Fall Draws are just around the corner! - Fly Fishing Forum
Classic Atlantic Salmon No pursuit rivals salmon rivers, flies & legacy

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Old 10-24-2007, 08:40 AM
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Fall Draws are just around the corner!

Hello all,

Just a reminder to all of you veterans and for those who want to come to the Gaspe Peninsula for the first time, that the date for the fall draws is NOVEMBER 1 for almost all rivers.

YOU MUST get your cards in a couple of days before to be eligible for the draws.

This is also a good time to start to call your favourite guides, outfitters or booking agents to secure your spots as well. I know that I will be receiving lots of calls immediately after the draw for guiding as will many others. If you want to make sure you have a good guide or your spot in your favourite camp, you may want to book way in advance!

I also have to mention that some of the fish counts I have been reading about in some of the other posts are not really accurate. I say this because I have been speaking to a couple of river managers lately and have come to the conclusion that some of the counts were indeed done under very poor visibility conditions. The Cascapedia, or Grand Cascapedia as some call her, is an example. There are way more fish than 700 in the river and until the official numbers come out; it would be doing these rivers and our area a disservice to speculate.

Salmon counts over the past 25 years have been up and down pretty much around the same numbers that we have been seeing over this period. Just turned out that 2007 sucked big time for SOME rivers, BUT NOT ALL rivers. Why, NONE of us will ever know, it is more powerful than us, it is NATURE. Sure, man has a lot to do with it, however, I sincerely believe that man is starting to wake up and we will soon see catch and release angling on all of our Gaspe Rivers someday soon. I give it about 3-5 years at the outside.

I admire those who are crusading for action now and encourage them to continue to be vocal. I do not, however, agree with all that is said all of the time regarding inaction on the parts of river managers. They are simply the worker bees of the board of directors who respond to the votes from the members who are you and me. If you want to make changes, lobby the anglers somehow to change their views about keeping fish. I am sure that the river managers in almost every case will be happy to make their rivers C&R if their members ask for it. One thing is for sure, after a year like the one we just came off of, many people will see the light!

Again, get those cards in and prepare yourselves for a better 2008 season!

Screaming reels and frowning rods to you all!

David Bishop
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  #2  
Old 10-25-2007, 08:11 AM
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Dave
The folk on the Grande Cascapedia were very "free" to talk about #'s up until around the 2nd. week of September when ,all of a sudden, the Societe clammed up . Until then guides etc., freely admitted to the observed #'s of fish !
After Sept 12th ,I too got the "wait until the official count comes out/talk to the folk that did the count " quote/speal/directive.
Cheers
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Old 10-25-2007, 11:54 AM
Venture Venture is offline
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The pre-season draw applicant "quota" for the Matane is now filled. We are ready for even more combat fishing next season . Hopefully the Bonnie and the Matapedia will be fishing well and take some heat off previously mentioned river.
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Old 10-29-2007, 03:40 PM
Green Ghost Green Ghost is offline
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Fall Draws just around the corner

I was once encouraged to fish on the river Matane by a former mentor and learned a great deal of information from a local fly tier there. I soon learned that despite the fact tha there were good numbers of fish in the river, that the combat fishing mentioned by Howie was in fact a reality. Now we are talking some 25 years ago and from whayt I have seen and heard this has not changed much.

I also learned back then that I should not attempt to fish certain targeted pools till late evening having had my tires slashed by a waiting poacher.

I had many great experiences on the Matane public water, and met quite a few knowledegable fisherman.

These days I might play golf overlooking the river and have distant memories of fishing there. I stopped fishing the river because of the combat and competition fishing it offerred. It took away from the "chase", it caused a great deal of frustration raising fish in rotation and not to be able to be patient and address risen fish properly.

I left that area for good and found a great deal more satisfaction in playing the winter drawing and getting reserved sectors to myself (or with a few Others) that allows one several things:

1) Privacy or relative privacy
2) A chance to raise fish and address them properly with alternate offerings
3) A break from fighting at 4 am to get a spot in the rotation and be the first fly on the pool.
4) a Chance to chase fish one on one Not twenty to one.
5) I am sure you all can name plenty of reasons here

Just my two cents, I play the winter draw to get accesss alone. !! The words combat and competition rarely come into the equation these days on my annual pilgrimmage,

Instead, words like Patient, Peacefull, calm, quiet, carefull, precise and successful are the words used.
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Old 10-29-2007, 05:54 PM
Venture Venture is offline
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Thanks for speaking your true thoughts about the river I love. I can truly relate to everything you've said. In fact I too left the river for many years for exactly the same reasons. During that time I fished some impressive rivers with catches that were unheard of until that point.

