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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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Matapedia

I still am seeking my first Atlantic Salmon and the Matapedia has always seemed like a decent option to me. I can't really afford to spend $200+ per day to fish and it looks like the Matapedia has a large public access section that is pretty affordable ($78 per day w/25% discount for 7 days) relatively speaking. It also seems like it still gets a pretty strong run from what I've read. What makes me curious is the success rate of public section, which again seems to be the majority of the river is around 15%, but the Glen Emma section that looks to be around $800 per day to fish shows a success rate of around 100%. It just seems odd that one small section of the river has a success rate that is drastically better than the rest of the river. Especially in June/July as fish are moving into the river I would think the lower section of the river, which seems to be public would be a really good bet. Is the Glen Emma section so much better just because of lack of pressure or is the holding water in this section really that much better? Or are these statistics not that accurate? I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has experience fishing this river.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 07:20 PM
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I fished the Matapedia a long time ago, but there are others with more experience on it than I have (hopefully they will chme in).

Gen Emma, at 800+ $ a day has the best pool (yes it really does), are relatively unpressured, and has a guide supplied. That pretty much explains those stats. Its pretty much as close as you can get to buying yourself a fish (I can't afford it)!. You can definetly still get skunked on it…

The public water stats vary with lots of newbie fishermen adding to it. Some good fishermen probably have more of a 75% success rate, and others a 5% success rate. And it adds up to an average of 15%. Probably…

My knowledge of the lower pools is limited, but do know that when water is medium tp high, it is canoe water. The higher pools can more easily be fished wading year round.

Keep in mind there is a traditional net fishery at the estuary (First Nations), which impacts the run during a certain time of the spring.

Hope this helps and that others can add/ correct.

Cheers!

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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I actually wasn't aware netting still occurred on any of the Quebec or New Brunswick rivers. I kind of just assumed runs diminished to a point where that no longer could be supported so it just didn't happen.

I've always read that the Matapedia gets a earlier run of very large fish in May/early June, but the statistics seem very poor at that time. Wonder if that is when the netting is most prevalent.

If people are paying $800 per day to fish rivers they are netting it would be nice if somehow they were just granted rights to sell access passes or at least get a portion of profits from the access passes as a trade off for no longer netting. I admit I'm obviously not the most well informed on this matter, as I literally just found out it's still happening, but it seems kind of sad considering the runs are a fraction of what they once were.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 08:01 PM
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I fished that area (Gaspe) last summer with a guy who landed a 32lb hen on the public water of the Matapedia. I do not know what run but I do know he said they got up early (2am) and were the first ones on the run at first light. He indicated there was a rotation and the first person there got the initial pass. I think that was a factor in his fish.

Returning with the chrome. Year after year....
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 10:26 AM
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Running fish aren’t taking fish. If the fish are moving, they are unlikely to take a fly so it helps to know where the good lies are, be that thru experience or via guide services. Often (not always) the public sectors of these rivers don’t have many (or as many) good lies for the fish so many end up just pushing straight thru.

If you fish these rivers enough earlier in the season, you’ll start to see how the fish move. There will be a fish or three in a good lie first thing in the morning, the first well presented fly thru will often take one (as mentioned above — it pays to be the first angler at the pool to make the first pass at first light around 4:30am). These fish will push out at some point in the morning and another fish or three will often move in occupying that same lie and one of them can often be taken by a well presented fly. When the sun gets high whatever fish are in the lie will sit for the day. As evening approaches, you'll see them get antsy and move on and may see another fish or three move into the pool again occupying that same lie -- often fish can be taken at this time. During the higher water periods early in the season is when fish will often stop in broken water in addition to the tradition pools -- fish in these lies are usually takers, but again the lies tend to remain relatively the same year in, year out so it helps to know where they are. Point is, it helps to know where to find fish and where fish are likely to take.

Combine low fish numbers in these rivers combined with the more unguided newbies on the public water (as mentioned above) and less obvious holding water and you end up with low success rates.

