We had completed our first and second day of fishing for the wild Atlantic salmon on the majestic Grand Cascapedia River and I was skunked. Peter, my husband and fishing partner for this trip, had landed a 15 pounder on a Bomber and lost a large one on a wet fly on day two. Angling can be more challenging in August especially if the water levels are at rock bottom and warm. The salmon seek deeper and cooler waters. I ended both days thinking the scenery was spectacular and most people would give their eye teeth to be in my shoes.

The fly fisher motto also says “there is more to fishing than catching...”  I was still quite content.

The third day was cloudy and cooler than the previous, my favorite fishing weather. We started the day off at Home pool on the Salmon branch which has nice rapids flowing into a deep pool.  On the first pass, my wet fly was swinging around perfectly and on the fifth cast I got a rise at the end of the swing. I could feel the adrenaline, the rush of possibly hooking a salmon. Things were looking up.

At that point Zack Legree, our guide, suggested trying a fly which had landed a nice salmon the previous day, the Ghost Stone. Since I am always willing to adventure with new flies and techniques, I gladly accepted the suggestion. 

Original 1489692478 sylvie malo clark with guide zack legree with 35 pounds hook bill

Photo by Sylvie Malo Clark

On my third pass I noticed at the far side of the pool a rock and a seam that for some reason I hadn’t seen before. I had a kind of premonition that something good might happen. Well it did! My line tightened and my pulse quickened.  The sturdy male hook-bill, so nick-named because of the protruding hook shape of their lower jaws, gave me a real battle. He leapt into the air a few times. He rocketed off taking a great amount of line, down into my backing.  I had all I could do to hold him in the pool. After half an hour of joy, turmoil, stress and fear of losing the salmon, my guide handily netted the fish with one swish. He evaluated the salmon and both he and Peter said with enthusiasm,

Original 1489692487 fullsizerender

Photo by Sylvie Malo Clark