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I am just a guy who uses fishing and playing guitar to keep myself sane...or at least try to.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Man Who Was Tuesday

It poured rain Saturday and all the rivers went for a poop.
This always sucks and at this time of year I get very few kicks at the cat before the bugs ,the Derby and the warm temp shut me down.
I had Tuesday off and was pinning my fishy hopes on it.
It didn't look good.
The River Graph hadn't been updated and the word on the street was that all the rivers were blown.
The home river would probably settle up nicely for Thursday/Friday...while I am at work.
Morin is a jackass...
He is now on a first name basis with one of the government water graph people. When the site is down it doesn't take that OCD POS long to start raising hell.
About midway through he morning on Tuesday I get an email from him telling me that according to his connection at the MNR the river should be just on the edge of fishable and that I should "Get off my Manjina and head up there for the evening bite"
After getting clearance from the Warden and a ultraquick throw together of my gear I am 'en route'
My heart is soaring....
The Tiger Woods golf on the PS2 just wasn't getting er done.
An hour and a half later I am making my first drift through water that although isn't good...isn't half bad either.

I also know that in about three or so hours the water is going to to be sliding right nice into sexy.
I start hooking creek chubs...
These are hideous fish and worse is that they are roe gobblers....and I in my haste.. didn't bring much.
I fish the first pool for an hour and blow two fish.
I am trying to stay confident but the memories of the opener haunt me.
(And yes I am now using heavier line!!!!....You win fuckers!!!)
I don't have much success on the lower river and with my roe supply precarious I decide to start hiking and pin all of my hopes on the upper runs.
Off I go.
Some water I just can't walk past.
More creek chubs and I blow another fish.... a fish that I was playing rather carelessy...thinking it was a giant smallmouth...until it broke the surface and spit the hook.
I carry on up the river...
The next run I notice that the river has cleared considerably.
Way down in the tailout of my first drift I set up on a Steelie....three or four violent headshakes and gone...
At this pint I am really starting to get bummed... I mean really....?
I consider just packing up and heading home convinced that the fish gods are out to punish me.
Brave carry on.
One more push.
A long hike through the woods and I come upon the crossing where the three runs that I have been thinking about all day present themselves...with water that is stunning.
The first run has to be fished from the opposite bank and off I go.
The river has changed since the winter and the spot where I usually cross is less than friendly.
I had already tripped and fallen four times on the day so you'd think that I would be more careful??
The water is really moving...I am in it up to my chest....preoccupied with buck fever and riddled with exhaustion...
In I go ...right up to my chin....lol
The camera is in the ziplock bag...but both the neoprene pouch for my reel and the roe are gone...
How is my day going....?
I made it all the way to the water I wanted to fish so badly...with nothing to fish with..
I just about cried.... and I am not kidding.
Does anybody but me have days like this?
I dig through my vest looking for artificials and low an behold find about 20 loose salmon eggs in a baggy.
I also find four pieces of peach mesh.
In desperation I manage to tie up four little roe bags and cut the tops off.
I walk dejected up to the top run and mustering up as much courage as possible I lob one in...

It didn't get two feet.

This fish was a beast and really kicked the shit out of me.

I had to pull a little river runs through action when she headed out the bottom chute but here she is...glorious gem of a fish.

I was four for six on those peach roe bags with the magic Manistee Salmon Roe.
All hot fish ...all crazy leapers...god bless 'em.

A Magical day...one that I will never forget...but I could have done without the drama.

Anybody have an extra reel pouch?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Opening Day 2009

I actually booked leave to fish opening day.
WTF is wrong with me??

This time of year really takes a chunk out of my vacation time. We usually do some fishing early in april and that requires a day or two. Each shift I book off is 12 hrs so it is really like losing a day and a half of time away...if that makes any sense.
I really come to regret it in the fall but there isn't any stopping it.
The short sightedness is part of the tradition.

