Friday, 29 June 2007

A pretty nice fish.

Andrew's Big Shad
Here is a picture of Andrew with  biggest fish he has caught so far in Nova Scotia. Not a world record but still a pretty nice fish.

 He got this one on a Muddler Minnow with a split shot about six inches in front of the fly. A bugger to cast but pretty effective. Now we just have to work on that catch and release thing a bit.

I've got a busy week coming up. I'm leaving for a trip to Newfoundland for some salmon fishing and have to get all the chores done in preparation.

On my last trip to this particular river, dry flies were the ticket to success. It was the first time I've ever seen more than one salmon come for the same fly at the same time. What a hoot! I almost dropped my rod the first time it happened. Here is a link to the place I'm headed

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Sunday, 17 June 2007

Lot's of big fish this year.

 Here is something you may find interesting:

Brown trout sinks old record
Last Updated: Monday, April 30, 2007 10:00 AM AT
CBC News
A Cape Breton fisherman has officially reeled in a provincial record.
Charlie Lahey's fish is now listed as the largest brown trout ever caught in Nova Scotia.

 A provincial fisheries biologist confirmed the record, the Cape Breton Post reported Monday.
The 8.3-kilogram fish, caught April 21 in the Mira River, beat the record of 3.58 kg set last year. That fish was caught in the Wallace River in Cumberland County.
It was 86.36 centimetres long and 71.12 centimetres thick. That's about 34 inches long and just under eighteen and a half pounds, if my math is not too rusty.

How about this one from Lake Diefenbaker in Saskatchewan?

Lana Haight, CanWest News Service Published: Friday, June 08, 2007
SASKATOON -- Adam Konrad has another fish story to tell.
43.6-pound rainbow trout
"It is an ugly one and it is fat. With a 34-inch girth, that's bigger than a human, almost," said the Saskatoon man who landed a 38-1/2-inch long rainbow
trout that will put him in the record books, again. On Tuesday between 6:30 and 7 p.m., Konrad snagged the 43.6-pound rainbow trout at Lake Diefenbaker, topping the previous world record set in 1970 when a boy landed a 42.3-pound rainbow trout in Alaska.

"I've already talked to the world-record co-ordinator (with the International Game Fish Association) and she's freaking out." On Tuesday, Konrad was casting from shore with his identical twin brother Sean and a friend. He says there's more to landing a record-breaking fish than being in the right place at the right time.

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Saturday, 16 June 2007

Left Handed Fly Fishing

kids fishing
 An interesting thing about being left-handed is that when exploring new water I’ll usually choose to walk down the opposite side of a brook or river than my right-handed brethren, to put my casting arm on the water side rather than the brushy side.

So a left-hander tends to cover water that a righty sees from a different angle and may not put a fly through and of course vice-versa.

 I sometimes wonder when I am on a well known salmon stream with historically defined pools if there are overlooked or underrated pools that remain unheralded because they would be hard to fish for a right-handed angler. Actually I always wonder that and now that I am a little older and self secure I do not hesitate to prowl and explore.

The truth is; most of my early experiences with guides on salmon streams were of the sort where the guide takes you, as a novice, to the easiest pool to fish and stands there expectantly.

Newfoundland Salmon Guides and sports
Usually that pesky left-handed/right-handed thing kicks in immediately. The guide stands at your left shoulder and points out the lay and where to aim your cast.

Invariably it’s a spot where a left hander has to struggle to get into a position where he can cast comfortably because his smart arm is on the wrong side for the location. It’s awkward and often embarrassing.

 The good thing though is that we lefty’s face these kinds of situations often enough to usually be able to figure out a way to make it work. What I do now is look the situation over and decide where to fish based upon where I can most accurately and effectively fish - not necessarily where the most fish are.

The theory is simple. I enjoy fishing well even if I’m not the high rod and would rather put a perfect cast over one fish than a clumsy cast over a dozen fish. I also think all else being equal, that a good cast over one fish has a better chance of success than a poor presentation over many fish.

