Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Four Days On Glen Emma

At 7:45 on the morning of June 25, 2006,  I arrived at the Glenn Emma Camp on the Matapedia River on the Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec. I drew #54 in the November lottery and picked the four days allowed. During my first visit to the Matapedia in 1980 I had the great fortune to get that certain feeling of the valley. There was something that called me back year after year, and now I understand why.

At 9:15 I had been through Angus Pool and already raised six fish, hooked two and landed a fifteen pound rocket. The one that got away Tarponed out of the tail of the pool, jump after jump straight down through the rapid below, deep into my backing and then my line went limp. This was the best hour and fifteen minutes of Salar I had experienced in many years.  My memory of that morning is stitched to my forehead as if I can see through a third eye.

The rotation rules at Glenn Emma are a wee bit complicated to understand at first. You can be in line for the best or something not quite the best. I hit the jackpot.

Glenn Emma fishes ten pools per session with one rod per pool.  If you land a fish in the morning session, you can not fish that pool for the evening and must move in a set rotation. A bit upset, yet not complaining, I was moved to sector 5 for the evening hours. My mind was on what I lost and not what I could gain. During the afternoon the sport in Milnikek Pool, the greatest of all pools on the river, made his limit. Now the person in sector 4 was called on the walkie talkie to move on down to Milnikek. As that angler made his final catch at 7:30, I could now move down into the famed waters. I landed my second and limit fish for the day after about 10 casts. A dime bright twelve pound fish. Now I get it, and I full well expected what was to come.

On day two my natural rotation was to sector 4, as I did not hook a fish there the day before. The highlight of this zone, is a great pool called Elm Tree. Spectacular ledge water with deep pockets and runs. We saw only one fish and could not get it to take. Again there was the calling of the radio in a French machine gun like voice, Milnikek, Milnikek, Milnikek is open. We slid on down.

That afternoon in this incredible water I raised more salmon than I had in the last ten years. I have fished on some of the best waters of the Gaspe, but nothing has been as magical as the waters set before me for these few days. By 8pm I was at my three fish limit with a bright beauty of 20+ pounds. We released her from the grip of a size 6 hybrid Black Dose. I slept well.

The next morning my natural rotation placed me in, yes that's right, Milnikek Pool. The weather was very different that day and the barometer was keeping the fish down. I had my chances to dries and wets all morning without a hook up. The rain fell hard and muddied the waters up stream out of the Causapscal, the Matapedia's main tributary and home to the largest fish the system holds.

The second half to the day found the river settled and clear yet started very slowly. Not until my trusted guide Guy Raymond said “the black dose" at exactly 8pm. Polling into expert position and pointing to the exact location of experience Guy said, "right there". One cast into the slick where Milnikek Stream enters the pool and we were fast to the largest fish of the trip. Twenty minutes of fight and we released a 25 pound beauty.

My fourth and final day was on a pool called Kennedy. Natural rotation, got it now.  A very long pool with different aspects of fast and slow water top to bottom. I managed to raise a few fish as well as bungle a take to an orange bomber. This was a no emergency day with little pressure. A day I simply enjoyed the fishing and the memories of the six fish that came before. I also wonder if my luck, possibly exhausted, will ever call me back to Milnikek.  Make sure you get your November 1 draw tickets for Glenn Emma.  I don't think the chances are very good to get three days on Milnikek but I would be happy for just one on Angus.

Right now the Matapedia is dancing in my head.  This is a Salmon fishers Salmon river at it's best and should be on every one's bucket list.  Go now!!!! The run is on.


No comments: