version francais

  • The Cascapedia River Museum
  • The Grand Cascapedia
  • The Grand Cascapedia
  • The Grand CascapediaPhoto courtesy of Jean MacWhirter Bujold
  • The Grand Cascapedia River
The Cascapedia River Museum1 The Grand Cascapedia2 The Grand Cascapedia3 The Grand Cascapedia4 The Grand Cascapedia River5

Salmon Hall of Fame

Grand Cascapedia Giants

“Grand Cascapedia Giants” are salmon that weigh over 45 pounds. As the Cascapedia’s reputation for possessing that largest Atlantic salmon in North America grew, more and more anglers travelled here in hopes of catching one of these fabled fish for themselves.

Salmon that weigh 50 pounds or more are considered exceptional catches. According to Ronald S. Swanson, who wrote the book Grand Cascapedia Giants, only twenty-one or twenty-two record salmon have ever been caught in North America, but of these monster fish, seventeen have been caught along the Grand Cascapedia.

Ronald S. Swanson published a book, entitled Grand Cascapedia Giants, which records the stories and photographs surrounding all of the catches listed below.

Please click on the small camera icon to learn more about the anglers who caught these fabled Cascapedia giants.

Record Fish (50 Pounds and Over)

Picture Angler Originally From Size Date Guides Rod, Reel, Fly Location
Robert Graham Dun.
Victor Stanley was the son of Lord Stanley, for whom the NHL Stanley Cup is named.
Victor Albert Stanley England 55.0 lbs June 23, 1892 Pat Foran and Jem Gideon “Nameless small yellow fly” Big Camp Pool or Middle Camp water
Robert Graham Dun.
Robert Graham Dun (1826-1900) was a financial broker and business entrepreneur who owned the R. G. Dun Agency (which eventually became known as Dun & Bradsteet). In addition to his 1878 record-breaking 54 pound capture, Dun also caught a second 54 pound fish in 1886. Dun returned to the Cascapedia River many times and eventually built Red Camp in 1887. This photograph was taken in 1892.
Robert Graham Dun New York City 54 lbs Late June or early July 1878     Possibly caught in a pool near Woodman’s Inn.
Victor Stanley.
Robert Graham Dun (1826-1900) was a financial broker and business entrepreneur who owned the R. G. Dun Agency (which eventually became known as Dun & Bradsteet). In addition to this 1886 giant, Dun also caught a record-breaking 54 salmon in 1878. Dun had this photograph professionally taken to celebrate his achievement. Dun returned to the Cascapedia River many times and eventually built Red Camp in 1887.
Robert Graham Dun New York 54.0 lbs June 29, 1886   15.5 split bamboo Leonard rod; No. 1 Silver Gray Salmon Hole Pool
Esmond Martin.
The true weight of Esmond Bradley Martin’s catch was a highly controversial subject for a number of years. Before the discovery of Victor Stanley’s 55.0 pound salmon and Robert Dun’s 54 pound salmon, many felt that Esmond Martin’s catch was larger than Robert Dun’s earlier record. The discovery of these two larger catches, however, has put an end to the debate. Esmond Bradley Martin had his giant salmon stuffed and the fish has since been loaned to the National History Museum in Washington, DC.
Esmond Bradley Martin Old Westbury, Long Island, New York 53.0 lbs June 27, 1939 Lorne Willett and Collins Gedeon 8/0 Lady Amherst fly New Derreen’s Upper Jam Pool
Henry Nadeau.
Henry Nadeau (1888-1955) was a general storekeeper in Cascapedia and grew up alongside the Cascapedia River. On June 5, 1920, Henry Nadeau went fishing at Judge’s Pool, one of the best early season pools on the river. Pictured here with his daughter Norma, Henry Nadeau’s catch measured 48 inches long and weighed either 53 or 54 pounds. According to historian Ronald S. Swanson, Nadeau’s fish remains the largest Atlantic salmon ever caught by a Canadian.
Henry Nadeau Grand Cascapedia, Quebec 53.0 or 54.0 lbs June 5, 1920     Judge’s Pool
Charles B. Barnes.
Pictured above with his son, Charles, Jr., at Lorne Cottage, Barnes caught his 53 pound salmon on June 23, 1911. Barnes had the fish taxidermied, but unfortunately the mount was destroyed in a terrorist bombing that destroyed the entrance of the Anglers’ Club of New York in 1975. In 1883 Barnes became a co-owner of Lorne Fishing Camp. Only a year after catching his biggest salmon, Barnes died en route while returning to the coast in 1912.
Charles B. Barnes Boston 53 lbs June 23, 1911   2/0 Barnes fly; 21.5 oz. split bamboo Leonard rod; Julius Hofe reel Dun’s Nest portion of Upper Salmon Hole
Edmund W. Davis.
