To paraphrase Steppenwolf, ‘God damn the weather man!’ While many of you down in the States are sweltering under the summer heat and dodging thunderstorms, we are almost half way through our coldest summer in the past sixteen years. And the cold isn’t the trying factor. Wind! Every day, day after day, the winds have howled from all directions. We are averaging 20 to 25 mph winds every day and a few days have seen winds steady at 40 mph. Sitting here in the cook lodge on this the last day of our fourth week, I’m looking out the window at ‘seas’ of about three feet with white caps and spray blowing onto the front porch.
We have our guests tucked away today in the smaller streams up-river in hopes that they can get out of the blow a bit. We are fortunate to have a wide variety of waters and a float plane to drop anglers into the more sheltered streams.
On July 1st, Canada Day, the temperatures in Labrador City/Wabush were 28 degrees Celsius ( about 85 F.). Here in camp, just 147 miles northeast of the towns, what started out to be a beautiful day quickly deteriorated into a winter storm. Temps dropped to 28 F. and snow blanketed the Woods River for about four hours. Anglers (all but Roger who was in a more sheltered stream) came back to camp at 1:00 pm to warm their hands and melt the icing on their rod guides. But all our fisher folks have stayed strong and well prepared for this summer’s windy challenges. So far, there have been no fishing days lost to the weather’s fury.
So what’s the good news in all this cold, wet, wintry mess? The below normal temperatures and consistent rainfall have kept the rivers’ waters fresh and cool and well up into the ‘normal’ range. Despite the testy fishing conditions, the catching has been top-notch. Our corporate group, here for their eleventh year, enjoyed their best fishing ever. Many fish in the 6+ pound range were landed and days a-stream as well as evenings in camp were lively with hoots and hollers.
While we’re hoping for a break in the weather for comfort’s sake, we will keep the winds at our backs, our hoods up and enjoy the healthy fisheries. And we’ll seek our refuge in the comfortable camps warm with wood fires, share stories around the dining table heaped with delicious meals and laugh the evenings away in the tilt, scattered with interesting libations. There’s no kinder place on this earth to welcome home the ‘sailors from the seas’.