This adventure began by tying flies at a local fishing show. I was lucky to meet some incredible artists and fellow anglers there. And by the end of that whirlwind weekend, I found myself invited to visit the Glen Eden Salmon Lodge on the world-renowned Restigouche River.
Like many anglers, I had heard tales of this exclusive Atlantic Salmon river and the large fish who return to it. It seemed unlikely however that I would ever wade it’s waters, for the Restigouche has long been accessible by solely the elite. It is only in recent years that some of the privately owned lodges have become available to the public. Needless to say, my upcoming trip did not feel real until I hit the road, gear in tow. I had Whiskey Myers blasting as I made my way up to Northern New Brunswick. I was en route to fish a river that the likes of Bing Crosby and Hubert Humphrey had once fished; a river rich in history and folklore.
Traveling on the heavily wooded back roads, I began the steep descent to Glen Eden Lodge. As the river came into view, my excitement and anticipation soared. I was beaming as the team warmly welcomed me. I settled in quickly, met fellow guests and enjoyed a beautiful, family-style, meal before donning waders for our first fish of the trip. At Glen Eden, you most often fish from their 26-foot canoes, two anglers and one guide per boat. The hills and trees surrounding the river make for a lush backdrop and the water is crystal clear. Every cast feels like ‘the cast’. There’s a magic about the river unlike any other.
While fishing that first night, I caught sight of something large moving on the bank. Two moose cautiously waded out into the water. We watched them until they decided the current was a little too strong and retreated back from where they came. A spectacular sight to see.
On my fourth day, a new guest arrived, Jakob Lorefice of Antigonish, Nova Scotia. He and I had tied flies and fished alongside one another several times last season on the beautiful Margaree River in Cape Breton.
Jakob and I were paired with Glen Eden Guide and fly tier, Denis Boudreau. We alternated fishing ‘drops’ from the Sharpe canoe, carefully following the direction of our guide. It was Jakob’s turn and he was swinging a size 4 Undertaker. Everything was set up perfectly. Denis followed the swing intently and encouraged Jakob to mend a little downstream on his next cast. After two spot-on mends, wham! Fish on! Jakob’s rod was now bent in half, vibrating violently from the fish shaking it’s head in protest. Joyful laughter was bubbling from Jakob as Denis quickly brought the canoe to shore and we all stepped out. This young angler was now standing in the river, fighting the fish like he had done it a hundred times over. With reel screaming and Jakob already well into his backing, off he ran downriver after his fish. This was his first Restigouche Atlantic Salmon and he was not about to lose it. His rod tip never lowered and he kept his footing as he raced down the rocky riverbank, picking up line as he went. With the help of our guide, Jakob landed his first Restigouche Atlantic, a 25 pound, bright silver beauty. As the fish recovered quickly within the cool current, Jakob’s face was full of admiration and pride. After it torpedoed away, handshakes and hearty congratulations were exchanged.
Back at the lodge, Jakob shared the story of his special fish with our fellow guests. He was honored to be the first of the 2019 season to record his Atlantic Salmon in the Glen Eden Log Book.
Deirdre Green is an avid angler, blogger and conservationist from Canada’s east coast and a regular featured author on the Epic Blog. To learn more about her…