Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Dry fly fishing for salmon

We had an awesome day yesterday on the Bonaventure river. Eventually the cloud cover gave way to big blue skies, and the rise in temperature really switched the salmon on. The water out here is crystal clear and you can see the fish lying up in the pools - the fact though that you can see them does not make them easy to catch !! These fish take real skill to nail, so it's good that I'm taking the photos and not fishing for them - my fly fishing ain't exactly pretty.

Pete McLeod caught three fish, lost another, and rose perhaps ten more to his flies. There was nothing massive landed, but seeing salmon come up and take dry flies right off the top is seriously exciting stuff, and is a very unique way of fishing for them. There are some US clients here in the lodge who have been coming for this style of fishing every single year for ages now, it is that good. One of them had a fish around 25lbs yesterday on a dry fly.

We saw some huge fish lying in the pools, some salmon had to be around the 30lb mark, and a couple of really big fish did rise to Pete's flies. The heart stops momentarily every time !!

The dry flies are generally enormous bombers that sit high on the surface of the water and obviously annoy the salmon into having a go occasionally. It's very technically demanding fly fishing, something for the angler who really likes a proper challenge.

Here is Pete leaning into one of his salmon as our guide Jean-Marc gets ready with the net. Such an exciting day and by the time the end of supper came I was falling asleep in my chair - the lack of sleep caught up on me big time. We are just about ready now to grab some more coffee and head out onto another stretch of river.

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