No angler merely watches nature in a passive way. He enters into its very existence ... John Bailey

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2016 Log

This is the nineteenth year of my on-line logbook.
I started it in the hope that readers would enjoy the goings-on that take place during my time on the river.
I hoped they would take note of the hatches and my successful imitations and apply this information to their own rivers.
I hoped it would open their eyes to the fact that my log is not all about hooking fish.
I hope they can see that it is a window into the passion that my friends and I have for the outdoors.
Please do not abuse this information by overfishing and do not make the mistake of putting yourself before the fish.
All fish in this log are released.    Temperatures are in Centigrade.

Click here for last years logbook.
Looking across the surface of the water he thought, I bet no one's fished here in an age, and his heart bumped when he saw the blimp of a trout feeding on the surface only ten metres out, then another farther away.
From A Time for Justice by Nick Oldham
Oct 26. Air temp. 6. Cloudy.
After the weekends heavy rain the good news is that our well is almost back to normal. No more "military" showers and we can flush the toilet without getting water from the rain barrel, although we'll still use the laundromat. I just hope we don't have to go through this again.
We had planned on going salmon fishing on this last week in October but it seems we have become fair weather fisherfolk. Or maybe we're just beginning the hibernation process in preparation for the upcoming winter.
The rivers have suffered throughout this drought, although we most probably had the best spring trout fishing in a long time.
Time to clean the gear. Until next year.
During the spring, water flowed over his fathers waterwheel with such force that it created a pool nearly ten feet deep and twenty-five feet long. Soon salmon and steelhead and trout from the Dungeness made their way up the irrigation ditch and gathered in schools in the pond.
From The Boys In The Boat by David James Brown
The weather was always good (because it was always the same weather) and the fishing was always terrific (he probably caught at least some of the same fish over and over).
From 11/22/63 by Stephen King
Oct 10. Air temp. 12.
We had enough rain in the past 24 hours that when I drove down our side road I came across a duck paddling in a large puddle at the bottom of the hill.
When I got home the power went out. It's funny though how we still go to turn the lights or the tv on. Habit, I guess. It was out for six hours. We played Scrabble by candlelight and made tea with the Coleman stove.
However, we have nothing to complain about seeing as Cape Breton got nearly 9 inches of rain. My thoughts went out to the linemen that were up a pole somewhere in the pouring rain and high winds. Bless 'em.
Lou Solverson, "What you say tomorrow we go fishin'."
Molly Solverson, "Okay"
From season 2 episode 10 of Fargo
Sept.30. 11 - 12.30. Air temp. 14. Water temp. 14. Sunny
Last day of trout season
Seeing as the river has dropped about two feet we didn't have a problem finding a rock to stand on.
Fishgirl had a couple of tugs on her Prince Nymph but nothing came to hand.
Not a single fly was to be seen but the beaver has been busy at work.
We said our goodbyes and gave our thanks to the river and the trout.
We may have had a hard time with the drought what with our well being low but the trout must have had a terrible time once May had passed. I just hope enough of them survived to make it through to next year.
Sept.18 - 22. Air temp. 20 - 23. Water temp. 16. Rain/sun/cloud.
Cape Breton.
We had 33mm (1.3 inches) of rain fall in the first two days we were there. The river rose and then started to fall on the third day.
Our favourite pool has changed once again and we were unable to cross and fish it from the favoured position. I don't think it would have made any difference because not a fish was to be seen in any of the pools we visited.
What is one of the things that we love about the Margaree Valley? The fact that people wave at you from their cars or while they are walking along the road. It takes us back in time.
Aug. 14. Air temp. 20. Overcast.
I woke to the sound of rain plinking in the gutter. And then it poured. I thought of waking Fishgirl but figured it would all be over in a minute. I was wrong, it lasted about an hour. I reckon it's only "really" rained three times in three months. There have been reports that twice the number of wells have gone dry in the "country" areas, it has been the driest since 1880 in one county, all the back country trails have been closed, and it'll take a week of rain to put out the forest fires..
How have we managed our well? We take military showers with the plug in the tub, flush the toilets with water from the showers or from the water barrel (which was running low), or water taken from the basemement dehumidifier. Use paper plates, employ the "one cup" rule and only wash bowls pots and cutlery when needed (and save the wash water for soaking). And most importantly, take the laundry to the nearest laundromat.
Aug. 6. Air temp. 22. Cloudy/foggy/windy.
What a romantic day we had.
We went to the laundromat together.
While there, we watched the schooner races in the Bay.
We came home and had frozen Hawaiin pizza.
We dried the clothes and put them away.
We were watching Hap and Leonard when Fishgirl fell asleep in the Lazyboy.
Time to hit the sack.
We need rain.
D.I. River, "Fishing. Solitary sport."
Jordan Merton, "I like my own company."
River, "Me too."
From season 1 episode 3 of River
July 26. Air temp. 24. Cloudy/showers.
What a storm we had a couple of days ago. In 50 years of living here I have never experienced anything like it.
