NL Gazette

Newfoundland fishers flock to Southwest Brook

Nfld and Labrador

Key takeaways: 

  • The river, off Bay St. George, is an early choice for hooking fish so far this year.
  • The whizzing leaves the air of a reel, the line now close to the water.

The rippling water rolls around their legs.

The air is brittle and cool. Birds sing from the nearby coast.

Onlookers sit, mindful not to worry the moment.

The lines of the angler’s reels are clean in curves overhead.

And then, without warning, the air is shattered by the whizzing of a reel, the line now close to the water.

“I usually tell my wife it’s about the sounds of the birds when you’re stepping in. We were fortunate enough; only a few casts into the season, I joined the first one,” stated angler Jeremy Mitchell. “And it’s a wonderful feeling; it gets the blood rushing. It’s something that puts a smile on your face that words can’t even define.”

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The rippling water rolls around their legs

Mitchell has been traveling from his house in Deer Lake to Southwest Brook, at the start of the Burgeo Highway, at the beginning of every angling season for the past nine years. He’s been fishing for nearly 20 years and performs as a guide.

“It falls short of an obsession for myself,” Mitchell said. 

“To see the salmon climb. Words can’t explain it until you get into it yourself, and it’s been something that I’ve been fortunate enough to live in such a beautiful place.”

Newfoundland’s 2022 salmon angling season opened June 1 and will close Sept. 7. In Labrador, it begins on June 15. 

It’s a little earlier to fish the more significant rivers such as the Humber, says Mitchell, but it shouldn’t take long for those water levels to reduce.

At Southwest Brook over the weekend, states were ideal, Mitchell said.

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