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FFIM is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting and preserving Maine's fisheries
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PostPosted: January 12th, 2020, 1:37 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: February 28th, 2017, 9:28 am
Posts: 30
Location: Baie-Comeau, Quebec, Canada
I launched my 2019 Atlantic salmon season on the Godbout river in mid July. A quick phone call at the ZEC office and I had the confirmation that the salmon had started showing up in the public sector. On the Godbout river the salmon begin to show up in the river early June but they cannot get very far upstream because they are blocked by a section of fast moving water and a small waterfall. They can get pass those after the water flow decreased, normally around mid july.

When I showed up on the river on july 18th I learned that people where seeing salmon in the public sector but nobody had caught any yet. A couple days ago we had a lot of rain so the water flow increased from 900 cfs, the ideal flow for this river, to 2650 cfs. There isn’t a lot of pool where fishing is possible at that level. I got there after work and there was only one other angler for the evening session. I was surprised to learn that the other angler was André Paradis, the host of the excellent tv show “King of the river” that was on the world fishing network (WFN) a couple years ago. He was with his tv crew and they were shooting for the third season of King of the river. He’s a real gentleman and a very good flyflisher! Unfortunately he had been fishing for 4 days and didn’t had any salmon on the line. Fishing wasn’t easy because the river was too high. So it was between me and him for the first catch of the season in the public sector!

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For the evening session I went to fish the 14 miles pool while André went somewhere else. As the sun was getting lower in the sky I could see more and more salmon rising and jumping and there was no grilse in sight only big fish! With that much action in the pool I tied a dry fly and I wasn’t long before I got salmons rising to my fly. After a couple rises and 2-3 changes of fly I hooked a nice salmon! The fish jumped a 3-4 times out of the water and after a 8 minutes fight I was ready to tail him. While I was trying to tail him the fish gave a strong headshake wich broke the third section of my Orvis Recon 8 wt... I wasn’t happy at all since it’s my main rod for atlantic salmon fishing. It wasn’t easy at all to land that fish with a broken rod but I ended up tailing the fish! I released that beautiful 12 pounds male atlantic salmon after I took a quick picture of him.

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Here’s a short video of the fight.

https://vimeo.com/360817643

After that catch I took a moment to calm down and while I was setting up my backup rod I noticed that there was another salmon rising in the exact same location than the one I just caught. After 40 minutes of fishing during which the fish rose 4-5 times and that many changes of fly the salmon finally took my bomber! The fish was slightly smaller than the previous one, around 10 pounds, but what a fighter he was! He jumped out of the water 13 times and went down the pool 2-3 times! I managed to tail him after a 17 minutes long fight!

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Here’s a video of that awesome figt!

https://vimeo.com/349998139

It was a magic evening and the most thrilling moment I had since I started fishing for theses amazing fish 6 years ago.

Unfortunately André Paradis got skunked that evening and that was the end of their trip but they came back later in the summer and he caught some salmon. I can’t wait to see that episode on tv!

During the winter I was asked to be part of a fly fishing movie called “Road trip on the north shore” so the next morning I met with a tv crew from France. I was my first time fishing with a tv crew and I really enjoyed the experience! I had the opportunity to fish with a French fly fisherman named Herlé Hamon, a real fly fishing pro. The guy owns a fly-fishing lodge in the Bahamas and he travels the world to fly fish around 300 days per year!! It really was a pleasure to watch him fly fish and it was the first time I saw someone cast the entire length of his 120 feet fly line to reach a salmon that was rising in the middle of the river. I learned later that he was a six times champion in long distance casting competition... Long story short the bright sun and the very hot temps were not good condition for salmon fishing we didn’t hooked any fish that day. I gave them the footage of my gopro from the two salmon I caught the evening before and they used it for the movie. The movie was shown on the “Seasons” network last month and the result is very nice!

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Overall the atlantic salmon fishing season on the Godbout river wasn’t easy this year because we had too much water. Normally it’s the other way around but not this year. Around mid august the river was getting lower for the first time and there was heavy rainfall in the forecast, which normally result in the best fishing condition for atlantic salmon so I took Friday off to extend my weekend. When I got to the river Thursday evening the water flow was on the rise and after two drops I had a nice grilse on the line!

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Things were looking good for my extended weekend but the heavy rainfall kept on during the night... When I woke up the next morning things were not looking good anymore. The water level was so high that the pools disappeared and there was nowhere to fish except for 1 spot. I could see the water level rise while I was fishing. As the morning went on there were more and more branches and leaves passing by in the river. By noon there were entire 75 feet long spruces drifting in the river so I decided to pack my stuff and go home... With that heavy rainfall the water flow went up from 775 cfs to 7 000 cfs and it took 2 weeks before it was possible to fish the river again. It was the first time in the last 12 years that the river rose to that level in mid summer.

At the end of august the river was back down to a good flow. I had an excellent day on the river during which I hooked 3 grilses. I lost the first one during the fight but I caught and released the two others.

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In order to end the season properly I took a week of in early September for my annual camping and fishing trip with two of my friends. This time the water level was a little bit too high and fishing wasn’t easy. I caught a grilse during the week while my buddy Alex caught a 10 pounders and lost a grilse.

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Overall the 2019 wasn’t easy due to high water level. I managed to catch and release 7 atlantic salmon and lost 4 out of 35 days of fishing for them, which was good enough to match my season best of 2018 (7) but not enough to reach my season objective of 10.

Even if I didn’t reach my objective I had a blast spending all that time by the river, exploring new spot and learning a lot about fishing for theses amazing fish and that is what matter the most.

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Thank you for reading my report!


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PostPosted: January 13th, 2020, 9:11 pm 
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Joined: December 3rd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 2277
Location: N44.88305* W68.67206*
Great report Seb - I'm green with envy! I've been wanting to hit that stretch of the North Shore for years - it's near the top of my bucket list - tight lines!

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PostPosted: January 13th, 2020, 10:32 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: April 27th, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 798
Northernfly,

Please check your PMs.

Thanks

-AW


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PostPosted: January 14th, 2020, 8:24 am 
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FFIMer

Joined: April 1st, 2010, 10:35 am
Posts: 361
Location: flatland and Vienna Me.
Great stuff there!!!
Thanks for the winter pick me up


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