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The Codfish Dream: Chronicles of a West Coast Fishing Guide

The Codfish Dream: Chronicles of a West Coast Fishing Guide

By Heritage House

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A colourful portrait of life in a fishing village on the BC coast.

After spending fifteen years as a fishing guide on the BC coast, David Giblin decided that the offbeat people and places he’d encountered during that colourful period in his life had to be preserved. Like any good fishing story, wherein the fish seem to grow faster after they are dead, the forty-seven interconnected narratives in what eventually became The Codfish Dream took on a life of their own. The result is a series of hilarious, strange, keenly observed, true (or mostly true) stories of Giblin’s experiences. These whimisical tales are held together by a thread of international intrigue that affects everyone in the small community of Stuart Island over one eventful summer, when FBI agents visit the island to investigate insider trading. The Codfish Dream is an unforgettable book imbued with an undeniable sense of place and time.


David Giblin worked for fifteen years as a salmon fishing guide at Stuart Island, roughly forty miles east of Campbell River—a fertile environment for the incubation of great fishing stories. As an unpublished manuscript, The Codfish Dream was a finalist in the Cedric Literary Awards in the creative non-fiction category. Also a visual artist, Giblin lives in Cobble Hill, BC.


"David Giblin is a marvellous storyteller, and The Codfish Dream is a wonderful book: witty, whimsical, well-written, and a terrific read from cover to cover. —Ian Ferguson, winner, Stephen Leacock Medal for Village of the Small Houses
“As skillful a writer as he was a sports-fishing guide, David Giblin deftly hooks, reels, and lands us in the watery world of Canada’s wild west coast of the 1980s. Each cleverly crafted story offers a porthole view into a rollicking season of unforgettable characters, capturing a time and place changed forever. With insights and humour as finely honed as a dressing knife, we walk a mile in his gumboots in the hunt for the mighty tyee salmon.” —Sylvia Taylor, author of Beckoned by the Sea and The Fisher Queen
”You’ll meet eccentric shore workers, wealthy guests who arrive by yacht and floatplane, as well as essential guides Big Jake, Lucky Petersen, Vop and Wet Lenny. . . . A deadpan narrative keeps the absurdity coming as earnest RCMP, FBI and Fisheries officers encounter the salmon-obsessed denizens of the island resort. This book is a keeper.” —David Conn, Western Mariner
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