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Thread: Gaspe' anyone?

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    LyNcH's Avatar
    LyNcH is offline Dries, wets, nymphs and streamers...it's all good!
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    Gaspe' anyone?

    It's been a long winter and my shoulder has recovered from the seriously painful rotator cuff surgery I had in November. It's time to start fishing again and planning for my summer outing.

    This year a friend asked me to join him for 5 days of fishing starting on August 18th. We are booking our trip with Ann Smith's Quebec Sporting Inc. 2014 Atlantic Salmon fly fishing on the York, Dartmouth and St-Jean rivers in Gaspe (Quebec) Canada.

    I am super excited about the opportunity to fish for Atlantic salmon. I'll be bring a my spey setup and a single hand rod or two for dry fly fishing. We'll be fishing the York and Dartmouth rivers & I've already started tying up some streamers and bombers. Has anyone has fished this area this time of year, and if so, what particular flies worked he best?

    Thanks, The LyNcH

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    Re: Gaspe' anyone?

    Lynch,

    Check out the show "King of the River" It's on Sportsmen Channel. Not sure when it airs, my DVR auto records it. It's all about the Gaspe Region and their are episodes on all the rivers you mentioned. It's actually a pretty cool as far as fishing shows go.

    You will definitely enjoy it. Looks like a beautiful place.


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    Re: Gaspe' anyone?

    Lynch,

    First off, I hope that shoulder is recovered 100% because no other fish that I've gone for requires more casting than Atlantic Salmon on the dry. Blind casting all day is the deal, and the more drifts you get the better chance you have at hooking a fish. Its very much a "keep your fly in the water" type of game. Gear wise- you will want a 7/8wt rod that is light in the hand since casting a war stick will beat you up big time. If you don't have a rod that fits this mold- the heritage 9 1/2 ft 7wt was a cheap rod that I bought for my first trip and it was great- still love it to this day and it was tested on a 20lb salmon and held up well. The rod itself was like $140 so fairly good deal as far as rods go. In my experience, i have gotten far more hits on the dry dead drifting it, so I would definitely plan on using a single handed rod if you are dry fly fishing. Not saying they wont take it on the "skate" , but my experience has been most people use a single handed rod for the dry. Its not overly technical though, and you are really just trying to entice a fish that doesn't want food at all to strike out of instinct, so experimenting doesnt hurt and is something you will surely do after casting for 3 hours without a strike.
    In terms of flies, I think its more about tradition and local favorites then it is about a "best" fly. For dries, fish oversized Wulff's and bombers. Common colors include blue/brown/black/green/and orange. You will see mixed colors with these body colors and contrasting hackle. They are all basically attractors and when u dont get a hit after a while you change flies to feel like that fly might make things different. Certainly, the guide will have a color thats been the "hot" fly of late, but just like steelheading, there will be no rhyme or reason as to why that fly is hot- its just been getting fish of late. If you can- tie these up yourself and/or use an online vendor. The shops up there are super expensive and charge like $6-7 fly/ and they go stingy on the hackle sometimes which is a killer when you are trying to float a huge dry fly on a heavy wire hook. Needs to be tied with a decent amount of material. Lastly, I would get some wets to switch it up. Using wets increases your chances of hooking up big time- and some runs just are more conducive to that type of presentation. Green Machines are the go to fly up there for that and they work- having them in a few different sizes is key. Since you cant use weight- having them on a heavy hook is also important so they are somewhat in the zone when you swing the fly. If anything- u will want to switch to the wets from time to time just to give your shoulder a rest, mine was killing me by day 3 and I would put a wet on occasionally just to half ass cast for a while and take a break.

    goodluck- you're gunna love it. Set the expectations at a reasonable level and remember landing 2-3 fish in a trip is damn good fishing. You should not be disappointed with landing 1 nice fish and hopefully its on a dry. Its a moment you wont forget. Sometimes the fish are there and sometimes they aren't , but if you fish hard you will likely have a few shots regardless of conditions. Also- some stretches offer far better opportunities then others- since fish stop and congregate in certain runs, pools, ect. Having access to that water can be the difference between 0 fish and 5 fish in a week. Your guide will know the slots so you will be good. Pretty sure u cant fish without a guide up there unless within 150 meters of a highway- so you'll likely have a guide. Make sure to let us know how u do.


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    Re: Gaspe' anyone?

