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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello there to all you Nova Scotians
I am visiting NS from Scotland for the first time on July 1st for 2 weeks and I intend to bring my travel fly fishing Rod with me, I will be travelling around with no specific destination in mind, but I would appreciate any advice and recomendations from my fellow fishermen for these dates.
 

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Hello there to all you Nova Scotians
I am visiting NS from Scotland for the first time on July 1st for 2 weeks and I intend to bring my travel fly fishing Rod with me, I will be travelling around with no specific destination in mind, but I would appreciate any advice and recomendations from my fellow fishermen for these dates.
Hey Jack
Do you know where in Nova Scotia you will be staying, this will give everyone an idea where to start you off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Morning Scott
I will be based in Halifax but intend to do a loop to see as much as we can, I certainly will be going to Cape Breton but will consider anywhere within a do-able distance, I have hired a 4x4 for the 2 weeks so anywhere is possible hence the plea for advice.
 

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Morning Scott
I will be based in Halifax but intend to do a loop to see as much as we can, I certainly will be going to Cape Breton but will consider anywhere within a do-able distance, I have hired a 4x4 for the 2 weeks so anywhere is possible hence the plea for advice.
Besides fishing, what other types of things are you interested in doing while you're here? Will you be camping or staying in B&Bs/motels/hotels? These things may drive some of your decisions, particularly if your travel partner(s) is/are not as interested in fishing as you are.

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good morning Paul
I worked for a couple of months on the Sable Island Offshore Oil platform a few years ago and I passed through Halifax twice for a couple of days each way and I absolutely loved the whole feel of the place, the people, the pubs (of course) the food, and I was regaled with fishing stories fron the guys offshore, both Halifax guys and Cape Breton guys, My wife is up for it and is even taking fly casting lessons (hopeless)we like to walk, explore and all that good stuff, however I think we will be B&B/ hotel /motels. Although we are keen campers so that could be possible.
I would like to thank both Scott and yourself for your interest in helping and it does confirm the good impressions I received about you Nova Scotians the short time I was there
Jack the Scotsman
 

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I was regaled with fishing stories fron the guys offshore, both Halifax guys and Cape Breton guys...
It's rather unfortunate for you that anglers are such liars


In any case, two weeks is a great period of time to explore the province. A few random thoughts:
  • Halifax is about four hours' driving time from Yarmouth in the southwest and five hours from the tip of Cape Breton in the northeast;
  • You probably won't need a 4X4 and may want to downgrade your rental to save some $$$ (now my Scottish heritage is showing);
  • The "century-series" highways (101, 102, 103, 104 are BORING); you'll be in no rush, so take the older highways when you can and you'll see some much more impressive scenery and can easily stop to wet a line when the mood strikes;
  • By early summer, the smallmouth bass will be quite active due to the warmer weather and you'll encounter them most frequently near, and to the west, of Halifax;
  • Brook trout will be more easily found as you head northeast and should be readily available in Cape Breton;
  • If I were you, I'd spend the first couple of days in Halifax to get adjusted to the jet lag, hit the local pubs, see some historic sites, buy your fishing licences, and take in some urban smallmouth bass angling;
  • I highly recommend visiting Shubie Park in Dartmouth where you can hike for kilometres, catch fish in the Shubenacadie Canal and Lake Charles, and generally enjoy the surroundings;
  • Half a day at Peggy's Cove is also a must-do when in Halifax;
  • After that, spend about four days doing a western loop (clockwise or counter-clockwise);
  • A counter-clockwise loop will take you first to the Annapolis Valley, which is very scenic and has some interesting historical sites (Grand Pre, Port Royal, Fort Anne);
  • Consider staying in a B&B in Annapolis Royal and pop down to Kejimkujik National Park for a day (a separate fishing licence is required while in the park) for some hiking and perhaps to rent a canoe or kayak for a couple of hours;
  • Continue down to Yarmouth and make the turn back to Halifax along Highway 3, with beautiful coastline communities dotted along the way;
  • After regrouping in Halifax, head to Cape Breton (either slowly along Highway 7 on the Eastern shore or more quickly via the 102 and 104) and explore the Cabot Trail and Cape Breton Highlands National Park;
  • If the sky is clear, take a few hours to hike to the top of Mt. Franey and enjoy the view;
  • When you've had your fill of Cape Breton, meander back toward Halifax (consider exploring the north shore all the way to Amherst).
As for specific fishing spots, you should keep in touch via this forum (there are readily-available public access internet sites) when you have more specifics about your timing and location. Local members will hopefully give you specific guidance, usually via PM so they don't broadcast any "honey holes" to the entire world by posting on this board.

