Sunday, May 25, 2008

Broman ODell

The time is almost here. I recently became the Distributor for North America for Broman Odell Tackle of Sweden. A wonderful set of fly rods, fly reels, clothing, fly lines, as well as spinning gear. since i have a blog, i am going to get some gear previews up. This stuff will be in the gear reviews of Canadian Fly Fisher and Fly Fisherman Magazine in the coming months. Maybe you will have seen it here first. I will give a little teaser with the Beta Fly Rod and Reel picture with this post. More detail will come tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A View From The Bridge

The picture with this post means nothing in particular. It is a shot of my favourite lake, at 5:45 am on a foggy Nova Scotia morning. I think it is a great picture and really captures my early morning view. I caught 5 trout on this foggy morning before the sun broke through and the wind started. The importance of early morning trout fishing cannot be lost on any good fly angler. It seems the big fish in particular like the low light conditions to feed in, cruising around cleaning up spent fly and getting morning emergers. I am working on a fly fishing journal to post here that plots trends, water temperatures, wind conditions, time of day and so on and it is yielding some interesting results. I will be posting them here shortly, and i would be interested in anyone who reads this emailing me any factual information in the same vein.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

In The Middle Of Nowhere, In The Middle Of Everything

A warm, dry, comfortable place to stay. 20 kms from the nearest small town, and most of that 20 kms is back in the woods. The camp is really in the middle of nowhere. There are no other camps anywhere within walking distance. What is within walking distance is 5 of the best trout lakes i have been fortunate enough to find in Nova Scotia. Every year the trip is met with great anticipation. This year was no different, and despite tough conditions for fishing, the lakes came through yet again.

Steven F., Merle, and myself made a 4 day, 3 night stay that consisted of a lot of food, a bunch of drinks, many hands of crib and auction, and a ton of fishing. Joined by two of my uncles late Wednesday, and completed late Friday, the trip did present some challenges when it came to fishing. The fly started early this season. In fact on a trip i made on April 27, the fly was already on, and relatively thick. The result is in the 10 days before we went up, the fish fed greedily on mayfly, and were approaching the glut when we arrived.

Glutted fish are not impossible to catch, they just have to be persuaded. In fact the glut can be good if you are looking for big fish, as they cruise the lake picking up spent fly all through the hatch, rather than gorge all day like the younger and smaller fish. In the four days, i caught 12 trout, most in the early morning or late in the evening. On Thursday night a heavy rain and high wind cut fishing short, otherwise, nice evening calms and mild temperatures cooperated with us. In all, 25 fish were brought to the boat, and another 10 or so lost as the fish won some battles. All but three were returned to fight another day.

For myself, i caught none smaller than 12 inches, and around 1 pound. The largest was 17.5 inches and weighed in at about 2.5 pounds. A couple of trips to the camp for seatrout runs are already in the works. For now, the 2008 mayfly is in the books, and was a success. The camp was comfort as always. I look forward to the next visit.

Monday, May 5, 2008

A Few Days In The Woods

The time has come. The plans are made, the rations have been bought, theres one thing left. Fishing. From Tuesday until Friday i will be parked in the lap of great fishing in Nova Scotia, staying at the Chateau. 3 great but small trout lakes surround us and the dreams of that elusive 4 pound trout have already begun.

My wife has beautifully tolerated all of the discussions, phone calls, meetings and so on of the He Man Woman Haters Club, much to her credit. Now we go trophy hunting. Our early morning and late evening trips to the smallest lake of the bunch which ironically holds the biggest fish. It will be time for a lot of food, a few drinks, a bit of work, and a lot of fishing. Once again, i owe her big time. Someday, i will pay her back properly.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

"A Blue Fly? It'll Never Work"

The Mystery That Is The Blue Upright

The mayfly here in Nova Scotia occurs in the first two weeks of May. Medium sized, black flies, come to life in swarms and the trout gorge on them for a two or three week stretch. As a young fly fisherman who never had an abundance of flies in his possesion, the older brother of one of my best friends gave me a fly since i ran out. The fly he passed me was a peacock quill body, and a blue hackle, with Grey wings. I looked at him strangely, and asked if that would really work. "You'll see" he said. And i did. So, look at the pictures below:

The grey wings make sense. The peacock quill body also is a good representation. What about that blue hackle and blue tail though? Where does that come into play? That day i got my first one i wondered that quickly to myself, and continued fishing. It worked. Much better than the black flies i had been using. In all of my years since, it has been a superior fly. In all of those years, i wondered why, and kept fishing. A biologist i met, gave me what sounds like a reasonable answer.

The key to a Blue Upright working so well over a black quill with black hackle rests in it's profile. Cast the two flies side by side, the same size pattern, and the black quill will look bigger. From below the water, it looks bigger still. The blue hackle on an upright allows light to pass through it, giving it a slimmer profile, and a more realistic look to a rising fish. I rarely use a black quill anymore, although i carry some for darker days. However the Blue Upright is Nova Scotia's premier dry fly, and a fly no one should be out the first of May fishing without.

Day 4 - A Requiem

For the third night in a row, it rained. Tents, sleeping bags, every piece of clothing i had with me was soaking wet. We woke up groggy but took a bit of energy from the fact that all of that wood was now here. We also now had a floor, and one standing wall, studs only of course. Every muscle in my body ached, my shoulders felt like someone had sanded them and my back was more sore than i ever imagined it could be. But, we did it. We stood all four outside walls and braced them and decided it was time to go.

After two trips in and out to haul gear and garbage, we climbed into the 1985 Chevy and drove out to where the van waited. In the van, i left dry boots, clothes, and socks. The smartest thing i did all week. As i changed, on the heel of my foot i found a blood blister the size of a golf ball. It almost seemed alive. It made me queasy to see it. I covered it with a sock, and my work boot, and we drove home, very quietly. We all were equally tired, but i think equally satisfied in what we accomplished.

When i got home, my wife said hello and simply pointed me to the shower. It lasted 45 minutes. Never did a shower feel so good. Now it was 8:00 pm and i am laying on my couch. My wife is rubbing my shoulders as we exchange stories about the days i was away. At that moment i thought i might never go back to the camp again. This was so much better. This was home. It took a few days to shake that off. In two weeks, we were up there again, although this time was all building and very little hauling.

As i read back about what i wrote about these four days, i realize it sounds like i am whining. A lot of people would give their eye teeth to have a place like this, in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by some of the best stillwater fly fishing to be found in Nova Scotia. All i had to do was lend my shoulders and back for a week or so. It was a small price to pay. It still will never be forgotten.