Gaspe Report [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Gaspe Report


Earle Fletcher
07-07-2007, 05:33 PM
We fished the York zone 6 and the St.-Jean section 1 for 4 days June 29 to July 2. The water and weather conditions were perfect. We hooked 7 and released 4. Really can't complain about that success, but with perfect river conditions and a full moon to boot, there should been a lot more salmon in the rivers. We fished the Matapedia July 4 and 5 without any success at all. I had a salmon rise for a bomber once and that was the only one we saw.

We talked to Charles Cusson Director of Quebec Programs for the ASF. He says the pack ice in the Straights of Belle Isle and the Labrador coast has delayed the normal salmon runs and they will eventually show up in their home rivers. I hope he's right.

Pierre(salar36), we met your friend Rene on the Matapedia at the pool that has no name or number and where you caught the 30 pounders last September. He ties the most beautiful Wulff style bombers I hae ever seen.

QuebecSporting
07-08-2007, 01:18 AM
Good Evening Mr. Fletcher!

Ah!! Great to read you again !!
Again this season we've met (at the same pool as usual.. :rolleyes: ) shh!!!

I totally agree with your report!


Even though the fish are a little late this season, we are fishing over fish everyday.since the opening...
(today..landed 2 salmon on your "our") favorite river!!! :roll:

Having a great time and enjoying the season!!!

Here are a few pics .....

http://www.quebecsporting.com/Photos/g_f.JPG

Have a great Summer...


A..

Gaspe Salmon
07-08-2007, 04:13 PM
Hi folks,

Glad to hear that you had a good trip Earl and that Anne is fishing over fish because things here have been pretty tough in the Baie des Chaleurs since the start of the season.

I am not sure what to think other than the fish are really late this year. Things started off pretty slow for most rivers as far as I have been hearing from friends and other guides. Over the past week things seem to want to pick up but there is still a lack of fish in some rivers. As an eternal optimist, I am counting on a good mid July run and August run of fish along with a decent number of September arrivals.

The reports I have gotten out of Gaspe from other guides is that things are real slow there but then again, I have not fished there since the 7th of June. I know that the Pabos and Grande Riviere are doing better than most rivers lately and I had a chance to discover the Pabos Ouest and Grand Pabos Nord this past week and caught a nice fresh fish and had lots of other action to boot! Floated the public sector on the Pabos Nord, VERY BEAUTIFUL water! Caught a nice trout and saw a couple of fish but the river was on the rise and dirty so I could not really check out all of the water and I am sure I missed some fish on my way down. Very cool river to check out!

The Petite has been holding its own since the season opener on the 15th and keeps getting a few more fish each day. The Grand Cascapedia started slow and is now gaining a bit of momentum on the main river but the two branches remain a bit slow at the moment. A few fish have been caught on the canoe beat in the salmon branch for the past couple of weeks.

Water levels on the Petite are perfect! The Bonnie water levels are very good and the water on the Grand Cascapedia seems to be a decent level as well. The Pabos and Grande Riviere are in excellent shape.

I fished the Matapedia two days ago on sectors 1 and 3 and did not see anything moving except for anglers back and for the between pools. The stats I got from the Matapedia office said they were getting between 8 and 15 fish a day out of 110 rods a day. I went there hearing a small push of fish were entering the river but did not find them myself. Water levels seem to be getting a bit low according to a couple of local anglers I spoke with.

I am not too sure about what decisions some of the river managers will be taking if fish do not show up soon in regards to going Catch and Release! It might be prudent in a strange year like this one to be on the cautious side of things and shut down the killing instead of gambling on later arrivals to justify a recreational harvest of salmon. Of course, it is not my call to make; however, it would seem that with such a poor start to the year it would be crystal clear what the RIGHT thing to do would be, even if it does mean pissing a few people off. Any intelligent and caring person would understand why we need to release all fish this year. Anyway, it is not my call so I will let the powers that be decide what our fate will be in the future!

Even with tough fishing we are all having a ball and doing our best! After all, it is salmon fishing and we all should know that there are good years and poor years to contend with in this game.

