2018 NL River Reports
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July 29th (rec’d) – Dean Pelley
A little late getting this report in! The problem with having to work. 🙂 Fished Ledingham Shoals on Monday and Tuesday morning (July 23rd and 24th). On Monday morning I had some great grilse fishing. Released a beauty 5 lb male and lost two more about the same size. I must have rose a couple dozen more. In fact, I saw a lot of grilse moving throughout the morning. I did not see any big fish though, still a little early I guess. Tuesday morning brought an incessant south easterly wind down the back of my next. Managed to hook myself more than any salmon. Rose a few more grilse but no takers. However, I must have hooked a dozen sea trout, the most I have ever seen at Ledingham Shoals. I released them all. Plan to get back out mid month and will send another report in then!
July 22 rec’d – Dave Downton
Fished the Gander from July 17 to 21. It was very high but dropping. While still cool at Glenwood (14° C on July 21) the hot weather had brought the water temperature up to 19° C at First Pond Bar by July 20. There were some fish every day but generally it did not seem like the numbers were as high as one would expect and fishing was definitely not as good as the previous week. Lots of anglers trying to fill their tag on July 20. On July 21 there was almost nobody on the river at Glenwood.
July 20th – Phil Lazell
Lower Humber: We are over for our annual trip and thought you’d like to know that on my first evening out with Clar Wareham on Wednesday I caught this very fat 37” fish on a Bomber. After a few jumps it was landed in about 10 minutes, the beauty of using a big rubber-meshed net rather than tailing was that it helped it swim off very strongly.
I know some of the reports suggest increased runs but we saw only 2 fish move on the first evening (5 hours out), including this one, and none at all this morning after 6 hours fishing. Pretty unusual not to see more activity but much like last year in that respect.
July 20th – Keith P.
Fished Seal Island again around 5 PM. Unlike Weds. not a sign of a fish. Picked up some garbage again. Left there and went to Boom Siding and down to Crooked Birch. 17 anglers in water and 7 boats with anglers. Didn’t see anyone hook-up or any fish moving. Got bored and left for home at 7:45. A report on TSANG said that later a dozen fish were hooked and a couple landed. Most fish were on the shore side of Shippin’ Shoals. Some people I spoke to were trying to fill their tag. A guy in a boat near me was teaching his wife to cast and where to cast. Retention all over now until any further notice. Unless there’s a big rebound in fishway counts that won’t happen. Also water temps are rising…L. Humber rarely gets closed because of that. Temp at Corner Brook Stream trap was 17.3 at 10 Am yesterday. Some rain overnight probably cooled it down. 49 fish through the C Bk Stream trap up to yesterday.
July 18th – Lower Humber River
Went to Lower Humber this afternoon around 4:30. Took the trail to Seal Island. Second cast at the head of the island a salmon flashed under the fly (bomber). Rose it again a couple of casts later and it broke water. That was it. Moved down a bit to fish just above where the current runs off the island. Changed fly to a White-wing green-butt Blue charm. Rose a fish after a couple of casts. Rose it again and then it took the fly. Played it hard…had it almost in and switch the rod from right to left…hook came out…salmon and angler happy (sort of). Lost the fly in the bushes behind me and it was the only one I had.
Moved to bottom of the island and tried for sea trout…zilch. went to Boathouse Pool. Saw nothing. A guy fishing from a boat said the river had more sea trout than he'[d seen in years. He said not much sign of parr. I did see a good many parr closer to shore. He said he kept three nice sea trout. This is the 3rd report I heard about large numbers of sea trout in the river. (Mine were hiding once again.)
Stopped to talk to an angler who was putting away his gear at Quarry Pool in a bit of a downpour. He said he didn’t see a thing. I bid him a good evening and stepped around front of my vehicle just as a car zoomed by and gave me good sloshing as it sprayed up enough water to soak me from the hips down. Can’t say it was a dull evening :O) Was home at 8 to a good meal and a couple of swallys…Life is good.
