Atlantic Salmon on the dry with the King of the Humber - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-24-2008, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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Atlantic Salmon on the dry with the King of the Humber

This past February got the bug to do a Salmon or Steelhead trip after I bought my first Spey rod.....did some research and narrowed it down to the Deschutes or the Humber River in Newfoundland.......went for the Atlantics......I picked later in the season because the idea of fishing for 1-5 lb grilse was not too exciting....I wanted to catch a salmon not a trout sized fish. I had read all the information I could and expected to maybe get one salmon in a week of fishing....when I got to the river, come to find out the fishing has been poor, group of 6 guys from Ireland just guy got a fish. The week before them nobody got one.

Looked up all the information I could and tied flies for about 5 to the river and found out all my flies were tied with too much material...ha ha.....good thing I brought my tying stuff with me. I would show you but my camera has died (fourth day of the trip) still working on to follow.

Day one through three: Had numerous 3-4 foot long fish launch themselves out of the river right in front of me. Had a 20-25 lb fish miss the my orange bomber by about 5 inches and never came back. Had another 15-20 lb fish swirl beneath my bomber three times not 15 feet down stream from me......I fished the bomber for three solid days without a single take. I was averaging 2-3 cats per minute for 9.5 hours fishing each day, about 1100-1700 casts a day...fished from 11 am until dark each day....

Day four: I was fishing with a fellow from Wales who lent me three wet flies and the guide gave me a black bear green but size #2. About 2pm that day I hooked my first fish on the 6 wt spey.....the first jump the fish cleared the water by about 8 feet.....ran off 100 yards of line...ran back at me...ran off another 150 yards of line and made a jump clearing the water by 8-10 got my camera out of the boat....not working....uggh. Fish came unglued 20 feet from shore....barbless hooks, no worries, great fight and two big jumps.

This is the run I was fishing and hooked the fish in......

Day five: Last day fishing with John from Wales..... I hook a nice 8-9 pound fish mid day get one big jump and a 50 yard run out of him....guy from Wales takes some photos for me.....waiting on the email...second fish on a wet fly....both on black bear green butt, my new favorite fly...

Day Six: Just me a the guide we were fishing out of the boat now.....we fished a new spot called the honey is a spawning section pockmarked with huge reds, looks something like a honeycomb......fished morning and evening sessions about 5 hours long for the rest of the trip first morning moved 3 fish....had one suck down the wet fly put never pricked him.....had a grilse miss the dry fly by about a foot.....saw at least 30 fish jump behind the 30 lb class fish missed the boat by about 15 feet three times....never would move on the fly....

Looking up river to the honeyhole...

Came back that evening anchored up and proceeded to cast my arms off....just before end of legal fishing....a nice salmon slammed the dry fly.....after say 100 casts to the same spot I am not ready and MISS THE FISH.....cast back to the fish.....on the fifth takes again with a savage on.....get about 9 jumps out of the big was about 10 lbs.

So glad the guide bought me a disposable camera.....

My first Atlantic salmon on a dry fly!!!!

Day Seven:

The outfitter I booked through is a bit shady and did not explain he only covered 6 days of fishing....I didn't find out until the guide and I were discussing it on day 5...Clar the guide was nice enough to let me stay at his place and guided me this last day....he and I were pretty pissed off at the outfitter.

Clar is known as the king of the Humber for his 39.5lb fish he took on a 7 wt rod and an orange bomber back on the 80's. The man has landed about ten fish over 35 lbs on the dry fly and hundreds over 20 lbs.....most on the dry fly....he is full of information....and can tie some great flies...I have two stuck in my hat....

Anyway, fished the honey hole again in the morning.....moved several grilse, but no big fish....had one massive 30-40lb fish keep showing in a hole about 100 yards down river.....he would be the focus of our evenings fishing....

Went to Clar's place for lunch....his wife stuffed us with Salmon, salted pork, and other local foods.....awesome....took a walk down to the lake Clar lives next too. The man has brook trout in his drainage ditch at the end of the driveway....only in Newfoundland.

That evening we returned to the river and anchored on the hole with the big fish we had been seeing......returned to my routine of casting 1000 times with wets and drys no takes or follows....the wind is almost always blowing during the day and this does cut down on the fish responding to the fly.....about 7:50 the wind died and I switched back to a small #4 orange bomber that I had caught a fish on the night before.....about my 50th cast a fish came out of nowhere and smashed the fly....I miss again....the next three casts the fish rises up under the fly waking the water but doesn't take the fly....Clar is ready with the camera on cast 5 and 6.

Fish on! Nice 10-12 lb fish several big jumps and I miss tailing the fish 3 times....fourth shot get the fish and a picture..... Orange bomber!!!

There is now only 45 minutes left to my fishing....I had seen a fish swirl above the boat earlier in the evening but Clar and I had decided it was a brook trout because the swirl was small....5 minutes after I release my last fish the one above the boat swirls again...salmon for sure this time....Clar pulls the boat up river and I tie on one of the bombers I had tied before the trip....I begin casting....third cast...savage strike...I miss...again....

For the next 3-4 casts the fish knocks the fly off the water with its nose....not eating it but playing with it......then nothing.....I work another area were we expect the big fish to be and come back a few minutes later....third or fourth cast...huge take...I miss again...thought I had him hooked for a second, but not sure....cast again...about the third cast another huge on!

Biggest fish of the trip by far at least 14 lbs.....9-10 jumps...Clar just missed this one....

fighting shot....notice the two bombers in my hat...

Great fish.....I go to tail him and miss....he jumps off the worries....

Total for the trip 7 days fishing.....5 hooked 4 brought in for a look.....2 on wets, 3 on bombers, one on a fly I tied......

Amazing trip.....

If you want a solid guide on a big fish river get ahold of Clarence Wareham, Corner Brook NF. I have his number, his email doesn't seem to be working at the moment...
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-25-2008, 12:53 PM
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Nice report.

But who counts their casts??


Most people on this board should feel fortunate. We all have big, fat rods AND know how to use them.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 12:27 PM
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Very nice report scrubs,, and some cool pics
If you had have felt the urge to move around you were less than two hours from at least 20 more great salmon rivers. Newfie is a jewel for sure. My turn is coming next July,, you ready to have a sip or two with me mitch??
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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I did...but in talking with the guides the lower seemed the best given the current conditions.

I'll be going back for two weeks next time just to spend time on some other rivers and to focus on some big fish on the humber.....

I am also going back with one or two larger spey rods....
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