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Author Topic: A Two Day Fly Fishing Trip With An Expert, May 18 to 19  (Read 2465 times)

chris gadsden

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A Two Day Fly Fishing Trip With An Expert, May 18 to 19
« on: May 20, 2004, 07:15:09 AM »

After may years of hearing about this Chironmid fishing for rainbows I got the invite a couple of weeks ago to tag along with Nick up Merritt way on an overnight trip on Tuesday and Wednesday.

This would be an experirence for me as I did not know even what a chironomid was or looked like. I also would have to try to learn how to cast a fly line with a 15 foot or so tapered leader with an indicator on. I would find out later it was not as easy as float fishing on the Vedder is as I can cast without even thinking.

I was sure we would find some fish as I was being guided by Nick, the top rod in the Valley in my books. ;D

I met Nick at his home at 6:30 am to find him all ready to roll. Nick had all the fly gear and it was nice not to have to worry about that. He had told me just to bring myself. ;D

We were pulling a 12 foot Prince Craft that would be powered by a electric motor and some oars as we found out later came in handy as batteries can die if not charged overnight. ;D

First order of buisness after a 30 minute drive to Hope was a very good breakfast of hot cakes, bacon and eggs at the Home Restaurant that was downed  with 3 cups of coffee. I hoped this coffee would keep me awake enough for the day after a night of not enough sleep. I had to get up around 3:30 to get ready for the trip and also finish a fishing article I was doing for the Reel Angler.

It was not too long that two excited anglers were back on the road and in around 30 minutes of driving time were paying the $10 toll at the Coquihalla Toll Booth. As we drove along the divided highway I remembered doing some survey work on a few sections in the 1980's.

A great highway to travel and in no time were were turning off Highway 5 by Merritt heading for Lake 1.

A beauty of a day and a drive along a very scenic route as we cruised towards our destination with the video camera working overtime.. Good thing Nick knew were he was going as I had no idea. ;D

It was not long and we were at the lake and we were slipping the Prince Craft (Almost typed Leaf Craft) into the lake. Of course I continued documenting this trip on video. Actually I am dubbing a copy of the trip as I write this story. Good to relive it again and see all the fish we were able to catch.


 Also got Nick taking a bit of a tumble into the lake off the trailer hitch while launching the boat, that looks good on camera. ;D

It was not long until we had got to the first fishing spot and I dropped the anchor from the front end and Nick the back one to hold us in position. Checked the time and it was 10 bells.

I did not get the anchor to the bottom and we had to re-anchor, first mistake of the day. After attaching the reels to the Sage Fly rods and attaching the colour of chironomid Nick selected I was ready to cast or attempt to cast. :'(

My first cast was one of the worse casts possible which put me out of commision for 15 mintues with several wraps of floating fly line, tapered leader, indicator and my black and red chironomid around my pole. :'(

After a bit of coaxing from Nick things improved but throughout the day I had the same problem a few more times that taxed Nick's paitences.

It was not long till Nick was into several fish up to 1 pound. By the way, a side bet was made with the biggest fish of the day meaning the other angler would have to buy the supper later in Merritt.

Nick also pumped the chironomid pupaes I believe you call them, out of a few of these fish to check the contents of the stomach. Apparently there is many different colours of them, which is important to match if you are going to have success he tells me. A real science this fishing seems.

The way Nick was pulling in the fish I doubted it would be me winning this supper bet as I was spending more time trying to master this casting than fishing.

I was amazed how Nick could shoot that line out so smoothly, a work of art by a fish master to say the least.

Finally I was into one and boy did this feel good. It was now my time to teach as I had to prompt Nick how to run my video camera. I did not want to have him miss me landing my first rainbow. :D

The fish was strong and looked about a pound and a half. On his third or so run, line slack and I see I have stood on the fly line coiled in the bottom of the boat. Broke off, disgusted, mistake number 3 of the day and beside the hot chironomid was gone. Nick was able to select one of the same out of the 200 or so in his fly box. All tied by himself. Gosh I could never do that I thought more than once during the trip. ;D

After a retie I was back in action and was getting the odd bite but not as many as my guide. Nick relocated us a few times were he saw fish rising and there was quite a few of them splashing around and clearing the surface.

