Saturday, 14 June 2014

The end of an era..

I was recently talking to my buddy, John Alward, who said he had some time booked at Noreen Hennessy’s for fishing in June and July. He told me that Noreen hasn’t been in the best of health lately and as a result, her daughter was cancelling all bookings and the Hennessy cabins would no longer be available for rental. I think we all knew deep down that this day was coming but now that it’s here it’s tough to believe..
I think back about all the good times we’ve had in those humble cabins and most notably the ‘Chalet Noir’ which we rented for two Julys during back to back years. From our first trip salmon fishing I knew we all really liked it, but at Noreen’s we all fell in love with it… Most of our crew caught our first fish there on that bar as people from both banks cheered us on… ‘moon walking’ to shore with a fish-on while the Miramichi flowed at 1.2 metres was tricky and we will never forget those days.
It’s impossible to say what the future holds for the Hennessy property… I’m thankful for having had the opportunity to spend some quality time there and I know many more NB’ers are as well.
Thank-you Noreen.     

Billy's first grilse:

Hangin' out watching the river go by:


Sunday, 8 June 2014

A productive weekend..

Dad, Billy and I headed to the camp on Thursday evening, we had originally planned to take a rip around the horseshoe until the weather changed to a  monsoon.. We instead decided to get some work done at the camp. We had more pine to nail on so we went at that for a couple days.

Dad also had arranged for a little site work in the yard by a local contractor so we had to cut down a few trees to accommodate this - and of course, the rain didn't let up so we looked like a bunch of drowned rats by the time we were done.. One bonus was that it kept the bugs to a dull roar... 'Tis skeeter season up on the rivah!

These pictures are actually from Saturday when it was dry enough for the dozer:


After the tree cutting was over we went back at the pine - it was a long day as we also had to wire the panel, outlets, etc. it took a couple hours before we even got to start nailing but at the end of the day we had the another side wall complete. 

The next day, we set a goal of getting the large ladders and planks out of the camp once and for all... The only way to achieve this was to carry the ceiling pine over to the mezzanine where we could later work off short ladders.. It was an aggressive schedule but one in which we were determined to achieve. Thankfully, John Alward showed up to give us a hand for the day - he did a mighty fine job running the saw on the ground support crew with Billy! Thanks again John, we couldn't have got to the mezzanine without your help! (At least not by our goal) 

Dad was the key player of the day, once again, with his high flying abilities on top of our wobbly staging. We'd have been staring at insulation behind vapour barrier for a long time if I was the guy up there..  

A few pictures of one our toughest days building yet:

As Rod would say, the Blackville gymnastics or parkour team:

The high wire act:

You can finally start to get a feeling of the scale of inside of the camp through pictures now (or at least I think so):

Exhausted after a job well done:

We said it wasn't going to be a late night but we still managed to stay up past midnight after having a few celebratory sodas.. It was a hell of a weekend, we're all tired and sore but have a great sense of satisfaction after getting so much accomplished. 

Friday, 30 May 2014

Puttin' the pine to 'er..

Dad and I escaped civilization this morning so we could get up to the camp to do a bit of work while the fishing's slow... What do we have, about another week until things pick up?

Bill is on his way and Brad'll be here in the AM - that should make things go a bit quicker. 

A couple pics of our progress:

Tuesday, 27 May 2014


Here's a couple panoramas I took on Saturday while fishing across the river from the Den. Pretty cool what you can do with an iPhone!

With Bill:

100% Bill free:

Monday, 26 May 2014

Walking a 'Spring' Salmon..

I finally managed to get this video edited and uploaded to youtube -- Bill captured this video on May 15th during our brief period of really good fishing this spring, hope you like it - we sure had a blast filming it!

(If you click here: you can watch it on youtube in HD -- recommended)

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Spring Salmon fishing, 2014..

