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PostPosted: September 16th, 2017, 1:10 pm 
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Joined: February 28th, 2017, 9:28 am
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Location: Baie-Comeau, Quebec, Canada
The Atlantic salmon fishing season on the north shore of the St-Lawrence river came to an end yesterday september 15th. I did one last fishing trip with my usual buddies Alex and Francis from september 2nd to september 9th. For the occasion we camped and fished the Trinité river for 8 days. The abundant rainfall that we got the week before made up for great flows on the river.

The first day we left Baie-Comeau early in the morning and most of the day was used to set up camp. We managed to have 2-3 hours left at the end of the day to fish so we headed for the bridge pool. This pool allows to fish for Atlantic salmon at the head of the pool and sea run brookies in the kind of pond where the river gets wider.

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I hiked the trail and went downstream to try my luck at sea run brookies while Alex dropped a wet fly at the head of the pool. 5 minutes after I started fishing I heard Alex and Francis yelling upstream that they hooked a salmon. I ran back to the bridge but unfortunately the salmon unhooked itself. They told me the salmon jumped 2 times and made a mad run before it unhooked itself. It was a nice 12-14 pounds salmon. We were off to a good start!

The second day we fished for Atlantic salmon and got skunked...

We met a friend of mine on the river and we decided to do a day trip to fish a stretch of 14 km of the river accessible only by canoe. Monday morning we loaded the canoe and headed to the Eagle pool. This is one of the best pool of the river for sea run brookies and theses fishes only sees a handful of flies during the entire season because of the hard work needed to reach that spot.

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We caught a 7-8 brookies (both sea run and resident) in the 12-17 inches range. At some point I tied a mouse fly and caught two sea run brookies. They meant business when they attacked the mouse fly it was awesome!!

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Sea run brookies fishing was very slow that week and in fact we didn't caught any except for that day trip to the eagle pool. We focused our fishing time on the Atlantic salmons.

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Around mid week we went back to the bridge pool for an evening session. We tried a couple flies before I got a strong pull and hooked a nice 12-14 pounds salmon on a size 12 green machine with a white tail! The fish gave a good 15 minutes figth with 7-8 jumps out of the water before Alex Managed to tail the fish!

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Here's this beautiful 12-14 pounds female Atlantic salmon! The fish was in good shape thanks to the cold water (55F) and it went back rapidly to the darkness of the pool.

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That night there was abundant rainfall and I decided to sleep in the morning while the others went fishing the Creek pool near our base camp. Alex hooked a second salmon but he lost it rapidly.

The next day we went fishing on the Gobeil pool. Francis went upstream and started fishing the head of the pool while I went downstream with Alex. We saw a big salmon jump 2-3 times at the tail of the pool and some grilses rolling in there. I had a good feeling about this. I won the 2 out of 3 rock paper scissor challenge and got the first drop! Again I tied my famous size 12 green machine and after something like 15 cast I hooked a fish. At first I wasn't sure if it was a salmon or a trout until the fish started jumping all around. I had a 3-4 pounds grilse on the line! After 2-3 minutes I grabbed the leader and tried to tail the fish myself but failed and the line got twisted around my rod. While I tried to untwist my line the salmon used the slack in the line to unhook itself. So I don't have a picture of this one but in Atlantic Salmon fishing when we succeed in grabbing the leader the fish is counted as a landed fish. Here's the only shot that we got of this one...

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So this is how we ended our 4th Atlantic salmon fishing season. Alex ended is season with 1 salmon, I got 5 and Francis is still looking for his first catch. It will be a long waiting game now until the end of june next year when we resume our hunt for the king of the rivers!


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PostPosted: September 17th, 2017, 5:05 am 
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Joined: February 14th, 2007, 1:00 am
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Location: New Hampshire
I am really enjoying your reports. Thank you!

Perhaps it is the mentality in Europe, or just a mis understanding on my own, but I am enjoying the fact that there are places to go to fish for Atlantics, that don't require guides, lodges, or big costs/planning.

