The Joy of Fly Fishing in New Brunswick

The Joy of Fly Fishing in New Brunswick

First Day Fishing Pickerel in Spring 2013

Posted: 30 Apr 2013 06:04 AM PDT

caseyhasfirstpickerelIt's always exciting to get out fishing for the first time each year here in New Brunswick. Yesterday was my first day of fishing for 2013 and sure beats sitting in the office typing.

Last year our first day was a really cold day so we came prepared for just about any weather. I had my entire wardrobe and Casey brought a snow suit, just to be sure we were prepared.

Turns out it was calm, sunny and warm all day long. I don't think I saw a cloud all day. I just kept peeling off layers of clothing.

Salmon River Water Level Up 6 Feet

The Chipman boat launch was sure different that I remember it last year. I think there was about half of it still under water. Last year we could go down and and make a loop to come back up to back your boat down. This year it's just two lanes going straight into the river. So I would say there is about 20 or 30 feet missing at the moment.

A second walk around the boat and in the truck to be sure we weren't going to have to come back in because we forgot something and we were heading up river.

Casey Lands The First Fish of 2013

It's always nice when I get the first fish of the day and especially of the season. I was focused and tried so hard. I was thinking positive, holding my tongue just the right way and even used my fish whistle and yet Casey still hooked that first fish.

My last resort was to smack it with the net, as usual, but that didn't even work. So congrats on getting the first fish, a respectable 19" chain pickerel.

A Couple of Hours Later I Get Onboard

jim has a pickerelEventually I hooked into my first fish of the day. I could see that it wasn't quite as big as Casey's pickerel. Didn't even bother to measure him or get a picture.

I was happy to have my first but I was looking for one that was 19.5" in length.

We went a long time before the next fish which choose my lure over Casey's and it was 21" putting me in the bigger fish category.

Casey played with a couple of fish but they just wouldn't commit. They would chase the bait right to the boat and give up. Wimpy fish.

Later I caught another pickerel making it three for the day. Casey's response was: "It sure beats splitting wood." I so agree.

I Need To Practice My Aim

When I wrote that title I immediately remembered the needlepoint picture my Aunt Hazel had over the toilet. It said:

"We Aim To Please, Would You Aim Too Please"

But I'm not talking about using the bathroom. No I'm talking about getting my lure hooked up in the trees.

It was so calm and clear yesterday that the reflections were playing tricks on my eyes. I found it very hard to judge the distance so I ended up launching into the trees. However, on a positive note it did allow Casey to practice his boat handling skills.

Fortunately I only lost one all day and it wasn't to the trees. I hooked bottom and no matter what we did I couldn't get loose and eventually just pulled on the line until it snapped.

The lure I lost has been in my tackle box for many years and had never actually caught a single fish but I always gave it a try. Now I will focus on using baits and lures I do catch fish using.

Cajun Casey Hunting Gators

A couple of times during the day we travelled through the trees to get from point A to point B without making the long trek out of the cove we were in and back to the river. Didn't see any gators in there though.


The spot we were just leaving is a great honey hole for pickerel once the grass and weeds start growing. I wanted to try this spot for a long time and one year I paddled my float tube across the Salmon river and climbed the bank, about 8 feet high and then walked a little ways to the cove.

The water over this area, I walked through, was 6 feet deep. That's a lot of water and it's no wonder the train trestle looked so low to the water.

canada geeseI missed two good opportunities for some great video as we saw a Canada goose flying right next to Casey as he was driving. It was almost within arms reach and the same level as the truck. It was landing at just the right moment but it all happened so fast I didn't have time to get a video.

Later I was taking a picture to my right when Casey saw two Canada geese landing right beside us. Again it was all over before I got the camera on them.

I did get a picture immediately after they landed but a video would have been great.

For most of our time on the water there wasn't a breeze at all. At one point, maybe for five minutes, the wind picked up and showed us how chilly it would have been if it was a windy day.

This Is About As Rough As It Got

But for 99.9 percent of our day it was calm and the water was like a mirror. Just like the image below. I took a couple of pictures of just the reflection on the water and it just looked like I turned the picture upside down it was so calm.

calm water

Health problems make it so that I get extremely beat the following day but today I was very surprised when I woke up without a bad headache and tired like I haven't slept for day. I did wake up with a sore back, shoulders, arms and legs but not so much that I couldn't have gone fishing today. That's a first since 2004. Every year it's getting better and better.

We past the Redbank culverts on our way up river so we had to get close enough to see how high the water was. I am 5' 9" and can stand up in the culverts with room to spare. This image shows the water was about two thirds the way up the culverts.

redbank culverts 2013

Later in the season Casey has no problem driving his boat through the culverts. We would have had to have a sub to get through yesterday.

The Joy of Fly Fishing in New Brunswick

The Joy of Fly Fishing in New Brunswick

April 14th, Just One More Sleep Before Fishing Season Opens in New Brunswick

Posted: 14 Apr 2013 05:20 AM PDT

guarryvilleWinter seemed extra long again this year but Spring is finally here and there's just one more day until New Brunswick fishing season opens once again.

We're still getting snow but that sun is getting more and more intense so it doesn't stick around for long before it melts away.