We've snow shoed into the camp, got the truck stuck in the driveway and even managed to get a little bit of work done in spite of the lingering grip of winter.. And after a slow start to the season things have finally picked up. Here are a few pictures of our last few trips: A moose spotted on the 123 during one of our drives up - pic by Bill:
Stuck in the driveway:
Some necessary work:
We keep meaning to get a group photo but be damned if we can remember to get it done... something we're going to rectify this season... Here are a few pictures of the group, albeit a few of us at a time: Joe and Dad at the office:
The reason the gods invented neoprenes... HIGH, COLD, spring water..
Ed, Brad and I.. Brad had a great fire going that morning..
Brad's fire (pic by Brad)
This is going to screw up continuity and the timeline but I had to, to get a picture of Bill and Paul in:
Where Ed learned the power of the dark side a.k.a. 'Spey' casting ;) (it was good having you up, btw, Ed!)
Dad & Joe
The extent of the ice damage is amazing this year, scenes like this are on both sides of the river as far up and down as you can see.. the power of a river at ice out is simply awesome! (pics by Brad)
Before we get into fishing pictures, Brad and Bill captured some great shots of a Ruffed Grouse who was hanging around the driveway - not sure if this was the drummer or not but there was certainly one nearby: (Brad's pics)
I absolutely LOVE Brad's Grouse pics - there are a few more here on this entry from last fall (definitely worth the click)

So down to the actual fishing portion of this entry... It's been a cold spring, with lots of high water but we have to make the best of a tough conditions and keep our eye on the prize - which is great summer water! It's nice to fish during spring but there's nothing like hooking a bright salmon in June or July and this spring is really giving us what we need for good fishing conditions during those precious months.. We managed to get into a couple fish earlier in May on the trip we went up to install the stoves. That was the same 3 day trip that my friend from work, Ed, managed to get up for a day. The fishing was slow but at least he got to see what all the fuss was about.. The first couple pics I took myself as I was fishing alone further upstream:
It was nice to finally feel a solid pull.. with water as cold as it was (painful even in neoprenes) we were lucky to get into any fish from shore... even the trollers were having a tough go of things and they looked envious as they boated by while I was fighting and landing my fish :) Gotta love it! The next fish, I was fishing with the guys so they managed to get some better pictures:
I let Ed release this fish and he was impressed by the power of a fish that over-wintered in the river. Here's the video of landing this fish:

Black Salmon May 9th 2014 from Salmo Salar on Vimeo.
That was pretty much the extent of our luck for that trip. Bill and I were to head back up on the following Wednesday to hang with the Elsons at the Lizzard Lounge :) After arriving at Paul & Steph's place we heard some great news announced by the Metepenagiag First Nation - it was certainly cause for celebration! The next day Paul, Bill and I went to the Oxbow to play in the river while Steph headed to the same place to work - I have to say I'm a wee envious, Steph! A few pictures from our boating adventure on the Little Southwest:
And of course, Paul being the Fishinnut he is had to hook and land one - a nice salmon:
Nice one man! You can almost tell how impressed I was: (just kidding, of course)
The water was very very cold in the LSW (6.5C) versus the much warmer MSW (10C).. Paul had some work to do in the afternoon so Bill and I decided to head back down to the Den for the afternoon to see if the warmer water would offer better fishing.. And boy did it ever! Things started out small with a grilse but worked up to a nice semi reconditioned 38" female who took Bill and I for a walk WAAAAY down river. It was an epic fight and Bill managed to capture it on video. If Youtube would hurry up I could post it here... Anyhow, here are some stills for now:
A small salmon:
This is the big girl that took us way down river - man what a scrap!
Bill even managed to get in on the action with a nice salmon:
By the time were finished we managed to land 6 fish ... poor fellows that we were had to leave the river while things were "ON" to got back to Steph & Paul's for surf and turf - I don't know how we suffer through such conditions! Ha! Thanks again for the awesome food and hospitality guys! After such hot fishing conditions it was a no brainer as to where we would be fishing on Friday - which was our last kick at the can as the Blackville Navy and the May long weekend warriors showed up in full force making fishing from shore pretty much impossible and unbearable. We did manage to get one more fish before deciding to dedicate the rest of our trip to miller time and relaxation. Here's the last one: (thanks for loaning me the hat, Joe ;))
Such a nice hat... I wants it...
This fly was definitely the fly of the early season: One chewed and one not:
And here's our 2014 logo that you'll be seeing around ... designed by Bill and his son Matt - awesome job guys! I can't wait to get this baby on some t-shirts & hats!
Do you suppose anyone would be interested in some Wulff Den swag?

That's it for this installment - keep an eye out for the video of landing that big female - if it wasn't so big i'd put it on Vimeo but it's over 1GB and my free account only does 500mb. It should be live on youtube soon. I hope!