I noticed lots of bird life around the lakes edges including several different ducks and of course a few families of geese with their newly hatched goslings. Nice to see but these geese are everywhere now and a bit messy along the camp sites. ???

Finally Nick got us into a hot spot and after a few misses by me I was into one a little over 1 pound that I made no mistake on and I had my first rainbow in the boat with the action recorded on film. ;D Fish was released as all would be that day as we would only keep fish on day 2 of the trip.

I now was gaining some confidence but maybe not as I hooked and then broke off another nice one as I held the Hardy reel to tightly I was firmly told.

I kept at it and perservence paid of and I fought and landed successfully a fish approaching 2 pounds that surprised me to turn out by the end of the day at 7 pm to be the largest of the day. ;D ;D

The count at the end of the day saw Nick with 12 to the boat a few lost, yes even the best of them lose them. ;D

My count was at .500 in going 2 for 4 but hey I won supper. ;D

Of course guides are supposed to supply fish for the clients and Nick had done that. The time had slipped by way too fast on my first chironomid lake fishing trip. I now was looking forward to day 2 around 12 hours away as we headed back to the launch.

Before we left the lake Nick was good enought to give three other anglers in a boat who were having no success at all a few of the hot chironomids. Nick is always willing to share his knowledge to others.

I was thankful he did that for me when I first started fishing the Valley over 30 years ago where he has taught me so much. Here he is once again teaching this lake fishing to me. I would have been in the same boat so to speak as the previously mention fishers without my good friend and guide Nick.

After loading the boat and equipment we headed to Merritt about an hour away. On the way out as dusk started to settle into the Nicola Valley we spotted and recorded on tape a cow moose with her 2 yearling calfs. We also saw also a two point buck bedded down beside the road. He was sporting velvet covered stubby horns and co-operated for a real close up shot. ;D

On our arrival in Merritt we checked into our motel, a Best Western.  Then off for the supper I had won. ;D I felt so lucky I even bought a keno ticket and won $2.

What a wonderul day's experience in God's country along with a great friend and a few fish that made the day complete.

As I drifted off to sleep at 10 pm I thought of tomorrow's adventure ahead, at another Interior lake. I hoped another fiesty rainbow maybe bigger than today's fish was waiting in that lake to take that indicator down.

Could I hook him and then land him? Will report on day 2 of the trip later, stay tuned. ;D ;D ;D



« Last Edit: May 21, 2004, 04:31:17 AM by chris gadsden »
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Jimmy

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Re:A Two Day Fly Fishing Trip With An Expert, May 18 to 19
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2004, 07:37:46 AM »

I really enjoy your posts. Good to hear of you lake fishing secess. Keep the report posts coming.  :D
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chris gadsden

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Re:A Two Day Fly Fishing Trip With An Expert, May 18 to 19
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2004, 01:23:36 PM »

Part 2:

Just got back from a walk looking for golf balls to work the kinks out of the body after sitting in the boat for a good part of the previous past two days. O, I found 42 balls including a couple of Titlelist Pro V1's, eat you heart out Terry. ;D

Day 2 started with me rising at day break from a 6 hour rest, the most sleep I have had in a few days although I had had a few naps in the bottom of the boat yesterday trying to recover from 3 hours the night before. ::)

Nick was still fast a sleep, so not wanting to disturb the guide I quickly dress and out the door into the clear crisp Merritt air.

Yesterday I noticed how clean the air was when you took a breath, compared to the Valley where we pick up the pollution from the Lower Mainland. I see why people move here.

The streets of Merritt had a few vehicles on them with the drivers heading to work I surmise. Boy, is retirement good or what I think.  ;D

 I searched out an open coffee shop that was open at 5 am and filled my travel mug with some Irish cream coffee that always help clear the cob webs at this early hour. ;D

I sat down on a picnic table and as I sipped the coffee I soaked in the sights of the rolling hills above me and the Nicola River below, winding through the Valley floor. I thought of the spring salmon we are after on the bar now that will come up here shortly. Marvelous creatures. How lucky I was to be here I thought, a good reason not to spend to much time in  bed.