I would assume that these places are reasonably well guarded secrets, but none the less, I am glad that someone is enjoying them

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"Fishermen...spending their lives in the fields and woods...are often in a more favorable mood for observing her, in the intervals of their pursuits, than philosophers or poets even, who approach her with expectation." - Thoreau


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PostPosted: September 17th, 2017, 7:44 am 
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Joined: December 4th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5114
Location: Near the tying bench
There are plenty of places for the DIY Atlantic salmon fisherman. The rivers of Cape Breton (most notably the Margaree) are popular in this regard. I understand many rivers on the Gaspe are similarly accessible, however- without hiring a guide for these smaller waters- you'd spend a lifetime figuring the ZEC system out.

But, with a few exceptions, Atlantic salmon fishing is a sport where money buys time on better water at the right time. There are drawback to such for sure, but I spent some time at a salmon camp this fall that caretakes for a cold water refuge in front of the camp. It's not an inexpensive operation, but it does keep the angling pressure off the few thousand salmon holding in the pool in front of camp (and help pay for nighttime watch for poachers/netters who would sacrifice those fish for $ to go get their drug fix).

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"You never miss the water until the well runs dry" - traditional blues


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PostPosted: September 17th, 2017, 5:48 pm 
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Joined: May 29th, 2016, 6:46 am
Posts: 31
Location: Sebago ME, Errol NH
Another great story from north of the border. Thanks


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PostPosted: September 18th, 2017, 7:31 pm 
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Joined: February 28th, 2017, 9:28 am
Posts: 9
Location: Baie-Comeau, Quebec, Canada
TGIF wrote:
I am really enjoying your reports. Thank you!

Perhaps it is the mentality in Europe, or just a mis understanding on my own, but I am enjoying the fact that there are places to go to fish for Atlantics, that don't require guides, lodges, or big costs/planning.

I would assume that these places are reasonably well guarded secrets, but none the less, I am glad that someone is enjoying them


A lot of rivers on Quebec's north shore or in the Gaspé peninsula have these non restricted sectors where you can fish for Atlantics without a guide for 30-40-50$ per day. On the Trinité river I fish for less than 30 $cad/day (roughly 25$ US). Since it's a non restricted sector you don't need to book in advance and most of the time you'll be alone on your pool wich is something that I look for. In fact that last part applies more to the north shore rivers than the Gaspé rivers. The Gaspé rivers get way more anglers because people are drawn to the crystal clear water of rivers like the Bonaventure.

Of course theses non-restricted sectors are located upstream so fishing starts later and the Atlantics are harder to catch after they have spend 1-2 months in the river. Since the Atlantics doesn't feed while in the river a fish caught in august or september will not be as powerful as a fish caught earlier in june or early july but trust me they still pull up a hell of a fight! Also theses sectors covers a lot of water 10-20-40 miles sometimes and lots of pools so it can be hard for a first timer to know where the Atlantics are. On a multi day fishing trip it might be a good idea to pay 100-150$ for a guide the first day that will show you where to fish.

Hunter is right when he says that money buys time on better water at the right time. Outside of the ZEC there are lodges with exclusives fishing rights on stretches of water. Theses lodges can be as pricey as 1 000$ per day but you'll get good fishing opportunities, lodging, meals and guide. It all depends on the level of comfort you need or want to pay for. Personnaly I would never pay that much money to fish but on the other hand I sleep in my car so I'm totally on the other end of the specter when it comes to the need for accomodations and comfort!


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PostPosted: September 18th, 2017, 8:16 pm 
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Joined: May 29th, 2016, 6:46 am
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Location: Sebago ME, Errol NH
As a Canadian you do you have to pay for a fishing license and then also pay per day for these rivers? Would someone south of the border be able to fish these without a guide? Do you have a guess as to what the daily rate would be?


