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Luther Corhern's Salmon Camp Chronicles
Luther Corhern's Salmon Camp Chronicles
Luther Corhern's Salmon Camp Chronicles

Luther Corhern's Salmon Camp Chronicles

Luther Corhern, Miramichi guide and keeper of Cavender Bill's Salmon Camp log, never met a fisherman in his life (other than Stan Tuney) who would tell you a lie. It's a good thing, too — you'd have a job on your hands if you had to sort fact from fiction in Lute's chronicles. Here's the situation: a rich American has bought the old Cavender place and turned it into a fishing camp.

Now known as Cavender Bill, he takes in fellow American "sports" as guests, hiring Lute and his friends as guides. Cav thinks the sports would enjoy a log: a fishing record embellished with guides' stories. Lute, with his grade six education, is the natural choice to man the Underwood Deluxe. Now, Lute is a dreamer, and it would be fair to say that Luther Corhern's Salmon Camp Chronicles strays somewhat from its original purpose. It contains stories about Lute's friends Nean "short for Neanderthal" Kooglin, Elvis "formerly Hogarth" Glasby, Lindon Tucker, and lying Stan Tuney. Dryfly Ramsey, Shadrack Nash, and Kid and Corry Lauder show up, too. But Lute's mind ranges in all directions, over topics such as a computer that sends letters from the future, the curative power of mackerel tied to the feet, golf, and Christmas. The weather, however, isn't what it used to be. According to Elvis, "She used to be a lot colder when we were operatin' under Fahrenheit. Old Celsius don't seem to have the bite in it, so it don't." But every topic leads Lute back to the salmon and to the mystical river that's home to man and fish alike.


Herb Curtis was raised near Blackville, on the Miramichi, and now lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick. His collection of short fiction, Luther Corhern's Salmon Camp Chronicles (1999), was nominated for the Stephen Leacock Award. The Last Tasmanian (1991, 2001), one of four novels, garnered the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award and was a regional finalist for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize.

"Herb Curtis's achievement is exact . . . the good old days are now. Curtis's Miramichi is an Arcadia." — The Fiddlehead

"Curtis has a deft hand with dialogue and a keen sense of human nature . . . a book that's engaging to read even if you can't tell a No. 10 Green Machine from a No. 8 Black Bear." — Coast Life

"What a pleasure it is to return, with Curtis as our guide, to the Miramichi River . . . [Luther] is a born storyteller." — Canadian Book Review Annual

"A collection of tales as unassuming and down-to-earth funny as its author. Herb Curtis's gentle-hearted humour flows through the book like the Miramichi River itself." — Norm Foster

184 pages
Pub date: April 1, 1999