Her son (and Bullock's Lodge camp manager) Dan came down to show me the river:
Lots o' ice!
I had several reasons for this trip. I wanted to hear some presentations by various agencies on activities affecting (potentially or actually) the Miramichi watershed on Friday. On Saturday, I attended the Annual General Meeting and then the Board of Directors meeting of the Miramichi Salmon Association (MSA). I'm very proud to say I was elected to the Board at that meeting. I look forward to working on that board on the river's and the salmon's behalf!
Mid-day my bud, Rene Warren, tracked me down just to say hello. He gave me three flies he tied, which will have a place of honor back home:
The MSA's Icebreaker party/fundraiser was Saturday night, and I was pleased to once again be the evening's auctioneer. That is one fun party, and the auction is always characterized by spirited bidding. I didn't get a photo of it, but one of the finest items in the auction was a box of 48 Spring and 48 Classic Atlantic Salmon flies tied and donated by my friend Brian Cuming of Fredricton. Really an incredible donation; I know how much time and money those flies take to tie.
In case you're wondering where Boiestown is, it's the geographic center of New Brunswick...or so the sign says!
Sunday was a kicked back kind of a day; Renate and I went for a walk along the river.
Renate says the sounds of the river going out are really something to hear. This year it happened, in front of her home, at about midnight a few days before I got there.
Monday, yet another reason for my trip began: renovations to Renate's kitchen. New flooring and tongue and groove cedar to replace old paneling. The floor was one of many layers; all but the bottom one had to go.
Next the old paneling came off:
New paneling, then the new floor:
It took another day or so to replace sink, faucets, etc. Here's hoping Renate, a great cook, is happy with her new kitchen. I think she is.
Did I mention the deer? They were everywhere: on lawns, in driveways, and, dangerously, on the roads. I snapped a pic of them here and there:
Enough of the deer already! But they sure looked like they had come through a long, hard winter (and they had!).
Renate got a great shot of a grouse in the flower bed alongside her driveway. The bird is actually standing in the spot my truck slid back into, messing up the bed, when I forgot to put it in four-wheel drive one morning. The drive was frozen over most every morning that I was there.
Ruffed grouse in the back yard, atlantic salmon in the front yard...what a grand place to live!!!
And yes, I went fishing!!! Early in my visit, Vin Swayze and I went out for a couple fun hours, but no fish. After we finished the kitchen, Dan Bullock generously offered to take me out for the day on Thursday, which would be the last day of my visit. And after two weeks of mostly gray, rainy weather, with ice in the river, the day proved to be about as nice a day as you can get in New Brunswick in the Spring!
Nothing like a box of Spring salmon flies in the bright sun of Spring!
In the morning, I hooked a nice, small, salmon:
Happily, the kelt took a liking to the Deep Green Beauty (obviously dragging it through some hay on its way to the net)!
After lunch, Dan hooked a nice salmon that jumped seven times for us.
His fish took my rendition (lots of "bling" added) of Carrie Stevens' Green Beauty, which was the inspiration for my Deep Green Beauty. Very cool.
I'm REALLY glad that I took my Loomis 13 foot, 8/9 Stinger two-hand rod up with me. My shoulder was killing me after picking that 300 grain sinktip up out of the water all morning with a singlehand rod. Dan and I both used the two hander all afternoon (Rio AFS 8/9 head, fast sinking poly leader with 10lb tippet); life was good again!
It was a great treat to spend so much time with good friends again in New Brunswick. And whether they like it or not, I'll be back in a month!! CHEERS!