As the province continues its work in determining the current favourite salmon fly used in Newfoundland and Labrador, as part of its International Year of the Salmon celebrations, the Central Voice reached out to anglers about what they keep in their fly box.
The response showed an overwhelming support for the Blue Charm, which comes with a golden crest tail, black body and blue throat. There are, however, variations of this pattern, which incorporates different colour and wing styles.
Dwight Blackwood, president and publisher of Newfoundland Sportsman, has spent decades on the province’s rivers. He feels the Blue Charm is effective for fishing on any of them.
His publication, dedicated to hunting and fishing, recently asked readers about their favourite fly. Out of 225 respondents, Blackwood said the Blue Charm took the number one spot, making up 20.4 per cent of submissions.
“Considering there are thousands upon thousands of different flies to choose from, I would say it’s pretty decisive,” he said.
Since it’s a fly that has been used successfully for decades, Blackwood feels anglers have an established trust in the pattern.
“I swear by the Blue Charm, it’s tied to my line 80 to 90 per cent of the time,” he said. “But if you’re using a certain hook 80 to 90 per cent of the time, obviously you’re going to catch more fish with it than anything else.”
No argument from Gander fly tier John Sheppard. It’s a fly that dominates in his shop, as there’s a demand for the more than 50 different variations he ties.
“In overall popularity it certainly ranks at the top,” he said. “I’ve been operating a fly shop since 1975 and I’ve sold more Blue Charm than anything else.”
On a personal note, though, his favourite fly is the Silver Cosseboom — a silver-bodied fly with a yellow beard and squirrel tail beard.
But it’s not a provincewide success. Sheppard said it works best on the west coast of Newfoundland, where he does the majority of his fishing.
“It’s the most productive for me; it resembles a bait fish pattern, which is of course food for fish like salmon and trout,” he said. “But it’s not going to be high in popularity it terms of the best fly in Newfoundland and Labrador.”