of two split bamboo rods seventeen and one half feet long, two green-heart rods made by Clerk and one made by Conroy, and tackle for trout-fishing which we found not worth the trouble of taking with us. We reached St. John, New Brunswick, by the steamer from Boston, and passing Sunday and Monday there, took the railroad for Point du Chène near Shediae, and thence by the Gulf Port steamer Miramichi, an old blockade-runuer, arrived at Dalhousie on the Bay of Chaleurs after a three days’ voyage. From St. John we had the company of Mr. Nicholson of that place, a very eminent salmon fisher, and the inventor of a most killing fly which will bear his name, with that of Jack Scott, a fellow inventor, to posterity. He was on his way with a friend to the Nippeseguit River, of which he is the lessee, and we derived from him much valuable information as to the conduct we should pursue when we actually reached our theatre of operations.

From Dalhousie we engaged two large wagons to transport us and our luggage to Metapedia, thirty-five miles distant. Our road lay along the borders of the bay and the banks of the Restigouche which forms it. We could see now and then, after reaching the river, a salmon jumping, and the stream was so beautiful that we could hardly resist the impulse to alight and try a cast or two on the way. It was dark when we reached Metapedia, a very small town for its name, but having a fair hotel, built, I think, in anticipation of a much larger patronage than it has received. We found to our joy that the first run of fish was at its height, and going to the cellar saw six noble salmon, killed that day by an English officer, who was stopping at the house, and Mr. Shaw the acting landlord. None of these fish were below twenty pounds, and the heaviest was above twenty-seven pounds. The confluence of the Metapedia River with the Restigouche at this point forms a succession of pools, four, I think, in both rivers; and most of the fish taken here are large, the average weight in 1873 being above twenty-one pounds, in 1874 about nineteen pounds. The salmon that annually ascend the Restigouche River are natives of it and its tributaries, the Metapedia and Upsalquitch, and vary considerably in size and shape. The Metapedia and Restigouche fish are large but easily distinguishable from each other by persons familiar with them. The Metapedia pools seem to be the first resting-place of these fish on their journey from tide-water, about six miles below. The Upsalquitch salmon are smaller, more silvery, and shorter and thicker for their weight than those of the other rivers, and very seldom stop at these pools on their way to their own river, which they find six miles above.

The next day was the 4th of July, very cold, rainy, and windy, with the thermometer at forty degrees. Early in the morning Mr. Mowat, the guardian of the Restigouche and the Upsalquitch, came down to see us. He said the Upsalquitch was, or should be, full of fish, and as we did not want to start for it that day, he gave us permission to fish where we were.

Haines and I, in the utmost trepidation and haste commenced getting ready amid the ill-concealed sneers of the surrounding natives, who regarded our split bamboo rods with distrust and aversion, and predicted misfortune to them should they get hold of large fish. Just as we were setting out our ardor was increased by the appearance of our English captain, followed by his two Indians bearing three large salmon, the result of his early fishing in one pool. He showed us the fly he had used, which had a dark silver - tinseled claret body, with dark turkey wings; and selecting those we had nearest like it, we, with our Indians, sallied forth.

It takes two Indians and one bark canoe to every fisherman. An Indian sits in each end, the fisherman in the middle; the canoe is paddled or poled to the head of a pool, where it is anchored by the man in the stern, he in the bow keeping it steady and straight in the stream with his paddle. As soon as possible after a fish is hooked the canoe is taken to shore; one man remains by it and the other stays by the fisherman to gaff the fish when the time comes.

Haines decided to try the Metapedia pool, and I went to the one below, where the captain had been fishing. Arrived there I found Mr. Shaw in possession, but he said the pool was large enough for both of us, and so, anchoring the canoe, I made my first cast for salmon. The split bamboo worked beautifully, and I found that my long experience with a one-handed rod in trout-fishing was of great service in assisting me to a quick knowledge in casting with both hands. After making one or two casts, Mr. Shaw, who was but a short distance from me, called out that he had a fish, and looking around I saw his rod bent half double, heard his reel whir like a mill, and the next instant saw his fish, fifty yards away, jump six feet out of water. A half hour’s play brought him to gaff, and I resumed my own operations. After a few casts I saw a break in the water below my fly, which Peter, one of my Indians, assured me was caused by a salmon. Giving him, as I had been instructed, about five minutes’ rest (it seemed an hour) after his fruitless exertion, I made another cast, letting my fly go down just above where he rose, and this time he came in earnest.

