December Fly of the month contest - Fly Fishing Forum
Classic Atlantic Salmon No pursuit rivals salmon rivers, flies & legacy

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Old 11-30-2005, 08:48 AM
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Charlie Charlie is offline
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Talking December Fly of the month contest

Tell us your best Atlantic Salmon story and win a salmon fly.

Got an interesting story about salmon fishing? Got an interesting lie about salmon fishing? Tell the story here on the FlyfishingForum and you could win the salmon fly pictured below.

The rules are simple: Attach your salmon story to this thread by December 24 and if our independent panel of judges decides it is the best story we will send you the fly, no questions asked. FlyTalk General Guidelines also apply. The winning story will also be featured on the Worldwide Flyfishing Discussion area for a month for everyone to enjoy. So, lets hear those salmon stories. What do you have to lose?

Good luck and may the best story win.


P.S. The judges can submit stories but they are not eligible to win the contest.
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Old 11-30-2005, 11:28 AM
Smolt Smolt is offline
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Here's a TRUE story.

I do not know the history of a hair-wing salmon fly called the “Green Widow”, but I do have a story as to how I became familiar with the pattern.

During the last week in July of 1988, I was one of a group of eight fishermen from various parts of Maine who met to fish the Main SW Miramichi River in New Brunswick. We were fortunate enough to be fishing the “Big Hole Pool” for three days. If not the best, Big Hole is one of the best pools on that entire river system, so we were expecting good things.

When we woke up to fish on the first morning, the sky was crystal clear, the weather was pleasantly cool, and the water was at a perfect level and temperature. Unfortunately, the fishing was slow. Two and one-half hours passed and none of us had a hook-up.

One of the fellows in the group and the most experienced Atlantic Salmon fisherman among us was a banker named Mike from northern Maine. Looking for some way to break the drought, he dug around in a fly box he seldom carried with him and took out a really old fly, the name of which he could not remember. He tied it on and proceeded to catch three salmon before lunch, i.e., in the next hour and a half.

He was the only person who caught a fish that morning.

Big Hole is a large pool and all eight of us could fish at one time without any trouble. Consequently, we all knew how everyone else was doing, especially Mike.

It is not an overstatement to say that when we got back to camp to have lunch and a rest before the evening fishing, everyone wanted to know what fly Mike had used to catch his fish. He showed us and was quick to point out that he had only one, the one he was using.

After inspecting the fly, and notwithstanding the fact that we didn’t even know its name, two members of the group jumped into a car and, skipping lunch, drove to the W.W. Doak fly shop in Doaktown to buy some. No luck. The people at Doak’s didn’t have and had never heard of any flies that met the mystery fly’s description – flat silver tinsel body with an oval silver tinsel rib, black hair wing, a green hackle collar, and a black head.

Whenever I go salmon fishing I try to drive so that I can bring with me a supply of fly pattern books and as much fly tying material and equipment as I feel will not be too embarrassing. I had driven on that trip and had a full supply of books and material. After a review of the patterns in Hair-Wing Atlantic Salmon Flies by Fulsher & Krom, I was able to identify the fly as the “Green Widow”.

After lunch I tied as many as I could and divided them up among the group. That evening, the Green Widow accounted for five out of the eight fish caught. In the three days we fished, the Green Widow accounted for nineteen of the thirty-nine fish brought to net by the group. It was a very, very good three days.

The punch line to all of this is that, when I returned to fish the Miramichi the next summer, I went into Doak’s to nose around. You guessed it. The fly case was full of Green Widows tied in various sizes on both double and single hooks with a sign touting it as the newest and hottest fly on the river.

I have never repeated the success we had with the Green Widow in 1988, but the fly is one I always take with me whenever I fish any salmon river. You never know when it will work its magic again.

