Dartmouth River

The Dartmouth River is located in the northeast corner of the Gaspé Peninsula. The river runs mostly through wilderness with the exception of its mouth, located in the countryside near the town of Gaspé. It is originated from the Monts Chic-Chocs (Notre-Dame), at the northern end of the Appalachian Range, and ends at the northwest basin of Gaspé Bay.

  • Pool can be accessed by car
  • Paved roads
  • Wading pools, no canoe required (except for sector 4 during high water conditions)
  • Guides are not required to fish, however, private guides offer their services for those interested

Some pictures of the river

Rates for this river

Fishing zones Number of fishermen Residents Non-residents
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The Dartmouth River is divided in 7 sectors. Three sectors with unlimited access and 4 with controlled access, of which 3 are 2 rod sectors only

Non-controlled sectors: 1, 3 & 5 do not require reservations meaning that there is no limit on the number of anglers. A daily pass allows access to all unlimited zones.
Controlled sectors: 2, 4, 6 & 7, reservations by pre-season draw (November 1st) and 48 Hour draw.

Diotte Pool is accessible from the south side of the Dartmouth. It is a large wide set of rapids that offer excellent early June fishing.

Narcisse Pool challenges anglers with a long swift run of rapids. It is wet fly territory, even in low water.

A long rapid characterizes Fortin Pool. Wet flies are effective throughout the season, and dry flies are particularly efficient at the tail end of the pool.

Instructions for fishing Lemay late in the season include a cautionary note to be as invisible as possible. The salmon there are easily spooked. Lemay is a long lazy stretch with rapids that is best handled with wetflies in high waters and with dryflies as the water levels recede.

The peak time for fishing Snake is June and July.  It is worthwhile fishing Snake's curving rapids in late August and September when grilse sometimes hold up for a rest.

Upper Lady Step requires a hero's cast. The boiling rapids are impressive, belying its unusually gentle sounding name. Salmon frequently occupy the head of these rapids in June and July before moving further downstream. By August and September, they position themselves at the rapid's tail water.

Anglers are urged to find the tantalizingly small kettle-hole that holds them in late June and July.

Rock's large rapids surround a shallow channel in the middle. It is fishable both wet and dry and salmon sometimes hug the shore. Anglers are cautioned to wait until one's line is dead before commencing the next cast.

With its vast pool, accessing Spring Rock in high water is nearly impossible; however, when it is approachable, you can fish downstream from the centre of the Dartmouth into the pool. It is best fished wet and shelters salmon through from late June into August.

Tent offers excellent wet and dry fly angling from late June into early August. Even though the pool is highly productive, the salmon are skittish as they swarm in Tent's deep pocket of water. It is advisable to keep a low profile and take the stealthy track. Ladder is the most famous pool on the Dartmouth. These waters are located at the end of a ten minute walk that opens into a spectacular view of the gorge and falls. Salmon can frequently be seen leaping up the falls in late June and July. A series of steps lead to the pool where you'll instantly be on top of salmon. Ladder is a deep open pool that ends in rapids bordered by a ledge face. Early on, the salmon prefer to line up alongside the ledge wall. Here, the fishing is excellent from June to early July. As the season tapers off, the salmon will slip into the current at the lower end of the rapids.

By the end of June, salmon start to occupy the Ledges. It is a rather hazardous place to fish, given the precarious footing on its slippery rock surface. The salmon are usually resting in the deep pools found at the base of two short waterfalls. They usually respond to wet flies.

Breeder is a well-known pool with the first salmon appearing sometime around June 24th. The small arching rapids end in a pool of slow water that provides a respite for salmon, particularly in lower water. Well over a hundred fish are visible in the pool from late August to the end of the season. As water levels fall, wet flies become less effective and dry flies work much better.

Toad Pool is a short stretch of fast water rapids. Salmon inhabit the spot from July through September and are highly visible in the quick water. It should be fished wet. Big Salmon Hole is an apt description for this set of fastwater rapids terminating in a slow waxy pool.

Fish choose this location to rest from July into September. Wet flies are best for working the current. Dry flies are more effective in the pool's lower end. Wading anglers are cautioned to cross Post Brook Pool at its head to avoid detection. The pool commences with rapids that flow moderately into a large broad basin. Fish reside in the pool from mid-August to the end of the season. Anglers should cast from the Dartmouth's southern bank. Again, wet flies appear to work better in the fast water and dries in the calmer sections.

Paul-Émile is a twenty minute downhill walk. It begins with rapids arcing into the lazy current of a waxy pool. The high banks and distant trees make this spot a dry fly-fisherman's dream come true. You can cast miles of line from August through September as there are numerous salmon lodging in this pool.

Moose Bogan is the last fishable pool before a set of gates. As a result, the pool contains a host of salmon. Moose Bogan can be best described as fast rapids quieting into a slower flow. Salmon are often detected in the deep water found at the head of the rapids. Dry flies work at the slower end and wets are needed to get down into the faster water.

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