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  1. #1

    Default Saturday Morning - Colinet River

    Saturday morning, I headed off at 5:00 AM for a 1 hour drive to Colinet River. It's only 75 KMs, but moose activity is heavy that hour of the day, so slow driving is necessary unless you wish to take a chance on one of those 800+ lb animals rearranging the front of your vehicle and possibly ending a good day, maybe your life.

    This is a scheduled salmon river, but with the salmon season closed, this river is still open for Sea Run Browns, as long as you follow regular salmon fishing rules (I.e.: posession of valid salmon license, barbless hooks, etc). The possibility of catching trout was only a bonus, my main reasons were to familiarize myself with the river (never fished there before) and to get some practice on fast water techniques.

    I got to the river by 6, just as dawn was breaking and without having enough light to safely climb down the bank. The sky at this point threatened to prove the forecast of a sunny day wrong, but I trusted the "weather Gods" and forged ahead.

    Shortly after that, waders were donned, vest was checked and on, rod was assembled, and I was off.

    At this location, the river is very slow, fairly deep and about 120 ft wide. It is close to the mouth where it meets St. Mary's bay, so heavily affected by tides. It was easy walking as the tide was about bottom low because of an extremely low tide.

    Walked slowly upstream, picking and choosing my areas to cast, but not seeing any sign of fish.

    I reached the lower end of Island Pool just as the sun was rising and the sky was getting bright.

    As I paused to get the camera out of the vest, I realized how beautiful this place was, and how quiet.

    There were no sounds except for the birds waking and the water tumbling over the rocks, and across the river, the faint sound of a stream.

    Looking downstream, I could see a clear line in the light morning mist of the sun illuminating the west side of the river while the east was still in deep shadow.

    Looking upstream, I could see heavier mist, with the same separation of light and dark shadow.

    I stayed where I was for a while, not casting, just enjoying the scenery and the morning wilderness sounds, 'till the sun was over the trees.

    Luckily, this is a place where people respect the environment. Except for an unfortunate ATV (we call them "Bog Bikes" here) trail up the side of the river, there's nothing in the way of garbage and trash to scar or mar the landscape, not even a cigarette butt. Except for the wide trail up the side, the only thing that wasn't natural was an eel net (I should have taken a picture of that set-up).

    A couple of hours after this, I had reached the upper extent of my planned travels up the river to a wide pool with a nice mixture of fast and still water, a nice place to practice mending. I tied on a # 10 Silver Doctor, not really expecting to hook anything. I just figure a dry is the best was to see how your fly is reacting to your mending efforts and the activity of the currents. I did this for about an hour, and as I was ready to work back to the car, I eyed a fellow fisherman working his way up the river. I stayed where I was until he crossed at the small riffles at a small island. I hooked the fly to the "keeper" and started wading down as quietly as I could. As I neared the island, he came back across to the side I was on and walked up, introducing himself. He asked how the fishing was, and I said slow, but still a wonderful morning. He asked what I was using, and I told him. The look of wonder on his face prompted me to explain I was a noob, and spending time practicing fishing in faster water.

    After I told him I'd never been on this river before, he told me where the good pools are, and where the "less obvious" hot-spots are. He then opened his fly box and handed me a fly that he said works great on this river. He said he ties all his own flies and it's been years since he'd used a store bought fly. As etiquette would go, I opened my box and asked if anything I had would interest him in return. He politely declined.

    I don't know what the fly is, maybe some of you folks will recognize the pattern, or maybe it's something of his own creation.

    We parted shortly after that, wishing each other the best of luck. He fished down faster than I, and I just lagged behind, again practicing casting across & up, and across & down. I got back to the car at noon and headed back home.

    Never hooked a fish all day. But the day was as close to perfect as you could get.

    Again, I proved to myself, fishing isn't just about catching fish. Between the scenery, the sounds, the solitude (for the most part) and the knowledge I had improved my skills somewhat, made it a successful outing. Instead of bringing home something to go in the pan, I brought home memories and knowledge.

    To me, there's no fish worth that.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Saturday Morning - Colinet River


    Great report and pics--- and you've captured it all in a nut shell:
    --- a great day on the water,
    --- in a beautiful spot,
    --- the fellowship among fly fishermen and women,
    --- and the sense of optimism that gets us up at ungodly hours to chase the possibility of fish.

    Great stuff!

    Don't know the fly pattern, but Ard (hardyreels) might-- hopefully he'll weigh in.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Saturday Morning - Colinet River


    Getting familiar with river channels and tides are some of the best lessons for you in a spot like you have shown. You put up some wonderful images of your home river for us on this thread. Of course I'll toss some advice your way and I'm sure that won't come as a surprise to you.

    Do you have a tide book / chart? I would plan my arrivals to coincide with the beginning of the drop from high tide and be looking to any and all areas where you have learned that there are riffles in the channel. To find more of them you may have to go farther up river but this is where I would be looking for the fish. Here when the tide is full the fish tend to linger about all over the tidal pools. As that water starts to move out and the freshet streams start to take shape the fish gravitate to the riffles as they form. This is the place to be swinging and probing with the fly.

    At this time of year the further up you go the better the chance of finding sea run who are in for spawning. I would urge you to not take fish at this time and to refrain from fishing over active beds. If you give in to the temptation to fish a spawn bed and end up with a ripe hen on the hook she will in all likelihood loose her eggs as a result of the stress. How do I know this? Well over 20 years ago I thought I could pick off some subordinate males just below the bed and the breeding pair. I landed short and the hen attacked the streamer as it encroached on the bed. By the time I landed and unhooked the fish she was spilling eggs. One time, only time and never again but the damage was done. Also taking a dominate male at this time out of the reproductive chain has a negative impact for sure.

    In areas below the breeders you will find literal packs of subordinate males who should be eager to smack anything that swings through the group. The trick is to avoid the beds and try not to spook the pair from their work. Fall fishing for brown trout really brings the fisherman's ability to control the ever present lust for catching that big one into play. This part of the season provides valuable learning experiences regarding the behavior of spawning fish and also will challenge ones' level of personal control and respect for fair play. The expression "Limit your kill don't kill your limit" applies double during the fall migration of the browns.

    It's a great time of year to be on the rivers in Newfoundland and I wish both you and those trout well.


    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Rosthern, SK

    Default Re: Saturday Morning - Colinet River

    That was a good read... you know you're doing it right when you don't have to catch fish to enjoy yourself!

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