Of the post-war anglers we shall focus on two personalities. The first is Col.Edward Gibson, who was our guest from 1951 to 1976. In the beginning, he was not too happy with harling fishing, whereas his wife Patricia fell heads over heel in love with this method of fishing. Very understandable, as she in her first year caught fish of 33, 38 1/2 and 44 lbs. in an otherwise disastrous season.
Col.Gibson’s interests were not confined solely to fishing. They included nature, especially birdlife, and the local population and our ways of life. In 1956 the river owners and the boatmen and their wives were for the first time invited to an English lunch party. The menu was sherry or port for the ladies and whisky for the gentlemen.
There was also blotting paper (sandwiches) on the table, supposed to absorb the alcohol. The blotting paper did not always work.
The lunch party became an annual event, and was one of the social highlights of the year. It annoyed Col.Gibson having to use an interpreter whenever he had something to tell his guests who knew no English. In Newcastle he found a Norwegian teacher, Mrs.Purvis, who gave him Norwegian lessons, and gradually he spoke the language fluently.
In 1964 he lost his beloved wife Patricia. Because of her love of Moum and the salmon fishing, she wished to be buried in Grong, alternatively that her ash should be spread on the Namsen on the very place where she had caught her biggest salmon.
He, then nearly abandoned his fishing, but good friends persuaded him to continue. The same year the urn with Mrs.Gibson’s ashes was laid to rest at Grong Cemetery.
“We got 14 years together, of these years we spent one year at Moum – the happiest year in our lives”
1976 was Col.Gibson’s last season on the Namsen. He had bad knees, a consequence of having been a Cambridge blue rugby player, and it was difficult for him to walk down to the boat. In one of his last years he said:
“I do not care whether I catch a fish or not, -what matters is being able to come here”.».
He died in 1987, and rests beside his wife. We, who had Edward Gibson as our friend, feel privileged. To us, he was the personified English gentleman..
From the fishing diaries of Edward Gibson:
1962 Wed.13th of June:
Fine sunny morning with a slightly rising glass. Temp 65° sun 45° out- river still falling down to +6″. If as forecast fine weather continues, the river will be in a big flood.
- E.G. nil, but saw a black woodpecker for the 1st time
- P.G. nil.
Decided that owing to the complete absence of fish we would only fish in the mornings until the boatmen would otherwise.
1974 Thursday 27th June:
At 8.30 AM bright and sunny, but a cool wind – looked like clouding overTemps 50 & 62° – river below zero.
- 14 lbs. (middle of Speikan – sea lice)
- 15 lbs. (above Red Rock – no lice)
- 26 1/2 lbs. (middle of Speikan – no lice)
- 31 1/2 lbs. (middle of Speikan – no lice)
- 20 lbs. (middle of Speikan – no lice)
- 14 lbs. (Top of Speikan – sea lice egg sacks)
- 15 1/2 lbs. (Top of Speikan – no lice)
- 27 lbs. (middle of Speikan – no lice)
- 18 1/2 lbs. (middle of Speikan – sea lice with egg sacks)
- 25 1/2 lbs. (middle of Speikan – sea lice)
- 25 lbs. (just above Red Rock – no lice)
- 24 lbs. (below Red Rock – no lice),
- Lost two
“This day has been without doubt the finest day’s fishing for one boat I have ever known, or am likely to know, on the Namsen”