Rec’d July 15th –
Fished Lower Harry’s. Lot of grilse in the pool. Rose 5 different fish, hooked and lost 2 more. My brother hooked and retained one. Grilse all about the same size approx 3 lbs. Only saw 2 other fishermen at the bridge. Other than rising for the fly, salmon not showing. JG (July 13th)
Rec’d July 15th from Dave Downton
Fished the Gander at Glenwood and First Pond Bar from July 11 to 13. The river was high and cold with decent numbers of fish. I hooked fish all 3 days and saw others caught but mostly released by other anglers. I tagged a fresh 3 pound male on Friday morning; no high grading for me like most of the other anglers I see fishing the Gander these days. The river flow at Glenwood has now gone from 90 cubic meters per second on Thursday to about 190 m3/sec on Sunday and will probably peak later Sunday. At Glenwood water temperature Friday was 8 degrees C. The river will be high and cold for at least 2 weeks now which is good for the salmon but most of the traditional pools are invisible which will make fishing challenging. I think the main run is just starting but that is only a guess.
(Editor = One thing I would like to add to RH’s comments below. Often I hear people say “The river is full of fish”, when in fact it is not. A prime example of this came to the forefront this week when a party of three fished one of our western rivers and each released salmon in the same pool and rose/struck others. It would SEEM the river was “Full of fish”. (I heard exactly the same thing about Southwest Brook). The next evening they went back to the same place fishing that pool and others and didn’t see a thing! This is a common observation….there at the right time and in the right place as a school moved through.
I have witnessed the same thing at Flat Bay River and on the Lower Humber River (3 times over many years witnessing a huge school of salmon moving through). Guess we’ll have to wait and see what the weekly counting stations say in DFOs report ending July 15th.
July 13th – Harry’s River
Spent a short time fishing Harry’s today. First, at Lower Force…saw one grilse and that was it. Left there and went to Gallants…Checked out below the community bridge and there was a salmon and two grilse lying in the usual spot. Fished them for 1/2 hr from below the bridge…not a budge. Just before I left I checked the lie again and they were still there. Good poss. that they’ve already seen a few flies! Even though there was no takes I enjoyed getting out once again…Not hot like it was forecast. The water is COLD!
Saw one angler fishing above the bridge at Black Duck Siding and two anglers heading up river at Upper Forks. Yesterday an angler from Ontario said he and his brothers had amazing fishing during the time they were here, on Harry’s and Southwest Brook. KP
July 13th – Report from Dean Pelley
I spent 4 days fishing the Little Falls Humber River area (Saturday to Tuesday) and had some fantastic fishing. Water levels were perfect (high for second week of July), and I saw a lot of fish. They were very aggressive and had a number of fish take multiple swipes at the Bumblebee! 🙂 The wind made for some tough casting on Sunday, but Monday was some of the best fishing I have seen at Little Falls since 2016. I noted that there were quite a few fisherman around enjoying some hook and release fishing. I was also happy to run into some River Guardians Saturday night as I was walking back the trail. He scared the “you know what out of me” when he popped out in the trail in the dark, but I am glad to see them on the job! Now lets hope we have some good news from DFO next Friday for the remainder of the year, and I am looking forward to getting the boat in the Lower Humber next week for the start of big salmon fun!
July 13th – The body of a letter to ASF from member Ralph Hiscock.
I have been fishing the Humber River at Big Falls for 40 plus years. Fishing has been as good as or better than I ever experienced. Spoke to 20 fisher persons the past 3 days and the consensus is that between 250 and 300 fish has been hooked each and every day for the past 2 weeks. I like your Group but do not feel that the correct information is being given for Newfoundland and Labrador.
I spoke to a fisherman from Lewisporte who was at the Eagle River Camp for 2 years and he told me he thought it was the ultimate. He just returned from Main River in Sops Arm and he told me it was the best he experienced in his lifetime. Fish were late coming because of the weather. Water levels are perfect and despite high temperatures the water is still cool as the snow melts in the mountains.
July 12th – From KC
Just back from the cabin. Spoke with an angler leaving the river at Boom Siding. He indicated that there are fish there. 3 hooked this evening (Thursday).
July 10th…Report from member Shane O’Neill
In the last 6 days we have seen plenty of action, perfect water conditions and aggressive fish. The Brooks seem late for their runs ( everyone has an opinion on this, including late and large numbers of Caplin in the Bay and a cold/wet Spring ). This is the second year we’ve taken our holidays a week later and are happy with our decision.