I don't know the Matapedia at all. If cost is a concern, look into the rivers around Gaspe town. There are some really nice public sections on the York that will hold fish all year. The Dartmouth has some nice public water, as well. Plus, many of the draw sections cost less for a day than fishing the public water on Bonaventure (or they did, its been a while).
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 09:32 AM
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I would just add to the above - fish that are in the act of moving from lie to lie are generally not takers (mostly because you can't get the fly in front of them properly I think), but fish in the act of running up river who have stopped temporarily in a lie or pool are the best taking salmon of all! Seldom will you get a better taker than a fish that has just settled into a pool. As pointed out, figuring out where those early season lies are is the key to success. It can takes years on a river to find them - but skip all that and get a good guide (may be too late for a booking a really good guide by now) to increase the odds of hooking a salmon first time out on lower river public water in early season.
As Heero says, first angler through the pool usually has the best shot in the morning. That said, I've noticed that a lot of fish move up-river mid-morning (9-11am), and if the water is really cold (<7-8 degrees), I hook most of my late-May/early June Gaspe salmon mid-day when it is warmest and in the evening as opposed to early morning when the river is coldest.
So many factors...
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by asalupo7 View Post
I still am seeking my first Atlantic Salmon and the Matapedia has always seemed like a decent option to me. I can't really afford to spend $200+ per day to fish
$200/day is a pretty reasonable rate especially if you consider some western destinations start at $700-800/day plus lodging and such. I would suggest if you plan on a week to at least take a guide for a couple days. The rest can be spent on your own. If anything it would be an education you can take on your diy days.

Dan

Which way to the river?
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asalupo7 View Post
I still am seeking my first Atlantic Salmon and the Matapedia has always seemed like a decent option to me. I can't really afford to spend $200+ per day to fish
$200/day is a pretty reasonable rate especially if you consider some western destinations start at $700-800/day plus lodging and such. I would suggest if you plan on a week to at least take a guide for a couple days. The rest can be spent on your own. If anything it would be an education you can take on your diy days.

Dan
You mean like west coast steelhead? Sure you can stay in a lodge and fish with a guide for $700-800 per day, but as I've done you also can do a DIY trip with a 3-7 day license for $60-70 total. I've done this a few times in Washington and Idaho. That isn't really even an option from what I see when it comes to targeting Atlantic salmon. So while I agree $200 a day is actually reasonable for Atlantic salmon, when comparing it to other target species it's still really expensive and most of the options are out of my budget. I also personally just really don't like the idea of taking a guide aside from just the cost. The most enjoyable part for me is figuring out where the fish are and if/when you connect it's so much more rewarding than having a guide take you right to an area where he/she knows there are fish and it's just a matter of them being willing to take.

Anyways all of this is very good advice and I appreciate it. It sounds like I should also consider the public pools on the York and Dartmouth, but even the public pools on the matapedia sound like they would be worth a shot. My friend I likely would go with has an inflatable boat so given the public sections on the matapedia seem quite large it seems like it would give me an advantage to be able to cover a lot of water fast with the boat.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 09:10 PM
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All those rivers mentionned have an early run of large fish. Pools are clearly identified, so fishing productive water is fairly easy (although pools might not have fish in them on any given day). Just remember that fish runs of Atlantics are low compared to steelhead, so catch rate will be low. Getting a guide ups this if Catching is important. But if catching is just the cherry on top, then you will have a great time exploring. There are some beautifull rivers. The Matapedia has a bigger run of fish than the Gaspe rivers. But, its a bigger river too. I think any of these will suit you.

Just FYI, if you really want cheap fishing, the Margaree in Nova Scotia is free once you buy a licence. You could fish there very reasonably!!!!

There is still netting by First Nations as a traditional fishery, on some rivers in Quebec. The Matapedia is one. The York is another (apparently they net a small amount of fish yearly). But there is no commercial fishery for Atlantics in Canada other than First Nation traditional fisheries. Just FYI, in Quebec, on many rivers once a river count shows there are enough fish in the river to sustain current populations, Quebec opens a harvest fishery. Later in the season (usually after July 1st I think), you will find a lot more Harvest fishermen on these rivers (and The Matapedia is traditionally a river with a lot of harvesters). As many on this forum know I find this situation maddening given the low run numbers. But it is what it is… And I won't start my rant on the subject once again…

Anyways, I think you have some good options presented here. Have fun planning it out!

Simon D.
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 10:04 AM
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I also do not like the idea of guides. I have been lucky in my trips up there and have learned a good bit that I probably could have learned much faster taking a guide out a few times. The only year I was skunked was the year the run was really dismal 5-6 years ago - can't remember what year that was - with the fish count being half the usual, but I still managed to hook and lose two fish that week. A lot of people (I know a couple) have spent weeks up there and not caught or hooked anything.

