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Page 1<br />

<strong>SMRA</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> <strong>Online</strong> / spring <strong>2018</strong><br />

St. Mary’s River Association

Page 2<br />


The St. Mary’s River Association is a charitable,<br />

non-profit organization providing leadership<br />

and engaging partners to enhance,<br />

protect and promote the St. Mary’s River<br />

as a healthy ecosystem for Atlantic<br />

salmon and other native animals and<br />

plant species as well as a rich community<br />

resource.<br />

Greetings!<br />

I’m Mac the Snap,<br />

Caretaker of Silver’s Pool<br />

& your guide as you enjoy<br />

<strong>SMRA</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> <strong>Online</strong>.<br />

Our vision:<br />

“Health for the river, the<br />

Atlantic salmon and our<br />

community.”<br />

<strong>SMRA</strong> News is published by the<br />

St. Mary’s River Association as a<br />

service to our members.<br />

The opinions expressed are<br />

those of the authors and do not<br />

necessarily reflect the policy of<br />

the St. Mary's River Association,<br />

the editor or the publisher.<br />

Memberships, suggestions and<br />

comments are welcome.<br />

How about starting with a<br />

tour of the St. Mary’s River?<br />

Website:<br />

https://www.stmarysriverassociation.com/<br />

Facebook: St. Mary’s River Association<br />

Address all correspondence to:<br />

St. Mary’s River Association<br />

PO Box 179 Sherbrooke, NS Canada<br />

B0J 3C0 or by e-mail at<br />

stmarysriver@ns.sympatico.ca<br />

Our tour is called Paddler’s Paradise.<br />

Along the way you’ll experience the<br />

river as it is today & as it was many<br />

years ago when I was hatched.<br />

Just click the link below.<br />

https://www.stmarysriverassociation.com/paddlers-trail-virtual-tour.html<br />

Registered Charity # 89145 0975 RR0001<br />

Cover photo of MacKeen’s Pool by Deirdre<br />

Green.<br />

Publishing, design, layout, editing and advertising<br />

by: St. Mary’s River Association’s<br />

Information Technology Committee.

Page 3<br />


Welcome to our first issue of <strong>SMRA</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> <strong>Online</strong>.<br />

In addition to the material presented in paper<br />

version we add much more & use modern technology<br />

to improve the reader experience.<br />

All in glorious living colour!<br />

Other benefits are:<br />

• No printing cost - a saving that can be<br />

directed toward river projects<br />

• Improved accessability for disabled - Most<br />

computers & mobile internet devices can enable<br />

spoken text<br />

• More media options - Our online newsletter<br />

can feature videos & sound<br />

• Website links - We can link to our website or<br />

other Internet websites, just a click away<br />

• Advertising income - Improved circulation attracts<br />

more advertising $<br />

• Enables PDF downloads of the newsletter to<br />

mobile smartphones and tablets so that you can<br />

enjoy reading or sharing it in the wilderness<br />

• Paperless saves trees - Demonstrates<br />

<strong>SMRA</strong>’s commitment to environmental<br />

stewardship<br />

The paper <strong>SMRA</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> is still B&W. That’s because<br />

commercial colour printing using modern laser technology<br />

still costs 3-4 times more than B&W. Laser<br />

printing was invented by Xerox in the 1970’s. One<br />

would think that by now the technology would be mature<br />

& cheap. Maybe the reason is that those R & D<br />

dollars just can’t be justified on obsolete technology.<br />

our Rock Island Pool, West Branch St. Mary’s.<br />

We introduce you to Mac the Snap, the old snapping<br />

turtle of Silver’s Pool. I hereby nominate Mac as<br />

<strong>SMRA</strong>’s official mascot, should we decide to appoint<br />

one.<br />

Today we are seeing considerable evidence pointing<br />

to bad forestry practices as the main factor causing<br />

extensive degradation of the St. Mary’s River’s habitat.<br />

<strong>SMRA</strong> is repairing damage from past industry sins as<br />

Atlantic salmon face new challenges like global<br />

warming & aquaculture issues.<br />

See our Habitat Committee update herein for a<br />

progress report. Other committee reports are here as<br />

well and, of course, our Presidents message.<br />

We humans are the source of most environmental<br />

degradation. We are a huge worldwide threat made up<br />

of over 7.5 billion individuals. Each of us bears a<br />

responsibility to minimize our own individual impact on<br />

the planet we love & depend on for the future of life on<br />

earth.<br />

Many of us understand this and are doing our best to<br />

leave things as we found them, or even better. Many<br />

don’t. That’s the problem.<br />

I hope that most of our members accept their<br />

environmentally responsibility and encourage others to<br />

do likewise.<br />

One tiny sacrifice we members could make would be<br />

to do without a paper version of this newsletter. In my<br />

opinion its scope is limited & its time has passed.<br />

Instead we could hand out a 1 page colour glossy<br />

brochure that refers readers to <strong>SMRA</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> <strong>Online</strong>.<br />

It’s better & it’s the future, save a tree, please!<br />

Bill Carpan, Stillwater NS, <strong>2018</strong><br />

I hope you try our Paddler’s Paradise river tour. It<br />

shows a new way that technology can help make our<br />

outdoor experiences more interesting & enjoyable.<br />

We also invite stories & pictures that you might<br />

contribute to make the river tour more complete, like<br />

Paul Tuttle’s article herein about the Tuttle camp at

Presidents Report<br />

by: Scott Beaver<br />

Good day to you my friends of the St. Mary’s River.<br />

The 2017 year is now in the rear view mirror, and I<br />

would like to chat about our accomplishments.<br />

Our Stock Enhancement Committee is responsible for<br />

the release of 60,000 salmon fry and 21,000 sea trout<br />

fry during the spring of 2017. This committee captures<br />

the fish, holds them until pick up or delivery to a NS<br />

Fisheries fish hatchery in the province, and then<br />

release the offspring back to our river. They deserve<br />

a lot of credit for the work they are doing. Looking to<br />

the future, much of the committee’s efforts will be<br />

focussed on a more stable, longer term kelt rejuvenation<br />

program and continued sea trout enhancement<br />

efforts.<br />

Our Habitat Enhancement Committee has reached a<br />

mile stone of $1,000,000 of habitat work! All I can say<br />

here is “if you build it they will come”. We have<br />

already observed an increase in the number of<br />

salmon redds in the restored sections of the river.<br />

Coupled with work done in stocking, this is a trail<br />

blazer to salmon recovery. Thank you everyone<br />

involved in this wonderful project.<br />

2017 was our Paddlers Paradise Committee’s first<br />

year with a visual presence on the river. At the roadside,<br />

you may have noticed our Paddlers Access<br />

signage. These signs help<br />

visitors who come to the<br />

area, looking for a day of activity<br />

on the river. We have<br />

heard a lot of great feedback<br />

from them. A very popular<br />

fall paddling event brought<br />

out paddlers in droves. Keep<br />

your eye open for a similar<br />

paddling event for fall <strong>2018</strong>.<br />

Page 4<br />

The <strong>2018</strong> season brings on<br />

considerable change for us<br />

here at the <strong>SMRA</strong> Interpretive<br />

center and how we do<br />

business! Joanne Mailman,<br />

our manager of 17 years has<br />

retired. Her tireless efforts<br />

will be a great loss to our organization<br />

and we will miss<br />

her. I would like to extend<br />

our gratitude and thanks to<br />

Joanne for her many years of<br />

dedication towards all aspects<br />

of <strong>SMRA</strong> business and wish her a wonderful<br />

and fulfilling retirement. Thanks Joanne but please<br />

don’t be a stranger!<br />

I would like to remind folks that although we have<br />

been busy there is still much to do regarding salmon<br />

recovery. In the future we will be looking towards a<br />

West branch pH program as well as investigating access<br />

issue projects. We have an extensive report on<br />

problem culverts and other access issues currently<br />

ready for an action plan. As you can well imagine our<br />

volunteers are stretched to the limit, we are always<br />

looking to boost our membership, our volunteer base<br />

and our funding sources. I would encourage you to<br />

visit our website and renew your membership or just<br />

drop in at our Interpretive Center and see how you<br />

can help.<br />

Another important concern to us is an alternate and<br />

accurate way to count salmon in the river. A more<br />

precise count of the number fish in our river will help<br />

us acquire funds for habitat work, continue with stock<br />

enhancement, mitigate access issues and set up pH<br />

projects. DFO estimates indicate that the number of<br />

returning adult salmon required for spawning<br />

escapement, so there is no chance of extinction, is<br />

approximately 3155 fish. A healthy population of<br />

salmon means we just might once again see a<br />

salmon angling season on the great St. Mary’s River.<br />

How cool would that be?

