Sunday, 26 April 2009

Eric's Reel Shop

Well not much to report on the fishing front. Yesterday was a great day, the first real spring weather we have had. I had to go do some blood tests and errands so by the time I was able to go fishing, I was pooped.

One of the errands was pretty interesting though.

I took two Hardy reels to be serviced at a place called Eric’s Reel Shop.

It is a home based business in a building behind a fellow’s house out in Eastern Passage. Eric himself is an interesting and pleasant man. The shop is crammed to the rafters with old lanterns, fishing rods, reels, boxes of parts, old fishing lures, flies and just about anything an outdoorsman would have had in his kit throughout the last century.

What a great spot to spend a few minutes in conversation. It is what the boys on “Top Gear” would call a blokey sort of place.


I look forward to having the reels in working condition. I am going to beg, borrow or re-build a nice, vintage cane rod to match up with the old St John model.
It is a good project to keep my head in the game while I struggle through the last few steps of cardio-rehab.

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Sunday, 19 April 2009

Slow Start to the Season

Went for a scouting drive yesterday, it was beautiful and sunny but still cold. I did find a new little lake just a few minutes from home. It is tucked up behind an industrial park on the edge of the city. You walk down a path and suddenly the scrubby brush opens up into a lovely little pond. It is only a couple of acres but surrounded by a grove of Birch, Maple, Alders, Labrador Tea and High Hack Bushes– hard walking but perfect for the Float Tube.

There are two brooks entering and the outlet, although I couldn’t spot it, looks to be on the opposite end from the brooks judging- from the vegetation anyway. There was no sign of surface activity and hardly any bugs at all, just a few microscopic midges swirling in a sheltered, sunny spot.

Reports on the forums are that a few guys are catching a few trout but the majority of fishermen are just enjoying a day out.

Here is a picture from an old folder of a shad photos, you’ll notice I have not thought up the Dobson Clip yet so that puts it at around four years ago. I like spring trout fishing but can not wait for those big Shad to start running.

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Friday, 10 April 2009

Fishing the way it is supposed to be?

It has always been my preference to go afoot when fishing; no boat just boots, fly rod and vest. Pure and simple fishing, the way it is supposed to be.

Well, that is my impression of my fishing style. As I organize my equipment for the upcoming season, the reality turns out to be slightly different.

Now it is boots, fly rod, vest and collapsible wading staff. Well, it is actually breathable waders with felt soled wading boots and of course a spare spool with an alternate line in one vest pocket, a digital camera in the other, polarized sunglasses, more boxes of flies than actually fit comfortably in my remaining pockets, too many gadgets to count pinned on my vest, several maps, three year old salmon tags and a mass of what once might have been a chocolate bar in the vest’s back pouch, too many tippet spools in crazy weights, several store bought leaders- well past their best before date, a rusty cigar cutter, emergency matches, a whistle and so on...

It is all apparently necessary because the only thing I actually removed from the vest was the old salmon tags.

In a pinch, the chocolate bar may still be edible.

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Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Shad Run 2009 - Not Long Now !

There are few things as exciting in the realm of fly fishing than taking improbably large fish, no matter what the species, from small waters.

It is the ability of the fly fisherman to fish the small tributaries of a main river that opens the door to a unique fishing experience.
Where spinning gear and heavy darts would foul on every cast, fly gear can often be used with a minimum of difficulty.

The first Shad I ever caught was on the Annapolis River, not a spot particularly famous as a shad river. I had stopped to look at a dam where the river meets the salt water.

In the depths I could see a handful of biggish fish fanning against the current and then suddenly swirling around each other and darting off, only to reappear in the same spot within a few minutes.

I had no idea what they were but I had some saltwater fishing gear in the car, specifically a spinning rod rigged up for Pollack fishing with a yellow Mr. Twister as the lure. That is a round lead jig to which a plastic tail is added. It is a great lure for Pollack and Mackerel too, although it was probably originally designed for Bass fishing.

I crouched over the spot where the fish were milling around and lowered the lure down in front of a fish. He didn’t react at all until I let the lure sink to rest on the bottom and then raised it with a little dancing motion. Bang! He nailed it and I was into a spectacular battle before I had time to absorb what had just happened. After about ten minutes I managed to land my first shad.

When I got home and mentioned my adventure to some friends they were unimpressed. Shad just didn’t seem to rate.

It was a pretty good lesson in what will elicit a strike from a shad though. When presenting a fly to a Shad I always try to get the fly a bit lower then the fish and expect a strike as it rises.
Because fly fishing for shad is still in its infancy in Eastern Canada it is still possible to find new, un-fished and un-crowded water.

Almost every Eastern Salmon River has historically also had a run of shad, some better known than others.

Although Shad, as open water spawners, do not need to run far up rivers and tributaries to find perfect gravel beds, they do disperse throughout the system.

If there are a lot of fish showing in the main river it is usually productive to check the tributaries too. Not just to find fish but to find those spots where a fly fisherman has the room to practice his art.

It won’t be long now until the Shad Run 2009 begins. I can’t wait.

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Wednesday, 1 April 2009

April First is Opening Day

We got hit with a nasty snow storm last night and today it was terrible all day. It is clearing off now and looks good to be fit tomorrow.
Well, fit for anything but fishing. I have to work so won’t have to decide whether to try for a few trout or not until supper time.

I’ll put up a link to the salmon regulations a bit closer to the start of the season.

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