Salmon fishing & fly tying on the Miramichi...

Friday, 28 December 2012

Going to need some more black bunny strips soon...

The trouble with bunny strip flies is once you start tying them it's tough to stop...

Kelt just love them!

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Another Bunny Strip streamer...

This one was shown to me by Mark Willigar on his site

This was one of the top producers at the Den in April and May for black salmon.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Changing gears for a bit -- Pete's Bog Monster (spring salmon)

Been tying with nothing but deerhair for a spell and It was time to change up for a bit:

We had incredible luck last year with this pattern - it was shown to me by the master of spring flies, Pete! Thanks again, dude!

This one is bound for Billy's fly box along with a couple more.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

A Hike on Xmas Eve, Eve....

It's been a while since my last post - been busy, christmas season, etc. blah, blah, blah... That was pretty much my attitude until Uncle Brad decided a hike was in order! I have to admit, this online thing has been kinda gettin' me down lately... flyguy is quiet.. like crickets chirping quiet.. and it's tying season! People should be posting like crazy! A few good lads are carrying the site but it's a far cry from what it once was  ---- big thanks to the lads who ARE posting!

Anyways, back to the hike - Brad (my wife's brother - and good all around guy) suggested we do "Friar's Nose" up by Poley Mountain in behind Sussex. He said it was up hill the whole way and man he wasn't lying! We got there before noon and started up the trail.

See that 'bump' to the top and left of the gingerbread house? That's our destination! The trail starts about 20 yards to the right of the house.

A picture of Brad taking a picture...

Parlee Brook runs by this house and I believe a water powered turbine provides the power.

Sharleen & Ethan walking up the trail:

Uncle Brad and Melissa WAAAAY out in front!
Half way!
The top!
Sharleen & Ethan
Everyone tinkering with their cameras/phones:
Sharleen! XOXO!
Uncle Brad!
We had a great Christmas Eve, Eve! Thanks Brad for the great hike! We finished the day off with a charcoal barbeque - YUM!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Fall 2012 Hunting season in a nutshell..

Fall hunting season came and went so damned fast.. hard to believe it's over and has been for a few weeks now. Mind you, rabbit hunting is still open but I consider the season over after the last day of deer season. Traditionally, that last day of deer hunting would be our last trip to our camp in Kars but this year due to no snow we were able to extend our trips to the camp by a couple weeks. The road to the camp isn't plowed in the winter so once snow comes there's no way in. Here's a few pictures of our fall, we had a lot of good times in this short season and I certainly wish it wasn't over!

Here's one of my favorite pictures of a poster we found in a cabin at McKeel lake - that old abandoned shack has since been burned down by kids. This poster is now on the wall in our camp.

The cable ferry at Long Point in Kars:

Instagram Versions:
Since our focus at hunting camp is less about hunting and more about socializing and being with friends and family I would usually pack along my fly tying gear and once in a while i'd even manage to spin a few bugs up in between sips of rum. Good times :)

We were lucky to have some beautiful weather which suited our relaxing stays at the camp, days like this are few and far between and a person really needs to step back and realize what you have and take a moment to appreciate it.

Lunch in the yard on a beautiful fall day:

We were able to take some time for archery practice and even do a little rimfire target shooting. The neighbors know when the Gould clan is in the hood when gunfire begins ;-)

Ethan plinking away:

Archery (the ONLY way to deer hunt! hehe!):

Dad and Ethan at the campfire:

We even had some success this fall with the little bit of hunting we managed to fit in:

A few meals of wild game "cooking on a coleman" (borrowed from Greyghost)
Views from the camp:
It was a great fall season, but too short as always. My daughter and son will both be taking the hunter safety and firearms safety course this winter so I'm really looking forward to the 2013 hunting season. My brother in law, Bradley, is also going to take the course so we will have 3 new hunters in camp next fall. I'm extremely excited at the prospect of passing along our family traditions of hunting and I know this is exactly what's needed to help me strike a balance between salmon fishing and hunting. It's tough when you love doing each thing equally. I have quite a few friends that either salmon fish or hunt but don't do both. I know they're missing out on a wonderful activity and tradition by not hunting. It's not just about killing animals, there's much more to it than that. I hope folks get  get an idea of that from the pictures above.

