Gaspe Atlantic Salmon - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Gaspe Atlantic Salmon

I may be going to the Gaspe for Atlantics this summer. I am wondering if the Meiser 12'6" 5/6/7 is to light or should I move up to a 6/7/8. I am considering his Highlander C's and S's. Have not had any experience with the MKS. Prefer 12'6' or 13. Line suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks Ivan
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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 06:22 PM
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The fish on many of the Gaspe rivers are quite large--it is possible to run into a 40 lb monster on at least some of them. Fish over 20 are not unusual at all. I think a 5/6/7 is really problematic. Sure you can land them, but at what cost to the fish. I'd suggest an 8 wt. instead of a 7. Others may differ, but having fished there numerous times that's my view. If you're going in the summer, water should be fairly low, so floating lines are usually in order.
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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 06:34 PM
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I agree that I think the 5/6/7 is too light for some of the fish you're likely to encounter. For years my primary rod was a Burkie 1398-3, but for the last several years I've been using my Burkie 1347-4. I've had no problem landing fish over 30 lbs, largest I think was a hot, bright 32 lb buck.

Way back, I used to use a 1509-4, but I think it's really overkill. I think the 6/7/8 would be a good choice.
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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 07:26 PM
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The Meiser 12’6 678 Highlander C is my main stick and it is a good, strong rod.
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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 07:30 PM
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Hi Ivan,
I am not an expert by any means, but I can tell you what has worked for me on the Gaspé. A 13' Meiser Highlander Classic 6/7/8 will cover most of your bases. There are many factors that must be accounted for, such as casting ability, wind and width of pool. Typically, in a wide pool, you will do better with a longer rod. Last year, I was in a wide pool and a heavy wind started blowing. I switched from my longer rod to my 13' Meiser HC 6/7/8 rod and was able to cast where I wanted. The closer to the water you do your casting in the wind, the more successful you will be. The wind speed at the water is zero m/s. The higher above the water you go, the wind speed increases until you hit the maximum wind speed.

Most pools can be fished without problems with a 13' Meiser 6/7/8 HC. You may have to be sure your casting techniques are the best they can be, but it is very doable. One of the disadvantages of a longer rod is casting beyond the nearby fish. It is a temptation to always cast to the opposite bank with a longer rod.

Line choices for a Meiser HC 13' 6/7/8 would be an AirFlo Compact Scandi at 480 to 510 grains. Another good line that has an integrated running line is the GaelForce 63' Equalizer 7/8 at 662 grains. I have been using the GuideLine 3D (F/H/I) line lately (39' 510 grains ) and the 13' Meiser handled it without any problems.

If you are planning to go to the Gaspé in the summer, a floating line will serve you well for some dry fly fishing. The AirFlo Compact Scandi (480 to 510 grains) and the GaelForce Equalizer 7/8 (63' 662 grains) should be fine. Bob Meiser and Steve Godshall will have the best recommendations you could get. Poppy at the Red Shed has a great policy of 'try before you buy'. A call to Poppy will get you some lines sent out and the only obligation on your part is the return postage. I always insure the lines for their full value.

IMHO I would think that a Meiser 12'6" 5/6/7 would be a little too light when you will possibly be hooking 20# or heavier salmon. The best advice I can give you is to call Bob Meiser or Steve Godshall and ask for their input. They are the experts you should listen to.

I hope this helps and others may add to what I have started.

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That was not a bad cast. I was just casting to the nearby fish.
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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 07:57 PM
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I do not know the Gaspe Rivers ... I am acquainted with salmo salar though.
In my opinion, keep your 5/6/7 at home

For what it's worth, the lightest I go is my 13' 6/7/8 Highlander and most often it's the 14' 7/8/9 EVE that heads to the river ... and for some pools, it's an 8/9/10 in 15ft and 16ft flavors


