Adventures on The Gander RiverBy Bill Spicer
Newfoundland & Labrador is one of the last bastions of true wilderness left in North America. Best of all, it has some of the finest Atlantic salmon fishing on the planet! As host of The New Fly Fisher I’ve been visiting this beautiful part of Canada over the past number of years taping television shows. One of my favorite destinations is Gander River Outfitters.
What I liked first was the convenient location. After landing in Gander, Newfoundland it’s an easy 30-minute drive from Gander International Airport and then a 5km boat ride to the lodge. The lodge itself is set up for comfort with accommodations for up to 16 guests, private bathrooms, and a comfortable lounge. The food is second to none; if you have never eaten down home food you are in for a real treat.
The Gander River is 60km (37 miles) long and brags a return of 25,000 Atlantic salmon each spring. The guides at Gander River Outfitters are seasoned by a lifetime on the river and know all the pools intimately. My guide on this trip hand built his Gander Riverboat, absolutely beautiful to behold. The majority of the most productive runs are directly in front of the lodge or a short boat ride away.
I managed fish everyday with most being grilse, but I was lucky enough to land a few second season fish. My tackle was a nine-foot 8wt rod with matching reel. I used only floating lines and the technique was a down and across presentation. Your standard flies such as Blue Charm, Green Highlander, Thunder and Lightning, Black Bear Green Butt worked the best for me. Include some dry flies for when the fishing is hot; flies such as Orange bombers, Buck bugs and white Wulffs.
Host of The New Fly Fisher