The total distance from Grand Falls to Fredericton is stated at 125 miles,
and the journey can be made comfortably in four days, but it is better to give it
a week; then there will be time for sightseeing along way, time to look at some
of the tributaries, to climb some of the hills and to thoroughly enjoy the varying
beauties of nature. In freshet time, with the river a raging flood, the distance
has been paddled in 14 hours and 46 minutes, and rafts have made the run unaided
except by the current in a single day. It is figured that the descent of the river
from Grand Falls to Fredericton is 298 feet, or an average drop of 2 feet 4 inches
per mile-evidence in itself that the water must run pretty rapidly.
Paddling down the river, one is impressed with the idea that the authorities should
take greater care of the river. Down almost every tributary stream float sawdust,
deal ends, shingle blocks and other lumber
from the mills along the banks. It seems as if no care was being taken to prevent
the throwing of refuse into these streams, and that refuse-so swift are the currents-all
finds its way to the St. John.Then, again, great care should be taken of the fisheries.
Almost every farmer has his net, and a good many hundred salmon get nabbed on their
way to the spawning grounds. The fish ways on some of the streams were out of water,
so no salmon could possibly get into them. There are hundreds upon hundreds of places
along the St. John on the journey between Grand Falls and Fredericton that seem
ideal spots for salmon.
It seems they should take the fly, and that the St. John should be just as famous
a salmon river as its tributaries. The popular belief is that the fish will not
rise to the fly, but maybe they have never been given a fair trial. Careful inquiry
failed to show that in recent years any attempt had been made to catch them in this
The journey, besides being a pleasant and enjoyable outing, can be made about as
cheaply as any summer trip that will suggest itself. For, say, a week's trip the
expenses will be light. Guides, with canoes, tents, cooking utensils, etc., can
be secured for $3 per day, and the only other expense is food and the transportation
to Grand Falls. Neither of these are heavy items.
Of the guides themselves it is only fair to say that four better men could not be
secured.George E. Armstrong, of Perth is the president of the New Brunswick Guide
Association, a young giant, tall, well built, lithe and wiry, a lover of the woods,
a splendid canoeist, and a keen huntsman, whether with rod, gun or camera, and withal
a genial companion. What is said of him can be said also of Adam Moore and Henry
Allan. They have lived in the woods and on the rivers, know them like books, can
tell at a glance a good camping ground, and, like Mr. Armstrong, are master hands
in a canoe. It is a pleasure to see them at work, so thoroughly and so skillfully
do they handle the business in hand, and so comfortable do they make the tourists
who are in the care. Mr. Allan, as has been said, is a perfect cook.
Phillips is a prince of rivermen, and in his hands his self-made 300-pound wooden
canoe, or row boat, which every you like, moved along as rapidly as a canvas, and
it was a sight to see the skill with which he polled it up the rapid Tobique. He is the great Fredericton
shad fisherman, and is one of the handiest and best men that can be secured. All
four are competent and pleasant, and in their care, or in the care of any one, a
canoeist can feel that every want will be met and every comfort provided, enabling
him to make the journey under the most favorable auspices.Right here it may be said
that the voyage is one that ladies can make without any inconveniences and that
they will thoroughly enjoy.
Additional Scenes from the upper St. John River...
More historical images
of New Brunswick...