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Photo: Antoine Blier

5 Rivers to Fish Salmon in Gaspésie

For angling enthusiasts looking for good catches, lots of action and a change of scenery, don’t miss the opportunity to fish for Atlantic salmon in Gaspésie! Here are 5 recommendations for crystal-clear rivers where you can try your hand at fishing for the king of our waters!

Zec de la rivière Matane
Matane River. Photo: Zec de la rivière Matane

Matane River

Easily accessible, with unlimited access and with an annual run of over 3000 salmon, the Matane River is ideal for beginners! Nearly 80 km long, the river flows from Lake Matane through the town of the same name to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. An eight-hour class is available for the uninitiated (given by the Société de Gestion de la Rivière Matane), which will introduce you to the joys of salmon fishing and teach you the basics. Warning, you may get hooked to angling in Gaspésie!

Zec de la rivière Madeleine
Madeleine River. Photo: Zec de la rivière Madeleine

Madeleine River

Located on the north side of the Gaspé Peninsula, the Madeleine River flows for 150 km from the Chic-Choc Mountains to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Over 1200 salmon spawn every year in this river that features over 70 pools. The impressive 25-metre Grand-Sault waterfall used to prevent salmon from travelling all the way up this river. Today, a unique fishway built in a 140-metre tunnel allows the salmon to reach the top of the river.

Saint-Jean river
Saint-Jean River. Photo: Antoine Blier

York, Darmouth and Saint-Jean Rivers

Flowing through largely uninhabited areas, these three legendary rivers intersect and meet before ending in Gaspé Bay. The Darmouth River, which offers stunning scenery, will appeal to solitary anglers since it does not get much traffic. The Saint-Jean, one of the clearest rivers in the world, offers an all-inclusive salmon-fishing experience as it was envisioned by the sport’s earliest practitioners at the Saint-Jean Pavilion, an outfitter’s lodge. Finally, the York, one of Canada’s most popular salmon rivers, will amaze you with its emerald green waters and give you the opportunity to match wits with the king of our rivers—salmon that often exceed 12 kg!

Bonaventure River
Bonaventure River. Photo: Mathieu Dupuis

Bonaventure River

Originating in Parc national de la Gaspésie, the Bonaventure River runs for 125 km (65 km of which are open to fishing) before flowing into Chaleur Bay. Salmon can easily be spotted in its cold, exceptionally clear waters, ensuring excellent fishing conditions. Wade fishing is possible in several of the river’s 98 pools, but fishing from a canoe is recommended when the water level is high.

Matapédia River
Matapédia River. Photo: Tourisme Gaspésie

Matapédia and Patapédia rivers

With an annual run of 3000 to 5000 fish and 18-kg catches that are not uncommon, the Matapédia River lives up to its reputation as one of the best salmon rivers in Québec. Originating in Lake Matapédia, it flows through a magnificent valley for 87 km. Its sister river, the Patapédia, winds through the mountains and forest for 70 km, providing an exceptional habitat for salmon. Together, these two rivers offer anglers a peaceful setting and beautiful landscapes featuring rugged mountain vistas.

Offering 22 easily accessible, crystal-clear rivers, enchanting scenery and big fish, Gaspésie is a premier salmon-fishing destination! Are you already picturing the magnificent salmon you will catch in Gaspésie? To make sure you savour every moment, plan your stay at! #gaspesie

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