Above all, enjoy your stay and be flexible.The weather may conspire with you or against you. You may find interesting things that you want to explore for awhile longer or may find that you want to broaden your horizons (e.g., a couple of days in Prince Edward Island).

Tight lines and stay in touch,
Paul
 

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Hello there to all you Nova Scotians
I am visiting NS from Scotland for the first time on July 1st for 2 weeks and I intend to bring my travel fly fishing Rod with me, I will be travelling around with no specific destination in mind, but I would appreciate any advice and recomendations from my fellow fishermen for these dates.
You must drive the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton. It has dozens of rivers, lakes, and smaller streams to try your luck fly fishing at, and like Mikesalmon said you must try the famous Margaree, the river should have lots of fish by then. The Bras d,Or lake has good rainbow and speckled trout fishing and if you want to catch lots of smaller trout there is the Cape Breton Highlands.
As for the mainland you will need other members for that advice, I only know Cape Breton. I hope you enjoy you visit and catch some great memories.
Taggart
 

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Guys... I must admit that I am also enjoying the information that you've offered Jack (Sorry Jack). I'm going to have to remember this and refer to it once I'm checked into the hotel. As a fly fisher... what type of fishing is available in the Shubenacadie Canal?

Alex
 

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As a fly fisher... what type of fishing is available in the Shubenacadie Canal?
Mostly stunted smallmouth bass in the canal itself, Alex, but the entire Shubenacadie system also has chain pickerel, landlocked salmon (some stocked), brook trout (some stocked), gaspereau, stripers, yellow perch, and what have you.

I enjoy Shubie Park itself for the setting. It's a readily-accessible urban park with kilometres of cycling and hiking trails and an amazingly rich ecosystem. It's not unusual to see a beaver, bald eagles, osprey, squirrels, chipmunks, and so on. The history of the canal is also interesting, as is viewing the locks and other infrastructure remnants.

Tight lines,
Paul
 

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Paul:

That sounds like a total winner. The wife, kidlets and I definitely will give the park a visit. Thanks a bunch.

Alex
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Mike thank you for your help, I would really like to have a go for the Salmon on the Margaree, could you tell me the costs involved and permits and stuff, It certainly looks great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Darth
I am certainly pleased that you joined my wee blog, Isnt it just fine how helpful fishing fowk (scottishism)can be, I am at present looking at all the suggestions and I am spoiled for choice, Paul said that it was a pity that fishermen were liars ??? so how good is the fishing in general in NS? When I am over I will keep an eye out for a family with the dad dressed with a space helmet and waders and with a disgruntled wife and a clan of kidlets.
Tight lines
Jack
 

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so how good is the fishing in general in NS?
What a great question!

I would suggest that our access to great water is second to none. Lots of lakes, rivers, steams, etc. with excellent laws protecting access (relative to other jurisdictions, that is; there are still lakes that are landlocked by landowners).

Small fish (i.e., less than 12 inches) are plentiful, but larger fish are harder to find.

When you combine those factors, my opinion is that the opportunity to feel a tight line within minutes of leaving home may be close to, if not actually, world-class. The likelihood of catching trophy-size fish; however, would be average at best and pale in comparison to remote locations like Labrador, etc.

I'm interested in others' perceptions of this, too.

Paul
 

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Jack:

I'm sorry if I might've given the impression that I did the proverbial threadjack here. But it truly is great that the folks out here are so helpful. LOL.. I guarantee you if you see a fly fisher fly fishing at the Shubie with the brood doing the same it'll be me. We'll be there in 14 days but in maybe as little as 12 depending o my wife's schedule.

