Season Almost Here [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Season Almost Here

Topher Browne
05-15-2003, 08:45 AM
I can't believe it: the season is almost here and, as usual, I'm behind on my fly-tying. I can't think what I was doing back in January that could possibly have been more important than preparing for the upcoming season.

I'm pushing off for points north on June 2. I'll be starting out on the York and Dartmouth, moving on down to the Bonaventure, and finishing up on the Matapedia. With last year's heavy grilse runs, scientists are predicting a good show of 2SW fish, the 10-12 pounders that form the meat of a healthy run. I spoke to some friends from ASF at the Boston Dinner last week; they think the final buyout of the last of the Greenland Fishery is worth another 15,000 salmon. Fingers crossed.

Anybody got any plans for June? See you on the river.........

05-15-2003, 01:49 PM
I'll be on the Bonaventure, Petite, etc part of 3rd and 4th weeks of June. Hope the run's not as late as last year's abberation.

Topher Browne
05-15-2003, 09:57 PM

I'll be on the Bonaventure the third week of June. I'll be around Camp Bonaventure on a daily basis, although not actually staying there. Swing on by for a cup of coffee and a chat.

Best regards,


05-15-2003, 10:00 PM
Topher -

I am going to figure out some way of getting up there this summer. I'll take you up on that coffee. :)

Topher Browne
05-15-2003, 10:13 PM

Plan on the first week of July: there should be a lot of fish around; should be, to quote Jim Carrey, smokin'......

I know a nice little Tim Horton's--the Canadian equivalent of Dunkie's--not 15 minutes away. Coffee's on me........


05-16-2003, 02:31 AM
See you there. I'll be with Glenn and the boys the whole time.

05-16-2003, 09:11 AM

all I have to say is...2004!

05-17-2003, 01:52 AM

They say that smell can evoke the strongest of memories, or emotions, from times past. Needless to say, spring in the Wasatch smell's enough like Quebec in early June that my mind was filled with glorious moments of recent angling experiences. Matalik, Pont Couvert, Kennedy's, Milnikek, Glenn Emma, Lower Murdock, Berry Mountain, Lazy Bogan, and 'THE' Fork's.

Screw 2004, that is something to worry about next year, opportunity is NOW!


05-19-2003, 06:47 PM
Topher, your upcoming forays on the Gaspe sound wonderful. I would love to step into those waters some day.

Me, I'll be going my usual blue-collar route (translate=low budget) to the smaller rivers of SW Newfoundland, hoping to 'contact' a few bruisers before the grilse runs begin. Of course NF bruisers seldom exceed 20lb.(except for a couple of rivers), but they're very gritty, like the local folks, and what they lack in size they make up for in attitude! :D Can't wait to fill my nostrils with those early spring smells, the trees just starting to bud out... ahhh, back to reality

Bright June waters and tight lines to all!


wet fly
05-21-2003, 12:07 PM
Topher, Do you think a west coast steelheader could handle those wild fish of yours? My dream is to spend a couple of weeks back there giving my best shot. Do you have a source of information on some of the details and logistics. Only problem I would have to miss some of our summerrun season. Jerry

05-22-2003, 07:59 AM
Macspey, send a PM to Lady Amherst (Ann Smith).) She'll give you lots of information and it will be accurate and useful. By the way, if you fish the ZEC waters a trip to the Gaspe is not very expensive. One can fish for two weeks on some of the ZEC water for what one day will cost for some water on the Grand Cascapedia. The rivers are gorgeous, the people are friendly and helpful, and the fishing can be very productive. I'm heading back that way in September.

05-22-2003, 11:14 AM
wet fly- i do well on the Restigouche... I find it much easier than steelheading. especially winter steelheading:confused:
I am sure you could do well out there. Its great fun. make sure you fish dries at some point.

Topher Browne
05-23-2003, 03:00 PM
Wet Fly,

No worries, mate! You'll have no problems with Atlantic salmon as long as you keep two things in mind:

-Atlantic salmon usually prefer a faster fly than all but the most aggressive summer steelhead. On a floating line, we often bring the angle of the cast up around 80 degrees (where 90 degrees is straight across current), and mend DOWN. The exceedingly vast majority of summer-run fishing for Atlantics is done with a floating line.

-June and early July fish can be very heavy. I'm usually on 12# Maxima if the water is up and there a quite a few big fish around. With the water high and the potential for big salmon, I'm not a fan of click/pawl reels: I've seen too many people cleaned on 'em with early-season fish. A disc drag reel usually helps land the fish more quickly, particularly at the end of the fight where the angler can use the drag to make the fish really work for any line pulled off the reel.

