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fishinfool 12-30-2004 06:25 PM

A friend and I are going to go to the Gaspe and try Atlantic Salmon fishing for the first time this year. We are both rookies but have a good bit of steelhead fishing under our belts. I have contacted Ann at Quebec Sporting and she has given us three options of the first of June, the middle of June and the first of July. We cannot make up our minds as to what would be the best time to go. I am hoping some of you vets out there may have some advice as to what is the best of the three options and why.
We will be having all the arrangements taken care of by Ann and I must say she is one of the most helpful people I have ever dealt with. I highly recommend her services to any of you who are in the same situation as we are. A very classy lady who really knows her stuff.
Thanks in advance for your help.

Muckle Salmon 12-30-2004 08:10 PM

Keep going down the same road you started on. Ask Ann what she thinks is best and go with it. You are not going to get any better advice. She really does know her s#*t.

Salar 33 12-31-2004 07:35 AM

It Depends on What You Are After
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Your choice depends on what you are after and what water you will be fishing. For instance, on the York and Dartmouth the possibility for a 30+ white hot Springer is possible during the first week of June on the lower public water. For years I have chosen this timing because no other time of the year offers such a pure opportunity. This is also true of The Restigouche, Matapedia, Cascapedia. June first is possibly my favorite overall day of the calendar. Now that I have said this please understand that the odds are not in your favor. This is quality time and by no means a quantity situation.

The next timing in June is around the 10th to the 14th depending on late or early season as well as by river. A wave of 12 to 25 pound class fish arrive. There will still be some large fish and some grilse will be present. This timing up to the 21st can see the holding pools start to collect fish. These are bright and powerful fish. You will have a greater quantity of salmon, the water will probably be lower, and the weather is far better.

Now we move to the end of June into July. This brings a wave of fish of every size. Dry fly fishing is going well and stealth is of major importance. So long as the water and weather cooperate this is the most prolific time for salmon fishing. Please remember that if you are fishing public water the quantity of fish has a direct effect on the quantity of anglers. You are deep into kill season.

This process is happening on all the rivers of the Gaspe. The earliest starting on the Restigouche(Middle May) and later on the Pitite Cascapedia, Bonaventure and Matane.

I first started going to the Gaspe in 1980. I fish all the above time schedules on different rivers public, zec and private. Sometimes success sometime not, but never have I looked back without wonder. My comments are an in general guide. Each year on every river is different. You can only go with the odds of experience and roll with the decision. You are on the path to Salar nirvana in North America. If you can afford to use an outfitter or guide service I would highly recommend doing so. All the very best of luck.


juro 12-31-2004 07:45 AM

Salar 33 - welcome to the salmon forum! Your knowledge is well appreciated.

"white hot springer" - that brings shivers to my spine! :cool:

Smolt 12-31-2004 11:31 AM


Originally Posted by juro
Salar 33 - welcome to the salmon forum! Your knowledge is well appreciated.

"white hot springer" - that brings shivers to my spine! :cool:


A "white hot springer" in the heavy water one can expect in early June not only sends shivers up a fisherman's spine, it scrapes skin from the knuckles. If you ever go at that time of year, be sure to bring heavy rods and extra lines -- you might lose some.



While I have not been going to the Gaspe' for as long as Salar33, I definitely second his comments. For what its worth, I was on the Matapedia last year during the last week in July and the fishing, as far as quantity of willing fish was concerned, was the best I have had in years.

Salar33's advice to use a guide, for at least one day if you are able, is right on. There is a significant difference between steelhead and atlantic salmon fishing. A good guide can really point you in the right direction.



fishinfool 01-02-2005 07:35 AM

Thanks so much to all who responded. At this point, it looks like we will be going the first week in July. I am very excited about finally getting to do this.

Salar 33 01-05-2005 06:52 AM

That's a Wonderful Choice
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Dear John,

You are making a very good decision. The first week of July will offer you a wide range of public water choices. I do suggest you use a guide service or lodge for at least a portion of your trip. You can reduce the learning curve dramaticly.

Also have a complete list of all the zec phone numbers with you. You may want to put your name in the 48 hour draws without driving from one river to the other. You may get lucky and find yourself on some wonderful water.

Best of luck,


fishinfool 01-05-2005 09:23 AM

Salar 33,
Thanks again for your help in making this decision. We are going to be guided through Ann's operation so we should get a lot of help with the learning curve. Will "talk" to you more as the time draws near, maybe we will be able to meet up while we are there.

