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René J. Roy is a seasoned book editor, photographer, PAB volunteer firefighter, board member and diehard Montreal Canadiens hockey fan. You can follow him on twitter as @hfxhabby or reach him by e-mail him at

I am not a small guy. I’m not huge by any stretch, but during the winter months, I don’t tend to exercise much and my weight usually jumps up by 10 to 20 lbs.

That means reason number 300 why I am always excited for the trout season to open. It’s a chance for me to go out on the waters and throw a line out, and it’s also my main form of exercise.

I don’t own a quad or ATV (yet), so any fishing I do means getting there on foot. Personally I love it. I feel like having to walk inland to a pond or stream makes the tug of the line feel more like an accomplishment than if I just parked and flicked.

A few years ago I was on a day trip with family near Burgeo and my mother witnessed how far I was willing to go just to give an untested brook a try.

I descended the embankment, about 15 or 20 feet down and carefully crossed the gravel bed, which was nice and steep and slippery. Then I waded my way through the 4-foot high heather and brush for another 90 feet to get to what I thought would be a good spot for resting trout. It was not.

My mother later told some neighbours about watching my dogged determination to get to the water’s edge.

“I don’t know how he does it!”

I have no knack for flycasting, despite trying it over and over, so I tend to focus on trouting over salmon. I have a pretty good record on my 12 fishing holes (don’t ask – fishers never tell!), but there are three or four spots that I am dying to try.

The problem with those spots is that they are all miles inland, well beyond even my determination.

I have no problem walking for hours. I used to be a mail carrier, and seven hours of stomping around with equipment slung over my shoulders isn’t a big deal. But walking over wild lands alone is simply not smart.

When I go it alone, it’s no more than a two hour hike. At best, I’m gone for the day. But if a wild animal gets all uppity then I am likely in trouble.

With the cell phone coverage being so spotty around the Southwest coast, I can’t rely on a signal out in the woods. Even if I could, what good would it do if nobody can find me? If I step in a bad spot and turn an ankle or break a bone, then what? I am on my own and injured.

No matter how much I love fishing the risk simply outweighs the reward. Being outdoors and alone in Newfoundland’s natural beauty is not for the faint of heart.

I know that some of you are likely thinking, “Oh come on. It’s nothing. Toughen up.”

But being familiar with the land doesn’t exempt you from accidents or mistakes. That’s why, not matter how badly I want to try a few new spots, I am not going to do it alone. Anyone want to go trouting this summer?

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