A great season and frowning rods to you all,

David
David Bishop
Independent guide

The Thrasher
07-09-2007, 01:46 PM
Ann,
It's good to hear you are having a decent season out at Gaspé!

David,
I was thinking I might run into you down at the 87 mud hole, but only had a brief encounter with a sea run there instead.

We had good water conditions the last week of June for our trip. No salmon in 3 days on the Cascapedia for me or my wife, except that I burned one on the dangle on my last day. Guess I've been doing too much trout fishing here at home! Did get a couple other good sea runs on the lake branch.

Sad to see so many of the rather few fish on the Bonaventure being bonked... Hope they go catch and release in August if not sooner! Even on Cascapedia the only 3 fish I heard of caught on the wading pools when I was there were all bonked, even a 30+ lb hen. Doh! Did Homer Simpson take up salmon fishing?

Will be back in September to fish a couple of the rivers at least. Fingers crossed for improved returns.

Ian.

Salar36
07-10-2007, 03:25 PM
Hi Earle, yep, I have seen René 1 week ago. You fished my secret pool ?:smokin:

I was on the Matapedia last week end and things were going well. The fact is with the water level and temperature, fish are moving up very fast and don't stop, even in the Glenn Emma. Saturday, I caught 1, and Sunday, I fished in sector 1 and saw more than a dozen fish jump, all going upriver. Lot of activities on Adams and Forks. Stats show between 9 and 15 per day in public water and 8 to 10 in Glenn Emma.

On the Matane, water is a bit low, but they are currently in advance with last year and the average number with more than 425 fish moved upriver. Many big fish, some much higher than 30, and I have seen a monster probably over 40 just bellow the dam yesterday. Very few grilse until now there too.

Last week, Ste Marguerite in the Saguenay had one if his most interesting run of very big salmon for many years, and is currently waiting for the second run, should be there this week end with the new moon .

Ste Anne shows stats much higher than usual, and seems on the way for one of his best season since the beginning of 90's.

Rimouski (in recovery) has already registered 17 released fish, a lot of fish missed and lost, and a bunch of more than 30 fish has been seen below the lower dam (tidal water) this week end. They ebgin to see grilses there. In this case, the water level is still interesting, compared with Matane and Ste Anne which are low.
.

Earle Fletcher
07-10-2007, 07:42 PM
Pierre, glad to hear the salmon runs on the Gaspe have improved since we left last Friday-----wouldn't you know it. I caught my first salmon on the Matapedia in upper Adams Pool in !972, shortly after the upper Matapedia was made open to the public by the Quebec Government. My second salmon came from the no name pool. A mere 20 pounder which took me down into Salmon Hole before we could land it

Gaspe Salmon
07-11-2007, 12:03 AM
Pierre,

Good to hear that things have improved on the Matapedia... up until last week when I fished it and checked into the Matapedia office I was told that about 6-10 fish for 100 - 110 rods a day were being taken. I am glad to see it is improving! I am also very happy about your good reports on the other rivers like the Matane aned Ste-Anne, which I will be fishing this year for the first time! Really looking forward to that. Any reports about the Madeleine and the Cap Chat? Would like to fish those too if they are seeing any fish.

The fishing has picked up on the Petite and Grand Cascapedia Rivers but I have not gotten any reports on the Bonaventure in the past two days. Hope it is starring to improve.

Not seeing tons of fish but enough to fish over. Water levels here are great still - which helps a lot! Got a nice 23 pound fish today on the Petite.

Cheers and good fishing to you.

David

Salar36
07-11-2007, 06:10 AM
David,

The number I have seen for Madeleine is lower than last year and 5 years average, but you would be better to validate with the ZEC for the last number, it was a week ago.

For Cap Chat, a riend of mine went to look at the river this week end ad haven't seen any fish. Nothing in Magone and nothing in Cameron. So it seems to be slow, water is low there.

Gaspe Salmon
07-16-2007, 07:32 PM
Pierre,

Merci pour le "update" bien apprecier!

Things have started to get pretty darned good on the Petite and Grand Cascapedia Rivers over the past week! Fish pretty much everywhere and spread out. have not seen such good water levels on the Petite in about 10 years! Hard to wade a lot of the river but with a canoe you are golden!

