Go a Few Rounds With Our Best Fighters

Enthusiasts everywhere agree that salmon fishing is about more than catching fish – much more. Wild Atlantic salmon seek out beautiful and pristine places in which to live.

That’s why the waters of Newfoundland and Labrador are ideal for wild Atlantic salmon. More than 180 scheduled salmon streams present choices ranging from easy access from the comfort of a hotel and supporting community, to remote locations accessible only by float plane or helicopter where you may see as many moose and bears as people.

The proximity of Newfoundland and Labrador to the salmon’s ocean-feeding grounds off west Greenland seems to assure fresh, strong fish re-entering natal rivers each summer. Which is why these particular salmon are more inclined to rise and take a fly compared to most other locations.

Prime time on most systems tends to be between mid- to late June and early August. Several rivers, however, do experience runs later than usual, making August a prime month. On the island portion of the province, some superb fall fishing is available on some of the larger rivers.

It may be a bit of a cliché, but the simple truth is that for the salmon angler, Newfoundland and Labrador has it all – an abundance of fresh-run fish, an abundance of healthy watersheds, and beautiful, pristine, and remote places with annual runs varying from 5,000 or so in smaller systems to more then 30,000 fish annually in several of the larger rivers.

In many cases, the often shallow, gravel-bedded salmon streams of Newfoundland and Labrador offer the opportunity to angle for this incredible species with lighter-than-usual tackle. Relatively short-line fishing on a seven- or even six-weight outfit, is often extremely effective. Hooking fresh wild salmon on light tackle in fast streams often involves as much running as reeling.

The Newfoundland-originated, and commonly used, riffle hitch fishing technique offers assistance to the inexperienced because of its simplicity – and excitement to the veteran and neophyte alike – because 100 percent of the action, from the waking fly to the actual take, is right on the surface. In various surveys, a large majority of anglers cite pristine surroundings and the ability to experience wildlife in its natural habitat as priorities even before catching fish.

Newfoundland and Labrador reliably provides the clean natural surroundings, the wildlife – and the fish. Tempting, hooking, and playing fresh Atlantic salmon is a recipe for one of life’s absolute pleasures. Add the aesthetics of unspoiled places, a wealth of fascinating wildlife from Labrador’s famous little lemmings to Newfoundland’s giant black bears and populous moose, and you have dreams in the making.

The ultra-friendly and outgoing character of local people often ensures that the fishing guides, required for non-residents in Newfoundland, actually become a very positive element of the trip. In more remote Labrador, where outfitter services are required, the experience of meeting new people in the most relaxed and pleasing of circumstances possible, can be a most agreeable element of any trip. Lasting friendships often ensue.

There has not been a single season in the last three decades when I have failed to fish for salmon in Newfoundland and Labrador at least once – and more commonly twice.

I absolutely love the place.