Saturday, August 2, 2008
Salar Beat Down
I headed out to the Miramichi in late July of 2008. I had come up with a plan to have customers join me in the pursuit of salmon. I arrived on July, 23rd and spent the 24th visiting customers in the New Brunswick Provence and getting every thing organized for the trip. I stopped in at the local fly shops (WW Doak & Curtis) to get fishing licenses, flies, and the skinny on the river. Word was good, Lots of fish were entering the river and the recent and ongoing rains were moving fish into the system.
I stopped at the Miramichi Salmon museum in Doaktown and enjoyed the day, anticipating the next.After getting some food at the grocery I headed for the cabin that I had reserved at Country Haven Lodge.
I met up with Byzee, the lodge owner, who informed me that while the current group of anglers had not yet landed a fish, they were rolling fish on virtually every run, more good news. I took a nap and got up to make the 2 hour drive back to the airport to pick up Bob, the customer that I would be fishing with, I had another customer lined up as well but, he had to cancel.I met Bob at 11pm and we made it back to the lodge by 1am. We had a drink and hit the hay we had to meet our Guide Jeremy at 7am, so we could get time in before the heat of the day rolled in.
We fished two runs that first morning, we had just settled on one when we got word that one of the guides who was not working, had a large pod of salmon on the run behind his house and he had just landed one. So we headed over.
The run we fished was called the Warren Pool, it is across the river from Ted Williams Cabin. We got there at the same time as some other anglers, and since warrens is public water that is how it goes, but a really heavy shower of rain drove all of the river, excepting me. The rain stopped and Bob jumped in a head of me and the run was all ours. In not too long a fish boiled my fly, never to return. It was a long run and took nearly two hours to fish through, so then it was time for a midday break.
After a lazy afternoon, we headed out with Randle, another guide, at about 6pm to fish a run about ten mile up stream from the lodge. Randle polled a boat over to an island in the river from which we fished. Randle actually owned the island, and it was obvious once he began explaining the run, intimate details breaking down each part of the run, specific direction where and how to wade the run, how to line your self up, where to stop and take a couple casts, etc. and in my first pass through the short run, I goy a solid yank, a surface explosion, the fish came unplugged and was gone.
Bob was having some trouble casting the 10’ 8wt that I had brought for him, his arm was getting tired and he was not thrilled that we had not yet fought a fish, I really wasn't either. Bob’s salmon experiences were several years old and it was catching Sockeyes in Alaska, so what we were doing was very different. I gave Bob the two handed rod I was fishing to see it would not be so tiring and I thought that even a bad two handed caster can consistently get the fly thirty or forty feet from their body. The instinct was correct, Bob fished out the evening with the two hander, and while he still had some misgivings about the whole salmon fishing idea in general, he at least liked the rod better. I think Randle kind of fell in love with the 11’ 8wt switch rod and scandi head I was fishing as well, he kept telling me how amazing the cast was and kept quizzing me about it.
The next morning, I rigged Bob up with my 6126 Sage and a 6/7/8 windcutter, and it is a good thing, because the run Jeremy took us to, Mid-way Bar, had virtually no back cast. I gave Bob a quick casting lesson and headed down stream. There were some guys upstream and in a short time one of them got a fish, and just as that saga was over Bob hooked a salmon. The fight covered 200-300 meters of river bank, and took over 30 minutes, before the fish made an escape. Aw well crap happens.
Bob now got it. Even though the fish got away he now knew why the wait and effort were worth it. And that is good be cause in the next day and a half we rose nothing more. The river was high and the fish were blowing right through the lower river. We checked out some of the Miramichi’s tributaries, the Cains and the Renous Rivers. Both were enjoyable we found a large pod of salmon on the Cains and fished the run with a moose who stayed within 30 meters for over 2 hours. He was a big bull and wasn’t going to let some anglers interrupt his plans.
I gave Jeremy a Winston Spey rod as a tip, as he had guided me on my last trip, and I thought it would be good for him to know and understand two-handed rods and casts and fishing, as it is growing in popularity. But not too much around the Miramichi yet, I got a lot of comments and stares.
I ran Bob over to the Aiorport on Monday and then shot down the road to visit with customers in the Halifax area, and then to visit another near the Margaree.
I got alittle fishing in on the Margaree after my visits and even got a grab out of the first run I fished which was near the tide water, but I caught nothing. The Margaree is really beautiful and the regulations are great for the on-your-own type guy, meaning no guide needed, no beats to buy, just a license and you can fish.Margaree Leaper