Last edited by Smolt; 11-30-2005 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 12-01-2005, 03:17 PM
G Ritchie G Ritchie is offline
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It was the 15th of October and I was fishing the Spey on a well known lower beat as part of the Spey fishery board’s autumn run research project. The water level was running at +2 feet following heavy rain the previous day, so I headed up to Sourden at the top of the beat, a good high water pool. I set up a floating line with a 5 feet fast sinking polyleader and slipped on a Willie Gunn Templedog tied on a 3/4" bottle neck tube. I fished towards the tail of the pool and just as I was coming down to the hot spot, had a hefty pull. It was soon apparent that it was a big fish. For the first 5 minutes it just sat there and shook its head. It then decided to explore the other side of the pool and slowly stripped off the whole fly line and about 50 yards of backing. I managed to persuade it to come back to my own side of the river relatively quickly and it took up residence at the edge of the current about 15 yards off the bank. From here it was just a tug of war, I would gain a couple of yards of line and it would just ease back to its previous position. This went on for over an hour with me making no real impression on the fish. Eventually it decided to head for the opposite bank again and it slowly slipped downstream towards the tail of the pool. It became apparent that it was going to leave the pool, so I was forced to slacken off and let it slip down into the next pool. The problem now was following it. Below Sourden the river divides around an island and the fish was going down the far side to the Big Haddie. I waded out to the tip of the Island and cleared the line from some boulders placed to stop the tip of the island eroding. I now had to wade down the side of the island past some overhanging trees, I wasn't too sure of the depth as I hadn't waded down there before, luckily it was just below the top of my chest waders. I could see the line below me caught in the branches of a fallen tree. I waded down to this and cleared the line. I got down below this tree and back on solid land and started to take in the slack line. Luckily the fish was still on and was in fact lying just off the fallen tree. As I applied pressure it woke up tearing off towards the far bank breaking the surface for the first time, it was huge, a coloured cock fish with an enormous kype. There was no slack water in the Big Haddie at that height and the fish slowly worked its way downstream towards the next pool, the Island (which is actually below the island I was standing on). I had then to negotiate my way back off the island across the nearside river channel to the main bank. I was at last in with a chance as there is a large piece of slack water at the top of the pool with a good sandy beach to land the fish. Unfortunately on regaining contact all was solid, the fish was tucked in against some boulders in the fast water just below the slack area. I waded out and got the fish moving again. It was now showing signs of tiring and finally came up and rolled on to its side. I could now see the full size of the fish, I have seen a 40 lb fish landed before and this was certainly in the same size bracket. The fish started to drift out into the fast water on its side and beaten, it would not be easy to land in the faster water lower down the pool and following it to the next pool would be quite a scramble so I applied pressure to bring it into the slacker water at the edge prior to leading it up to the beach. Just as I turned it head into the slack water it gave a kick and the leader broke about a foot above the fly and the fish just floated off into the current before righting itself and slipping from sight. The leader was worn where it broke and I think the fish must have rubbed the leader against the boulders. I checked my watch and it was exactly 1 hour and 50 minutes since hooking the fish and it was in fact about 1/2 mile below where I hooked it. When I had stopped shaking I headed back to Sourden, phoning Willie Gunn as I walked back to tell him what had just happened. After a wee break to calm the nerves, I tied on a new leader and attached another one of the same fly and fished down Sourden again. At exactly the same spot I hooked another fish, again a good size. I landed this and from its length and girth it calculated as 18.5lb, for reference I landed this in 12 minutes. A good fish but a bit of an anticlimax after the previous one.
Graham Ritchie
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Old 12-06-2005, 11:52 AM
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Charlie Charlie is offline
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A day on the Gaspe!

Smolt and Graham, great stories, I decided I needed to throw one out myself, so here goes.

I was fishing in early June on the St. John River on the Gaspe with my friend Brian. The runs of fish on the St. John are usually a bit later than the time of year we were fishing so being there this early was a crapshoot. However, the St. John is an incredibly beautiful river and is a joy to fish, this makes it hard to resist. The pools are long, wide and have an even flow, the water is crystal clear and the fish have a reputation of being some of the hardest fighters on the Gaspe. And at the time neither Brian nor myself had ever landed a St. John fish. Need I say more?

On this particular bluebird day we had drawn zone one. We started the day fishing high on the zone, Wild Rose and Bluff pools, and worked our way down. Later in the morning we found our selves at Birches pool, one of my favorites. As we un-strapped our rods from my friend Rick’s car, he was on the York River at the time, and got our gear out of the back the strut popped off of the back hatch and the hatch came down swiftly on my head. It did not nock me cold but I did see stars and had a good lump on my head. After helping me up and determining I was OK Brian and I headed for the river. He started fishing at the top of the pool and I took the middle. After about four or five casts a good fish grabbed my fly. Fantastic! I thought but it ended practically before it began with the hook coming loose. We finished fishing the pool and tried two more, unsuccessfully, before heading back to town for a very late lunch.

