Volume One of a magnificent two-volume history of the legendary salmon river, replete with tales of remarkable fish—and remarkable personalities
Originating in two rocky torrents in the Shick-Shock Mountains, the Grand Cascapedia River cuts across the forested wilderness of Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula and empties into Chaleur Bay. Just as exceptional as the river’s natural beauty are the giant salmon that return there each summer to spawn. Known to the local Micmac Indians from time immemorial, these outsize fish have attracted wealthy and well-connected sportsmen—including captains of industry and U.S. presidents—since the mid-nineteenth century. Now, in these exhaustively researched and superbly written volumes, veteran angler Hoagy B. Carmichael reveals the eventful history of this most exclusive salmon river.
The first volume of The Grand Cascapedia River recounts the discovery of the river’s salmon by adventurous outdoorsmen in the 1840s; the assignment of fishing rights on the river to successive Governors General of Canada, as a curious perk of office; and—in a fascinating encounter between the Gilded Age and the northern wilds—the subsequent purchase of those rights by a small group of American millionaires, the “Old Club.”
The second volume begins with the dissolution of the Old Club in the depths of the Great Depression and traces the development of the private camps, each with its own character and lore, that are found along the river today. It also explores the management of the river’s natural resources and the present-day division of fishing rights between the camps, the Micmacs, and the public.
Both volumes are illustrated with hundreds of rare archival photographs, as well as original maps and drawings. The Grand Cascapedia River represents an important contribution not only to the annals of sport, but also to social history and wildlife conservation and management.