But now, as you mentioned, that you love to play golf.....so I also love to have a camp on the Matane. As we've mellowed, there is no need for me to wake up at 4am, and fish the pool first any more. In fact I am happy just waking up and being on the river, having breakfast, and then fishing some secondary. Just love it up there....

I did enter some draws again. Hopefully I will get some good dates/pools. But in the main, I will be living on the Matane. Hope to be meeting up with you,

Howie
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Old 10-29-2007, 09:35 PM
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David;

Good to see you are back from your hunting; hopefully you enjoyed your time in the woods. Sorry we didn't get to hook up the last week of salmon fishing but I was spending time trying to acquaint myself with bird hunting (another story for another day).

There have been some inaccuracies reported (not from anyone who has posted on this board) regarding the runs of salmon on certain rivers and that is what I have tried to address. The motive (in my opinion) for the "inflating" of actual salmon run numbers is to try to paint a rosier picture than truly exists so that people flock to the rivers (you can guess the rivers that I am referring to; their numbers were down about 25% even though those in charge are in public denial).

I have been criticized by them and a few others for being "negative" and hurting business. Fact is that I have reported what I have seen to be the case (and many others as well). I do not get any pleasure out of seeing salmon runs decline and by bringing attention to this (instead of hiding in an office or the Taj Mahal) I hope that there can be positive changes (like steps that the Bonnie is now taking and perhaps even more such as less tags, more C&R, small quotas, etc.

Does honesty hurt? Only if you are trying to protect falsehoods. Inflating numbers of salmon or telling folks that fishing is great when it is not is a sure way to damage your reputation. That is already happening (the salmon world is a small one). One more for you to consider; this was a "record" year at one zec so they say. When I get my annual report next spring we will see just how accurate that statment is, too. For me, full and honest disclosure is all that I seek. I know that I am not alone in calling for greater transparency and I will continue to argue for what I believe is in the best interest of the salmon and to make sure that I call 'em as I see them. Sometimes, the truth hurts.

Bill Greiner
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Old 10-29-2007, 09:53 PM
Green Ghost Green Ghost is offline
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For the Record, I too Love the Matane, I just do not fish there, but might just drop in.
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  #8  
Old 10-30-2007, 10:34 AM
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Bill,

No worries about not getting to wet a line at the end of September, a friend of mine treated me to a day on the Restigouche that has been a dream of mine forever! Thanks DAVE!!

As for the "reports" of salmon counts, well... what can I say. I have heard so many conflicting reports about runs this year that my head is still spinning and my gut hurts from the belly laughing I have been doing after reading some of them.

Salmon fishing is simple. You have some good years and you have some poor years. This year, overall, was a poor one. Sure, some rivers, like the Matane, had a good run, others, like the Bonaventure, had a poor year. THAT DOES NOT MEAN that in the future they will continue to be poor. I have been fishing for over 30 years and guiding for over 25 and I have seen this before. What I have not seen in the past was managers fudging numbers or simply not revealing them. I think that this is a mistake because most anglers know what I stated before. You gotta take some poor years to get some good years. Why someone would stop short of publishing the EXACT numbers of return fish only hurts them as they leave themselves open to this sort of criticism. After all, it is not THEIR fault if the fish do not come back, is it? Well, maybe in some cases, but MOST managers do a superb job in defending their rivers and do all they can to encourage returns by making their rivers good homes for the salmon. The Gaspe Zec is a good example of a river that tries their best to encourage the salmon to return home. Having said that, I cannot comment on whether they have offered accurate counts or not, you are in a better position as Ann is. Where there more or less fish this year than last is a pretty simple question to answer. If they counted the fish, then how many were there? Simple.

The Bonaventure River was forthcoming with their counts. I applaud them. They are experienced managers and board members and have seen good and poor years. They have nothing to hide. All they need to do now, after coming off a poor year is make the hard choices to keep those fish safe in the future. We will see what they and their members decide in the future.

As for the other rivers, Matapedia, Petite Cascapedia, Cascapedia (Grand), Pabos and Grande Riviere, I cannot tell you what all of their counts were. The Petite was somewhere around the high 400's or low 500's which is parr for that river. The Cascapedia had a count of around 1000 fish, however, I think they missed a ton of fish because they have that many registered as caught. Now I do not want to be quoted on their numbers because I have had a hell of a time trying to find out the exact count but maybe someone can get it for us. Even if the count was low for 2007, I want to reiterate, it does not mean it will be low in 2008.