We found our selves back on the river at the Home pool and mosquito castle pool. They call it that for a reason. Now the St. John is a west to east flowing river so in the afternoon the sun shines directly into it and consequently into the eyes of its wonderful salmon. This makes it almost useless to fish in the late afternoon. We found our selves waiting for the brilliant sun to drop below some trees before we could fish; swatting mosquito’s to pass the time. We made a game out of just trying to stun them and flicking them into the river in the hope that a hungry salmon parr would gobble them down. A noble game I thought.

Finally the sun dropped sufficiently for us to fish. This time I started at the top of the pool and Brian took the middle. He reached the tail uneventfully and leap-froged to the top of the pool to finish his pass. As I reached the tail I had a solid hit. At that point it was getting rather late so Brian decided to leave me to work this fish and he headed down to home pool for his final pass of the day. As he departed I decided to go back up and work down to the fish giving it some time to rest.

Brian went down to the home pool and started fishing and was almost immediately rewarded with a hookup. The bright, strong fish instantly jumped out of the water and rocketed across the river, turned and headed for the ocean. At this point Brian heard what he described as a fright train coming through the woods at him from behind. He turned just in time to see a large moose crash through the trees and stop, literally, about five feet from were he stood playing his first St. John river salmon. He stood frozen as the drag of his hardy real screamed and the backing melted away. “Nice moose” he cooed as his fish leaped over a hundred yards downstream. Finally the moose turned and ambled away from Brian, allowing him to give chase, but it was to late to save the fish. As it wallowed, over two hundred yards downstream the hook finally came loose.

As the moose left home pool and crossed the river he headed directly for me. Having had some bad experiences with moose in Yellowstone Park and Alaska, I wanted no part of this one. In the gloom of the evening my fish was immediately forgotten. I crossed the river through the fishes holding position and joined Brian for the short hike back to the car. Upon arriving at the vehicle we immediately drained the contents of my flask and recovered our composer enough to have a good chuckle about the incident.

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Old 12-06-2005, 09:05 PM
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Salar 33 Salar 33 is offline
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The Restigouche Life Experience

The Restigouche River between Junction Pool(Kedgwick River)and the mouth of the Upsaquitch is one of the deepest secrets in the world of Salar. All private, very exclusive and for the most part extremely unavailable. Today however, there are a few camps that accept paying sports. Mostly these available times are shoulder dates, but if you try hard you can get some good quality time be it at a fairly substantial price.

Large, and I mean very large bright white salmon start to run the river in middle May. Many of these fish are headed straight to the headwaters. They are a special family of fish that are in every way as perfect as those of the Matapedia’s main tributary called Causapscal. Even some members of ‘The Club’ have been heard to be braving the elements at a time that was accustom to seeing only those hearty souls who fish the Kelts. This feast or famine early period is followed by a bit of a pause and then an increasing quantity of fish of all sizes will run from mid June through the weeks of July. So that forty pound white hot beauty is full well possible from mid May through the end of June.

I always believed the secrecy of the Restigouche was that the fishing was so prolific the rich and famous just didn't want to let us know about the rivers bounty. Maybe for fear the public will put extreme pressure on the great province of New Brunswick to open more of the water. Maybe because they just have no need to talk about it. In any case I played in the garden and fell in love.

Starting this past June 19, I had the great privilege to spend six days in "the zone". Our group of three released salmon every day. We were told the numbers of fish were way down and all the usual suspects were to blame. In the face of high water, a late season, nets and cool temperatures, we had some fair to good sport. They came in waves through out the day opening a window of anticipation that could last as little as ten minutes. We found takers in pods that we could get ahead of before they went by. The fish were on the move and were not resting for long periods of time. It reminded me of an October many years ago on the Nashawak River just on the edge of Fredericton, New Brunswick. We fished from the east bank of the Pig Farm Pool. This pool has a sharp bend that flows into a very long glide. Under the right conditions you could sit on the shore looking down river and when you saw them coming you made your casts. When they were past, you took a seat. And it was just that way fishing through the days of the Summer Solstice on the mystical Restigouche. We fished and watched the full moon rise over the waters and the feeling was that our time was passing far too quickly. This the longest lit day of 05’ was a turning point in my thirty six year life with Salar.

