2012 Fishing Calendar
Here are my plans for fishing related activities for 2012 as of January 12, 2012:
January 27 - 29, Somerset, NY fly fishing show.
February 16 - 22, Olympic Pensinsula, WA steelhead fishing.
Joe Brown and I had a very interesting but steelheadless time on the rivers of the Olympic Peninsula. We walked a lot through rain forest, crossed gravel beaches and shingles, followed elk trails through dense forest with hanging moss, skirted herds of Roosevelt elk that would melt away into the forest, explored immense tree bores, and observed many bald eagles (28 at one time circling). We managed a few bull trout and I got on sockeye salmon on a swinging fly in a fast, knee-deep run.
April 12 - 15, Catskills, NY trout fishing.
I poked around mostly on the East Branch, some on the Beaverkill. There were Hendricksons and apple caddis with a few late Quill Gordons. Fishing was pretty good. Rod of choice was the 8 1/2 foot 6 weight with a Hardy Princess reel.
April 19 - 23, Centre County, PA trout fishing.
Very good fishing on Penn's. The water was a little low for the time of year. The big fish were not up on the flats as they can be. But, good fishing in pockets for browns 14 - 20 inches on spiders and dry flies. Hendricksons and March Browns were the major flies. Good hatches. Lots of dry fly action, too. Rod of choice was the 8 foot 5 weight with a Hardy LRH, both silk and plastic lines.
April 26 - 30, Catskills, NY trout fishing.
Very good fishing on East Branch. Apple caddis and Hendricksons. Spiders and dry flies were effective. The fish were mostly in fairly quick water, but moved onto flats for spinner falls late in the afternoon and evening. Interestingly, I spent one day on the East Branch, Beaverkill, and Willowemoc without seeing a fish. The following day, I returned to the same stretch of the East Branch to runs loaded with fish. Rod of choice was the 8 foot 5 weight with Hardy LRH, silk line.
Spent a very interesting several hours with Dennis Menscer and Jed Dempsey in Dennis' Little River Rods shop on 217 pool, now "Rodmaker's Pool" on the West Branch. Dennis has Nat Uslan's beveler, which he has put into good working order. It was very interesting for me to see how that machine works. We watched some large trout on small spinners at the top of the pool. Our conversation and investigations into matters on rod making kept us from putting on waders and pursuing them!
May 19 - June 3, The Moorings, Zambia to visit my aunt.
Susan is working on a photo and diary album that she will eventually post on Facebook. I'll purloin it for this website!
June 5 - 21, Atlantic salmon fishing on the Gaspe Peninsula, Quebec -- York, St. Jean, Cascapedia rivers.
Rods used were the 11 foot light Spey, scarf joint, Hardy Salmon 3 1/2 with a 350 grain Rio Scandi (most used used rod in two-handed situations); 12 1/2 foot light Spey, ferruled, same line and reel; 12 foot Cortland 6 weight, 5-piece with Hardy Marquis Salmon 2 and 385 grain Rio Scandi fpr two days on the Cascapedia when we were in and out of vehicles. 8 1/2 foot, 8-weight, 3-piece light salmon rod with Hardy Zenith with both silk and Cortland Sylk lines. Tippets were 10 and 8 pound Green Maxima. Flies were mostly small - 6 to 10. Fish would show for hitched and waked flies, but took unhitched flies better. Jim had one fish take a bomber. Dick had several shows for a bomber way up on the Salmon Branch. I had four shows to waking flies, one solid take. For the 15 days of fishing, my tally was 16 shows, 6 takes, 5 fish on the reel, and 3 fish landed. Two came from the Dartmouth and one from the Cascapedia. The water levels were quite low for the time of year (actually for any time of year) and water temperatures ranged from lows of 54 to highs of 64, but mostly above 60 by noon.
June 5. Susan drove me up to Trumbull, CT where I packed my items into Dick and Jane Resnick's Pacifica. We took Missy next door and dropped Riley and Bailey at the kennel on our way north. We met Jim Adams at our usual stopping point in Sherman, Maine in sight of Mount Katahdin.
June 6. We completed the drive to Gaspe, Quebec where we stopped at the ZEC to get licenses and permits and to renew old acquaintances. The staff there is always kind to us and I look forward each year to seeing them and hearing about the fishing (Gaspe ZEC). Because of the incredibly good fishing in 2011, many more people had entered the Nov. 1 draw for reserved water on the York, St. Jean, and Dartmouth. We had not been very lucky and did not draw much reserved water. Jim and I had the chance to take zone 9 reserved water from the hat draw at 5 pm, which we took. Normally, salmon would not be that high in numbers, but an early run had come through and up through Chute. Fish were being caught as high as zone 10, which is open-ticket water. The Gaspe rivers had not had much rain this spring. Water was as low as I've seen it (including July and August). There were fish in the lower river, mostly in fairly shallow, fast water or asleep on the bottom in the deep pools.
June 7. Jim and I fished all the pools in zone 9 and a couple in zone 10. I had a pull at the top of Ecluse and we saw fish in the slot at Montagnard. I began fishing a 12 1/2 foot, ferruled, 350-grain cane spey rod, which I fished for several days. Jim graciously fished a 12 foot, ferruled, 400-grain cane spey rod. Both were nice rods, but need a slightly heavier reel than the 3 1/2 inch Salmon Perfects we were using to help keep the tip up when fishing.
