Fly Fishing Atlantic Salmon In Newfoundland For Less Money.

Fly Fishing Atlantic Salmon In Newfoundland For Less Money.

It is well known that Newfoundland has some of the world’s finest Atlantic salmon rivers. In this article, I’d like to share how you can enjoy a week fly fishing one of Newfoundland's best salmon rivers without blowing the entire family’s annual vacation budget. Read further and I will tell you how Harold and I managed to do it. After covering the following topics, you will be able to do the same. 

  • The location...the Lomond River.
  • Where we stayed.
  • Fishing guide requirements and regulations overview.
  • The flies.
  • The budget.

The Location-Lomond River, Gros Morne National Park

The Lomond River empties into Bonne Bay in the Federal Park of Gros Morne on the west coast of Newfoundland. From the ferry terminal at Port Aux Basque, drive up the Trans-Canada highway to Deer Lake and hang a left onto the provincial highway 430. In total, it’s a 300km drive from the ferry terminal. Lomond River is one of two Atlantic salmon rivers you can fish in the park with the second river being Deer Arm Brook. 

The Lomond River is not near the top of the list of destination salmon rivers in Newfoundland. Perhaps this is because much of the river flows inside the park. You don’t fly into a lodge. The Lomond River is not the type of river where you should expect to have exclusive waters all to yourself. In fact, you will encounter many friendly locals along the river trying to fill their two tags and eager to help you fill yours. 

Man fishing for salmon

If you are looking for an affordable Atlantic salmon fishing trip in Newfoundland where your chances of hooking salmon are very high, the Lomond River is for you. It is a stunningly beautiful location, easy to access and the park is loaded with other interesting things to do.. including trout fishing. 

Where We Stayed

There is no shortage of options for accommodation near the Lomond River. You can book accommodation in the National Park at a campground, or you can stay at any of the inns or campgrounds adjacent to the park. Harold and I towed a 20ft camper trailer with my Land Rover Discovery and parked it at Lomond River Lodge which lies just meters from the park borders on the river just outside the park.


From Lomond River Lodge you can access the river from the campground property. A short 10-minute walk from the camp site will take you to a walking trail along the river. This trail gives you access to many salmon pools inside the park as well as a few outside the park. There is a canteen on the property as well as a dance hall and lounge which hosts dances for the locals a couple of times a month.  

Local fishers use Lomond River Lodge to access the river to fish Atlantic salmon and trout as well as to socialize with each other. It isn’t just the river and the Atlantic salmon fishing that makes this location ideal, it is also the cultural experience socializing with locals and other fishers that makes Lomond River Lodge a fantastic choice. 

Lomond River Lodge is owned and operated by mother and son Doris and Dennis Laing who I am sure would be happy to hear from you and answer any questions you have about the lodge, the area and the dance schedule. 

Guiding Requirements and Regulations Overview

The requirement for non-residents of Newfoundland and Labrador to employ a licensed guide while fishing does not apply when fishing inside the federal park. As soon as you leave the park, the provincial regulations once again apply. This includes the requirement to employ a licensed guide when fishing provincial waters. Because this was our first-time salmon fishing Lomond River, Harold and I hired a local guide for the first day to show us the waters inside the park as well as outside the park. Most of our fishing was inside the park but we did bring the guide back for another day to allow us to fish some interesting pools outside the park. 

In the 2022 season, 2 provincial tags could be used. A separate license is required to fish inside Gros Morne Park and 2 federal tags come with this license. It is important to note, inside the park, catch and release for salmon (grilse) is NOT allowed. All landed grilse in the park must be tagged with both the federal and provincial tags and retained until both tags are filled (2 fish in total, 2 tags per fish). Once you no longer have available tags to use, you can no longer fish for salmon inside the park. However, in 2022 season you could fish for trout. We saw some outstanding trout caught in the Lomond River. If you no longer have available tags, you can still fish catch and release for salmon outside the park, but you will require a guide as discussed. 

A fine gentleman named Charlie Crocker was our guide and is now our friend. Charlie is a retired park employee who began working at the park in 1975, just 2 years after surveying started in the creation of Gros Morne Park. I doubt there is anyone who knows Lomond River better or has spent more time on it, than Charlie. 


You will need to check all regulations each year before casting a line. Regulations on scheduled salmon rivers can change from season to season and the Lomond River is subject to 2 sets of rules depending on where you are fishing. Contact Doris and Darren in advance of your trip to enquire about licensing and hiring a guide. 

The Flies

Bombers of all colours produced good action. Charlie’s fly of choice is a white bomber with orange hackle and white head and tail. The fish also showed a lot of interest in our natural bomber. 

Many locals prefer the blue charm with a riffle hitch. This is not surprising as the blue charm fished with a hitch seems popular with Newfoundland and Labrador Atlantic salmon fishers throughout the province. 

Our fish were caught on the cascade, the blue rat as well as bombers. 

Blue Rat Fly

cascade fly

Our Atlantic salmon fly pack includes these patterns as well as several others that would work well for Atlantic salmon fishing on Lomond River and all Newfoundland salmon rivers. 

atlantic salmon fly pack

The Budget

Harold and I enjoyed a week of salmon fishing on one of Newfoundland’s great rivers at a very affordable cost. Excluding the essentials such as beer and food, which we would need whether salmon fishing or not, our final costs break down as follows: 

  • Gas $1173.06, from Wolfville towing a 20-foot trailer with a Land Rover. Premium fuel @ approx. $2.10/litre. 
  • Ferry to Port Aux Basque and return $937.35, vehicle, trailer, 2 adults, cabin on the first crossing. 
  • Campgrounds $321.75, one night in Cape Breton before first crossing, 7 nights at Lomond River, 1-night Codroy Valley. 
  • Non-resident license $110, trout and salmon individual. 
  • Guide $500, 2 partial days. 

This makes the shared cost for both of us $2932.16 or $1466.08 each. Once we added the cost of our licenses, our total cost each was $1576.08. Unfortunately for us, the price of fuel was at its highest point that summer. We would have saved quite a bit if we had not taken the trailer and booked one of Doris’ cabins instead. Having said that, we did not regret taking the trailer. Harold and I have spent quite a bit more than this to fish exclusive waters that were not as productive as the Lomond River. We are already booked for next season. If you happen to see us there, make sure you say hello, and keep an eye out for Charlie, you almost certainly will cross paths with him. by Kevin Smith


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