First Road Trip of the Season
After a long off-season of dreaming up location’s we were eager to fish, Reynold Sexton made an offer we couldn’t refuse. An invitation to Middle Camp, a section of the Grand Cascapedia renowned as one of the world’s finest Atlantic salmon destinations.
Word of mouth was spreading that atlantics had already began mounting a number of rivers in the Gaspe. Soon after photos began appearing on the Internet, they weren’t catching lots of fish however, they were catching big fish, fresh fish, fish of a lifetime.
Before arriving at the camp we made our traditional detour to Sexton & Sexton where we would get our hands on everything we would need for the following days on the Grand Cascapedia; flies, leader, advice, and water conditions. Todd even took the time to tie us his Ghost Stone Fly, a fly as reputable as the infamous Grand Cascapedia itself.
After arriving at the camp, we met with our army of guides. Usually we fish with one guide, sometimes two but never had we experienced having eight guides on the water with us at all times. At first it was somewhat overwhelming, It felt intimidating throwing our first couple casts with eight professionals watching over your shoulder. Although the feeling soon perished as they immersed us in the culture and history of the Grand Cascapedia.
The first day was concluded with no salmon, and our second and final day on the Grand Cascapedia seemed to be following in its footsteps, had our photographer not wet a line in our final minutes on the water. A circle C cast followed by a high stick mend lead to an aggressive take by his biggest Atlantic to date. A fish estimated to be easily over 20lbs and remains his personal best. Charles and Alexis were both sporting matching beards, they were looking somewhat like twins and had decided that the first one to catch an Atlantic on this trip would shave the others beard. Finally Stu was the only one who managed to land a salmon. Out came the buzzer as Stu’s Barber Shop began to take place. A few beers were offered to help mourn their loss. Away they both went disappearing into the grass that lay in front of Middle Camp as two shocking new faces emerged from beneath the thick beards.
Off we went, back on the road heading to Matapedia River Lodge. The van was down two beards yet full of joy. When we arrived, André Bélaieff hosted us for the following three days of our trip. Word of mouth was spreading that the Matapedia had also seen a few salmon coming up river. We had heard of a few locals catching fish here and there so we went exploring André’s favourite corner’s of the river. With endless rain and thunderstorms in the forecast the weather didn’t seem to be playing in our favour. On the first day the rain managed to hold off, however we didn’t move a fish. The second day the rain began and it refused to stop. The river began climbing its way up the banks as the colour turned brown like chocolate milk. The conditions were no longer in our favour. However dirty and high the water may have been it would not stop of us from trying to move another fish from a new section of water. On the third and final day on the Matapedia we were fortunate enough to get access to the Glen Emma section where we met with our guides Billy and Vincent. Even with the poor water conditions we were ecstatic to have the opportunity to fish such pristine water. The rain continued endlessly as Billy told us story after story about the Matepedia River, the kind of stories that warm your soul on a cold wet day.
On our way home we stopped by Bonaventure to meet with local lobster fisherman, Jeremy Jerome, the captain of the Kiskamsi. We were fortunate enough board his ship and experience a day in the life of a lobster fisherman. After a newfound respect for a different perspective on fishing we finished off our trip with a lobster shore lunch on the side of the ocean.