Fished for myself on the Petite B sector on the 14th and felt 4 fish on the line plus two trout. Ended up landing two and had one drop off at my feet.

I am heading to the Bonaventure D sector on the 17th and will fish the Salmon Branch on the 18th and will give a non-biased report of what I see and how we do. Have been hearing that it is also picking up a bit.

Any news from the Matane and down towards Gaspe??? Would like to hear how that is.

Have been hearing good things about the Matapedia as of late as well.

Looks like they were just a bit late!

Frowning rods to you all!

David

Salar36
07-16-2007, 09:14 PM
David:

Regarding the Matane, I am just from there (2 days and 1 days on teh Ste Anne). They passed under last year number yesterday, due to the high level of water, as usual with same condition, fish have trouble to find the fishway. Other reason, only 16 grilses on around 575 fish. We hope they are late, if not, it will be catastrophic for next year.

On the Ste Anne - lower section-, we were 4 friends, hooked 5 salmons (all between 10 to 15 pounds) and 2 trouts (5 - 5 1/2 pounds). Water is perfect, and we have seen fish in all the pools we fished. No grisles there too.

I am leaving for an other trip on the Patapedia, we got a last minute cancelation. News next week.

Pierre

Bugman
07-17-2007, 06:30 PM
Hi Folks, Jim Corrigan here with a quick report about the Atlantic salmon fishing trip that Axel Larsen and I took to the three great rivers at Gaspé-town.

We were on the water for nine full and two half-days (July 3-13). We fished multiple days on each of the Dartmouth, York and St. Jean rivers. The water levels were excellent-high on the York and St. Jean, but very low on the Dart. It was cool, cloudy and quite rainy for many of our fishing days (GREAT!), with the tragic exception of our mostly sunny days on the water-starved Dartmouth.

The word is out that the fishing has been very tough on the Gaspesié this year. We did find it harder than in some other years, but ended up getting six fish to the net and missing seven other hooked fish. It was ‘one of those trips’ for mysterious pullouts, although Axe and I each lost a 20+ lb fish to (avoidable?) breakoffs. Most of our caught fish came from spots that had been kind to us in the past. For whatever reasons, these places did fish tougher than in other years, but they still yielded up their chances to the hard-working angler. The Sea trout were running, and we tangled up with some beauties on both the York and St. Jean rivers.

Some things never change …

We quickly fished ourselves into semi-exhaustion and decided that we needed to slow down … next year … maybe …

Everybody around the ZEC Gaspe, the Fort Ramsey Motel and McDonalds (our personal trip caterer) were fantastic! We had many nice conversations with the ZEC Wardens, Sports and Guides we met at the pools. We saw many old friends and made some new ones.

It was a great salmon trip … we are already planning for next year. I’m working on an idea for a fly to fish on the slow-water pools … it will be called the Mini-Miramichi Greenie.

I have circulated a few photos from our trip among friends, some of whom are Flytalk Forum members and are far more web-literate than I. If one of you wants to post a few of my pictures into this thread, please go for it (I’ve never figured out how to upload pixies to this site).

With excellent water levels still holding through mid-July in most Gaspe rivers, I’m guessing that anglers going down east in the next few weeks will run into some very good fishing.

Keep those trip reports coming!

Jim

Mark Vegwert
07-18-2007, 01:22 AM
I mean this respectfully so please do not take offense. I want to fish for Atlantic Salmon and am trying to understand the difference between Pacific Steelhead and Atlantic Salmon fishing.

If I understand you correctly, you hooked 13 and landed 6 salmon between two of you in 10 days. You said you had a "great salmon trip". My question is: Are these numbers normal, good, poor or very poor?

Don't get me wrong, I have had plenty of bagels, but for summer run steelhead on a dry line I expect to be 2/3 or 2/4 on the dry line either with skaters or greased line. These sound like winter steelhead numbers when you are fishing 2-3C water.

Thanks, and again, I am just trying to understand what an "average day" for a skilled angler is like on the Gaspe.

