28 September 2011


Time/Date: 1320, 28-Sep-11
Location: F'ton

I haven't caught any fish in over two weeks.

The bastard's back & welcoming me
with open arms.
Two additional outings to attempt to wash the stench of skunk off in the Miramichi River have failed.

I had one salmon take yesterday, but I thought the fly hung up on a boulder and was thoroughly surprised to see a a salmon jump when I gave the rod a snap to dislodge the fly from the so-called boulder, thus dislodging said fly from said salmon's mouth.

'Surprised' quickly changed to 'pissed off at self.'

There's no feeling like the self-loathing one does in the midst of a slump.

For those unaware, I've been writing a weekly Dispatch from Canada on the blog of Mooseknuckle Lanyards. Being busy with launching a new startup, the owner, Jeremy, asked a few of us in the online fishing tribe to contribute articles to the blog site.

Excluding the dribble I'm spewing on a weekly basis, the writing is really good; it comprises trip reports, gear reviews, beer reviews, and lots of other miscellaneous content. You can check it out here.

Enjoy some music:

Click here if you can't see the video below

26 September 2011

"How's fishin' been?"

Time/Date: 0915, 26-Sep-11
Location: F'ton

I've been fishing pretty hard in the past two weeks; apart from the two-salmon day two weeks ago, I've been skunked. A lot.

Skunked for striped bass in both fresh water and in salt.

Muskie was tacked on to the freshwater striper outing. Skunked for that, too.

A quick trip to check out how my new smallie spots fish in fall: skunked.

And, of course, Atlantic salmon, which quickly reverted back to being my piscatorial nemesis.

I'm quickly moving in to Kirk status.

19 September 2011

Musical Interlude (yet again)

Time/Date: , 19-Sep-11
Location: Freddy Beach

I had more fun than I should have this weekend.

I stepped back behind the bar at Lava Vodka Lounge on Friday night for the first time since early January. It's not a regular gig; I was just covering a shift due to the busy-ness of the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival.

I was rusty, but had a lot of fun. Especially since we had an extension on the liquor license, allowing us to be open until 4AM (normal closing time is 2AM).

On Saturday, I was on the opposite side of the bar at Lava, but once again took advantage of the 4AM extension (or maybe the 4AM extension took advantage of me & my wallet). Ross Neilsen & the Sufferin' Bastards were rawkin' the stage in the pub on the other side of the bar, so it was all good.

Not to be done in by 4AM bar closings, a bunch of us rolled over to the rugby club to cheer on our friend/former teammate Jebb Sinclair in the game against France in the Rugby World Cup

More than 40 people showed up to the clubhouse to watch the game. About half of us pulled the all-nighter, while the other (more sensible?) half of the crowd went to bed early, work up early, and walked in with coffee.

The result in the game wasn't what we hoped, but the Canadian boys played a spirited match & we were all very proud of them. The final score definitely did not reflect the tightness of the game, with almost 1/3 of France's points being scored in the final 7-8 minutes.

My Saturday night finally came to a close at about 8AM. I had foresight with regards to that, however; as shown by the following conversation from 9PM the night before:

Fergus: Are you going to watch the game at club later?
Me: Heck yeah. I even packed sunglasses in my pocket for the morning.
Fergus: That's a veteran move.

So yeah. Foresight.

And more fun than one person should be allowed to have.

In fishy news, yes, I have been fishing. Not with the results of last week, however. But I've been fishing. More on that later this week.

Here's some music. It's different. It's catchy.

(Click here if you can't see the video below)


12 September 2011

Bankers' Hours (part I)

Time/Date: 1915, 12-Sep-11
Location: Fredericton

Here's a story some guys might relate to:

Remember that hometown hottie that never paid any attention to you back in junior high or high school?

No matter what you did to woo her, she'd just ignore you. Or worse yet, mock & torment you.

Then fast-forward a few years, after you've been away at school or for work, you go back for a visit. You've become a little more confident. Hotties from other places paid attention to you.

And you've learned a few things...

So you throw your best, new skills out there and.........

My version of this story does not involve a girl.

It involves a fish. Namely, Atlantic salmon.

First things first: I am not a hardcore salmon fisherman.