Now let's tie some flies!!!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Tying season is here!

I'm just nicely getting back into the swing of things. Here's the first hairwing I've tied in a while - a Purple Shadow.

Here's the story on the Purple Shadow and some recycled material from a post I made on Fly Tying Bug a few months ago:

This fly is the "Purple Shadow" - or at least a slight variation on the original simplified to tie a little quicker for fishing. It's a pattern by Bob Baker and I'm a believer! You should see this baby glow on a dark, cloudy day in tannin coloured water

Recipe as tied:
 Hook: Partridge Bartleet Supreme Salmon CS10/2
 Head: Uni 8/0 Red
 Tag: Uni Oval tinsel Gold
 Tail: Golden Pheasant Crest
 Butt: Fl. Orange Floss, Red Ostrich herl
 Body: Danville Floss, Fuscia
 Rib: Uni Oval tinsel Gold
 Wing: Purple squirrel tail
 Collar: Purple hen Hackle

(This version is tied with a larger collar than Bob's)

My good friend Paul knows Bob quite well and got this information about the Purple Shadow's origin:
 'Hello Paul - The "shadows" were born after talking to Eric Baylis one day on the phone re some of the vagarities of salmon and I remarked "who knows?" - to which he replied "Only the Shadow knows for sure" - in reference to an old radio show. That, and a line from a poem about the Atlantic salmon by local poet Chris Grant : "Shadows hang suspended in the waters changing light " inspired the thought " Wow - What a great name for a salmon fly"
 Accordingly I sat down at my bench, thinking - What will it look like ? This was the first time I had the name before the creation, and it took a while, but slowly the Black Shadow was born, shortly after the Silver version, and since I had always liked purple as a fly color (Purple Pinware, Smurf and Czar to name three previous successful ones), the Purple Shadow followed shortly after. Results soon spoke for themself. tight lines, Bob'

So thanks to Bob for the great story of this patterns' origin and also to Paul for doing all this behind the scenes detective work!

Instagram version:

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Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The Wulff Den: Ok, so here's the deal...

Just a bump for a little 'contest' I announced back in September...

Free flies for the ten thousandth visitor!

Click Here:
The Wulff Den: Ok, so here's the deal...

Also, now that tying season is nearly underway things will begin to pickup here. I'll be blogging more and I'll also have an entry of some bird hunting we did this fall after salmon season.

Monday, 15 October 2012

My LAST weekend fishing report of 2012 .... (part 2 of 2)

After a great day on the river with Paul, I arrived back at the camp to expect to see Dad, Joe and Bill there but they were running a bit late. So I made some supper and a hot cup of tea to try to warm up a bit. This evening was to be the last session around the campfire for 2012 so I needed to build a foundation to support the evening’s events. Shortly after I got the camp warmed up and supper finished the lads showed up. Apparently a back road navigational error in unfamiliar territory caused a lengthy backtrack. Oh well, at least everyone was safe. We bundled up, arranged ourselves around the campfire and began agitating. As the evening wore on and the wood supply dwindled we realized how cold it was and decided it was time to retreat to the warmth of the trailer. Doug was supposed to come up that evening but he was pretty beat from a long week at work and wouldn’t be up until the next morning. Our plans were to meet up somewhere on the Cains and fish together for the last time this season.
A cool evening campfire:
There were to be no alarms the next morning as our mission was simply to finish closing and winterizing the camp, have some breakfast and head home while stopping for a quick fish along the way. Dad, Bill and Joe opted not to fish and headed straight for home.