I am sure that some managers think that anglers will not come back if they register low counts. Well, they might be right about new or fair weather anglers but for us hardcore guys, we will be back no matter what! What CAN make a difference is the QUALITY of fishing, which brings me to my question.

I have heard recent rumours that the ZEC and the Gespeg Mic Mac community have not reached an agreement on rods for next year and that there is talk of pressure tactics. What I have heard is that some of the Pavillion water may be fished by native anglers if an agreement is not reached soon. Is this true? I know that in recent weeks there was a situation in Shefferville with the caribou hunting that turned a bit ugly because the government did not respond to certain native requests and that a whack of hunters were left stranded with no hunting. Could this turn into another such situation? Like I said, I have only heard about this recently and would like to know before I start to get asked the question by other anglers. As you and everyone else here knows, there are NO secrets in this business, except for salmon counts, that is... Sorry, could not help myself!

Perhaps all rivers should have counting fences installed so that we all stop questioning the counts. For me, it is a simple question of respect towards anglers. I pay you to use a resource, I want to know what the state of that resource is. Is that too much to ask? Forget the fact that I make my living off of this reasource and might need to know what to respond to my guests and potential future guests. If I support a river by purchasing a pass there, I should have the RIGHT to know what I am paying for.

Enough said.

Would like to hear about the rumour I mentioned as it could directly affect many anglers next year.

Look forward to chatting with you at some point in the future. P.S., if you prefer not to respond here, you can send me a private message. Been a long time since I have had news from you.

David
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Old 10-30-2007, 11:43 AM
Salar36 Salar36 is offline
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David,

In fact, the only place on the 117 rivers in Quebec Province where there was a poor year in 2007 is in the Baie des Chaleurs, particularly on the Cascapedia and the Bonnie. The Restigouche watershed is lower than average or inthe average -depend the river-, but not in a poor situation. On the St Lawrence side, all rivers are in the average or a bit higher. On the North Shore and Saguenay, most are in the 5 years average or higher. But the fact the Cascapedia and the Bonnie generate more than 15% of the fishing pressure leave the feeling that was a poor year everywhere.

Regarding the situation with Gespeg, I am sure Bill will be able to provide you much more accurate information...
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Old 10-30-2007, 12:24 PM
billg billg is offline
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Dave:

NO COMMENT. We can speak offline.

Bill
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  #11  
Old 10-30-2007, 06:36 PM
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Gaspe Salmon Gaspe Salmon is offline
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Dear Pierre,

Thanks for the info! I was starting to wonder about all of the other rivers. Do you have concrete numbers from all rivers? What is up with the three Gaspe Rivers? I have heard conflicting reports. One report says par with last year, the other 25% drop in runs, others tell me that it is down about 15% and others tell me it was up. What is the REAL story. I am sure, as a member of the FQSA you would be privy to this info.

Yep, the Bonnie and Grand were down, but like I said, it is not time to panic! This has happened in the past and I am sure that it will happen again in the future.

Bill, I imagine that you know what is up so I will have to wait until I have time to call you sometime to find out what is up. I am sure a lot of people would like to know if this rumour turns into reality. What a mess that would be. I am sure that the powers working behind the scenes will come up with a solution.

AGAIN, I would like to throw out the idea of counting machines on all rivers so that we can get an accurate and up to date view of what is coming in, when they are coming and how many leave the river. I am willing to throw down some $$$ to make this happen. What would it cost per station? Does anyone know if the technology exists, and if so, how much? Tacked onto the station should be a thermometer and CFS gauge to give water levels. Imagine, from a biological standpoint, how valuable this info could be! We could determine what is the best water levels compared to tides and water temps that seem to bring in the fish. We would also know, on a daily basis, what the water levels are for each river.

I cannot imagine, in this technological age, that it would cost that much to string a wire of sorts across a river and to get a count of how many fish are passing it. I may be WAY off but if we can put a man on the moon, then we should be able to count a few hundred to a few thousand fish with some sort of counter. Imagine the money saved by the ZEC each year if this technology was put into place. Imagine the data we could gather. If we did not have to send out 2-3 divers and suopport crews to follow divers down the river over a 2-4 day period each year I am sure that the machine would pay for itself in about 2-6 years, and that is not counting the info that anglers and biologists could gather.

Like I said, I am in for some funny colored money, that is actually worth something at the moment, how about you, and you, and you, and you???? Maybe a crazy idea but then again...

Best to you all and thanks for enduring my rants, questions and comments!

David
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Old 10-30-2007, 07:28 PM
Salar36 Salar36 is offline
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David;

Unfortunaltely, for a detailled data for all rivers, you will need to wait until the MRNF publish the "Bilan", if they publish it this year...seems there is a lack of people...

