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Salmon on Display in Estevan Lodge

Estevan Lodge today houses a museum that displays the life and pastimes of Elsie Reford and her family. The rooms that formerly provided living quarters to the household staff are today exhibition rooms where the story of this historic property is told.

One of the rooms is dedicated to salmon fishing on the river. The objects on view provide a fascinating portrait of the period and the beautiful equipment that was to be found in the toolkit of every sports fisherman.

Priest made from deer bone and has a heavy piece of lead in the head

A Priest, an instrument used to kill fish

The Gaspésie region today has one of the largest concentrations of salmon rivers in the world. They still attract fishermen with their beauty, excellent guides, well-equipped camps and large and plentiful fish. This museum should be a popular venue for fishermen to discover the remarkable history of fishing in the region. But most of them are on bee line to their camps, making their journey over long distances to spend as many hours of the day trying their luck to land a salmon.

This fly-swatter is made from horsetail maintained on a shot stick embellished with leather straps.

Fly swatter

Fortunately, trophies of large salmon are a thing of the past. Concerns about the number and health of the salmon has led most rivers to favour catch and release – so the biggest fish are rarely taken out of the river.

Wooden panel of the largest fish ever caught on the Metis River, 45 lbs and more than 45 inches in length.

The effigy of the record catch on the Metis River in 1910