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Classic Atlantic Salmon No pursuit rivals salmon rivers, flies & legacy

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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-07-2008 10:09 AM
petevicar Thanks everyone for your input.

I will certainly heed all advice given.

Pete
09-05-2008 07:46 PM
Bugman I must agree with a previous post ... it's not the gear that makes for an unethical approach, it's the dangler.

I was fishing the three Gaspe-town rivers in late September a few years ago. I saw a very skilled angler take salmon with deep slow drifts of a large fly in quiet pools. It was totally ethical fishing ... the angler could see his fly, and he could see when the fly was taken by a fish. He threw his fly to the side of the pod of fish, not through it. His fish were fair hooked - in the chops.

I also have seen a guy fishing a floating line with a small wet fly ... in a dead still pool. He cast across-and-down, drifting the fly deep through a pod of fish and ... BINGO ... hookup!

I landed a fish for him that was hooked near the adipose fin. This angler displayed his true spirit when he asked me to take a photo of him and his 'caught' fish. This guy was fishing a beautiful dry fly spot, yet he never tried a dry. After a period of this treatment, the pool was useless for a dry ... or any other legal method.

The fish were terrified of a fly line.

I fished this spot after he'd had a good go at it ... and had 'hooked' several fish. Throwing a dry, I would lengthen my cast, yet the fish would mysteriously be out of range as the fly went over. Eventually, I pushed the pod out of the lie and up against the far bank. Then, the fish freaked out, rushing all over the pool and coming out of the water. It looked good ... active fish ... but it was terrible.

I once spent two days on prime pools trying to get a fly anywhwere near a fish. Turns out, I'd been following a couple of guys that were fishing slow, deep and across with floating lines and largish wet flies. I talked to them on one of these days and they proudly commented that they'd been hooking a lot of fish.

I guess!

For me, I don't like all the work of fishing a sinking line. I'm no casting legend, but this is how it feels to me. Pull in most of your line, roll cast the rest up to the surface, false cast, false cast, false cast, duck, fling, shoot and do one quick mend before the whole mess sinks ... all to make one swing! And talk about losing flies! I won't fish my Atlantic salmon flies out west, 'cause I can't stand losing a week's worth of work in an afternoon (I'm a slow tier ).

I live in BC now, and there is lots of water out here that cannot be fished with a floating line. I've seen skilled ethical fisherman on the east coast who fished deep and fair hooked the fish they were after. As several have said, it's the intent, not the gear that makes the angler. However, Howie is right ... you are likely to be called a few nasty names on some eastern Canadian rivers if you fish a sinker, no matter how ethical your approach may be.

So, sinking gear can be fished legally, and it can be done ethically. It's probably up to each individual's 'Brass Factor' to determine if they can live with the chatter that it may engender.

Jim Corrigan
09-05-2008 07:06 PM
Salar36 Pete,

What Howie describe is particularly true on the Matane. The guys who do it since about 10-12 years are responsible of about 90% of all regulation changes or recommendations of changes since couple years.

About how people see the usage of it, in fact, some of us - I am- use brass tube when fishing in very cold and high water at the end of may or begginning of june. Later, high water doesn't require it since the water is warmer than in spring. Sink tip will be use by many during june or late september, with water being colder and only if water level allow it. The important thing is to make sure to have a low density sink tip. Personaly, I usualy use a sinking intermediate tip (1.5 inches per second) in falls, except if we have the chance of having the tail of a hurricane (and the rain coming with, like maybe next week), never more than 3.5 inches per second with high water. So forget a deep water express and extra fast sinking, I would be very surprised if you meet conditions to use it here in fall.

Have a good trip.
09-05-2008 06:20 PM
Venture Hi Pete,

Perhaps you misinterpreted my latter response. I was warning you of alienation, ridicule and perhaps being followed around by the Wardens on this river if you use sink tips, sinking lines, or weighted tubes. It is not the practice up here. I was not inferring that you would do anything illegal or unethical. Just a "Heads Up" that you will be looked upon as a deviant.

I too have used sink tips on some rivers in Russia and on some Western Steel Head rivers. Never did I have to use them in Iceland. As we all know they are necessary to use in heavy water conditions. But here on the Gaspe, they are frowned upon because most who use them are poachers.

The poachers on the Matane and Matapedia have devised a skillful method of using fast sink tips, a very long leader, and a very small unweighted fly. They enter a pool which holds many fish, cast up and across letting the fly sink, and then swing it low over the salmon. The idea is that the leader will run crossways through the salmon's mouth only to get hooked once the fly hits the fish. The fish is then hooked at the mouth (from the outside), making it look like the fish is legally hooked. This technique has been honed by the poachers. In fact just recently, several of our pools have been armed with devises that sit in the pools to snag these sinking lines. One is in Cap Seize and one is in Grand Tamagagi......two pools where poachers have killed many huge fish over the past few years. Most of the fish killed are very large salmon and most have been lined through the mouths as I explained. It took to Wardens quite a long time to figure this out.

Just got back from a day of scouting on the Matapedia with some friends. Water looks much better there than the here on the Matane.

Howie
09-05-2008 11:20 AM
petevicar Hey Juro

I am very glad that there is no fishing directly in Reykjavik.

The Squire is like going to church compared to a night out in Reykjavik.
But maybe you and Dave should meet me there someday.

Pete
09-05-2008 11:17 AM
petevicar Hi Anne
Thanks for the pics. They certainly wet my appetite.
See you soon.

Pete
09-05-2008 09:11 AM
juro As Anne points out... there's more than one type of water, more than one legal approach and also more than one type of fisherman.

When I fished the Gaspe (or the Pacific Northwest for that matter) there are waters that are best suited to fishing one way or the other but all too often the "religion" makes people feel like they must do one thing or another.