Lightning struck in several parts of the surrounding area. One of them was no more than 300 feet from our house. It split a tree down the middle and scattered parts all over our neighbours yard. You could feel the electricity in the air and made the hairs on Fishgirls arms stand up. The rain came down so hard that we could have cast a line in our driveway.
Ben Thames, "I just couldn't stop fishing. I mean, the clouds are building up. The risk of getting hit by lightning was worth the reward of catching 20 inch cutthroats."
From the documentary Unbranded
Hunters, Fishermen And Other Liars Gather Here.
Sign in the Flagstaff Grand Canyon Cafe from the documentary The Search For General Tso
July 20. Air temp. 24. Sunny.
Ask any fly-fishermen if they think they have enough gear and the answer will most probably be "No."
Well, for all of you poor deprived piscatorialists you can have it all by going to this link ... Bentley
I want one!!
Jan Vokes, "There was no turning back then. I had him hook line and sinker."
From the documentary Dark Horse
Halford, "Fly fishing? I never thought there was much good sport round here."
Grant, "Ah, you'd be surprised. You a fisherman?"
Halford, "Not unless you count the ones in my ornamental pond."
From season 1 episode 5 of New Tricks
July 16. Air temp. 24. Foggy/sunny.
What to add to my logbook these days? Other than the hot weather and low water in the well there's not much going on.
Fishing has come to a standstill. I can well imagine how low and warm the rivers are and how the trout are seeking cooler, deeper waters.
Don't laugh, but we've been totally enjoying a series called The Great British Sewing Bee. I've become quite an expert in recognizing pin-tucks, peplums, pleats and piping.
And, going in the opposite direction, it took me about seven episodes before things started to become clear about the bizarre Preacher series on AMC.
Henry Fonda discussing John Ford, "He seemed to have a compulsion not to talk about the script, or the part, the character, or the picture. If you came to his office you were more apt to talk about fishing or politics..."
From the documentary Directed by John Ford (1971)
The male Flicker has a black bar on its cheek. The female does not.July 5. Air temp. 20. Sunny.
The last Flicker chick left the nest (fledged) some time Sunday morning.
The following four minute video was filmed and photographed, from nest building to empty nest, over a period of 43 days.
The Northern Flicker
The Ficker is common in Nova Scotia in the summer but rare in the winter.
June 28. Air temp. 22. Sunny.
There's been a lot of activity in the Flicker's nest. I can see that the young ones are fully marked. Now it's just a case of catching one leaving the nest. I'll be sort of glad when it's all over because I'd like to get back to my old routine of farting around the house and doing odd jobs without looking out the window all day.
Brother-in-law bought me a milk almond chocolate bar with a dark chocolate fish molded into it. I ate the whole bar.
June 20. Air temp. 20. Sunny.
This wildlife photography is for the birds. Have two cameras set up. I don't know how people do it.
We are obsessed with the progress of the Flickers. Can't walk by a window without looking to see what's going on in the nest. Got a crick in my neck.
Right now they are feeding the little ones and removing shells from the nest. It will be just my luck to miss the chicks when they fledge.
The crows have stopped coming around. I put that down to the fact that each time we've seen one hanging around we run outside and yell at them. Even the sound of one is enough to make us jump out of our chairs.
I have a feeling that, what with the warm weather starting to hit us, we won't be fishing for a couple of months. But I have to say we've had a great spring.
Rapids and rocks alternate with still waters and alders, riffs, and quiet pools offer their treaures to those who seek them.
From Random Casts by E.E. Millard
June 10. Air temp. 12. Cloudy.
A pair of Northern Flickers have carved a hole in one of our old dead trees. I leave the dead ones up for the bugs and the birds.
As the old saying goes, "There's more life in a dead tree than there is in a live one."
It's not the first time the Flickers have nested in that same tree, they've been there at least once before.
The crows bug them. I hate them when they do that, but it's been real quiet lately. I saw both Flickers just yesterday. I'm hoping I can catch sight of the little ones when they leave the nest.
Larder's River is now completely stopped by a dam at Lance's Mill.June 6. Rain.
I've finally remembered to put up the following link. It's a Report upon the condition of the rivers in Nova Scotia printed in 1884.
As one of my friends said, "It's amazing that we still have trout and salmon in any of our rivers."
Sackville River ... we came upon four mills ... All these have dams which totally obstruct the river.
"I'm not the greatest, I'm the double greatest. Not only do I knock 'em out, I pick the round. I'm the boldest, the prettiest, the most superior, most scientific, most skilfullest fighter in the ring today."June 4. Muhammad Ali. January 17, 1942 - June 3, 2016.
I grew up with boxing, listening with my father to the Marciano fights on the radio.This would have been back in the fifties. So, it was only natural that my next hero would have been Cassius Clay (the name that I knew him by back then). He was just what boxing needed, a showman with unbelievable skills.
I watched two of his fights on the big screen, The Rumble in the Jungle and the Thriller in Manila (probably the greatest fight of all time, a fight dominated by the pure courage of both Ali and Joe).
They sure don't make 'em like they used to.
Farewell old friend, I was lucky to have known you.
"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, his hands can't hit what his eyes can't see."