 I like to prowl around looking for likely spots that may hold a fish or two that only a left-hander can cover efficiently. Sometimes I succeed spectacularly. More often I don’t.

Steve with NFL fish on
It took me a while to realize that almost everything that relies on someone demonstrating a technique has a right handed bias. So, of course a right-handed guide’s favourite pool will not necessarily be situated in a way that a left handed sport can work it gracefully.

I can imagine that more than a few left handed beginners never get past their first awkward experiences. Right-hander’s are quite “rightly” oblivious to the situation.

So here is the thing; any of you left-hander’s who have experienced a few frustrating incidents – don’t give up. With experience, the disadvantage becomes a significant advantage.

Think about it. Even though a thousand right-handers have pounded a fishing hole, your unique orientation means you could discover water no one else has disturbed. Fished from the point of view of a lefty, every river is new and untouched, virgin territory with no competition but yourself.

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Saturday, 9 June 2007

What Equipment Do You Really Need to Get Started ?

fishing boot
 My biggest worry is that my wife (when I'm dead) will sell my fishing gear for what I said I paid for it. ~Koos Brandt

I found myself in a discussion the other day with a friend who was just getting back into fly fishing after many years of being away from field sports. Work and geography can really affect how we choose to spend our precious leisure time.

Anyway, it always seems the question of what rod and reel set-up to start with becomes the focus in these conversations.

I’ve thought about it a lot over the years and my conclusion is that it is better to put your money into those things that will make you comfortable in the field and get by with a little bit less of a rod than to have the best rod and reel combo that money can buy and wet feet or a headache from the glare off the water.

I know it’s not what people want to hear. A discussion of the merits of stocking foot versus boot foot waders just doesn’t play to the peanut gallery.

I remember my first fall salmon fishing trip. The weather was perfect for the business, overcast with some sleety drizzle. The river was high and the water temperature was just above freezing.

There was a huge run of two plus sea-winter fish in and I was catching my share but I was miserable.

My waders had a tiny leak just at the crotch. I had to wade out bellybutton deep to get my cast into the sweet spot. I was wet and cold after the first ten minutes in the river and just got wetter and colder as the day went on.

In all fairness the waders had given me good service for about three years of fishing and duck hunting but I had two young children that needed things more than I needed new waders so I tried to get one more year out of them. There were patches on the patches.

The lesson for me was that the best sport in the world is less than appealing when it becomes an endurance contest.

When I think back on that trip I still shudder at the sheer misery I inflicted on myself. The next time I made the trip I made sure that my gear was in order; starting with my boots.

 Boy, did we ever catch and release a bunch of salmon that day though. It is part of my fall routine now and I look forward to it with pleasure each year. If anyone is curious I’ll talk a bit about the techniques we figured out for hooking up that day. Not everyone had the same success.

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Saturday, 2 June 2007

The Secret Spot

Brad with salmon
I have a friend who fishes with me fairly often. Over the years we have explored a lot of water and found some great places. The only problem is that a typical conversation when planning a trip sounds like this:
Me: " Want to get out tomorrow?"
Him: "Sure"
Me: "Where are you thinking?"
Him: "How about the Secret Spot? That should be good with the wind the way it is"
Me: "Yeah, We'll have to take my truck to get down that road"
Him: "No not there. I was thinking The Secret Spot where the river hits"
Me: "Oh the one by the island?"
Him: "No. The Secret Spot where you got that big trout"

Me: "The one where I only got the one big trout or the one where I got those two trout"
Him: "No, the other one"

And so it goes until one of us thinks to ask, "Where is the nearest Tim Horton's (a coffee shop chain)?" That locates the spot better than a GPS.

Here is a link to the most amazing fly tying I have ever seen. I've spent a long time looking at the pictures and trying to figure out how he does it. There are even some step by step photos but it is far beyond my skill. I'd love to have a few in my fly box though to casually pick out sometime when I'm with another angler and we are discussing what tactics to use. Picture holding up that red spider and saying, "Maybe I'll give this a flick. What do you think?"

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