Page 5<br />

Molly’s Fish Story<br />

Tucking the net under my left arm, line unravelled and<br />

floating around, I work my way through the murky water.<br />

After two casts I forget about the net and as I<br />

glance down it slowly disappears. My first thought is to<br />

leave it and find it when the water recedes, but logic<br />

prevails. Using the reel end of my rod I gently tap the<br />

bottom until I can feel the net. I move my foot next to<br />

giving it an upward kick that makes it visible and within<br />

reach.<br />

I’m all ready for an evening fish – alone. Stillwater<br />

Slim is busy in his shop. My attire won’t likely start any<br />

fashion trends – dark green chest waders that are too<br />

long on a 5 ft. frame – the red suspenders do just that<br />

– suspend. My hand-me-down vest fits like a sleeveless<br />

coat. My brown hat is almost a fit, a cross between<br />

a Tilly and a bucket. I also have Slim’s compact<br />

collapsible fishing net clipped to my vest, so I’m ready.<br />

I arrive at the small sea-trout destination I picked for<br />

this evening. My fly of choice is a freshly tied beetle<br />

imitation, a dry fly tied by Slim dear. There isn’t much<br />

evidence of feeding trout yet, except for a bit of activity<br />

at the far corner of the pool. The water is high from a<br />

big rain and I must wade chest deep through a deepwater<br />

mud-hole to reach the submerged island in order<br />

to cast a fly over those trout.<br />

The action begins quickly and I must use Slim’s net<br />

since I’m surrounded by water. Net in hand I reach for<br />

the trout and miss. This startles the trout and he jumps<br />

around like he’s full of popcorn – he’s to my left, then<br />

he’s at my right, three moves ahead of me and I’m not<br />

gaining. My fly line is around, over, under and behind,<br />

but somehow the fish is now twisting in the net.<br />

Reaching shore while explaining the process to the<br />

fish and myself was very challenging but I was lucky. I<br />

dispatch the trout and hide it in the grass, and then I’m<br />

beckoned by a gentle slurp on the water.<br />

That achieved, fishing continues and soon I am back<br />

in the action. My second trip back to shore is no easier<br />

and this time my line has managed to coil itself onto a<br />

hanging tree branch. As I near land I feel weighted<br />

somehow. What’s wrong? Looking down I notice my<br />

vest pockets bulging with water, thanks to my retrieve<br />

of the sinking net. I empty the vest of water and out fall<br />

my car keys, several fly boxes and my fishing license.<br />

I bend over to do another retrieval, off comes my hat<br />

and the fish escapes the net. Everything is either<br />

afloat or submerged.<br />

Luckily I save the trout and retrieve all the rest. Exhausted,<br />

I lean against the bank wondering whether I<br />

should give fishing another try or quit while I’m ahead.<br />

I decide to fish. Making my way along the waterway I<br />

notice that my line seems to be snagged. I can’t find<br />

the source of the trouble until I tuck the beloved net<br />

under my arm. Then I realize that trout # 2 is still in the<br />

net with hook in place.<br />

I decide to quit.<br />

Brenda ‘Molly” Carpan, Stillwater, 2008

Page 6<br />

2017 Habitat Committee Report<br />

The <strong>SMRA</strong> has completed the fourth year of the multi-year West River (St. Mary’s) Habitat Restoration Project.<br />

The 2017 work built on the restoration started in 2014 and to date almost twenty kilometers of the river<br />

has been completed. The restoration includes a variety of structures that are aimed at creating a narrower<br />

deeper channel with more pools. The upper portion of the picture shows the narrower channel with more<br />

meander on the restored section as compared to the bottom portion of the picture where no work was done.<br />

The narrower deeper channel increases juvenile survival over the summer and reduces winter ice production<br />

that causes spring time damage to the river.<br />

We have also planted numerous trees to reduce bank erosion and provide more shade along the edge of the<br />

river. Another part of the restoration work is to use a “Sand Wand” to remove sand from the gravel spawning<br />

beds on two of the tributaries to the West Branch. This enhances spawning conditions for both salmon and<br />

trout.<br />

What is even more exciting is the increased number of salmon using the restored area to spawn. Prior to<br />

starting the work in 2014 a survey found only salmon 25 - 30 redds (places where salmon spawn) in the entire<br />

restored area and this fall there were almost 200, a six fold increase. A similar section of the West Branch,<br />

where no restoration has been completed, has had no significant change in the number observed redds. This<br />

highlights the preference spawning salmon have for the restored habitat.<br />

This restoration work is expensive and we could not have been able to proceed without the financial help of<br />

our funding partners DFO (Small Craft Harbours & Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnership Program),<br />

the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation, NSLC Adopt-A-Stream, and the Royal Bank.

Page 7<br />

IT Committee Update<br />

The St Mary’s River Association web site launched over a year ago is well positioned to keep our audience<br />

informed. This year, working with the Paddlers Paradise Committee, we added content related to St. Mary’s<br />

river pools; including maps, pictures and stories of long ago days on the river that will educate and entertain<br />

the reader. We invite you to go to the Paddlers Paradise section of the RECREATION tab on the website<br />

and click on Virtual Tour to explore further. Look at the Silver’s Pool or Goldmine pages to get a feel for the<br />

importance of our river in past times.<br />

View the slideshows on our Home Page that will give you a glimpse of some of the activities that our members<br />

have participated in this past year.<br />

We are also active on social media – specifically Facebook and Twitter. We post daily communications to<br />

keep our river friends informed on our activities and interests. Links to news items or videos published by our<br />

partners and other organizations have proven to be quite popular<br />

We ask you to take some time out of your day, and look us up on Facebook or explore our website. You<br />

might be surprised at what you will learn.<br />

Lastly, for those of you planning to attend the biennial Antigonish River Association October auction and dinner,<br />

please consider purchasing your tickets online through our online Gift Shop later in the year.<br />

Left - Banner from our website<br />

www.stmarysriverassociation.com<br />

<strong>2018</strong> Bi-annual Salmon<br />

Charity<br />

Dinner Auction<br />

Events planned include:<br />

• Fly tying forum<br />

• *NEW* Modern Spey casting lessons<br />

& demonstrations<br />

• *NEW* Rod building<br />

• *NEW* Cork turning<br />

Saturday, October 13, <strong>2018</strong><br />

McKay Room<br />

Student Union Building<br />

St. FX University, Antigonish NS

Page 8<br />

Paddlers Paradise Committee Update<br />

2017 was a packed season for implementing our Paddlers Trail on the East and Main branch. We installed signage at<br />

four river access sites and eight paddlers trail sites. The first access site is located at the bridge in Denver just off<br />

Highway 347 and the second is at the bridge in Aspen. The third is on the main branch just off the Waternish Road<br />

near the beginning of the Stillwater. The final access site is located off the number<br />

seven highway at the mouth of Archibald’s Brook just below the Ford Pool.<br />

This is the final location to get off the river before the rocky run to Sherbrooke.<br />

The signage is a two foot by two foot sign with an orange canoe on it and is<br />

quite noticeable for folks in search of the access point.<br />

The virtual Paddlers Trail on our website is still under construction, so some<br />

locations may show only a map. Our Goldmine location is one I would like to<br />

bring to your attention and is worth checking out. The link you would see from<br />

your smartphone QR code reader while on the river is:<br />

https://www.stmarysriverassociation.com/goldmine.html<br />

Check it out!<br />

Don’t forget to go to our web page where you can see all the virtual river sites<br />

as well as our East and West branch data logger live readings for water levels<br />

and recommended paddling conditions. If you are driving past our interpretive<br />

center I recommend dropping in to enjoy the museum but don’t forget to view the large four by eight virtual map on the<br />

front of our building. Really neat stuff!<br />

For <strong>2018</strong> we will be working with Warren Robertson from Scope Digital Media on a promotional video show casing the<br />

St. Mary’s River Paddler’s Trail. This will be approximately 3 minutes long and intended for multiple uses. Also we will<br />

be planning signage for a similar West branch Paddlers Trail which you can expect to see in 2019.<br />

See you on the river,<br />

Scott Beaver

Page 9<br />

2017 Entering the water for the paddling trip<br />

2017 Preparing for departure<br />

2017 Paddling the line

Page 10<br />

Stocking Committee Report<br />

DFO Update<br />

DFO recently advised the Saint Mary’s River Association of the outcome of a recent internal meeting regarding<br />

approaches to the Southern Upland Intervention program. These decisions were made based on genetic<br />

and demographic considerations as well as capacity considerations for Coldbrook and other involved<br />

work units. Highlights of that meeting are as follows:<br />

• In <strong>2018</strong> DFO will support a modest rearing program of 450 smolt at the Coldbook facility. The smolt will<br />

be collected evenly from the Lahave and St Mary's rivers. The primary purpose for this gene banking<br />

program is an attempt to ensure that the unique St Mary’s Atlantic Salmon continues to survive.<br />

• DFO has no plan to collect kelts from the St Mary's in <strong>2018</strong> due to the limited capacity at the Coldbrook<br />

facility and the potential that those kelts may be related to smolts collected in 2016.<br />

Truro Agriculture College<br />

Although understandable, it was very disappointing for <strong>SMRA</strong> to<br />

learn that DFO has neither the resources nor facilities to support a<br />

kelt program in <strong>2018</strong>. In an attempt to explore a possible alternative<br />

solution the <strong>SMRA</strong> met with key staff members and visited the<br />

facilities of the Dalhousie’s Truro Agriculture College. They have a<br />

very modern facility that is not running at full capacity that appears<br />

to be capable of supporting a kelt program. In addition they have a<br />

very educated and experienced staff that is very enthusiastic about<br />

supporting a kelt program. They are currently involved with DFO on<br />

the West River, Sheet Harbour smolt project. It is <strong>SMRA</strong>’s intent to<br />

further pursue this potential opportunity with DFO.<br />

Trout Program<br />

We are committed to the betterment of fishing on the St Mary’s<br />

River and one of our goals is to significantly increase the sea-trout<br />

population of the St Mary’s River and in so doing preserve the long<br />

term health and well being of the species. With the continuing<br />

support, direction and authorization of Inland Fisheries we are now<br />

approaching the successful completion of the second year of our<br />

trout stocking program. The first year was 2016/2017 and the<br />

second being 2017/<strong>2018</strong>. The program involves the capture of a previously agreed to number of large male<br />

trout angled from the St Mary’s as defined and authorized by a special licence issued by Inland Fisheries.<br />

The captured fish are closely managed and delivered from the river to the Fraser’s Mill’s Fish Hatchery. At<br />

the appropriate time the males are stripped and their milt is used to fertilize the eggs stripped from females<br />

supplied by and retained by the hatchery. After several months the trout develop to the point where they are<br />

starting to loose their feed sacks. At that point they are transported and released into the previously scouted<br />

brooks and head waters of the St Mary’s. The first year’s program yielded approximately 21,000 fingerlings<br />

being dispersed in approximately 13 brooks. Our expectation is that our second year efforts will yield a<br />

similar number to be dispersed.<br />

However we must be aware that there is a lot of pressure on the Fraser’s Mills fish Hatchery in terms of the<br />

demand for allocation of trout and as such there is no guarantee we will be approved in subsequent years.<br />

We are, however, hopeful that support from Inland Fisheries will continue and with careful management the<br />

trout population on the St Mary’s will return to the previous highs.

Page 11<br />

Left - Sandy Barnhill & Allan MacDonald<br />

capture a wild kelt salmon for the project.<br />

Right - Scott Beaver prepares to transport<br />

a kelt salmon to a holding facility.<br />

Left - Chris Sinclair captures a kelt<br />

salmon for the project.<br />

Below - Girl Guides help out by releasing<br />

juvenile trout in a tributary.

