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

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Old 07-17-2007, 02:26 PM
Venture Venture is offline
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Matane Report

The Matane is in great shape today. We have around 600 fish in the river, and the water levels are perfect. There are some monsters still in the river. I was told that a 39 pound fish was registered along with several other 30+ pound fish. I would not be surprised if there are some forties up river.

I have been working at my camp and have not been fishing as much as I would like. I installed internet into the camp as well. As for the fishing, I hooked a monster up river on a #12 double. Had him on for 20 minutes until the knot broke along with my heart. The fish definately was pushing 30 or bigger. Yesterday 13 fish were caught. Always tough on the Matane, but the fish are here and the water as I said is perfect and with some work and luck (as usual) its a great season.

In the last few days, with all the very high water, the fish have not cleared the ladder in town. As soon as those levels go down, my guess is that we will have many fish coming up. The numbers of salmon this year was beating last year until this last set of rain storms. My guess is that this year will top last year when all said and done. And I never saw fish as big as what I am seeing. In very early July, almost every fish spotted was a twenty or larger.

I did fish the York for the first time on Sector 9 and Sector 2 thanks to Ann's guidance. I managed a fish each day in each sector. That in my book is very good. Nice river.

Now back on the Matane...... Will hit the pools in about an hour. Oh by the way, 8 fish were hooked in the Metropole yesterday and 5 were landed. Nothing big, all in the 10 - 13 pound class. The big ones are up stream a bit........

Howie
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Old 07-19-2007, 07:38 PM
blueelver blueelver is offline
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Howie,

I spent a few days on the Matane in mid-July, hooking and loosing my first North-American salmon at the tail of no. 57 on Friday 13th. This is one fine river, and it was fun to try it both before and after the floods started.

What surprised me was that I did not see more than 30-35 people on the river on any give day, (I mostly fished 8AM to 6PM) since last year there were a lot more permits sold most days in July. Is there any reason for this? higher permit prices or unseasonably cold weather, or do the locals prefer to fish very early?

Best of luck,

Ari
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Old 07-20-2007, 08:29 AM
Venture Venture is offline
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Hi Ari,

Good to hear you had a good experience up here and liked our river. You hooked your fish in one of the most popular pools. The name of the pool is Le Cap Seize. There are always fish in that pool, and most fish are hooked in the tail end on dries.

Further up river is the Park de Matane, one of the most beautiful places on earth. There are some popular pools up there but also secondary pools that do hold fish as well. There you can fish alone, and not see many fisherman.

This year has as many fisherman as ever. Some days though, for some reason, many are not fishing, and perhaps you came accross that kind of day. There were many fish hooked on that Friday you fished as the water came up quite high and fish were moving. It is now down again, yet conditions are still OK.

I fished yesterday and had no luck, although I did not fish all day. I am taking it a bit easy here and enjoying the total environment and not too driven to prove myself as I did when I was younger. What I like about it best is the locals which many have become friends. We are thoroughly enjoying ourselves. I am glad you liked it here too.
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Old 07-20-2007, 02:20 PM
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SALMONCHASER SALMONCHASER is offline
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Howie.
Not to stir the pot or get a C&R debate started but does the "registration" of this 39lber as well as the other 30lb+ mean that these fish were killed?
I suspect it does as we have had many discussions on the killing of large salmon and the Matane always comes to the forefront. Care to provide a best guess as to the percentage of salmon released on that river the last few seasons?
My wife and kids have vacationed in matane the last several years and is one of our favorite places to be. I haven't yet fished it but saw first hand that the thought process is that these fish are there to be killed,, no matter of size or gender.
Dwayne
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Old 07-20-2007, 02:40 PM
Salar36 Salar36 is offline
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Dwayne, we may discuss again about it, B & H Model or Riker Curves model, but Matane is currently the river applying the Riker Curves model the closest as the model is, and curiously, is the healtiest river in Gaspe this year (again...) You may not like it, but the fact is it works, and this year prove it again...and most of the rivers contesting this model since couple years are...in trouble this year. So anybody can have his own conclusion, but I don't believe a suggestion to change it will find anybody to listen. This year is also exceptional for the incredible number of VERY BIG salmon in this river. In 32 years, I have never seen a similar number of 20 pounds +, and this tendancy seems to increase since about 10 years. Matane used to be a 13 pounds salmon river, but is now very close of the Matapedia with a high % of 20 +. Yesterday, 108 fish (only 27 grisles) in the fish way, today, at 15:30, 85 (only 7 grisles, on the way for another day with 100+), for a total of 812 this year...Depend of the situation of grilses later, but they are on speed for another season in the 2800-3000 range.