Up until last fall, I was a trout guy. I might make a trip or two for salmon before trout season closes, but I never got into salmon fishing until after September 15th (& before October 15th). Even then, it was only a few times...and occasionally half-hearted affairs in the middle of a Nor'easter.

Then I went fishing for reds in Louisiana. And my world came tumbling down.

I wanted to catch everything and anything after that.

At least I can look the part...
But Atlantic salmon remained elusive. The fish that every fly rodder in the province of New Brunswick focused on persisted to be that hometown hottie that ignored me.

I've been close to swearing off any & all pursuit for salmon...many times. Perceived slights by Mr. Salmo salar over the years include:
  • The time one rolled over my fly after tossing it out with my non-casting hand to start my cast, and never being seen again (possibly due to my girlish yelp). 
  • The time a twenty-plus-pounder jumped out of the water less than three feet to my left, almost causing me to shat myself. 
  • And the time one swam up to me to use my legs as a current break. 
  • And also the one I sight-cast to that gently moved just out of the way of my perfectly presented fly.
Hence the mocking & tormenting.

Then there's the folks 'round these parts who have the mindset of 'The Greatest & Only Fish Worth Pursuing is Atlantic Salmon.' They drive me bonkers. But that's for a different post.

Even though some of them might be your friends, who kid with Facebook comments of "Well, it's no Atlantic salmon, but good job!" when you post a pic of a 40" northern pike on your profile...Bucky...

I'd like to believe it's as easy as you're rewarded with being permitted to land a game fish at such time the Gods of Fate think you deserve it.

But it's not like that.

Sometimes it takes listening to a podcast on Atlantic salmon four or five times while you're away working. And reading every article you can find online about salmon & steelhead fishing, swinging flies, mending line, water temperatures, seasons, weather conditions, fly patterns, water clarity, and biology.

And sometimes it also takes a stranger named Basil that offers you a fly called the Chief Needahbeh, saying "Let's get you one now" and "I expect your line to go tight any minute."

After all those things came together, the line did go tight. 

Twice, actually.

Thus vanquishing the piscatorial monkey off my back.


I pray I don't have to go back to the start for the next ones.
Salmon #1
Gettin' cocky by tailing the second salmon

Enjoy some tunes.
(Click here if you can't see the video below)

This is one of the bands I caught onstage on Friday night, The Stanfields. They're worth a listen.

And here's something different from them if you need it:


09 September 2011

Musical Interlude (again)

Time/Date: 1210 AST, 09-Sep-11
Location: HOME!

I made it home.

I'm excited about this; it's five weeks off. In the best part of the season for Atlantic Salmon...and smallies, stripers and muskie...oh my!

I'll have some fishy content next week after I take a few days to win back the love of my girlfriend & Awesome the dog.

My new furled leader, fly box, and a couple books were waiting for me when I returned home. Notes about using/reading them will be included in this so-called fishy content I speak of.

Hope everyone enjoys their weekend. I'm going to Lava Vodka Lounge & seeing Bedouin Soundclash tonight.

Here's some music. Definitely NOT Bedouin Soundclash. Enjoy!

03 September 2011

Rocks & Rawkin' Blues

Time/Date: 1745, 03-Sep-11
Location: Northern Saskatchewan (still)

No fishing adventures to speak of since the pike.

I've been up to my eyeballs in rocks.

Here's a little taste of what's been playing on my iPod while I've been slaving away on the rock pile:

Ross & his bastards are local guys, and they bring the rawk. Without a doubt, at any given time those guys are on a cross-country tour (tour dates here). They are musicians that work hard at what they do, and they're definitely worth going to see.

We all bonded over the booze back in the day, when I used to sling drinks at Lava Vodka Lounge. In fact, we hosted the after-party for his CD release bash for the Redemption album. 

It was a pretty easy friendship: I made drinks, they drank them; I like hard-rawkin', whisky-chuggin', bar-brawlin' type blues, and that's what they play. A match made in heaven...if heaven was full of this type of people...

You can follow along with the boys at rossneilsen.com. Ross is also on twitter, @rossneilsen.

And I highly recommend you get their album. You can find it on itunes here.

I'll have some fishy updates (hopefully) real soon.