Salar-1
07-18-2007, 07:03 AM
Jim
Regarding your breakoffs .Were you using Rio's Powerflex by chance ?
I had serious issues with their 13lb and15lb crap( lost a couple of REALLY nice fish) ,however the 10 ,20 and 8.2 lb has been excellent !
Cheers

The Thrasher
07-18-2007, 10:29 AM
Mark,
Looking at annual stats for the Bonaventure for the past 20 years, the success rate (fish per rod-day) varies from a high of 0.43 to a low of 0.19. I believe this is fairly typical, and Jim's trip was 0.33 fish/rod-day or smack in the middle.

cheers,
Ian.
I mean this respectfully so please do not take offense. I want to fish for Atlantic Salmon and am trying to understand the difference between Pacific Steelhead and Atlantic Salmon fishing.

If I understand you correctly, you hooked 13 and landed 6 salmon between two of you in 10 days. You said you had a "great salmon trip". My question is: Are these numbers normal, good, poor or very poor?

Don't get me wrong, I have had plenty of bagels, but for summer run steelhead on a dry line I expect to be 2/3 or 2/4 on the dry line either with skaters or greased line. These sound like winter steelhead numbers when you are fishing 2-3C water.

Thanks, and again, I am just trying to understand what an "average day" for a skilled angler is like on the Gaspe.

Salar-1
07-18-2007, 12:28 PM
Mark
I've been on trips where I went 0/0,3/0 ,1/1 to 12 /11 and wouldn'y trade ANY of them .Quality fishing is just that ,quality fishing . Quebec's Salmon fishing whether in Gaspe or te North Shore is all of that =quality World class fishing !
Come on down here and enjoy :cool:

Mark Vegwert
07-18-2007, 03:42 PM
Thanks guys. eom

Canadianflyfish
07-18-2007, 07:53 PM
I spend a little more time fishing Steelhead on the Salmon River in NY than Atlantic's in Gaspe, but avg 7-8 days for Salmon and 10 or so for Steelhead. SR Steelhead are not quite the native Pacific variety and the river is not that scenic, but we have a great time all the same.
I enjoy both, however I must admit over time I am starting to favor Steehead fishing.
Things I like about Atlantic Salmon Fishing:
beautiful rivers / country
Great lodges with first class meals, guides etc
draw system limits #'s on some pools
better weather (or warmer at least)
sight fishing - nothing compares to seeing a fish chase down a fly
dry fly fishing - nothing compares to a Salmon coming out of the water with your fly
Casting is a little more demanding (good/bad?)
Things I like about Steelhead fishing
much lower cost
once the spot in the pool is yours, you keep it all day... no rotation system (at least on the SR)
a lot more action... as mentioned, a good Atlantic trip is 1 fish landed every 3 days, I've had 10+ fish landed Steelhead days; even a slow winter day is 2-3 hookups
more technical fight... 4-6 lb tippet on a 10 foot 7wt vs 10+ lb on an 8/9wt
(my landing % with Atlantics is easily twice that of Steelhead). Of course you always have the option of 4-6 lb with Atlantics also, but since Atlantics are not very line shy, why take the chance

Bugman
07-18-2007, 08:46 PM
Hi gang, Jim Corrigan here to address several questions that arose in response to my Gaspé fishing report.

Mark asked:

“If I understand you correctly, you hooked 13 and landed 6 salmon between two of you in 10 days. You said you had a "great salmon trip". My question is: Are these numbers normal, good, poor or very poor?”

Yes, those were the numbers. You ask a good question, but I’m not sure I can provide a very enlightening answer.

I was referring to the whole experience when I said that we had a ‘great salmon trip.’ Typical of the Gaspé-town rivers, salmon were clearly visible in many of the pools that we fished. We saw some absolutely breathtaking monsters in some of the pools. We learned some new things about each river – things that will help us on future trips. We saw Woodcock and Ruffed Grouse on our way to the pools on several different days. We drove east under one of the most spectacular rainbows that I’ve ever seen. We met some interesting people and got to hear some wonderful river stories. We paid our respects to several dear friends on the Gaspésie. We were very lucky in the 48 hour draws, and got to fish some of our favorite spots on three beautiful and historic rivers that we truly love. The cloudy, rainy and cool conditions meant that we could fish longer into most days and still feel that we had a decent chance. We each lost fish after long struggles and multiple jumps. We hit a run of hot Sea Trout and had about 30 minutes of crazy action. We each hooked a large salmon and we both caught some beauties! We threw our lines well and had no serious fishing injuries. We fished and roomed together for nearly two weeks and did not have a single argument or tense moment. Independent of fish caught, these are things that make a trip ‘great’ for us.

