Gaspe update Petite, Bonnie, Grand Cascapedia [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Gaspe update Petite, Bonnie, Grand Cascapedia

Gaspe Salmon
07-09-2006, 08:55 PM
Hey folks,

Just thought I would take a few minutes to give you all an update on what conditions are like here. As I sold my business this year, I no longer run my Website and have had no access to giving my river reports so I thought I would do it here. I hope that it is o.k. to post it here, if not Juro, just let me know!

First thing you should all know is that water levels at the moment are good to excellent on all three rivers. The Petite is running at a PERFECT level and there are plenty of fish dispersed throughout most of the pools to fish over. The major pools are all holding fish as are some of the lessor known pools, which is great for anglers who are looking for a bit of diversity during their day. Trout fishing on the branches is also good but I am not giving up my spots just yet!

The Grand Cascapedia is also running at a great level except for the Salmon branch which is a bit low this week but should bump up with the rain expected early this week. The Lake branch is running at a good level and we got a nice fish at pool 78 this morning. To have fish holding in the tail of 78 in July is very good!

The main river is full of fish and the water levels are perfect at the moment. I have no particulars about the main stem as I am not fishing there, however, some of my friends who guide there tell me there are a ton of fish around in almost every pool.

The real bummer this year is the Bonaventure, which is very slow. Sector B is a disaster this year and the other sectors, despite having some fish, should be full right now. This next moon will tell the story of the Bonnie for the rest of the year. Maybe after a tough year like this, some people will wake up and start talking about C & R angling for the future. A serious wakeup call is needed! killing over 1000 fish a year for the last few years has certainly taken its toll on this river. Maybe instead of looking forward to seeing how many new clients they can drum up from abroad, they should start thinking about saving their fish population first. Just my 2Cents.

Great news on the Nouvelle, it would seem that there is a whack of trout this year which is great as they too have killed too many in the past. I think they have seen the light and will be taking very good care of this years run of trout. A great little river that is very well managed! Great place to go for a day when you are in this area. No report as to the number of salmon to date, however, I will try to get some info soon for you all.

Killer flies this year include; GREEN SPEY, Jones Special, Surface stone, Cascade, Picasse, Monroe Killer. There are a ton more flies that will work but these are the best patterns for me so far. Also, I have been fishing SMALLER than normal patterns with great success! Do not hesitate to go SMALL! Remember the long leaders with small tippets work best with smaller flies.

Besides that, I am REALLY enjoying my new GUIDE life! No more stress, no more worries other than deciding what fly to tie onto my anglers' line!

Screeming reels and frowning rods to you all,


07-09-2006, 09:52 PM

Glad to hear you are enjoying life as a guide. Your passion for salmon fishing and drive to get clients into fish is why you are as good as you are on the water.

I had heard the Bonaventure was having a tough year; it is time that the CA followed the lead of other zecs and either go to complete C&R or have the early season as C&R. These practices have made the difference on the York, Dartmouth, and St. Jean not to mention the Grande, Grand Cas, Petite Cas, Cap Chat, etc.

There seem to be a lot of sea-run brook trout around this year. They are talking about doing away with spring trout fishing in the estuaries in Gaspe to not only protect kelts but to help with the trout runs in the future.

Speaking of trout, my son and I are psyched to do some trout fishing with you and Dylan this month. I won't give up the spots but my son can be coaxed so maybe he needs to be blindfolded on the way up!

Keep your fingers crossed on the rain; water levels in Gaspe are good but only from recent rains; we can always use more, particularly with the warm weather this summer.

Best of luck on the Bon, GC, and PC.

Bill Greiner

07-10-2006, 02:21 AM
thanks david for information,

good to hear from you.

see you at the 30th.

regards chris

07-10-2006, 03:16 PM
Just returned from the Matane. Hadn't been there for 28 years. When I arrived on July 1, there were 219 fish in the river, down about 40% from the prior year.

Although the fishing was tough, the water was great, especially after two days of rain. As the water cleared, the levels were perfect, yet very little salmon came back. By the time I left, there were 290 fish in the river. With the water levels higher you would think the fish would be running the ladder much better but no. They averaged 10 fish a day passing the dam.

With six permits, I caught only trout. I did raise a monster in the park though. I worked on him for hours. Rose him several times, but no take. Had to leave as it was dark.

