The Good Old Days were days when salmon were plentiful and anglers were allowed to retain large fish. Each summer, rivers like the Lower Humber gave up many double figure salmon that tested both equipment and angler to the hilt. Hooking a 40 lb silver beauty fresh in from the ocean and in the Humber’s strong current was indeed an exhilerating challenge.
Many other Newfoundland rivers have large fish as well, but grilse make up the predominant run. Here we show you some of the memories, retained in photos.
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Guide Neddy Brake walks ashore with W.J. Lundrigan of Corner Brook after a long battle with this 25 lb bullet taken at Steady Brook Shoals, not far from the town of Corner Brook.
“WJ” as he was known to almost everyone, was a successful businessman whose favourite past-time was salmon angling. He passed on this love of the outdoors to sons Art, Bill, Tom, Harold and Max.
Arthur “Art” Barnes fished the Lower Humber until he was 90! Born in Trout River on Newfoundland’s west coast, Art probably hooked more large salmon on this river than anyone we know of. Up early in the morning at daybreak, with his ever present pipe, Art would head for his favorite haunts – Little Rapids, Stag Island, Leddingham’s Shoals, and the base of Big Rapids.
What was amazing is that he fished mostly on his own and even in the later years, after hooking a large fish, would play it and handle the boat until it was landed on shore. No easy task, even for a young man.
He shared his knowledge with others, but, despite imparting it, he remained unchallenged as “King of the Lower Humber”
This photo shows former Bowater Mill manager Ben Pride with a dandy fish taken at Serpentine River. The Paper company owned a lodge there for many years and entertained sportsmen from all over the world.
Today, the Serpentine maintains its beauty but the run of fish, while still good, is no where near the level it once was. Poaching plays a big role in this. The main thing is we ARE seeing an improvement, however slow it is. The river is also well known for its run of large sea-run Brook trout and, of course, spectacular unspoiled scenery.
Arthur Barnes with a Lower Humber beauty!
A fine day on the river!
This is a picture of some fisherman on the Harry’s River, close to the Dhoon Lodge. Note the fishing apparel and their wardrobes, no fishing vests.
The late Alec Leddingham poses with a large salmon, which is probably the largest ever taken on the Lower Humber. We believe the weight is well over 40 lbs. Can anyone give us details?
Early 1930’s, an American sportsman Mr. Kerrigan with guide Alex Doucette at Afton Farm.
35 lb Salmon caught by Mr. Grey, with guide John Doucette on the right
Enroute to Little River Lake – an American lady angler with Jim MacIsaac (guide) in front and James Tompkins in the rear.
The late Rocky Schulstad with a very large Serpentine River Salmon, taken over 20 years ago.
James Tompkins with a 25 lb. Salmon.
An article signifying the end of the Atlantic Salmon commercial fishery.
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