I saw the boil of the water as he took the fly, the line started slowly from the reel as he turned downward, a foot or so of his broad tail appeared in the air waving a farewell to me, and then, forgetful of all I had been told to do at this point, the instinct of the trout fisher overcame me, and I struck, hard and sharp. The fish, a large one, was going away from me to the bottom of the stream, and the result of my striking as I did was very much as though I had attempted the same thing with my line attached to a runaway horse. My line, with about half my leader, flew back high over my head, and at once realizing and cursing my folly, I put on a new leader and fly and resumed fishing. In half an hour, Shaw having killed another meantime, I had a rise, hooked my fish, and snapped off my fly in exactly the same way I had done before, being unable in my excitement to resist striking as the fish turned. Peter, at this, began talking to André, his fellow Micmac, in their native tongue, and I am sure was indulging in the most unfavorable criticism of my skill, which I cut short by telling them we would return to the house. After they landed me I went up to the Metapedia pool to see what success had attended Haines, and found he had just killed a fish of about twelve pounds, over which he felt very proud of course. Leaving him there I went to the house, where he soon joined me, bringing with his first salmon one of thirty-two pounds, the largest that had been taken on the river that season. He was a magnificent fish in shape and color, and had taken the fly within five yards of the canoe, just as Haines was reeling up his line to go in.

We found the general had improved our absence by arranging for a ton or two more of provisions, and gaining the active friendship, which was afterwards extended to all of us, of John Mitchell, an Irishman of gigantic proportions, a contractor for a portion of the Intercolonial Railway, a sportsman by instinct, and capable of forming in five minutes from first sight the bitterest enmity or most devoted friendship. The general had exercised his fascinations over Mitchell to so much purpose that he proposed to leave his two hundred laborers to their own devices that afternoon, and he would take the general out in his boat, “ none of yer tipsy canoes,” and show him how to kill a salmon. He also assured us we need have no anxiety about getting ourselves and supplies to our camping-ground on the Upsalquitch next day, as he was going to give us a scow, four good horses, and three good men who would see us safely through.

Birch or log canoes can be got up these rapid streams by poling, taking care to keep close to the shore, where the water is shallow and least swift; but of course large loads cannot be carried, and they are taken up on scows drawn by three or four horses, which walk through the water where it is not too deep, and where it is, are taken on board, and the scow poled through until they can get footing again.

In the afternoon, according to agreement, Mitchell took the general to the lower pool; my Indians paddled me to the same spot, while Haines remained at the house to cultivate one of the under guardians of the river, Ferguson by name, who evidently had his doubts concerning our party.

I hooked two fish and snapped off two more flies through my confounded propensity to strike too soon, and fell still further in the esteem of Peter and Andrè. The general, who had never even seen a fly thrown, and who with an exertion which almost made him black in the face could heave out about ten feet of line, was patiently laboring near me, when at last he had a rise, and Mitchell shouted, “ Holy Moses, isn’t them fireworks!” The fish made a double jump out of water, showing his glittering sides, and darted off, making the reel sing and rousing the general to an activity of which I had deemed him incapable. After a manful struggle he landed his fish, and immediately afterwards another one, when, as it was Saturday night and nearly six o’clock, I gave up and started for shore.

