With salmon season in full swing, Newfoundland anglers flock to Southwest Brook

·3 min read
Terry Byrne hooks a salmon at Southwest Brook on June 3. (Troy Turner/CBC - image credit)
Terry Byrne hooks a salmon at Southwest Brook on June 3. (Troy Turner/CBC - image credit)
Troy Turner/CBC
Troy Turner/CBC

The rippling water moves around their legs.

The air is crisp and cool. Birds sing from the nearby shore.

Onlookers sit, careful not to disturb the moment.

The lines of the anglers reels sweep in curves overhead.

And then, without notice, the air is broken by the whizzing of a reel, the line now tight to the water.

"I often tell my wife it's about the sounds of the birds when you're walking in. and we were lucky enough, only a few casts into the season, I hooked the first one," said angler Jeremy Mitchell. "And it's a great feeling, it gets the blood rushing. It's something that puts a smile on your face that words can't even describe."

Troy Turner/CBC
Troy Turner/CBC

Mitchell has been travelling from his home in Deer Lake to Southwest Brook, at the beginning of the Burgeo Highway, at the beginning of every angling season for the past nice years. He's been fishing for almost 20 years now, and also works as a guide.

"It falls short of an addiction for myself," Mitchell said. "Just to see the salmon rise. Words can't really describe it until you get into it yourself and it's been something that I've been lucky enough to live in such a beautiful area."

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

It's a little early to fish the bigger rivers such as the Humber, says Mitchell, but it shouldn't take long for those waters levels to go down.

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

"It feels good, especially out this way," he said. "The snow levels weren't as high as what we saw in Deer Lake, the water is actually pristine right now. Without any rain in the next couple weeks, you're going to see this drop really fast, and you'll see the salmon fishing slow down as well."

Troy Turner/CBC
Troy Turner/CBC

For David Mauger, the calm and tranquillity of a salmon river is just what he needed. Mauger, who lives in Port aux Basques, didn't get to fish at all last season.

"I beat cancer so I try to get along the best I can now," he said. "So all last year, I was in the hospital. I'm up fishing now so I'm enjoying my life now. I hope God spares me now because I got [moose hunting] Area 19 either sex, Burgeo Road, and I'm hoping to get down there this year."

Maugeer, who works as a house painter, took the weekend off so he could visit Southwest Brook on the opening weekend.

"I just love it out in the country," he said. "I like the view. I like to hear the birds singing in the morning.  I'm sleeping in my van, I've got my music on, and I've got my Tim Hortons coffee. I get up and go fishing, and I just love the outdoors.

"I'm just here getting it out of my system before I heads back to Port aux Basques again."

Troy Turner/CBC
Troy Turner/CBC

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