Salmon Fishing in Goodbout River, Canada

Isaac McLellan

The kingly salmon! what more beautiful
Than his symmetric shape, so fearless fair!
His regal garniture of silvery scales
And flashing eyes resplendent with their light,
No marvel that they frolic, leap with joy,
Disporting in this cool pellucid stream,
Escaping sure from ocean enemies.
Years since were halcyon angling days,
Ere hatching haunts and high leas'd streams were known;
Forests were then unscored by swamper's axe,
No logging roads invaded regions lone;
No poachers then the forest depths explored
And only birch canoes on waves were toss'd,
No steam craft sought the unknown wilderness,
But now the wilds by railroad trains are cross'd;
And so the wild romance of woods is o'er,
And stranger crowds those recesses explore
And streams are free to angling rods no more.
We can respect the expert who in his boat
The mighty tarpon of the gulf may take
Or gaff the strip'd bass from the ocean rock,
Or slay the muscalonge in Northern lake;
Yet no fish with the salmon may compare,
No other pastime yields such noble sports.
For other sports lack mystery of woods,
Lack the rare views of nature's grand resorts.
The tarpon is but smasher of the line,
Full of rough vigor and of brutal force;
The strip'd bass fisher sees but sea and surf.
He that seeks salmon at the river source
Finds endless views 'mid each surrounding scene
By shores encircled by the woodlands green.
Their play on temper of the stream depends.
For where is foam and dash, is energy;
In the dead water, fish move sluggishly:
In rapid stream they frolic far and free.
Some streams have depth and breadth and mighty sweep,
Others are pent up, narrow and confined,
Some have broad pools with brightly pebbled floor,
Others have small pools with big boulders lined,
Some are o'erhung with thicket and with tree.
Some flow 'neath shadows of the precipice.
So there's no end to phases of the stream,
No end to angler's skill and artifice!