Ice from the ‘automatic dishwasher’:

A cold set of waders:
The Southwest Miramichi:

One of the half dozen Whiskey Jacks who joined us for breakfast:
A.K.A. Canada Jay, Gray Jay, Moose Bird, Gorby – this critter of many names are amazingly bold and will often eat from your hand.

After we finished eating and cleaning up we briefly discussed our plans to begin building the Wulff Den proper next spring! 2013 is going to be an exciting year at the camp, assuming of course we all survive Dec 21st/2012 *rolls eyes* So we said good-bye to the camp, then each other and hit the road. I headed into the woods up the South Cains road to my first stop.

Last year Doug and I had an incredible fall fishing session at this pool – We showed up, made one pass through the pool, he landed a monster salmon, I landed a grilse and I broke off another monster – all in the first pass among a number of other fishermen. I was hoping for a second chance at the monster that broke me off but it was not meant to be. I did see a couple fish porpoise but there was to be no love for the Canary. Midway through my first pass Doug showed up and we chatted about what to do and he said casting at the next pool up would be a whole lot easier – he also uses a spey rod but  only uses it overhead so he needs a lot of room for his back cast. I was happy he showed up as I was seriously considering finishing my season for good after that first pass …

We arrived at salmon brook to find a few fellows having a midday snack in the parking area. They were nice enough lads, and we had a great discussion about live release and conservation… Our chat got onto the striped bass and grey seal situation and it was agreed that something needed to be done. These gentlemen had caught striped bass as high up the Southwest Miramichi as Blissfield. We each shared our favorite preparation methods for bass … I’ll leave it at that…

(remember the red leafed tree mentioned in part 1?)

So down to the river we raced - I gave Doug a freshly tied marabou pattern and I opted to skip the Canary this time and tied on the Showgirl to see if I could pull out a Hail Mary on my last pass of the season. The Cains was also full of yellow and red leaves but clear. Doug went down through first and his plan was to just go down about 50 yards from the mouth of the brook and call it quits before hitting another pool. My plan was to make this pass then head out as I wanted to be home by suppertime. We each made our way down through, I was tucked up quite close to him for the amount of line we were throwing because there was quite a queue growing on shore. A longer cast means our swings also take longer and I was trying to observe the step-cast-step etiquette necessary in crowded public pools. To keep the conga line moving at the expected pace I had to start stripping in about ¾’s through the swing which was ok with me as my fly would be over the sweet spot before then anyways ;-) Doug finished his abbreviated pass and stepped out and went up to the queue area. When he was walking by he said ‘Some quite, eh?’ to which I agreed and said back to him ‘I only have a dozen more casts and I’m done as well’. So I continued to work down through and I was really starting to get a feeling back for my Skagit line which I had only put back on earlier that morning as I knew we would be fishing ‘river right’ in heavy wind. For me this means double spey and that line punches through wind like nobody’s business. I was down to about 3 steps remaining when I felt the BIG PULL again and saw a tremendous splash in front of me followed quickly by a “RIGHT ON HOWIE!!” from Doug who had witnessed the whole thing! I lifted up and started to fight this beautiful but dark hen fish. I was in a daze almost like it was the first fish I had ever hooked and didn’t know what I was doing... I think it was more the shock of what had just happened – I mean these last minute, pull a rabbit out of your hat moments never happen to fellas like me?! Anyways, once Doug got down by my side and calmed me down it all started coming back and we worked on getting her in. It took a few attempts to tail her but no harm was done. She remained in the water for all but 5 seconds to snap a few pictures. We fumbled the hand off so I only managed a few pictures of Doug holding her. The exact same thing happened to us but in reverse last year on his much bigger salmon I mentioned in part 1. A fumbled hand off and the only pics that were taken were with me holding his fish. I can’t say it bothers me because it’s nice to see a fish that fought so hard take off so quickly with so much vigor. I guess that’s the advantage of lots of cold water – a condition that was rare in 2012.

Thanks Doug, it was a great day on the river!