FED BY MANY STREAMS and lakes, the beautiful Pinware River rises about 50 miles inland from the south coast of Labrador. Tributaries, snowmelt and summer rains add to a tremendous volume of water that descends in a rush to the well-developed valleys along the route. For miles the river flows at a strong pace, here and there plunging over a falls, and rushing down cataracts and through narrows. It then levels out again for a number of miles.
About eight miles from the sea the Pinware plunges over a falls just above the forks. Both this falls on the east branch and a smaller one on the west branch delay the progress of the Atlantic salmon forging their way upstream from the ocean. It is here and in the many pools along this eight-mile stretch that the Atlantic salmon must rest on their way upstream to the spawning grounds.
The upper part of this section of the river comprises some well-defined pools, pockets, plunging slicks, and eddies. These are separated by bustling currents and small but swift-tumbling rapids and chutes. Downstream, the river subsides as it approaches the tidal pools above the estuary. The estuary first broadens and then narrows at the mouth of the Pinware River -- where it flows into the Atlantic Ocean.
The areas above the falls provide the ideal habitat for spawning fish. The river below the falls gives access to the fish for angling and -- because of its nature -- presents a great challenge to even the most seasoned fishermen. The fast waters give the fish the advantage, especially if it's allowed to escape the pool. On this stream a grilse can give you the fight of your life, and many an unwary fisherman has been chastened by a six pound grilse! Imagine the capture of a 12 pound salmon under the same circumstances!
Recently it has been the case where anglers have had the great surprise of hooking salmon right at the mouth of the Pinware, just as they entered from the sea. Imagine the battle with a bright Atlantic Salmon fresh from the North Atlantic, possessing a seemingly endless store of energy!
Different pools on the river provide varied experiences and techniques. In pools such as the forks or the tidal pools fishing can be done from boats or by wading. Other entail some wading and some fishing from shore. A particular pool can change overnight after a heavy rain, which causes the fish to move and become more active. They may rise to a fly in an altogether different part of the pool as they respond to different water levels.
The Pinware River provides a variety of experiences. You will likely not have enough time to enjoy all that the river has to offer in just one visit!