#11: Mr. Clarence Riggs, Fisherman

As I was compiling content for the current fall issue, a fishing theme emerged. I was drawn to the creativity of fly fishing and fly tying, the appeal of fisherman and nautically-inspired clothes, the diversity in design of lighthouses, and the authentic stories inspired by river and sea.

We have an article about Clarence Riggs, life-long fisherman from Newfoundland, profiled by writer Martin Connelly and illustrated by Omar Jaramillo Traverso. Omar did his sketches in person while Martin conducted the interview!

An excerpt:

"Clarence Riggs (“Clar” to his friends and “Sir” to me) has had a place up on the Terra Nova River since 1960. Born in Burin, Newfoundland, he moved to Glovertown, jtmarust north of Terra Nova National Park, some years before confederation, before there was a “national” anything in Newfoundland.

The original cabin, a field office bought from a completed government building project, burned down in the late 80s. The cabin we visited one grey Saturday in June was the new one. It’s just a kitchen, split bunk rooms and a porch with “Fish ’n’ Fur” written on a sign hung upside down. But you can tell that it has been home to weeks and weeks of good summer, year after year. 

The walls are lined with plaques poking fun at fishermen—the kind they sell in rural gas stations. “Old fishermen never die,” said one, “they just can’t raise their fishing pole!” On another, with what looked very much like a sketch of the cabin: “There is no place anything like this place, anywhere near this place, so this must be the place.”

We made the trip in an open boat, piloted with causal expertise by Clarence’s son, Phil. While his father had come from elsewhere, the younger Riggs grew up on the Terra Nova; this was home turf.  ..."

[Read more in the current issue!]

Martin also filmed and edited this short film of his interview with Mr. Riggs (with a lovely story about meeting his wife for the first time.)

Thank you to all these fine gentlemen for lending their time and talents for this article.