Growing up in Fairfield in the 1920s, living life on and around the water was the norm for Alec Merriman. He spent many childhood days frolicking around Gonzales Beach and rowing on Foul Bay. As a youth, his interest in fishing saw him venture out on the waters outside the bay, where he would drop a hand line in the water angling for salmon, or wield a hand-made spear to hunt for rockfish.
He did his best to transfer his love for fishing to his comrades in the Canadian military during the Second World War, as well as to his new bride, Taffy, whom he met while serving overseas. Upon his return, he embarked on a career in newspapers, following in his father's footsteps. Naturally, he took on writing a fishing column, among other reporting duties, for the Victoria Daily Times. As his career flourished, he and his wife found themselves exploring around Vancouver Island, the perfect way to indulge his passion for the outdoors and fishing.
Over the years, his personal and professional experience visiting then-remote spots on the Island, and covering outdoor issues, helped to open up mainline logging roads to the public and create better access to areas off the beaten track. Merriman helped create legacies by successfully lobbying for the creation of provincial parks on the Island and through publication of seven road trip and backcountry recreation books. And the popular King Fisherman contest he instituted in 1960 helped instil a love of fishing in new generations.