Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Truly wild salmon fishing

Yesterday over here was one of those days that I will remember for the rest of my life - we were taken into the middle of nowhere to fish for these famous salmon, miles up some logging trail, down what might loosely be termed a "track", and into the deep recesses of the woods !! Kind of sounds a bit like Deliverance I know, but it was truly special. We came upon this magical pool on the Little South West, a tributary of the Miramachi river, and for photos it was sublime. It is a big holding pool for the salmon, and with some rain the day before, our guides reckoned we should experience a bit of wild Canada. I am so lucky to have been to a place like this.

To get to the remote salmon fishing out here, you need a serious four wheel drive vehicle, a compass in your head, and a deep understanding of your surroundings. I would get so lost out here. The guides that Country Haven Lodge work with are first rate, and salmon fishing runs through their veins - numerous generations of famous local guiding families have been involved in salmon fishing for ages around here. There is so much fly fishing for salmon out here that you could spend a lifetime fishing and still have more water left to discover - if you want to experience some hugely affordable (yes, salmon fishing does not have to cost the earth), world class salmon fishing, get in touch with Aardvark McLeod as soon as you can. This whole area is a hidden gem which we in the UK know far too little about.......

There were a few salmon moving through the pool yesterday, and Pete managed to hook one on a dry fly - this is about as exciting as salmon fishing can be, taking these magnificent fish off the surface like a trout. The sun even came out to light up the scene just about perfectly.

Here is Pete McLeod with his fish prior to release. What a special trip it has been out here - we fly back tonight, getting into Gatwick sometime on Wednesday morning UK time, and then I am heading back home to see my family. A couple of days later and I will be packing my gear up to head over to Ireland on Saturday to photograph some more of the awesome bass fishing. I hear that the weather has not been up to much, but surely that will change for me ? What a "summer" we have had !!

More fly fishermen need to check out this eastern part of Canada, for there is so much awesome stuff out here. It staggers me that I have heard so little of rivers like the Bonaventure, Cascapedia and Miramachi - why is that so ? Easy flights from the UK, the fishing is not very expensive, and the salmon are all over the place. There is also great trout and striped bass fishing, plus whale watching, wildlife tours, and of course, the finest coffee in the world - Tim Hortons. Their coffee is my new addiction - far too nice !!

Part of the reason that yesterday was so special was because we were give the most awesome barbecue right out in the middle of nowhere, on the side of the river. I have heard plenty about how good moose is to eat, and finally Pete and I got the chance yesterday to have some. This was the whole experience rolled into one perfect day. Our guide expertly cooked a whole hunk of moose on a portable barbecue, and it was one of the finest meats I have ever eaten - easily as good as everybody over here says it is. Just look at how civilised the whole thing was yesterday. These people out here really know their stuff big time. I really fancy wandering off into the woods to hunt me a moose of my own and bring it back for the freezer, but considering that the big bulls can weigh over 1200lbs, I think it might be a little hard to fit it all in my hold luggage !! Perhaps just a leg then......

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