It took me until that moment in the week to realize that the true secret of this river of fingers is not only the magnificent fish. For sure pools like The Junction, Patamajaw, Pine Island and Home are some of the best fly water in North America. Put that together with all the splendor of some of the largest fish in North America and the package might seem complete. Yet there is something else that this mighty river offers. Something that relatively few anglers have felt. It is a higher power than mere fishing that the water, hills and sky whispers. Fishing is only one part of The Restigouche Life Experience. Without hesitation, I can tell you that this valley is one of the finest examples of river scenery and abundant wildlife I have ever seen. My experience is based on visits to public and private waters of over fifty rivers worldwide and includes some of the best pools on earth. I am certain the inner peace of this valley is what club members have been so silent about. It is something more valuable than fish. It is the possibility of serenity that I paid for.

A growing problem in a very private life.

The Restigouche Life Experience, until recently, was a very secluded and private adventure, giving one the ability to be back to a more rugged time. The designation as a Canadian Heritage River seems to have opened the door of availability to many non fishing visitors. Although holding great similarities in the love of sky and water, this has become a substantial issue from the salmon anglers point of view. Over the last ten years, angling in seclusion is no longer a weekend sport. With no restriction of access, canoeing, kayaking and camping takes center stage each weekend, and encroaches increasingly throughout the week as the weather improves in July and August. The general public runs the river with as many as 300 boats that will pass through the hallowed pools on a Saturday or Sunday. The travelers we did see while fishing Sunday night through Friday, were courteous and respectful passing on the directed side. There was none of the excessive noise, oar banging or splashing that we feared. The jet boats and motor traffic is a far greater annoyance. Remember this was early season and the armada had not set sail. This inevitable future will change the angling environment forever. As more and more people realize the splendor of the Restigouche, and outfitting companies make access easier, the result will be less and less private time with the salmon.

If you are looking to catch fish alone, then the lower and upper Matapedia or Bonaventure in public sectors can be just as productive as the majority of the available water on the Restigouche. These and a number of other Canadian rivers in public, private and ZEC waters can offer you that 30 pound bullet you dream about. No need to spend such great sums for mere fishing. There are pools on other rivers that are just as wonderful and available through the November lotteries.

Then again, if your desire is to immerse yourself as I do in a magical playground, and you don’t mind sharing, then The Restigouche Life Experience might just be what you need. You will not be disappointed.

Looking forward, I hope my life will honor me with another trip to the River of White Light. A river that has taken hold of me and I pray will never let go.

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Last edited by Salar 33; 12-06-2005 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 12-15-2005, 11:43 AM
OC OC is offline
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The Salar stories are top of the line. I knew they would be and have not disapointed. But I was hoping for more of them. For most of us fishing Atlantic Salmon is just a dream and for a lot of us you fisher people on both sides of the Atlantic are hero's in our fishing life. Please we would love to hear more of them.

Hey Ann, With all your experience you must have many stories to share. You must see a lot of very nervous first time salar fishermen. I always wonder how I would react to walking into a famous run or pool with many old eyes watching every move this stranger was about to make. I remember years ago a famous flyfisherman/author telling me that even with his big ego that he was intiminated by his guide on one Quebec River. The guide mentioned to him that he better get it right from the start of this float or it will be a waste of time. The fisherman did well and he became good freinds with the guide but that first cast was hell for him.
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Old 12-16-2005, 06:20 AM
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Willie Gunn Willie Gunn is offline
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Doomed from the Start
Mission Impossible
I just could not decide which title was best for my tale, I will let you decide.

The mission I chose to accept was to catch an Atlantic salmon in Scotland in 12 successive months on the fly.
January is the problem month and as it is right at the start; the mission can easily go wrong early very early. Quick bit of background for those unfamiliar with Atlantics in Scotland, they tend to run all year and breed in December, with some survivors dropping back to the sea as kelts the following spring, downstreamers I think you call them.
The close season interferes with January and the first rivers do not open till January the 11th so already 11 of the short days have been lost. Not all rivers open their seasons this early so again restrictions are starting to bite. I started on the Moriston, which is short tributary running into Loch Ness, but the water was too high and I drew blank. I then travelled further up the Loch to the Oich but the water was too low and again I drew a blank, I discovered subsequently that the day I fished the Moriston an fish was caught on the Oich and frustratingly when I fished the Oich one was caught on the Moriston, had I upset the salmon gods. I then gave up on the Ness system and headed north to try my luck on the famous Helmsdale, using Gordon Armstrong’s contacts we managed to get on beat 6 below the falls, which are temperature block. Again we were frustrated by high water and failed again. The next north raid we fished beat 2 below and although the water was rising we picked up a few kelts but no fresh fish. I discovered that the first fish of the season was caught on the top pool of 1 below when we were fishing the bottom pool of 2 ………………close but no cigar. Failure doomed before the start.
February, started well as I was invited to fish the famous Park beat on the Dee for opening day February the first, the gods were on my side and I had a springer before lunch followed by another in the afternoon. What a difference a day makes. Later that month I had my first Spey fish from just below the hut on the famous Carron Beat.