Blueelver, regarding the number of anglers on the beginning of July, Matane has a major increase since the end june, whcih is usualy very quiet. In fact they are on the way for a record year. This is the only river in Gaspe where the # of anglers increased this year. In fact, most of the people who left Bonaventure are in Matane. Maybe last year you were there later in July, usualy, the peak is after July 20th. And the number of anglers may take couple of day to register since there is 6 or 7 place to buy daily licence, and some of them send their record only once a week.

Venture, I think I mised you last week. Next time I will try to visit to your camp. I fished close of there couple times...A quick tip, put some cards on the 48 hrs draw for the Ste Anne...Not very far
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:27 PM
Venture Venture is offline
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Dwayne, you cannot cause a stir by bringing up the discussion, or the lack of catch and release on the Matane. I too feel the pain of every salmon killed and perhaps it's effect on the overall stocks. But the lack of restrictions is one of the things that makes the Matane, its populous and its river valley so natural.

I am always amazed to see that 25% of the fish coming back are captured and killed. I do think there would be more fish coming back each year if this were not the case. But would this make it better? Perhap there would be more salmon. but it will be a restriction and I am a believer in the cost of restrictions. Here on the Matane, you fish where and when you want. You have to play a more "natural" strategy because you must compete as you would "naturally". And it is also natural to kill at the end of a hunt. The Matane, as far as Atlantic Salmon go, is as wild as it gets here on the the Gaspe because of this reason. And to Pierre's point the Matane still works, and works well.

And to answer your question....I am sure that the registration of any fish means that it was killed. Yes, that 39# fish is no longer here as well as the other 30#+ fish. But they all existed in our river as an effect of our system in the first place. We have had many big fish reported this year. Perhaps bigger than any year I can ever remember. I did get lucky enough to battle one for 20 minutes. And in retrospect, even though it was a heart break to loose "her" I was lucky enough to hook her and also not be challenged with the decision of whether or not to kill "her". I may not have killed her and that would have been my choice. I also may have killed her because the "lingering" hunter in me had to bring my trophy home to perpetuate my own ego. Everyone has same choice here. Few here condemn. Everyone in this valley would turn a deaf ear to any Bleeding Heart Democrate preaching about "the way it should be". My neighbor Daniel Blanchard feeds his family deer, moose, salmon and trout. That is is only red meat and fish he feeds his family. Today he killed 20 chickens for market. He and many others in this valley are very proud to understand life. Survival encompasses death. This knowledge can breed the utmost respect for nature for only those who think.

It is raining now....and has been for most of the day. The river will be up tomorrow, and a few degrees colder. Well over two hundred fresh fish will have entered this river in the last 48 hours. A few grilse, mostly salmon. I will fish down river tomorrow. I must make my own plan on where to go as there are no restrictions other than a very small private sector. I am free to find them as I would be in nature. I am free to release them if I want, or perhaps I may have to prove my manhood once again with no one condemning me other than myself.
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Last edited by Venture; 07-20-2007 at 04:26 PM.
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  #7  
Old 07-21-2007, 08:43 AM
Venture Venture is offline
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Plans Changed. River is very high and dirty from 20 hours of solid hard rain. No fishing for a few days at least. Won't be fishable until next week, maybe Monday at the earliest but best bet Tuesday.
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Old 07-21-2007, 09:06 AM
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Thanks Howie
always enjoy your reports!
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  #9  
Old 07-21-2007, 11:03 AM
The Thrasher The Thrasher is offline
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C&R vs C&K

Umm. How can high kill rates be responsible for improving a river's returns? That seems to be what you're claiming, Pierre. Doesn't the Matane have, historically, one of the lowest average success rates (fish/rod/day) of all the Gaspé rivers? Also, isn't it a Ricker curve, after Bill Ricker, the famous McGill ecologist? (Ricker, W.E. 1954. Stock and reruitment. J. Fish. Res. Board Canada 11: 871-893).
Killing salmon is not "wrong" if stocks permit, but it's hardly a way to maximize recreational angling experiences when the number of fish is rather limited compared to the demand by anglers. We are a long way from the routine multi-fish days enjoyed by anglers 50 or 100 years ago, so clearly demand continues to outstrip supply on our salmon rivers. Still, I hope you will continue to post all your news and views, which I always read with interest, even if we do not always agree!

best regards,
Ian.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Salar36
Dwayne, we may discuss again about it, B & H Model or Riker Curves model, but Matane is currently the river applying the Riker Curves model the closest as the model is, and curiously, is the healtiest river in Gaspe this year (again...) You may not like it, but the fact is it works, and this year prove it again...and most of the rivers contesting this model since couple years are...in trouble this year. So anybody can have his own conclusion, but I don't believe a suggestion to change it will find anybody to listen. This year is also exceptional for the incredible number of VERY BIG salmon in this river. In 32 years, I have never seen a similar number of 20 pounds +, and this tendancy seems to increase since about 10 years. Matane used to be a 13 pounds salmon river, but is now very close of the Matapedia with a high % of 20 +. Yesterday, 108 fish (only 27 grisles) in the fish way, today, at 15:30, 85 (only 7 grisles, on the way for another day with 100+), for a total of 812 this year...Depend of the situation of grilses later, but they are on speed for another season in the 2800-3000 range.

Blueelver, regarding the number of anglers on the beginning of July, Matane has a major increase since the end june, whcih is usualy very quiet. In fact they are on the way for a record year. This is the only river in Gaspe where the # of anglers increased this year. In fact, most of the people who left Bonaventure are in Matane. Maybe last year you were there later in July, usualy, the peak is after July 20th. And the number of anglers may take couple of day to register since there is 6 or 7 place to buy daily licence, and some of them send their record only once a week.

Venture, I think I mised you last week. Next time I will try to visit to your camp. I fished close of there couple times...A quick tip, put some cards on the 48 hrs draw for the Ste Anne...Not very far
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Old 07-21-2007, 02:34 PM
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go to Kharlovka river web site ( I don't want to advertise or step on toes so I did not put the real name of the outfit but if you google the river it comes up), they show direct benefit of increased parr counts and salmon counts from C&R

http://www.kharlovka.com/radio_tagging.html


Tight Lines,

Jim Y
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Old 07-21-2007, 08:39 PM
blueelver blueelver is offline
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Guys,

I came across some count and catch statistics from the Matane from 1984 to 2006 which are pretty interesting, and could explain why there seem to be plenty of big fish in the river despite the very limited C&R. Here are a few points I stumbled on:

During this entire period, a grisle was about 6% likely to survive the fishing season after it entered the river than a big salmon. The survival of grisle as compared to large salmon varied widely from year to year, for reasons some of you might be able to explain. 6% is not a big difference, you can find rivers where the grisle has more than twice the survival chances of the big fish.

The ratio of big salmon vs the number of grisle the previous year has not been dropping dramatically, with the 5-year moving average falling from about 1.1 in the mid 80's to about 0.8 in the last few years. I doubt this is any worse than elsewhere in Canada, or across the North Atlantic.


There is no obvious trend in the ratio of big salmon in the spawning stock, and curiously enough, two of the biggest spikes (60% large salmon) occured in 2001 & 2005.