With all due respect, I'm not sure that I agree with D3Smartie's comments: I have fished the very finest private water on the Grand Cascapedia and Miramichi. With loads of fish, no competition from other anglers, and a guide to position the Sharpe's (canoe) the angling WAS very straightforward.

Public water angling for Atlantic salmon--where the fish are almost always fewer and the competition can be rather stiff--rivals any steelheading on the Skagit, Sauk, Stilly, Sky, Clearwater, etc., that I have done for pure difficulty in hooking up. I like both experiences, but lean towards public water fishing as I can generally run around the river a lot more.


The fishing in Quebec can be very reasonable: a fishing pass is usually around U.S. $45.00 (and gives you access to more pools than you can fish in a day), and motels and campgrounds are very inexpensive. I often "dirtbag" it, i.e. sleep in the back of the pickup truck in a friend's driveway. I usually look for fish first, then go buy a pass so I can fish for them; saves time as I know where they are ahead of time.

Good luck in Newfoundland!

Topher Browne
05-24-2003, 09:56 AM
Wet Fly,

For more information on salmon rivers in Quebec, go to (then click on 'English Version' in upper right hand corner of page). The site provides river maps, rules of access, fees, etc. for most Quebec salmon rivers.

Saumon Quebec is the non-profit, provincial management organization of all Quebec Atlantic salmon rivers. They will soon have a brochure available for all the rivers of the Gaspe' Peninsula.

wet fly
05-27-2003, 11:48 AM
I checked out the web site listed and found a good source of information. Last year I went to Newfoundland and had a good experience. There were plentiful numbers of salmon but many of the rivers were very crowded with fishermen. I enjoyed fishing the larger rivers as I like to use the spey rod. jerry

05-29-2003, 06:05 PM
Topher and JrSpey,

Thanks for the insight and info on Gaspe fishing. I may try to work a trip in this summer/fall. How is the September fishing (assuming there is water!)??


Topher Browne
05-29-2003, 11:54 PM

September on the Gaspe' can be superb: I like the last two weeks of the month.

It's important to remember that most of the run is "in" by this time. While there are a few, stray 'silver bullets' to be sure, most of the fish have been in the river for several weeks.

Large holding pools with clear water (Petit Cascapedia, Bonaventure, York, St. Jean) will allow you to see some of the largest concentrations of wild Atlantic salmon in North America. The fish can be tough, but a shot of rain can shuffle the deck and the fishing can go from slow to white hot as fish begin to move.

05-31-2003, 10:40 PM
Topher and Bill
I'll be staying on the Grand and fishing the ZPetite and Bonnie ,the1st week of July. Topher where are staying on the Matapedia ? I'll stop by on the way down from Mtl. I usually stop at the Forks or Hoople (Heppel ) .BTW ,Vilhelm, Metalik is known as Metaldick to us "pubic" heathens that originally invaded the Matapedia ,when it was declubbed back in the early 80's.

05-31-2003, 10:48 PM
I'll have to wait to see you at the Eastern Spey clave in the fall. I'm at Camp Bonaventure from June 18 to 27 so I'll just miss you. I've heard that the capelin have showed up early, so it's looking good.

06-01-2003, 12:17 AM

Is that because it used to be a great pool? Or is it just one of the harmless things fisherman do to make the slow days go by?


06-01-2003, 09:15 AM
Temporarily mistaken identity. At any rate, look forward to meeting you at the clave.
other Bill

Topher Browne
06-02-2003, 12:21 AM
The game's afoot. Go get 'em, lads!

06-03-2003, 09:09 AM
I was doing some research in the archives and came across this in the "Newfoundlander" newspaper of 1876. As part of a letter from alexander Murray proposing the leasing of Newfoundland rivers to the wealthy (thank goodness it never happened), he quotes from a letter from Capt. Fane of the HMS Bellerophon to his friend Capt. Erskine.

"Salmon red-fishing on the Cascapediac River, 25 June - 20th July 1875"
Dates weight of fish number of fish
June 25 34 lb 1
26 33,32,24,29+2 kelts 4
27 sunday, no fishing!
28 13, 21, 23 3
29 35, 40 2
30 38, 13, 32, 31, 13
21, 33, 36, 33 9
Jul 1 12, 27, 30, 23, 39 5
2 25, 25 2
3 21, 32, 34 3
4 Sunday
5 blank, calm and clear all day
6 30 lbs (moving up river, fished one hour)
7 35, 22, 20, 27 4
8 blank
9 36, 17, 30, 25
10 28 - only fished in morning"

It is re-assuring to see a couple of blank days even then... The average size of the fish is amazing, and 9 salmon including 6 30 lbs plus would be a strenuous workout, especialy on the equipment of the day...