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Lifelines: Canada's East Coast Fisheries

The Lure of the River
Sport Fishing in New Brunswick
Tourists in Their Own Province
The Lure of the River: Sport Fishing in New Brunswick


A rising New Brunswick middle class takes to the river, lake and forest on summer vacations and weekends.

During the third quarter of the nineteenth century a new class of homegrown fishing enthusiasts began to travel to nearby lakes or faraway rivers to spend some of their hard earned leisure time. Lawyers, doctors and civic officials took horse and wagon, ferries, steamboats and, from the 1860s, the railway to their destinations.

The Shamrock - 
New Brunswick Museum

"The Shamrock",
locomotive no. 4 for the New Brunswick and Canada Railway, about 1870, from a tintype
(New Brunswick Museum, 10560)

More remote locations still demanded the birchbark canoe and the portage, often welcomed by a hardy brand of tourist enjoying the beauties of their home province. One index of the growth of this in-province tourism lies with the advent of a New Brunswick fishing tackle industry represented by such makers as Dingee Scribner, Joseph Dalzell and Charles Baillie, all of Saint John.

Fisherman and guide - 
New Brunswick Museum

Fisherman and guide on the Nepisiquit River (detail),
about 1875, from a stereograph. A Saint John businessman, John Nicholson, held a sizeable lease on this river at the time.
(New Brunswick Museum, 4449)

Three piece salmon rod - 
The American Museum of Fly Fishing

Three piece salmon rod,
greenheart wood, inscribed "D. Scribner" on butt, trade-mark on wood holder, "D. Scribner & Son, Makers, St. John, N.B", with linen bag
Photo: Steven Darby
(The American Museum of Fly Fishing, Manchester, Vermont, 67-4.1)




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