9th Nov, 12
SPECTACULAR WEATHER & PUZZLING FISHING
After 4 successive years of better than average fishing action, even for Grey River, the 2012 Atlantic salmon returns brought us back to the realities of why the King of Game Fish so passionately captures our attention. The Grey River run has looked exceptionally good the past few years and then for an unknown reason, nature decides to send back only a sampling of the numbers of salmon to which we have become accustomed. The good news here is that we have not had successive years of below average runs of fish during our 20 years of lodge operations on Grey River, so the expectations for 2013 and beyond are very good, as the product of the excellent runs of 2008-2011 make their way back as mature spawning Atlantic salmon.
The 2013 Grey River Fishing schedule was about average in terms of numbers of guests and length of operation, starting on June 13 and running until July 21. Fishing action began immediately with arrival of our first anglers, and it appeared to be a normal start to the run, although, looking back, it would now be my belief that the run started a little earlier than normal, as was expected with the very early spring experienced this year.
While there was fishing action with hook-ups almost every day, it became evident as the season progressed that the 2013 run was not going to contain the great numbers of fish we have come to expect over the past 4 years. Accepting that it is quite the norm for runs of wild Atlantic salmon to fluctuate for often unknown reasons, the most surprising aspect of this past summer was that some times which would usually produce the best fishing action on Grey River, actually were our slowest for the season, despite favourable angling weather and water conditions. For that I have no possible explanation.
While the 2012 Atlantic salmon fishing season provided pretty extreme water conditions for almost all of NL, resulting in a large number of rivers being closed to angling, Grey River once again was not affected much by low, warm water conditions, as we received some fairly localized, but significant rain at times during the season.
One possible, and the most likely explanation for the sub par salmon returns this year reflects upon the normal 5 year reproductive cycle of Atlantic salmon, with 2012 being 5 years following poor returns in 2007, which many felt was caused by excessive ocean ice lasting well into late spring that year. Grey River was not unique with it’s less than normal number of returning spawners for 2012, as most rivers of NL and indeed North America saw decline in the runs from most recent years.
The good news is that we have not had successive years of below average runs of fish during our 20 years of lodge operations on Grey River, so the expectations for 2013 and beyond are very good, as the product of the excellent runs of 2008-2011 make their way back as mature spawning Atlantic salmon.
Despite less than our normal rate of fishing action, a number of long time repeat guests of our lodges were heard to state that this year’s visit to Grey River was one of their best ever. Maybe it was the fabulous weather experienced by most of NL this past summer, with a very high percentage of pleasant sunny days for fishing and relaxing at camp. Our great staff of cooks and guides was unchanged from recent years and I am sure did much to further enhance our guests stay. As well, the helicopter flight to and from the lodges was again one of enjoyment, with many sightings of wildlife such as caribou, moose and black bear. At times, members of these same wildlife species could be seen directly from the lodges, with one special mention of a female bear with 2 tiny cubs, whose activities often brought smiles to the faces of staff and guests alike.
With the high number of fine sunny days during our season, and considering the past great record of our helicopter service , there were only very minimal delays experienced with guests flights between the lodges and Deer Lake, NL.As usual, with our high level of guest satisfaction, a number of periods are already filled with repeat guests for the 2013 salmon fishing season at both our lodges. While the current level of interest in fishing dates for next year is high, there are some excellent periods still possible with prompt action. While large parties are much more difficult to fit into our available openings, there remain some limited options during our prime time angling period, but an early reservation is essential.
I welcome your contact and the opportunity to discuss existing possibilities to be your host for a high quality wilderness fly fishing adventure at one of our lodges soon.
Yours in fly fishing,
Grey River Lodge Ltd
Few travel to Grey River Lodge only once.
The experience we provide is the way fly fishing was meant to be.