No angler merely watches nature in a passive way. He enters into its very existence ... John Bailey
This is the twentieth 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.
|His only other passion in life, aside from his work, seemed to be fly-fishing; in particular, as he would explain to anyone who listened, his search for the noble and elusive Atlantic salmon.|
From Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.
|Oct. 23. 10-6. Air temp. 15. Water temp. 9. Sunny.|
I thought we were going to stop for lunch at Tim's in Oxford but Fishgirl was in a hurry to get to the river.
It was just as well we did because she had a salmon on not five minutes after stepping into the river.
She thought it was foul-hooked because of the funny way it was acting but I could see the hook in the side of the mouth which caused it to roll a lot. It took her two-and-a-half minutes to bring it to hand and safely release it.
There were quite a lot of dark-backed fish, including a couple of ten pounders, lifting out of the water for the three hours we fished but not another one would look at our flies. So, I guess it was just as well we passed by Tim's on the way there.
Of note is the fact that she caught her last salmon on the Philip at exactly the same spot on the same pool with exactly the same fly - a Mickey Finn.
|Pablo, "Look, Ash, I think you're being paranoid about this. If Kelly's mum is one of them why wouldn't she have killed her before we got here?"|
Ash, "Because she's trying to reel in a bigger fish, don't ya get it. If you snag a little fish you're not gonna eat it, no. You use it as a bait fish to catch the whale. I'm the whale, Pablo."
Pablo, "Yeah, I got that."
Ash, "And Kelly?"
Pablo, "She's the bait."
From season 1 episode 2 of Ash vs Evil Dead
|Sept. 30. 10-12. Air temp. 10. Water temp. 17. Sunny. Cold north wind.|
Last day of trout season
I was pleasantly surprised by the height and temperature of the water. Before last weeks rain the river appeared to be kind of low and I thought the temperature might be high.
A couple of trout were rising on the opposite side of the river and we had a hard time reaching them because we could not step onto our favourite rock (which was well underwater and we were just wearing rubber boots). Fishgirl headed slightly upstream and hooked the first trout on a Parmachene Belle. Like I've said before, I don't know why she bothers to put anything else on her line.
I managed to hook a couple more on a deer-hair caddis but lost them mid-stream.
All-in-all a very pleasant end to the season.
We gave our thanks to the trout and the river.
|Sept. 18 - 22.|
The weather varied for all three days that we fished. On the last morning there was frost on the car. Water temp. 14. River low.
A bald eagle standing on the centre line of the Trans-Canada highway.
A mayfly weaving its way in-between two spiders webs at the cabin.
Fishgirl said she'd trade her well paying job for the chance to be a checkout girl at the Margaree Co-Op (that's how much she loves Cape Breton). And where else would you get your gas pumped for you.
The river has changed greatly at one of the pools we love to fish (and where we have had so much luck). The top of the pool is filled in with gravel and the river itself is much wider.
A chipmunk knocking berries out of a tree at Ross Bridge.
A tiny, baby frog and a couple of really big fish and a grilse at the Hatchery.
Dragonflies from the dinosaur era and three salmon, but no takers, at Wards Rock.
Kermit with his buddy perched on Ross Bridge.
|Pei, "I'm scared of leaky biosuits, I'm scared of vegetables that haven't been washed properly. I'm scared of fish."|
Pei, "You haven't seen the fish on my home colony. Very thin teeth."
From The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
|Jul. 27. Air temp. 20. Sunny/Cloudy.|
For the last five weeks I've had shingles. They ran from my lower back all the way around to my groin. The pain for the first couple of days was so bad I was ready to go to emergency. Since having them it seems like every third person I've spoken to has also had shingles. I really did not know they were that common. If I had known I think I would have got the shingles vaccine. So, if you're over 60, and can afford it, I reckon you should think about getting it.
Obviously we have not been out fishing and, what with the heat of the summer and low water in the rivers, I very much doubt we'll be picking up our rods again until September.
|Kunkel jerks his head toward the riverbed stones barely covered with water, and pitches his voice so only Heisinger can hear, "Trout must be bumping their balls on the bottom."|
From A Thread Of Grace by Mary Doria Russell
|DI Joseph Chandler, "What do you do?"|
DS Ray Miles, "When I get home I go straight down to my garden. My pond. Got a nice bit of seating there, away from the house, bit of privacy. I feed my fish. I got carp, real beauties. They come up take the food out of my hand. Them fish save me. My job, my marriage. Now get yourself some fish."
From season 1 episode 3 of Whitechapel
|Jun. 19. Air temp. 20. Cloudy.|
I don't know what to say other than we have done very little fishing this year. It seems to be a case of my old age, Fishgirl's work schedule, and the weather.
