i agree with you 100% that river management is responsible for the good numbers of salmon that return to the Matane each year. I have met fishermen from all over Canada and the US and as far away as Ireland that come to the Matane each year for the sole purpose of going home with a large fish. There argument is the same. Historically the runs remain and therefore they feel they are not harming the resource.
As to the discussion of which lines to use and which tactics,, well i run into the same sort of thing on the Margaree in the fall. If 10 of us are fishing tips and large fall patterns and two are fouling fish,, well we are ALL fouling fish and grouped as dredgers and jiggers. There are alot of ill feelings amongst locals, guides etc on the Margaree as to the use of sinktips in that system. Many anglers use them all the time and wont change when conditions dictate and that may be the root of the problem. There are times when conditions do indeed require a certain method and the sectors in question SCREAM of bombers, wulff's etc.
Bill I realize the Matapedia is many times larger than the rivers you guide on but the spring fishing that Pete Dube (amongst others)offers is wildly popular.
Personally I feel that swinging flies to kelts in the cold flows of spring offer no real threat to salar. The real thraet is kelts coinciding with bait/rapalas and the unknowing, uncaring hordes of spring trout fishermen and woman and kids. That is where the real horror lies. I would love to see to see the opening of Trout season on PEI moved to May15 as this would ensure safe passage to the kelts as they head out to sea to grow
Bill my friends also spoke highly of you too.