Page 12<br />

Our 2017 sea-trout stocking program<br />

Mary’s River. <strong>SMRA</strong> partnered with N<br />

Fisheries & the Frasers Mill Hatchery.

on the St.<br />

S Inland<br />

Page 13

Page 14<br />

St. Mary’s River photographs, starting from top, clockwise<br />

Fall colours on Melrose Lake, one of the East Branch’s deep lakes, sanctuary for trout & salmon during hot, dry<br />

weather. Photograph by Deirdre Green.<br />

Harrison’s Pool, Silver’s Pool, Underwater Photographs by Gilbert van Ryckevorsel.

Page 15

Hi again, Mac here.<br />

Male snappers like myself pretty<br />

much stay at home.<br />

It’s our females that wander.<br />

This story is about a girlfriend of mine<br />

named Tina Turtle. One day Tina<br />

headed down toward the Meadow Pool<br />

from my place …….<br />

Page 16<br />

In the winter of 2003 George Sutherland wrote a <strong>SMRA</strong> News article called “SPECIAL MEMORIES<br />

OF THE ST. MARY’S RIVER, GUYSBOROUGH COUNTY”. The full article can be found on our website.<br />

This is an excerpt from it.<br />


I started both of my boys fly-fishing when they were very young. Michael was under ten years old and wanted<br />

to try salmon fishing. We headed for the St. Mary’s and on the way down he asked if we would see any<br />

turtles. I replied “maybe”, but didn’t want to get his hopes up. We went up to a spot above the Meadow pool<br />

where we wouldn’t disturb anyone. We were upriver from where I normally begin, so I decided to go first as I<br />

didn’t want Mike stepping into any holes.<br />

We had just begun when I heard Mike yell ”Turtle Dad…BIG turtle.” I called back that it was just a sod and he<br />

should continue on. “Big Turtle!” he yelled. With that he ran out of the river and threw his rod on the bank.<br />

As I looked behind me I suddenly saw a head the size of my fist on a neck sticking several inches out of the<br />

water. I watched in awe as the biggest turtle I had ever seen slowly drifted past me. Mike and I watched together<br />

as the fishermen below on both sides of the Meadow pool parted and watched as the turtle passed<br />

through.<br />

- George Sutherland, New Glasgow, 2003<br />

Editor’s Note: Mac was named by his old friend Gilbert<br />

van Ryckevorsel. The St. Mary’s River is Gilbert’s favorite<br />

stream on which to photograph Atlantic salmon<br />

underwater.<br />

On most visits to Silver’s Pool Gilbert found Mac waiting<br />

for him. They became friends. A visit to eastern NS<br />

wasn’t complete without some quality time with Mac.<br />

Gilbert is an honorary director of <strong>SMRA</strong>. The photographs<br />

of Mac are Gilbert’s.<br />

Gilbert’s shadow, a “selfie” by<br />

Gilbert van Ryckevorsel

Page 17<br />

Passing it On<br />

Don MacLean<br />

I often praise sport fishing as a lifelong sport<br />

which you can participate in from a very young<br />

age well into your senior years. Many of us have<br />

been fishing for so long that we have forgotten<br />

who introduced us to the sport but it many cases<br />

it was a parent. In the case of my brother and me<br />

it was our Mother. While Dad took us hunting<br />

Mom was the one who took us fishing. She had<br />

grown up with her sister spending a lot of time<br />

outdoors and she loved to fish, and pick berries.<br />

While I may not have inherited her love of berry<br />

picking I can certainly trace my love of angling to<br />

those early fishing trips.<br />

Sport fishing and kids are a great combination as<br />

children have a natural curiosity combined with a<br />

sense of adventure which is important for all anglers.<br />

These days, with increased concerns<br />

about getting children physically active, sport<br />

fishing can play an important role in getting them<br />

outside. In addition spending time in the outdoors<br />

exposes them to the natural world and the importance<br />

of clean air and water for both us and the<br />

fish. When you introduce children to sport fishing<br />

it is important to remember some key points:<br />

Start Simple - A short trip, close to home is a<br />

good way to introduce them to sport fishing. It is<br />

important to make sure the kids are comfortable.<br />

Cold weather, rain and flies can sour any new<br />

angler on the sport. Try to pick your days so you<br />

will have a good time on the water.<br />

Use Simple Equipment-Equipment which is easy<br />

for a child to operate is essential if they are going<br />

to enjoy the trip. A spinning rod with a bobber<br />

and bait is hard to beat. Both are easy to use, as<br />

well as effective, and they will be able to cast<br />

with it in a very short period of time.<br />

boat they should also be part of your child’s fishing<br />

equipment when shore fishing near deep or<br />

fast-moving water. Sun screen, sunglasses and<br />

insect repellent should also be part of your<br />

equipment.<br />

Make Sure They Have Fun-When you go fishing<br />

and don’t catch anything it can be pretty discouraging,<br />

especially for a young angler. Try to stack<br />

the odds in your child’s favour by fishing where<br />

you have a good chance of catching something.<br />

This may be a perch lake or a stocked trout<br />

pond.<br />

Take Your Time-Slowing down to fish with your<br />

children will let you see many things that you<br />

might miss in your race to get to the next trout<br />

pool. Birds, frogs, salamanders, minnows and<br />

dragonflies are all part of the angling experience.<br />

Seeing nature through a child’s eyes can help<br />

remind us why we want to be outside in the first<br />

place. Nova Scotia Sport Fishing Weekend will<br />

be held this year on June 02 and 03. On this<br />

weekend Nova Scotia residents, and nonresidents,<br />

may fish without a general sport fishing<br />

licence. While children do not require a licence<br />

during the season,zzzzzx adults do, but<br />

not on this weekend. It is a great way to get back<br />

into the sport or introduce a new angler to sport<br />

fishing. With all the pressures on everyone these<br />

days it is often an effort to find the time. Make<br />

the effort, you will be rewarded many times over.<br />

Tight Lines<br />

Don<br />

Safety-Safety is always a priority when on, or<br />

near the water. This is even more important<br />

when fishing with children. While everyone<br />

knows they need life jackets when fishing from a<br />

Chris Sinclair’s Paradise

Page 18<br />

An overview of salmon returns.<br />

Variable to say the least.<br />

During the off season, anglers like to get together,<br />

tie flies and chat about fishing. On a recent stormy<br />

winter day, I was having coffee with a friend and<br />

fellow angler and our conversation turned to<br />

salmon returns and the apparent strength, or lack<br />

thereof, of the various rivers and areas.<br />

Comparing recent returns of Atlantic salmon can<br />

help us understand short-term trends. They also<br />

reveal big differences between rivers. Monitored<br />

rivers in the United States and Canada show wide<br />

regional differences and year to year fluctuations.<br />

Angling reports from Quebec rivers were generally<br />

favourable throughout the 2017 season. The Matane<br />

and Cascapedia rivers posted better returns<br />

than the disastrous 2014 season but did not reach<br />

2011 levels. 2011 is generally considered the best<br />

year in the past decade. However, on the<br />

Matapedia, grilse numbers were down significantly,<br />

leading to a smaller overall run than in recent<br />

years.<br />

The Penobscot in Maine was a bright spot. More<br />

than 800 salmon and grilse entered the river in<br />

2017, about three times the 2016 run, and the best<br />

in the past six years. Salmon are responding to the<br />

effort of ASF and partners to remove dams in<br />

Maine and improve fish passage.<br />

The island of Newfoundland had a more sobering<br />

story to tell. For the second year in a row returns to<br />

monitored rivers on the island dropped sharply.<br />

The Exploits River, which traditionally has the island’s<br />

biggest run, had 15,530 fish pass through<br />

the Grand Falls fishway. More than 41,000 were<br />

counted there in 2011. The situation island-wide<br />

led DFO to implement mandatory live release in<br />

August.<br />

Compared to the lows of 2014, rivers in the Gulf of<br />

St. Lawrence posted slightly better returns to<br />

counting facilities in 2017 but still were low. The<br />

Miramichi system reached 76 per cent of its minimum<br />

egg deposition requirement (83 per cent on<br />

the Southwest, 60 per cent on the Northwest). Still<br />

there were some areas for optimism, for example,<br />

the Cassilis trapnet on the lower Northwest<br />

Miramichi had the highest number of returning<br />

large salmon since 2002.<br />

A bright spot has to be the Restigouche, which,<br />

excluding the Matapedia, attained 134 per cent of<br />

its minimum conservation requirement. Overall, the<br />

number of large salmon spawning in the Restigouche<br />

was a 20-year high. However, anglers<br />

may not have noticed because of poor fishing conditions<br />

for most of the season.<br />

Closer to home, returns for the LaHave and the<br />

Sackville were also variable in 2017. The LaHave<br />

saw runs (combined grilse and salmon) of 350 fish<br />

in 2011, 63 in 2014 and 218 to October 31 st this<br />

past year. On the Sackville, 48 fish were counted<br />

in 2011, 10 in 2014 and 35 to October 31 st .<br />

We must remember that most counting facilities<br />

only record a portion of the fish that pass and numbers<br />

across the board are far below those of the<br />

1970s. In specific streams and rivers, where successful<br />

conservation and restoration has been carried<br />

out, populations have rebounded.<br />

What does this tell us? Probably nothing concrete<br />

other than the fact the runs are variable and in<br />

some areas in real trouble, and near historic lows.<br />

Fortunately, rivers in the Northumberland Strait<br />

and Western Cape Breton area continue to support<br />

relatively heathy returns, but lack counting facilities<br />

to confirm observations.<br />

Some concerns raised.<br />

In recent weeks ASF has received emails from<br />

several concerned conservationists in Nova Scotia<br />

about the use of sinking lines when the fish aren’t<br />

biting. People rake them through a pool where<br />

salmon are laying and foul-hook the fish.<br />

The gear is legal, and I know many skilled anglers<br />

who use sinking lines ethically and effectively, but<br />

in marginal fishing conditions I recommend against<br />

it. Perhaps people just need some advice, or perhaps<br />

they’re trying to hook a salmon on its body. If<br />

you see anglers hooking salmon by their bodies,<br />

please contact the proper authorities and let’s<br />

hope they respond<br />

.<br />

Revised Management strategy<br />

As many of you may know, DFO is embarking on a<br />

new management system for salmon populations<br />

in the Gulf Region. While the details are still being<br />

worked out, the new system will enable a river-byriver<br />

management approach, instead of the system<br />

which makes one set of rules for the entire area.