Regarding Gaspe, most of the information goes on the side of very good year on MSW standpoint (in fact all, except from 1 guy in this area), but low side for grilse. Maybe with Bill's count on the Malbaie we will have another view of the area .

On the Ste Lawrence side, mid season counts were all on line, and year end season observation were on the way for the same pattern. Where there is counting fence or fish way, the number were there, like Matane with over 2900, Rimouski , over 350 at the dam, for a total of more than 500 (record season there), Mitis with around 700. Same situation in the rivers in Saguenay and North Shore, in the Trinity with a number in the range of 800 (over 5 years average) (will try to have the number on Au Rochers). Most of other rivers on the north side are mostly based on succes rate of fishing since ther are too big for a count.

Regarding my membership with the FQSA, I have the same information than you, other info is related to personal contact like you. I am not on the board since last april.
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Old 10-30-2007, 09:36 PM
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David:

Good to speak with you tonight; great idea about the counter-- I think this has a lot of promise and not just for salmon as we discussed.

Pierre:

No count done on the Malbaie this year by us or MRNF. We will submit the numbers that we found in front of the camp.

If you believe that I am purposely low balling fish counts on York you are mistaken. Nothing to gain here. There were less fish than normal on those rivers and those who fish those rivers regularly can attest to that. Ask the guides who freelance and you will hear echoed what I have said. I can tell you that I sat in Jean Roy's office at the end of September (the 27th to be precise) and he showed me the count for the entire York River (inlcuding above white house) and it was 25% less than last year for both large salmon and grilse. Don't take my word; take the numbers that were counted and then proivded to MRNF by the Zec.

I don't want to beat a dead horse but it was not only the Baie de Chaleur that saw declines; I am told Madeline, Cap Chat also saw declines as did Pabos and Grande River (and likely Malbaie as well). Plus, I have not heard great things from overseas runs (if there are people who can attest to counts from overseas that are different than reports I got from people who fished in Norway, Russia, and Iceland I am all ears on this one).

No need to dwell in the past; we ought to be thinking about the future.

One other question for Dave (I mentioned this on a different thread): I believe you told me a couple of years ago that there was some sort of fungus that was on some Cascapedia salmon. Can you shed some light on this and could this be a contributing factor for this year's runs (you are a bilogist as well as a guide)!

Bill Greiner
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  #14  
Old 10-30-2007, 11:22 PM
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Hi Dave,

Nice to read you again!!
My Canadian two cents... (for once we are beating you guys!!)

A fish counter would be great and not so great!!
I am thinking of dark tea colored rivers that attract anglers every year. Many fish the same rivers every year, not even knowing if they are fishing over fish.
They like the run, the spot and the "adrenalin" when they have a hook up!!
If they do get a hook up....I am certain they'll fish that pool again the follwing year!! (just in case!!)


Alors je me dis!!
We are spoiled here due to the fact that we can see right away if we are fishing over fish.. ( just need one in a pool to take the fly!!)
Anglers come also for the scenery, the lunches and the fishing ( of course!!)

I am thinking.would anglers fish a pool with 25 grilses or the run above with two-30 pounders!!???

Just to know there are fish in a river is great!! The challenge is to find them and hopefully have a hook up!!

People come in early June, knowning there are not many fish...everyone has a secret spot and look forward each year to see what its holding!!

Enfin, something to think about!!

Have a great Winter!!

Good luck in the draws!!

Ann
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Old 10-31-2007, 05:51 AM
Salar36 Salar36 is offline
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Bill;
The question is there; is comparison is done based on the precedent year or on the average? Usualy, in the salmon world here, the management of the ressource is based on comparison on 5 years average, not on the year before. Based on the year before, this year is probably lower in many rivers, mostly due to a decline of grilse. Based on a 5 years average which is the common rule, most are on the average. And the average is composed of excellent seasons(like 2006) , and poor one too (2002). So it change the topo; a catastrophic trend or a yearly fluctuation like every year (up or down)? I don't believe the salmon situation is a constant upper trend , so not being higher than last year doesn't sound like a catastrophic situation for me...If it is for you, just think what David said, and always remember situation like 1979 and 1980. In 1979, all rivers were closed on august 5 th due to a lack of salmon. 1980 has been the best of the last 50 years (in fact the reference for many of those who refer to a glorious past)...

So even if as human we wish to control everything, we have seen situation like 1979 and 1980 in the past, and I am sure we will see it again in the future...

Have a good winter and good luck for the draw.
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