Dear Editor: My name is Tim Wheeler and I am 36 years old.
Being born and raised in Corner Brook, it is hard not to get involved in the great outdoors. The west coast has plenty of that to offer, whether it be snowmobiling on the groomed trail system, hiking, fishing, skiing or boating.
The list goes on and on.
I’m pretty sure I’ve dabbled in all of those at one time. The two I have enjoyed the most have been salmon fishing and boating on the Lower Humber River.
However, the salmon fishing for me in the past few years has been nonexistent.
The last time I wet my line and tried for the great fish was many years ago and it was at Boom Siding. It was when the bridge was just completed to Humber Valley Resort. When I left there that evening, I told myself I would never go back there fishing again.
What I witnessed was a horrible display by “adults” that I’ve ever seen.
Two grown men getting in a tongue battle over who was in that spot first, people actually swearing on one another because his/her line may or may not have crossed over each others.
There was a lot of tension in the air — a toxic environment. I stood on the beach that evening with my rod in its case in disbelief.
Still having a love for the Lower Humber and the water, I purchased a PWC — a personal watercraft.
Now if you’ve never witnessed the lower Humber from a PWC, you need to update your bucket list.
But it seems the fishermen are on the attack again, complaining about boaters on the river speeding, stirring up pools, riding recklessly.
I’m not saying that doesn’t happen. Unfortunately, it does. I am saying it’s not me. I’m also saying no one individual or entity owns the Humber River. Certainly not me, and certainly not the anglers.
I would like to react to a few points made in the article in The Western Star on Aug. 14.
First of all, the quote “You’re not allowed to harass a moose or a caribou on a Ski-doo so what’s the difference in doing that on a salmon river?”
Hooking a salmon and playing it to near death is not harassment?
I’ve seen belly-up salmon floating down the river before, and I’m willing to bet shortly before the salmon’s demise it made a great photo for some angler.
Secondly, as for the reference to 60 mph in the article — I don’t think my PWC can do 60 mph, I know it can do 60 mph, and I do it when it’s safe and clear to do so and, yeah, some people do 60 mph down West Street, but again, not me.
It’s a typical case of “one bad apple ruins the bunch.”
Again, I am not the bad apple.
It’s pretty simple folks — we’re not going to please everyone. All I can do is treat others on the river with respect, but I expect and deserve to get that respect in return. So when I idle my Sea-doo past Boom Siding, smile and wave to me because I will be smiling and waving to you.
Don’t look at me in disgust because I’m on a Sea-doo and you’re not. Don’t watch me with your smartphone just waiting for me to do something wrong ... because I won’t.
If you ask nicely, I’ll take you for a ride. Thank you, and good luck fishing. The mightly Humber is big enough for all of us.
Tim Wheeler, Massey Drive