From a catching perspective, we have done better in other years, but also have done worse (nearly 0fer) on several trips. Last year, fishing roughly the same pools, Axe and I brought 11 salmon and grilse to the net in four days. That works out to better than 1.0 fish caught per day for both of us, and must be regarded as exceptional fishing – in every meaning of the word.

I’m not sure that the words ‘normal’ or ‘average’ are applicable across multiple salmon trips to the Gaspésie. Based on luck in the water-allocation lotteries, one may be fishing premium sectors on many, few or no days on any given trip. The numbers of fish in the pools, water levels and weather conditions will all profoundly affect the chances of getting hookups. So, we like to assess the efficiency of a trip in terms the choices we made of water to fish, then how we handled the ‘fishy hand’ that had been dealt to us on the day. On these terms, we probably had an ‘average’ trip – as mentioned by Mr. Thrasher.

With respect to our breakoffs, Salar-1 asked if we were using Rio tippet material. No, we were on ‘Orvis Super Strong’ mono, but neither of us blame the product for our misfortune. My big fish found some woody debris on the far side of Moose Bogan. I’d had it on for about 10 minutes, and it gave me several ponderous jumps. The fish decided to go up the far shore with its nose into the bank. It found a submerged branch that we didn’t know was there, and wrapped me. I leaned on it and broke it off. Axel lost his big fish on an awkward, close-in jump … the fish fell solidly on his line before he could release the pressure. So, I’d call it bad luck and/or operator error on both fish – no fault to the tippets.

Funny, I lost a very big fish last year that purposefully bored into a woodpile and hung me up on a tree. Is this something that bigger fish tend to do? I’ve caught a number of 12-16 pound salmon out of brushy pools. They usually fight it out in the open water.

Finally, Salar-1 got it right – if you enjoy a trip for its own sake and don’t worry too much about catch rates, there are no poor Atlantic salmon fishing trips.

Thanks to all for the interesting responses!

Jim

sean
07-18-2007, 09:29 PM
Not to hijack but is this really true:

Things I like about Steelhead fishing
much lower cost
once the spot in the pool is yours, you keep it all day... no rotation system (at least on the SR)

No rotation? Fly fishing folks can park on a spot all day with no respect to other anglers coming through. I can definitely mark ever going to the salmon river off the list then...

-sean

Jere Eshelman
07-19-2007, 08:57 AM
Back in the 70's the SR was just starting to fly, since then it has increasingly lost it's luster. The etiquette of it's local fishermen has kept me away for the last ten years, and I have no intentions of spending any time or money there again.

txraddoc
07-20-2007, 08:12 AM
Blank Days:

Atlantic Salmon fishing means you will have "Blank Days".

Here is a blank day I had in the last week of June on the Miramichi River system. We drove an hour to get up river on a branch( Sevogle) that was rumored to have some fish to a secluded spot known as the narrows. We hiked in 25 minutes after a log in the road made the final drive impossible. It was after a rainstorm the night before and the bugs were extremely bad. We saw some salmon in the river from a cliff, but the high water did not allow us to go down the canyon that is the narrows to get across to them. We saw 2 deer, a moose, a bald eagle, and bear tracks. Several pretty pools were fished and about a dozen trout were caught. This was a so called "Blank Day".

Enjoy life on the river and salmon fishing , it's way better than behind a desk.

Tight Lines,

Jim Y

The Thrasher
07-20-2007, 09:35 AM
Looking at the Saumon Quebec daily stats for these rivers, it appears that the York is having about the same returns as last year, but that there are almost no fish being caught in the Dartmouth and St Jean.

The Bonaventure is still a disaster, down 50% from last year -- which was a very poor year. The Ste Anne has better catches than last year but anglers are leaving fewer fish than last year to spawn, as the kill rate is way up.