Page 19<br />

The new system will use the precautionary approach<br />

as an overarching principle. It will have<br />

two reference points, the limit reference point (LRP)<br />

and the upper stock reference point (USRP). Above<br />

the USRP, populations will be considered healthy,<br />

and could potentially allow for a limited recreational<br />

harvest. If returns dip below the LRP, salmon are in<br />

trouble. Meanwhile, the space between the two<br />

points will be considered the cautious zone for managers.<br />

The lower you go in the cautious zone, the<br />

more restrictive the management measures should<br />

be.<br />

The LRP is like the warning light that comes on in<br />

your vehicle when fuel is low. You can keep driving<br />

but it’s risky.<br />

No matter the system of rules in place, it will be up<br />

to anglers to lead conservation on our salmon rivers<br />

and it is safe to say, that without organizations such<br />

as the St. Mary’s Rivers Association and its dedicated<br />

volunteers, salmon populations would be in<br />

much worse condition. Thank you for your great<br />

work and I look forward to seeing you on the river<br />

next season.<br />

Lewis Hinks, ASF Director of Programs for Nova<br />

Scotia and PEI<br />


Operated by<br />

St. Mary’s Fish & Game Association<br />

• Tenting<br />

• Trailer Park<br />

• Dump Station<br />

• Showers<br />

Open: Mid– May to Mid-October<br />

Phone 902-522-2441<br />

Stillwater, Nova Scotia<br />

www.nimrodscampground.ca<br />

Sherbrooke Garage Ltd.<br />

Phone: 902-522-2881<br />

Fax: 902-522-2276<br />

P.O. Box 280<br />

Sherbrooke, N.S. B0J 3C0

Page 20<br />

Greetings from the<br />

Nova Scotia Salmon Association<br />

The past year<br />

has been a busy<br />

one for the<br />

NSSA and for<br />

river organizations<br />

across<br />

Nova Scotia as<br />

salmon continue<br />

their decline and<br />

as we and<br />

dedicated river<br />

organizations,<br />

such as the St.<br />

Mary’s River<br />

Association,<br />

work tirelessly to stave off extinction and foster recovery.<br />

As the provincial spokes body for the Wild Atlantic<br />

Salmon we work closely with our NGO partners,<br />

like the <strong>SMRA</strong>, and government departments to represent<br />

our affiliates interests and to try and effect<br />

positive change for Atlantic Salmon through advocacy;<br />

policy development, implementation, and influence;<br />

primary research; and logistical and technical<br />

support. Over the past year we have tried to achieve<br />

these objectives through numerous meetings, projects,<br />

and initiatives. Of course, our two major initiatives<br />

being the NSLC Adopt-A-Stream program,<br />

which under the excellent management and direction<br />

of Amy Weston and Bob Rutherford recently passed<br />

the 2,000,000 m 2 of habitat restored and 200,000<br />

trees planted benchmarks; and the West River project,<br />

which under the management by Dr. Edmund<br />

Halfyard has completed 2 years of helicopter liming<br />

that benefit the river and the surrounding forest for<br />

years to come and saw the installation of a second<br />

lime dosing tower. Be sure to watch out for celebrations<br />

this spring for both initiatives. There has also<br />

been a renewed interest in our Fish Friends program,<br />

with NSSA director Stephen Booth and new member<br />

Tim McGee trying to expand and seeking new support<br />

for the program.<br />

Other activities this past year include meeting with<br />

various DFO departments in both the Maritime and<br />

Gulf regions, meeting with provincial fisheries, liaising<br />

with stakeholders, and working on issues such as<br />

aquaculture. With regards to DFO we have been<br />

busy on several fronts the main three being the<br />

changes to the Fisheries Act, the proposed Marine<br />

Protected Area on the Eastern Shore that could be<br />

extended to the St. Mary’s River, and meeting to discuss<br />

a proposed management change from conservation<br />

limit system (minimum egg deposition model)<br />

to an upper and lower limit reference point system<br />

(phased management model based on the precautionary<br />

approach and a river by river management<br />

approach). Currently this system is only being applied<br />

in the Gulf Region, and even then, it will only be<br />

tested initially in the Miramachi, but as this system<br />

was one of the adopted recommendations by the Ministerial<br />

Advisory Committee we expect that it will soon<br />

be applied more widely. Of course, there were many<br />

(many, many) other meetings as well but those few<br />

were the most time consuming and the ones that may<br />

impact upon the St. Mary’s<br />

As the Nova Scotia Regional Salmon Council for the<br />

Atlantic Salmon Federation, we have also worked<br />

hard to represent our stakeholders and NS issues on<br />

the national and international stage. Recently I travelled<br />

to New York to provide the Atlantic Salmon Federation<br />

US and Canadians Board of Directors an update<br />

on salmon activities and issues in Nova Scotia.<br />

During the presentation I was able to highlight the<br />

work that has been done by the St. Mary’s River Association.<br />

Through our affiliation with ASF we can<br />

bring our concerns and the concerns of our affiliates<br />

to much greater prominence. Through ASF and our<br />

programs and initiatives we will continue to support<br />

work on behalf of our affiliates. Please feel free to<br />

reach out to us at anytime and I hope to see you out<br />

at our AGM on March 24 th at the Courtyard Marriott in<br />

Halifax and our spring celebrations.<br />

Kris Hunter<br />

NSSA President (and former <strong>SMRA</strong> director)

Page 21<br />

<strong>SMRA</strong> Alumni<br />

We have a photo album called <strong>SMRA</strong> Alumni that is<br />

dedicated to all who served the St. Mary’s River Association<br />

as Directors, Officers or Employees since<br />

its incorporation in 1979. The album can be viewed at<br />

https://www.stmarysriverassociation.com/smra-alumni.html<br />

Please help us make it complete by contributing missing<br />

or improved photographs and information to the<br />

<strong>SMRA</strong> Interpretive Centre or sending via email to<br />

stmarysriver@ns.sympatico.ca<br />


We are grateful to receive funding from our generous<br />

Supporters whose financial assistance makes the work of<br />

the St. Mary’s River Association possible.<br />

Thank you to the following:<br />

• The Elizabeth Wakeman Henderson Foundation<br />

• NSLC Adopt a Stream Program<br />

• Atlantic Salmon Conservation Federation<br />

• NS Student Careers Skills Development Program<br />

• Canada Summer Jobs<br />

• Recreational Fisheries Conservation<br />

Partnerships Program<br />

• Small Craft Harbours<br />

• Michelin Canada Granton Plant<br />

• Royal Bank Blue Water Community Fund<br />

• Sage Environmental Fund<br />

• Cumberland County River Enhancement<br />

Association<br />

• Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s<br />

• All donors who gave to our Bi-Annual Dinner/<br />

Auction Event – we couldn't do it without you!<br />

ALSO ....<br />

To all our volunteers, a great big thank you!<br />

Thanks to your generous contribution of knowledge, time<br />

and energy, we can accomplish our important goals..

