Saturday, May 31, 2008

Dialing In the Sage 8110-4

So, I got the Sage 8110-4 Switch rod. I was about to order the Burkheimer which I knew would be the best of the best, but the price tag was huge, and I wanted to buy a rod from Tightlines, as Tim has always treated me so good. Now that I have the 8110 all I have to do is figure out which lines to fish on it.

I tested a few line today with some success. Here are my notes:

Airflo Compact Skagit 540grn W/9' of T14: I was able to double spey this set up with a large intruder I was able throw about 11 strips (33') of running line. I was having alot of trouble setting up the perry poke or a snap-T with a strong down stream wind, but I think it was more than the wind. I think the length and weight combined were more than could be easily handled by the system.

Windcutter 6/7/8: this just felt too light.

Vision Head for the Burk 7133-3 With 11' Hover Leader by Airflo: It casts but dies at the end and the Snap-T is uncomfortable to setup cross body.

I took the Airflo Leader off the Vision and went to a tapered mono leader 10' long. Worked pretty well but had a good size splash down. I think Ideal will be this vision with a 4' or5' airflo leader and straight mono after.

Below is information that I picked up on the Website of the Flyshop in Welche's Oregon
Line Matches:
Rio Outbound WF-10-F; Really solid-All around spey both single hand and traditional spey. “Wicked” overhead single hand.
Rio Skagit 350 w/ 15’ tip; Pretty nice all round all purpose spey, great line speed, slight “suspect” on load. Super smooth overhead
Rio WindCutter 10/11/12 Body only + 15’ sink tip; Top 2 best all around spey. Both single hand and traditional spey. Nice overhead w/ shooting head style loop (open) and terminal line speed
Rio Skagit 400 + 15’ tip; For sure the line for all forms of spey (single hand and traditional). Good Overhead.
Rio Steelhead/Atlantic Salmon WF-9-F; Superb, smooth overhead line. Really nice with single hand single spey. The trout choice. Think of it as the MidSpey for switch rods.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

So Quickly its Over

I just returned from Eastern Canada late last week and first chance I got I head for one of the northern locals which is known for having Steelhead around later than the rest of Wisconsin's Lake Michigan coast.

As I walked the train bridge out to the island I thought I saw the some Steelhead working in some choppy water just under the train bridge. I dropped down the bank and fished a long run along the island, and landed a small buck right away on a run that I am now naming "Steven's Limited"
Stevens for the great Michigan musician Sufjan Stevens and Limited as it is reminiscent of train titles and because the water needs to be very high for it to fish so it is limited.

I landed another bigger buck (#6) on a run called Wolverine the fish was colored but the fight was better than most November Steelhead. I hooked and lost another nice fish and several very large bass.

I was back two days later and the fish were totally gone, at least the steelhead were gone. The water was much warmer as well, so I guess it's over. So quickly it's over.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Happy Victoria Day & Nick Adams

Today is a Holiday in Canada. I did not know this when I planned a business trip to the eastern provinces a month ago, but I am here in Moncton, NB and have shut myself up in a hotel room.
A friend of mine has been reading Ernest Hemmingway's "Nick Adams Stories" and mentioned them to me to. Those stories would be great to have on a day like today, as it is very rainy here, and it would be great to filter a mind full of northern images through the pages of Hemmingway.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Oh Miramichi!

I drove down to the Miramichi from the base of the Little Gaspe in Quebec on Wednesday night. My GPS, set to take the most direct route, chose that I should travel southeast on old Highway 108, A remote two lane road that travel straight through the Canadian Bush. I was very excited about this route, thinking that this was finally my chance to see a moose again, all the signs were there, Literally.

Well I saw a moose and, I hope I never see one so close again. I had to slam on my breaks to keep for being killed by the fury, forest giant. I thought that a moose was about the size of a large horse, but that is far from reality, that first moose was so large that I am sure that with careful practice and cooperation on both of our parts I could have driven the Toyota Corolla I was renting right through his legs, and tickle his belly through the sun roof as I shot through. More likely the moose would crawl off the road with broken legs and damaged ribs, looking for a place to die and I would just float there watching the seen from the spirit world. Any way, it turned out to be a long stressful, terrifying ride in which I saw about a half dozen Moose, none as big or as close as the first.

