FISHING – Where to go
by S.H. Howard
Almost every day now, several times a day perhaps, some one will lean over the ticket counter and ask [our] agent of the Canadian National Railways System “Say, where is a good place to go fishing? Where can I go to get a mess of speckled trout?”
He will put the question in an eager, confiding manner, taking it for granted that the agent will know . . .
And many of the Canadian National Railways agents are equipped to give authoritative
answers to the questions of the anxious passenger . . .
The glamor of this great new sporting Empire of the North seems to cling to the ticket rack and the timetables of the transcontinental trains. The Agent who likes to answer the fisherman’s questions with helpful information, visualizes the country as he studies the map, and is always curious and alert for information concerning the places represented by the black dots with the fascinating names scattered along the lines. And gradually he accumulates a store of information from railway men, travelers, natives, railroad literature, newspapers, magazines ̶ from here, there and all over.
He writes the name of a station in the North Country on a ticket strip ̶ some place where but a few years ago The Hudson’s Bay Company’s post was the only evidence ‘of civilization within hundreds of miles, He sells the tickets to a man who has perhaps only a week or a fortnight to get in and get out of a region which not so long ago might have required the best part of a summer and the aid of a crew of expert canoemen to penetrate. He pictures this man of to-day, going aboard his parlor car, traveling in civilized comfort into the very heart of the newly opened wilderness, dining a la carte, reading, smoking, chatting, sleeping in luxury compared to the conditions which prevailed in this region but a decade ago ̶ and alighting after a day and a night ̶ perhaps more, perhaps less ̶ in the very heart of the best fishing and hunting grounds of the continent . . .
Of course, everybody has heard of the world-famous Nipigon, and its world-record splendid trout. Nipigon Lodge, the C.N.R. hotel for sportsmen, is convenient to Virgin Falls, probably the best fishing water of the river. Innumerable trout streams entering Lake Nipigon above have yet to be fished save the casual Indian trapper who throws a piece of gill net across a narrow channel once in a while, maybe, to get a few fish for his family and his dogs.
Give the fisherman who asks for advice as to where to go to catch trout a few folders and timetabIes and a little ginger talk about this Northern Ontario oountry, and he’ll pick out the spot to get off at himself. He can hardly go wrong if he goes up there . . .
1 Virgin Falls in 1918. At this point the Nipigon River starts on its journey from Lake Nipigon to Lake Superior. Nipigon Museum The Blog.
2 Record brook trout caught in the Nipigon River in 1936: 25 inches, 6 lb., 11 oz. Edwin Mills/Nipigon Museum.
3 Menu for the farewell dinner of Virgin Falls Hydro employees, on August 28, 1926, on the occasion of the completion of the control dam.
Virgin Celery and Olives
Leoroyds in the Soup
Roast McKirdy’s Chicken
Beans a la Mitchell
I’ll Scream — with Wayfarers
Cheese It Now
Coffee and Mumm
God Save the Poor Fish
John McKirdy/Nipigon Museum.