Page 22<br />

The Coffey House, St. Mary’s River,<br />

Nova Scotia, Canada<br />

Cochrane Hill is the pinnacle of a lovely drive from<br />

Sherbrook to the village of Melrose. In 1877 gold fever<br />

arrived at Cochrane Hill.<br />

parents farm.<br />

Working to keep the daily chores on track would not<br />

have been for the weak. Her days would have started<br />

at daybreak or before, a hearty breakfast prepared for<br />

the miners, lunch boxes filled for the day in the mines,<br />

and dinner to be prepared for the main meal of the<br />

day and I am sure a bed lunch came after. She’d<br />

have dishes to be washed, pots to be scrubbed, baking,<br />

daily cleaning of the establishment and doing<br />

laundry as required. Regardless of how we see it today,<br />

I’m sure many memories were made that regretfully<br />

were not recorded.<br />

Many miners came for the work and extra housing<br />

was needed for these workers. During the gold digging<br />

days of Cochrane Hill a beautiful house was built<br />

on the east side and on the lower banks of the St.<br />

Mary’s River. The location of this previously standing<br />

three-story dwelling, from the Waternish road view, is<br />

directly across from the cabin known as the Bells of<br />

St. Mary’s today, now owned by the Harpell family.<br />

Access to the Coffey House, as it became known, can<br />

be reached either from a road off Route 348 or by<br />

river. I followed the road back a few years ago and it<br />

was a difficult journey at best. This, no doubt, would<br />

have been the main access to the Coffey House and<br />

was then much more pleasing to the traveller than it is<br />

today.<br />

The proprietor of the Coffey House was Rebecca Fraser,<br />

first daughter of Hugh R. Fraser and Elizabeth<br />

Ann (MacDaniel) Fraser. Rebecca was born August<br />

8, 1858, and grew up on the family farm in Waternish.<br />

She married James Coffey on November 22, 1881, at<br />

Amherst, Nova Scotia. His occupation was listed as<br />

clerk. By 1891 Rebecca was listed as a widow, living<br />

with James’ family. By 1901 she had relocated to her<br />

parent’s farm and it is believed at about the time she<br />

became proprietor of the Coffey House that would<br />

have been a wee distance downstream from her<br />

During my time seeking information on the Coffey<br />

House I spoke with a number of elderly folks in the<br />

area. One story that amused me was from the late<br />

Muriel MacKeen of Aspen. I often recall it, hearing her<br />

voice and hearty laugh at the end.<br />

Several years later, after the Coffey House had disappeared,<br />

Muriel and a friend went there to pick blueberries.<br />

According to Muriel the largest blueberries in<br />

all of Guysborough County grew here. However,<br />

there was a problem. Above the voice sounds of<br />

these two ladies catching up on the gossip of the day<br />

a swishing sound could be heard. Eventually one<br />

stood up from picking and witnessed the largest black<br />

snakes skimming across the blueberry patch on their<br />

way to the open mine pits. As forklore has it, snakes<br />

guard the entrance to mines where gold can be<br />

found.<br />

Mrs. Rebecca (Fraser) Coffey passed away in February,<br />

1924. At the time of her death she was living at<br />

the Crow’s Nest, across the river from the Coffey<br />

House. Rebecca was laid to rest in the Glenelg<br />

Cemetery, located off the Lead Mine Rd. near Danny<br />

Kirk’s home and blueberry fields, on the knoll of a hill<br />

beside the tranquil waters of the St. Mary’s River.<br />

RIP dear Rebecca.<br />

Brenda Carpan, Stillwater, <strong>2018</strong><br />

Carole Gartside<br />

Barrister, Solicitor & Mediator<br />

Law Office<br />

33B Greening Dr.<br />

Antigonish NS B2G 1R1<br />

(902) 735-2600

Page 23<br />

Member of the Year<br />

Who Knows?<br />

This year our board of<br />

directors chose life<br />

member Bill Carpan for<br />

his volunteer work on<br />

our Information Technology<br />

Committee.<br />

Bill’s photo is from the<br />

70’s. Today he’s not<br />

exactly as shown.<br />

Bill penned this song as<br />

a celebration of life,<br />

spirituality & his<br />

thoughts of the St.<br />

Mary’s River. He hears<br />

it as a soulful gospel<br />

song with a hint of kickass<br />

zydeco & a nose of<br />

pure old country blues.<br />

We don’t know how the old river flows, uh-uh<br />

We don’t know how the old river flows, oh-no<br />

We might get where the old river flows<br />

If we watch the shags, seagulls and crows<br />

No one knows how the old river flows, oh-no!<br />

God He knows how the old river flows, uh-huh<br />

God He knows how the old river flows, yeh-yeh<br />

We just know that she goes and goes<br />

Startin’ in the highs and flowin’ to the lows<br />

We’ll never know how the old river flows, oh-no!<br />

Fish they know how the old river flows, uh-huh<br />

Fish they know how the old river flows, yeh-yeh<br />

If the water is good and the fish they grows<br />

Leapin’ and splashin’ where the water slows<br />

Fish they know how the old river flows, yeh-yeh!<br />

Li’l kids learn how the old river flows, uh-huh<br />

Li’l kids learn how the old river flows, yeh-yeh<br />

In their little boat they rows and rows<br />

Divin’ and swimmin’ without any clothes<br />

Li’l kids learn how the old river flows, yeh-yeh!<br />

Elders know how the old river flows, uh-huh<br />

Elders know how the old river flows, yeh-yeh<br />

They learned from God and the fishes and crows<br />

Recalling’ precious times with the people they knows<br />

They studied hard how the old river flows, yeh-yeh!<br />

God’s children know how the old river flows, uh-huh<br />

God’s children know how the old river flows, yeh-yeh<br />

We casts our flies where the old river flows<br />

And floats them over a big fish’s nose<br />

Teachin’ us well how the old river flows, yeh-yeh!<br />

Now the groove starts, fading toward the end ....<br />

Gotta fish that river, it flows it flows<br />

Gotta go to church, I knows I knows<br />

Gotta plant my seeds, in rows in rows<br />

Gotta mend my jeans, I sews and sews<br />

Gotta mow my lawn, it grows and grows<br />

Gotta feed my rooster, he crows and crows<br />

Gotta drive my car, it goes and goes<br />

Gotta wash my face, my nose my nose<br />

Gotta call my sister, and bros and bros<br />

Gotta face that wind, it blows and blows<br />

Gotta help my friends, and foes and foes<br />

Gotta water my flowers, my rose my rose<br />

Gotta open some doors, and close and close<br />

Gotta float my boat, I rows and rows<br />

Gotta get some of these, and those and those<br />

Gotta fix her hair, with bows and bows<br />

Gotta pay the man, I owes I owes<br />

Gotta see my baby, I goes I goes<br />

Gotta light my candle, it glows and glows<br />

Gotta shake it all to, and fros and fros<br />

Gotta hit my highs, and lows and lows<br />

Gotta win my fight, with blows and blows<br />

Gotta shoot my arrow, with bows with bows<br />

Gotta wash my fingers, and toes and toes<br />

Gotta play my horn, I blows and blows<br />

Gotta bring it on down, I slows I slows<br />

Gotta be so happy, no woes no woes<br />

Gotta watch TV, the shows the shows<br />

Gotta read my bible, I knows I knows<br />

Gotta weed my onions, I hoes and hoes<br />

Gotta send for the doctor, I'm low, I'm low<br />

Gotta move on past, the so and sos<br />

Gotta weigh the cons, and pros and pros<br />

Gotta play my bass, with bows and bows<br />

Gotta get so cool, I froze and froze<br />

Gotta be so tired, I doze and doze<br />

Gotta strip right down, no clothes no clothes<br />

Gotta vote today, I chose I chose<br />

Gotta write my story, in prose in prose<br />

Gotta get real tall, I grows and grows<br />

Gotta get on home, I spose I spose<br />

To record this, contact Bill at (902) 318-5117

Indian Man Pool - Photograph by Brenda Carpan<br />

Page 24

Page 25<br />

Silver’s Ledge<br />

Photograph by<br />

Bill Carpan<br />

Early Morning<br />

St. Mary’s<br />

Estuary<br />

Photograph by<br />

Brenda Carpan<br />

Harrison’s Pool,<br />

photographed by

Page 26<br />

<strong>SMRA</strong> EDUCATION & INTERPRETIVE CENTRE <strong>NEWS</strong><br />

By Joanne Mailman, Manager<br />

volunteers were uppermost.<br />

There are a couple of people I wish to thank. Dr.<br />

Hardy Eshbaugh, thank you for your support thorough<br />

out the past 17 years. Your generosity and kindness<br />

will never be forgotten.<br />

Also, lastly but most importantly, I wish to thank Florence<br />

Duffy. I was greenhorn with little knowledge of<br />

salmon fishing when I first started working at the Centre<br />

and knew very little about the rich history of the<br />

fishery in the area. She took me in hand and taught<br />

me everything she knew. I am eternally grateful. Florence<br />

was my trainer, mentor, greatest supporter and<br />

most importantly she became my friend. We shared a<br />

lot of laughs, frustrations and successes.<br />

Thank you so much.<br />

To all of you, I wish you much success in all your future<br />

endeavours on the river.<br />

Joanne Mailman & Florence Duffy at Dinner Auction<br />

Tight lines!<br />

Joanne<br />

In 2017 the Centre saw 2,791 visitors. That’s 39,115<br />

since we opened in 2001. Our summer students this<br />

year were Jenny Kaiser and Dakota Croft.<br />

A few summer events included:<br />

• Participated in Sherbrooke Village River Days<br />

• Trout release with Girl Guides<br />

• Hosted Nova Scotia Nature Trust Sobey land<br />

dedication<br />

• Co-ordinated <strong>SMRA</strong>/Royal Bank tree planting<br />

• Set up display at Sherbrooke Liquor Store<br />

staffed by Jocelyn Ellis and Donnie Barnes<br />

• Hosted Zone Management Advisory Committee<br />

meeting, provided lunch for group<br />

• Canada Day yard sale<br />

River Days display<br />

Members Gwen Boutilier and Ralph Jack painted the<br />

front entrance of the Centre, which provided a much<br />

needed facelift. Ralph and Sandy Barnhill also installed<br />

the new building sign. So stop by this summer<br />

to have a look.<br />

This is my last Interpretive Centre Report as Manager.<br />

I have decided that after 17 years, to try something<br />

new…..retirement. It’s been a long journey with<br />

many ups and downs, but for the most part, tremendously<br />

enjoyable. The highlights are too numerous to<br />

recount but meeting so many new people, working<br />

with dozens of students and hundreds of dedicated<br />

Crew installing smolt wheel

Page 27<br />

Here we see girl guides helping<br />

us by stocking brook trout in a<br />

tributary.<br />

Volunteer group planting trees in order to help stabilize an eroding river bank.

Page 28

Page 29<br />



902-863-6242 902-522-2091<br />

Home Owners helping homeowners<br />

Peter Archibald Forestry<br />

6384 Route 348 RR#1 Aspen NS B0H 1E0 Home: 902-833-2422<br />

Cell: 902-867-7198<br />

• Harvesting<br />

• Mulching<br />

• Thinning Peter Archibald<br />

• Excavating peter.a@ns.sympatico.ca<br />

H.W. Angus Funeral Home<br />

256 King St., P.O. Box 221<br />

New Glasgow, Nova Scotia<br />

B2H 5E3<br />

Phone: (902) 752-2545<br />

Email: angusfuneral@ns.sympatico.ca<br />

Program Provides:<br />

Self-Employment Benefit Program<br />

CBDC Guysborough County<br />

(902) 533-2770<br />

• Entrepreneurial support<br />

• Financial assistance to eligible participants<br />

• Workshops, coaching, mentoring, business plan assistance.<br />

Sponsored by:<br />

Employment Nova Scotia<br />



Safety first, last and always<br />

• Responsible family fun<br />

• Learn new skills under the guidance of provincially<br />

qualified instructors and safety officers<br />

• Numerous organized shoots and events<br />

• Rifle, pistol, shotgun and air gun skills training<br />

We support the Canadian Firearms Safety Course, NS<br />

Hunter Safety Course, and NRA Eddie Eagle Safety Program.<br />

www.smsa.ca<br />


Antigonish, Nova Scotia<br />

B2G 2M6<br />

PH:902-863-6833<br />

Fax: 902-863-1916<br />

E-mail: antirentall@eastlink.ca<br />

www.antigonishrental.ca<br />

PO Box 7<br />

8000 Highway 7<br />

Sherbrooke,NS B0J 3C0<br />

Contact us at:<br />

Info@thebestsmokedsalmon.com<br />

Tel: 902-522-2005<br />


Page 30

Page 31<br />

Photographs by<br />

Chris Sinclair<br />

Left:<br />

St. Mary’s River<br />

Hemlock Forest<br />

Above:St. Mary’s Brook<br />

Trout<br />

Right: Dry Fly

Page 32<br />




The Annual General Meeting of the St. Mary’s River Association<br />

will be held on Sunday May 27, <strong>2018</strong> at 2 pm at<br />

the Education & Interpretive Centre, 8404 Highway 7,<br />

Sherbrooke NS. All paid-up members are eligible to vote<br />

at the meeting. Memberships will be available for those<br />

wishing to join or renew their membership.<br />

There are currently ten open positions for directors (nine<br />

who are not officers and one officer). Nominations are<br />

open for the office of Secretary. Nominations are not open<br />

this year for the offices of President, Vice-President and<br />

Treasurer as their two year terms have not expired. The<br />

Nominations Committee will be considering nominees for<br />

these or any other positions that become open. The membership<br />

may also submit nominations. In accordance with<br />

the Association’s by-laws, nominations from the membership<br />

at large will be received at the Association’s address<br />

below up to the 1st day of April, <strong>2018</strong>.<br />

Nominations shall be in writing signed by the nominator<br />

and the nominee using the Board of Directors Nomination<br />

and Consent Form available below or at the Interpretive<br />

Centre during open hours or on our web site at<br />

http://www.stmarysriverassociation.com.<br />

All are welcome to attend. St. Mary’s River Association PO<br />

Box 179, Sherbrooke, N.S. B0J 3C0.<br />

Gweneth Boutilier, Treasurer<br />

Email gwen_boutilier@yahoo.ca<br />

or mail to St. Mary’s River Association, PO Box 179,<br />

Sherbrooke, NS B0J 3C0<br />

<strong>SMRA</strong> Board of Directors Nomination and Consent Form<br />

Please return this completed form as soon as possible in person, by mail or electronically. Candidates for<br />

