Salmon fishing & fly tying on the Miramichi...

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Salmon country or bust.....

The rivers are dropping and clearing up, time to head north....

Don't forget to check out Live Release Salmon Anglers of New Brunswick on FB:

Monday, 29 July 2013

The Miramichi Classic 2013 Part 2 .... (well, kinda....)

So I mentioned other plans for guiding in the classic, my name was pulled for the Renous for the 2.5 day duration of the event and i'll admit it's a river I don't know all that well but I did know one of the best bets for a cold water pool on it was already beyond good angling temps... So I decided on a different tributary, one with an icy cold water brook feeding into it and this particular pool was also subject to the recent 24(?) pool closure. I held off on this post because I didn't want to add any extra pressure to the fish as they are so vulnerable when stacked up in their sanctuaries. I also wanted to wait until the pools were re-opened so that anglers would be back out there keeping an eye on things... The recent torrential rains we received province wide achieved this and then some --- the fish are DEFINITELY dispersed now and a much harder target for folks with dishonorable intentions... having said all this, the tributary will remain nameless and so will the pool... anyone who has ever fished it will instantly recognize it from the pictures I was going to post and this is exactly the reason i'm not going to.... I don't believe in burning fishing holes and adding extra pressure to our fish.. suffice to say the gentlemen I took there during the classic all raised fish, all saw fish and all had a blast. One lad even had a big salmon take his dry fly but he missed his chance as he was temporarily blinded by the sun ... and not one of my guys foul hooked a fish as we used dries most of the time and one part of the pool I made it mandatory for dry flies only... that way it was up to the salmon whether it took the fly instead of having a wet fly down in their turf risking a foul hookup... we witnessed this once by a seasoned fly angler who "fished that pool for years".... I told the lads I had out at the time that was exactly the reason no wets were to be used in that part of the pool... In any case, I met some great fellas and made some new friends during the classic and i'll be glad to help out again next year!

Now a few pictures from this past weekend up on the Chi ... 2 words: BIG WATER!!

Dad, Ethan, Rene and I had a great weekend in spite of the lack of fishing - come on up anytime, Rene - it was a blast!

Just a quick post to let you know about a new Facebook group we recently started called "Live Release Salmon Anglers of New Brunswick" ...

If you believe the time for changes to the way we treat this incredible resource is here then it's time to be counted folks, so please join up. Whether you're a resident or non resident, as long as you believe in live release salmon angling and have done so in New Brunswick, we want you to be part of this group.

Oh yeah, I haven't forgotten about part 2... I just wanted anglers back on the river and to give the fish a chance to disperse from their cold water refuges and head further up river... i'd say the 120+ millimeters of rain we just received should have done that nicely ;) 

Monday, 22 July 2013

The Miramichi Classic 2013

It's been a while since my last post - been a busy summer trying to take advantage of good water and spend as much time in it as possible. This past few weeks good old Mother Nature certainly put the kibosh to things though, just in time for the MSA 2013 classic...
This year Bill and I volunteered to guide for the 3 day event which turned out to be a great time!

First things first though, we had to get to the Den for the first couple nights before we had to head north to the Oxbow. We spent a couple great nights even though we were haunted by Beetlejuice....

I'm not sure what in hell a fella has to do to get some peace and quiet but it can certainly be a downer... especially when we go there for some time with the inner circle... if you know what i'm sayin'

Anyhow, Saturday AM Bill and I headed up to the LSW to fish with Mr. Elson - seeing the steam come off the water that morning was the last time we'd see that beautiful sight for the rest of the trip.

We fished quarryville of the LSW until things started getting warm around lunchtime. No love for anyone but it was nice to be on the river with good friends. 

On Sunday AM, Bill and I headed north, we had an opportunity at a favorable tide in front of the lodge - how could a fellow turn that down? :)

The new monitoring station at the Oxbow

Debbie & Dale sure have some beautiful water at their lodge. Just the day before they hooked 5 just in front of the lodge in a very short time on a favorable tide.. would we have the same luck?!

Some pics of Oxbow's water - what an awesome spot! 

