Sunday, August 15, 2010

#14's A Charm

Once upon a time I traveled,  with my brother, to New Brunswick, Canada each and every October to fish the Cains River.  Some years we saw good days, but mostly the season closed before the big run of fall Salmon were on the move in earnest.

One year though, the water was perfect and the fish were moving up river in massive quantity.  We traveled on the Cains River Road over the Miramichi and covered the five miles of dirt to where it meets the Cains.  Turn left on the logging road and you will find the magical pools between Coburn's down to Finn Brook.

This day we turned right and decided to fish The School House Pool that is right on the road.  Although the fish were very active we could not get a take.  They were moving through the pool and would not stop to even take a look.  I did notice that a short distance down river there was a constant show happening on river left.  We proceeded down and in a very small amount of time my brother landed the largest salmon of both our lives.  A nice female of about twenty pounds  At that moment I was in second place and it was not a comfortable position as a bit of a contorting smirk had developed on his face.

I waded out into the top of the bar and started to cast a #10 Copper Killer that produced an immediate boil to the fly.  Second cast, nothing.  Third, nothing.  Fourth, nothing.  For the next two hours I tied on twelve other flies and cast no more than four times with each.  The fish would  show to the first cast and then nothing.  On the fourteenth fly I went back to the first fly. I cast the tiny fly and the fish struck the tiny Copper Killer and tail danced backward for what seemed like minutes.  We measured from hook jaw to tail at 44" and let him go about 100 yards below the pool.

If you are going to be Salmon fishing during September and October make sure that you have a few Copper Killers in smaller sizes.  It just might be the trick that keeps a little brother from smiling too much.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Turning Goose Liver Into Goose Pate'

You want to give this a try.  There are many different feathers that can be used in the Spey style.  In order to get a wide range of sizing and looks different feathers are needed.

Burning these feathers is easy and very cost effective.  Please watch this video and then see for yourself.

William                                                                           The Crimson Tide

Burning Spey Hackles Video

Monday, August 2, 2010

Does The Fly Really Matter?

For many Octobers, I made a trip to New Brunswick, Canada to close out the Atlantic Salmon season.  I would base myself in the Blackville area and fish the fall run rivers.  Cains, Bartholomew, Little Sou' West and the Mirimichi.

On this particular trip the fishing was hard.  The major attraction for me was to go to the Cains River and have at it's famed large fish as they ran far up river.  The water was low and the fishing was slow.  My guide's two sons, who lived in Fredericton, called to say that the Nashwaak was up and the fish were is great numbers.  We drove to meet them at the Pig Farm Pool.  This pool is one of the first bar style pools that the fish encounter on the Nashwaak.  The water makes a right hand sweep over a bar and deflects off the deeper river left.  You can fish from the bar or as we did just below the bar on river left. 

A very interesting aspect of this tributary of the Saint John is that the headwaters start on the opposite slope that creates the Mirimichi River.  Nashwaak Lake is only five miles from Mirimachi Lake.  Today, the Nashwaak is closed to Salmon fishing as it is a Bay of Fundy class river and has seen a dramatic decrease in numbers.

This was one of those magical times when you could sit on the bank and watch for the fish coming.  There were just so many.  Hold, Hold, Hoooold, OK cast away.  Chances were good that if you had the right fly you could hook, not necessarily land, a salmon from each pod.  And that is exactly what happened.  I was on fire.  The salmon Gods were with me and I proceeded to hook nine salmon in one hour and fifteen minutes.  I landed three.

The fly was a well used and trusted Mickey Finn.  I hooked and released my first salmon from the Narraguagus River in Maine many years before on a Micky Finn.  This was my favorite fall fly, period.  On one poorly executed cast I caught the brush behind me and the Mickey was gone.  I looked and looked and could not retrieve that fly.  Oh well, I opened my box and tied on another Mickey Finn.  No problem, I would land my limit number four fish and we would go home. Right???

For the next three hours I watched wave after wave of salmon proceed past me with the same rod, the same reel, the same line, the same leader and the same fly.  No takers.  The same fly?  Well not really.  Is it possible that the flies that are so successful must be copied exactly in the shape and form in order to be right?  Is a Mickey a Mickey?  Or, as some might have you believe that the fly does not matter.

Today, I carry more than one fly in each of my go to patterns.  If I am not successful with a Black Dose and I want to go back to the Black Dose later, I use a different Black Dose.  Who knows, maybe the wing is the smallest amount too long.

I do wish I had that Micky Finn back.  It might answer so many questions.  And then again...................