Select Page

I never thought that I would drive 14 hours to chase a fish that you might cast a thousand times to before you get a take, but I did . My father has been making this drive for 15 years and always would come back with awesome stories of battling these acrobats of the Gaspe Bay in gin clear water. He would also speak of all that you had to go through just to fish for these speckled giants i.e. get into a lottery, hope you get a draw and then hope you have active fish in the zec that you do end up winning (not to mention having to tie up these extravagant flies that take 30 minutes or more just to tie one fly). When he came to me last fall and said do you want to go fish for Atlantic’s with me and 4 other guys, I was little reluctant, but I agreed to go and boy am I glad I did. The first day fishing was on a hole with just 2 rods allowed. Dave and I walked down a short gravel path from the parking area to the hole that we were told had about 40 plus salmon in it and did it ever. The water in the York was so clear that you could see the pebbles on the bottom of a 20ft deep pool…it was fantastic. The water was low and the fish were suspended in the middle half of the pool where the current just started to slow. Dave went to the head of the pool and swung wet flies while I fished the back half of the pod of fish with a dry. After about 3 hrs of being ignored and taunted by these large submarines, Dave and I decided that we were not getting the right drift so we crossed the river about 40 yards above the pool. On Dave’s first cast from the other side he got a take and screamed, “FISH ON” , surprisingly this 20 lb. salmon shot out of the water and pop he was off. I was so excited that I made a few more casts with the dry and nothing. Dave tied on another wet fly and swung it through the pool and he screamed again,” FISH ON”, his drag started screaming and at the back of the pool this salmon jumped again POP his line went limp. So while Dave was tying on some heavier tippet of a different brand, I decided to switch to a streamer called an Ed Special. I cast it upstream and watched it tumble in the crystal clear water. Just before the streamer was to start its swing, a salmon blasted out of the suspend pod full throttle and hit my fly ten yards up river from the pod of salmon. My rod bent and the reel started screaming so I counted 1,2,3 and I set the hook “FISH ON”. This fish continued to bust upstream with my line cutting through the water like a hot knife through butter. The fish reached the top of the pool and turned around then proceeded to head downstream jumping out of the water flipping nose over tail at least 5 or 6 times and then tail dancing back upstream over and over . This continued for a good 10 to 15 minutes until the fish tired and we were able to land him. I have to say after that first battle with the atlantic I was hooked for life. Dave, the rest of my group and I repeated that scenario a few more times that special week. I am looking forward to that long drive next year and now understand why my father has not missed a trip for 15 years to fight the atlantic tail dancer.