The thrill of salmon fishing in Nova Scotia is unmatched. Picture this: the sun slowly rising behind majestic mountains, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee filling the air, and the excitement of being the first one to cast your line into the pool. Welcome to the world of salmon angling on the Margaree River in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, a tradition steeped in history and adventure.
The Coveted First Pass
One of the customs in this angler’s paradise is that the person who arrives first at the pool or car park gets the coveted first opportunity to fish. But don’t think it’s an easy feat. Anglers cannot enter the pool and start fishing before 6:00 am, adding an extra layer of excitement to the game. It’s a bit like a high-stakes version of tag or musical chairs, where grown adults scramble to secure their preferred spot before anyone else.
Morning Coffee by the River
The decision to forgo the comforts of a cozy cabin and enjoy your morning coffee riverside pays off in more ways than one. There’s something magical about sipping coffee while surrounded by nature. It’s as if the coffee, like cheap whiskey, tastes even better in the crisp morning air.
Choosing the Perfect Fly
As you leisurely sip your coffee, you face the challenging task of selecting the perfect fly for your first pass. The options seem endless—blues, greens, yellows, blacks, drys, and wets. Each fly is unique and tempting, but deep down, you know that the fly itself isn’t the ultimate determining factor. After all, how do you entice a species that doesn’t feed actively in freshwater?
Dry Fly Fishing: Addictive and Consuming
Dry fly fishing for Atlantic salmon, also known as “bomber fishing,” is an extremely addictive and consuming tactic. Seasoned salmon anglers swear by the philosophy of “dry or die” when conditions permit. It’s an art that requires skill, precision, and an unwavering focus. But when everything aligns, the reward is beyond words.
In the Zone: A Zen-like State
Getting “in the zone” is almost like reaching a Zen-like state. It’s about letting go and surrendering to fate. Many experienced anglers believe that this mindset enhances your chances of success. It curbs the body’s instinct to yank the fly away from the fish when you see it take the bait. The key is to let the fish hook itself, as salmon typically take the fly and turn downstream. Rushing the process or pulling too hard often results in missed opportunities.
An Adrenaline-Pumping Encounter
Today is different. As you approach the taking spot in the pool, a shiny silver mass rises from the depths and swirls beneath your fly. Adrenaline surges through your veins, and a shot of euphoric excitement pierces your entire being. You quickly assess the situation and carefully present your fly again, hoping for the perfect strike.
The Battle Begins
Suddenly, a silver torpedo emerges, its white mouth devouring the green and orange deer hair fly on the surface. The battle commences, and all hell breaks loose. The salmon thrashes, shakes its head, and leaps through the air in a magnificent display of strength. It’s a sight that never fails to captivate. Every time the silver body breaches the surface, it reflects the morning sun like a glimmering piece of glass.
A Sense of Accomplishment and Gratitude
As you and your husband work together to land the fish, a sense of accomplishment washes over you. You feel privileged to be in the presence of this magnificent creature and humbled by the experience. With gratitude, you remove the fly and gently release the fish, watching as it returns to its native waters with a mighty kick of its tail.
Life Lessons and Conservation
Salmon fishing is about more than the thrill of the catch. It’s a profound experience that teaches you life lessons of patience, perseverance, confidence, and gratitude. These majestic creatures have the power to recharge your positive energy and boost your mental well-being. They inspire a deep sense of responsibility to protect and conserve their habitats.
Experience the Magic at Hook’d Up Bar and Grill
At Hook’d Up Bar and Grill, we embrace the spirit of salmon fishing in Nova Scotia. Our restaurant and bar not only offer delectable dishes but also serve as a gathering place for enthusiasts to share their stories and experiences. Join us and be a part of a community that celebrates the beauty of nature and the thrill of the catch.
Hook’d Up Bar and Grill invites you to embark on your own salmon fishing adventure. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a curious beginner, the Margaree River in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, promises an unforgettable experience. Book your trip with us and let the river work its magic on your soul.
*Article by Kate Sherin @katesherin. Photos by her husband Scotty Sherin @scottysherin. Kate and Scotty reside in Nova Scotia, Canada, where they spend time fly fishing, surfing, and exploring.