Salmon fishing & fly tying on the Miramichi...

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Spring Reconnaissance...

Dad, Joe, Bill and I decided to take a run to the Den today to check things out after the over long winter.. In fact, you'd think it was still winter with the amount of snow and ice up there. We saw dozens of deer on the drive up - it was sure nice to see that some made it through the crazy winter we've had here in NB. Bill had ANOTHER new camera for the trip up and got some great pictures! The pics started on the 123 when we saw a male and 2 female spruce grouse. It was pretty cool to see and Bill got some great shots!

Here's a quick video Bill also managed to get - it only shows a male and 1 female, there were actually 2 females and that buck grouse was in his element strutting around while the females gathered small stones.

This video will look much better if you click the link and watch it on Vimeo instead of watching it here:

Click this link for best viewing:

Spruce Grouse from Salmo Salar on Vimeo.

We stopped in Doaktown to get a few pictures of the high water - the town was on flood watch for good reason and from what I understand they issued a voluntary evacuation order later that afternoon. The Miramichi's a powerful force of nature and nothing can stop a river and it's ice during spring break up.

Here's a picture from Blackville looking up at Doctor's Island:
(yes, still under construction!)

Finally arrived at the end of the road for motorized travel - we were able to walk in on top of the snow as it was cold enough overnight to freeze the 2-3 feet of the stuff covering the road in. It was only about a 10 minute walk to the camp. On the way out I used my snowshoes and took a short cut which takes only about 5 minues ;)

I once stepped off the hard pack by the ditch and went past my knees... there's a TON of snow left up there!

This is where the snow truly got deep! In some places 2-3 feet of snow, and in the yard of the camp, 3-4 feet of snow!

Joe arriving at the camp:
Time for a soda!
Joe and I checking out the river:
The ice certainly left it's mark this spring. With more to come, hopefully we won't lose any more trees. Although losing a tree is pretty minor when you consider what could happen during an ice jam - so I can accept the occasional tree loss!
More ice scour across the river:
Most of our side is lined with ice like this:
Random Ice cake:
My Favorite picture of the day - again supplied by Bill! (nice job man!) This is looking down river towards one of the hot spots:
With all the ice and high dirty water, I insanely decided a quick bit of fishing was in order. I went up to the powerline where there was no ice hanging on the bank and stepped in. Well, it was more of a climb on teh scoured, frozen bank. The water was darned cold and I fished for about 30 minutes before my sanity returned... Fishing is a tough compulsion to deny, no matter the conditions!
I should have mixed a drink with all the ice floating down:
Alright, enough of this foolishness!
So the conclusion from our recon trip is basically that it'll be at least 2 weeks, maybe 3 or 4 before we can drive into the camp. We've got some great upgrades to work on but we need to be able to drive in before we can start working. Fishing-wise, I figure by the time this weekend rolls around things should be a bit more fishable ... will I stay away from the river until I can drive in to the camp? I highly doubt it... in fact, the urge is back already... for anyone venturing out any sooner, be safe and don't forget there are some pretty big ice jams that will move sooner or later. Also, for the shore fishermen, that ice built up on the banks is dangerous stuff... don't put yourselves in any situation resembling the coyote and road runner cartoons!