March Things get easier as the year progresses and the days get longer I had the first fish of the season from the Wester Elchies beat on the Spey and a couple from Delfur.

April Was an exceptional month and I had my best spring day ever on the Delfur beat taking 4 salmon at least 1 was over 20lbs, I estimated the others at 18, 14 and 8. The 5 rods had 11 fish between us 9 returned 1 was badly seal damaged and another was bleeding whilst being played. A red-letter day by any standards. T Brown pictured had his first ever fish which was seal damaged.

May This is prime time and looking back through the diary the fish that really jumps out at me was the one I took in failing light from the Long Pool at Knockando, the gillie Ian Gordon had already shown me up by taking one behind me but I was still very satisfied with the lovely fish.

June Can sometimes be a difficult month if the water levels drop but this year Charlie Harman (Gardener on here) invited me for a day on the Beauly and we shared the rod I got a nice fish on a sunray shadow stripped across the pool, Charlie lost two and now blames my hooks. I was invited back to the Beauly by the gille and caught another unfortunately the fish swallowed the fly and had to be dispatched the first fatality of the year.

July, usually a month when the grilse are abundant but this year there were long faces as the grilse failed to materialise in the early weeks but they eventually arrived and I had a good few days on the Spey and on the Conon.

August Earlier in the year I had been offered three days on the Rothes beat on the Spey, it was expensive, very expensive, but these opportunities do not come along very often. I was rewarded with 4 salmon from Chreechy before lunch two of which was well into the teens and covered in sea lice………priceless

September, things start to slow a bit in September as the salmons mind seem to drift towards sex. I was lucky enough to be invited to fish the Brae water on the lower Spey and caught a magnificent sealiced 16 lb hen fish immediately behind the new Spey board chairman Alan Williams who had done the same thing to me at Carron in June, sometimes these things hurt to much to mention.

October, the season has started to close down now and the official season on the Dee and Spey closes at the end of September but I am lucky enough to be involved in a research project I am licensed to fish on into December. I caught fish from the Spey but also from the Beauly which does not finish till mid October.

November, things are beginning to get really difficult now but I managed to pick up a few unspawned fish in November.

December, most of the salmon have now spawned and the question is when does an unspawned fish become a baggot? (Baggot unspawned kelt) Luckily on the second last day of the research fishing I managed to land a lovely silver fish.

Pictured below.

Failure or just eleven twelfths of the way through the mission, if I manage to catch a fish in January 2006 I will have achieved the goal of catching a salmon in 12 successive months, not strictly as planned but I will take it anyway it comes.
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Willie Gunn
Quot homines tot sententiae
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Old 12-19-2005, 02:49 PM
Shaq Shaq is offline
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While not a true Atlantic from the sea, here is one from the same species:

It was a long sleeve t-shirt kind of day as I packed the car with no particular destination in mind. All I knew was, I was in a new home, just back from a summer guiding in Alaska, five salmon species taken on a fly for the year and there was one to go. There were rumors of runs out of Lake Champlain, two hours north and I was going to give it a shot. The weather seriously deteriorated as I ventured north and into the mountains and by the time I made the water’s edge there was a good sleet going. I stopped by the local bait shop for the skinny on the water but they were no help for this fly-fisherman, or so I thought. The cranky old gentleman sitting by the stove coughed and wheezed his way through directions to the boulder in the tail of a pool. A cast down and across will wield a fish, if they are there. So I headed for the water. I was one of five, four fly-fishermen and one with a spinning rod. I asked around for the rigging, no added weight, and single hook etc, nymphs and various streamers were called for, and I tried them all during the day. I saw no fish get caught and I shrunk into my wading jacket as the mercury fell. I was unprepared for the weather on that day, caught off-guard by the unexpected conditions. I kept going determined that if the Alaskan summer had only frost-bitten my ears this was not about to chase me from my pursuit. As the day wore on with no signs of fish in the river, my foul weather companions retreated one by one and soon I was alone in the shadow of an old mill, water rising around me and the old man’s boulder calling out. The sinking line recommended was too much for the current in the tail and I lost a gray ghost on the first cast. While taking a few minutes to change spools and rigs to a full floater, I thought I noticed an odd wake in the water. I passed it up to an errant wind gust and finished my task. There in my fly box was a hairwinged Blue Charm tied on a #8 salmon hook. A gift from a friend upon his return of a Nova Scotia Salmon trip. It was a hot fly he had assured me, so I said…to no-one, it was that point in the day to talk to no-one, What the hell, they are salmon, Land-locked to be sure but salmon nonetheless. I tied the charm on and took my position on the boulder. The line lengthened with each power stroke and the sleet pelted my face. The fly hit the water and I looked down at the reel to untangle the bit of line that had looped around the reel seat. When I looked up there was the distinct boil in the tail of the pool to indicate a fish so I made the worst looking hook set anybody had ever seen. Thank goodness nobody was there to see it. There was no prize at the end of my line and I stripped in some line and made another cast, this one with more determination. The leader straightened, the fly landed, and the rod bucked. The fish hit before the fly was even connected to the drift and the salmon was in the air. The 6weight strained against the fish and the fish leaped eye level again. The rod bucked violently and the fish screamed to the heart of the pool and came up again, somersaulting, then tailwalking across my line of sight. In the failing light, it flashed silver from the glare of the windows in the old mill. The fish surged again porpoised twice and the line went slack. Oh, no. I stripped in line as fast as I could and the rod doubled over again. Phew. This time the fish dogged me for two more minutes before coming to my feet. I reached for the net that wasn’t there and finally beached this king of the lake. I shook as I stared down at my opponent. He was a beautiful 24-inch male with a kype and not a hint of color. A true torpedo, fresh from the inland sea. I snapped the best picture I could get my frozen fingers to snap and released him into the darkness. With the blue charm in the hook-keeper, and one long lingering look back at the tail of the pool, I turned and walked back to the car. The radio was not needed on this ride home; the memory kept me company until I arrived.
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Old 12-20-2005, 03:44 PM
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Charlie Charlie is offline
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Just a few days left for this one, it ends on the 24th. So get them in while you can.

Some great stories from you guys so far! But like OC, I expected a few more.

Again, I think we are going to have a hard time with the judging!

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Old 12-20-2005, 04:02 PM
scruffy_fish scruffy_fish is offline
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Truth be told

This story is about the very first Atlantic salmon. It takes place on the Marimichi River, back in the 70’s, when I first was bitten by the salmon bug.

May cousin and I were staying at Campbell’s fishing camp during the month of July. We had fished for several days without any success, even though there were fish in the main pool and one or two had been taken by others that were staying in camp. I had fished for trout most of my life and was skilled in handling a fly rod to the point that I believed that salmon fishing would be just a matter of fly presentation. As I turned out, luck was also a factor in the formula for hooking the King of Fish.

The third morning of our stay started out as the first couple, a blue bird day with great water conditions. The path to the river and main pool was across the road and down through a cow pasture. We all know what you will find in a pasture occupied by cows. Relaying on an old wives tale about stepping in sh*t, will make you lucky. I scouted the field for a fresh pile of natures own. Locating a large fresh meadow muffin, I did a little dance to insure my wading shoes were coated with luck. We proceeded to the main pool and began the rotation down the river bank through the pool. After several runs of unsuccessful passes, I decided to venture up river to the next stretch of fishable water. Leaving our guide with my cousin, I was some what convinced that if a fish was taken it would come from the main pool.

Upon arriving at the next likely spot I encountered several natives fishing from the other shore. This is a common occurrence on the Marimichi as ownership will sometimes split the river down the middle. After some small talk with the other fisherman, I learned that they had taken a grilse earlier. I began at the top of the run and made a long and swiping cast. As my fly straightens out at the end of the swing it was stopped by a surging tug. I am tight to my first salmon, an energetic grilse. Since our guide was not in ear shot and I had read about tailing salmon, I decided I would try this landing technique. Successful in playing the grilse to my side I slipped my hand around its tail and lifted it from the water. That’s when I realized I had hold of a creature of unusual strength unlike any trout that I had landed before. The fish slipped from my grasp and landed in the shallows on the edge of the gravel bar. I leaped on the fish, but was unsuccessful in keeping it from escaping back into the pool. To my embarrassment the locals had quite a belly laugh on my lack of experience and comical display of tailing skills.