As I slowly walked back to the motel I picked up $3 worth of discarded bottles and tins. Enough for the coffee and some spare change left. A thrifty pensioner I am. ;D ;D

I have the 2 hour video of the trip running now again as I type this. I feel I am back at the lakes.  ;D ;D

Back at the motel Nick is up and we pack things to the truck while  I have a refreshing bath. We head to  the Home Restaurant close to the motel. A excellent place for food that now has 5 of them in their chain throughout British Columbia. They started in Hope 50 years ago.

After breakfast we are on our way to Lake 2 around 45 minutes away. Another nice drive and we arrive at the lake to find no one around. ;D

After pushing the boat off the trailer into the lake we are on our way for another great day of fishing. We glide by a loon sitting on her nest among the reeds with her mate standing guard of his wife and family soon to hatch. Got some great video through the day of the handsome couple decked out in their breeding plumage along with a juvenile, possibily from last year's family Nick says. They all patrol around the boat at different times of the day looking for a easy meal if we hook a fish I guess.

I captured on film the sound of their wailing laugh or a mournful yodel, a true wilderness sound as other writers have described their calls.

They lost interest in us as it took us a while to have a bite. Nick moved  us to different locations looking for the tell tale signs of hatching chironomids rising to the surface.

With a thunderstorm brewing it looked like the trip could be cut short. However it held off with Nick connecting first but losing a 14 inch fish. Shortly after, Nick boated and retained a very nice 15 inch fish. He then broke off a good fish, see even the pro's can do it I tell him after I remember taking good natured ribing from him yesterday for my antics.

Finally I am into my first fish that Nick estimates to be around 2 pounds. However the fish does not cooperate and tosses the hook. :'(

We move to a bit of a shoal and Nick quickly is into two good sized fish, one near 4 pound but they are both dark spawners and of course are released. We could see them darting through the shallows if we watched carefully.

As our time is much too quickly drawing to a close there is a break in the wind and storm clouds so Nick moves us down to mid lake rowing as we go to help the dying 12 volt battery.

At 4:30 I miss two in a row within 5 minutes, is the bite coming on?

I tell Nick I feel good about getting into one shortly as maybe I am getting the hang of this type of fishing. No fish tale on this as the video replay gives and shows my prediction or was it just luck once again. ::)

A few minutes after the 2 misses my red and green indicator dipped slightly but before I could react to set the hook the fish catapults 4 or 5 feet out of the water. ;D ;D

"Its a good one Nick shouts" as he reaches for the video camera and begins filming the first run of the fish as the line screams off the reel. As I start to worry that I may run out of line Nick says "you are not even down to the backing yet". ;D

After several runs and 10 minutes of a very enjoyable tussle with the most beautiful fish I have seen, Nick skillfully nets the rainbow while holding the camera in the other hand. Got to record every minute of this I tell him.

After landing hundreds of fish over my 61 years of life I do not know if my heart has beat much faster. ;D Good test of the ticker.

As I remove her from the net Nick says "close to 4". Before reaching for the scales Nick snaps a couple of photo's which I hope to have to send to Rodney later today. I am a proud and happy camper and l will like to share the fish's beauty with this forum. The fish hits the scales at 3 pounds 12 ounces, 4 ounces short of Nick's prediciation.

This is the last fish we were to hit and I sort of think Nick did not want us to get into another so as to let me bask in the glory I was feeling of catching such a lovely bit of God's creation.

As we leave the lake at 5:30 biding farewell to the family of loons left behind. We leave them to the task of hatching and raising their young in the solutude and silence of the lake except for the gusts of wind whistling through the trees and the towering storm clouds billowing in the heavens.

 I hope Nick will one day invite me once again back to this fishing experience that to me was the trip of a lifetime.

Now on to another adventure this afternoon as I board the "Leaf Craft" once again to try for a spring on Maple Leaf Bar,
maybe one that could be heading for the Nicola River at Merritt were I was less than 24 hours ago.

