Salmon fishing & fly tying on the Miramichi...

Friday, 22 April 2016

Some pictures from opening weekend 2016.

I was going to do a report but figured I'd let the pictures do the talking on this one.. suffice to say, everything you've heard is true - the fishing is excellent and this has been our best season opener ever! And if it wasn't for the wind on Friday & Saturday (April 15th & 16th) the weather would have been absolutely perfect with enough snow left in the yard to keep the beer cold.

These pictures are just a fraction of the fish we landed - If you're sitting at home reading this please back away from your computer and GO FISHING! IT'S ON!

(Pictures in no particular order)



Tuesday, 19 April 2016

"Double J Smelt" - a black salmon fly.. that was supposed to be a trout fly..

Way back in the spring of 2015, just when the river was warming up and the trout were starting to bite I felt an urgent need to tie up an original or as close to original "trouty" streamer as I could. I seldom fish well-known patterns as I get great enjoyment out of hooking fish with something I dreamed up while at the vise. This streamer would have to be something suitable for casting from shore or hauling behind a boat in spring. It would also have to be a somewhat natural/smelt-ish looking creature with a light coloured bottom and a dark coloured top - like every other smelt fly out there. Ever since I can remember, I was told that red was an essential trout colour and any fly worth it's weight as a trout catcher incorporated red somewhere in it's design. So, earthy with a bit of red with a bit of flash was the mindset and these are the ingredients that sprang forth from my portable fly tying kit while at camp:

hook: your favorite black salmon hook - this one is a 3/0 mustad 3191 tweaked in the vise
thread: red uni 6/0
tag: silver uni oval tinsel
tail: mallard
butt: red chenille
body: silver braid
rib: silver uni oval tinsel
throat: white bucktail or polar bear (if you have any) under several strands pearl flashabou
wing: olive bucktail under black synthetic (to save bulk) under several strands rainbow krystal flash under several strands peacock herl
cheeks: wood duck

I'm not even sure how original this pattern is and it's most likely inspired by many other patterns I've seen. But, this combination of materials was literally pulled from an ingredient limited travel-sized tying kit based on how they'd hide a bit of red behind natural-ish colours. Oh and of course it needed a bit of flash - that's a given as I have absolutely no roots in the purism of traditional fly tying - flashabou or krystal flash are just materials to me whose utility and effectiveness are without question.

The interesting part in all of this is Dad decided to tie one on in the spring of 2015 and apparently it hasn't come off his spring rod yet.. During this past weekend, our NB season opener, this fly absolutely slayed.... trolled literally feet from various other patterns, kelt hammered this fly over and over. I even had a chance to try it out in the same setting (trolling) and for an hour the fish constantly ignored every other fly that swam along side this one. I got back to camp and discussed with Dad how effective this fly had been for me and it was then I realized the pattern had yet to be named. Obviously, the name would be "Joe's Smelt" (after Dad), but after a quick google search I realized the name had already been taken. It required a bit more, but not a lot more thought as Dad, or Joe, fishes with another Joe, of the Holmes variety.. There's an ongoing, inside joke about Joe and Joe or "Double J" as they are referred to while out trolling so the "Double J Smelt" was born.

Here's one that's been chewed on by 20 landed kelts this season, an unknown number from 2015 and who knows how many hooked and lost... Oh yeah, and a bunch of brookies as well:

Here are a few fresh from the vise, just itching to be chewed!

If you have a chance, tie a few for your box - or I can tie some for you for a small fee - muahaha!

Tight lines and treat those kelts with the respect they deserve - 30% of them are consecutive, repeat spawners!

Sunday, 10 April 2016

A response from the Feds...

I recently received a reply from the Federal Government to our letter supporting salmon management and conservation. If they do what they say they're going to do (base their decision on science) then it's a no-brainer and there'll be no tags for the 2016 season. Of course this remains to be seen as the regulations remain a secret as of this posting, less than a week from opening day of the 2016 season. The longer this goes on the less hope I have that science is running the show at DFO.... (please prove me wrong!)

28 Reasons to support salmon management and conservation:

Ministerial Correspondence Control Unit
 Fisheries and Oceans Canada / Government of Canada
 200 Kent Street / Ottawa ON  K1A 0E6 / Tel: 613-992-3474 / Fax: 613-990-7292

 Unité de contrôle de la correspondance ministérielle
 Pêches et Océans Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
 200, rue Kent / Ottawa ON  K1A 0E6 / Tél : 613-992-3474 / Téléc : 613-990-7292

 Mr. Howie Gould and Co-Signatories
 < >

 Dear Mr. Gould and Co-Signatories:

 Thank you for your correspondence of February 25, 2016, addressed to the Honourable Hunter Tootoo, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, regarding grilse harvest plans for the salmon recreational fishery for 2016.  I have been asked to respond on the Minister's behalf.

 As you are aware, public consultations for the 2016 season were recently held using tools such as online surveys, as well as through discussions with Indigenous groups, recreational fish harvesters, and other impacted stakeholders.  This process, together with science advice, will guide all of Fisheries and Oceans Canada's (DFO's) decisions regarding the recreational fishery management plans for 2016.

 The feedback of stakeholders, like yourself and your colleagues, is very important.  I want to assure you that all decisions regarding management approaches, including decisions on hook and release policies, will be based on the best available science.

 This is a very important fishery, and DFO will continue to work to protect and conserve it for the benefit of current and future generations of Canadians.

 Thank you for writing.

 Yours sincerely,

 Original Signed By

 Kevin Stringer
 Senior Assistant Deputy Minister
 Ecosystems and Fisheries Management

Thursday, 7 April 2016

2016 HRAA Fundraising Dinner & Auction, Saturday MAY 7th

I got off to a bit of a late start on this one - HRAA is holding their annual fundraising dinner & auction on Saturday May 7th and I'm looking for fly donations. The Hammond River Angling Association is a group of progressive and dedicated conservationists who specialize in salmon conservation, river restoration and youth engagement. All money raised by this group is well used in these efforts so please join me in supporting them with a few flies for their auction/raffle/dinner!

Due to my late start I'm asking that any flies you can muster are sent directly to Paul at the following address:

Hammond River Angling Association
10 Porter Road
Nauwigewauk, NB
E5N 6X1
Attn: Paul Daigle
Ph:  (506) 832-1230

Paul also does a regular a regular loop and could most likely pick your contributions up (please coordinate with him directly as I'll be away fishing!)

"I make periodic trips to Fredericton and Moncton so I could easily pick up any contributions in the Fredericton - Moncton - Saint John circuit"