Paul.. your description of what can be found has me even more excited. Every time I close my eyes I see ocean... Atlantic provinces here I come.

Alex
 

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Paul has given you very good advice, and I would add this to what he said -
The first two weeks of July, though, are also prime Sea Trout time in Cape Breton. I would do the "southern loop" and come on down to Yarmouth via the Route 1 and 3 loop. The fishing is not as good down here (for trout, it is good for bass and pickerel), but you should be sure to go to Cape Breton. Do the Cabot Trail - perhaps stay in Baddeck and then do the whole loop of the Trail, and you'll see lots of places to fish. Going from Baddeck counter clockwise you would go by the gaelic College in St. Ann's (something you may be interested in seeing anyway...) and about 5 minutes later you'll go over North River - fish from the bridge down and you might hit some trout. Keep going and you'll come to Ingonish (an hour or so later) and there is excellent fishing in the CB Highlands Park (you'll need another permit - a National Park license). The Aspy is another hour or so along (near Bay St. Lawrence) and is worth a fish. Coming back out of the Park, you'll go through Cheticamp and then come back to Baddeck by following right up the Margaree. While July is not the best salmon time, it is worth doing just because. You'll arrive back in Baddeck late, but you'll have had a wonderful day - and the Middle and Baddeck rivers are worth a look if you still have time.
The cost of all this is ridiculously low - a season's pass for fishing trout (you'll need it for 2 weeks) is $60., a week long salmon tag for a non-resident is another $60, and your park fishing license is less than $20 (I think...). Nova Scotia has full public access to waters, so fish anywhere you see something interesting, and a Guide is not required but can help you by narrowing spots to producers, since there is so much water that you'll have fun just trying spots out, but may be within feet from really super fishing.
Hope that all helps,
Tight Lines,
Bill
 

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Jack:

Looks like Bill answered your questions on license fees. If you do decide to give Margaree a try I would suggest hiring a guide for the day to show you around the river and put you over some fish. A guide is not required but it would save you some time in trying to find the hot spots. I am not sure on the cost of a guide.
 

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Totally agree with Mikesalmon. Unless you have someone to show you around, a guide is a valuable tool. Sure, eventually you can figure out where the fish are but it will take time. If you only have a couple of days, a good guide will put you over fish and tell you what gear and what flies will work. You are paying for their knowledge. It may seem steep at first but well worth it in the long run.

I have used guides all over the world and I am rarely disappointed. The only time I had a bad experience with a guide was where the guide did not have a lot of experience guiding fly fishers. He had us in water full of fish and perfect for gear guys but we could not get the flies deep even with tungsten dregger tips. We wasted a good morning until we started directing the guide where we wanted to go and then we started fishing good water. It was a learning experience for all of us. He got some spey and fly casting lessons and fly water reading tactics and we got a boat ride. Remember a guide will put you over the fish, it is still up to you to hook and land them.
 

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Totally agree with Mikesalmon. Unless you have someone to show you around, a guide is a valuable tool. Sure, eventually you can figure out where the fish are but it will take time. If you only have a couple of days, a good guide will put you over fish and tell you what gear and what flies will work. You are paying for their knowledge. It may seem steep at first but well worth it in the long run.

I have used guides all over the world and I am rarely disappointed. The only time I had a bad experience with a guide was where the guide did not have a lot of experience guiding fly fishers. He had us in water full of fish and perfect for gear guys but we could not get the flies deep even with tungsten dregger tips. We wasted a good morning until we started directing the guide where we wanted to go and then we started fishing good water. It was a learning experience for all of us. He got some spey and fly casting lessons and fly water reading tactics and we got a boat ride. Remember a guide will put you over the fish, it is still up to you to hook and land them.
Hi Leaper
Having guided anglers for 60 years ( off and on ! ) you are quite right when you say its up to the angler to hook the fish. That is in most cases! Sometimes folks want you to do that too!
I often wonder who learns the most, the angler or the guide. My lessons have been many.
I'm sure ScottishJack will have some wonderful fishing however and wish him the best.
Paul
 
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