When I am working at my desk in the book room, the big bookcases are on the left, smaller bookcases on the right, and directly in front of me is a table with 17 small piles of books. Each little pile has a theme. I think all book piles are unfortunate, so I try to keep these small and when space opens up in the bookcases one of the piles gets smaller, likewise when one of these books is sold. The pile closest to me has been steadily growing and it is noticeably higher than all the others. Salmon books!
Here are the books in the pile.
The Atlantic Salmon Fly: The Tyers and Their Art; Judith Dunham, photographs by John
Clayton; Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 1991.
In this book 23 talented contemporary flytyers – from the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan – share the stories of their lives and present the magnificent creations that have helped earn them a well-deserved place in this popular area of flytying.
Trout and Salmon of the World; Silvio Calabi; The Wellfleet Press, Secaucus, NJ, 1990.
Trout and salmon have become the stuff of dreams, legends and hard-won holidays. Literary traditions and lifestyles have been built around them.
To Save A River: Documenting the Natural History, Restoration and Preservation of the Ducktrap River; photographs by Dennis C. Shultz; narrative by Scott Dickerson; A Coastal Mountains Land Trust Book; Aperture Fountain, New York, 2002.
This book tells the inspiring story, in words and matchless photographs, of the ongoing effort to restore and preserve one of the last salmon rivers in the eastern United States. Fully 81% of the land abutting the river has been permanently conserved through conservation easements and outright purchase.
160 Years of Salmon Stories: The Atlantic Salmon Museum’s Hall of Fame; Morris Green;
Central Miramichi Historical Society, Doaktown, New Brunswick, 2014.
Given Morris’ reputation as a natural storyteller, it was the good fortune of the Society that he agreed to combine his knowledge and research abilities with our collective work to bring this work to life. The result is 128 enjoyable short stories, all of which focus on the Atlantic salmon and the people who have spent a lifetime pursuing it.
Leaper: The Greatest Writing on Atlantic Salmon; editors: Charles Gaines and Monte Burke; published in association with the Atlantic Salmon Federation, St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada, 2001.
In this book, Charles Gaines and Monte Burke head a team of the greatest fly-fishers – in search of silver. They take us on a privileged tour of the wonderful realm of Atlantic Salmon fishing, starting with its birthplace in Scotland to today’s finest fishing waters around the world. The eleven destinations covered have been chosen for the interest and variety of the fishing and for the impact and beauty of the landscapes – including quietly gargling streams and secretive river pools. Leaper brings together revered figures from fly-fishing’s literary hall of fame and some of the best-known contemporary writers.
Giant Salmon – A Record of the Largest Atlantic Salmon Ever Caught; Fred Buller; Firefly
Books, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada, 2008.
The result of four decades of compilation and meticulous research by angler and author Fred Buller, Giant Salmon includes every known salmon with a weight of 50 pounds or more to have been caught in rivers around the world – in Canada, the United States, Scotland, Ireland, Norway and Sweden. With its tales of great catches – of huge fish caught in legendary rivers – Giant Salmon is not only a tribute to the King of Fish, but also a testament to a world that has largely disappeared.
The all-time record for a caught salmon is 103 pounds, pulled from the Forth in Scotland in 1907. The little fish on the cover weighed only 61.25 pounds and it was caught in the River Exe in England, in 1924. Somewhat surprising to me, was the few fish of this size caught in Atlantic Canada.
The One That Got Away
The following book was sold just before Christmas and this Nova Scotia treasure was sent off to
River Talk, a Collection of Stories, Tips and Flies, from a lifetime on the River; by Mike Crosby.
Interestingly, this book has no title page, no place or date of publication or publisher listed. It is obviously self-published and looking at dates referenced in the book, it was likely published around 2008. Crosby was from Nova Scotia and the majority of stories and photos are from Nova Scotia.
From the Foreword – This is a story that began 35 years ago when the norm was to catch a salmon, kill it, and then take it home and eat it. As such, in the early part of this book there are photographs of salmon that are very dead, and for that I apologize. Hook and release will help to ensure the future of Atlantic salmon fishing for you, your children and generations to come. This book is full of stories and fabulous photographs. Was he a good fisher? Towards the end of the book, he states that he is pretty sure that by the end of the 2007 season he surpassed landing his 3,000th Atlantic Salmon. It is doubtful that anyone in the future could even come close to this record, and this is sad.