Winter 1955/56

During all that winter I caught a lot of speckle trout’s, pickerels and pikes and snared a lot of rabbit’s. It was a great winter and what I noticed that I saw a lot of partridges and a lot of white partridges, ptarmigans they called them and a lot together sometimes 20 to 30 of them. I asked my grandfather when I can start learning how to shoot the 22 rifle or shot gun. He said you’re a bit too young maybe next year for the 22 rifle. No choice I had to wait. He also said that he would buy me a BB gun to start practising with and that maybe on my birthday. Which, I received for my birthday. That was the end of May 1956 and did I ever practise with it.


The second day out, checking my snares.

All dressed up snowshoes on and across the river I went and without breakfast again. I started by checking the farthest snares yes one big rabbit in the last one and it was frozen stiff. Oh caught a second one and ended up with three rabbits I was so much in a hurry to get home to show them to my grandparents, I did not even check my lines. Once home and showing them off and all tickled about this, my grandfather said, no fish. I forgot I’ll go back and check. My grandmother said have breakfast first and at the same time you have to warm up. I had breakfast and off I was to Charles’s Creek. The ice had frozen another good 5 inches overnight. I checked my four fish holes and had 3 nice speckle trout again the biggest one was an easy 4 lbs. I went home running with my snowshoes on.


Out to check my snares and lines

Up very early that morning and it looked pretty cold out. I told my grandma that I would go and check my things and have breakfast after. It must have been around 7 o’clock. Grandma said dress warm because it must be in the -25C this morning and with that little north wind. I did get dressed warm, tied up my moccasins and out I went and got my big snowshoes on. They belonged to my grandfather and he weighed a little over 300 lbs. Down to the river I went up and across to the other side all in 20 minutes. The first snare nothing, did not even move. The second and third and fourth and fifth nothing, I said to myself well maybe the next one or to-morrow and oops there was one but it was alive and caught by the foot. So I approached it and it started jumping I managed to get a hold of it and take the snare off. What do I do now; it was trying to scratch me. I’ll put it alive in my pack sack. As I tried to get my pack sack open guess what I lost the rabbit. I checked my other three snares and nothing. So I went on to check my fishing lines. The ice that night in my fish holes froze 5 inches. I pulled out to great speckle trout and the big one was 4 lbs 6 oz. and measured 23 inches. After everything was fixed up snares and lines back to the house I went. When I got home breakfast was in the oven waiting for me and I was hungry. I told them the story about the rabbit thinking that they would not believe me. They believed me and my grandfather said do you remember the carnation can yesterday, no bigger than that. If it’s bigger than that they jump through it and get caught by the leg.


Out Ice Fishing and Setting Snares

I was up early and got the chores done, Filled the wood box, cut up a bit of kindling, (small pieces of dry wood to start a fire). Filled up the hot water tank and emptied the slop pail. I said to grandma, yes I brought some birch in. My breakfast was ready and often it was toast peanut butter or cheese. Once in awhile I had back bacon and eggs. In an half hour I was on my way, I had to put my moccasins on because I had to put my snowshoes that morning. We had over two feet of snow on the river. Off I took with my axe, chisel and pack sac on. I was heading for Charles’s Creek half a mile down the river. Holy smokes the rabbit trails all over on both sides of the creek. Cut a few branches got my snare wire out and in about two hours I had 10 snares set. Made 4 holes which took also a good hour all my lines were in. The ice was about a foot thick, beginning of December 1954. Hoops one line is moving. I ran grabbed the line and out game a nice speckle trout 2 lbs. Put a piece of salt pork back on to the hook and back into the hole it went. Something was nibbling on the same line and out I pulled it another trout about the same as the first. I ended up catching 6 nice trout all the same size. I could not wait until the next morning.


Winter 1954-1955 Rabbit Snaring Lesson.

That winter was just as much fishing as the winter before. But that winter where Charles’s Creek is I start my first hunting experience well rabbit snaring. My grandfather Fred showed me how to make a snare. This was on the kitchen table. He asked me to bring in a few spruce branches so I did. We sat at the kitchen table he broke a few branches and stood them up along the big branches. Cleared a space in-between about 6 inches wide cut a length of 12 inches off the role of snare wire, twisted a small loop at one end and then started pulling the wire over his knee until the wire started to be round. Put the end of the wire into the small loop and pull it until it was completely round. He said it should round and the same diameter as that can of carnation milk that was on the table. Tied it to the big branch and the bottom of the round or ring was 4 inches off the table. Then he put a few small branches underneath the ring. He said when the rabbit is hopping along and wants to continue his path threw the snare he has to lift his head and bingo into the snare he goes.


