Today Robert Chiasson gives us his biggest tips and tactics on finding and catching Atlantic salmon on a dry fly. He also shares a story on what it felt like to land and see this 48-inch Atlantic salmon caught on the surface with a bomber.

Robert is the best person you can find if you want to fish the Margaree River and the waters of Nova Scotia and Cape Breton. You’re going to find out how to dead drift a fly, how to fish a seam, how to find those fish in that seam with a dry, why the reach cast is a great cast to know, and the best hook for Atlantic salmon.

Show Notes with Robert Chiasson on Atlantic Salmon. Hit play below! 👇🏻

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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)


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atlantic salmon

Episode Chapters with Robert Chiasson on Atlantic Salmon

1:20 – Robert grew up learning to salmon fish on the Chéticamp River and eventually became a guide there. He has been guiding regularly since 1992.

2:33 – The Margaree has the largest run of Atlantic Salmon in Cape Breton. He says that it’s a very friendly and relaxed river to fish in. He tells more about the Margaree for those who are planning a fly fishing trip there.

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7:42 – They fish from June to the end of October. In the first couple of weeks of June, they mostly fish wet flies. By mid to late June, they’re heavy into the dry fly season. About 80% of his fly choices throughout the summer are dry flies.

10:30 – In the summer, he suggests using a one-handed rod because dries are better presented with single-handed rods. He also likes switch rods. In the fall, he prefers the larger and longer spey rods.

16:10 – We dig deeper into his recommended setup for catching salmon in his area. He also gives an important note on salmon fishing.

19:28 – He says that when you get into the river, the first thing to look at is the configuration of the flow, so look for the fastest-moving water. And then on the edge of the fast-moving water is the seam. That’s where you’ll find fish.

21:30 – Robert doesn’t cast his dry flies upstream a lot because he likes to lead with the fly. He tells more about his cast presentation for Atlantic salmon.

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“Another fun morning in paradise…a wee grilse on a dry, what a great way to start the day!” (Photo via:

24:06 – He describes to us what a good day fishing in the Margaree River looks like. He says that one a day is a good day.


30:58 – He tells us about the biggest salmon he has seen which he grabbed the tail with two hands.

36:30 – We dig into reels, particularly the click and pawl versus a drag reel in catching Atlantic salmon.

42:05 – He describes how he builds a leader. Straight eight is what they fished growing up.

43:40 – He tells us how different is fishing in Labrador versus in the Margaree.

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Robert and his friends from LOOP tackle and Atlantic Rivers Outfitting Company in Labrador (Photo via:

49:32 – He uses the Daiichi 2110 down eye for the hooks, which is his go-to hook for dry flies.

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51:30 – He gives a valuable tip on not losing an Atlantic salmon.

55:40 – He shouts out to some conservation groups such as the Margaree Salmon Association, the Nova Scotia Salmon Association, the Atlantic Salmon Federation, and the Chéticamp River Salmon Association. They have done a lot of great work on Atlantic salmon conservation.

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56:40 – He says that a big factor that affects the salmon runs is commercial fishing in Greenland.

1:00:03 – He tells us some history on the Margaree and Cape Breton.

You can find Robert on Instagram @DryFlySalmon.

Facebook at Robert Chiasson

Visit his website at

Related Podcast Episodes

WFS 490 – Fly Fishing Nova Scotia with Justin Lovell – Brook Trout, Atlantic Salmon


WFS 464 – Fly Fishing for Atlantic Salmon with Topher Browne – Casting Tips, Swinging Flies, Arthur Wood

Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below

atlantic salmon

Conclusion with Robert Chiasson on Atlantic Salmon

Wrapping up our chat with Robert, we got the inside scoop on fly fishing for Atlantic salmon. His stories, tips, and the vibe he brings to fishing have us all itching to hit the rivers. It’s not just about the catch; it’s about loving the game and the places it takes us. Catch you on the river, folks!