Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Jeff and Cindy's Fishing Log 2012

Spring of 2012 is the first year we started fly fishing, so I thought I'd make this log from the very beginning so it will be a long post with lots of pics.

Jeff actually started a long time ago with his dad when he was younger, but he never paid much attention on how to tie the knots and stuff so we sat down and read some books, watched youtube videos (on casting as well as tying knots), and taught ourselves how to tie knots and started fishing.  Jeff's dad left him all of his fly gear.  Rods that he made himself, and tons of flies that he tied himself as well as the fly-tying materials and tools.  Here is a little photo-journal of us entering the wonderful world of fly fishing.

To start, all I had was my late granddad's fly reel, a 50+-year-old K.P. Morritt Intrepid King Size.  I also had his old fly wallet with a few of his old flies.

The Southampton River is a great trout river, and we caught lots of them but only small ones.   I really love dry fly fishing.

In early June on one outing I used one of my granddad's was probably 40 or 50 years old.  It was a partridge and orange soft hackle.  After a few outings, I caught a total of 14 trout with it and it was starting to get a little tatty, so I decided to retire it before I lost it.  It was a great fly!

Granddad's wonderful fly!

We also started paying attention to the hatches, and trying to match them.


Golden Stonefly Nymph

I just sold the macro lens that I used to take the previous three macro shots to buy a new salmon rod and reel.  I'll probably get another one someday.

We also went to Stewiacke a bunch of times and fished for Striped Bass.

Jeff caught a few Stripers on the fly, but I never caught any.  Boo.  :(

Striper eggs (we think) all over the sandbar.

We fished River Philip a lot too.  The Southampton is about 15 mins from our house in one direction, and River Philip is about 15mins in the other direction.  It's great having these two rivers so close.  Here are some pics from River P.:

Nice sea-run brown that Jeff caught:

I caught one as well about 1/2 hour before this pic was taken.  Funny story on that one too....Jeff was fishing a certain pool where a good-sized trout kept rising.  Then he snagged his fly in the bushes.  While he was untangling it, I asked him if I could take a couple of casts to the fish.  I had on an elk hair caddis.  First cast - bang, fish on!  Jeff was pissed. lol  Here is the fish that was supposed to be his:

The one he caught was bigger anyway, so he shouldn't complain! lol

More River Philip fish:

Then in July, we headed to Cape Breton in our old Scamper to do the Cabot Trail and some fishing.  The Margaree was too low both times we were there so the fishing was terrible.

We went to the Salmon Museum....and look what we found here - a reel identical to Granddad's.

Then we headed into CB Highlands National Park and enjoyed the scenery.

We decided to stop at the North Aspy River and take a peek over the bridge:

And we saw these guys:

So a' fishin' we will go!

We were starting to get a bit low on food, so we decided to keep a couple of trout and have them for supper.  We didn't have a creel, so Jeff stuffed them into his pockets. lol

The camper was parked right by the river, so we fried them up right there and had them for supper.  Trout doesn't get any fresher than this!  They were delicious too.

Next, we decided to go to the North River.  We pulled the camper over on the side of the road, had some lunch, and tied up some new leaders.

Low, low water.

We walked back to the MacLean Farm Pool.  Jeff was walking so fast he was like a kid walking to a candy store. lol

There was a pool holding about 20 salmon in it.  But the water was low and warm, and after a couple of casts we decided to leave them alone.  I stuck the camera in the water for a quick shot before we left.  It's not a great pic but you can definitely see the salmon there.

Saw these bear scratches on the way out.  It was getting dark too, a little spooky!

So we decided to head back to Cape Breton in August.  Here are some pics from that trip:

The Margaree.  Again, we were still in drought conditions and the fishing was not good.

This is a local fellow by the name of Jim that we met while there.  I love this pic as you can see where the ledge is, and can see the deep part of the pool where the salmon would lay.

I decided to give it a few casts.  But neither Jim nor I caught anything.

This is such a picturesque spot, it's my favourite pool on the river.

Note:  No fish pics on this trip.  :(

We stopped at the North River again too, but didn't walk back to MacLean's Pool, just one of the closer pools.  No luck.  Here I sit, defeated. lol

North River looking downstream:

North River looking upstream.

This might be the Middle River.  I can't remember.  It was right off the road that goes from Margaree to Baddeck.  It looks like a beautiful river so we plan to stop and fish there on one of our trips in 2013.

Back home, and it's salmon season.  Jeff got his first salmon on the fly on September 20th!

Here is the video of him catching the fish:

And he caught it on an Orange Puppy, that is late dad tied:

His dad also built the rod he was using from Orvis blanks.   His dad passed away in 1998, and sadly never got to experience an Atlantic Salmon on the flies he tied or the rod he built just for that purpose.  I'm sure he would be very proud, and he was probably even watching from above with a big smile on his face as Jeff landed that fish.  Here are some pics of the salmon rod that he built, and his Hardy Marquis Salmon #1 reel:

Jeff wanted to retire that fly since it caught his first salmon and his dad tied it.  I decided to sit down at the vise and try and duplicate it without a recipe to follow.  He took the duplicate and went out fishing with it in early October, and caught a nice speckle:

Here is the duplicate that I tied:

We were also using the traditional fall salmon flies such as shrimp patterns and flies with oranges, yellows, reds and blacks.  Not having any luck, I decided to tie a summer Newfoundland fly called a White Blue Charm Special.  I did not have a recipe for it, just a picture.  Being a new tier, I did not know about what types of hair are supposed to be used for the wing and I ended up using something I wasn't supposed to....deer body hair.  I should have used calf tail for this fly I later learned as deer body hair is hollow and buoyant.  Anyway, it was tied with deer body hair, and surprisingly it worked.  It became our favorite fly.  Jeff caught about six salmon on that fly and I caught two.  Once someone enlightened me to my mistake on the fly I tied a bunch more with calf tail.  I believe it was only Jeff's second salmon that had the deer body hair for the wing.

Below is Jeff with his second salmon, caught on October 25th:

This fish was also a milesstone for me...I tailed it for him, and it was my first.

Here is the videotape of Jeff catching this fish:

We're heading towards the end of October now and I'm getting discouraged as I haven't gotten a salmon yet.  I did get a Brown Trout which was a nice treat while I patiently waited for my salmon:

I caught that trout on a fly I tied myself called the Rutledge:

Finally, on October 26, I hooked and landed my first Atlantic Salmon on my White Blue Charm Special.

Here is the video of my first salmon:

I retired that fly and put together a frame with pictures of mine and Jeff's first Atlantic Salmon and the actual flies that caught them:

Jeff's friend Kevin came down from Fredericton to fish with us for a couple of days as the season was coming to a close.  Here are Jeff and Kevin crossing the river.  Kevin didn't have felt soles on his boots so it was pretty slippery crossing for him.  Love the faces he made though! lol

Then on October 28th, I got my second salmon and the last one of the season.  It was a big one too!  Same fly - White Blue Charm Special:

The video:

Poor Kevin never got a fish, but he got to be there when I got mine and videotaped it for me.  Here he is with his sookie face on (lol):

It's October 31st, last day of the season.  Jeff and I fished hard today but didn't have much luck other than a smolt or trout - the jury is still out on what it actually is.  Here are some pics of the last day of salmon season, 2012:

We had a great season, even though it was a bad year for fishing due to the drought conditions and low rivers.  Can't wait for next year!