The trip was great though. I was glad to see that the Matane was still as beautiful as I remember. Little has been built, and the river, especially in the park is still as wild as ever. I will return, perhaps in August. I loved it.

Stayed in a perfect log cabin set deep in the woods overlooking the river mid way up stream. It could not have been more beautiful. When I return in August, I expect many more fish, yet warm and low water. Hopefully I will do better on the hook-ups, but who cares. When your there, you cannot have a bad time. The river is great........and I love the Matane.


The Thrasher
07-10-2006, 09:20 PM
Well, according to the infallible (hah!) Saumon Quebec web site, there's good news and bad news on the Bonaventure.

First, the good news: 1 in 4 salmon are being released, and more salmon are being released this year, compared to last.

The bad news? There are only half as many fish as this time last year. :-(

Do you suppose fish bonking is having an effect?


Willie Gunn
07-11-2006, 02:38 AM
Just returned from the Matane. Hadn't been there for 28 years. When I arrived on July 1, there were 219 fish in the river, down about 40% from the prior year.


200 is about the usual weekly CATCH on the Spey and other Scottish rivers.
At that leval of fish in the river I am amazed angling is still allowed

07-11-2006, 09:26 AM
In response to "Willie Gunn" and "the Thrasher", there is a slaughter going on in Matane. As I mentioned, I fished the Matane with 219 fish in the river on the first day, and 13 captured, while six days later, the river count was 295 fish with 37 captured. That equates to 12.5% of an already depleated stock being killed for photos and bragging rights. You would think, by the nature of salmon fishing, that fisherman would take it upon themselves to preserve these natural wild fish.

Coming back to this river after 30 years, and seeing the spendor of the surroundings and the struggle that the salmon undertakes for self preservation, I for one cannot kill one. Thirty years ago, as a young lad, I killed them without thought. But now, no way. Perhaps Russia and Iceland cured me of the need to show off a trophy. Perhaps age and life experience has changed me. But seeing a 25LB+ fish finning in a remote upper pool, and him coming for my fly several times changed me right there and then. No way could I have killed that animal. I have no right to do that......nor does anyone else.

So in response I agree that they must put a moratorium on any killing of salmon on the Matane. Most fisherman get very carried away with their quest for the trophy and never give it any thought when the excitment of landing a fish takes place. Even while in Russia, on the Kharlofka, E.Litza, Pana, and Varzugga, all fish are released, unless harmed and survival is very slim. And these rivers get great runs of fish. But the killing continues on the mismanaged Matane.


07-11-2006, 11:42 PM
Hello Howie,

We met on the pool "La Metropole" last saturday (before your first day of fishing) and sunday (during your first day of fishing, after the rain, with your "special raincoat"). I have a Jeep Liberty dark red...I was fishing with 2 ladies...(1 was reporter for a newspaper in Quebec)

The "mismanaged Matane" is "travelling" betweeen 1800 to 3500 since long time (except 1980 with more than 5000, 1 year).

As of today, 450 salmons are in the river. Today, more than 73 fish were in the fishway. The peak of this river is between July 15th and august 15th... With this speed, the river will have more than 2000 fish this year. The river count is one of the most stable of the province (with Matapedia). In fact , the river is in better health than when you came during your last trip!!

Willie Gunn:
I sent you a private message. I will repeat. You can't compare a river with 20 times the watershed of the Matane, and with a 1 year required for a parr (Scotland) with a river where parr need 3 to 4 years (Matane).

Regarding the "kill" of salmon. More than 70% of the Quebec province rivers are NO KILL. The rivers where kill of salmon is allowed are over 150% of the spawning objective and are subject to a very restrictive measures. Less than 10 rivers on 117!!!


07-12-2006, 10:34 AM
Hi Pierre,

Good to hear from you. Yes, of coarse I remember you and your friends. I hope you all had a great adventure there and hooked up. Although I did not manage a fish, it was great to get back to the river after all those years. I did have a evening with one monster in the park. He was a taker but I ran out of time.

Thanks for explaining to me that the river is in much better shape than I thought. Yes, I was a little early, and yes I don't know the historical numbers. It's good to hear the fish coming back at a great rate right now. It makes me very glad.

I was planning on going back late August......around the 25th of August. I never fished the river at that late in the season. What should I expect during the last week of August?? Hot water and lethargic salmon? Please share your knowlege of the river with me so I can prepare properly for that time of year.