Pictured here flanked by his guides, Edmund Davis was the grandson of the inventor of “Pain Killer” (a world-famous medication at the time). In 1904 he wrote a book called Fishing on the Grand Cascapedia River, in which he described his love for the Cascapedia. He built his own private fishing camp and in 1908 he was mysteriously found dead after a morning of hunting with his son in the forest surrounding the river.
Edmund W. Davis Providence, Rhode Island 52 lbs June 28, 1901 Nat Woodman and William Harrison Silver Grey Fly Big Curley
Henry “Hal” Carnegie Phipps.
Henry “Hal” Carnegie Phipps
Henry “Hal” Carnegie Phipps Westbury, Long Island 52 lbs First week of July, 1920 Bob and Duncan Barter   Swallow’s Nest Pool
O’Neill Ryan, Jr.
Pictured here with one of his two giant catches, O’Neill Ryan, Jr. hooked his largest salmon at 6:00PM on July 24, 1954 using a Lady Amherst fly. With the help of his two guides (Mackie and Gordon Harrison), Ryan succeeded in capturing his 52 pound prize. Ryan captured another 52 pound salmon while fishing on the Moisie River in 1969. To date, his two captures hold the record for the largest Atlantic salmon captured after World War II.
O’Neill Ryan, Jr. New York 52 lbs July 24, 1954 Mackie and Gordon Harrison 3/0 Lady Amherst fly House Pool
Edmund W. Davis.
Edmund W. Davis did not write about his 1890 catch in his book Fishing on the Grand Cascapedia River. This has left Ronald S. Swanson to speculate that this fish may have “been caught by someone else in his party, or caught by a tenant or guide. Or it might have been caught in such a way that Davis did not feel comfortable claiming it as his third record fish” (Grand Cascapedia Giants, 32).
Edmund W. Davis Providence, Rhode Island 51 lbs June or July 1890      
Edmund W. Davis.
Edmund W. Davis’ 51 pound salmon was caught on July 7, 1900 and was one of the two giant fish he wrote about in his book Fishing on the Grand Cascapedia River. At the time it was the first giant salmon Davis caught independently (not counting the 1890 catch he was linked to). In his book, Davis called his female catch the “River Goddess”. In the picture above, Davis poses with his prize alongside his dog, Mixer.
Edmund W. Davis Providence, Rhode Island 50.5 or 51.0 lbs July 7, 1900   No. 3 double hook Black Dose Woodman’s Pool
Charles B. Barnes.
Seen here napping on the porch of Lorne Cottage, Charles B. Barnes caught his first giant salmon on June 8, 1906. Although he would later catch a 53 pound salmon in 1911 (only a year before his eventual death), this first catch marked a huge achievement for the skilled angler. Barnes was a wool merchant in the United States, but his love for the Cascapedia prompted him to return year after year. In fact, in 1883, Barnes became a co-owner of Lorne Fishing Camp.
Charles B. Barnes Boston 51 lbs June 8, 1906     Five Trees Pool
Henry “Hal” Carnegie Phipps.
Henry “Hal” Carnegie Phipps
Henry “Hal” Carnegie Phipps Westbury, Long Island 51 lbs First week of July, 1920     Swallow’s Nest Pool
Dr William Henry Drummond.
Dr William Henry Drummond
Dr William Henry Drummond Montreal, QC 50.5 lbs June 25, 1890   Lansdowne fly  
General Chester Alan Arthur.
General Chester Alan Arthur first came to the Gaspe Coast in 1873. He enjoyed the experience so much that he began to return every year thereafter to fish and enjoy the locale hospitality. General Arthur’s 50 pound salmon was the first giant fish to be caught on the Cascapedia River. It was also the first record sized fish to be caught in North America. General Arthur went on to become President of the United States from 1881-1885, but even his demanding political schedule could not keep him from returning to the Cascapedia in the summer to fish its bountiful waters.
General Chester Alan Arthur New York 50 lbs Late June 1878     Possibly caught in pools near Woodman’s Inn.
Irving W. Bonbright.
Pictured above in 1910 with a 44 pound salmon, Irving W. Bonwright co-owned Bonbright and Company. Although there is no known picture of him with his 50 pound salmon, he did have his record catch stuffed and hung on a plaque. The preserved fish is now on display at the Cascapedia River Museum for all to see and is one of only two surviving taxidermied North American giant fish still known to exist.
Irving W. Bonbright New York 50 lbs June 13, 1912   4/0 Scottish Dee Iron Red Camp Pool
John T. Spaulding.
Pictured above with his 50 pound catch, John T. Spaulding (1870-1948) was originally from Boston.
John T. Spaulding Boston 50 lbs June 17, 1922   Baron fly Titus Pool