If you come into the Marine Centre at Painter’s Lodge you will see a mounted Tyee Chinook on the wall. The fish itself is a reproduction of a skin mounted fish from 1962. Unfortunately, time had not treated the trophy well and it was starting to deteriorate badly. Luckily, Campbell River’s own Craig Stolle was able to make a beautiful graphite mount of this 53 pound registered Tyee. Below the mount is a photo of the original fish with the angler, Dr. Gavin Chisholm, and his guide Mike Rippingale (the same Mike Rippingale mentioned in our previous article: 'Telling Stories')
Dr. Chisholm was an avid Tyee angler who always fished with a single action reel – in this case a mahogany bodied Peetz reel. If you go around the corner you will see a picture of Roy Slocum with a 70 ½ pound fish that he hooked using a big old level wind Penn reel.
Now a single action reel like the one Dr. Chisholm used is often called a “Knucklebuster” by our neighbours to the south and Slocum’s reel is often called a coffee grinder north of the border. Canadians feel that level wind reels are only useful for river fishing and children and they often feel that a knucklebuster provides the true expression of an angler’s skill. So much so that today the Dr. Chisholm trophy is presented every year to the angler who registers the largest Tyee using a single action reel. If you live in Campbell River, you better make sure that your fish qualifies for that trophy.
Until next time, keep on rowing!