    I've only fished in southern Newfoundland, which may be a little different. However, the casting all day comments are spot on. For me part of the issue was keeping focused. In general you are covering water, but they do prefer certain lies and it does help to focus on drifting to the lies. But my accuracy suffered after casting a day or two without a hit. Also, you need to be anal about the length of line you have out, because if you get a follow you will want to hit that exact spot again.

    In Newfoundland 80% of people were fished dries and Green Machines and Bugs in green, yellow, and natural were the usual choices. Most people dead drifted and didn't skate the fly. Supposedly this is the area where hitching the fly to skate it was popular, but you couldn't tell it by me.

    Swinging wets was also done, and most people only used a few flies - all tied very spare. The Blue Charm was the staple, some chartreuse fly, like the Colburne Special, was popular on over cast days, and the local fly was the Jackie's Special - which is simply a black body, some moose hair for a wing, and a wood duck beard. Some had a silver tag.

    The interesting thing for me was that the flies were smaller than I thought. Most were in the 8 to 10 range and went down to 12. Locals laughed at the size 6 flies I tied.


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    Re: Gaspe' anyone?

    Good luck Lynch sounds like a great trip. I've been wanting to do a trip up there for a few years now so let us know how it goes.

    I hope you get to fish from one of those bad-ass 30-foot long canoes. So much cooler than a drift boat.


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    Re: Gaspe' anyone?

    agreed- those canoes are bad ass and pretty stable too. They don't look cheap though.


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    Re: Gaspe' anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by flyI4 View Post
    agreed- those canoes are bad ass and pretty stable too. They don't look cheap though.
    After consulting the fine contributors to this forum last year I picked up a 17 foot beast of an Old Town from the mid 90s.

    Later in the summer my cousin and I picked up another dinosaur, a Lavro fiberglass 17 foot drift boat from perhaps the early 80s, both on the cheap.

    Gotta say I love the canoe. It's only half the size of the things they float up on the Gaspe, but a 180 pound man can stand and cast from the bow, while another 180 pound man spins the boat in a moderately choppy backwater. Plus we can throw it on the car and carry it to the river - no ramp needed. Adding an anchor and oarlocks this spring.

    Anyway, this threads not about boats. But I have to admit, one of the appeals of the Gaspe trip has always been the idea of fighting a 10 pound Atlantic salmon from the bow of a canoe.


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    Re: Gaspe' anyone?

    Thanks for all the information guys. I have already watched the first 3 King of the River episodes and have the remaining on my DVR for sometime later this week.

    I'm starting to tie up some green machine patterns tonight, I plan on having size 4 - 10. Picked up some black bear this past weekend to tie some traditional black bear green butt wets. I hate tying bombers, I have a couple dozen and the friend I am fishing with has over 100 ready to go, so he said not to worry about the bombers....thank God.

    I have a Sage ONE 9' 8wt blank sitting behind me that I will be building for the trip. Bringing a 7wt 12'6" TCX spey rod with polyleaders for wets and spey flies.

    We will have a guide the first two days of fishing, which is great, and the last 3 days Quebec Sporting will be telling us what draws they have for us each day. I can't wait for this trip and everything I have heard about Ann Smith's company is only 100% positive feedback, so I know it'll be awesome.

    What size leaders and tippet did you guys use up there. It has to be a tricky decision, stealth vs strength. I have caught one 12lb Lake Ontario Atlantic/Landlock swinging in the DSR and it was absolutely the best fresh water fighting fish I have gone up against. I cannot imagine an ocean run 20lber on the end of the line!

    I'll post up some of my flies and what the plans are as they progress.

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    Re: Gaspe' anyone?

    LyNcH - you got me thinking about taking a trip up there.

    Can a salmon virgin "lose it" in The Gaspe?
    Why Quebec Sporting over anyone else?


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    Re: Gaspe' anyone?

    There is only one way to find out Lefty. If you're a salmon virgin, you want the Atlantic to be your first.

    My friend has been in the fly fishing industry for several years and they were highly recommended by his peers based on their several years of past experiences up there. For 5 days of fishing, the price is decent for what is included. The trip (excluding travel, food and gratuities) will come to $1500 which includes 2 days of guiding, C&R license, fishing access including 48 hour draws and lodging.

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    Re: Gaspe' anyone?

    You always remember your first.

    PM sent.


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    LyNcH's Avatar
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    Re: Gaspe' anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by lefty View Post
    You always remember your first.

    PM sent.
    Good or bad, you certainly do remember. This will be good.

    I replied to your PM.


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