NL·Land & Sea

Seeking salmon, finding serenity: Land & Sea joins these women on the river

Salmon angling may have been a male-dominated sport, but things have changed. Join CBC's Jane Adey as Land & Sea heads to the rivers of western Newfoundland, where women too are enjoying the peace of mind of casting a line.

Enjoy a full episode from Jane Adey and the Land & Sea team

A woman wearing a cap and sunglasses raises her arms to cast a fishing line on a river.
Kastine Coleman is a casting instructor in Corner Brook, N.L. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

In the month of July, anglers in Newfoundland and Labrador are in their glee.

This province has more than 60 percent of North America's scheduled salmon rivers. Increasingly, many of the anglers on those rivers are women.

"I know that in the past it was a male-dominated sport, but it is definitely changing," said Kastine Coleman, a casting instructor on Newfoundland's west coast.

Coleman, the only woman in Newfoundland and Labrador with certification from Fly Fishers International, is helping other women to understand that hooking a salmon is a skill that comes with practice.

"You don't necessarily have to be a big, strong man to cast.When I've been on the river and come in to the shore and people will look at me and say, I don't know how you did that because I'm bigger than you, so I should be able to cast further. But you can cast further and it's just not about strength or body size, it's just technique," Coleman told Land & Sea.

Coleman carefully leads a wader-wearing, all-female class into the Humber River near Boom Siding.

WATCH | Catch a full episode of Land & Sea on angling in western Newfoundland: 

"When you're wading, one of the most important things to know is that you don't take a second step until that first step is completely comfortable because it sucks falling in and it happens all the time," said Coleman.

The women form a line along the shore and begin casting their lines out into the water.

'I think that could be fun'

Andrea Loveless is among the new anglers.

Loveless wasn't convinced salmon fishing was for her.

"My boyfriend used to salmon-fish, and I thought he was crazy to get up so early in the morning. I just used to go watch him. I was like, I think that could be fun,'" said Loveless.

From a far distance, eight anglers can be seen in a large, calm river.
A group of female salmon anglers learning how to cast in Boom Siding. (Jane Adey/CBC)

"And now, it's my favourite thing. It's just, it's the most peaceful, relaxing thing, I think, in life."

Loveless added it is "so cool" to see other women take up the sport. "It's really fun," she said.

Coleman is happy to help build confidence among women entering the sport. She thinks the outdoor lifestyle has a lot to offer.

"I feel like I get so much from the sport and from being out here on the river that I don't get in my day-to-day life. I don't get this anywhere else. And if I can do that, if I can be out here and find this sort of peace, then why wouldn't you want to share it with everybody?

This past summer, the Land & Sea team tagged along with Kastine Coleman. You can watch the adventure in the episode Seeking Salmon and Serenity by clicking the video player above.

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Jane Adey

CBC News

Jane Adey hosts CBC's Land and Sea. She formerly hosted CBC Radio's The Broadcast, and has worked for many other CBC programs, including Here & Now and On The Go.

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