Home of the 40-pounders, the Cascapedia River or "Grand" as it also known is recognized as one of the finest Atlantic salmon rivers in the world. This majestic Cascapedia cascades down through the Chic-Choc mountain range in a southerly direction, skipping behind patches of alder and spruce forests on its parallel journey with the route 299, before emptying into the Bay of Chaleurs some 70-miles down river
The one striking difference to the other local rivers is the substrate and color of the "Grand". The pools are well defined and the river runs with a slight tea color and has a good volume of water. When it rains the water comes up fast and the fishing usually gets real good almost everywhere on the river
June marks the migration of the first big fish into the Cascapedia River and it is hard to tell just how early these big spawners will show up but as a general rule, the fishing on the main stem of the river starts to get hot during the very first week of June. The upper stretches of the river can also get hot from June 1 onward, however, it is a bit more of a gamble. Despite the gamble, huge dividends can come your way if you are willing to try your luck very early.
You can expect the fishing to get good around the 8th or 9th of June. This is definitely a time when you can expect some big fish to be lurking around pools in both the Salmon and Lake branch but if you are wade fishing only, you may have some difficulty fishing some of the beats there.
As you get further into June more and more fish show up which translates into better and better fishing so long as the water levels stay decent. The months of July and August are both good for dry fly fishing as well as wet fly fishing throughout the entire system. September is also a great time to fish the Cascapedia, especially the upper branches. When water levels are right, the fishing can be truly spectacular in both the Lake and Salmon branches
The Cascapedia River system is managed by the Cascapedia Society, which is made up of board memebers from both the Mic Mac reserve and the town of Cascapedia St-Jules. This board oversees the management of the river with their employees.
The river is divided up into 7 sectors, three sectors on the main river and 4 sectors on the branches, Lake and Salmon branch. Sectors A, B and C are canoe and guide only sectors as well as D1 and E1 which are found in the Lake and Salmon branches. The only PUBLIC water that can be secured by anglers is found on the Salmon and Lake branches which are sectors E and D respectively.
Sector D is the Lake branch and offers a number of wading pool combinations including; 78-80, 81-81A-82, 87-88 and the 89 beat which includes pools 89-89A and 89B. Although most of these sectors can be accessed by a good network of trails some beats are better fished by floating them in order to cover all of the secondary pools that are not listed on the map. I am one of the only guides that offers guiding with a canoe in this sector. If you would like to maximize your angling day on the Lake branch, I encourage you to contact me for more information about booking a float with me.
Sector E is the Salmon branch. Here you will find the beat is divided into two sections, the upper beat and the lower beat that switch at noon. The entire beat is limited to 4 rods, two fishing the lower and two fishing the upper beat, switching at noon. This beat can be waded fairly easily if the water levels are good but if the water is high, it can only be fished properly by floating it. Again, I am one of the only guides that offers floats on this sector so please feel free to contact me if you would like to explore all there is to see on the Salmon branch on your next trip.
Securing access passes to both the Lake and Salmon branches can be done two ways. First, you can enter the November 1 lottery, along with all of the other rivers in Quebec, or, you can enter into the 72 hour in advance summer draw to secure water. Half the rods are sold in the winter draw and the other half are sold in the summer draw. If you need help with these draws, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will be glad to explain them to you in more detail over the telephone.