I have an opportunity to fish the Restigouche in New Brunswick in the first week of August. I would like any advice the members have about fishing for Atlantic Salmon during that fall period. Thank you.
That's traditionally a very slow period on that river. When Red Pine Mountain Lodge was open to the public, their weeks were about $5400.00 in early June. About mid-July I'd get offers to fish it in August for about $1700.00. Even then they couldn't fill it and eventually started closing down in late July. There is a little activity, some years, in September, but usually the draw for August is the really low price, but there's a reason for that low price. At best, you'll find some small grilse around, but even that's not guaranteed. Of course, no salmon fishing is ever guaranteed, but August on that river can be really tough.
I generally agree with JR above--August is generally very slow on the Gaspe (I guess technically the Restigouche isn't on the Gaspe, but grouping it here), and everywhere else, but over the years I've had some of my best weeks in August on the Cascapedia. It all depends on nature--rain/no rain; hot/mild; the run is early/late etc. So if you have a chance to go, at a decent price, give it a shot. I would.
Yep, the Grand Cascapedia can be good in August, but as noted it can also be very slow if the water is warm and low. I stood in Berry Mountain one time and must have been looking at 600 fish and the only movement they made was to slide out of the way of an incoming fly. You just KNEW that a short freshet would likely have turned on at least a few of those fish, but nothing. Only got to fish that prime pool one day. I'd still go there as opposed to the Restigouche in August, especially if you can score B or C water.
How would any of your perspectives change if I went to the Restigouche in the last week of August/first week of September? I mis-typed my original note above--the dates are actually late Aug, early September.
I'm not afraid of the cold. If the fish are there, I would assume the guides will know how to give me some shots. Thank you.
It wont be cold in late August/early Sept. Itll be good and warm still. The same advice applies, though -- very slow fishing if the water is warm and low, possibly alright fishing if there are rains to move fish. The Gaspesie runs are mainly early season, May thru early July. Some fishll push in late in the year, but thats late September, usually. There will be fish around, certainly, but probably not fresh and whether or not they are willing to move on a fly depends upon the weather and water which is a total crapshoot.
If the price is halfway decent, I'd go in a heartbeat. You don't get many chances to fish these rivers and you never know what might be going on. Even with no fish, which has occurred many times, the experience is worth it. I fished once for 21 days on various salmon rivers without a pull, and would do it again--you just have to put in the time.(of course if I had too many of those 21 day stretches I might rethink my passion!)
You're right. You'll scratch one thing off your bucket list and will likely eat quite well. My last trip, about five years ago now, I went 29 days without so much a sniffing a fish. That was 21 days on the Restigouche in late May and early June and another 8 days on the Miramachi right afterwards. Since that was the second time in three years going fishless, I finally decided to add another week of tarpon fishing, a lot more musky fishing, and to begin to scratch a few more things from my bucket list. I miss it, but it just got kind of pricey for me. As SC mentions, if the price is really good it's probably worth doing regardless of the possible outcomes.
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