Ron was telling Casey that as he passed on of our favourite pickerel fishing spots near Chipman and said it was still full of ice. Haven't seen that for more than a decade but it's not uncommon. It would be cool to catch spawning chain pickerel and we practice catch and release so they would be released right where they were spawning. Don't think I've ever caught pickerel while they were spawning.

Look Out Muskie I'm Hunting For You

Got me some muskie gear this past winter, thanks to a couple of fishing friends, Casey and Ron. Ron sold them to me and Casey picked them up at the muskie club meeting a few weeks ago. Now all I have to do is catch me that first one.

The Joy of Fly Fishing in New Brunswick

The Joy of Fly Fishing in New Brunswick

Getting Ready To Tie A Few Chain Pickerel Flies

Posted: 06 Apr 2013 05:26 AM PDT

pickerel on the flyI was hooked on chain pickerel on the fly after catching my very first pickerel, which was all of 6 or 7 inches. I was fly fishing brook trout in a section of bush that was flooded. As I pulled the fly from the water a tiny pickerel flew out of the water and nailed it mid-air. How aggressive.

Since that time I have caught hundreds of chain pickerel some even bigger than my first one and mostly from my trusty float tube which is so much fun.

I do have a few baits that are my favourite for chain pickerel but in all my years of fishing I have to say the pickerel is the most opportunistic and will attack most anything you throw at them. Today I'd like to share a few flies that I like above all other flies.

The thing is all the flies I like the most seem to work great for trout, Atlantic salmon, smallmouth bass and chain pickerel.

For Spring I Always Have A Mickey Finn Fly

The Mickey Finn fly is easy and quick to tie and works in a variety of sizes. This fly is great for any of the species I fish and I'm hoping to get a few rainbows and brown trout this year using a Mickey Finn.

Even though it can be tied in any size I tend to keep them between size 8 and 12. If I were fishing bigger fish, like stripers or muskie I would maybe go a size bigger.

You can't see the body of the fly in the image above but I have silver tinsel covering the hook to reflect some light. I also use yellow and red deer tail, dyed of course as we only have white tail here.

Joe Cermele has a cool video where he not only ties a nice minnow style fly but he takes it out and catches some chain pickerel using it. This is a fly I'd like to tie and give a try this spring for some hungry pickerel.

I like the idea of using a stinger or trailer hook in the spring when there's less weeds to deal with. For later I would use ones without the trailer hook plus I would add a weed guard to it so the I can fish longer without cleaning it off.

The Every So Humble Black or Brown Leech

woolly bugger flyAbout 30 years ago I tried black woolly bugger with a red butt. It easy to tie and only took a couple of minutes. I fish it with a leech in mind so I try to make it pulse through the water with short retrieves to bring the fly up in the water and then gently let it drop again.

It took me a few minutes to get the retrieve the way I wanted it and they started smacking it hard.

I tried to find the same fly on Youtube but couldn't find the exact one as I was looking for a black or brown leech with a red butt. However I found lots of leeches with marabou tails. I haven't tried fish one of those so I would just follow the plan but instead of a marabou tail I would replace it with red yarn as a butt section and not as a tail.

I may just tie a few woolly buggers with the marabou tail and see how they do for me.

Note: If you use wire to give some weight to your flies be sure to use lead free wire.

I think I might tie a few woolly buggers with red marabou feathers as a tail section and see if that's more attracting to fish than just the red yard butt. Might take a little less action on the fly and catch more finicky fish.

Poppers Can Drive Fish Mad

I've never tied a popper myself but have used a few from others and I have just as much fun with a popper fly as I do with the varieties of poppers I use with my spinning gear. The key is to just be patient allowing the popper to sit until the ripples disappear before twitching or popping it again.

The Joy of Fly Fishing in New Brunswick

The Joy of Fly Fishing in New Brunswick

Fishing Striped Bass In New Brunswick Waters

Posted: 04 Apr 2013 07:11 AM PDT

striped bass fishing saint john river new brunswickI haven't had the pleasure of catching my very own striped bass yet but it's one of the goals I've set for 2013.

But fishing season isn't open quite yet and I need a fix so I'm spending a little time watching some Youtube fishing videos. I'm looking for some striped bass fishing in New Brunswick to see what I can learn and for a bit of entertainment.

The first video I saw this morning was from MyersMuskie and he was fishing with his dog. I think he should train his dog to help a little, maybe move the camera around a bit.

I was glad to see that he kept his striped bass in the net and in the water until he had the hook out and was ready to get a picture for the memories. CPR – Catch-Photograph-Release is the way I like it.

Fishing Stripers Without A Boat

It's nice to have a boat or a friend who has a boat, thanks Casey, but striped bass can be caught right from shore if you know where to go. The following video is a few friends fishing from shore casting right into the Bay of Fundy.

Forgive me that's it's not actually New Brunswick but hey Nova Scotia is right next door and we both share the Bay of Fundy. Enjoy this guy's first striper. I kept rewinding and watching that part of the video.

Well break time is over so now it's time for a snack and then maybe I'll sort my fishing lures just one more time before the season opens.

I wasn't there and no one shot any video but my friend Casey hooked and landed a little striped bass in the Saint John river at Jemseg, I think.

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