Like the Atlantic salmon returning to New Brunswick’s Kedgwick River, the nine anglers who arrived at the Kedgwick Salmon Club recently were disappointed, but not discouraged, to see that the river’s ribs were showing. Winding through deep gulches shaded by towering hills, the Kedgwick is located at the headwaters of the storied Restigouche River system, where low water has resulted in slow fishing this spring.
Nevertheless, the veteran anglers fished diligently, reminding one another, somewhat facetiously, not to be in a hurry to catch a salmon because seldom is a salmon in a hurry to be caught. And so it went throughout three days of fishing that passed as quickly as a lunch hour. All told, five of the anglers caught and released six salmon whose weights ranged from 16 to 25 pounds. Owing to the river’s anemia, so to speak, five of the fresh-run fish took small wet flies, sizes 6, 8, 10, while one was duped by a dry fly.
Allowing that fisherman’s luck is fickle, the other anglers weren’t disheartened at being snubbed by the king of freshwater game fish. To the contrary, they were content with the privilege of having rigged their rods at a private camp where, if the food, accommodations, staff and guides were any better it would be illegal. Equally enjoyable were discussions about Atlantic salmon conservation and restoration programs, observations of local fauna and flora, and comparing notes on fly fishing for tarpon, bonefish, and striped bass.
Suffice it to say, the pleasures of the Kedgwick Salmon Club and the raw beauty of the river hurrying to rendezvous with the Restigouche are imprinted on the minds of the anglers who recently fished there. Proving again that there’s more to fishing than catching fish. Especially Atlantic salmon.