President must reside in Nova Scotia.<br />

Nominations will be accepted by the Treasurer on or before the 1st of April <strong>2018</strong>.<br />

Nominee for Board of Directors (Please Print)<br />

Full Name _____________________________________<br />

Position Applied for ________________________<br />

Mailing Address ____________________________________________________<br />

Telephone Bus ( ) _______________ Res ( ) _______________<br />

Email ____________________________________________________________<br />

I, ____________________________________, am a Member in good standing and hereby consent to my<br />

nomination as a candidate for election to the Board of Directors of the of the St Mary’s River Association, for a<br />

two-year term of office, subject to my election. I am prepared to subscribe to the aims and objectives of the<br />

Association as stated in the St Mary’s River Association Memorandum of Association.<br />

Signature _______________________<br />

Date: _____________________<br />

Sponsor of Nominee (Please Print)<br />

As a Member in good standing of the Association,<br />

I nominate the above nominee for the position of ____________________.<br />

Full Name ______________________________________________<br />

Position nominated for ____________________<br />

Mailing Address ____________________________________________________<br />

Telephone Bus ( ) _______________ Res ( ) ________________<br />

Email __________________________<br />

Signature: _________________________ Date __________________ Form 001

Page 33<br />

<strong>SMRA</strong> <strong>Online</strong> Gift Shop<br />

For your convenience, <strong>SMRA</strong> now has an online gift<br />

shop.<br />

<strong>SMRA</strong> Memberships, fly posters and branded clothing<br />

can now be ordered online. We can also accept donations<br />

online.<br />

Payment is done through PayPal, which enables payment by<br />

a PayPal account OR your credit card.<br />

Shipping is by Canada Post Expedited Parcel.<br />

We sell online:<br />

• NS Salmon Fly Poster<br />

• <strong>SMRA</strong> Memberships<br />

• <strong>SMRA</strong> Sponsoring Memberships<br />

• <strong>SMRA</strong> Corporate Memberships<br />

• <strong>SMRA</strong> Baseball Caps & Shirts<br />

• Tickets To Dinner Auction (available in<br />

September, <strong>2018</strong>)<br />

• You can now make donations to <strong>SMRA</strong><br />

online<br />

Would you please<br />

direct me to your<br />

Turtleneck<br />


Page 34<br />

What do these Atlantic salmon wet<br />

flies have in common?<br />

That’s right, they all originated in<br />

Nova Scotia!<br />

Frome top right clockwise:<br />

Cosseboom, Black Bomber, Ross Special,<br />

NS Classic, Pink Panther, Interceptor,<br />

& McCoul Special.

Page 35<br />

Silver’s Pool Salmon<br />

by Two Artists<br />

When the late artist Joe Crilley saw<br />

Gilbert van Ryckevorsel’s inspiring<br />

underwater photograph of Silver’s<br />

Pool salmon, he had to paint it.<br />

He did so and then gave the painting<br />

to Gilbert. Today it hangs on the wall<br />

of Gilbert’s home in Mahone Bay, NS.

Page 36

Page 37<br />

George F. MacDonald & Sons<br />

Bulldozing & Trucking<br />

∗<br />

∗<br />

∗<br />

∗<br />

∗<br />

∗<br />

Bulldozing<br />

Trucking<br />

Excavating<br />

Gravel<br />

Road Building<br />

Snow Removal<br />

RR# 5 New Glasgow, Nova Scotia B2H 5C8<br />

Bus: 902-922-2007 Fax:902-922-2411<br />

E-mail: gfmacdonaldsons@ns.sympatico.ca

Page 38<br />

Dan Macintosh<br />

Dan Macintosh was one of the more noted of the St. Mary's<br />

River guides. An easy-going man who died in his seventies,<br />

he made his living off the land, trapping, fishing, hunting, and<br />

guiding sports. His fame lives on, not only in the stories told<br />

about him but also with the popular Macintosh salmon fly,<br />

which he is credited with perfecting. The following was related<br />

by Duncan Crowell.<br />

I remember one time Dan said to me, "Do you like salmon?"<br />

"Yeah, I love it."<br />

So he reached up on the set of deer horns he had there an'<br />

he took the .22 down.<br />

"Come with me," he said.<br />

"Where are you goin'?"<br />

"For a salmon."<br />

"With a .22?"<br />

"You haven't seen anything yet," he said.<br />

We went down over the bank of the St. Mary's, right under the<br />

little green bridge that ran across. Oh, there'd be about six or<br />

eight inches of water in there, and here were these big<br />

salmon layin' in the water, movin' their tails just enough to<br />

keep them against the stream. He stuck the .22 down.<br />

Phew! Up comes a salmon, belly up. It never hit him, just<br />

stunned him. So he grabbed it by the tail an' said, "Here, take<br />

that an' take off up over the bank with it." Later on I heard<br />

Phew! an' here he was comin' with one.<br />

They were fishin' there one time an' he had caught a salmon.<br />

There was an American there, and he wanted to buy it. The<br />

American had been fishin' for several days an' hadn't got<br />

anything. He said,<br />

"Mr. Macintosh, how about sellin' me that salmon?"<br />

"Well, okay. Give me a dollar a pound."<br />

"How much does it weigh?"<br />

"About eleven pounds," Dan said.<br />

"Oh hell, that salmon would never weigh eleven pounds."<br />

"Well," he said, "there's one way to find out.<br />

We'll go into Sherbrooke an' weigh it."<br />

So they started up over the bank to go to one of the stores.<br />

When he was comin' up the bank, there was a drift bolt there,<br />

one of these square drift bolts. Dan reached down, picked it<br />

up an' shoved it down the throat of the salmon, into the belly<br />

of it. So anyway, they weighed it an' it weighed pretty close to<br />

what Dan said the thing would weigh. "My God," the American<br />

said,<br />

"That's deceiving. That salmon doesn't look that big."<br />

"Ah," he said, "that's one of them bolt salmon. They're deceiving<br />

as hell."<br />

They used to have bounty at one time on porcupines, twenty<br />

-five cents. What Dan used to do, in addition to the snout, he<br />

used to take the pad, the front paws, an' make two more snouts<br />

out of them; they looked the same. So he got seventy-five<br />

cents for each porcupine. They'd take the snouts into the<br />

game warden. He'd count them an' give you a check for whatever<br />

it was. So this day, Dan took about a five-pound paperbag<br />

full of 'em in. The game warden dumped them out on<br />

his desk an' counted them back into the bag again. Of course<br />

they were no good to the game warden after that, so he threw<br />

them into the wastepaper can. Then he went into the next room<br />

to get a check to write out for Dan. Dan picked it out of the<br />

wastepaper can an' shoved it down under his coat. He paid him<br />

for the snouts, so he left. Next day, he sent them through with<br />

the mail-coach driver to sell them again.

Page 39<br />

Dan lived right on the bank of the St. Mary's, an' he used to<br />

set a net the whole way across the river about two o' clock in<br />

the mornin'. Around five, he'd look at it again an' take it up of<br />

course. Then he'd give whatever he'd caught to the mailcoach<br />

driver to take through to Antigonish to sell for him. One<br />

day, an American said to him, "Mr. Macintosh, how far up here<br />

do the salmon run?" Dan said, "They take the water to my<br />

place an' they take the coach from there to<br />

Antigonish."<br />

He was quite a lad.<br />

This is from a book titled Guides of the North Woods by Michael<br />

Parker, Nimbus Publishing Limited, Halifax NS, 1990.<br />

The painting of Dan Macintosh is by Joseph Crilley.<br />

MacIntosh Dry Fly, tied & photographed by Bill Carpan.<br />

Below—Dan MacIntosh & family with pet whitetail deer.

Page 40<br />


<strong>SMRA</strong> is thankful to receive in-memoriam donations from friends and family of people whose<br />

angling experiences on the St. Mary’s River contributed to their enjoyment of life.<br />

We will provide an in memory card and send them to family and friends acknowledging that a<br />

donation was made in memoriam by you. A tax receipt will be issued to the donor.<br />

Please mail donations to:<br />

St. Mary’s River Association PO Box 179<br />

Sherbrooke NS Canada B0J 3C0<br />

Your donation will help us in our continued efforts to help the wild Atlantic salmon.<br />