As a last bit of advice...exploring is fun, but if it were me I would concentrate my main focus on the named pools should the goal be to catch your first atlantic salmon. The pools are named for a reason as they are known, reliable lies for the fish. In the early season, it isnt only the big tank pools that hold fish but the more pocket-y water where fish are often caught usually has a name, as well. I have seen it everywhere I have fished - be it Canada, Scandinavia, or the UK - the fish year in, year out stop in the same places and just blast through the water they dont like no matter how good it looks to the human eye. There may not always be fish in the lie, but spending time elsewhere decreases your chances that youll be fishing over potentially taking fish. Not to say you cant catch fish covering water, maybe happening upon the odd fish that decided to stop somewhere random, but chances arent so good.

Talk to whomever you can when you are up there. One of the reasons I suggested the Gaspe town rivers is that Alan in the ZEC is SUPER helpful and knowledgeable. He knows the rivers so well and will tell you where fish often lie in whatever pools you might be fishing for the day -- some of his advice just reinforces what I mentioned above with an example being 2 friends drawing Zone 2 in the 48 hour draw, him giving the rundown of the Zone and where the fish usually sit that time of year, then a friend pulling one out at the exact spot he said there would probably be on laying. It was far from the first place Id expect a salmon to sit with better looking water all around. I dont know if he is still there as I havent been in 5 years.

Anyway, good luck and have fun.
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 10:38 AM
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Let me guess, in Zone 2 is was way up under the riffle at the top of that most glorious pool ? Or was it waaay down at the end of the run as things shallow out and bend left?

+2 on Alain's helpfulness at the Gaspe ZEC, he wants you to be successful, and knows the rivers like the back of his hand. Also, other folks riverside are generally happy to share their knowledge, at least if you bumped into me, I'd unload on you if you asked
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 01:07 PM
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Not to had confusion but maybe just more options: remember also that there are other rivers in the Gaspé Peninsula. Less famous for sure and definitely less fish than the Matapedia but with less pressure also.
I haven't looked at the stat but I guess the success rate is comparable...
La Rimouski, la Mitis, la Ste-Anne, la Cap-Chat ( never fished but looks as gorgeous as the canyon of the York) Matane and others. Got my first salmon on the Mitis... Easy access, all the pools are near the road, just not as gorgeous as other rivers. The Mitis is a "late river ", I would not go before July.
Anyway, if you're planning early June, I agree that York, Darmouth are good options, the fish can be anywhere ...( meaning restricted or unrestricted)
Never fished the Matapedia but if you are going fir this one I am sure you'll enjoy ;-)
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 02:17 PM
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I love it when everyone congregates to the named pools on public water sectors. Many of them change over time and don't hold fish like they used, but they sure do attract the anglers!

Lots of un-named pots and lies learned from multiple seasons will be more productive because they don't get hammered every minute of the day - and the bonus is you don't have to fish rotation! I love watching the non-stop parade of anglers plugging away on Gros Salmon on the York from the vantage of 3 or 4 unnamed nice runs within the next ~1200m upstream on the York. The hard part is trying to hide when I've got a salmon on the line
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 03:38 PM
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Gros salmon is the worst. Maybe I’m thinking of Petit.

You are right, tho, that the named pools aren’t always best, but many of those lies also have names if not signs ala Batman (or whatever it’s other name is) above Garry, for instance. Ask Alain in the ZEC and he will steer you right, so will many of the regulars.
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 03:56 PM
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In your first sentence, you said you wanted to catch your first Atlantic salmon and the Matapedia looked like a decent option. Now, you have to come to grips with the fact that this is a fish of a 1000 casts. If you really want to catch an Atlantic salmon, a guide will be a great help to put you in a position over salmon to attain your dream. If you are looking to experience the joy of fishing and the beautiful scenery of the Gaspé, you can save the cost of the guide and have a good time, but your success rate of catching salmon will be low.

Many of the salmon lies are not self evident and without a lot of prior knowledge, you will be on your own. There is a learning curve and everyone must start at the bottom. A good guide will accelerate your progress through the curve. The problem is to select a good guide with multiple recommendations. If you are going the fish the same river for a number of days, you can pay a guide for a few days and fish the remaining days using his/her advice.

I have been there and done that. There is no substitute for experience (guide).

I wish you luck, no matter what you choose about using a guide.

Doug

That was not a bad cast. I was just casting to the nearby fish.
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