I've never thought about fishing Canada because of the guide requirements.

THanks


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PostPosted: September 18th, 2017, 8:56 pm 
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Joined: February 28th, 2017, 9:28 am
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Location: Baie-Comeau, Quebec, Canada
braggsbay wrote:
As a Canadian you do you have to pay for a fishing license and then also pay per day for these rivers? Would someone south of the border be able to fish these without a guide? Do you have a guess as to what the daily rate would be?


I've never thought about fishing Canada because of the guide requirements.

THanks


Yes as a canadian I pay for my annual fishing license (30$, 78$ for non-resident) wich allows me to fish almost everywhere for every species of fish except Atlantic salmon. In order to fish for Atlantics we need a second licence wich comes with 7 tags so you can kill 7 salmons per season. I buy the catch and release Atlantic salmon it's cheaper (22$, 30$ for non-resident) and we also need to pay per day to fish in the river where there's a ZEC. Here's a link to the fishing licenses rates.
https://mffp.gouv.qc.ca/english/wildlif ... .jsp#peche
As for the daily rate to fish for Atlantics it's different in every ZEC and sometimes depending on wich sector you want to fish. For the Trinité river there doesn't seem to be a difference in prices between resident or non resident.
http://www.sabt.ca/SABT_PRICE_LIST_EN.htm

Fishing and hunting regulation in Canada are provincial and not federal wich means that every province make their own regulations. In Quebec non resident can fish everywhere a resident can and without a guide. Some streches of Atlantic salmon rivers requires a guide for resident as well as non resident. Some provinces like Newfoundland and Labrador have a strict regulation where non resident (even canadian like myself) can only fish near highways (600-80 meters I don't remember...) without a guide.


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PostPosted: September 18th, 2017, 9:09 pm 
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Joined: February 28th, 2017, 9:28 am
Posts: 9
Location: Baie-Comeau, Quebec, Canada
Braggsbay here's a link to the english version of the Saumon Quebec website where you can find everything you need to know about how to fish for Atlantics in Quebec.
https://www.saumonquebec.com/en
There's information about the rivers, how the fall draw and the 48h draw works if you want to fish for Atlantics in the restricted sectors during the prime time. You can even buy acces right for open sectors.

By the way if you want to fish in Quebec for other species (brookies, LLS, bass, pike...) I can tell you that there's way better fishing in northern Maine than in southern Quebec. There's too much fishing pressure, daily bag limits are way too high (15 brookies...no size limit...) and catch and release isn't very popular. Before I moved to Baie-Comeau 3,5 years ago I lived in Quebec city and i used to drive 3,5 hours to Greenville to fish the EO because it was way better than what I had near Quebec city.


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PostPosted: September 19th, 2017, 12:59 am 
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Joined: February 14th, 2007, 1:00 am
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Location: New Hampshire
Thanks for the support info. I found your comments about the fishing in Quebec really interesting. I tend to agree. For Brooke's and landlocks we have it pretty good, but someday, i am sure I will need to feel the tug of any Atlantic. I prefer a tent over sleeping in the car, but otherwise I think we are mostly on the same page :)

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"Fishermen...spending their lives in the fields and woods...are often in a more favorable mood for observing her, in the intervals of their pursuits, than philosophers or poets even, who approach her with expectation." - Thoreau


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PostPosted: September 19th, 2017, 6:09 am 
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Joined: December 4th, 2001, 1:00 am
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For comparison purposes, a season non-resident license in New Brunswick is $138. It used to include 4 salmon tags, but the entire province went catch and release (as it should have, given the current state of the salmon populations and the Greenland and Saint Pierre and Miquelon netters using the level of recreational harvest to justify commercial netting of the species). There's a lot of things Quebec has in common between their brook trout and Atlantic salmon management from a programmatic perspective. I personally won't fish Quebec rivers until the number of retention tags is lowered. YMMV.

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"You never miss the water until the well runs dry" - traditional blues


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