The derby is looming. I can't not fish it.
Gerry ...my father in law...lives for this and I am his deckhand on the SS RUBE ...
It...unfortunately coincides with the opening season for Steelhead on most the rivers in Ontario and every year there are days on the open water when I am gazing past the downriggers... over the beach and trees....to some braided water with a flash of silver beckoning..
Spring fishing is a rite.
...a rite that must be observed.
Morin and I took a run the Steelies on Saturday.
The freakshow did not disappoint.
The sun was up ...the temps were balmy...the giant Smallmouth Bass were trying to eat our floats.. and the loonies with the eggbeaters were all ramped up.
It wasn't as bad as some years but it was still good for a few chuckles and a few head shakes.
Brian caught some great fish..as he always does...
I fumbled around like an idiot...like I sometimes do.
I hooked four fish...which in my book is very good considering the conditions and the fact that we fished nothing but second water all day.... but I lost three...two of the three were good to great fish that managed to break me off!!!?????
I know ...I know...
The Boo Birds will be all over me about the light line that I use....I already have had the lecture and this may be the last straw that brings me into modern times with the rest of you homos but...
I have put fish on the rocks with my current set up...big fish as well...
I don't get it?
...But that is fishing...

We had a great day...it was necessary.
The best part for me just happened to be the cold beer back at the access point.
The Opener in a weird perverse way seems to cap off a season for us rather than begin one and this year in retrospect was a great one...
..a blessing really.
Now if we can just endure summer Sept/OCT is not that far away..lol...
There is even talk of a June Atlantic salmon trip on the St Marys to break up the downtime.
The river has all new structure due to the Biblical flooding of last year.
The scars left over from mother natures fury were beyond belief and were worth the buggy sweaty walk even without the fish.

Some runs are ruined ...some are improved....some are brand new...
Low water re-con has value.
It poured rain on our way home and I am eagerly anticipating the water graph update...
It is only four days past due...not bad for a 'real time' water meter....
Useless Government employees ..
I have one more day off this week and I was hoping for another trip up but I do not like my chances ...
ah November....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pregame Warm-up...

I headed up to the Saugeen today.

It is a pretty river that I don't fish very often and after hearing some moderate reports and being too lazy to head to MI by myself I decided to give it a go.
If nothing else the Windshield time would be good for the soul.

I love the drive up that way and there are a number of pleasant little stops available. The Harveys at Goderich makes the best burgers in the world. I don't know why they are better than our local Harveys burgers but they just are.

I hit the river at first light and to my pleasant surprise was the only one at the parking lot when I arrived.
I geared up and made my way over to the steps.
Here I noticed a new Grant Ferris sign that has been placed in his honour.

I always liked Grant and seeing this reminder placed kind of a poignant spin on the beginning of the day.
I wonder if there will ever be a sign erected in my honour?
I am not very familiar with the Saugeen....or 'GEEN' if you only speak shitstain.
I spent a fair amount of time just wandering around looking at the water trying to decide where I had fished before and where I should begin today.
It didn't take long for the bank maggot hatch to start coming off and I decided that I had better get my float in there.
I picked some seamy looking water and let it fly just as the first brood of dirtbags came upon me.
First drift and I am into one.
I got a real good look at it when it came out of the water...then I got a real good look at my float as it came flying back at me.
Oh well...great start really...more than I could've hoped for.
So I take a knee and re-tie. Five minutes later when I stand up I am surrounded.
One thing I will never understand about that river.....tons of room to move around but if you hook a fish look out because the entire crew will stand on your shoulders.....and the weird thing is that none of them even acknowledge your existence?
They are like zombies.
Fuck them.
I left them to it and walked down about 100 metres where shortly after I hook this fish.

Spring fish....they are something else.
They look rough but they fight like stink.

Shortly after releasing it I notice that I am surrounded again.
One guy actually seemed pissed off that I let the fish go????
Try and get your head around that madness??

I tried not to let it ruin my day and I suppose that I should thicken my skin for the Steelhead opener this coming Saturday but the Saugeen was a meathunting shitrat floss-fest today and I gotta believe that Mr. Ferris is rolling in his grave.
Rest in Peace.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Aged Turd

Happy Birthday to my Useless POS friend Brian
Brian turns 39 today and he doesn't look at day over fifty...
I was hoping to put together a greatest hits video for him but that will have to wait until next year.
The Baby was too demanding and I may need a year to figure out Media Movie Maker...

This video basically sums up our relationship though.
In all seriousness .. It is a great pleasure fishing with you... I hope you are having a great Birthday...at WORK! lol

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Gillies on the Redds..