Thanks in Advance,


The Thrasher
07-12-2006, 11:31 AM

Would you care to explain the terrible returns on the Sainte-Anne and the Bonaventure then? More and more angling pressure, and fewer and fewer fish caught for that increased effort -- most of which (on the Bonaventure) are still routinely bonked. Yesterday on the Bonaventure, only 5 fish caught, all of which were killed (Saumon Quebec website). This, despite catches which are only about half of what was caught by this time last year.

Quebec must go either to catch-and-release of all large salmon, or at most a 1-tag permit. The only reason for the no-kill rivers in Quebec is that those rivers have been decimated in recent years -- like the Sainte-Anne.

You cannot pretend that the populations today are anything but a shadow of what was there 50 years ago.


07-12-2006, 11:38 AM

in iceland at the breidalsa they give you for all fish wich you release smoked or graved salmon in relation.
this is a nice way to convince some people.
without c+r the future looks dark.


07-12-2006, 03:29 PM

That sounds like a step in the right direction.......especially if the fillets they distribute are farmed. Hopefully that is the case. Do they do that in most of the camps now? Are the smoked fish that they distribute farmed?

I fished the Midfiordera in the 80s, were we kept all the fish, brought them back to the lodge, wieghed and logged them in, and traded our wieght for the equivilant in smoked salmon fillets at the end of the week. Our fresh fish were then delivered to the smoke house for sale.


07-13-2006, 03:08 AM
hi Howie,

it is wild salmon. the management there secures with this arrangements just the breidalsa system.

spanning is it just possible with farmfish i think.


07-13-2006, 08:31 AM
The trasher;

Regarding the Bonnie, the whole was expected as all rivers where 2 years salmon are dominant.

Regarding 50 years ago, just for an example, the Matane was on stocking program to rebuild salmon population. The river was empty! Now, their average is in the range of 2500-3000 since many years (some peak at 3500).

I always have a bit of fun when people refers about xxx years ago...In this period, the south shore of St Lawrence had less than 10 000 salmon on spawn, now between 17 000 to 18 000... Everybody talk about 26 years ago (1980) like the rule, the record year, but everybody also forget that 27 years ago (1979) all the rivers were closed due to a lack of fish... But fishing was probably much better 50 years ago, since nobody had access to rivers.

End of August is very good. Lot of grilse, fish mostly dry fly (small size).

07-13-2006, 01:24 PM

Thanks for the encouragment. I will try and assort a collection of small dries and small wets and prepare for those conditions. Any other important tips like patterns and specific sizes would be appreciated. If you can, please send me a private message as not to bore this board. Hope to see you up there as well.


07-17-2006, 03:33 PM
Hey Trasher
Perhaps the Bonnie fish have all thrust their way up into E and above in the Sanctuary ? The Ste Anne's ills are definately not largely due to non C& R practices ! AS for C& R as it's practiced by at least one outfitter in Qc. is enough to make one puke. Ian he don't do it like U,DB ,MlB, and I do! 45 minute to "fight" a fish so the "guide " can continue to get piccies and would you believe it or not he also said he couldn't get his hands around the fish anyway.! OOOOOOOHHH !!This Hollywood grandstanding style of fish is certainly NOT in the interest of the salmon on the end of the line :( After about 10 additional minutes the sport was convinced to be allowed to have the fish tailed and gently released to the river.Guy caught his 1st fish and shon how to corectly handel and release a fish.

07-17-2006, 05:19 PM
Like Brian said about the Ste Anne, most of the fish are released on this river since at least 5 years, since the 2 best sectors are C & R, and the other is C & R after August 1st, so before the main run of this river (yeah, the main run you can fish down of the Ste Anne is after August 1st, the first run goes upriver very very fast). Since the last 3 years, the Ste Anne has offered a veru good fishing , particularly in end of august and september. In the last 7 days I fished this rivers, we hooked 15 fish, all the fish caught except 1 grilse have been released.

Venture, Matane was at 792 this afternoon, on line for a season over 2500.

07-18-2006, 01:18 PM
Salar 36, Thanks for the update..... keep'em comin. I'm busy tying small dries and wets.....getting ready for my late August trip. Anyone have some favorite patterns?? I used to us a split wing bomber in all sizes....we called them "Hairy Harrys". Also white Wulffs. Any one have some other favorite dries for the Gaspe? I am always interested in tying and fishing some new patterns.