Salar 33 01-05-2005 11:48 AM

Another Great Choice
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Your're in good hands with Ann. She works very hard and has some of the best people working with her. She knows more about how to have a successful trip to the tip of the Gaspe than most.


QuebecSporting 01-06-2005 08:01 AM

Morning Gentlemen
Thanks for the kind words....

Bill, you have intrigued me with that last photo.....

Lower York?? Raymond? Basket??

Je suis curieuse!!! :confused: Dis-moi!!

Au Plaisir!!


fcch 01-06-2005 08:02 AM


Good choice going with Ann's group. They are world class.

Welcome to our play ground. Hope your trip is the first of any.

Gaspe Salmon 01-06-2005 10:00 AM

Timing for the Baie des Chaleurs region
Hi folks,

Thought I might add to this for another region of the Gaspe...

The Bonaventure can start to fish well from about the 6-10 of June, based on my experience. The fish, however, usually push into the middle to upper part of the river, zones C and even D. C is the best and is a NON-reserved zone. Once the 15th of June comes around the fishing gets hot everywhere.

The Petite Cascapedia is a bit different. It gets started around the 18th or so and then hits high gear around the 20-25th of June. Fish can be found almost everywhere!

The Cascapedia, or Grand Cascapedia as many call it, can be hot from June 1 onward, depending on the moon and tides. Yes! they do have an impact. Believe it or not, I have caught fish in the UPPER sectors, D and E of the Cascapedia as early as June 2. Last year was the latest I have ever seen it, hooked and landed my first fish on June 11 but others were taken before that, I believe the 6th, if I am not mistaken.

A couple other rivers to consider, besides the York and Dartmouth, WHICH ARE EXCELLENT early season, as Ann stated, are the Grande Riviere River, the Trois Couronnes beat and the Matapedia River.

When it comes down to later periods, most, if not all rivers, will have a good number of fish in them by the middle part of July. Although July is an excellent time of year to fish here in Quebec, the last two weeks can be a bit more crowded as it is the time of the summer where many civil servants and the construction industry workers take their vacation time. So, if you do not have reserved water, it can be harder to find a spot to fish without other anglers around.

August is probably the most underated time of year to fish many of the Gaspe Rivers. Find one like the Petite, or another COLD water river and you will have a great experience! Over the past 5-years we have had good to huge shots of rain during the first two weeks of August that have provided anglers with EXCELLENT to SUBERB fishing. These two weeks, statistically speaking, have been our best for the last 4-years. I can tell you that it is a tough sell for most, as many people are convinced that the salmon are a bit dull at this time of the year, and this can be true if you fish during the day when the water is low. But, if when the rains come, or, if you fish in the morning and especially just before dark (with small dark flies) the action is hot! I can imagine that some rivers that get a bit warmer do not fare quite as well, so I am only speaking for rivers like the Cascapedia, Petite, and Bonnie, that are generally colder rivers.

September is also a great time of the year to fish and is becoming more and more popular with non-residents, especially. Why? Simple... this is Catch & Release season and the number of anglers on the river drops. Lots of water to fish, TONS of fish around, old and fresh, plus we usually start to get a noticable change in temperature lowering the water temps, resulting in the fish getting a second wind!

So WHENEVER YOU CAN COME, is basically a good time! It all depends on what sort of experience you are looking for. So, whether you are going to be fishing with your favorite guide, booking agent, outfitter, or simply on your own, come based on when YOU can come. Might be a good idea to try out all seasons over the course of a few years as NOTHING is guaranteed in salmon fishing!

Best to you all,


Salar 33 01-06-2005 12:30 PM

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Dear Ann,

Oui, vous Ítes correct.
This is Basket Pool on the lower York. The fish sit in Home Pool for a bit and then move on to Basket. We were showing our finest Green McAusland's and Tiger Ghosts to a June 11th monster. She was sitting tight to the opposit shore in a two foot deep hole. She made one last showing and was headed your way.

Hi David,

Good to see you getting active on the posts. Your knowledge and information is always a great read. Hope to have more to keep the winter coat in check.

Always the very best,


QuebecSporting 01-06-2005 12:52 PM

Merci Bill

Vos photos sont toujours aussi jolies!!!

Do you fish too? :chuckle:


Gaspe Salmon 01-06-2005 01:12 PM

Thanks Salar 33
Salar 33,

Good to be back...

Hopefully the rest of my posts will be about fishing, techniques or the simple love of the sport!



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