At Ease, General – Episode 436

This episode is one of our favourites of the season because it shows a lot more than just fishing. This was about the flavour of Newfoundland: its landscape and its people—especially its people. To be honest, we have never come across any negativity when the subject of Newfoundlanders comes up. They simply are the salt of the earth.

And, of course, we certainly couldn’t forget about the fishing on “the Rock” (as the province is affectionately referred to by its residents). It’s known for outstanding Atlantic Salmon and Speckled (Brook) Trout. The purpose of this trip was to try to connect with both.

Going back in time, Angelo had been trying and trying to find an opening on a Fish’n Canada shoot to have the esteemed General Rick Hillier as a guest. Rick’s been on The Outdoor Journal Radio Show, but never on Fish’n Canada. As the former Chief of the Defence Staff of the Canadian Forces and a true national hero, Angelo wasn’t about to let this thought drift away. By the way, Rick is also a born and bred Newfoundlander.

ONLY A TEN-MINUTE WALK

Lo and behold, in August of 2013 both parties were available and the shoot was on!

Their Newfoundland home base was the Torrent River Inn located in Hawke’s Bay at the mouth of the Torrent River.

The Torrent has a great run of Atlantic Salmon as well as a healthy population of Brook Trout. It’s made up of river sections and “pools and ponds”, all of which are known for their great fishing; Long Steady, Western Brook Pond, Middle Pond, Pikes Feeder Pond are the names of just a few on this unique system. These pools and ponds are anything but easy to access, though. The running joke of the trip was the locals telling Ang and Rick, “It’s only about a ten-minute walk in.” Meanwhile, as Angelo states, “It’s an hour and a half and we’re still walking!”

Add to the rigorous, seemingly endless walks, that it rained pretty much for the entire trip. “There’s no problem fishing in the rain,” says Ang. “But trying to record stunning imagery as driving rain hits the lens? That’s impossible!”

Luckily, with the odd weather break here and there, the crew had moments to turn on the camera.

As far as the fishing is concerned, our team used both spinning gear and fly gear, but they mostly concentrated on fly fishing.

MUSIC IN THEIR BLOOD

“One of the most surprising tactics,” Angelo says, “was trolling dry flies straight up the river channels. We would simply let our flies drop back—and not too far I might add—and the specks would come up and nail it, oblivious to the boat and motor.”

They fished the traditional wading style in riffles and pools, of course, and landed some gorgeous brookies. Rick hooked and fought a firecracker of a Salmon but, in true river run Atlantic fashion, it threw the hook after six spectacular jumps.

Getting back to the local Newfoundland flavour, Angelo and Rick attended kitchen parties, garage parties, and pretty much every other type of party known to the East Coast. (And the East Coast is famous for such parties.)

“The Newfoundlanders have music in their blood,” says Ang. “And there’s no shortage of jamming here. It seems like everybody can play almost any instrument! These people definitely know how to entertain!”

If you are looking to book an East Coast fishing adventure, it’s a must that you look into a trip to “The Rock!”


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