This begs the following question. Is the current bumper crop of big fish in the Matane, 3 sea-winter fish from the 2001 spawning, or repeat spawners from other years? If they are indeed from 2001, which had an unusually small number of grisle in the spawning stock, the way to help the big fish may be to kill more grisle.

Food for thought,

Ari
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Old 07-22-2007, 08:18 AM
Salmosalar! Salmosalar! is offline
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txraddoc ;

Very interesting!

Salmosalar!
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  #13  
Old 07-22-2007, 09:18 AM
Venture Venture is offline
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When ever I see the daily stats I cringe about the total % of returning fish that are killed. It can not be possible that these stats are good for increasing the future stock on any river.

As said, the Matane has few restrictions. Thats its beauty. Its catch per rod day is low because are many fisherman, not that there are few fish. So you must be very good to be consistant here. . And this the "natural" way because in nature, competition is fierce.

Sure the rod per day catch is much better on other rivers. But that is obviously because there are much fewer fisherman, not more fish. Putting more fish in the Matane, will probably increase the amount of fisherman returning, keeping the catch rate more or less the same.

Actually I would like to see the Province of Quebec issue the Kill License with only one tag for one Salmon, and 6 tags for grilse. This would satisfy the egos of the trophy hunter that needs fulfillment, and the visitor who wants to feast on his catch while he is up here. He can eat grilse.

The river is still very high today but dropping. It is still muddy but beginning to clear. Another 127 salars came through yesterday. So in the past three days, 108, 134, and 137 have entered. There are many here out to intercept these fresh fish as the water clears and drops. Is the Perfect Condition for Extreme Anticipation.
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Old 07-22-2007, 10:00 AM
The Thrasher The Thrasher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Venture
Putting more fish in the Matane, will probably increase the amount of fisherman returning, keeping the catch rate more or less the same.
So, to increase the catch rate, we should decrease the number of fish in the river? I'm not sure about that one, Howie. Though I suppose when there is only one fish left and one angler fishing for it, the final catch rate will be pretty good. :-(

The Bonaventure also has a lot of "unrestricted" (i.e., public) water and is comparable to Matane in number of rods/year, yet has had generally higher fish/rod/day than Matane. Decreasing the number of fish in Bonaventure (this year) has resulted in similar decrease in rod/days, but fish/rod/day also is down even more.

Simply put, there are too many anglers and too few fish to satisfy the demand, on any of our salmon rivers. Catch-and-release is not the whole solution, but when fish are within a few miles of their spawning grounds after a long and perilous journey, it's pretty clear that they are at their most valuable reproductive potential of their lives and are the biggest benefit (per individual fish) to the future fishery. And in this year of terrible returns on Bonaventure, anglers are removing 75% of those potential spawners. (Matane stats are not available on Saumon Quebec, for some bizarre reason.)

regards,
Ian.
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Old 07-22-2007, 02:54 PM
Venture Venture is offline
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Ian,

Water seeks its own level. I am sure that public water is fished at a rate directly proportional to results. The better result, the more attractive thus more fisherman. What I did not imply is that we should decrease the number of fish. You should check up on your intention. Not only do I believe in the above, but I also believe that the kill tags for recreational angling be limited to one trophy salmon per year, and 6 grilse....as previously stated. That is how Blue Fin Tuna are regulated.

The problem I do have with the Matane is the dam. I never understood why it was built. It serves no obvious purpose other than to provide a park. This advantage comes with a very high price. It seems like it was someones bad idea. If they wanted a park for tourism, they could have built one without the dam and fish window. Heck, they charge 3 bucks to look at a salmon. And most people looking dont even know what they are looking at.

We had about 375 fish (a whole weeks worth) enter in the past three days. This is because the fish could not find the hole during last weeks high water. Naturally, this would never occur as the fish would have come up all week instead of three days. I have always thought that there must be a percentage of fish that go back to sea because they could not find that damned little hole. That is my biggest issue specifically tied to the Matane.
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