On june 22th I left Baie-Comeau, Quebec with my brother and my father for a 5 days fishing trip at the relais Gabriel on the Manic-5 reservoir. For the occasion we rented a cabin and a boat as we did last summer. I was very excited to go back up there to turn my luck around after that trip i made to Manic-5 in early june during wich I got skunked. The 3h30 drive went well and we got there before noon. While waiting for our cabin to be ready I noticed a truck coming in with a Maine licence plate. I started chatting with a nice couple and told them I fished the Greenville area and the WB a couple times theses last years and it turned out that they had a house on moosehead lake. The man told me he own a drift boat and guided people on the EO for 15 years! They have a cabin somewhere in the Manic-5 area and come here every year.
Upon arrival we chatted with our new neighbors and the news were not very good. Fishing was very slow and no LLS were caught on the reservoir, only lakers and not a lot of them...One of the neighbor did the 2 hours boat ride up north and burned 30 gallons of gas to fish the mouth of the Hart-Jaune river and only caught a small LLS. At least the weather forecast were good and calm weather was announced for the next days. Soon enough we were ready to go fishing and the reservoir was very calm.
Despite the slow fishing we had a great time on the water, exploring new spots and cruising on that vast body of water. Every time I fish the Manic-5 reservoir I get overwhelm by the beauty of this place. 214 millions years ago a meteor crashed into Earth and formed this circular depression that can be seen from space.
As a sign of the late spring we had in the region there was still a good snow cover at the top of the Groulx mountains. No surprise the water in the reservoir was extremely cold...38 F.
The first 2 days were spent trolling the reservoir and the only fish caught trolling were a small 15 inches LLS for me and a 3lbs togue for my father. We visited the mouth of a nice stream coming in the reservoir. My partners didn't wanted to fish it from the shore so I had to do a rough negociation to get 10 minutes of fishing from the shore... As I am the only flyfisherman in the group and I like to be as stealthy as possible I rapidly went upstream to get the first crack at a nice spot before they get there with there giant spoons and spook all the fish. On my 5th cast I got a strong pull and hooked a nice LLS with a tandem blue smelt streamer. The fish was strong and gave one of a fight in theses frigid water. We finally netted this 23 inches, 3,5 lbs LLS!
When trolling from a boat I get bored quickly as I'm more a moving water type of guy. On the third morning I went on my own and went north by the road to fish some rivers I fished last summer. First stop was the Beaupin river. When I got there I realized that the water was high and very cold as this river come from the Goulx mountains where there's still a lot of snow melting. I didn't caught anything in that spot.
On the Hart-Jaune river I explored a new section of the river. I bushwacked close to 3 miles along the river. Fishing there wasn't easy due to the strong current and the steep banks. I'm always impressed by this strong and impressive river!
I didn't caught anything on the Hart-Jaune river and I soon decided it was too dangerous to fish there. One mistep and a fall in the frigid water would certainly lead to drowning...safety fist.
I made a nice encounter with this young black bear that was not shy at all!
I decided to go back to that river emptying in the reservoir where I caught my LLS the day before. I found a place to park and after a 10 minutes bushwak I got to the spot. As I was looking at the water I saw a flash meaning that the LLS were still there. On my third cast I hooked one!
For the last days of fishing i went back fishing in the boat with my partners for short periods but spent most of my time in my waders fishing in my LLS spot. I caught some more fish and lost some of them. The water was clear and I was able to see lots of LLS rising to my streamers without biting. Some of them were over the 25 inches mark. This is what I called fishing at it's best!
It was strange to find theses LLS hanging in that river because they should normally be off in the reservoir at this time of the year. On the last day the spot was empty and I caught no fish...
My partners didn't got lucky trolling the reservoir they caught only 3 togues in the 3-4 lbs range and some pike but nothing over 30 inches. They would have liked to catch more fish but in the end everybody got a good time and this is what matters the most. As for myself it was my best fishing trip up there!