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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 08:32 PM
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Gaspé region has many rivers, some hold larger fish than others however I agree that a 20+ lb Atlantic is fairly common and when they reach that size and even up to 40 lbs, you may appreciate a heavier rod to bring the Salmon in quicker... That being said I and many other anglers regularly fish 7wt single handed rods and we sometimes win and sometimes lose the battle so in my opinion the choice is yours and should reflect your taste and skill level... maybe you enjoy finesse casting with light rods or maybe you need to cast 90' into a seam... Whatever you choose Have Fun!!!
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To tight loops and lines!
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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 08:53 PM
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You can catch most fish on most nearly any sized rod. However, I second the comments about under-gunning being hard on salmon. 5/6/7 pushes the bottom end for many Gaspe fish, and the lighter weight raises the percentage of fatal mishap, especially if you happen upon rain and faster water. Of course, your rod is under warranty if it breaks, but an exhausted 25 or 30 pounder after an overly long fight maybe never makes it to spawn. If it's within your means, I'd bump up a size out of conservation as much as out of proficiency. Plus it's an excuse for more gear.
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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Salmon Rod

Thanks for the replies. I was sure that the 7/8 would be the way to go but needed some confirmation from the experienced members. I haven't purchased a rod yet as this is just the exploratory stage. I have three Meiser's but the heaviest is only a 11'1" 4wt S Rod. Lines recommendations on a 7/8 especially of the shorter or mid bellies would be appreciated. And of course Steve Godshall will be looked to for advice when i get to that point.Thanks Ivan
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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-31-2019, 06:18 AM
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Do you have the rod yet? Usually the grain weight recommendations will be indicated on the rod... I don't think there are any bad lines out there anymore every brand seems to have some awesome lines...

With Atlantics you will probably want to fish with Scandi's with head length in the range of 2.5 to 3 times rod length in the range of 300 to 425 grains (depending on rod) with leaders 1.5 times rod length. Mid spey's : I like the Rio InTouch mid belly tapers... I find lines are as personal as it gets, you will need to experiment, some people like heavy lines, some underline and like the lighter presentations, and then it depends on the size of river and water conditions as well as wind and size of flies you will be casting and of course your personal casting preferences.

Knowing which river you will be fishing and when would help as it will give indication to range of sizes of fish, size of the river, it would also allow you to study the best flies for that river, all these factors will affect you line choice....
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To tight loops and lines!
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post #11 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-31-2019, 07:14 AM
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My last trip to the Gaspe area I fished a Sage 12'6" 7 weight TCX (The Death Star) exclusively and it was plenty of rod for all my needs on those rivers. I think Mike's suggestions are spot on for your trip. That being said...I always had a 10'0" 8 weight for lower water and dry fly work available.

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post #12 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-31-2019, 09:32 AM
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Cheers George
I was always missing a single handed rod for my salar hunt ... that void is being filled as we speak


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post #13 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-31-2019, 11:02 AM
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Having fished many Gaspe rivers for the last decade and a half, I agree, 12'6" to 13'6" 6-7-8 C or my new favourite CX Meiser fits the bill.

In high/heavy water conditions or really tough wind, I'll break out my 13'6" 8wt S rod, but most of the rest of the time a 7wt does the job.

Good luck!
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post #14 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-31-2019, 12:47 PM
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I'm curious. How do people feel about an 8 weight switch for the Gaspe?

Thanks, Leo.

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post #15 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-31-2019, 01:17 PM
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OK, I can hold off no longer. Asking what's right for the Gaspé is like asking if an 8 1/2' 4 weight is OK for Montana. One has to narrow it down some before that can be given any kind of a creditable answer. I know that was acknowledged earlier, but everything mentioned so far is just like dart throwing. What one might use on the upper sections of the St. Jean will likely not be the same as the lower reaches of the York. I've fished the Petite and Grand Cascapedia and the desired equipment wouldn't necessarily be the same. Heck, fishing the B section of the Grand would beg for something different than fishing either fork above Forks pool. If you truly want some help then narrow it down a bit for us. Even season of the year makes a huge difference. The areas where I catch most of my fish on the York in June isn't usually even fishable in September.

After having said all that, Leo, I think an 8 weight switch is usable in many areas and at many times of the year up there, but it won't be ideal all of the time.

Didn't mean this to come off as a rant, but it seems to have done so anyway. Sorry.

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