Reflections 2007 - Fly Fishing Forum
Classic Atlantic Salmon No pursuit rivals salmon rivers, flies & legacy

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Old 10-02-2007, 03:20 PM
Venture Venture is offline
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Location: Matane and other Gaspe Rivieres
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Reflections 2007

I assume that many rivers world wide are now are closed to fishing. We all now are reflecting and savoring those special memories. I think it would be nice if we share some of these special memories with the forum, if not just to enjoy the content but also to learn and get to know each other. I can start if off with the "big one" I lost.

Besides all those great unexpected "pulls" that we all live for, one stands out in my mind over all others. On July 2, up in the Park de Matane, I spotted a very large fish holding in quite dry fly water. I would not have seen it if it did not flash its silver at me in mid pool. I fished a dry fly over him for at least 10 minutes.....and had to move on due to the rotation going. There were three other anglers in that pool, yet no one else saw that fish flash. Giving up that spot was difficult yet necessary as it was only proper. I fished quickly down below, and got back in turn at the very top of the pool.

I saw a few fisherman fish over that area with drys.....with no success. When I reached the spot where I knew that fish was, I switched to a tiny wet......a Peletier....#12 double low water. First cast over that spot with the wet produced a vicious strike...........big pull and then the biggest explosion of the year. It was one of those early season smaller than thirty pounds and could have pushed 40. The fish showed itself very well on the surface and it thrashed the surface. I new he was THE BIG ONE yet felt confident with that fly because of its small size and double hooking power, like a dart with no leverage. As I settled into the fight, the fish did his head shaking thing as many big fish do and then the line went slack. I busted the fish off at the knot. Never busted one off like that before. No extra pressure besides a soft drag was applied. The end of my tippet came back to me with that notorious knot curly end. Just a lousy knot.

For days I kicked myself about this because I targeted this fish strategically using a method that was well planned....yet in my haste to tie a new knot.....I tied a clinch knot instead of a turle knot on a very light wire hook. Couple this with using an extremely thin micro diameter tippet and you may have a big problem with a big fish. Perhaps the very small diameter wire chaffed the very thin tippet, or I just tied a lousy knot in haste.....who knows. That was my only hook up with a really huge fish this season.....and that memory stays with me more than the others I landed. I am very thankful for the others.....but it seems that the "One That Got Away" always stays in my mind longer.

And memories of the season past also include getting to know many folks on the Gaspe.....neighbors and other new fisherman friends. My wife and I love the Gaspe, and are seriously thinking of building a home their to live year round. Nothing better than that simple life where people live off the land and respecting nature, the wild life, and life in its purest form. What a great year.

Last edited by Venture; 10-02-2007 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 10-02-2007, 08:41 PM
wilson wilson is offline
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Howie, what a great story. And, I think all of us thank you for your web log of your Gaspe season. Those of us who went early, or not at all, were able to live vicariously through your writings and we were pulling for you every morning. Thank you.

I had 8 guided days in Gaspe early in the season with the master, David Bishop, around second week of June or so. I got to spend it with David and a few fellow anglers he introduced me to several years ago and who have become fast friends. We all went fishless, but no matter, a good time was had by all. My own experience was such that I had opportunities but did not connect. Rose one fish I did not feel but David clearly saw take the fly and another, similar experience, which resulted in a "What the ____ was that!!!" response from him after missing a second fish that same day.

Sorry my friend, no excuses. I know you poled two of us for many miles, for nearly 7 full days, scouting water like the Fish-Hawk that you are, running rapids and fighting the wind, all to no avail. We'll get 'em next year.

One special note, I got to fish the Spey this year for the first time. That trip is very personal to me and I've never written of it before now. Needless to say, it's a place every Salmon angler should visit at least once. Beautiful water with fine and friendly people.

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Old 10-02-2007, 10:23 PM
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juro juro is offline
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Makes me want to crack open the good single malt reading this!