Bill runnin' his 2 hander:

We fished down through a few times until we figured the favorable tide was past - no hookups but a great morning on some beautiful water at the Oxbow!

We spent the afternoon on the deck of the new lodge with an awesome view of the LSW. It was warm! 

Paul & Bill:

Later that evening Bill and I headed to the bright lights of Miramichi for the MSA kick-off dinner & auction. I got to see Mr. Gary Tanner work his magic as auctioneer! He did a heluva job, entertained the crowd and raised some good money for the cause - great job man! 

The next morning it was guide duty ... they had me pegged for the Renous for 3 days in a sauna but I had other plans ;-) 

I'll get to the rest of the update later...

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Last trip of June part 2 ...

So we're on our way back home, warm heater and warm grub on our minds when Dad spied this silly critter by the camp road...


It's pretty easy to see why they get hit so often, this one was running right down the road ...

So back to the camp we lit the heater had a quick snack and Brad and I headed back out to fish his uncle's pool on the MSW.

Toasty warm!

Brad and I arrived and his uncle and cousin were working on the camp and their road down to the river. We chatted with them for a bit then headed down for a pass. I had a wet fly on for the first little bit but I didn't like the swing so I figured this looked a hell of a lot like a great spot for a dry fly... So on goes the locater.... of course it was the blue one...

For the next 3 minutes I worked on getting the hang of flinging a dry fly with my spey rod and getting it to land and drift just the way I liked it ... at minute 3.5 and out of nowhere this big ass salmon grabs it heading from upstream to downstream?!? Whoa! Was I ever NOT ready for that! And did this fish ever prove it while I was trying to get him on the reel while keeping things tight! The first jump, my line was 30' feet downstream of the fish and by the time it decided to jump the 2nd time I had it on the reel with maybe just a whisker too much tension as the fly popped right out! Bummer! But what a rush! :) Man do I ever love dry flies! I was quite happy to have hooked another beautiful bright salmon and this one was at least a 3 footer if it was an inch. We fished the pass through then decided it was time to head out. Back across the bogan and up the hill to the camp and we talked to Brad's uncle and cousin for a bit. They invited us for supper (thanks fellas!) but we had to get back to the camp as Bill was on his way up. Billy arrived and we had a few sodas and a good evening of laughter as we always do.... there's no place like the Den during fishing season ;-)

Our plan for day 2 was to fish the MSW at a pool close to the camp. We didn't have any luck on day 2 but we fished a pool that I haven't taken the time to fish before. It wasn't my favorite pool to fish but it wasn't bad either. I spent much of the morning chatting with a veteran Miramichi guide of 50 years on the river. I'm terrible with names and should almost carry a notepad around for details like this but alas, slackness or laziness prevailed and this gentleman will remain nameless for this report... He had some questions about 2 handed casting so I did a little single spey casting session for him. Casting in ankle deep water with lots or room makes things look pretty easy and he was impressed :)

After a pass or 2 the morning was gone and then some -- it was a LONG pool... So back to the camp we headed and Brad had to head for home as he had plans for a hike over the long weekend. After a snack and drying off, Bill and I decided to head out for another nearby MSW pool. We managed a pass and a half before deciding there wasn't anything going on and headed back for home. On our way out we ran into one of the Hook√© lads , Derek Martin and had a great chat about C&R and the recent ASF/NBSC request for anglers to release their grilse. We both agreed that it was the least people could do to help our salmon out... It's concerning that if we have decent returns this season, many people will forget about the dismal low returns of the 2012 season and the impending changes coming to the Greenland fishery... Just because we're hooking fish and seeing fish doesn't mean things are hunky dory ... big changes are needed to our regulations and attitudes need to change ... atlantic salmon are a finite and fragile resource and they need our protection if they are to continue to be on this earth in places other than open net pens... It was great chatting with you, Derek!

Billy given 'er on the river:

So Billy and I headed home only to find Dad and Joe had been busy beavers and put a few sheets of siding on the camp, nice work!

So another good evening at the camp and we headed for home on Saturday AM. It was a wet and cold trip but a good one! Of course, I can't think of a trip to the Den that hasn't been good :)