One of the fishing regulations of Canada provides that from six P. M. each Saturday until six A. M. the following Monday, all tideway and other nets must be lifted and fishing of every kind stopped on all salmon rivers. The penalty for violating this law is immediate confiscation of the fishing implements of the offending party and a fine besides, all collectible by the river guardian who may bring him to justice. At 6.30 P. M. of this Saturday the general was still belaboring the river, when, instigated by Haines, Ferguson, the guardian, went down the bank of the stream, peremptorily ordered the general ashore, and shortly after appeared at the house bearing his two rods, his gaff, and fly-book. The general came next, looking very crestfallen and despondent. He called us off one side and said, “ Well, boys, that d—d Ferguson has robbed me of my tackle, and I ’m going home to-morrow morning; I’ve done all I came for, killed a salmon, and you can take the things and go on and have a good time.” We endeavored to change his decision, and after a long discussion succeeded, by threatening to accompany him if he insisted on leaving, and the general brought himself down to commencing negotiations with Ferguson for the recovery of his tackle. By a course of flattery and a final appeal to his generosity he succeeded in burrowing it for the trip, with the promise that he would return it when we came back. The general was so elated with this successful issue of his troubles that, in honor of it and of the day, he immediately gave invitations to all the inmates of the hotel to attend an entertainment he proposed giving that evening. It came off as advertised, and was a most brilliant success. Mitchell paid us a delicate compliment by appearing in his choicest attire, which, as is not uncommon, kept him in a silent and depressed state until late in the evening. He finally overcame the untoward influence of dress, and, prefacing them by the assertion that he had as much music in him as any man alive but never could get the right tune, gave us The Harp that once through Tara’s Halls, and Pulling Hard against the Stream, which although at certain parts he accompanied with smiles seemed an exquisitely mournful ditty. Before we parted the general had made a personal friend of every man present, and Metapedia regarded the whole Yankee nation as an ally, known late, but for that reason all the more appreciated.

The next morning, true to his promise, Mitchell had his scow and men ready; plenty of willing hands helped us on with our luggage, and bidding farewell to our friends we started the horses, not however before Mitchell, as a last tender remembrance, had presented us with two bottles of sherry, which he said we might need before returning.

The journey up the river was delightful, though very slow on account of the high water and swift current, and our difficulties were increased when we entered the Upsalquitch, which is a more rapid river than the Restigouche.

It took us all day to get twelve miles, which brought us to the first fall, above which we found we could not get our scow. So there we halted, made camp, and passed the night, among swarms of mosquitoes, midgets, and black flies. Fortunately the last-named always cease operations at dark, though they try to make up for it by beginning very early mornings.

At four A. M. Monday, with Peter and André I started for the second falls about five miles up-stream, thinking that there I surely would kill my maiden salmon. Two hours’ poling brought us there and over the fall, which is more properly a long rapid. The way in which the Indians took the canoe up this was admirable. In some places there were little falls, two or three feet high, straight up which the canoe had to go. This was effected by stopping at the foot of the falls, choosing the spot of ascent, and getting over it by a sudden spurt, in which the greatest skill and quickness with the poles is required. The most trifling slip of the canoe from the direct line of the current is likely to result in an overturn, which would be no joke amongst those sharp rocks and mad waters. At the top of the falls were two beautiful rocky pools, very deep under one bank and shoaling gradually upstream, where the water flowed with a quiet ripple, just the place for salmon to enjoy a rest after ascending the turbulent rapid. From one of these pools Mowat had taken, the season before, eighteen fish as fast as he could land them, but this morning I found none there. This we learned afterwards was owing to their being scared back by the coming downstream of the logs which had been put in the headwaters the winter before.

After faithfully and vainly trying the pools we started for camp, and the excitement of running the rapids almost consoled me for my bad luck. At the camp I found the general reposing after a most exciting and successful conflict with a beautiful salmon of eighteen pounds, the handsomest one I ever saw, and fresh run. The fellow was very different from the Restigouche fish we had seen, being short and broad, and of a brilliancy of silveriness utterly indescribable. He had kept the general busy for three quarters of an hour, and had nearly used him up before giving in. From this fish we made our breakfast, and Haines tasted salmon for the first time since leaving home, having vowed not to eat a mouthful before getting in camp, while the general and I had become thoroughly tired of it, having eaten scarcely anything else since leaving Boston.