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and Founder, Worldwide Flyfishing Forum
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Old 10-03-2007, 05:35 AM
Spey'd and lovin it!!!
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Eastern Salmon rivers
Posts: 92
October 1 on the Morell,, my home river. The first really big wild fish showed up last weekend and i can happily say that i hooked and landed a 41" male(guesstimate 25lb) at 11:00am. The fight didn't exceed 15 minutes but those moments will travel with me forever. This is my biggest fresh run fish on the Morell although i have landed kelts of 42", 44" and 44". Thankfully my "Big one" didn't get away and i was able to cradle this Island monster for a minute and say thanks and feel that heart beat and stare into those almost human eyes. What a moment.
This has been a terribly slow season thus far on the Island rivers and the sight of some big fresh fall run fish is more than welcome! October looks promising.
Salmon Chaser
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Old 10-03-2007, 08:21 AM
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Salar-1 Salar-1 is offline
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Location: Quebec Salmon rivers
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This was the year of leader problems for me until I changed back to Maxima instead of the Rio Powerflex crap. The 8.2,10. and 21 Lb. were OK but the13 and 15lb failed miserably on 4 NICE fish :-( Two failed at the knot and 2 failed in mid length and another 2 fish in the 10 lb class !! The 2 10lbers were caught and long line released below a fish ladder and turned up the day after with my oddball fly still in their mouths .The person attending the fish ladder said that one had just the fly and the other had some leader material attached to it .
This was the yr .,also, that the tone of decent Salmon fishing in Quebec shifted from the Gaspe Baie de Chaleurs side( until September )
To rivers such as the Cap Chat, Ste Anne, Matane and Rimouski on Gaspe's North Shore. Speaking of north shore the St.Lawrence North Shore rivers had good runs this yr. and very decent fishing !
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Old 10-03-2007, 01:09 PM
Earle Fletcher Earle Fletcher is offline
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Howie, It's always tough to loose a big one, especially if you don't get your fly back. Your retirement year has been good for you and for all of us that watch this website. You have certainly livened up the Atlantic Salmon category.

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Old 10-03-2007, 02:37 PM
Venture Venture is offline
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Hey Earle,
THanks for the cudos, but HOW ABOUT A STORY BIG GUY! I personally know you had some good fishing this year. Must be one memory you can share.

Bill, Believe it or not, this was the first salmon I ever broke off besides one fish that took wrapped me up around a bend. Dropped many fish....but never busted one off. I too was using high tech Rio low diameter soft tippet. Never again. Does not hold knots and much to soft for salmon. Went right back to Maxima #8- #10. Great meeting up with you this year.

Salmon Chase, Sounds like a home run for you during a tough season. Great fish. Pardon my ignorance but where exactly is the Morell. My guess would be Nova Scotia, but I could be wrong. How long is the season going till.

Juro, You've been threatening to hit the Gaspe since I joined the board. Hope to meet you one day up there. The stripah action must be keeping you busy. I miss the Cape and the islands this time of year. I used to hit Squibnocket pretty hard just about now.... not to mention pulling out from Chatham enroute to the BB and BC.

Chris, Yup, David is quite a guy and a seemingly a great salmon fisher. He certainly handles a spey rod as if he was born in Scotland and keeps company just as well.
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Old 10-03-2007, 08:35 PM
Spey'd and lovin it!!!
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Eastern Salmon rivers
Posts: 92
The Morell is nestled in the East end of PEI. The fall run is the "true" wild run and is made up of mostly large fish,,, maybe 20% grilse and the rest seem to run from 10lb- to a fw that break 30lb. Very few of these fish ever get pinned and even fewer ever feel the grip on their tail. We have seen 50" fish in years back and two that i know of have been caught.. The summer fish(June, July) are hatchery fish(for the most part but a good number of unclipped fish are being hooked) The season here goes from June1 until Oct 31. Catch and release and a single barbless hook after Sept15.
Come on guys,,, give us a story will ya??
Salmon Chaser
For the record,, i will not ever not use Maxima again!!!! For the same reasons you lads have mentioned.
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