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Atlantic salmon and two-legged migration

Atlantic salmon. Timothy Knepp, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. A public domain image.

The following is an excerpt . . .

When Salmon Return to the Margaree, It’s All Fly Rods and Autumn Glory

The river is public, and can get crowded, but anglers here on Cape Breton Island know it’s something special.

By Monte Burke / New York Times / Margaree Forks, Nova Scotia / October 27, 2017

Every October, two significant migrations take place on the Margaree River on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The first consists of hundreds of Atlantic salmon, returning to their natal river to spawn after a year, or sometimes longer, spent in the ocean. Most of these salmon will traverse more than 1,000 miles on their journey home.

The other is made up of legions of anglers from all over the world who flock to the Margaree in the hopes of connecting with one of those Atlantic salmon.

Among them is Suzi Moore of Newburyport, Mass., effortlessly throwing taut loops of line from her 13-foot, double-handed fly rod.

On the first evening of my weeklong trip to the Margaree, I sat on the riverbank and watched Moore and five other anglers fish a stretch of water on the lower portion of the river. Atlantic salmon were playfully leaping and porpoising throughout the pool, but neither Moore, an accomplished angler and champion bird-dog trainer, nor her fellow fishermen could persuade one to take a fly.

“That’s Atlantic salmon fishing,” Moore said with a smile.

Moore and her husband, Allen, a retired architect, fish all over the world each year. But every October since 1987, they have come back to the Margaree, staying at their cozy home on the river, where they each have a fly-tying desk. “The fishing on the Margaree is challenging but so interesting,” Moore said. “We love it up here.”

Artist Thom Glace’s commissioned Atlantic salmon caught in Quebec. Image used with permission. Click on image to visit Thom Glace’s studio.

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