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.

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