THANK YOU!<br />

St. Mary’s District<br />

Lions Club<br />

Dinner meetings 2nd—4th Thursdays, 7pm<br />

6 Main Street<br />

Sherbrooke, NS<br />

902-522-2800<br />

Lion’s Club Community Centre<br />

Sherbrooke, NS<br />

We serve our community, our province, our country, the world.<br />




9996 Hwy 16 Unit P-1<br />

Tel: 902.533.2280<br />

Toll free: 1.855.511.2280<br />

Fax: 902.533.3039<br />

Email: lphines@ns.sympatico.ca<br />

FB: Lloyd Hines MLA Guysborough<br />

Eastern Shore Tracadie<br />

www.lloydhines.ca<br />



New Construction/Renovations/Siding/Roofing/<br />

Foundations/Eavestroughing<br />

Member of New Home Warranty<br />


Bus. 902-863-4318 Fax. 902-863-3549<br />

4001 Hwy #7 RR#5 Antigonish NS B2G 2L3

Page 41<br />

From the Shallow End of the Pool<br />

with ole Hookbill<br />

After an absence of many years I decided to visit one of my<br />

favourite places, the shallow end of the pool. You see it’s<br />

there I get perspective on life, on mother nature, on what<br />

really matters! At the shallow end of the pool there is<br />

peace and there is hope.<br />

You will not find 'facebook' there but rather 'faithbrook'.<br />

There is 'twitter' there but it comes from the 'birdhouse'<br />

and not the 'whitehouse'. And there you can get<br />

'linkedin' with the wisdom and understanding that goes<br />

back to the very beginning.<br />

When I was last at the shallow end<br />

of the pool, my old friend the<br />

crow was sitting on a dead limb,<br />

on a dead tree, looking over a<br />

nearly dead river. And then I heard<br />

him cawe:<br />

"Hookbill, I was just thinking of the<br />

words of Henry Ford: "If you keep<br />

doing what you have always done,<br />

you will keep getting what you<br />

always got." He went on: "You<br />

see my flock have have been<br />

observing the river for thousands<br />

of years and have been trying to<br />

convey to you people that the<br />

river is dying and very little is being<br />

done to restore it. You see,<br />

as a flock, we have done ok. As<br />

a matter of fact our numbers are increasing. How can that<br />

be, you ask? You see we have been afforded a place to<br />

grow our young. However, you have decimated the nesting<br />

and growing habitat for our marine life.”<br />

“Look Hookbill, here it is in a nutshell! There is 'natural<br />

wisdom' and there is 'artificial intelligence'. You have<br />

been the victims of 'artificial intelligence' for too long. So,<br />

'Hookbill, the solution is simple, listen to the crow, and<br />

embrace 'natural wisdom' and replace and restore what<br />

you have destroyed. Hookbill, its time to draw a new 'river<br />

map'. There is a better way to do fish management, a<br />

way which will ensure 'you will not get what you always<br />

got'.”<br />

“Just ask the crow!"<br />


J.W. Sinclair Prop.<br />

902-485-1881<br />

Traditional style wood<br />

and canvas canoes.<br />

15’, 16’,17.5’ length.<br />

Also poles and paddles. 3230 Route 376,<br />

Pictou, NS B0K 1H0

Page 42<br />

The Waddens and the Ackroyd Fly<br />

Many of the St. Mary’s River old-timers fondly remember<br />

the Wadden brothers, Eddie & Bunny, from<br />

Westville NS. They were true angling pioneers, proving<br />

that fly fishing for Atlantic salmon in salt water<br />

can provide great sport in and around river estuaries.<br />

They developed streamer fishing for sea-run brown<br />

trout in the salt water and angled giant striped bass<br />

in Guysborough county surf.<br />

Most of all, they had fun. Bunny was the quiet one.<br />

Eddie was the more sociable of the two, always<br />

ready to help a novice or spin a yarn. Eddie, often<br />

carrying a glass of “orange juice”, entertained the<br />

bankers at the Ford Pool with his stories and antics.<br />

These men were experts. They knew their sport well,<br />

designing and tying flies to support their habit.<br />

Eddie’s favourite salmon fly was the Ackroyd. He’d<br />

often tell stories about an especially large salmon he<br />

caught or lost on an Ackroyd. As he got worked up<br />

by recalling the excitement of his experience he developed<br />

quite a stutter, regaling his audience.<br />

Eddie liked a large Ackroyd in the cold water of fall<br />

Rivers such as the Margaree, or early spring on the<br />

East River St. Mary’s. He also fished a small hair<br />

wing version in the summer. He loved that fly. If you<br />

try it, you may experience some of Eddie’s excitement<br />

and also share the thrills of many anglers who<br />

lived well before Eddie’s time.<br />

Historically, the Ackroyd belongs to the family of Dee<br />

strip winged flies. These are very old flies (early<br />

1800’s) originating from the famous Scottish river Aberdeenshire<br />

Dee, commonly called the Dee. The Dee<br />

flies are very special, with their characteristic turkey<br />

wings and long spey hackle. Ideally the Dee fly is tied<br />

on long-shank light or medium weight hooks, dressed<br />

thin & sparse, allowing them to sink more readily in<br />

heavy water.<br />

The Ackroyd is a fairly simple fly featuring a yellow<br />

and black body, nicknamed “the poor man’s Jock<br />

Scott”. The fly in the photo was tied by four-time<br />

world champion classic fly tier Jim McCoul of Brookfield<br />

NS. Specifications are as follows:<br />

Hook:<br />

Tag:<br />

Tail:<br />

Body:<br />

Rib:<br />

Throat:<br />

Wing:<br />

Sides:<br />

The Ackroyd<br />

Long shank spey-type hook,<br />

sizes 6 - 3/0<br />

Fine oval silver tinsel<br />

Golden pheasant crest topped with<br />

tippet strands<br />

First half, yellow seal’s fur (or angora<br />

dubbing)<br />

Second half, black floss<br />

Oval silver tinsel, yellow hackle ove<br />

the yellow seal’s fur and a black longfibered<br />

Spey hackle over the black<br />

floss<br />

Teal or mallard flank<br />

A pair of cinnamon or white turkey tail<br />

strips, tied flat on top<br />

Jungle cock, drooping below the hook<br />

shank<br />

Bill Carpan, Stillwater, 2008

Page 43<br />

NS Hatch Chart<br />

People get ready, there’s a hatch a’comin!

Page 44<br />

Photograph by<br />

Gilbert van Ryckevorsel<br />

Juvenile Shad<br />

Photograph by<br />

Gilbert van Ryckevorsel

Page 45<br />

Underwater Photographs by<br />

Gilbert van Ryckevorsel,<br />

Mahone Bay, NS, Canada<br />

Photograph by<br />

Gilbert van Ryckevorsel

Page 46<br />

The Wrong Bull<br />

This tale is from a 1996 book,<br />

HOOKED!, by Lowell R. Demond<br />

of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia.<br />

I knew him as a likeable<br />

gentleman when he was President<br />

of the LaHave River<br />

Salmon Association. Lowell retired<br />

as Principal of Bridgewater<br />

High School in 1994. Many<br />

thanks to him for giving us permission<br />

to publish this.<br />

Bill Carpan, Stillwater NS<br />

The Margaree is one of the most picturesque rivers in<br />

Nova Scotia. Located in Cape Breton, it runs through fairly<br />

high hills with mixed hardwoods and is especially colourful<br />

in the fall. It also is one of the best salmon-producing<br />

rivers in the province and is known for its large fish.<br />

Herman and I like to do some fall fishing and on occasion<br />

we journey to the Margaree.<br />

There are a lot of good pools to fish on the river and,<br />

although the fishing pressure is rather heavy, if you scout<br />

around, you can usually find a pool with fish in it that is not<br />

crowded. One such pool is the Seal Pool, on the lower end<br />

of the river.<br />

To get to this pool, you park along the highway and walk<br />

down a steep bank to a large, open pasture. I don't know<br />

if this is common land or not, but there are usually about<br />

one hundred head of cattle pastured there on the large<br />

acreage. There are few fences, and the cattle have<br />

access to the river.<br />

One fall, Herman and I were fishing at the Seal Pool,<br />

taking turns rotating down the river. A number of fish<br />

were showing in the pool, and on my second trip down, I<br />

hooked about a ten-to-twelve pound salmon. It put up a<br />

good fight, and since catch and release was required of<br />

large salmon, I reeled it in as quickly as possible and<br />

Herman helped me release it. We then continued on<br />

fishing.<br />

After we had been there about an hour, a young couple<br />

appeared on the scene. He was a fisherman and she<br />

was an observer, and for the purpose of this story, we<br />

will call her the "girlfriend." She had brought a cushion and<br />

found a good place to sit where she had a good view of<br />

the river. He, meanwhile, walked down over the bank<br />

and started fishing in the river below us.<br />

As is customary, we were rotating the pool, and<br />

although we were not upset that he had stepped in<br />

front of us, some anglers would have been.<br />

Before this young couple had arrived, there had been<br />

quite a commotion going on in the pasture among the<br />

cattle. Herman and I had been watching this off and<br />

on, and it appeared to us that a very large bull was<br />

exercising his authority with a cow that was in heat,<br />

and there was a smaller bull who was also interested.<br />

The big bull constantly butted the smaller bull, and on<br />

occasion became quite aggressive with him. The<br />

young fellow wanted a sniff, but the old bull was determined<br />

this was not to be. This caused the young<br />

bull to become frustrated, and he mooed and bleated<br />

and frothed at the mouth. Sometimes he got so exasperated<br />

that he pawed the ground and the dirt would<br />

fly right over his back into the air. While all of this was<br />

going on, the herd was working its way towards us<br />

and getting closer.<br />

Before long, the young bull left the herd and started<br />

towards where the girlfriend was sitting on the bank.<br />

He was still making his strange sounds and pawing<br />

the ground, and she had her eye on him. Closer and<br />

closer he came and finally she yelled out to Herman<br />

and me, "Is that animal a bull?" We told her it was,<br />

but not to worry about him, as we considered him<br />

harmless. The bull kept coming, and she panicked<br />

and began to cry.<br />

The boyfriend was downriver quite a distance from<br />

us, and we called to him and told him his girlfriend<br />

needed help. Herman also became concerned and<br />

suggested we throw rocks at the bull, as he was now<br />

within throwing distance. The boyfriend reeled in his<br />

fishing line and was now heading upstream along the<br />

river bank at a fast pace to her rescue.<br />

There were lots of good rocks to throw, because the<br />

river bottom was all gravel and had rocks from one<br />

inch to six inches in diameter. Herman and I would<br />

reach in the water and get a rock and throw it at the<br />

bull. We continued this until I picked up a wet rock<br />

about the size of a softball. When I went to throw it, it<br />

slipped out of my hand and came very close to hitting<br />

the boyfriend on the head. If it had hit him, it might<br />

have killed him or at least caused him serious injury.<br />

This scared the heck out of me, but before I could<br />

fully comprehend the seriousness of my action,<br />

Herman hollered, "You're throwing at the wrong bull."