After breakfast I summoned Peter and André and asked them if they felt too tired to take me to the pool at the mouth of the Upsalquitch, which, being formed by that river and the Resti-

gouche, we decided was included in our water. Peter called me one side, and, after expressing his willingness to go down, produced a spear head from his pocket and suggested that instead of going then we should wait until night and then go out spearing. Although this appeared to be the only way in which I could get a fish, I declined the proposition and administered a severe rebuke to Peter for suggesting such illegal proceedings. We then embarked, and in less than an hour had gone down the six miles and were at the Upsalquitch pool, which is long and deep, with a fine beach on one side, and terminating in a long stretch of smooth and very swift running water of an average depth of six or seven feet. Half a mile of this brings you to a gradual turn in the river (the Restigouche) where the water deepens for quite a distance without actually forming a pool, with an abrupt bank at least seventy-five feet high on one side, and a good beach on the other. Just as we came to the pool proper we saw a salmon jump, and I drew a happy augury from the sight. Anchoring the canoe at the head of the pool I began casting, having on a small fly with a yellow tail, black body, and mallard wings. I had not to wait long, when with about fifteen yards of line out I had a strike, and summoning all my resolution, kept perfectly quiet until the fish made his first halt at the bottom of the river. Then, giving a sharp but gentle twitch, to my intense joy I felt my first salmon firmly hooked, and my lost manhood partially restored. The fish was very active, but did not seem particularly strong. I soon got ashore, and a few moments later Peter gaffed and held up by the gills a creature which I recognized from descriptions as a “ mended kelt,” that is, a fish which had been very late in spawning the preceding fall, had remained in the river all winter, and on going down to the sea in the spring to recuperate had met some of his kind on their way to fresh water, and turning back had gone with them. My fish was nearly three feet long, but weighed only fourteen pounds and was almost black, with a head disproportionately large. As he was mortally wounded by the gaff we killed him and gave him to some Indians who were passing down the river. This was not the fish we had seen jump, and inspired with fresh confidence I had the canoe anchored a few rods below the first place. Just as André dropped his stone overboard I saw a fish jump about twenty yards down the stream from us, and, commencing on a short cast and gradually lengthening my line, at last reached the spot where he had shown himself. A moment of anxiety as the fly passed right over where I knew the fish must be, and then with a swirl, and showing half his side, he rose and went down, taking the fly with him. So soon as he stopped I struck firmly, and the fish, feeling the steel, started off like lightning diagonally across and down the river, taking out about fifty yards of line with a rapidity which made the reel sing like a buzz-saw and the rod tremble from tip to butt. At the end of this run the fish, partially turning, made his first leap out of water, then dashing across the stream jumped again and sought the bottom for a moment’s rest. This moment I improved in getting to shore; but before I was fairly out of the canoe the fish had started off again, and in spite of my running down the beach after him had gained about fifty feet more of my line, and brought up sulky behind a large stone under the opposite bank. This gave me an opportunity to reel up and collect my scattered senses, but I could not get the fish to do anything more than now and then give a succession of short and vicious tugs at the line, and at last I had to send André over with the canoe to start him out. Leaving the rock with a speed which made my reel hum, he went sailing down-stream steadily, stopping occasionally for an instant to try and rub the hook out against some stone. This trick of a salmon’s, which is often successful, communicates a very peculiar vibration through the line to the rod, which shakes as if it had been sharply tapped with a stick at the butt. The water was good for half a mile further down, so I did not check my fish as sharply as I might, not wanting to throw away a single chance. His runs began to grow shorter and he to yield a little to the pressure exercised to bring him towards the beach. At last I got him up within ten feet of the shore, and told Peter to go down and try to gaff him, getting below the fish, which I should then, by easing on the line, let go down past him tail foremost. Peter was a very poor gaffer, however, and made a motion which the fish saw, and off he went again with seemingly a new supply of strength and game. This time, at the end of his run, he came to the surface of the water and thrashed about, trying to break the line with his tail. It took twenty minutes more to get him in position to be gaffed, and when finally Peter terminated his gallant fight I was quite used up, as much from excitement as exertion, and lay down on the beach by the side of my victim deliciously fatigued and joyful “ ad unguem.”

