A Guide to Fly Fishing in Newfoundland and LabradorBy Newfoundland & Labrador
Fly fishing in Newfoundland and Labrador is a truly unique and rewarding experience. The region is home to some of the most beautiful and pristine rivers and streams in the world, but you can also fish in the still waters of ponds and lakes with the help of a sinking line and weighted flies. This place is a haven for anglers looking to catch a variety of fish species. From brook trout to Atlantic salmon, the province has experiences and places for anglers ready to cross us off their bucket list or who want to try fishing for the first time.
One of the first things to consider when planning a fly fishing trip here is the time of year. The best time to visit is between June and September, when the water is at its warmest and the fish are most active. During this time, the rivers and streams are teeming with fish, and anglers have the best chance of catching a variety of species. There are also rules in place for non-resident anglers regarding licenses and where/how to fish unaccompanied or with a guide. These can all be found in our NL Angler's Guide.
When fly fishing, it's important to be prepared. The weather can be unpredictable, and anglers should always bring or have access to appropriate clothing and gear. That being said, there are many well qualified guides and operators who are happy to make sure you have the right kit if it won’t fit in your carry-on. Some tips for gear would include: a good pair of waders is essential, as well as a waterproof jacket and hat. Polarized sunglasses will also help you spot fish in the water. It's also important to have a good fly fishing rod and reel, as well as a variety of flies that are appropriate for the species you are targeting.
In addition to being prepared, it's also important to be respectful of the environment when fly fishing. The rivers and streams in the region are fragile ecosystems, and it's important to practice catch and release to ensure the sustainability of the fish populations. Anglers should also be mindful of the environment and take steps to minimize their impact, such as using barbless hooks and not leaving any trash or waste behind.
There are opportunities to experience fly fishing for yourself all over Newfoundland and Labrador. The Humber River on the province's west coast is known for its large population of Atlantic salmon, and is a favorite among anglers looking to catch a trophy-sized fish. The river is also home to brook trout, which are known for their vibrant colors and acrobatic fighting style.
Both the Terra Nova and Gander Rivers are great places to go fly fishing in the central region of Newfoundland and Labrador. They are home to a large population of brook trout and are favorites among anglers looking to catch these elusive fish. These rivers are also home to Atlantic salmon, which can be found in the deeper pools and runs. About a three-hour drive east of Gander you'll find the Salmonier River, which is another very popular destination for anglers. If you're looking for more areas to put your skills to the test in the Eastern region of the province, there is also the Terra Nova River, Gambo River, and Indian Bay River. Take your pick!
In Labrador, the Pinware River is teeming with trout and salmon. You can also try the remote headwaters of world-renowned Eagle River for some of the finest Brook Trout and Northern Pike. All of these rivers are accessible by boat, and there are several guided fishing trips available that will take you to the best spots on each one.
In addition to Atlantic salmon and brook trout, anglers can also catch Arctic char in Labrador, rainbow trout, and brown trout. Each species has its own unique characteristics and fighting style, making fly fishing in Newfoundland and Labrador a truly exciting experience.
Photography by Jacob Dicks for Tight Loops Tight Lines
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