How two Quebec brothers are filling a catch-and-release niche



It was the trouble they had tail-landing a massive salmon on one of those rivers, La Gouffre, that helped spawn their business venture. Concerned that the knotted nylon mesh bags and steel frames of existing nets were harmful to fish, Antoine decided to create his own. Using wood and non-abrasive mesh, he built a prototype with a four-foot-long handle and a 40-inch-long, 16-inch-wide hoop with a two-foot-deep net.


“It was beautiful and there was nothing else like it on the market—then or now,” Antoine says of his first net, which he and William tested successfully during the 2020 fishing season. “It worked perfectly. Fights were shorter, capture was easier and we lost a lot less fish.”

In early 2021, they made 20 more nets and sold them within days on Facebook. One notable buyer was Fred Campbell, founder and president of Hooké, a leading brand of fishing and hunting gear and apparel that’s popular among young Quebecers. He says Frero nets fit perfectly with the premium millennials place on conservation and sustainability.

“The kill-it-and-eat-it mentality of previous generations is giving way to the enjoyment of the challenge and adventure of going out into nature,” says Campbell. “With salmon, it’s becoming less about the eating of the fish than it is the thrill of catching it.”


Then there’s lifelong salmon angler Tyrone Buckle, the director of operations at Atlantic Rivers Outfitting, which operates two fly-in fishing lodges in Labrador. He says his guides and customers rave about the Frero nets he purchased online. “They are fabulous,” says Buckle, who ordered 50 more in early 2022. “They are esthetically pleasing and made with beautiful craftsmanship—and they’re made in Canada. Everyone loves them.”