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Ask The Guide: Chris Williams from Riverkeep Lodge, Labrador

Here at All Points, the goal is to not only provide quality gear and travel opportunities for our customers and clients, but to also be a respected resource for useful information on fly fishing. Whether it's gear reviews and fly selection, or trip reports to tips and techniques - knowledge is power. The more you know, the more confidence you'll have on the water. This in turn can create more success on the water. Plus, it can help prepare those looking to take a trip so they can make the right choices before they leave. So, who better to ask about specific fishing regions than the guides that are on the water there every year?

This is the first installment of "Ask The Guide." These interviews will be with guides all over the world to help fly anglers get the real scoop! This first one is a conversation with Chris Williams who is a guide out of Riverkeep Lodge in Labrador, Canada. 

Fly Fishing Labrador - Guide Interview


1. Name?

  • Chris Williams

2. Dates/days of fishing season at Riverkeep?

  • Mid June to the first week in September

3. When do the fish usually arrive in the river? Do they arrive at the same time?

  • Landlocked salmon show up first usually by mid to late june; Lakers follow the salmon into the river and a few pike will be found. Whitefish and brook trout come in by mid July as the hatches draw them in combined with lower water levels and rising temperatures. As the water temperatures rise and the spawn is over for pike they will show in numbers by mid July as well.

4. What are the main insect hatches?

  • Caddis flies, may flies and dunns are the main hatches. There are seasons when large green drakes and stone flies are numerous enough to be a factor.

5. When do these hatches happen?

  • Air temperatures and water levels affect hatches. By mid July the conditions are usually prime for hatches to start; however, there are days prior to this that small numbers can be found and turn on dry fly fishing for short periods of time.

6. What are the main baitfish?

  • Minnows, small burbot, and fry make up the main bait fish. They are usually found all season and streamer flies patterned to them work well.

7. What weight fly rods/lines do you suggest for fishing at Riverkeep?

  • I would suggest 6 weight fly rod for dry and wet fly fishing. I would also recommend an 8 weight for pike fishing and trolling with streamers. If you are using a rod for trolling I would recommend a weighted line that gets you deep in a hurry. My opinion on trolling is if you're not hooking bottom sometimes you aren't deep enough.

8. What are your top 3 dry flies

  1. Goddard caddis
  2. Orange stimulator
  3. Royal wulff/coachman with red in it.

9. What are you top 3 wet flies/streamers?

  1. Bait fish patterns (all colours) with silver tinsel weighted body.
  2. Egg sucking leech/woolly bugger patterns
  3. Any small dry fly pattern in an emerger. These flies should retrieve just below surface with a very slow retrieval.

10. Best/biggest fish you’ve seen caught at Riverkeep?

  • Brook trout = 10+lbs.
  • Landlocked Salmon = 13+lbs.
  • Laker = 36lbs.
  • Whitefish = 8lbs.
  • Northern Pike = 26lbs.

11. Top 3 suggestions for anyone who is coming to Riverkeep for the first time?

  1. Come for the thrill of the adventure. Appreciate where you are and let the fishing take care of itself. Those who come gungho to catch a huge fish usually have the hardest time; too much self pressure hampers your ability.
  2. Regardless of how much fishing experience you have listen to your guide. We have fished this water for years and know what it takes to be successful. Too many people will not not take advice and fishing any new water is different then any other place you've fished.  Even casting and retrieval may be different from what you are used to. If I advise you on how to play out a fish listen, often people get over excited and impatient when playing that fish of a lifetime.
  3. If possible, ask to contact a guide or the camp before your trip. We can make suggestions and advise you on what you will or will not need to bring. It makes a connection with us before you arrive and starts a relationship. We want to see repeat customers and a good relationship is the key element to that.

Comments

Josh (All Points):

Thank you Chris! I really appreciate you doing the interview. I hope to see you and the crew sooner than later!

Cheers!

Oct 09, 2018

Chris Williams :

Hello again Josh, was an absolute pleasure to have had you at camp this past season; hopefully you can return sometime and we can continue the fishing story. Hope all is well with you and your family.

Sep 28, 2018

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