Friday, June 28, 2013


This month started out with lots of rain and enough water to bring Salmon River and Grand Lake back to spring levels. This late freshet has been playing havoc with the fishing here at home on Salmon River for most  of the species we fish for.
    At least we had some nice wild flowers to look at around the first of the month starting with trillium's and then the lady slippers arrived. I always liked seeing lady slippers in all the shades of their colors. The next photo shows some lady slippers in their natural setting.
 The shad tournament was plagued with rain and high water but a couple dozen hardy souls braved the weather and water to participate in this growing event. This is great sport for fishing enthusiasts who are willing to put the time in to go after this species that is by and large ignored by locals. I must confess I am one of those fishermen who has ignored this fish for most of my life. And for good reason! When I was growing up there was always shad and baked potatoes for supper when the shad were running.Now,shad are an awful bony fish and I have a great disdain for bones in my fish so I guess because I didn't like eating them I didn't bother to fish them. On one level that makes sense but I love fishing and shad are great fun on a fly rod so I might have to give it a go. This is a photo of last years winners of the Monte Farrell Shad Tournament held on Salmon River.
 This is a well attended and growing tournament that has participants travelling from all parts of the province. From what I can gather,one of this years winners was an old salt from Saint John who goes by the name "ipop" on NBfishing. Although I have never met him I can tell from reading his posts he is a dyed-in-the-wool,hard-core fisherman. He fishes a lot of species and he does it well,by all reports. I'd like to meet him someday.
    While Salmon River and Grand Lake were blown out for most of this month, the MSW Miramichi and its tribs were priming much quicker so I have been spending most of my time over there. I love fishing the Miramichi and I spend a lot of time over there chasing salmon and trout and I usually have some luck if the conditions are good. I remember many years ago wondering why I was so inconsistent at taking bright salmon. It seemed I had to fish twice as long and twice as hard to get a fish back then. Why did I seem to get luckier at hooking a salmon as I got older? After thinking about it for a long time,I came to the conclusion it was all in the timing. Going fishing when the fish were there and in a taking mood. Fishing when the conditions are right. That is the secret to hooking salmon consistently. This holds true for most species but especially Atlantic salmon. Nowadays, if things aren't good for salmon, I usually fish for pickerel or trout in a brook. It's been working for me and I'm having a lot of fun doing it. Although we didn't hook any real monster sea-trout,we did get some in the 10-15 inch range. The next photo shows Allen with a few pan sized sea trout.
 Although these trout aren't huge they are very spunky and provide some good action especially on lighter tackle. We usually use our salmon gear when fishing trout in the MSW Miramichi. There are some big fish in that river and it would be a shame to lose a fish of a life time because your tackle failed. Some of the bigger ones we caught fooled us for a minute into thinking they were grilse but only for a minute. The next photo shows me with a nice one.
 These fresh run brook trout are very tasty and I won't apologize for taking some for the pan. I'm a conservationist at heart but if the law says I can take some for the table I will do so occasionally. Always within the law and I should add that ignorance is no excuse. Know your rule book and if you have any doubts ask a DFO/DNR officer. Better safe than sorry. There are some trophy sized sea trout in the system if you can find them. These trout are grilse size and are a little harder to take but perseverance has its rewards when it comes to fishing for this salt water version of our brook trout. In the last few years it has become a little easier to hook some of the bigger ones because of stocking programs,hook and release zones and stricter regulations. Remember,you can only have two trout over 12 inches in your bag limit for the Miramichi River and her tributaries.
    There has been a good run of larger salmon in the river and as of late more grilse have been running with the salmon. This is a great start to the season and if the weather holds there should be lots of fish in the system over the next two weeks. We are getting some rain as I write this and I would expect the fishing will be good after things settle down a bit. I hooked a very nice salmon last week that gave me a great fight. This fish took my Green Machine with crystal flash tail hard and had me into the backing twice while making two catapulting leaps before I tailed her. Allen was the camera man and he's a bit technically challenged but he did manage to get a short clip of me playing the salmon just after I hooked it. Watch closely at the start and you will see it jump and then take off stripping line. I knew I was going to be a while so I told Al to shut the camera off so I would have batteries for a photo.The next photo shows me with the salmon after I tailed her.
 This was a very nice way to start the bright salmon fishing season and I just hope this is an indication of what is to come. We definitely don't want a repeat of last year so everyone is keeping their fingers crossed that we will have enough water and cool temperatures to keep the salmon happy.
As I said earlier Salmon River and Grand Lake have been blown out for most of the month but is just coming down to a fishable level. I would expect some nice catches of white perch in the next couple of weeks and the pickerel fishing should pick up as the water drops and the gaspereau fall back from their spawning areas in the river. Ty J. and Morse M. caught some nice trout in Big Forks and had a fry along the shore that included trout,homemade bread and molasses. They topped it all off with some good strong tea from the boiling can. Good catches of trout were also reported from the Gaspereau River and Six Mile Brook in the Cains River area. I am getting reports from the commercial fishermen that they are releasing lots of large salmon as well as some huge brook trout. Usually these guys complain about the sturgeon or big stripers making life difficult for them but this year it seems the catfish are in such numbers that its hard to get clear of them.
 The landlocked salmon have been stocked for the past few years and there are places where you can hook them right from shore. This is one of the best kept secrets in the fishing world around the Grand Lake area. A couple of locations have salmon leaping constantly within casting distance and some of the fishermen in the know are hooking up with some nice fish in these areas. I know they are running Grand Lakes tributaries because someone got one on the Newcastle Stream up as far as the green bridge in North Minto. Ken also got one a few years back at the mouth of Sisson  Brook on Salmon River. This is a good news story and I am looking forward to some great angling opportunities opening up in the near future.
    We are seeing lots of game in our travels over the 123 highway  while fishing. Just today Allen and I saw three deer,a nice bear,a pair of pheasant and a hen grouse with a few chicks. There seems to be more deer around in the Gaspereau River and Cains River areas this year. The grouse and woodcock had some cold wet weather during their nesting period and the hens we are seeing have 4-6 chicks rather than 8-12. These numbers would suggest that nesting success for grouse was not optimum. I'm assuming there will still be lots of birds around come fall. The non resident moose draw has been held and some lucky hunters are going to be taking the trip of a lifetime pursuing these monarchs of the forest and your odds have never been better for taking a nice bull. The resident draw will be held next month and we will all be waiting patiently here at home until then.
    The next photo shows a huge moth that my buddy Adam M caught and took a photo of. Pretty cool,it's almost as big as a bat!
    If you are looking for a hunt or a fishing trip or just a relaxing day on the river in the Grand Lake area just contact me and we will make the arrangements for your visit. We will do our best to ensure you have a safe and satisfying trip.
    Until next time this is Dale Bauer saying" Happy Trails to You......Until we Meet Again!"

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