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I have been lucky this year to get selected in the draw for fishing for Atlantic Salmon on the Gaspe Pensinsula.

I will be going for three days of canoe fishing on the Grand Cascapedia for Atlantic Salmon in September 2004. I was wondering if anyone of you had done this and what rod you can recommend.

I have a 1307 CND Custom which I use for landlocked salmon, however, I fear that that one may be like trying to shoot a Grizzley Bear with a sling shot......

Happy Holidays!
 

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Markus
I've only fished the Grand from my feet, but have landed salmon over 30 lbs there using 8 wt rods with absolutely no problem. You might be a little underpowered, but perhaps it would work. Alot depends on your skill, I suppose. I've never landed large salmon from a canoe, but the Gaspé guides are very skilled. Have a great time and let us know how it goes. Actually, I just remembered that I've also landed salmon of over 30 lbs on a New Brunswick river with my Burkheimer 1338 (7-8-9), which I really don't consider to be an 8 weight. I think it's more of a 7 weight. Also from my feet rather than a canoe.
Bill
 

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Now that I have recovered from cringing with envy, ;)

I would say that the 1307SP can handle the job, but having fished the forks and ogled at the Grand I'd have to say the Skagit, Steelhead, 1308SP or 1409SP would be more suited.

While I was there a gentleman at Camp Bonaventure landed a 40# chrome salmon on a dry.

Also the river was of ample size that you would not feel over-gunned.

YOU LUCKY DOG! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Bill, Yuro:

Thank you for your advice! I will let you know how it goes.

Best,
Markus
 

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Markus
You'll be fine ! I've used a 7136 on these waters and it certainly has a lot less authority than the rod you intend to use. That being said a #8 might give you the advantage. Whether you'll be fishing from a canoe or not will depend on the pools, some require it ,some don't. A lot of times the guides will pole to a"beachy" shore and let you fight the fish . The guides on the Grande are exceptional and will stay with until dark to put you onto a fish !
Do yourself a favour and put in for the 48 hr draw on the nearby Petite Cascapedia and Bonaventure Rivers.
 

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Markus,

I would recommend that you get at least a 14' 9wt. for fishing this river. I also have landed big salmon on light rods. But I have also seen even small salmon turn them into tomato sticks. Not fair to you and not fair to the fish. Water level could be a factor also. This river can very in level several feet during a single week depending on the weather. And if you need to cast big 5/0 flies needed to fish the heavier spring flows you will need a bigger rod. All of what the other guys have posted is true, but personally I would want a bigger rod for this river.

Charlie
 

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Markus,

What Charlie just said is 'dead on.'

I've guided and fished a lot on the Cascapedia: the fish can be large, very large; every other year or so, a fish breaks the 50 pound mark; the largest this year was 48 pounds. While you can land big fish on a #7 wt. or #8 wt. two-hander, a #9/10 wt. two-hander and a good, stiff drag will make quicker work of it.

The month of September on the Cascapedia--last I checked, anyway--is Catch & Release only. Many of the season's largest salmon are landed at this time of the year, and the guides appreciate an angler who can get a fish in quickly. Some of the finer fly-caught specimens are used for broodstock to supplement the run, making it doubly critical to stress the fish as little as possible.

For a very different experience (sight-fishing in gin clear water), check out the Petit Cascapedia and the Bonaventure, as Salar-1 suggested.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Gentlemen:

Thank you for all of your help!

Yes, fishing will be catch and release only and I would not like the idea of endlessly playing fish with tackle being too light, I am not a Lee Wulf....

I am scheduled for three days in sectors B1 (Big & Little Jonathan, Upper & Lower Joe Martin) , C5 (Joshua's Rock and Rapid, Upper & Lower Lost Channel) and D1 (most upper portion of the Lake Branch). Just from looking at the map it appears that these sections must be quite different, 'Lost Channel' sounds nasty.....

As a result I have been leaning towards buying a second, stiffer rod in addition to the 1307 Custom. Is ~14 feet 9/10 the consensus?

Regards,
Markus
 

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Markus,

The 14' 9/10 is my go to rod for rivers on the Gaspe. Topher and Juro can give you better advise on what to get than me, but you are headed in the right direction.

Topher,

Are you going to be on the York or the Dartmouth this spring? I will be up there again with Brian Slavinski in early June with the rest of our crew. If you get up their look us up.

Charlie
 

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rod size

Markus, I've used my 14' 8/9 Sage on the wading pools on the upper branches and that's worked well. If you're up on the canoe water on the Salmon Branch you might consider dropping to a single handed rod or short double hander. Any long rod will do on the main stem, the guides are skilled and will put you and the canoe where you need to be. Hold on to that cork though, they hit like trucks. That said you may consider leader strength against rod size. I've had some large early run fish on with the 14' rod and had plenty of backbone to spare. It's all up to you and how you play them.

You can scout Lower Lost Channel from the highway that borders the Grande. In June it's big, deep, and dark...scary looking stuff. I have no idea what it looks like in September but I'm sure the guides know where the lies are. Do and fish what they tell you and you'll hook up no problem.

Good Luck!
 

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Up to now I have not replied as I felt I was unable to advise but now as the topic has opened up a little I would like to air a few opinions and ask the odd question.

How does one fish from a canoe? Do you just use the canoe as transport or do you fish from it. The only a float fishing I have done is from a boat on an anchor and you let out a yard of rope every cast and move down the pool as normal. When a fish is hooked the boatman up anchors and rows to the shore to fight the fish. Interesting when I was alone.

In Scotland the standard rod is 15ft larger for spring or large rivers smaller for grilse and summer fishing. But 15ft is the workhorse. If I was as lucky I think I would plump for my 15 B&W 10/11.
 

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Some of the canoes are closer to the boat style in Maine called a Grand Laker. They can handle upwards of a 15 hp motor and are 25' - 28 in length'.

They can easily handle a guide and two sports. Fishing on the big water is quite relaxed. You fish short to longest comfortable line (both sides). Then you make a drop by pulling anchor and drifting downstream. It is an efficient way to cover the water.
 

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I was thinking about this last night after I made my post. If you are fishing from a canoe on the Grande you're most likely going to have a motor man and an anchor man (front and back). Some rivers in Gaspe you find one man handling both but from what I've seen on the Grande there will be two in the boat with you and your partner. You'll be somewhere in the middle of the canoe and have to cast outside the anchor rope or the engine.

I've done it with a square cut and casts like that which don't put the D loop behind you but it's tricky and limits your presentation especially with a shorter spey rod. If you can't get that D loop WAY off to the side I'd spend a little time with your overhead technique lest you catch the anchor rope or worse, the anchor man.
 
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I've fished up that way a lot, though not on the Grand Cascapedia. I've never been in a situation where there was both a motorman and an anchorman. Is it really done that way on some of the beats on the Grand? Anyway, I've speyfished a lot from a canoe on the Restigouche, Matapedia, and on the rivers near Gaspe. A version of the underhand speycast is all I've ever needed and I've actually found the anchor rope less often speycasting than I used to with a single handed rod. I've found the extra height that comes with standing in the canoe (they are incredibly stable) along with the ease of running line management makes me a far better speycaster from a canoe than when wading.
 

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JR
It is normal for canoes on the Grand to have both a motorman and an anchorman. I guess it's traditional for the river and seems to go a long way back.
 
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