In any steelhead or salmon river there are runs where fishing a dry line is a complete waste of time and others where a sinking line is intrusive. For instance a slow clear holding pool verses and highly oxygenated rapid with bottom structure where anxious fish (takers) are ducking under the main thrust of current.

Current is most forceful in the middle of the depth column, lightest on the surface and bottom column. However the addition of bottom structure (rocks etc) makes the lowest level best for holding where there is current several feet deep. Fishing over this kind of water with a floating line is for pride or reputation, not success.

This lesson is well-learned in the famous steelhead rivers of the pacific northwest where people use sinktip lines as often as they use floating lines depending on the water. And no one regards you as a poacher unless you drag the sinking line through the quiet holding pools. And no one does that, well maybe one or two but it's not the line doing the dirty work it's the angler.

I know Pete very well and he is an accomplished angler who knows his water. In fact when I read of his numbers in Iceland I guessed two things - a great year for salmon in the north atlantic and the fact that he fished a lot of water the way it was meant to be fished which many anglers would have passed up with their floating lines.

Just a theory based on my experiences in Washginton, Oregon and British Columbia compared/contrasted with the Gaspe rivers.... but I might have to save up and 'study' his approach in Reykjavik one of these years
09-05-2008 07:37 AM
QuebecSporting Morning!!

Here are a few recent pics of the York, Dartmouth and St-Jean rivers
(taken Sept 1-2-3-4)



Waters for dry flies and nice currents for wet flies..!!

(Rain in the forecast... we'll see what happens...! )

Tight Lines (only a few weeks left! )


See you soon Pete!!

Ann
09-05-2008 01:59 AM
petevicar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Venture
You will have a hard time finding fast water for your brass tubes on the Gaspe right now. Unless we get some decent rain here, your one inch brass tube flies will virtually sink to the bottom.

Our river along with most others are quite low and fishing a sink tip here will label you as a poacher or what we call a "sink tipper". You don't want to fish this river with a sink tip if you want to make friends.

Although it is common practice to fish sink tips, weighted flies and tubes in places like Norway, Russia and perhaps Iceland, it is frowned upon in these parts. "Sink Tippers" in these parts have honed their skills as great poachers and known for sticking fish right through there mouths. If you use a sink tip or brass tube on the Matane you will be ridiculed and accused of being a poacher. Regardless of the exact wording of the laws, the "fishing spirit" on most of the Gaspe is carried out with floating lines exclusively, along with unweighted wets and drys.
Hi Venture

I felt I must point out to you that I only fish with sinking lines and brass tubes when the river conditions make it necessary. I much rather fish with dry flies.
I hope that you were not insinuating that I may be a "poacher" because I would be very unhappy about that.
I have fished all over the world for many different species and feel that I am an experienced angler. I have fished for atlantic salmon all over Europe and in a few Canadian rivers. I respect local traditions and am more than just interested in conservation.
However I do not wear blinkers and the purpose of going fishing is to catch fish.

Pete
09-05-2008 01:49 AM
petevicar Thank you again for all the info.

Pete
09-04-2008 07:33 PM
Green Ghost
Gaspe Regulations

Nice Work Howie!!!!

The regulations should be clearer.

One can buy lines that drop at greater than 1 foot per second without any additional weight, no problem, Probably very easy to land a fly on a fishes back and "accidently" become attached.

The discussion is now about Ethics and Care for the survival of the fish!

I hope 2009 regulations are more conservation minded.

Brass tubes are for Fijords!!!!!!!!!
09-04-2008 05:43 PM
Champ186 63 fish Holy moley you wont be doing that in the Gaspe in 6 days. Whar rivers are you fishing in the Gaspe?
09-04-2008 01:25 PM
ABFFA I am off to Gaspe in a couple of weeks and I am trying to get my gear together.

Can I fish with sinking or intermediate lines?
Can I use sink tips?


Can I use flies tied on brass or aluminium tubes?
Can I use weighted flies?

Thanks in advance.

Pete

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Your question would be more appropriate for spring conditions.

Don’t complicate yourself.

You are at the end of the season, the salmon are mostly all stack in the holding pools, the water level in low and the temperature can be hot.

So go light weight 6,7, 8 weight, lots of dry flies and # 8,10,12 and smaler single or doubles wet flies, are a must.

But just in case, those tube can be effective if Gaspé receives some left over’s from those big storms in the USA, so that rain can and will bring new fish in, especialy on the Dartmouth.

Enjoy the Gaspé.
09-04-2008 01:14 PM
Venture You will have a hard time finding fast water for your brass tubes on the Gaspe right now. Unless we get some decent rain here, your one inch brass tube flies will virtually sink to the bottom.

Our river along with most others are quite low and fishing a sink tip here will label you as a poacher or what we call a "sink tipper". You don't want to fish this river with a sink tip if you want to make friends.

Although it is common practice to fish sink tips, weighted flies and tubes in places like Norway, Russia and perhaps Iceland, it is frowned upon in these parts. "Sink Tippers" in these parts have honed their skills as great poachers and known for sticking fish right through there mouths. If you use a sink tip or brass tube on the Matane you will be ridiculed and accused of being a poacher. Regardless of the exact wording of the laws, the "fishing spirit" on most of the Gaspe is carried out with floating lines exclusively, along with unweighted wets and drys.
09-04-2008 11:32 AM
petevicar Thanks for all your help guys.
I am certainly not interested in snagging fish and I understand about low water and holding pools.

i have just had a week fishing in Iceland, using a floating line with an intermediate tip and the an add on sinking tip. I mostly used tube flies, some tied on 1" brass tubes.
I caught 63 fish in 6 days, lost about another 50 and did not snag any. The reason for the brass tubes was to get the fly down in fast moving water.

Pete
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