Thursday, September 27, 2012

September on the Miramichi, 2012

We headed up to New Brunswick on September 14th, a couple days earlier than originally planned so that Bridget and I could attend the Atlantic Salmon Museum's Hall of Fame Induction dinner in Doaktown on the 15th.  Our friends Renate Bullock and Joan Wulff were being inducted that evening, and I was pleased to have been asked to do the auction for the Museum that night.

There was a big crowd at the Curling Club in Doaktown, and it was good to hook up again with friends!  And it was wonderful to see women like Joan and Renate recognized for their many contributions to the sport of fly fishing and to atlantic salmon conservation. 

Renate on the podium:

Ted Rogowski, Joan Wulff, Renate Bullock and Bridget:

Of course, I wanted to duplicate this photo (of a couple years ago):

With a new one (and talk about a thorn between two roses!):

The auction was fun to do; everyone seemed to be in the spirit of the event.  The auction raised almost $11,000 for the Museum's programs, and overall, $22,000 was raised that evening, which will especially help their youth programs.

There was a nice heavy rain much of that day, and into the night.  The river was, as Renate put it, desperate low, so the rain was welcome.  Down at least 5 feet from when I was fishing in July!

We had been staying at a friend's camp (Jason Swayze)  Friday and Saturday night; Sunday we moved into our camp for the week on the Miramichi, the "Log Camp", owned by Vin Swayze and now used as part of Bullock's Lodge's operations.

Our friends Bob and Linda Warren and their setter, Molly (world's fastest English Setter!) were staying just across the way.  After getting settled into camp, it was time to go fishing Sunday evening.
Bob landed the first fish of the week on his Cutty Sark, #10.  It was after dark when the fish finally came to the net.

We started fishing in earnest Monday morning.  This was Bridget's second trip to the river with me, and she took little time to show us that all her practice casting on the lawn at home was worth the effort....Grilse On!!

The universal sign of success:


The River Queens pose for posterity!

That grilse took a #10 Glitter Bear tied low water style.  I tied one on the next day (no love up to that point for the Celtic Beauty, which did so well through the seasons last year) and hooked another grilse.....long line release, sad to say.

The weather was tyically New Brunswick...a little rain

a little sun:


I finally got into the act on a mid-week morning.  I was remembering back to 2010, when the water was low and slow and the Orange Sneaky became the fly 'o the week:

So I tied one on, so to speak, and hooked up on my very first cast mid-way through Home Pool!  I've really been enjoying casting my Loomis Stinger two hander...couldn't have reached this fish without it!

Dan Bullock got that last minute or so on tape...tense time!  (couldn't figure out how to embed it, sorry).  If I look a little tentative, it's because that's 6lb.  tippet out there!

What a beauty (great pic by Dan Bullock)!

One happy camper:


And she's ready to head up to Juniper:

Afternoons are always interesting around camp.  Today's lesson was about why maple leaves turn color in the fall:

Not to be outdone, Bridget hooked into her first-ever full tilt boogie salmon!

I'd say she's happy! (and a change of hat as a gesture of thanks to the fly's tyer...that would be me)!

She chose the fly for that session on the river:  Emmett Johnson's variation of the General Practioner, size 8 hook:

Blue turned out to be a lucky color late in the week (No, this was not my idea.)

She hooked into another salmon (we've started calling her TopRod).  She has a little trouble wading, so I was merely providing physical support.  No coaching from me, no siree.  Well, maybe the occasional "keep your rod tip up"....."keep your hand off the handle when its taking line"..."its gonna jump, lower your rod!"   You know, just some helpful hints.

We lost the fish, maybe a 10 pounder, at her feet.  I consider it a landed fish.  And you would, too!

All told, it was a great week in spite of very low water.  Bridget was top rod with 3 salmon hooked, two landed, and a grilse in hand.  I lost a couple grilse, but did land that beautiful, big hen.  Bob landed that nice salmon and I think a grilse or two.  Linda had a grilse on early in the week.

Autumn sunsets can be spectacular in New Brunswick, and this year was no different:


Just 7 more months and I'll be back.  Thanks so much to good friends Renate, Fred and Dan Bullock, Vin Swayze, and Bob and Linda Warren.  Hopefully (and I suspect it is so), a good time was had by all!



Monday, September 3, 2012

Inspiration is where ya find it!

I was enjoying my wildflower garden this cool Labor Day morning and noticed these newly emerged flowers.  They struck me as having great salmon fly colors.  I'm in the midst of tying a batch of Golden Pheasant Speys for our upcoming Miramichi trip, and thought I'd see how the colors translated into a salmon fly.  I like it!  Click on the pic for the big picture.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Golden Pheasant Spey (slight variant)

Tied these up for a Great Lakes Steelheader customer on A.J. 1.5 standard and heavy hooks.  They really soak up the material in that size!  For atlantics, I've never used anything larger than a 4, and usually a 6.  Incredibly effective fall pattern on the Miramichi, created by Bob Warren.  Photo of Bob's tie, and original pattern, in Bob Veverka's Spey Flies and How to Tie Them.