My knucklehead son can take it or leave it when it comes to fishing.
It was already 12 degrees when we woke up today so I thought we could spend the morning outside.
Ella was all over it...Owen ...not so much.
Oh well... I am not going to force him.
Ella and I geared up with all the important stuff...
Juice Boxes
Nutrigrain bars
Favourite Webkin
Fishing rod and Berklee Power grub.(pink crayfish)

We got about 60 for the morning and she never got sick of it.

Ella Float fishing all by herself from Gene Norland on Vimeo.
Whats more she insisted towards the end of "doing it all by herself"
Proud day for dad.

Days like this are good for the soul.
Bluegill are a sure sign of spring right up there with Tulips and Robins and they are a great way to spend a day with the kids.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Sawdust and Suicide

Harv is a gassy Mfer...
I have just returned from what could be the greatest fishing trip of my life. Morin , Myself , Harv and Arnold decided to scoot over to Michigans west side for a few days to take a run at the Manistee Steelhead.

This trip couldn't have been better timed for me and has done wonders to restore some happiness and peace to my wartorn embittered soul.

I have been to Michigan a number of times now and each time have enjoyed the trip but I have never really enjoyed any real Michigan Steelhead success...until now. Dare I say that my Michigan curse has been lifted?

The fishing wasn't crazy hot, but we all managed to catch some really great fish...(heavily slanted once again in that OCD POS Morins favour) ..in a really beautiful place.

Our usual mad dash MO was shelved this time and we decided to take it easy.

We rented a cabin in the woods right next to the river for two nights and we have all unanimously decided that this is the way to go from now on.

I actually feel rested...which is something that I generally don't associate with the end of a Steelhead trip.

I even got a break from driving.
Arnold volunteered...god bless him...and as a reward for his generousity the Steelhead gods almost threw a skunk at him. I was very impressed with the grace with which he endured that first day. I may have been tying a noose back at the cabin if it had been me with the goose-egg but Arnold was the first one up the next day and made everybody breakfast.

The next night he hit three fish inside of a half hour and the first one was a tank... ..A tank that made him its bitch ...but a tank none the less.

I think it is safe to say Arn is a good guy. How he ended up with us three sociopaths is anybodys guess.
We went into the trenches together at Bear Creek pulling a Steelie out of the lumber.

I had to hand him my rod while I negotiated a logpile. It was a funny moment that I will never forget. My first Bear creek Steelie and what a way to get it.

It was a nice group actually. All homos ..but nice.
Normally the group fishing thing doesn't appeal to me but I would run with this gang again...

It was cool to fish with Harv again and get to know him better.
He is now a confirmed POS and Rube alcoholic to whom which I somehow managed to pass on the Norland curse.

The homo spent half the trip retying and still managed to outfish me.

Fuck him.

The weather was sublime even though it brought out the fairweathers and made the fish a little more difficult.
Sometimes I will take the sunshine and warmth over a few more hook-ups. This was one of those occasions.

The Manistee National Forest is a place that I could find myself enjoying even if there were no fish. Deafening silence....

Well at least outside the cabin...
The Jetboats make me tired....but we are guests after all and most of the Michigan people were welcoming and friendly to the Canadians with the weird tackle. The Centrepin thing hasn't really taken hold yet and I cannot understand why. Those rivers are made for it and it really outproduces the local techniques. This trip managed to eat up a ton of our tackle....mostly floats oddly enough. It is funny / annoying that you can go several trips without losing anything and then empty your vest in one day. We tried to restock at the local tackle store but they didn't carry anything that remotely resembled what we use.
It was too bad because the service was off the chart.
Nothing like those miserable cunts out west.
I played tourist and bought myself a hat and a shirt and also joined the homo fisherman fanny pack club. Our counter man Turk even drew us maps and put me over the Bear Creek action.

Bear Creek is a beautiful little place that won't tolerate the combat gang fishing or the Jetboat armada.
Morin hated the place but it was right up my alley. 3 days of fresh air great fishing and even better company.
The area provides a great variety of fishing come to think of it.

I even watched Morin catch a fish off the side of a cliff!
Sawdust and Suicide. I can't wait to go back.
BTW... It should be noted that on the way home Morin actually suggested that we fish under the bridge the next day...
ON Easter Weekend...
That has got to be a cry for help...

There is no hope for that retard.
Good times Boys..