York River

Located in the centre of the Gaspé Peninsula, the York River is one of the mostly prized Atlantic salmon river in Eastern Canada. Originating in the heart of the Chic-Choc Mountains (Notre-Dame), it flows over a distance of 98 km into the Gaspé Bay. Fishing is possible on over 60 km of the York River. Aside from the last few kilometres, the river flows largely through the Gaspé wilderness. The York is a tributary of the Gaspé Bay, a vital part of the Atlantic salmon’s migration route.

The York River captivates nearly all Atlantic salmon anglers, with its emerable green water and the amazing size of its salmon, which often weigh over 15 kg (35 lbs.).

Some information about the river

  • Pools can be accessed by car
  • Paved roads
  • Wading pools; canoe is not mandatory (except for sector 4 under high water conditions)
  • Guides are not required while fishing,
    however, private guides are available for those concerned

Some pictures of the river

Rates for this river

Fishing zones Number of fishermen Residents Non-residents
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The York River is divided into 11 sectors of which 7 have controlled access and 4 have unlimited access

A total of 70 pools are open to anglers. Non-Controlled Sectors: 1, 5, 7 & 10 are unlimited zones. No reservations required. Controlled Sectors : 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9 & 11. Reservations by pre-season draw (November 1) or by 48 Hour Draw.

Just 15 minutes drive from Gaspé, the easily accessible pools are the first pools where the Atlantic salmon stop by before heading upstream. A well-known place for anglers is the Baillargeon pool, located near a bridge crossing the York River. Every time there is a new spawning run, you can see salmon under the bridge early in the morning or at twilight.

This sector is known for its set of rapids that open into a long and slower stretch of current. True paradise waters for anglers who like dry fly fishing. This sector holds salmon in both high and low water conditions.

A two rod zone located no more than two minutes walking distance from your vehicle. Mississippi and Bluff pools are close by and harbour salmon in high and low water.

Ten pools with an eight-rod limit. In high water conditions, fishing from a canoe is permitted in this sector. Dog, Dog Run and Still pools are the spots you will want to fish early in the season while the water is still fairly high. In early June, it is recommended to fish Gros Saumon's back eddies and current from a canoe.

When the flow rate subsides, Gros Saumon pool offers the dry fly angler an excellent opportunity to cast for salmon. I'Ile, Maitland and other pools lower down are accessible by canoe in high water. Later in the season, the York can be accessed by foot above Dog Pool.

Here is an unlimited zone that may challenge your cardiac stamina. Gary Pool is a five-minute walk downhill and a twenty minute hike back. A good all-season resting pool, Gary can be a delight for left-handed anglers in high water. A roll cast is the ticket in full flow. Dry flies are effective later in the season as the water levels go down. If you don't mind a good cardio workout, you might want to make the trek to Sentier and Araback pools. Once you arrive, these pools have secret potholes you can spend days exploring.

Best fishing will be found in this sector during the initial four to six weeks of the season. Murdoch, Fairbanks and Dexter pools contain long stretches of fast water that end in waxy pools. These pools are best fished with wet flies early in the season and dry flies into June. Cuve (the French word for Tub) is a long, narrow basin-like pool with a slow current that is a dry-fly angler's delight. The scenery is breath-taking. It is a must see spot that can reinvigorate the weariest fisherman.

An endurance test of the first order. The main pool is located about 120 paces downhill and anglers need to take care not to spook their quarry on the way down. The pool is deep and ends in a set of rapids so anglers will need to keep a hooked salmon from entering there. Otherwise, you'll end up in Cuve Pool in sector 6.

Guard Rail Pool is a tough fifteen minute walk from the main road, but well worth the effort. You'll be rewarded with slow moving water holding fish throughout the season. Wets and dries work equally well and the angler should nose around for potholes containing salmon.

Gorge is a long steep downhill hike. Wet and dry flies both work magic in this spot. Nearby Castor is a deep hole where salmon hove in close to the ledges. Dry flies are required to coax them out of hiding.

Spruin Rock pool is the most sought-after pool on the York River. It is worthwhile to visit this pool, even if you are not fishing. Caution should be exercised when approaching the pool because the salmon are highly visible. We suggest you ask permission to approach from anyone fishing Spruin Rock. Dry flies are good starters near the big flat boulder just below the pool. As you work your way toward the rapids, you will probably be spotted by some of the salmon while covering the upper pool. Wet flies are effective in the higher section of the rapids. Large salmon often tail in the intervals between the maze of currents, so keep a sharp lookout!

Offie is located at the bottom of a fifteen minute downhill walk. The trail leads to a flat ledge where the rapids open to a large, broad pool that resembles a small lake. Salmon will often hold in the current of the upper rapids while others can be seen lying in the opening of the large pool. Wet flies are deadly in these sections of water. Be forewarned that casting a dry fly into the pool's opening will definitely drive the inhabitants mad. Once again, a stealthy approach to these pools is the order of the day. Big salmon are big because they are wary.

A popular all-season sector. By mid-June the salmon are starting to rest in this area. Terry Pool is a short walking distance and very productive in both high and low water. Keg is reputed to hold large fish in low water and produces fish throughout the season. It is easily fished with both wet and dry flies. Montagnard is a popular pool, though it can be difficult because of a back eddy swirling between angler and fish. Stripping your line should do the job.

An unlimited section of the York River. Pont pool is a small set of rapids that opens into a large stillwater pool. Stony Beaver is a minute's walk from you vehicle and is a pleasure to fish at normal water levels. Random and Patch pools are a three kilometre drive off the main road, featuring fast rapids that should be fished wet.

Increasingly popular Truite pool is situated just below our holding gate. It often contains over a hundred salmon and as many trout. It is a ten minute walk from the parking area and has rapids opening into a deep calm pool. The salmon hold in the rapids and against the ledges that form the pool's banks. Presenting a well-groomed dry fly to the current will often yield spectacular results.

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