Friday, 8 May 2015

Fishing on the Nepigon 1863 , 1886, 1888


Fishing stories appear just about anywhere.  In 1978 ” Buzz” Lein found one in “Lakehead Living”, a Thunder Bay Magazine, and clipped it out for his files.

Written as a “Flashback” article by Patricia Forrest .

“ With spring upon us, there is noted throughout the land the miracle of metamorphosis, which changes men and women from armchair athletes to rugged outdoorspeople, seeking the primal thrill of outwitting those elusive creatures who dwell in the realm of Neptune.  In other words, fishing season is here.”

“ As fishermen and women ready their gear, I couldn’t help but wonder what the sport was like in years past.  Though the occasional fish I manage to pull in runs me somewhere in the neighbourhood of $50 per pound, I had a hunch that the pioneer sportsman of the area did somewhat better than I.”

“The following article was taken from the “Port Arthur Illustrated” which is dated May, 1889:

“Judge John M. Hamilton, then living in Sault Ste. Marie, was the first fly fisher in the Nepigon, having taken a Mackinac boat direct from the “Soo” to the present Camp Alexander, arriving there June 22nd, 1863.  With him were Messers. Alexander of St. Louis, and Capt. Dodds, of Indianapolis, their guide being a half-breed named Kenosh or Etienne Jolyneux.  The Judge discovered the pool named after him, and the party  were astounded at the fishing, the trout plainly seen swimming and jumping – in fact the guide became frightened thereat, thinking the place enchanted as he had never seen so many fish before. The weight of single trout on this stream is heavier than any other known.  One party in the last of August, 1888, had fish 5,6,7.5, 10 and 12 pounds, and Mr. Leronde of Nepigon House, has taken them up to 17 pounds and down to five each. One writer says fishing in the Nepigon is wearisome from its success, and the weight of catch is startling to anglers accustomed to the fingerlings of elsewhere. This book is kept by Hudson’s Bay Co.’s factor there, and was begun in 1874, the first name being W. M. Cameron, Cincinnati, July 2.  Since then over 1,300 visitors have enrolled thereon, the yearly average being about 75, last year being the largest with some 160.  In 1880, a record of the number and weights of the trout caught was begun, and a couple of entries we give.  July 10th to 23rd, 1886, L.H.Clark of Palmerston,  W.D. Mathews of Toronto, Canada, and two others caught 243 trout, including 1 of 7.5 pounds . 2 of 7, 10 of 6, 16 of 5, 26 of 4, and 64 of 3 pounds each.  From July 19th up to August 20th of 1886, F.H. Birds, George A. Gates, of New York, and two others caught 950 pounds of trout, and in one day, August 16, caught 102 pounds.”
“Some fish story!  But I wonder… this year, mightn’t I have just a little of the “wearisome success”

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