Now and again I'd get a fishing report from different fly-fishers but they have dropped off and I have no idea what's hatching these days (although I suspect the hatch timetable hasn't changed much).
We were given several items from the estate of an old fly-fishing friend and it's been very interesting sorting through, and identifying the various items. One of them is a greenheart rod that must be a hundred years old and is in great condition (don't think I'll fish with it though). There are also a ton of custom salmon flies that are totally unidentifiable (you gotta love tyers that create their own patterns).
|Storm's first cast was not rewarded. He tried a bright red fly, but it was too flashy to secure the admiration of any trout that day. They are whimsical creatures and like their food in season just as men like ice cream and sherry cobblers in July and hot whiskies in January.|
From Random Casts by E.E. Millard
|Sergeant Healy, "If you wanna catch a big fish, you gotta drop a big hook, right where he likes to feed."|
From the movie The Young Offenders
|Jun. 5. Air temp. 15. Water temp 16. Sunny/Cloudy.|
Water was at a nice level with the occasional sulphur dun, light cahill and black caddis lifting off
Using three different flies (parmachene belle, sulphur dun and a prince nymph) Fishgirl had five hook-ups. Four of the five threw the hook (two were big ones). She put it down to the curse of the net. Sometimes a net works and sometimes it just gets in the way.
The only thing I hooked were four trees on the way out.
A mole, a hawk, and swallowtail butterflies.
|May. 24 - 26. Air temp. 15. Water temp 15. Cloudy.|
Kejimkujik with Reg Baird
The squirrel and a chipmunk shared breakfast with Kermit.
If rocks and pine trees counted as fish then Fishgirl would have had about a dozen trout. As it was only one nice brookie came to hand (on a Parmachene Belle). The rest either threw the hook or were too small to take a fly. Nothing was hatching, apart from the mosquitos.
Talking about mosquitos, Peskowesk Brook must be the breeding centre for every mosquito in Nova Scotia. Without fly dope we'd have been reduced to a pile of bones.
We had a great time.
|May. 5 - 7. Air temp. 13. Rain.|
Kejimkujik Trout Research Volunteer Workshop.
On the drive inland it was noticeable how much more advanced nature had progressed compared to the coastal area that we live in. The windshield was splattered with bugs.
The usual suspects were in attendance. It was good to see familiar faces although we all missed Rick.
We did a little bit of fishing but only managed to hook one which promptly threw the hook.
Apart from the blackflies the only fly we saw was a small black quill mayfly perched on Fishgirl's shoulder.
|Ona puffed out her withered lips. "Maybe you took it to check the address?"|
Quinn, "I didn't."
"Quinn, you have the memory of a mayfly."
From The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood
|The only thing I really missed was fishing, as the Comanches would not eat fish unless they were starving. Though even on my hunting trips, when I could have fished, I didn't.|
From The Son by Philipp Meyer
|May. 1. Air temp. 3. Rain.|
It's raining and the trip we had planned for today got cancelled (note the temperature). It's too bad because I know the mayfly are hatching.
There was a time when neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet would deter us but we've got kind of fussy during these last few years.
We do have a two day trip to Keji this weekend and we will get some fishing in regardless of the weather.
In the meantime we happily continue to pay pool and work on jigsaw puzzles.
|The walls were covered with yellowed clippings from the local paper, angling competitions, soap box derbies. There was also a taxidermied pike, jaws agape.|
From Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
|Apr. 13. 4-6. Air temp. 13. Water temp. 9. Sunny/Cloudy|
It was too nice a day to stay indoors so when Fishgirl got home for work we headed to the river.
Water still kind of high and only an occasional stonefly dropped to the water.
We tried different flies but the only trout that came to hand took a beadhead mayfly nymph.
A pair of ducks looked like they were preparing their nest.
My iPod has an eclectic mix of tunes and on the way out we listened to an old disco favourite - Saturday Night Fever. Does anyone remember disco?
|John, "Hey, Harry. You keen on earning a coin? Babysitting a sleeping one."|
Harry, "Catch and release?"
John, "Catch and release."
From the movie John Wick
|Apr. 10. 1-3. Air temp. 6. Water temp. 6. Sunny/Cloudy|
Report from Fishgirl ... Well, the good old Parmachene Belle did it again. Yep. It was my second or third cast and bam, big fish, big fish. No photos of it. You'll have to take my word for it. This was our first day back to the river for 2017.
The regulations have not changed on this particular river system, it is still catch-and-release.
