ATLANTIC SALMON CHECKLIST
In the following page you will find suggestions, based on our different angling seasons, as to what sort of equipment you should pack for your upcoming visit to the Gaspe Peninsula. I sincerely hope that my suggestions will help you as you prepare for your angling experience on our lovely rivers. See you this summer!
Equipment and Gear list by month?
Early season June 1 - June 30 (Higher water)
Suggested Rod(s) / lines
9' to 9' 6" for 8wt or 9wt.
10' for 10wt. TWO HANDED RODS 8-9-10 wt.
During the month of June we generally use larger flies in the (# 2 – 3/0 range, so bigger rods and heavier line weights are recommended in order to turn over these large flies. If you have a two handed, or, Spey rod, bring it along, as they can also give you a great advantage in the early season.
Mid season July 1 - August 31 (Medium to Lower water)
8' to 10' rod for 6-7wt or 8wt. Line
Dry fly specialists may want to think about bringing a fast action rod that can handle larger – fluffy dry flies. Keep in mind that you may be getting into some good batches of big sea-run brook trout at this time of the year, so - a lighter rod - say a 6-7wt, can come in real handy if you want to mix some trout with some salmon fishing. The lighter line weights are also good for smaller salmon and grilse, which start to hit our rivers around the first part of July and continue to run on into late August. Grilse are between 4-7 pounds and are fun on a lighter rod!
September 1 - September 30
8' to 10' for 7- 8 or 9wt. * Spey rods can also be a great asset at this time of year.
In September I suggest using a 7wt or an 8wt rod throughout most of the month. The only time that you want a bigger rod is when you are fishing the Cascapedia River and will be casting big 1/0 to 3/0 flies. This happens quite a bit so be prepared to have at least one big rod that can handle these flies.
You should always have a reel that can handle at least 100-150 yards of 20-lb backing. Reel choice is up to you but I would suggest something with a decent drag system, especially in the early season. Later in the year I often use a reel with no drag (I like to be scared when a fish is on!) but for the most part, lots of backing and a good brake are essential to fighting and landing big fish. The choice of brand is up to you, but the most important thing to remember is that your reel should balance well with your rod and line choices. A well balanced rod and reel combination will allow you to fish all day without getting tired.
Leader and Tippet
You can choose to bring along a complete kit of leader including 35-30-25-20-15-12-10-8 and 6-pound test and make your own leaders, or, you can simply choose to bring along a few 9’ and 12’ pre-made leaders with some extra tippet material. The only time that I use shorter and heavier leaders is in the early season, and this is in order to be able to turn over bigger flies. Later in the season, I switch back to longer leaders 9’-12’ when using smaller flies.
I highly recommend using Fluro-Carbon leader materiel, however if you prefer mono, and are comfortable with it, then bring that! I have been using FC materiel since it came out on the market and think it does make a difference, especially in lower water but have no real proof of this.
I suggest that you all bring at least one floating, one full sink and one sink-tip line. Floating lines are used most of the time but it is always good to have a full-sinking and sink tip just in case! Waders and wading shoes
I suggest using breathable waders while fishing our rivers throughout most of the summer, especially from mid-June through the end of August, but if you get cold easily, you may want to bring along a pair of 3mm neoprene waders while fishing early June and late September, as the water and air temps are generally much colder then.
The most important thing to remember is that your waders MUST HAVE FELT SOLES! The rocks here can be tricky at times, so felt soles are absolutely essential while wading our rivers. I do not recommend crampons or spikes and will allow them in our canoes! Raingear / Additional clothing / Sunscreen
You should bring along a good waterproof rain, or, wading jacket, one that has a few big front pockets to put fly boxes and tippet materiel into. I usually have two different jackets with me; one is a thin rain jacket that I can carry on my chest pack, or, in my gear bag in case of a sudden passing shower, and the second is the full wading jacket for those rainy days when I know I will be wearing it all day long. If you can, try to get a rain-jacket that breathes. They are a lot more comfortable.
Daily temperatures can vary considerably here on the Peninsula, so be prepared! You should definitely have a fleece jacket or vest to put on in the early morning and evenings, when temperatures are around the 50-60 F mark. I would also suggest wearing breathable - light fleece underwear under your waders, as jeans do not breathe well at all! Last thing you want is to feel sticky and damp at the end of the day when you take off your waders!
As most of your time will be spent on the water, you should definitely bring along a good hat that will protect the back of your neck and ears. You should also bring along some good waterproof sunscreen for extra protection while on the river. The sun reflecting off of the river can cause some pretty good burns so be sure to re-apply sunscreen regularly while wading, or, fishing out of the canoe.
Gear bags / Vests / Chest-packs
You should have a good gear bag that is waterproof to store your valuables in the canoe. In addition to the gear bag, it is a good idea to have a chest pack, or, fishing vest for wading situations. Bring a gear-bag that is big enough to store all of your fishing gear plus the extra clothing you will need. Eyewear
Make sure that you bring along a good pair of polarized sunglasses with you. Not only will they protect your eyes from errant hooks, but you will also be able to spot fish a whole lot better while fishing! As for lens choice, it is really up to you, but I prefer an amber polarized lens, over a grey lens while fishing our rivers. Again, this is based on personal preference. Note: It is mandatory that all of our guests wear glasses for safety reasons. Final thoughts?
It is my sincere hope that the information I have provided here will prove useful while you prepare for your adventure with us. We will be happy to suggest rods, reels, or waders, if you need or any help choosing the right gear.