Red Pine Mountain Lodge – What to Bring

Guide to recommended tackle, flies and accessories

Bring at least two rods in the following approximate lengths and weights: 8 ½ to 10-ft, single-handed rated for 8-10 weight line, or two-handed “Spey” rods of 12 to15 feet rated for 8-11 weight lines. Longer rods facilitate line control. Heavier weight lines facilitate casting large flies (early season). Rods with sufficient “backbone” to pick up a length of line into a change of direction cast (without false casts) allow you to keep the fly “fishing” longer resulting in more hook ups. (There are several rod/reels available at camp for guest’s use if you don’t have appropriate gear).

Two reels are recommended (or at least one with extra spools). Your reel should have a smooth, strong drag mechanism, palming rim (optional) and a capacity for 200 yards of 20 or 30-lb. test backing.

Two floating lines are suggested (most prefer weight forward). The Rio Windcutter and Mid-Spey lines are highly recommended for two-handed rods. While many fishermen use floating lines exclusively, a sink-tip line or an intermediate can be effective in high water. Some anglers use mini-sink tip systems (such as Orvis Instant Sink-Tips) with good results in high water. Bring spare backing as well.

To adapt to changing conditions, it is suggested that your tackle include spools of leader ranging from 8- to 25-pound test. Your guide will probably recommend heavy tippets, 15-20 lb. test in June and 12-15 lb. Test in July. Low water in late July and August may require using finer tippets. Leaders of 9-12 feet in length are generally used for wet flies, 12 – 15 feet for dries. Maxima Chameleon is widely accepted as the best leader material for salmon.

If you do all your fishing from the boat, you won’t need waders, but fish are usually played, netted and released from shore. Therefore, “Wellington” type calf-high rubber boots with slip-resistant soles will keep your feet dry when you “go ashore” (which we hope happens frequently). If you plan to do any wading, chest-high waders with felt soles and a wading staff are recommended.

Your clothing list should include long underwear (for June fishing), wool socks, Patagonia-type pull-over or sweatshirt (hooded), windbreaker, jacket and a hat with a visor or brim. Full rain gear (pants and jacket) is essential. Persons sensitive to fly bites should bring a head net or a Bug-Armour type jacket.

We suggest you consider the following as well: Bug repellent, sun cream, lip balm, fishing vest (optional), clippers, leader material, polarized sun glasses, dry fly floatant, line dressing, forceps, wax candle (for waxing ferrules to prevent slippage), electrician’s tape (two-handed rods should be taped at ferrules to prevent slippage); pocket knife, flashlight, and a small water-proof pack or kit bag, for carrying personal fly boxes, gear, camera (send us your photos for the web site!) and clothing.

Choice of hook size is dependent on water level. June fishermen use sizes 1/0-4 most frequently, but should carry flies tied on sizes 2/0-6. July and August fishing is mostly with sizes 4-8. While a matter of personal preference, double hooks are used most frequently on the Restigouche.

Wet flies:
Silver and Rusty Rats are the two most popular patterns on the Restigouche. The traditional “Restigouche or Arsenault dressing” features a white & black mixed hair wing with a black head rather than the more widely used gray fox or silver monkey wing with a red head. Both work, so it’s a matter of personal preference. While not widely known at other camps on the river, the Sugerman Shrimp is also one of Red Pine’s top producers. The following flies, in no particular order, have been effective at Red Pine in recent years.

Wet Flies for the Restigouche

Rusty Rat

Silver Rat

Rat (original)

Black Rat

Green Highlander

Orange Blossom

Black Bear Green Butt

Sugerman Shrimp

Night Hawk

Half & Half



Colburn Special

Silver Doctor

General Practicioner

Blue Charm


Green Widow


Pas Lake

Magog Smelt

Most of the above patterns are available for purchase at the camp. This list is not all-inclusive. If you have a favorite pattern not listed, by all means give it a try. It may turn out to be the “Fly of the Week”!

Dry flies:
Dry flies are not often used on Red Pine waters, but at times can be very effective. Your guide may recognize a particular rolling rise and advise you to try a dry. Or, if you are able to spot-cast to a fish, you can often raise them with a dry when they refuse a wet fly. The following patterns are recommended.

Dry Flies for the Restigouche

Bomber (#2-4)

Wulffs (White, Royal)


Rat Faced MacDougal

Auntie K.K. landing a salmon in GrindstoneRecommended reading

The Atlantic Salmon by Lee Wulff
A Master’s Guide to Atlantic Salmon Fishing by Bill Cummings
The Atlantic Salmon and the Fly Fisherman by Gary Anderson
Atlantic Salmon Flies and Fishing by Col. Joe Bates
Salmon Fishing by Hugh FaIkus
Atlantic Salmon River Log – The Gaspe by George Gruenfeld
Tying and Fishing the Riffling Hitch – Art Lee

For Reservations or more information, contact

Doug Schlink

800-628-1447 – 860-434-9624

Fax 860-434-8605

PO Box 872, Old Lyme, CT 06371