So, I made it to Miramichi and met with a customer who has a plant right by the river, Good stuff, good stuff. And then I off to Blackville, for my license and groceries, and then to the lodge were I would stay in a separate cabin and do my own cooking. It was truly and amazing cabin. The first night I had trouble getting to sleep as I kept thinking about Moose and Bears, and how I was afraid of the on that night. Yeah, I used to sleep in an army tent when I was guiding the Talachulitna, saw bears from it a lot and I slept just fine at nite, but now I am a citified chicken.

The first morning of fishing started at 8 am, and we took the boat up to where the Barthalomew River dumps into the Main Southwest Miramichi, here we cast from the boat using truly giant (5/0) salmon flies. I was using my 13’3” two hander, and I hate fishing with a two hander from a boat. We from mind numbing spot to mind numbing spot, doing the same thing until just before lunch we let out a lot of line and trolled around the river a bit. I was furious.

After lunch I mentioned to the lodge owner that I may have to bring my trip to and early end, 2 days instead of three. I was not going to pay for three days of shit when I could get two for less money, I kept this thought to my self.

After lunch my guide, took me to a run just down from the camp called Mountain Channel, and we trolled it. Then it was down to White Rapids, Which had beautiful shores for wading on each bank and awesome step and cast water for a good two hours on each back. We fished from the boat!

But, we got a salmon. Then I insisted that I be dropped on shore. My guide grudgingly conceded and took me over to the inside bend.

I started at about the middle of the run, working a major current seam, and I mean rough water with standing waves meets smooth soft inside flow. It took about twenty minutes to get a grab once I was calf deep and fishing how I was comfortable. That first grab was a good sized hen, around 34". This fished jumped at least six times made strong, fast runs, I think more than that and it's body was rock hard, this fish was definitely a Kelt, but "black" really does not decribe this fish.

From that point on the trip totaly turned around. My guide, Jeremy, saw that I was happier wading he was all for it and we started looking for runs that would fish from shore at high water levels, and we found them. I really thought that lots of people would be fishing kelts with two handed rods already but aparently it is really an almost boat and one handed afair, but really I think that the early season is great for our style of angling, since the whole river is open for anyone to fish, while it is mostly private pools once June comes, and the fresh salmon fishing begins.

Anyway, I landed a grilse just after the first salmon on the same run. That was it for the first day.

The next morning started out great. I hooked a salmon at the very top of White Rapids, but it came off right away. Then I landed a big Sea Trout (Sea Run Brook Trout) and Grilse, both on the hang down. Then at the very low end of the run I got a solid grab mid swing and then saw my backing head through the guides, on out for a solid hundred yards, followed by several minutes reeling it all back in with a large salmon in tow. the fish rolled several time and made several other short runs. I got the fish in finally, and removed the hook which was in the fishes tounge. this fish was the biggest of the trip at, 36".

I landed another salmon on the outside bend, below White Rapids. It grabbed on my first stip as I finished the hang down. another Hen of around 34".

This was it for the trip for me. My guide, Jeremy, landed two grilse from the boat one at White Rapids and one at Mountain Channel.

The Miramichi reminds me very much of the upper Menominee River in Wisconsin where Angler X guide smallmouth. Now it looks like the Menominee in may when the water is high and form the pictures I've seen, It even resembles the menominee in low water, which is most of the season on the Miramichi.

I think I would like to try the Miramichi in summer for the bright salmon, but it sounds like it will not be remotely similiar to the spring. low water and tiny flies are apparently the rule.

New Brunswick Flag

Monday, May 5, 2008

Thank you Kewanee

On friday afternoon I fished the Menominee. It was really high and full of suckers. No steelhead.
Then that night I recieved an email from Jose, telling me that he found steelhead in the Kewanee.

So, Saturday I headed for the Kewanee in the afternoon, and it being may there was practically no body on the river. I fished around with an old little two hander and a floating line. I was able to find about a 10lb hen in a little run with a bouldery channel on the far side.

I then went up to the weir to see if there any steelhead up in the ladder. I saw tons of suckers and nearly a hundred steelhead. it was amazing.

It was a good spring on the Kewanee.