I regained my composer and started again to fish the run. As before I made an identical cast, and as if it were an instant replay, another fish took at the end of the swing. To the amazement of the locals I connected with even a bigger fish, which quieted my audience.
This time our guide had made his way up river and saw me tight to a nice salmon. It was netted gracefully and lives in my memories.

The long and short of salmon fishing is 80% skill and 20% cow sh*t.
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Old 12-22-2005, 07:37 AM
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Salar-1 Salar-1 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Quebec Salmon rivers
Posts: 422
J. P. S.

There are three main ingrediants to this true story. An elegant supper of JPS ( Jamaican Pork Stew),a dapper fishing friend of mine (W.B. ) WB can fish all day in 30deg.C. weather and not ruffle a hair on his well groomed head. I ,on the other hand, look like I've been dragged through the bushes before I even start out .Finally the third, and I must say unwilling participant, a local Gaspe fisherman (Phillippe, or Phil as we began to call him.)
One evening while satying at Camp melancon on the Petite Cascapedia, I decided to make supper for some friends .It soon became obvious that as the smells wafted through the camp , that most of the guests were soon
" inviting:"themselves for supper ! JPS takes about 50 minutes to prepare and smells delicious as it's being preaired !. To make a long story short EVERYONE helped themselves to 2 regular portions except for WB who managed to down 2 heaping platefuls.
The next morning ,bright and early, found WB and I, at water's edge on the Bonaventure. To fish the pool we'd selected as having the best prospects, we had to cross the river which at that time (mid June) hadn't been attempted due to the high levels. We did manage to cross ,however ,and hiked up to the pool (Sinclair). While Checking out the tailout , I noticed someone else (the previously mentioned Phil)crossing by canoe . He didn't hide his displeasure at finding ,not only one ,but two fishemen ,at what he thought was going to be his "private" pool. He grudgingly accepted to rotate through the pool with the two "anglo's".Phil, being of the meat hunter variety became highly P/O'd when he lost a nice fish and throughout the morning became increasingly aggresive in following WB and I through the pool. (Rotation, here in Quebec IS the rigeure on salmon rivers) Around lunchtme WB and I decided to take a break and were drinking coffee ( a well known catalist for perculating a previous evening's supper ) when Phil joined us and decide to change his fly. We're standing there with WB's back to Phil and me ,the innocent bystander, facing the two of them. Phil had bent over to check in his rather large flybox for a change of fly. Over the sound of the river, I heard a rather loud , alarming flatulant noise.I was just about about to give Phil the evil eye when he rocket'd ramrod straight with eyes bulging.I immediately thought "oh F&*%$ ,he's having a massive heart attack on us!" He then cried out in French " TABERNAC, IT SMELL'S LIKE SH-T AROUND HERE" He gave WB one of the mostly filthy looks imaginable. WB on the other hand innocently looks over at me and proclaims " I think Phil's just been JPS'd !" Phillippe angrily collected all his gear and walked away on what looked like very shaky and unsteady legs muttering to himself.I the mentioned to WB "Gee I wonder what got into him ?" Highly amused ,and commenting on how Salmon fishing in Quebec has just gone downhill these days, neither of us could pick up a rod and start fishing for at least 10 minutes !
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Old 12-27-2005, 08:48 AM
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Charlie Charlie is offline
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Eastern Great Lakes & Gaspe
Posts: 1,003
Well sports fans, The December Fly of the month contest is officially over and we got some great stories. The judging has started and we will let you all know in a few days who the winner is.

Also, keep your eyes open for the January Fly of the month contest.

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Old 01-03-2006, 08:06 AM
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Charlie Charlie is offline
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Eastern Great Lakes & Gaspe
Posts: 1,003
Well sports fans! The judges have debated for a few days now and even though we had a hard time picking one, we have a winner. Salar 33 and his wonderfull story about The Restigouche Life Experience took the top spot. Great story Salar 33, PM me with your snail mail and I will send you your fly.

And congrats and thanks to the rest of you who submitted stories. They were all great and deserve something. Wish I had time to tie all of you a fly.

Also, keep your eyes peeled. We will be announcing the January Fly of the month contest in a few days.
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