May 25 - 27. Air temp. 19. Water temp. 15. Cloudy/sunny
Kejimkujik. What a grand time we had.
On the first day we placed our finger-puppet squirrel on the picnic bench outside the cabin and scattered some food around him. Not at all bothered by the imposter we soon we had a chipmunk and a red squirrel feeding their little faces. Later that night we sat outside and listened to the overwhelming sound of the peepers, something we haven't heard for a long time.
The next day was spent in the backwoods with Reg fishing for trout as part of the trout census. Fishgirl did most of the catching, measuring, weighing and tagging. When we asked her what fly she was using she said it was grey and black - a Quill Gordon, and later on a different grey and black - an Adams. It's obvious the the trout didn't care what the name was, the colour was what was important.
There were a few caddis hatching with the odd mayfly thrown in the mix.
We can't thank Reg enough for taking the time to get us back to one of our most favourite fishing spots in all of Nova scotia.
On the drive out of the park we came across a painted turtle making his way into the woods. Haven't seen one of them for a while.
We laughed a lot. A lovely memorable trip.
Lively fellows, from seven to nine inches in length, rose two and three at almost every cast. We put on small flies and light leaders and forgot there were such things as big trout in Nova Scotia. It was joyous, old-fashioned fishing - a real treat for a change.
From The Tent Dwellers by Albert Bigelow Paine
May 18. 2.30 - 5. Air temp 14. Water temp. 14. Sunny
What a change from the last time we went fishing. Apart from the blackflies (and they weren't that bad), it was a perfect day to be on the river.
This was a "Reg (Baird) would have been proud of me" day for Fishgirl. She worked a couple of nice trout with her "never give up" attitude and reaped the reward. One of them was right against the bank under a spruce tree whose thick green branches almost touched the river. Getting a fly to that spot required a sidearm cast and she nailed it on the head.
An osprey overhead and a Spring Azure blue butterfly on the trail.
They hiked for an hour around Gray Mountain, hopping across dried creeks that once brimmed with rainbows and browns.
From Gray Mountain by John Grisham
May 16. 3 - 5. Air temp. 7. Water temp. 14. Cloudy. Windy.
We paid our dues today! Was it ever some cold. Everything hurt, feet, legs, hands and back.
The only trout rising, and they were sporadic, were some tiny trout that occasionaly looked at our flies.
Part of the fun of fly-fishing is changing flies, but we were loathe to do that today because our fingers were frozen.
A partridge walked alongside us on the way out. We figured she was luring us away from her little ones.
"Now, have you ever heard of this old Earth saying about teaching a man to fish?" Grace Priestly, Mother of Time.
From Time Salvager by Wesley Chu
May 13. 2.30 - 5. Air temp. 11. Water temp.14. Sunny/cloudy.
We met the Fisheries Officer on the trail, it's nice to know the river is still being patrolled. Mind you, about an hour or so after he left we met someone who was ignorant of the regulations. It didn't surprise us, the Anglers Handbook has to be read very carefully in order to understand the rules on certain rivers. Anyway, he appeared grateful for our information.
The blackfy were really bad today and I think Fishgirl was more proud of the number of blackfly bites than the number of fish she hooked.
Although we never spotted a mayfly the trout were more than willing to take a Quill Gordon. Just goes to show, you never know what's on a trout's mind.
May. 9. 9-30 - 5.30 (including the drive). Air temp. 8. Sunny/cloudy.
Kejimkujik. I forgot to take the water temperature.
What an adventure!
A horde of blackflies greeted us at the parking spot and we thought we were going to end up donating our pint of blood, but things didn't turn out that way.
Wherever we fished the wind gusts were wild and this is what kept the blackflies at bay. Not great for fishing though.
