Friday, March 31, 2017

2017 SPRING--SLOW BUT SURE

  As I sit here looking out my window, I can't help but let out a little shiver. This spring has been slow getting started with cold temperatures clinging stubbornly to the winter side of the thermometer. At least the forecast is for more temperate weather heading into April . Most salmon fishermen are hoping for ice out before the April 15th opener. I was telling a friend that I like to see the ice go out 5-7 days before the first day. This usually allows the ice from the back waters and bogans to clear out and for the water to clear up a bit. A lot of hard core fishermen and guides will be out there come hell or high water but not this fellow. I've been there and done that when I was younger but not anymore. I know the fish will still be there when the ice clears out and I'll be able to concentrate on catching fish instead of dodging ice flows.
    I was checking some notes I kept from the past and seen that the ducks usually arrive here at home on Salmon River around the 20th of March. We are well past that date and there really hasn't been any significant change to the pond where they make their first stop on my property. That tells me I probably won't be fishing the Miramichi on the April 15th opener. I'm guessing good conditions won't arrive for at least a week later. I hope I'm wrong but things have been very slow to warm up this spring. When this happens, fishermen must make an intelligent decision when to venture out in hopes of hooking an Atlantic salmon. Invariably, I err on the side of safety and I will wait for Mother Nature to tell me when the time is right to wet a line. Here is a photo I took at the start of the season a few years ago at the bridge in Doaktown.
 As you can see from this photo, the conditions were good during the first few days of the 2008 opener. On good years, most boats are hooking fish and everyone is having a great time! Why, who wouldn't be happy to be out on the best salmon river in the world and catching the best fighting fish all day long? The spring fishery is a much more congenial sport than it's summer counterpart. Personally, I like the spring fishing better than the summer fishing. I like hooking and playing salmon and I don't think it will ever get old. I fished for years with my old friend and fellow guide Alan Davidson out of the old homestead in Carrolls Crossing and we always had a good crowd on hand. This is a photo of Alan with a nice grilse from a few years ago. 
Good fishing by day and festivities at night  with family and friends. We always had a good supper and after cleaning up a bit we would play cards for a while. If it was on a week-end, it wouldn't be long before the sound of a fiddle and a guitar would fill the big kitchen and the party was on! Oh, the times we had! Many of these fishermen are gone now, including Alan but those great memories remain and I relive them every spring. This next photo shows Glen Davidson with the turned up hat and long time Miramichi guide Leroy Arbeau Taking a break from the fishing
 

As I write this I've been thinking I will be very surprised if there is any fishing on April 15th . It could be up to a week late, depending on the weather. Either way, I'll be there waiting for that first tug of the season. We guide for all species native to our area and try to fish peak times for the best chance of success. After the spring salmon, we will be fishing for sea trout and white perch. Here is a photo of my son Curt with a white perch.
 This photo is a bucket of nice white perch that will be done up in fillets. Nothing better when rolled or dipped in batter and deep fried on the beach!
 

The spring bear hunt is coming up after the salmon fishing and we are gathering bait in earnest now. We will start baiting around the first of May and continue right on through until the end of June. Prospects are very good for taking a nice New Brunswick black bear this year. Ken and I think we have one of the best deals to be had anywhere. Please check out last months post for details on our bear hunts. Here is a photo of a nice bear at one of our baits.
 Most of our baits have at least one bear of this size. Many baits will have more than one. We are lucky to have a lot of bears in our area and Ken and I do it up right.

    I want to remind my readers that the time to apply for your non- resident moose licence is from now until April 30. Here is a link to applyhttps://3006.ca/DNRDraws/DNR_Web/DrawApplicationEnterInfo.aspx?DrawID=3&Lang=en Your chances of taking a nice bull are very high if you are lucky enough to get drawn.
Here is a photo of a nice bull taken by a friend from Minto a couple of years ago in upper Salmon River.
 This next photo is a cover of a magazine from my collection of a guide calling a moose during the war years.
 I really like the covers from the old sporting magazines and I try to pick them up whenever I get the chance. Here are a couple of recent finds.


 Check out the 1965 boat and motor deal. Cheap by todays' standard. 

Ken and I have been busy waiting for spring to break. It's hard to get motivated when there is still half a meter of snow on the ground and the river is frozen solid. I try to think positive and go with the fact it gives me more time to prepare for the upcoming season. Remember the Boy Scout motto "Be Prepared". I learned it many years ago as a Cub Scout when I was just a kid and it has always served me well.

This is Dale Bauer saying "Happy Trails to You .....Until we Meet Again!"




DEER SEASON 2017--A SMALL GAIN

    New Brunswick's deer season just ended a week ago and although the official numbers aren't out yet, preliminary numbers indicat...