4449 | Salmon Fishing

Salmon Fishing
John Saunders Climo (1833-1924)
About 1875, 19th century
8.7 x 17.6 cm
Gift of Mary Caroline Ellis Estate
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
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Keys to History

Imperial army officers and government officials brought the British tradition of field sports, such as sport fishing, to New Brunswick. Wealthy anglers from Britain and, increasingly, the United States became established along the salmon rivers of northern New Brunswick. American salmon rivers on the east coast were in decline, victims of pollution and river dams. Beckoned by tourist writers in the United States and, later, Canada, prominent Americans such as New York architect Stanford White took advantage of an improved rail network to leave the crowded northeast in greater numbers in the 1870s and 1880s. The wealthiest formed exclusive sporting clubs, especially on both sides of the Restigouche River, noted for its large salmon and easy access by horse-drawn scows and houseboats.

The fishing camps on the Restigouche River were a rustic parallel to the exclusive clubs in Manhattan. The original camps featured octagonal central lodge rooms where dining and living quarter were located, along with attached bedroom and bath and service wings.

Source : Window on the World: The Rivers of New Brunswick [Web tour], by New Brunswick Museum (see Links)

  • What

    An angler's equipment included a rod and reel and a selection of handcrafted flies to entice the salmon.

  • Where

    The photographer John Saunders Climo (1833-1924) was born in Penzance, Cornwall (England), and died in Saint John, New Brunswick.

  • When

    In 1884 the New Brunswick government enacted legislation which leased choice fishing waters on all ungranted crown land at auction.

  • Who

    Guides used their knowledge of the rivers and fish habits to direct fishers to choice spots along the waterway.