Sunday, 15 July 2007

Fishing dry flies for salmon in Newfoundland.

 Just got home from Newfoundland. What a great trip! It is not all about the fishing, although that was pretty good; it is more about the camaraderie, meeting new people and renewing old friendships.

 I love hearing the old stories retold with all of the same enthusiasm as if the events had happened that afternoon instead of many years ago. Its great to rehash the theories of why a salmon even takes a fly or how best to play them.

My brother offered a thought on why salmon don't feed when they come into a river to spawn. He thinks its nature's way of preventing cannibalism. There are lots of parr in the rivers when the salmon are running. If it were actively feeding, a grilse or salmon would do considerable damage to the next generation. An interesting thought. Now, as to why they take a fly....

The flies that were hottest for me were a brown bug during the day cast upstream and fished dead drift. In the evening, a small black bear-green butt fished by the patent method. By small I mean a number 12 or 10. It always amazed me as the light was fading to get a strike on that small a fly. What incredible eyesight or other senses those fish have.

Fishing dry flies for salmon is about as much fun as I've ever had fishing. The rises are spectacular and the take when it comes is stunning. Its like it all happens in slow motion. Most people are so amazed the first few times they see a big salmon rising under their fly that they end up pulling it away from the fish in anticipation of the strike.

Having raised a fish but not hooked it, a kind of buck fever sets in. It takes the conscious exercise of self discipline to make a good cast to the same spot and wait for what seems like an eternity as you see the fish coming slowly up, mouth agape, to engulf your fly. What a wonderful experience.

I released most of the fish, some intentionally, but kept a couple to use for a traditional planked salmon dinner later this summer. Hopefully the same people who were with me in Newfoundland will be able to attend so I can relive once more a great fishing trip.

"This planet is covered with sordid men who demand that he who spends time fishing shall show returns in fish."~Leonidas Hubbard, Jr.

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