A few black stonefly flittering over the river.
|Desmond MacCarthy, "When I used to go fishing with my Grandfather I would say "Thank you for taking me," and something like, "Pity we didn't catch anything." He said, "Never mind, always nice to be by a river."|
From episode 3 of Normal For Norfolk
|Apr. 3. Air temp. -2. Sunny/Cloudy|
Opening day has come and gone and ne'er a line has been cast into the water. Not by us anyway. I think we're just getting too old, and much wiser, than to be in the woods when the temperature hovers around zero. The Lazyboy is much more comforting these days than having to clear ice from out of the the rods guides.
I still think back to the days when it was all a challenge, trudging through snow with a two inch build-up of packed snow on the felt soles of our wading boots, and fishless early cold April mornings. I'm glad we did them while we could.
|Monkey, "Not bad. And what's your plan for getting this fish into the boat so that we can actually eat it?"|
Beetle, "Well, I said I was teaching him how to shoot, not fish. Fishing is tomorrows lesson."
From the movie Kubo and the Two Strings
|Claudio Mercado, "I began to listen to the sound of the river, and suddenly I began to hear music."|
From the documentary The Pearl Button
|Mar. 27. Air temp. -1. Cloudy|
This Saturday is opening day and all I can say is that if the weather stays like this the river will not being seeing our boots 'til mid-April.
My old friend in Newfoundland has a saying that if Easter is late then we're in for a late Spring. I think he's right.
We're still having a great time playing pool. The fact that we "lose" ourselves in the game is very much like we "lose" ourselves whilst fly-fishing.
|Haller, "Look, all I'm saying is we're still pulling in the nets, Harry. Let's finish pulling them in and then see what we got"|
From The Crossing by Michael Connelly
|Mar. 11. Air temp. -14. Wind chill -25. Cloudy|
We've gotten into playing pool again. We used to play it on a regular basis many years ago. It's a game we really enjoy.
And now back to the subject of documentaries ...
The Camera That Changed The World covers the invention of the hand-held movie camera. These days it's something we take for granted.
For fishing enthusiasts The Lost World of Mr. Hardy will take you back to the days when fishing equipment was hand-crafted.
For us old-timers that are music lovers Young at Heart is, as one reviewer stated, a brilliant testament to the resiliency of the human spirit.
|Feb 15. Air temp. -6. Cloudy|
Well now, that was some kind of blzzard we had the other day. Record snowfall in some places plus record noreast winds.
Luckily enough we didn't lose any trees and we were only without power for an hour.
What surprised me, and I've never seen it happen before, every window, on every side of the house, was covered with snow. I'm guessing it was the wind swirling around all sides of the house.
Fishgirl and the kids had a great time playing in the snow. And that's the west side of the shed.
|He would yell and carry on, demean Golden in every conceivable way .... or invite him out for an afternoon of male bonding in the form of carp fishing.|
From The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall
|Jan 29. Air temp. -2. Cloudy|
We've been watching several very interesting (to us) documentaries lately.
If you are a reader of the printed word you'll find Linotype fascinating. It's the history of the Linotype machine and how it changed the world.
If you are a movie goer watch The Dying Of The Light. When I went to the movies I never thought about the person, or people, that ran the projectors. Their lives are explored in this documentary.
If you are a sports nut (like me) watch The Barkley Marathons. This one wore me out.
|She was covered in tiny scales - not thickly layered, like Sissix's, but seamless, interlocking. She was silvery, almost reflective, like a fish in a river.|
From The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
|Jan 19. Air temp. -2. Cloudy|
The photos of the icicles on the river were taken by Fishgirl. Unfortunately my legs are in no shape to go wandering through the icy, snow covered woods.
Checked our flyboxes the other day and they don't seem to be in bad shape. I suspect this is due to the affect the drought had on the number of fishing trips we made last year.
We're hoping this year is a little better and have started to think about where we want to go. Cape Breton and Keji are a definite yes.
|Jan 1. Air temp. 5. Rain/wind.|
Gifts over Christmas included a leaping salmon tin mug, a game called Fish or Cut Bait, a tea towel covered in decorative fishes (with which I will dry the dishes), and an old Paddle Ball game of skill which, on using the first time, I bounced the ball off of my forehead.
The high winds and heavy rain we've had lately have knocked down a few trees (not on our property) and we've been lucky enough not to have lost power. The only good thing to come out of this is that our well must be back to its normal level by now.
Had corned-beef hash for News Years eve supper, and beans and weiners on New Years day. Made us feel like we were in the woods beside a trout stream.
We did not do our traditional New Years Day walk up the river because of the rain. We'll wait until it dries out a bit.