Page 47<br />

These six words changed the whole situation around.<br />

When the girlfriend heard what Herman had said,<br />

she stopped crying, seemed to forget the bull and<br />

started to laugh. The boyfriend, too, thought it was<br />

funny. The bull turned and started in another<br />

direction, and I, having recovered from my scary<br />

throw, nearly fell in the river as a result of my weakened<br />

condition from laughing, and my relief at not<br />

hitting the boyfriend on the head. The young couple<br />

quickly gathered up their belongings, and the last I<br />

saw of them, they were scurrying up the steep side of<br />

the pasture to where their car was parked.<br />

St. Mary’s River Bridges of History<br />

Often when I am fishing near a field or see cattle<br />

along a river, which is not uncommon, I think of this<br />

incident, and when I do, I wonder about three things:<br />

(1) how the story sounded when the girlfriend or<br />

boyfriend told it,<br />

(2) If I had hit the boyfriend on the head with the<br />

rock and killed him, whether or not I would<br />

have been charged for a criminal offence, and<br />

(3) What would the verdict of the jury have been?<br />

Bridges<br />

Above: Stillwater Footbridge<br />

Left: West River St. Mary’s Footbridge<br />

Below: Week’s Covered Bridge, Aspen, 1950<br />

Waterfront lots available on the<br />

St. Mary’s River<br />

where the river meets the<br />

Atlantic Ocean.<br />

Sawmill Landing is a new<br />

development in Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia.<br />

Excellent location for your retirement dream house or summer<br />

retreat. Enjoy nature at your doorstep with boating, hiking,<br />

biking, fishing and relaxing.<br />

For more information:<br />

Phone: 902-328-4338 or 902-522-2343<br />

Email: waterfront@bellaliant.net<br />


Page 48<br />

In Memory of Friends<br />

The St. Mary’s River lost some of its best friends and valuable<br />

members of our community in the year past.<br />

First was Colin (Duke) Coady of Stillwater. Duke served as a<br />

<strong>SMRA</strong> Director for several years, then started SHOPS, Sherbrooke<br />

Opportunities Society, in 2009 to provide education for disabled<br />

people in the area. He was the driving force behind SHOPS and<br />

president of the group when he died suddenly in April, 2017. His<br />

love for politics and ability to fix most anything mechanical made<br />

him a very valuable community resource.<br />

Next was Jack Duffy of Waternish. Jack passed while on a trip to<br />

Newfoundland doing what he loved, fishing. He was a Director of<br />

<strong>SMRA</strong> for several years, always ready to help with river projects like<br />

our smolt wheel or habitat restoration. Jack loved telling fish stories<br />

and was an avid hunter as well.<br />

Then we lost Paul d’Entrement of Aspen from a long fight with<br />

heart disease. Paul was a NSSA Director, then <strong>SMRA</strong> Director for<br />

many years. Paul was always ready to lend his support when<br />

needed. He participated in habitat restoration projects, revision of<br />

<strong>SMRA</strong>’s constitution, stocking and assessment projects. His<br />

outgoing & friendly personality earned him many friends in his<br />

travels over the years.<br />

Finally, in February <strong>2018</strong>, we lost Florence Duffy, wife of Jack,<br />

from Waternish. Florence was long-time <strong>SMRA</strong> Director. She was<br />

project manager for construction of our Education & Interpretive<br />

Centre in Sherbrooke, then served as Treasurer of the Association<br />

for several years. Florence was adept at fund raising & helped the<br />

organization immeasurably, always ready & able to take on challenges.<br />

We’ll miss them all, but<br />

we’ll remember them<br />

from their lasting contributions<br />

and joy they<br />

gave us.<br />

From top right,<br />

Duke Coady,<br />

Jack Duffy,<br />

Florence Duffy, and<br />

Paul d’Entremont

Page 49<br />

Fly Tyer’s Corner<br />

The Duchess<br />

by Jim McCoul, Truro NS<br />

For more Jim McCoul & Bob MacDonald flies see<br />

https://www.stmarysriverassociation.com/fun-page--river-arts.html<br />

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Owner/Operator<br />

902-752-4172<br />

Toll free: 1-888-377- WELL (9355)<br />

www.martinwelldrilling.ca<br />


Page 50<br />

The Tuttle Cabin on Rock Island Pool<br />

If there's one thing my father, Ralph Tuttle, loved to do<br />

above all else, it was to go fishing. fly fishing for Atlantic<br />

salmon in particular, and preferably on the St. Mary's<br />

River. He tied his own flies and made his own fishing rods,<br />

he was also a renowned expert on the subject of how and<br />

where to catch salmon.<br />

After many years of fishing on the St. Mary's and living in<br />

tents while doing so, an opportunity presented itself to acquire<br />

a piece of land near the Rock Island Pool on the<br />

west branch of the river. During the summer of 1969 the lot<br />

was cleared, logs were cut and the following year the<br />

cabin was constructed.<br />

Having the cabin made it much easier to go fishing and<br />

that's what my father did every chance he got. I tagged<br />

along on many trips to fish the spring run on the east<br />

branch of the river. I remember a few names from those<br />

days, Wes MacDougall, Ray Buckland, and<br />

Ralph Tuttle, left, sharing yarns with another angler Gordon Macintosh to name a few. It was quite a thrill<br />

whenever one of them would land one of those big fish.<br />

Later in the season the salmon would run on the west branch, then it was a matter of stepping off the cabin porch and<br />

he was on the river.<br />

From the first days at the cabin until about the mid-eighties the fishing was very good and on a good day you could<br />

limit out in ten minutes if you wanted to. There was a noticeable decline in salmon numbers from that point on though,<br />

as most are aware, and they have not rebounded since. Dad's reasoning for the decline was in line with many people's<br />

thinking: habitat destruction, acid rain, overfishing on the high seas, etc.<br />

Dad passed away in 1997, he was able to enjoy his cabin and fishing right up to the end. When you think about how<br />

passionate he was about it, he was fortunate to have such a place and to live in a time when the wilderness was still<br />

largely unspoiled.<br />

My son now has the cabin and we're giving the old place some much<br />

needed attention. My little grandson loves it there too and caught his<br />

first trout last summer. There's a picture of my father hanging above the<br />

fireplace, I'm pretty sure he'd approve of what we are doing and he<br />

would be elated by the fact that his great-grandson loves to go fishing.<br />

Paul Tuttle, <strong>2018</strong><br />

Editor’s note: I recall one spring when Ralph Tuttle had great<br />

fishing on the East Branch, catching several large early run<br />

salmon where other highly skilled anglers failed. He just seemed<br />

able to find a salmon wherever he fished! In photos I’ve seen of<br />

Ralph holding salmon there is never blood on the fish. That’s because<br />

he didn’t like to land his fish with a gaff as most anglers<br />

did. He preferred use of a compact Hardy tailer that he carried, a<br />

snare-type device that tailed & landed his fish cleanly. A few<br />

years later gaffs were prohibited and others, including myself,<br />

carried tailers as well. But, in my opinion, Ralph was first to do so<br />

on the St. Mary’s River.

Page 51<br />

President:<br />

Scott Beaver<br />

Vice-President:<br />

Kenny Silver<br />

Secretary:<br />

Treasurer:<br />

Gwen Boutilier<br />

Past President:<br />

Scott Beaver<br />

Directors:<br />

Allan MacDonald<br />

Donnie Barnes<br />

John Silver<br />

Winston Sawlor<br />

Tim Sawlor<br />

Ralph Jack<br />

George Sutherland<br />

Rene Beaver<br />

John Hamilton<br />

Sandy Barnhill<br />

Clyde McGrath<br />

Alan MacDonald<br />

Honorary Directors:<br />

Hardy Eshbaugh<br />

David Sobey<br />

George Archibald<br />

Gilbert van Ryckevorsel<br />

New directors are<br />

appointed at the<br />

Annual General Meeting<br />

in May.<br />

If you are interested in becoming<br />

a director or if you<br />

want to contact a director,<br />

please call us at:<br />

902-522-2099<br />

or<br />

e-mail us at:<br />

stmaryriver@ns.sympatico.ca<br />

Advertisers<br />

Antigonish .5 to 1.00 ………………………………..21<br />

Antigonish Rent All …………………………………29<br />

Atlantic Salmon Federation ……………………….19<br />

Bio-Liquid Waste Liquid Disposal Inc…………...37<br />

Bounty Print ………………………………………… 49<br />

Breton Petroleum……………………………………36<br />

C&J Martin Well Drilling …………………………...49<br />

Carole Gartside …………………………..…………22<br />

CBDC ………………………………………………….29<br />

Fraser & Hoyt ………………………………………. 41<br />

George F. MacDonald & Sons …………………….37<br />

Guys. Co. Community Business Dev. Corp ……14<br />

H.W. Angus Funeral Home…………………………29<br />

Highland Building ……………………………….... 29<br />

Liscombe Lodge …………………………………….41<br />

Lloyd Hines …………………………………………..40<br />

Municipality. of the District of St. Mary’s ……….28<br />

Nimrod’s Campground ………………..…………..19<br />

NS Nature Trust …………………..………………….9<br />

Peter Archibald Forestry …………..………………29<br />

Royal Bank …………………………………………...40<br />

Sawmill Landing …………………………………….30<br />

Sherbrooke Garage …………………………………19<br />

Sherbrooke Village ………………………………….29<br />

Sinclair Canoes…………………...………………….41<br />

St. Mary’s Lion’s Club ………………………………40<br />

St. Mary’s Shooters Assoc…………………………29<br />

St. Mary’s Smokehouses …………………………..29<br />

Tate Construction …………………………………...40<br />

The Claymore Inn & Suites ………………………..51<br />

Whidden’s Campground …………………………..20

Page 52<br />

Want to see the world’s greatest salmon dry fly video?<br />

Click here:<br />

Or here:<br />

https://www.facebook.com/mark.melnyk.75/videos/10157088478795227/<br />

https://vimeo.com/53108933<br />

Bye now,<br />

Hope you enjoyed<br />

<strong>SMRA</strong> News <strong>Online</strong>.<br />

Come see us again,<br />

Mac the Snap<br />

Photographs by Gilbert van Ryckevorsel<br />

St. Mary’s River Association<br />

Education & Interpretive<br />

Centre<br />

8404 Highway #7, SHERBROOKE, NS<br />

1-902-522-2099<br />

stmarysriver@ns.sympatico.ca<br />

Atlantic salmon angling exhibits

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