The Margaree is a beautiful little river. The water is very clear, so clear infact that on one run I saw a salmon resting in the middle of a pool as I fished it. The river can easily be fished with a small two handed rod. I had many runs that I fished without getting my whole scandi head out of my guides.
The fishing was good when I was there in late July. I think this was mostly due to the rains that had just come through Cape Breton, and brought the river up and the fish in. The first evening I fished a couple runs that a Halifax fly shop employee had shown me. The first was incredibly narrow with a big back eddie that swirled along the near side for a good hundred feet, I wasn't to impressed with the run, but the angler that fished through it before me and who waited to fish it again, said it was good and that he had seen a guy land a large salmon from the run the morning before. The run below was more to my liking, alot more like a classic Steelhead run, but no grabs on either run.
The next morning, I started on a run called Long Pool which is really the Head and bog of a good sized run. The tailout of the large run is called Snag Pool, these seem to be the two most well known runs on the Margaree. There is a bench at the start of Snag Pool and anglers will wait on the bench for their turn to fish the run. I am not into waiting, so I fished Long Pool.There was an angler on the other side of pool from me . I fished behind him but not as far as I would if he were on my side. He landed a grilse pretty quick and it was dime bright. Long and Snag Pools are not even a mile from tidewater and the rains were moving fish in.
Seeing the guy across hook and land a fish gave me confidence, beyond what I already had. I fish down the riffle at the head of the run, when a older local angler came by and spoke to me, about nothing important, where I was from and such. He was waiting for it to be his turn on Snag Pool.
I fished as we spoke andwithin a few casts of the start of our conversations start my line snap tight, the rod bucked and the line came loose again.
"Did you see that?" the Local exclaimed "You just got a take!"
"What fly are you fishing?"
"a number eight Blue Charm."
"Well, get it back to that fish. You may get him"
I was pretty excited now. His enthusiasm and the delayed excitement of the grab were settling in. I threw out another cast, and another, the fish didn't come back.
"What else do you have in your box" The Local asked, and I opened my flybox to show him.
The Local said "Tie on that Night Hawk, thats a good fly that should bring him back"
It didn'y and neither did any other fly I tried over the next few minutes, so I tied the Blue charm back on and kept fishing down.
The Local got in behind me when I had moved down far enough and in a few minutes he was hooked up just where I got grabbed. I ran up to my bag to get my camera and got a few shots of the fight before the fish came off.
I met a guide as I finished my second pass through the Long Pool. While every angler flyfishes on the Margaree, Spey rods are not common, and I don't think that any one around there was even aware of switch rods, so my equipment was a source of much conversation. Anyway, The guide I met talked to me for a while about two-handed rods and then he told me how I could get to a section of river that had very few anglers on it, and not as many salmon either, but I was interested. He let me park in his yard.
The section of river was beautiful, I only wish I had had more time to fish. After a couple of fishless hours I headed back to the car, and then down to the Margaree's Tidewater. I fished the tide water for a couple hours. I hooked nothing, but I saw a few salmon sitting in the run, suspended in water that seemed as clear as air.