Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer means Bombers for Atlantic Salmon!

Early last August, I got a call from my friend Dan Bullock, manager of Bullock's Lodge (formerly Vin Swayze's Tuckaway Cabins).  Dan related that water and weather conditions were just right for Bomber fishing in his pools on the Miramichi...did I want to come up for a few days?  I was there 24 hours later.

I love Bomber fishing for atlantic salmon. When a big, bright salmon comes up to my drifting Bomber,  you can hear my shouts and laughter a mile downriver, I bet.  Even a grilse rising to a Bomber fished dry is quite an event in my eyes.

My first morning on the river was warm, but it was drizzling rain off and on.  No real need for rain jacket; it was a warm summer rain.  Rummaging through my Bomber box, I decided to tie on the smallest fly in the box, one of a few I hung on to after tying up a bunch at the suggestion of my fishing and bird hunting buddy Jamie Woods.  With a natural tan deer hair body, white tail and split horns, and brown hackle, Jamie liked to think of this version as a "locating" fly.  One thing is for sure with a Bomber this small: if it only located fish, it would be easy to move up in size to entice a strike!


The little brown Bomber (tied on Mustad 3906B number 6 hook):

Dan was right about it being great conditions for dead drifting a Bomber.  Within minutes, it was fish on!

As much as I love connecting to a nice salmon, somehow this feisty grilse fit the morning's mood.  Dan, his mom Renate, Vin Swayze and I all seemed to be in light-hearted, "let's just have fun" mindsets, and a jumping, running grilse fit right into the picture.  I tend to laugh a lot when I'm into fish and with good friends; this morning was no exception.

The grilse did not appear to find Dan and his net all that welcoming:

I guess the action and my usual fumbling was enough to get Vin to reel in and come downriver for a little kibbitzing:

Vin must have gotten Dan and I on our toes; within a minute or so the grilse was happily (for me, if not for the grisle) in hand:

And while much of the fun for me is in the fishing, it's the releasing that's best of all:

There'll be no summer fishing for me this year, but photos like these will carry me along 'til September when I can fish again.  And unable to do much else besides tie flies, you can bet the boxes will be full!

River photos courtesy Renate Bullock


  1. The Bomber, an Atlantic salmon. Great stuff.

    That Bomber tied a bit differently is a killer on brook trout.

    Nice photos

  2. Brk Trt - Thanks! Renate Bullock gets credit for the river pics; she does a great job! Do you have any pics of a Bomber for brook trout on your blog? If you know how (I don't), feel free to post one here.

  3. Great post. I did a spey introduction today with a client who is doing his first atlantic salmon trip this season. The talk turned to bombers and skating techniques. I'll relay this post to him. Thanks.

  4. Thanks, Todd! I see the Penobscot has had a really good run (comparatively speaking) of salmon so far this year.

  5. Yes the count was good. Too bad we can't fish for them(GRRRR). Todd