"So it is with rods, and reels, and flies: they all lead to the river. And with almost...every cast it is possible to take a fish, if the fish are in the mood for fishing. But it is not all of fishing (just) to fish"

George Frederick Clarke,
"The Song of the Reef"

The Atlantic Salmon

The Eagle River is world reknowned for its fishing and ranks top five among the Atlantic salmon producing rivers in North America.

The river is riddled with pools teeming with salmon. Pools that virtually have never been fished before. And our guides know these rivers and these pools like the backs of their hands. Atlantic salmon anywhere from 3-30 pounds have been pulled from these waters, but that’s not all—the Eagle is also populated with huge trout and Northern Pike—though nothing matches the fight and spirit of the salmon.

Whether it’s on the Eagle River itself, at Awesome Lake (our sister lodge) for trout fishing, on one of our offered excursions to other nearby salmon rivers, or an extended visit to the far North for Arctic Char, we at Rifflin Hitch offer you not only the indescribably beautiful experience of being here, but a challenge to both novice and experienced angler alike.

As a consequence of Newfoundland and Labrador's restrictions on commercial salmon fishing in the 1990's, the annual runs of salmon have increased dramatically. To husband this valuable resource, our lodge is catch and release ONLY.

All fishing licenses are provided as well as breathable gortex waders and boots in varying sizes. Also on hand is a fine selection of fishing equipment to save you the trouble of traveling with yours. Of course, our trained, friendly, uniformed guides will be delighted to share their tackle boxes and their knowledge of the area with you to ensure your angling experience is world class. You may fish from dusk 'til dawn as long as you are accompanied by your guide.

A century ago, salmon hooks were blind. They had to be eyed by whipping a small loop of gut – "a silken fibre obtained from the intestines of a silkworm" – into the head of the fly. When the gut became brittle it broke, and the fly became useless and was discarded along the river banks or the bottom of boats. From there, natives of Newfoundland and Labrador would retrieve them and fish them again by tying a double half hitch with their tippet just behind the head of the fly. This hitch made the fly skim at an angle across the surface creating a riffle or wake behind it as it went downstream.

Thus was born the "riffling hitch" which has endured into the era of eyed hooks and become a Newfoundland and Labrador tradition. It was first observed by Lee Wulff in Portland Creek, NL, and he introduced it to the angling world. That's why today, whenever salmon hesitate, you'll find an angler trying the rifflin' hitch.