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...................


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