Newfoundland and Labrador may be 30 minutes ahead of the rest of Canada in terms of its time zone, but rural cell service here feels years behind. My phone’s last data bar has long since faded away (along with most of the daylight) as I pull off the smooth paved road and onto a dirt one. For miles I rumble along to the lone sound of gravel crackling under my tires.
I have driven seven hours across the island from St. John’s to meet up with Jeremy Charles, one of Canada’s most acclaimed chefs and the man responsible for putting Newfoundland cuisine on the map, to fly‑fish for Atlantic salmon on the Humber River. Jeremy has come here to teach Hank, his nine‑year‑old son, to fly‑fish, something Jeremy learned from his own dad at the same age. A couple of Charles’ fishing buddies will join us on the river – two of the province’s top fly‑fishing guides. If ever there was a time for me to learn, it is now, on this river, with these people.