Abandoned Fishing Camp
This past week, we anglers were released from our Stay the Blazes Home regime, and allowed to go fishing. The rules were to still stay “local”, so I simply went for a short drive just up the road from me here in Port Maitland, and then a longer walk along a small stream that empties out of a pretty good sized lake. The water is still quite cold, so I didn’t do much in the way of actually capturing any fish on my fly rod, although I did raise one nice one nearby to this spot.
So, with the fishing being slow, I took out my camera and decided to make some images of a day gone by. My fist real fly fishing experience was a 5 mile walk with my Dad and my Brother and a Guide when I was about 12. We went in to the Guide’s camp, and fished a nearby stream. The camp was spartan and not very attractive, but the fishing was superb. That’s the way it was in the 1960’s in Nova Scotia. Fishing camps abounded, and a good friend’s family had many scattered throughout what is now the Tobeatic Wilderness Reserve. I actually helped another friend build his fishing camp in that same general area (don’t laugh, he was a good carpentry teacher).
I’ve spent a lot of time in fishing camps, some very “rough” and some quite luxurious. In Scotland we stayed at an old fishing lodge, and boy, that was both a treat and far, far on the other end from a Guide’s camp on a remote Nova Scotia, Quebec or Newfoundland river!
Unfortunately, these more basic types of facilities are becoming rarer. With four wheel ATVs and so on being ubiquitous, people don’t need to stay in the woods any more to get good fishing – they simply drive right to the river and then back out. It’s too bad, as a good trout or salmon camp is something special.
As I watched the river running past this old camp, the beaver choppings almost but not quite blocking the flow, I thought of all the fun that probably had been had here. The gorgeous old fireplace and chimney, the setting on the edge of a lake right where the stream exits, the sounds of the beavers and the loons.
And so, because the Province also allowed folks to go to their cottages and camps, Norma and I drove in to the family cottage recently as well.
The geese came to greet us and the pair of bald eagles were circling around readying their nest in the large pine on the point.
Fishing camps are special places, indeed.