Losing Count of Large Arctic Char

The Arctic char is both a freshwater and saltwater fish in the Salmonidae family, native to Arctic, sub-Arctic lakes and coastal waters. Most of the waters in Newfoundland and Labrador fall into this category. With many characteristics of both salmon and trout (its close relative), individual fish can reach 20 pounds or better, with the average fish in the 4- to 6-pound range. By mid-August migrating Arctic char are found in some interior lakes near river mouths and reefs in large numbers. During this time, the flanks of male fish take on a bright red hue that is quite breathtaking to observe.

Both spin-fishing and fly-fishing are effective during this time, with spoons and spinners working best for spinning rods.
For fly-fishing, the flies to use would be bright coloured minnow patterns with lots of flash, and bead head Prince nymphs.

The equipment to bring would be medium action spinning rods with 10-pound test line, or 6- to 8-weight fly rods, with sinking tip lines or sinking leaders.

I had the pleasure of fishing one of these beautiful interior lakes of Labrador with outstanding success. I waded to the end of a sandbar and fly-fished a ledge at the mouth of a stream. The successful fly this trip was a bead head Prince nymph. I allowed the fly to sink to near the bottom and slowly retrieved it until I felt the fish hit. I lost count at the number of fish that I hooked into. The fight of the Arctic char matches any other trout species I have encountered.

The absolute beauty of the interior of Newfoundland and Labrador had me wanting to pinch myself to make sure I was actually there. This is a reason along with the incredible fishing that makes me come back to Newfoundland and Labrador time and again.