Suggested equipment

My biggest worry when I'm dead is that my wife will sell my fishing gear for what I said I paid for it.

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This list is mainly for visitors to Nova Scotia and I have to tell you that I know as much about equipment as I do about trout, so this is a really basic list.


Rod length is a topic for hot debate and is largely a matter of personal preference. There's no doubt that a long rod gives better line control but a short rod is a lot of fun.
A seven foot, three or four weight, for the smaller streams.
An eight foot, five or six weight, for the mid-size streams.
A nine foot, eight or nine weight, for the salmon rivers.
An eight foot six, six or seven weight, would be a reasonable all-round rod.


Reels suitable for the above line weights.
A fancy reel with an advanced drag system is not necessary for most trout fishing in Nova Scotia. But you'll need a good one for the salmon.


Floating lines (your choice) for most of the year.
A sink tip line may be necessary for salmon fishing in the fall, or a sink tip system (such as the one put out by Orvis) may be added (using braided loop connectors) to your floating line.
Leaders and tippets

Tapered leaders (your choice)
I'd suggest Maxima Chameleon for the tippet because of its 'tea' colour.
One to four pound for trout.
Six to ten pound for salmon.


For dries and nymphs use the hatch chart on my web page.
Streamers : Muddler Minnow, Mickey Finn, Black Nosed Dace, Grey Ghost, Dark Edson Tiger, Hornberg.
Wets : I'm not very good with wets but the following seem to be most peoples favourites ... Dark Montreal, Black Gnat, Parmachene Belle, and any of the patterns listed in my hatch chart.
See Bob Boudreau's site for salmon flies.


Felt soles would be good all year.
Lightweight chest (with warm underwear) or neoprene chest April - mid May.
Hippers from mid-May to late June.
Wet wade through the summer (late June, July and August) using wading boots and neoprene booties. An alternative to wading boots would be to adhere some indoor/outdoor carpet to the bottom of a pair of sneakers.
In September back to hippers or lightweight chest and in late October throw on some warm underwear or the neoprene chests.


Polarized sun glasses (a must!)
Fly dope for early May (blackfly), and on through the mosquito season 'til mid-September.
The flies are really not that bad. There's only been a couple of times when they've driven me off the river. Please read my feelings about Deet on my Anecdotes page.
To protect my hands from the flies I buy a bunch of inexpensive cotton gloves and cut the tops off, just above where the middle joint would be. This avoids having to spray dope on my hands.
A wading stick is very helpful on slippery rivers, a cut alder branch would suffice.

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Pat Donoghue, Canada, ©1997