Line fishing and fly fishing

For these types of fishing, your line may be equipped with artificial lures, hooks or flies, and may be baited or unbaited. A hook may be single or multiple. An artificial lure or a fly counts as a hook.

Maximum number of hooks and points

Generally, in all bodies of water, where all kinds of line fishing (angling) is permitted (including fly fishing), your line must not have more than three fish hooks. However, the number of points for a hook or combination of hooks is unlimited.

Special conditions may apply as shown in the table below. 

Exceptions - maximum number of hooks and points
Place or fishing periodHooksPoints *
In zone 25 and the portion of lac Saint-François located west of a line drawn from Beaudette point on the north shore to Saint-Louis point on the south shore (zone 8)4Unlimited
In zone 21, for rainbow smelt fishingUnlimitedUnlimited
In salmon rivers, where salmon fishing is permitted12
In salmon rivers, where salmon fishing is prohibited33

* Applicable for a hook or combinaison of hooks 

Number of line

  • You must use only one line at a time (except in winter) and you must monitor it constantly. You must not use a rod and line and a fly fishing rod at the same time.
  • If one or more people are fishing under the same licence, the number of lines used by the group must not exceed the total number of lines authorized for the licence. As for winter fishing or bait fishing, the number of gear allowed for the group must not exceed the number allowed for a licence.
  • You must not have a fishing rod or fly fishing rod in your possession on or within 100 metres of a body of water on which the use of these items is prohibited. Special conditions may apply if you are fishing on a body of water reserved for fly fishing.

Sites reserved for fly fishing

Most salmon rivers and some bodies of water, usually located in controlled harvesting zones (ZECs), are reserved for fly fishing and are posted as such at the information centre or near the fishing site.

If you fish at a reserved site, you must comply with the following rules:

  • The fly line (silk) must be unweighted and mounted on a fishing rod designed for that purpose;
  •  A maximum of 2 flies can be attached to this line, which must not be a metal-core line.
  • The composition of the fly is very specific.
    • It may be dressed with silk, tinsel, wool, fabric, fur, feathers or other similar materials.
    • Metal (brass, copper or aluminium) and plastic tubing may form part of the fly, along with the straight pin.
    • Waddington shafts are authorized.
    • Metal heads and eyes are prohibited.
    • The fly must not have spinning or undulating parts or be equipped with weights that cause it to sink.
  • An artificial fly may comprise a combination of fish hooks and must comply with the maximum authorized hook size as shown in the figure below. It must never have more than three points.
  • Unless otherwise indicated, the fly must not be baited.
  • The authorized number of hooks and points may vary according to the site at which you fish and the time of year, as shown in the table below.

The above figure shows the maximum size (the distance between the point of the hook and the shank) of artificial flies, depending on the number of points.

Note: There is no restriction on shank length.

Maximum number of hooks and points (when only fly fishing is permitted)
Place or fishing periodArtificial fliesPoints *
In bodies of water reserved for fly fishing (other than a salmon river)23
In salmon rivers, where salmon fishing is permitted12
In salmon rivers, where salmon fishing is prohibited23

* Applicable for a hook or combinaison of hooks

Additional information

You cannot have, in your possession, any fishing gear other than that required for fly fishing, on or within 100 metres of a body of water reserved for fly fishing, except:

  • when the gear is in a vehicle (other than a boat) or a building;
  • you are only crossing or travelling along waters reserved for fly fishing in order to fish in other waters where the use of the gear in question is permitted. In this case, when you are in the area reserved for fly fishing, you must:
    • take the hook (other than an artificial fly) off the line;
    • render your rod unusable by taking it apart into sections, removing the reel or storing it in a closed case.

Winter fishing

Depending on the zone, you may use up to five or ten lines for winter fishing. You must monitor the lines continuously.

For information on the number of lines to which you are entitled, please see the section entitled Particular rules for each zone This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Fishing with bows or crossbows or spearfishing while swimming

This type of fishing is permitted in most fishing zones. You may spearfish while snorkelling or diving (with or without diving apparatus).

However, these methods are prohibited when fishing for:

  • salmon, striped bass, landlocked salmon, muskellunge, lake trout and sturgeon;
  • walleye in zones 3 to 16 and 26 to 28 (with some exceptions);
  • all fish species:
    • in zones 17 and 22 to 24;
    • in bodies of water reserved for fly fishing;
    • in salmon rivers;
    • within 500 m downstream from any point at the mouth of a salmon river in zones 18 to 20, 27 and 28, or from a salmon river in zone 21 located on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River.

Fishing with spears and harpoons

The use of spears or harpoons while not swimming is permitted year-round to fish for American eel in the waters of the ÎlesdelaMadeleine.