And of course, most of the rivers don't even report their numbers to the site, so like most anglers, I look forward to hearing from those of you who have been fishing, in hopes of hearing better news! Yes, any day on a salmon river is a good day, but if there are no salmon, it is no longer a salmon river.

Best of luck to all who are fishing, and I look forward to any reports to the board.

Ian

Canadianflyfish
07-20-2007, 01:30 PM
Steelhead and Salmon are different in one importart area wrt rotation. Steelhead are feeding and you can stand on one rock all day long with Steelhead and catch fish. With Salmon, you have to cover the water which usually means moving down the pool.

When we were fishing one of the pools on the Dartmouth, we were sharing with one other person (who arrived at the pool at 3am) which was very managable. Than 3 others arrived so now you are spending more time on the picnic table than fishing. We split for lunch and fortunately when we returned, the 3 had left.

Salmon fishing the DSR section of the SR is usually pretty civilized in Sept. $30 keeps most of the idiots away. I find Coho's will strip line 2X faster than any Atlantic I have ever seen. You want to stay away from the SR in Oct.

By the time Steelhead fishing kicks off in Nov., the crowds are largely gone. We use a guide with a drifboat and can usually find a productive pool with no one else around.

Both types of fishing have their merits.

SALMONCHASER
07-20-2007, 03:32 PM
Jim,, it is a shame that more people don't see it this way. I spent a hot as hell three days on the Matapedia a few years ago with only two fish raised to a bomber. The trip easily is one of my favorite as the river itself and the folks i met, as well as seeing those two fish move to my fly made it special,, for reasons only those of us who agree with jims assesment can relate to. Those of us lucky enough to have three fish days,, or more,, know that those days will never be forgotten and any more hookups than that is just too much,, for several reasons.
We all like to catch fish but when a man enters "salmon country" and all that is intertwined within it,, well,, the catching really is the farthest thing from your mind;)
Salmon Chaser

Mark Vegwert
07-20-2007, 08:35 PM
Steelhead and Salmon are different in one importart area wrt rotation. Steelhead are feeding and you can stand on one rock all day long with Steelhead and catch fish. With Salmon, you have to cover the water which usually means moving down the pool.

Interesting. In the West the steelhead are not feeding and you have to cover the water just like in A. Salmon fishing. You would get shot, or drowned, or both, for standing in one spot, though I have never seen a fisherman get out of the water and move to the top of a run after landing a fish. Seems like we are only semi-civilized.

My passion is steelhead fishing and if I could stand the climate I would live closer to it. I've had many blank days but have also had many multiple fish days. So it keeps me coming back.

A fish every 3 days seems kind of slim. I know if I went 3000 miles to not hook a fish during a week I would be disappointed. I guess I can only hope that I am on the right side of the bell curve and not the left as far as fished hooked. I don't care if I land them, I just want to fool them.

I guess I am kind of jaded.

We saw 2 deer, a moose, a bald eagle, and bear tracks.

You describe my normal morning run. I suppose if I lived in a city I would feel different. All I know is that the days I spend on a steelhead river are the best days of my life. Thanks for all your comments. See you on the Gaspe someday soon.

Mark

NOREASTER
07-22-2007, 12:01 PM
Blank Days:


Here is a blank day I had in the last week of June on the Miramichi River system. We drove an hour to get up river on a branch( Sevogle) that was rumored to have some fish to a secluded spot known as the narrows. We hiked in 25 minutes after a log in the road made the final drive impossible. It was after a rainstorm the night before and the bugs were extremely bad. We saw some salmon in the river from a cliff, but the high water did not allow us to go down the canyon that is the narrows to get across to them.

Hi Jim,
A trip into the South Branch of the Big Sevogle is always a good day!! Years ago we used to camp right up top at the Narrows and fish the two dozen pools within 20 miles. I haven’t been there this year. I think I will make a point of going.
BTW There is a way to fish the Narrows on The South Branch Big Sevogle in high water. I also would recommend not traveling around the South Branch without at least a good saw (chain saw preferred) Its common for those trees to fall while "in" one of the roads.

Noreaster,

txraddoc
07-22-2007, 03:39 PM
Good advice!