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Lifelines: Canada's East Coast Fisheries

The Lure of the River
Sport Fishing in New Brunswick
Early Tourists - The Imperial Presence
The Lure of the River: Sport Fishing in New Brunswick


Imperial Army officers and government officials bring the British tradition of field sports to New Brunswick.

While there is a print of British Army officers dropping fishing lines at the entrance to the St. John River in the 1750s, the real advance of interest in the rod and gun sports developed in the second quarter of the nineteenth century. The growth of river steamer routes and the road network gave better access to the northern part of New Brunswick and the rich grounds of moose and Atlantic Salmon. Officers and gentlemen followed and wrote about their experiences in widely read tales of adventure.

The Devil's Half Acre - 
New Brunswick Museum

The Devil's Half Acre (detail),
from a watercolour attributed to Captain John H. Bland, 76th Regiment (Duke of Wellington's) early 1850s. The location is the Restigouche River and the inscription reads "...Eight salmon in one afternoon at This stand".
(New Brunswick Museum, Webster Canadiana Collection, W6326)

The last British garrisons left Saint John, Fredericton and other stations in New Brunswick following Confederation in 1867. They did so reluctantly for the province was a favourite posting on their world tour of duty, free of tropical diseases, if not mosquitoes!

Officer and two guides - 
Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

Officer of the 22nd Regiment and two guides in a wooden dugout on the Miramichi (detail), 1867
(Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, P42/54)

Crank fly wheel - 
The American Museum of Fly Fishing

Crank fly wheel,
brass and ivory, Chevalier, Bowness & Son, London, about 1860
(The American Museum of Fly Fishing, Manchester, Vermont, 86.28.155)



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