There were some places where if I'd stepped in I'd have been blown away. Fishgirl toughed it out and fished it like a trooper.
In one fairly calm spot a few mayfly were seen dropping their eggs in the water but not one trout rose to them.
All in all it was a really good day.
By June and the beginning of the obnoxious bug season that would last at least a month he was back in his home study. There was simply no dealing with the mosquitoes, blackflies, and deerflies unless it was very windy at which point he would launch himself back into the woods.
From The Great Leader by Jim Harrison
Peter, "This year's the year for getting things done."
Sophie, "So what else is on your list?"
Peter, "Catch a big fish."
Sophie, "Great."
From episode 2 season 2 of Detectorists
May 4. 1.30 - 4. Air temp 9. Water temp. 12. Cloudy.
We were going to take a long trip today but we were so beat up by our previous trip that we decided to stay local.
It felt very cold when we arrived at the river and for an hour or so there was a long time between rises.
Very few flies were in the air but once the sun peeked out from behind the clouds the spinner mayfly woke up and a bunch of little trout started feasting.
We could tell that a lot of them were little from the fact that they'd rise to our flies (number 14 parachutes) but we would miss the take.
When we did hook one we would admire their spirit. We had a great time.
DS Cabot, "Maggots! Our fisherman left these at the scene. No usable prints on the box but you're gonna get the maggots tested for DNA trace."
DC Lang, "How come?"
DC Blackstone, "Fishermen sometimes put maggots in their mouth to warm them up."
From season 5 episode 3 of DCI Banks
May 2. 10 - 2. Air temp 12. Water temp. 12. Cloudy.
The water level is still a bit high and it was pointless to use a dryfly.
Anyway, the only flies around today were blackfly. One bit me right on the palm of my hand. Talk about itch!
We came prepared for a long stay with a thermos and sandwiches but as hard as we tried only one trout came to hand and two threw the hook.
I found myself fascinated by a pair of water striders. The way they create dimples in the water with their feet is amazing.
Apr. 29. 1 - 4. Air temp 6. Water temp. 11. Sunny.
With the "boys."
I don't know why I call them "boys", one's turning 80 next month and the other has to be over 70 and totes a pacemaker. I'm in the middle.
Now if you want to know how to solve the world's problems then you just gotta listen to these two go on. It's like they haven't seen each other in years. Bless their souls.
Only one rise occurred in the three hours we were there. Nothing was moving except the constant, helicoptering stoneflies and a bunch of mayflies. There was a veritable trout's feast floating on the water and nary but that one fish rose to them.
Apr. 27. 2 - 5. Air temp. 8. Water temp. 11. Sunny.
We are at our happiest when our wading boots are still wet from our last trip.
We had a "Jaws" moment today. We watched a mayfly drifting merrily down the river in the middle of the foam line in search of a lady friend. He looked so content. And then ... Wham! ... he disappeared into the mouth of a waiting trout. It didn't take us long to change flies.
We each managed one apiece, our first trout of the season.
It was a beautiful day, especially seeing as it snowed yesterday.
The rocks were covered with tiny black stonefly and a scattering of mayfly.
What the hell was he going to do next week - take up fishing or buy a dog?
From Standing In Another Man's Grave by Ian Rankin
Apr. 25. 9.30 - 11.30. Air temp. 5. Water temp. 10. Sunny.
Well now, the Fishless Hole lived up to it's reputation today. Fishgirl had one little hit and that was it.
We are obviously back in the rythm of things because we hooked more trees than you can shake a stick at. On top of that I lost a fly to a submerged log.
A hawk and some tiny black stoneflies.
Every cop knew that all Matty really cared about was fly fishing and girls.
From In The Morning I'll Be Gone by Adrian McKinty