June 8 - 12. Jim and I switched to the Dartmouth, which is not as crowded as the York, exploring all the open ticket water on the river. Jim had not fished much of the Dartmouth before and it had been several years since I had been on that water. We saw very few other anglers, and were able to fish wherever we wanted almost whenever we wanted. Over the days, Jim had 2 fish show to a General Practitioner and Green Highlander. I was lucky and had five shows, two takes, two fish on the reel, and two fish landed. The shows were to a Green Highlander, a waking muddler, and a hitched Silver Stoat Tail. The fish landed and released came to a Koss and a Sunray Shadow. The first salmon was a bright 15 pound male that took 6 runs of 40 - 70 yards, jumping clear of the water at the end of each. It was quite strong, forcing me to cross the river to find a place to land it properly. The second was an equally bright hen of 12 pounds that came in much more easily. It took the Sunray Shadow while it was dangling on perhaps 30 feet of line while I waited for Jim to clear the run. We were fishing from opposite sides at the head of the run where he'd had a show only slightly earlier. I was trying to keep my fly clear of his line while he fished through, flipping it out downstream of me. That's when the fish took. A highlight of the this part of the trip was dinner with my acquaintance, Alton McCallum. We often fish together for a day on the York, but this we were unable to do so. Alton did get a day ticket one day, planning to arrive at Chute ahead of the crowd at 4:30 am. He was there early only to discover three rigs with two anglers each already in rotation working the fish in the eddy there.
June 13. We made the trip from Gaspe to Cascapedia-St. Jules on the afternoon of June 12, stopping in Caplan at the La Coquille poissonnerie for lobsters, which we ate that evening. On the 13th, Jim and I headed for the Bonaventure where Jim got a very nice hen salmon from La Roche, just below the bridge. It was the only day that was overcast and somewhat rainy during our excursion.
June 14. We fished the lower wading water on the Salmon Branch. There were fish at the bridge and at the top of Meig's. We both had a show at the bridge, Jim's to a bomber and mine to a Green Highlander. It's always fun to watch from the bridge because you can see the fish coming for the fly. Sometimes it really looks like the fish has it, but the angler sees and feels nothing.
June 15. Pool 80 was our destination, where there were fish asleep in the deep part of the pool. We walked the river down to the Forks, but did not see any fish. The water was really skinny, so we could see into spots in 79 and 78 where we have had past success. In pool 80, fish would move into the shallow, fast water at the head. I saw one, too, in knee-deep water inside of me about the spot you'd normally walk out. Between 2 and 2:30, I had three fish up on a waking muddler in the fast water at the top of the pool. One, a small salmon, took the fly on the far side and I had several minutes of short, quick runs. The other two were larger, but neither took the fly. One I felt, but the other just made a big splash. I could get neither of them to come back.
June 16. We were at pool 87 and 88. Not much was going on that day.
June 17. We were the first legal anglers on the Salmon Branch above 9-Mile pool. We took the angling safari in an ATV with Cindy Condo and Stephen Woodman. It was very interesting to see the pools above 9-Mile. There were fish at 9-mile, showing in the usual places but we couldn't interest them. There were also fish at 13-mile. They were sleeping. If you got too close, they'd melt away. It was amazing that we were undable to see them. We referred to this pool as "Best Shot," because that day Stephen was convinced it was there we had our best shot. We did not go further upstream as he had not seen fish in the series of pools below the falls.
June 18. We fished the lower A water with Mike Cyr and Tyler Jerome. Tyler's brothet, Travis, was Mike's mate last year when we had done so well. In the morning we fished Siminanc, where Mike had seen a group of salmon lying on the ledges. We could not find them later, but the thrill of fishing in the shadow of New Derreen is always valuable compensation. In the evening, we went to Phipps, fishing this time in the shadow of the Woodman farm (Red Camp), not far from Lorne Cottage (Engelhart's) and the previous site of Camp Chaleur. Since we left from Trout Brook, we also had a good look at Salmon Lodge, so our visual enjoyment made up for the lack of fishing success. I had one fish show at Phipps in one of the usual places, a big bow wave that surged up and then faded away. The sand fleas were murderous for my three companions.
June 19. Perry Coull and Carl Bujold met us early for a try at MacGregor's, where I had a fish show almost immediately. We worked it hard for quite a while without any success. There were three or four fish well down in the tail, but I could not interest them in anything. In the evening we went to Bottom of the Falls, where Jim rose a fish down towards the bottom of the pool. I rose two at the top of the pool. We worked them both hard again with numerous fly changes and other tactical variations. The first one would not come back, but the second one eventually took. It was a big fish that I fussed with for several minutes and then, inexplicably, the fly just came unstuck.
June 20. We were back at Pool 87 and 88. The first time through 88, I had a nice 15 pound hen pound the #7 Sliver Stoat Tail in the slot between the rocks on the far side right at the head of the pool. It ran down into the pool and eventually took 8 jumps that completely cleared the water and another good surface wallow. The day was very hot, so we decided to quit early. That was our only action.
June 21. We met Jason Ferland early to fish Home and Backup on the Salmon Branch. He had seen fish in two places there with Dick a couple of days earlier, but those fish had moved on by the time we were there. There's a new pool forming between Home and Backup because of a slight change in the dominant flow of the river around an immense rock. We left for home at 2 pm, already laying our plans for next year!
July 19 - 23, Atlantic salmon fishing back on the Cascapedia. Unfortunately, cancelled.
August 11 - 19, Atlantic salmon fishing in Norway (tentative). Unable to do in 2012. Back in 2013.
September 7 - 9, Catskills Rod Gathering, Catskills Fly Fishing Center and Museum, NY.
September 16 - 30, Poplar Park, Kispiox Valley, BC. Unable to do in 2012. Back in 2013.