The Harry’s run is now in full swing. In the last 2 days at the Upper/Lower Force and at Black Duck Run we’ve observed/had a hand in more than 10 fish. The grilse are fat, rise hard for the fly and attack quickly. Typical for Harry’s grilse, they empty the reel’s fly line quickly and display lots of air time. Fish have been active both in the mornings and evenings, a Number 10 White Winged Anything Fly is a confident choice ( one fellow had 2 strikes with the Bug ) and few fish are showing themselves outside of that. I released a brilliant 15 pounder last evening ( the setting sun was long, and the glossy water was a perfect canvas for its 2 impressive rises ); sometimes, descriptions of these rare experiences are best left to emotion than to words.
Southwest is full of fish. We concentrated on Louie’s and Tucks and fish were everywhere. It’s been a long while since we’ve encountered such a mass of salmon, with a good mixture of 2-3 lb grilse and the occasional stubbier fish. The paths to the pools are crawling with Toads and the skies are active with mergansers and butterflies ( and biting flies ). We found success with the White Wing Blue Charm, the Silver Grey and a Green Bodied Fly. A single rotation of a run frequently produced a rise, a touch or a strike, and occasionally the 3rd person on a rotation evoked salmon interest when the other 2 produced none. A reliable imbedded Camper at the Mouth described 4 and 5 fish being caught each morning in the lower ocean runs.
We’ve seen very few fisherman and are unsure regarding the significance of this. We’ve mused about the role of cold mornings, episodic rain, the one-tag component, people pursuing other passions, and the absence of Wi-Fi on some of the more remote pools. This phenomenon has allowed us to enjoy full reign of the pools we fished and an ease of access in trying different flies at these pools. The fishermen we have met, have either tagged out or are releasing fish frequently in an appropriate fashion.
A reliable report from the Northern Peninsula and S. Labrador informed us that rivers are running high. A contact in Forteau said the river is very high and no reports of fish. Normally at this time of the year salmon are in Forteau River – In fact, having gone there myself for several consecutive years, we scheduled our trip for the last week of June into the first week of July. Torrent River fishway count is zero for the period ending July 1st.
July 2nd – From KP
Water really high at The Steady, Lomond River. I have not fished yet but WP was in two days ago and said no sign. Not surprising to me. I don’t think they come over falls much in this kind of water. Have not fished below lodge yet but hear there are fish being hooked.
Was at The Run on the Upper Humber today. Water very high, bank to bank pretty well, but fishable in different places. I used my tag on a nice grilse. Got cut up by leader when fighting and a bit of blood so dispatched him. Released one about ten pounds, hooked and lost another ( must have been a really big trout😏 ) had two strong takes but no hook up. WP and AP showed up a bit later than me. WP released two within 30 minutes. I saw about 3-4 other fish hooked today. As many as eight other people in the area today. WP and AP both tagged a fish previous day between The Run and Buds Pool.
Not too surprising, I guess, but had to be at least a dozen trailers leaving mid day today when I was driving in Cormack road.
July 1st – From member Ralph Hiscock
Big Falls – Humber River: Last 3 days fishing has been good with an estimate of 200 plus fish being hooked. Lots of wardens present which is good. The 3 Fish per day hooked and released and lost is not being followed in my opinion.
- A recent report from the Northern Peninsula indicates that salmon are starting to move through the systems with a few hooked at River of Ponds along with Sea trout.
- Despite high water some anglers had success at Big Falls, Upper Humber – mostly in the Brook Pool area. Apparently the campground there is quickly filling up. Let’s hope the water drops so people can get out to the hot spots once again.
Went to Bay St. George today and fished Fischell’s – KP released one and lost one…both very small at about 2.5 – 3 lb. Saw other fish in the same pool. Went to Robinson’s below the TCH bridge…not a sign of fish or fishermen. On to Middle Barachois...not a sign of fish or fishermen. Had mug of tea and some of those scrumptious Purity Ginger Snaps while overlooking the Sea Pool at Robinson’s. The wind didn’t let up all day. Nice day – only a couple of scratches and bruises, so it was good trip LOL. Keith Piercey
Decided to go up to the Humber for a look around. I knew the water was really high so I didn’t really expect to have a flick. As expected the water is really really high, at least for the last week of June, however I saw some people fishing down off the boat house so I decided to see if anyone was hooking anything. Sure enough there were 10-20 people down there. Talked to someone who said there were fish being hooked. So I headed down to a spot at the bottom of Brook Pool. Started fishing around 5:30pm and by 7:30pm I had lost a fish and had a numerous rises and a few more tight lines. Good fishing all in all when I didn’t expect anything. Did not see any fish jumping the falls, but with all the water I don’t think they need to jump to get up and over.
