The beautiful colours of Autumn

Beautiful male salmon being returned to the 14-mile pool of the Salmon Branch of the Cascapedia on Sept. 30, 2018, with the help of Angler Peter Bennett and Guide Charles O. Dionne. Photo Dan Greenberg

The soft light of autumn together with the fall colours of Atlantic salmon give photographs unlike anything else one sees. Soon this Atlantic salmon will be up at headwaters spawning areas.

The same Atlantic salmon on Sept. 30 slips into the water to continue its migration to Cascapedia headwaters. Photo Dan Greenberg


The season ended on Sun., Sept. 30 and showed again in 2018 there is no "average" year, at least at this time in history. 
Mother nature helped anglers out for the last few days by providing much-needed rain in some regions.  Rivers like the Cascapedia saw its flow increase considerably from 10 cubic meters per second on Sept. 26 to 57 cubic meters per second 24 hours later.

All we can do now is hope a little more rain comes to salmon country to help the fish still in the estuaries to have an easier time migrating to their spawning grounds.

Data used in the Quebec river notes is compiled from various river websites, social media and Quebec government sources.

Official yearly numbers on the 2018 season for all assessed rivers should be available in late February 2019. Note that Quebec is almost always the first to share its information on the previous year's runs.

Powerful re-entry. At the Kransell Pool on the Bonaventure River on 28 Sept., 2018. Photo Dan Greenberg

Atlantic salmon just released. Photo Dan Greenberg

A late-season beauty. Sylvie Malo-Clark prepares to release nice male on the Cascapedia's Lake Branch – at Miner Pool on 22 Sept. 2018. Photo Peter D. Clark


Miramichi - Autumn is coming along

Brock Curtis of Blackville notes:

We are really enjoying the salmon fishing here on the Miramichi. The colours are almost at their peak and almost everyone coming into the tackle shop have been hooking salmon.

We had a bump in river levels last week and with the full moon salmon started moving upstream. Friends who were staying at my cabin on the Renous saw salmon jumping two different days last week but they were moose hunting.

I saw salmon on the Dungarvon and have talked to anglers who caught salmon on the Cains. Here in the Blackville area on the Miramichi the reports have been really good.

We have a bit of rain coming over the next couple of days and anglers are optimistic it will remain good fishing. So, a lot of happy anglers out there enjoying the fishing while surrounded by some of the most spectacular scenery a salmon river has to offer.

Upper Cains River at dawn on 23 Sept. 2018. Nathan Wilbur/ASF

The counting fences are still giving numbers:

Dungarvon - as of 30 Sept. there were 87 grilse and 60 multi-sea-winter, compared with 98 grilse and 122 multi-sea-winter salmon to the same date in 2017. These reflect low numbers, especially of large salmon, returning to the Miramichi.

Northwest Miramichi

The Northwest Miramichi Barrier to 30 Sept. had 98 grilse and 107 multi-sea-winter salmon, compared to 2017 numbers to same date of 134 grilse and 120 large salmon.

Million Dollar Pool, Restigouche River. Photo Restigouche River Watershed Management Council.

Jaquet River

The counting fence is not having a great year. To Sept. 30 there have been 67 grilse and 5 large salmon, compared with 2017 numbers to same date of 147 grilse and 58 large salmon.


Northumberland Strait Rivers

Gerry Doucet

Long awaited rains arrived along the Northumberland Rivers of Nova Scotia last week.

While most rivers remain low, some fish began to move forward with catches being reported on the River Philip and Wallace River. Salmon are being spotted in the tidal pools of the East River, Barney’s River and West River of Antigonish.

Appreciable rains are forecasted for NS this week, another positive. Optimistic anglers continue to wish for a long multi-day soaking that would bring river levels to intermediate heights enabling the salmon to populate whole river systems along the Northumberland Strait.

Another important angler activity is fast approaching.

The Antigonish Rivers Association, St. Mary’s River Association and the NS Salmon Association are hosting their Bi-Annual Charity Salmon Dinner and Fly Tying Conclave at St.FX University, Antigonish, Saturday evening October 20th. All proceeds are directed towards in-river structural enhancement, brood stock collection and various educational and youth activities. Tickets ($80.00) can be purchased through Megan Myers 902.522.2099 or on line at http://www.stmarysriverassociation.com.

Further information can be obtained by Dinner Co-Chair Gerry Doucet, 902.863.8585.

Jesse Gravel looks especially at the rivers in the west of this group:

I was out on the Wallace for just a couple hours on Sunday. We got some needed rain and more is in the forecast. I spotted dozens of Atlantics below Kerrs Mill Bridge. Had to look very hard through the slightly dirty water to find them but they were there. There were lots of anglers in the area. Personally didn't hear of any lucky anglers on that river, although multiple fish were being hooked on the River Philip.


Marc Aroner with a nice leap on the other end of the line, on the Margaree.

Greg Lovely has this to say:

We missed the rain. Sydney got tons and so did PEI. Margaree in the middle got almost nothing. Fresh fish are coming in and a few of them are being hooked.

The Margaree Salmon Association has a very busy week with our AGM and dinner plus auction.Also the leaves are going to be just right for Celtic colours here in Cape Breton.

At right is Marc Aroner, well-known bamboo rod maker at his Spinoza Rod Co. in Massachusetts with a nice male salmon about to be released on the Margaree. Marc was using a 7 ft. 6 in. bamboo rod and a small Bodgen reel. At left is Robert Chiasson.


ASF's Don Ivany, while in meetings in St. John's this week, notes that a couple of large salmon in the 30 lb. range have been angled on the lower Humber in past few days. Overall, angling has slowed.

Colours to look forward to in October. Steady Brook Shoals on the lower Humber River on Oct. 11, 2017. Don Ivany/ASF