Where I am from, a number of the streams are home to native speckled trout, called brook trout here.
A big one runs 12 inches, perfect for the pan if you are a fan of fried trout as I am.
So when I packed for my first trip to Quebec for fall-spawning specks, I loaded the rod tube with a couple ultra-light spinning rods and two 4/5-weight fly rods, both loaded with a floating line. And my fly boxes were filled with tiny dry flies, and bunch of traditional wet flies like Wooly Buggars, Mickey Finns and Marabou Muddlers, all in sizes running from 10-14.
My packing decisions were so poor that they nearly ruined my trip.
The basic issue was this: Quebec’s speckled trout are measured in pounds not inches and big fish eat big meals. The flies I brought were too small to generate much interest.
Secondly, Quebec is blessed with broad, powerful rivers and deep, clear lakes that are best fished with sinking fly lines.
The gear I’d brought was simply no match for Quebec or her fish.
Fortunately, there was an experienced speckled trout angler in camp who was not only equipped properly, he was willing to share his gear!
My favorite speckled trout rod is now an 7/8-weight, which has the muscle to drive big flies to far-away current seams and other fish-holding areas. Most lines brought sink, either at the tip or more, but I still bring one that floats for those special evenings when the wind dies and the trout are taking dries off the surface.
Flies in my box now range from size 1 to 14, with most running larger than smaller. I am a fan of streamers because I have taken my biggest fish on them. They are also great for lake trout and pike, which inhabit most waters that hold specks.
So how big are Quebec’s speckled trout? In many waters I’ve fished, specked averaged 3-5 pounds. The biggest I’ve landed weighed nearly 8 pounds and I’ve seen larger.
August and early September are great times to target Quebec’s spectacular speckled trout, so don’t assume fishing for this year is winding down just yet!