Trout Fishing Holidays

It’s that time of the year when anglers are beginning to plan their fishing trips for the coming season. For some people, these excursions will occur close to home, while others may be looking at traveling further afield. The Internet is full of information on fishing destinations around the world. Researching these locations online and communicating with other anglers via email and through social media can make trip planning a lot easier, especially when visiting an area for the first time.

A century ago, reliable, up-to-date information was hard to come by and it wasn’t as easy for anglers to learn where to travel for some of the best fishing. Back then, you had to glean as much information as you could from magazines like Field & Stream and Outdoor Life, or by reading articles in the outdoor columns of newspapers. The same newspapers would frequently contain advertisements placed by various resorts, hotels, and guiding companies promoting the fishing opportunities available to their guests.

Field & Stream – June 1926
Artist: Henry Sumner Watson
Field & Stream – May 1931
Artist: Arthur Davenport Fuller
Outdoor Life – July 1938
Artist: H.F. Hoecker

If someone you knew was away on a trout fishing vacation, you may have received a postcard in the mail from them, such as the one pictured at the top of this post. It was published by Edward H. Mitchell of San Francisco, circa 1910, and shows an angler fishing on the Skykomish River which flows through the Cascade Mountains in Washington. If receiving a postcard like this wasn’t enough to pique your interest in a trout fishing get-a-way to the mountains, an advertisement by a railway company, in the form of a travel poster or brochure, would certainly do it.

Canadian Pacific produced more than 2,500 lithograph and silkscreen posters, from the 1880s until the 1970s. Upon completion of their Canadian transcontinental railway in 1885, the company would go on to own luxury hotels and resorts, ocean liners, cargo ships, and an airline. By the 1930s, the company was advertising itself as the “World’s Greatest Travel System.” Their posters were displayed in Canadian Pacific offices and travel agencies worldwide. They produced a number of travel posters promoting Canada as a fishing destination and commissioned some of the best artists of the time to create the artwork. Original Canadian Pacific posters are highly collectible today, often fetching thousands of dollars apiece.

Canadian Pacific Travel Poster – 1926
Canadian Pacific Travel Poster – 1934
Artist: Charles James Greenwood
Canadian Pacific Travel Poster – 1939
Artist: Carl Burger
Canadian Pacific Travel Poster – 1942
Artist: Peter Ewart
Canadian Pacific Travel Poster – 1950
Artist: Lorne Holland Bouchard

Article References & Credits

Posters of the Canadian Pacific by Marc H. Choko & David L. Jones
Canadian Pacific – Connecting Canada

Photos

University of British Columbia Library – The Chung Collection:
Canadian Pacific Railway travel posters (1926, 1934, 1942)

Postcard:
Trout Fishing in a Mountain Stream – VB Collection

This entry was posted in Back In Time and tagged , , , , .

10 Comments

  1. robert garnier March 18, 2020 at 10:59 am #

    Vic: First time I fished a trout stream (age 12 or so) and saw a fly rod was with a neighbour and his son. The father had a long glass fly rod, creel, hip waders and of course smoked a pipe filled with amphora tobacco. Loved the smell! We had spinning gear. All of us fished worms and split shot sort of high-sticking, euro-nymphing style…what can I say, we were ahead of the times, maybe even visionaries! LOL. Trout were kept and carefully placed in the creel with ferns. Your poster pics brought it all back…an idyllic and simple time.
    bob

    • Vic Bergman March 18, 2020 at 1:31 pm #

      Hi Bob,

      Back in the day, I carried a wicker creel, too. I still have it somewhere at home. Before getting a creel, I would carry my fish back to camp on a branch. One, while fishing Lee Creek, I left my catch at the edge of the water, while I went upstream to fish some beaver ponds. When I came back an hour or so later, the trout were gone, stick and all. I got a little nervous, as this was prime bear country. I kept looking over my shoulder, as I hurried back to our campsite.

      I think you’re right about how the “nymphing techniques” you used when you were a kid, may have evolved into what we do today, whether it’s Euro nymphing or using a corkie strike indicator, or “bobber.”

      I’m looking forward to your next post. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. DavidD March 5, 2020 at 3:01 pm #

    This month’s blog brings back memories. I still get out there some but not as much due to health and old age. So I can live vicariously through your blogs and the pictures and old posters.

    As far as pipes go, I never could get the hang of pipes, as it seemed to always leave a bitter taste in the mouth. Cigarettes where not great in the water, though, as it got wet and that was that, now your polluting the water with butts. Trying to light a cig with wet hands don’t work so good either, hence the pipe. Other than the tobacco in the bowl, it can’t get harmed by wet so can be stuck in the corner of ones mouth and puff away I suppose. Also, I believe it’s supposed to be like a cigar in that one doesn’t inhale so I’ve been lead to believe. So, other than mouth cancer it was supposed to be safer then cigs. Always liked the idea of a fine pipe though. Looks kinda peaceful looking, just like flyfishing.

    • Vic Bergman March 5, 2020 at 3:53 pm #

      Hi David,

      I think looking at an old picture or poster showing someone standing in a river or sitting in a boat with a pipe in their mouth is all about the persona of what people perceived a fly-fisherman looked like. It’s true, though, a lot of fly anglers were pipe smokers in those days. Probably not as many nowadays.

      I’m glad you have been enjoying my posts. I appreciate your comments!

  3. Bob Costa March 5, 2020 at 2:51 pm #

    Love that classic old artwork. The pipe and hat sure depicts Bing Crosby in one or two of those. Ironically, I’m at a destination in Cabo but without the pipe. I’d post a pic but it doesn’t seem I can. Yesterday, 2 dorado, 4 skipjack, and a yellowfin tuna. The skippys remained as bait for the guide but the dorado and tuna are tasting great! Sounds like we may be on our lakes quite early this year?

    • Vic Bergman March 5, 2020 at 3:28 pm #

      Bob,

      You’re in Cabo fishing and eating dorado & tuna, while I’m in Bellevue working and eating Skippy peanut butter sandwiches? That’s not fair! You probably know Bing Crosby was an avid fly fisher. He could croon and cast. Hope you are having a great time! See you when you get back.

      Fishing
      Bing Crosby fly-fishing

  4. J Walter March 5, 2020 at 11:22 am #

    Hello Vic,

    That’s great art work on the posters which you do not get anymore. The pipe is also what I remember as a youngster growing up when out fishing in the 60s early 70s. Remember Sportsman cigarettes. They had the fisherman on front and a fly on the back of the package. My grandfather would smoke them occasionally as well as the pipe, mostly while fishing. I can still smell the sweet aroma of the pipe smoke.

    • Vic Bergman March 5, 2020 at 11:53 am #

      Hi Walter,

      I really like the artwork on those Canadian Pacific posters too. I’m sure they enticed a lot of people to come on vacations to Canada. There were lots of different forms of advertising geared to sportsmen, back in the day. When I was a kid, I used to hang out at the local pool hall, watching the old-timers play snooker and golf. I usually went home with my clothes smelling of pipe smoke.

  5. Jim Williams March 5, 2020 at 10:00 am #

    Love the artwork. Pipes. Creels. Rods that bend. I used to mail postcards to loved one(s) on trips.

    • Vic Bergman March 5, 2020 at 10:36 am #

      Hi Jim,

      You don’t see artwork produced like that anymore. I have often wondered why a lot of these old pictures showed someone with a pipe. Maybe it was to show that smoking a pipe while fishing was relaxing? If fishing was slow, you could always sit on the bank with your pipe and contemplate life. Thanks for your comments!

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