PS: When I bought my license, the vendor told me that sales for licenses had been brisk. I also noted that the Big Falls park is already starting to fill with campers, and school isn’t even out yet. So much for the prediction no one would go fishing if they couldn’t keep 4 fish.
Rec’d June 18th from member Ryan Brown
This past weekend was midterm break, so I was over on the west coast doing a bit of fishing in Bay St. George. I fished Southwest, Robinsons and Fishells rivers on Saturday and Sunday. Saw fish in all 3 systems, but no significant numbers yet.
Rose 1 fish in Robinsons below the bridge Saturday, that was the only fish I saw there. Fished Southwest Brook at the mouth on high tide Sunday, saw 2 fish, and saw one lost. Fished fischells at line pool and only saw 2 fish there. I was also checked by wardens twice throughout the weekend (great to see) and from talking to them it seems Southwest is the only river in BSG with any decent amount of salmon yet.
Bay St. George rivers:
A report from member Dave Downton – Just back from Bay St. George. Party of 2 fished hard for 6 days and hooked 21 fish of which 6 were large. We hooked fish in Fischells, Robinsons, Middle Barachois, and Crabbes; Fischells seemed to have the most fish. Conditions were good with rivers a little high and very cold, with water temps from 8 to 13 degrees C. There were only a few anglers around but I think the next week will be busier.
Because of the cold water fish are generally only showing when angled. It was certainly better than last year.
We fished on four separate occasions for total of about eight hours. We saw only one grilse at the mouth of Robinsons. Here is the resident scuttle butt!
(1). The two wardens for the area (who took our licences, etc., for inspection) indicated they had heard of one large salmon released at Dribble pool above the highway. No fish reported in Crabbes and some released (less than three or four) above the bridge (highway) on Barachois. Less than half dozen fish reported hooked on Fishell’s.
(2). Tons of seals. They are swimming guard over the mouths of the rivers. Lobster/crab fishermen are suggesting the same problem as last year. They are seeing salmon jumping offshore close to the river mouths as they haul pots. The two wardens we met felt someone should shoot them. I agree! Seals are a continuing problem which needs attention; these salmon won’t spawn in the ocean. As the water levels continue to fall (right now they are in my opinion very low) this condition will be compounded. They face too many obstacles (seals, mergansers love parr, white winged divers after the spawn, cormorants, low water, poachers, by-catch issues, etc.). Some of these predators have to be adjusted! Notice I put seals at the head of the list!
(3) A resident of Heatherton saw an eagle take a salmon just below the highway on Fishell’s River and fly off with it.
(4) On a positive note (I think I can believe him) a guide from St. John’s has released (among his five clients) nearly a dozen fish from the upper reaches of Robinsons since last Monday; most all where larger fish.
(5) Its cold out there. The leaves have yet to erupt on the trees. In fact Humber Valley seems to be further ahead strangely enough!
(6) Over three days we saw one other fisherman on both Robinsons and Barachois. More wardens than anglers!
(7) We did see quite a few parr on both rivers. Interestingly enough they were quite large; nothing under five inches!
I am homeward bound after fishing the Codroy since last Thursday. Our party of 2-6 anglers at varying days on the river produced only 2 hooked fish. One on the Codroy at Bakers Rock and 1 at Cammie’s on our only excursion on SW Brook. We witnessed one fish being released at the forks and two of our group seen a fish at the bridge on the Robinson’s. We know of one other large fish that was released at the forks. Water conditions seem to be ideal. Water and weather have been very cold since Thursday despite sunny weather. Tough going, but not unusual for Codroy fishing. The full moon is coming this week.
SW Brook and Big Falls:
Hi, fished SW Brook and Big Falls on the Humber since opening day June 4th. On SW Brook a few fish have been caught every day at Saltwater pool on each tide also talked to a few fisherman who fished inside and they were catching fish also, not a lot but at least some fish. As for the Big Falls no sign of fish and water is high and very very cold, it looks like the Humber is going to be high and cool for a long time according to the amount of snow still in the hills, which is good for the salmon when they arrive.
SW Brook and Robinson’s
Out west for a few hours yesterday. We didn’t fish but heard there has been a few at SW between forks & tidal. Only river we saw a few fish was Robinson’s.
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