Born at Cold Lake, Alberta, in 1926, Ralph Shaw of Courtenay started fishing six years later -- catching shiners with a piece of string and a bent pin. This progressed to catching trout when he and his brother began dangling flies from willow poles. Ralph Shaw has since specialized in fishing trout with artificial flies, and more recently to taking salmon and bottom fish in saltwater. A lifelong crusader for sane fish and wildlife conservation practices, he retired as a school principal in 1983 after 35 years in education, but has continued his conservation activities. He received the Order of Canada in 1984 for his work in these endeavours, and is a recipient of the Canada 125 Medal. His weekly outdoors column in the Comox Valley Record has won several writing awards, and he contributes regularly to The Outdoor Edge, BC Outdoors, Outdoor Canada, Island Fisherman and Island Angler. He is a member of the Outdoor Writers of Canada, the Outdoor Writers Association of America, and the Northwest Outdoor Writers Association.

In 1984 Ralph Shw was appointed to the Order of Canada for his work in conservation and outdoor education at the McQueen Lake Environmental Education Centre in Kamloops.


Ralph Shaw's Vancouver Island Adventures, Island Angler/Kola Publishing, 2000.

The Pleasure of His Company: The Fishing Diaries of Jack Shaw (2008 Friesen Press)
ISBN: 978-0-9811148-0-4

Contributing author:

'The Gilly', BC Federation of Fly Fishers, 1985
Gently Down the Stream, DFO Canada, 1992
Fly Fishing Canada - From Coast to Coast to Coast, Johnson Gorman Publishers, 2001
Fly Fishing in British Columbia, Johnson Gorman Publishers, 2002

[BCBW 2016] "Fishing"