This fish weighed twenty-three pounds and was the finest in condition and color of any I killed. Peter, who had gaffed him very awkwardly, bragged a good deal of the skill he had displayed, and he and André assumed a much more deferential air towards me than they had hitherto used. Both Indians were remarkable for a stupidity which each fully appreciated in the other; for example, on one occasion when Peter had made several futile attempts to gaff a fish, André, who was standing near me, remarked as though to himself, “Peter dam fool.” Not five minutes later André, despite my remonstrances, allowed the canoe to drop down directly through a part of the pool where we had seen a fish jump, when Peter, turning around to me, said in a whisper, “ Dat André dam fool.” Both, in their rude, untutored way, had approximated to the truth.

Going back to the pool I very soon killed another smaller fish, and as it was getting late in the afternoon started back to the camp with the two salmon in front of me in the canoe, where I could feast my eyes upon them without turning. I found the general and Haines had given up salmon-fishing, not having seen one since I left, and with their light tackle had had a good afternoon with the trout at the mouth of a little brook which flowed into the river. The next day the general went to Metapedia, and in the afternoon sent back a messenger with the welcome news that the lessee of the Restigouche, whom he had met there, had kindly given us permission to fish his river. Accordingly we made a raft to transport our luggage down, and that night pitched our tent on a beautiful bluff at the junction of the Upsalquitch and Restigouche, and just over the pool. Here we were comparatively free from flics, with good fishing all about us and a delightful view up and down both rivers.

Friday evening, Mowat, the indefatigable guardian of the river, stopped to see us on his way down to visit the tideway nets, and left his canoe, a very long and narrow log one, in the still water behind the point of the bluff. Haines and I went down to greet Mowat, and as we complimented him on the beauty of his craft, he asked us to get in it and see how steady it was despite its apparent crankiness. I accepted the invitation, and, having had considerable previous experience of the kind, walked the length of the canoe, rocked it, and reached shore in safety. Haines, a portly man, was seized by a spirit of emulation, and with a little encouragement mounted the canoe, walked to the end of it, returned to the middle, and, animated by his success, commenced rocking it. This brought the performance to an immediate end. Two hundred pounds thrown to one side of that canoe overturned it with great ease and quickness, and the acrobat disappeared beneath the flood. The water was not more than waist deep however, and he floundered ashore bringing with him Mowat’s valise which had shared his misfortune.

This disaster, especially to the valise, was so much greater than I had anticipated that I felt it my duty to condole instead of to rejoice; but as I climbed the bluff the sight of the general, recumbent on an onion box, exhausted with laughter, overcame me, and Haines himself, who, dripping, joined us, added his voice to ours.

Mowat remained to dinner that night, and we accepted an invitation to visit him the next day at his home, Dee Side, three miles up the Restigouche. When we reached Mowat’s, the next morning, we found he had a very comfortable house, beautifully situated near the river, and bearing more evidences of taste and culture inside and out than anything we had seen in the Province. The oldest boy, a lad of eleven or twelve years, was already a good fisherman and could handle a canoe remarkably well for his age. After looking about the premises, and examining the propagating house, whence this season eight hundred thousand salmon fry have been turned into the river, the general and I started out to a pool above the house to try our luck with the fish, Haines going some distance down. Just below this pool was a stretch of smooth and swift water very like that near our camp, except that it was about three quarters of a mile long. Finding nothing in the pool we gradually dropped down into this shallower place, and had no sooner reached there than we each hooked a fish. Mine was soon brought to gaff and weighed fourteen and a half pounds. The general had more trouble with his, but landed him in half an hour, — the second largest fish killed, though not a remarkably strong or active one. He turned the scale at twenty-nine pounds, and the general, covered with glory, immediately retired to Mowat’s house, where he remained the rest of the day, a prey to the liveliest satisfaction.

