When the sounds of summer have stilled to the whispering whoosh of the last automobile bringing home the last vacationer; when Labor Day is past and the once crowded beaches are bare but for a lonely gull side-slipping in a wind-puff; in the moment's pause before the arrival of onrushing autumn, many an American will ask himself what has it meant, this summer season. The answers will be as numerous and as various as the askers, but each may find in some measure a reflection and an echo in the album of memories of a Canadian fishing camp presented on these pages.
Here is the gabble of the excited young at an outdoor meal, a mother sitting on a spray-splashed rock as her children fish, a husband proudly watching as his wife works a fighting trout, and at day's end a canoe ghosting toward a wooded landfall. The scene is the Mastigouche Fish and Game Club in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec, where club rules ban electricity, telephones, airplanes and even outboard motors to insure a natural tranquillity. Accessible only over rough roads by jeeplike vehicles, the club offers 273 square miles of wilderness to its 52 U.S. and Canadian members, and unlike most exclusive fishing clubs it welcomes wives and children. The club's family feeling also extends to the welfare of its employees, whose off-season livelihoods are often assured by club-sponsored work projects. Said one Canadian conservation official recently: "Mastigouche honors the Province of Quebec." It also honors the institutions of sport and the family in ways that serve as a rich, nostalgic reminder, as autumn arrives, of what a summer means.
Ready at dockside are canoes and the Canadian guides who will spot the best fishing areas for eager anglers of all ages and both sexes.
Ready in cabin are Mr. and Mrs. Bayard Dominick II of New York, who are fully equipped for day's sport.
Nighttime in the cabin's coziness gives children time to write to their friends from unfinished birch-legged tables.
Outdoor meal cooked over an open fire only a few feet away adds zest and mountain flavor to lunch at a Mastigouche shelter. In addition to main lodge, the club maintains five smaller outpost camps throughout its 273-square-mile, many-laked estate.
Upturned canoes are shouldered across fields by rugged Mastigouche guides as fishing family and its equipment head for one of club's lakes.
Piano playing by lamplight attracts a clan of young and old at the end of a full day's fishing.