Evolution of the species!
A few years ago I had the wonderful opportunity of initiating a couple of young anglers to the joy of salmon fishing. Being rank beginners they lost more flies on faulty back casts than any other group of clients that I had ever guided. They did have a lot of fun though and one of them, Dany, continued on to pursue salmon up and down the various salmon rivers in Quebec.
This year the season started off at a normal pace. Two weeks ago there were zero salmon in the river since the run just hadn’t started yet. I was hoping that the moons and tides would cooperate, but an extraordinarily early start to the season would not be so.
Last weekend, I headed back to scout pools and runs. The Wardens informed me that there were a couple salmon in a few scattered pools, but they hadn’t seen them for several days. As they often do. I figured that these early arrivals had high tailed it up to the Northern Arm This very first batch of salmon will often run +60km of river non-stop and head into an arm of the main flow to hole up until spawning time.
Sunday morning I rolled out late and decided to explore a bit. As usual Boris and Luc were at Glass Pool. As I looked down and saw a monster of a salmon holding high upstream from the rapids. Quick consultation and we guestimate that she was over 25, but less than 30 pounds! These big hens are multiple spawners, and this isn’t the first time she’s been on this leg of her migration and seems to know her flies. She just wouldn’t move for anything!
I decided to move down to the #38 to see what’s about, and I do a couple long and methodical sweeps through the run. Nothing. Well, no hits, there are probably salmon in there.
I decide to hit the road, so I trek out of the run. As I move towards the pick-up, I hear those famous words. “Oh man, Fish on!” I jog up the berm to the slick and find our intrepid Dany on the far side connected to the very first salmon of the 2009 season!
June 14th – first salmon on the Ste-Marguerite River
Our newest addition to the Salmo salar angling community had recently moved up a notch and upgraded his equipment. With 10-12 pounds of angry salmon on the end of the line Dany found a wonderful way to break in a new rod!
A quick 15 minute battle and the salmons at hand, and it’s the biggest salmon Dany has ever caught. The salmon that he has landed in the previous years have all been grisles (juvenile salmon). The double hooked Cossaboom doesn’t want to come out cleanly so he cuts the leader.
A fine way to break in a new rod – Dany Berube – Gatineau Quebec
Moments after the release, Boris arrives to see if there is any action to be found on the slick. A humble but excited Dany recounts his adventure. He explains that the hook stayed in so we show Dany our flies. There are mostly barbless singles with a select few doubles, also barbless. In an evolution of the angler, Dany orders up 2 sets of salmon flies from Boris, all singles (he can pinch down the barbs as he sees fit).
Dany is becoming a very accomplished salmon fisher. He has good insight into techniques, tactics and his casting is improving by leaps and bounds. Happy trails Dany on your journey of exploration and discovery.
Chris Chin St-Severin de Proulxville, Quebec Canada
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