Reg and Ray measuring a trout.
Apr. 22 - 24. Air temp. Fri. 22/ Sat. 16/ Sun. 3. Water level high.

Kejimkujik. Sportfish Management Volunteer Workshop. The last time we were here, two years ago, it was snowing. This time we had beautiful weather.
Our thanks to Rick, Reg and the park members for such a great meeting.

A tagged trout.
The Scandanavian couple appeared, the stocky wife wearing a hairnet heavy enough to catch trout.
From California Gold by John Jakes
Apr. 18. 9.30 - 11.30. Air temp. 6. Water temp. 8. Cloudy.
The water was higher than the last time we went in.
It felt like a north wind was blowing downriver and our feet and fingers hurt from the cold.
We each had a nice hit but no hook-ups.
The occasional black stonefly flittered by and the beavers have been hard at work.
The men shook hands and Puller came away almost believing he'd just held a fish.
From Zero Day by David Baldacci
Apr. 15. Air temp. 0. Cloudyy.
Now, I know what some of you must be thinking - that's the same photo that I took on March 5th, but it's not. This is what we woke up to this morning. Eternal winter.
Hopefully things will improve before our scheduled two day fishing trip in Keji (home of The Tent Dwellers).
The photo to the left shows a sampling of flies that Fishgirl will have a choice of when fishing in the park - the Jenny Lind, Parmachene Belle, Brown hackle red tag, Silver Doctor, Dark Montreal.
... among them ... a little four ounce bamboo rod, and a gorgeous Jock Scott fly with two hooks.
From The Tent Dwellers

Apr. 6. Air temp. -6. Sunny.
Note the air temperature.
An old friend visited us this morning. He didn't stay long. The gulls had him in such a tizzy that he decided to leave for quieter pastures.

I've decided to try tying a couple of flies today. The only reason being is that Fishgirl wants to re-fish all the flies used in The Tent Dwellers and I'm short of Jock Scott's. Of course, the Jock Scott just happens to be the most complicated of all the flies used in Albert and Eddie's journey.

It's nigh on impossible to tie a number 10 featherwing Jock Scott so here's my hairwing variation. Let's hope Fishgirl's happy with it and it produces at least one trout before the end of the season.
Apr. 1. 2-3. Air temp. 7. Water temp. 7. Rain. Windy.
You'd think that anyone who'd go fishing on a day like this must be crazy. Maybe so, but it was great to be back in the woods and on the river again.
Water level extremely high. We knew where the rocks were but we couldn't see them.
Any fish that showed its head under these conditions was asking to be hooked, but none did.
Squirrels seem to be following us wherever we go.
The weather forecast is not good and it may be a week or so before we get fishing again.
Tambouille, "They're hooked!"
Bazil, "I'm just showing them the bait for now, making the spoon sparkle. But once they bite I'll need all hands to haul in the big catch."
From the movie Micmacs (Micmacs a tire-larigot)
Mar. 24 Air temp. -4.
The flies are on the lines! A Parmachene Belle for Fishgirl and a Picket Pin for me. Or should I use a Muddler, or maybe a Mickey Finn? Deciding what fly to use on the first day of fishing shouldn't be a problem seeing as we'll not see a trout for love nor money. The lines will most probably freeze in the guides and we'll not be able to feel our feet, but I guess we have to go. It will be great to be back in the woods again.
The pheasants, flickers, foxes, loons and buffleheads are showing up, and the crows are building their nests.
Tambouille, "How's it going with the warmongers?"
Bazil, "They're hooked. We can reel them in. Get the net ready."
From the movie Micmacs (Micmacs a tire-larigot)
It was my first time seeing fly-fishing, and I rememberd thinking someone ought to tell those boys they were making things too easy on the fish.
From Dry Bones in the Valley by Tom Bouman
Mar. 5 Air temp. -2.
Here we go again. A foot of snow and it's still coming down.
I realised the other day that my squirrel trapping efforts are all for naught. I came to this conclusion when I watched a squirrel from our neighbours property run across the road onto our property. Apparently I'm trying to trap every squirrel that lives around this way. The trap is now relegated to the basement.
A friend has observed the ice leaving his lake 17 days earlier than previously recorded. I can well believe it. We may have had a thin skim of ice in our cove for five days this winter.
There was a spring-fed creek nearby. Geese and duck, three seasons out of four. Fish year round.
From Doc by Mary Doria Russell
Feb. 20.
After all that rain we got the other day the photo to the right shows the same scene as the photo below.
Finally got my computer running Windows 10. Seeing as the crash deleted several of my programs I've had to re-install them and everything seems to be pretty much back to normal.
Of all the books I've read over the winter the one that stands out is A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman.
And for documentaries the one that really amused me is Being Canadian.
For my long list of documentaries check out Documentary Favourites
Mary Jo, "We're gonna have to have seperate tv rooms in the house. Like seriously, he's 27 years of age and he watches fishing programmes. There's literally two blokes on a lake - fishing. I think he's crazy."
From the documentary His and Hers
Feb. 16.
They say bad things come in threes. Well, for me they come in sixes and sevens (a blown-up computer being one of them).
One lone squirrel refuses to be enticed into the trap. He's gotten so cheeky that he tortures us by sitting at the front door waiting for handouts.
The snow piles are growing and the driveway is so slippery that the Purolator truck took about 15 tries to get back up.
Watched a pile of documentaries and movies and read a ton of books. Another sign that winter is upon us.
Just got a call that my car is ready to be picked up. Unnoticed by me was that the MVI expired last August. Am I getting old or what?