Tuesday, August 16, 2011

There Are No Bad Days On A Salmon River

There are no bad days on a Salmon river, there just is no way to explain the feeling to you if you have never tried the game.  I'm home today from a wonderful but all too short trip to Matane.  The river is more than alive this year.  Every pool has a few fish and some have over one hundred.  It is a wonderful thing to see after so many years of waiting and hoping.

The Matane is like no other river I fish.  This is mainly because of the ease of access and the fact that most of the rules are created by the local people.  This is a kill river where only 28 of the over 600 angled this year were released.  Now don't get yourself in a tizzy as this is a very healthy river.  The fact is that should enough salmon spawn and the eggs hatch there will be so many Parr that they naturally die off because no river can accommodate a quantity greater than the balance of nature will feed.  Rivers like Matane and Matapedia, where there are high kill ratios do very well and should there ever be a problem the solution would come swiftly.  In Quebec the numbers are monitored very closely and rivers will close.
There are two other things that I became aware of during this trip.  The first is that there is no official limit to catch and release.  My personal number is three. Most local people would like the number to be two.  The local officials would like three.  Some locals would like the number to be one, the same as an angler who takes a fish.  I think that you could surly find a few who would like catch and release eliminated.  I will leave the controversy over weather catch and release is a good thing for the answers that will hopefully be complete shortly.  Studies in fact are underway and are not being conducted in a laboratory.  Time will tell.

The other thing, that to my knowledge, is unique to Matne is that the rotation system is conducted on both sides of the river as if one rotation were in place.  This is a foolish practice to me.  It makes for arguments and the possibility of bad feelings.  No one is more understanding than I am in relation to fly fishing etiquette, but having to worry about the people on the other side of the river is not necessary.  That said, the next time I visit Matane I will respect the local way.  I will also expect that the one person on the other side will wait for all in rotation to finish before starting again.  See what I mean about the policing?  

The fishing was very interesting and I was able to land a few with some very unusual flies.  I had many takes to my Super Salmon Sedge(S.S.S.).  I love dry fly fishing and I am tickled that my fly worked.  The other thing that worked was by rapid stripping.  It was really exciting to be casting and then stripping big Flat Head Muddler Tube Flies as fast as possible.  When the salmon hits it causes opposite reactions resulting in the water dramatically exploding.  Very exciting to see, and more exciting that it happened to me.

For long time Salmon guru or for your first Salar adventure, the Matane is every bit a prize.  This years quantity of salmon is the bonus.

Full Moon Over Matane



Anonymous said...

William great read souonds exciting you had my heart pumping :)

Anonymous said...

How long of a drive up is the Matane? and also- do you have links to the local licensing/rules/regs up there?

I may have to see if I can talk the wife into letting me take off for a week next summer... :)


William said...

Hi Eric-The trip to Rene de Matane is 9.5 hours from the NH Seacoast. It goes by really fast as it is comfortable highway for most of the trip. I have all the information you will want and I can also send you to the best water for the conditions at the time of your trip. Please send me an email and I will set you up. This is a great place to be. William