And now I come to the saddest, as well as the most delightful part of my experience, of which I can’t, even write without emotion, — the contest with my “ big fish,” in which I came out second best.

I hooked him just in front of Mowat’s house; he rose to the same small dark Nicholson fly I had killed the other salmon with. His first rush was not rapid as he started off, but a steady, lasting gait that showed conscious power. As he went on his speed increased, until he had about sixty yards of line out, which I was obliged to give him in order not to take the canoe past the only spot where, for some distance, we could land. When he jumped he showed larger than any fish I have seen, and made me very doubtful of my ability to land him. As soon as I reached the beach I started down and began to reel in, but had only gained a few feet of line when the fish took another rush down-stream, and for a couple of hundred yards kept me going at full speed over a very rough country composed chiefly of driftwood, stumps, and large rocks. When he halted, which he did after jumping twice more, I had about ten yards of line left, and despite my fatigue and bruises (I had fallen flat over a large rock) had to keep on as fast as I could reel up. I had hardly gained half my line when off went the fish again, and I had another footrace which left my reel almost bare. At the conclusion of this burst he jumped again and then began coming towards me. This is an exceedingly dangerous thing for a salmon to do, and if not soon checked certainly results in his breaking loose, as the current makes the line sag down-stream, and it is sure to catch on some of the rocks, which all have their sharp edges pointed in the direction of the current. Fortunately the canoe was some distance above me, and the Indians brought it over the fish and turned him down-stream before he had done any harm. He then took refuge behind a rock and sulked for half an hour, I being perfectly willing to have him do so until I could get my second wind. It took a good deal of stoning and one pike-pole to start him going again, but at last, after as arduous an hour and a half as I ever spent, during which the fish had jumped nine times and fought with unsurpassable resolution and intelligence, he was induced to come within ten yards of me, where I held him, his fins erect and his mouth open, while Peter with many a caution went just below to gaff him. When he got in position I eased up a little on the reel, the fish slid down-stream, Peter made a dash at him out of reach and missed; the salmon made one last effort, parted the frayed gut, rolled over utterly exhausted, and disappeared. Mowat saw him that evening lying by a large stone at the edge of the rapid just moving his fins, and with about a yard of my leader hanging out of his mouth. So severe were the rushes of this fish that I found the brass ring at the end of my rod-tip cut so nearly through by the friction of the line that I was afraid to use it again. I sincerely hope that salmon lived and will populate the Restigouche with his kind, for a nobler and gamer one never swam. Mowat thought he would weigh above forty pounds, the Indians over fifty, and I, at least sixty. I don’t think I had hold of so large a salmon as this again, though the next Monday I lost two leaders with heavy fish I did not see, which started up stream instead of down, as soon as hooked, and could not be checked.

The next day, Sunday, we had company, Mitchell and two gentlemen on their way up the river. In the afternoon one of the visitors got up a canoe race between his and the general’s Indians, the course being about half a mile up the river, around a stake boat, and return, to pole up and paddle down. The prizes were three dollars to the first and two dollars to the second canoe. When they were in position for the word and had received it, they did not start, and on being asked the reason, Jem, the best linguist of the four, replied that they were all good Indians and belonged to the mission, and as it was Sunday they had concluded not to start unless we would make the second prize equal to the first. This proposition being indignantly negatived they fell back upon the original offer, and made a far better race than if they had received the extra dollar.

Our last day’s fishing was Monday, July 13th, when in the morning and from one pool, the Upsalquitch, Haines and I killed eleven salmon and one grilse. By a series of misfortunes we lost between us on that morning twelve fish. They had had a rest over Sunday and were just in the humor to take. For three hours we were neither of us five minutes without being fast to a fish, and not infrequently would get a rise to the first cast. The heaviest I killed weighed twenty-nine pounds, and rose five times before I hooked him; a very unusual thing, as generally after two, or rarely three misses a salmon gives up in disgust and nothing can be done with him. The score of that day’s take from that pool may be interesting, and here it is: 29 pounds, 12 1/2, 10 1/2, 9 1/2, 24, 10, 10, 15 1/2, 15 1/2, 12, 27; and the grilse 3 pounds. Four of these were killed with a fly of my own tying, my first attempt, which shows that the fish were not at all particular as to what they jumped at. The next morning we struck our tent, loaded our canoes and raft, and started homeward. Reaching Metapedia we stopped there to bid our friends farewell, and came near converting the most active one into an enemy by offering to pay Mitchell for a portion of the service he had done us. The general skillfully smothered Mitchell’s wrath by volunteering to let him harness his team and drive him to Dalhousie, thirty-five miles, which satisfied Mitchell completely. Haines and I went to Campbelton — half-way, in our canoes. There we dined, and dismissed and paid off our Indians, with whom we felt really sorry to part. Before we left, however, four of them had converted enough of their money into whisky to make them dead drunk, and the other two were following their example as fast as they could. At Campbelton there is a large salmon canning establishment owned by two Americans, and I think the fish they put up are better, as well as cheaper, than any of the so called fresh salmon which have been several days out of water. The fish there are put up the day they are caught ; many in less than an hour after they are taken from the nets, and the slight boiling they undergo before being sealed in the cans detracts very little from their freshness of taste. Under the wise administration of the Dominion government the salmon fisheries are become quite profitable to it and to the large number of men engaged in them. About five years since a system of protection was inaugurated and rigidly enforced. Fishing during the spawning season was put a stop to, spearing at any time was prohibited, the number and use of nets in the tideways were restricted, and channels were marked out which were to be kept open at all times. Many of the rivers were leased, reserving to those living upon them the right to rod-fishing, and making the lessees see that the regulations were observed. On the Restigouche, where the law has been enforced by John Mowat and his subordinates without fear or favor, the result has been most successful. Four years ago, with more nets at the mouth of the river than there are now, the channel was closed by them so completely that a rod fisherman above was lucky if he killed one or two salmon in a day; and the total take from the nets averaged little over two hundred fish per day. Last year the daily catch during the season averaged, I think, four thousand, certainly over three thousand, and the river was full of fish. Mr. Fleming told me that in one large pool high up the river, where the water was low and every fish could be seen, he made a careful estimate of the salmon, and found there were over three thousand. The other rivers on the Bay of Chaleurs are improving in the same way, and yielding a rich return for the sensible and determined course pursued in their management.

We have many rivers in the Eastern States which with equal care could be made equally productive of this finest of fish. The Connecticut, the Androscoggin , the Penobscot, and others, might at a small cost be filled with salmon, and made to furnish a cheap and abundant supply of food as nutritious, pound for pound, as beef, if our legislators could be brought to force their free-born constituents to the belief that they have not an indefeasible right to net, spear, or poison any fish that ventures into their waters at any season. I suppose the introduction and enforcement of the Canadian fishery regulations here would almost create a revolution, but we can never have salmon without a strict system of protection.

At Dalhousie our trip virtually ended, and until we parted at Albany its pleasures formed the chief topic of our discourse. We concluded that salmon-fishing was far ahead of any sport we knew about, and needed but one improvement to make it perfect; and that in the way in which the fly is taken. In most accounts of salmon-fishing we read about the fly being dropped “ like a snowflake,” or something of the kind, just over the fish, and he darting at it, on the surface of the water, like a large trout. Of all the salmon I saw killed, and in all I heard of from experienced fishermen, not one was known to do this. They always take the fly from two inches to a foot under water, often

their rise cannot be seen at all, and generally the only visible indication is a slight swirl in the water. If a fisherman knows just where a salmon is lying he commences casting above and to the right or left of him, by degrees letting the fly float down towards him under water. I have never seen a salmon rise at a fly the instant it touched water, as trout often do, and consequently so much skill in casting is not necessary, though late in the season, when the water is low and clear, one should be able to put out twenty-five or thirty yards of line.

After a fresh run salmon has taken the fly he disarms all criticism on his previous conduct, and hard to please must be the man who does not consider the sport he then affords ample compensation for any amount of long journeying and hard fare it takes to procure it.

Dean Sage.