Summer 1954 fishing with a rod and reel.

One noon hour as I was having dinner at my Aunt Leona’s place. I asked my uncle Howard can I borrow your fishing rod. I want to go and cast off the dock. No problem you know where it is and bring a few lures the red and white ones. I said thank you very much and I will be very careful. At 16:00 sharp I was in the basement picking up that rod and down to the dock I went. Hooked the lure to the line or swivel and here goes my first cast and a real good swing, yes all tangled up it was. These reels go back and forth as you reel in and when their tangled, it took me an hour to untangle it. So ready for my second cast, nice and slow, it went about 25 feet out, reeled in and nothing. Another cast and all tangled up again, tried to untangle it. I ended up brining it to my uncle Howard. He fixed it and showed me how to cast all in one motion and nice and easy swing. So the next few days at the dock were practise for me. But during that summer lost a few lures but caught some nice and big fish. The pickerel was the biggest one, easy 10 lbs.


Back to my childhood stories:

During that whole summer of 1953 my buddies and I caught fish like crazy and always off the same dock. My friends Jimmy, Jud and Lloyd had a lot of fun but my grandmother was tired of cooking fish that summer. The biggest fish I caught that year was a 9lbs. pickerel.

My first time ice fishing on the Moose River. As you may remember I said we had no running water at home. But the river was only 1000 feet from the house. So down I went with my water pail maybe a 2 gallon pail and my axe. My grandmother told me to be careful with the axe as it was very sharp. The ice was about 8 inches thick and the hole I cut was about a foot in diameter. I threw the bucket in filled it and up to house to pour it into the 45 gallon drum that was in the porch. Yes I also filled the boiler (water tank attached to the stove.) I must have made 30 to 40 trips just too half fill the drum. Then I filled the wood box up, I and still hear my grandmother saying don’t forget to bring some birch in. As birch burns longer and gave better heat. It was noon and time to eat lunch, while I was eating and day dreaming I told myself I’m going ice fishing. Down to that hole I went with line hook and a piece of salt pork that my grandmother said was good to maybe catch a big sturgeon. I fished until dark and ended up 2 pickerel the big one was 5 lbs. Also, I caught a small pike. That was a good start for my first ice fishing on the Moose River.

During that whole winter I did a lot of ice fishing, my buddies came once in a while. I was just beside the river. They lived a good mile and a half from me. I don’t remember catching any sturgeon that winter but do remember the speckle trout’s. Just about half a mile down the river was a small creek called Charles’s Creek I had set a few lines and even night lines, the speckles that I caught there that winter were nice sizes. From half a pound to 4 lbs. and a few catfish and pickerel. That was about it for the winter 1953/54.


Hello everyone !

Hello everyone I’m sorry about not writing my little stories for the last month. The reason is I’m back to work as a police officer with the Naskapi Police Force. A 4 month contract, they needed a bit of help. Naskapis are natives living on an isolated village up in northern Quebec Canada. About 350 miles north of Sept Iles Qc. They are 13 km. from the paradise city for hunting and fishing, a place called Schefferville Qc. The population of the village which is Kawawachikamack is 800 residents. Yesterday I started work, patrol at 08:00 hours with my constable helper Andy D. At 09:05 hours as we passed in from of Lac (lake) John we noticed a little more than 100 caribous on the frozen lake. Cst. helper Andy grabbed the radio telephone and dialled the local radio station telling them that the caribou were on Lac John. About 15 to 20 minutes later. One, two, three, fifteen skidoos (snowmobiles) went by all heading for the herd. At the end of the afternoon around 16:00 hours the skidoos were on their way back and let me tell you they all had in-between 6 to 8 caribous tied behind their snowmobiles. Dragging them without a sled, that’s the way they do it here. Why all those caribous for one or two people. What they do is they kill the caribous for the whole community. Every house depending on the number of people living there will get one or two caribou. Not everyone can go out and hunt. So later on in my stories I will talk to you about this paradise city for hunting, fishing canoe and snowmobile adventurer. Wedge-hills lodge is located on the beautiful George River. The caribou herd which they call the George River herd is estimated at 600 thousand heads.