Let the good times continue to roll and I have almost got over you know who's exit from the hockey playoffs that happened a few weeks ago. Who knows if they were still playing I would not have taken this opportunity to fish with a good friend who knows how to fish those CHIRONOMIDS.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2004, 04:42:10 AM by chris gadsden »
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Fish Assassin

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Re:A Two Day Fly Fishing Trip With An Expert, May 18 to 19
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2004, 03:37:10 PM »

Let the good times continue to roll and I have almost got over you know who's exit from the hockey playoffs happened a few weeks ago.

Gawd Chris, the Make Beliefs haven't won since 1967. Surely you must be used to it by now  ;D ;D
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chris gadsden

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Re:A Two Day Fly Fishing Trip With An Expert, May 18 to 19
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2004, 11:32:08 PM »

Have sent photo to Rodney to post of the rainbow. ;D

Rodney

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Re:A Two Day Fly Fishing Trip With An Expert, May 18 to 19
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2004, 12:20:45 AM »



What's with the sun glasses? Are you trying to look younger? ;D Nice fish!

chris gadsden

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Re:A Two Day Fly Fishing Trip With An Expert, May 18 to 19
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2004, 12:50:06 AM »

Beautiful trout Chris.  

Is that a Canucks Orca cap you wearing? ;D
Ouch.+- ;D ;D ;D

It actually is a orignal Fraser Valley Salmon Society hat that is 20 years old. Brought me better luck than the blue and white but of course two of them are on the Leaf Craft and should get us a spring tomorrow if the river conditions hold overnight, 3 and a half hours to daylight.  ;D ;D

Will head to Maple Leaf bar at 7. ;D ;D

Terry Bodman

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Re:A Two Day Fly Fishing Trip With An Expert, May 18 to 19
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2004, 07:46:36 AM »

Jeez....first you swipe all my golf balls and then you get into flyfishing...a sport reserved for the true fishermen only...like me... ;D

Good to see you had a great time. Talked to Nick yesterday and he said you did "O.K." for a rank amateur. Your next experience should be casting a 15 ft tapered leader with a strike indicator into the wind. When you've mastered that, you are awarded the flyfishers crest.
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chris gadsden

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Re:A Two Day Fly Fishing Trip With An Expert, May 18 to 19
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2004, 06:19:52 AM »

. Will head to Maple Leaf bar at 7. ;D ;D
Quote

 8) 8)

Awaiting your report
Quote
Got in late last nignt will work on report shortly.

Buckeye

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Re:A Two Day Fly Fishing Trip With An Expert, May 18 to 19
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2004, 08:21:08 AM »

Thanx for the great report Chris!
Beautifull writing once again, makes me feel like I was there :)

I did a little flyfishing myself for the first time last weekend up around 100 Mile House. I fished a little lake called Higgins, lots of small trout up to 13 inches. What a hoot! I fished for 3 hours, landed 7 and missed probably around 50. I guess it doesn't help when you go to check your leader and find your chironomid stuck to the bottom of your strike indicator  :-\
I guess I'm just a n00b   ;D ;D

This flyfishing could get addicting though, and I'm thinking of picking up a half decent rod today. Then I will have to try to talk Nick into taking me to one of his nice spots  ;)

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chris gadsden

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Re:A Two Day Fly Fishing Trip With An Expert, May 18 to 19
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2004, 02:57:04 PM »

Thanks and glad you enjoyed the report. Should get together one day and watch the video of the trip. Nick said it was good so it must be exceptable. ;D ;D

Will keep the reports coming if people continue to read and enjoy them. I enjoy writing them as well. ;D

2:40

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Re:A Two Day Fly Fishing Trip With An Expert, May 18 to 19
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2004, 07:52:46 AM »



What's with the sun glasses? Are you trying to look younger? ;D Nice fish!

I think the glasses are to protect his eyes while casting  ;D  ;)


That fish is one of the nicest Ive seen for some time! What a nice little bar.
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chris gadsden

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Re:A Two Day Fly Fishing Trip With An Expert, May 18 to 19
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2004, 06:08:40 PM »

Congrats on the Fish Chris, very nice. Keep the stories comming as they are very well written. I can close my eyes and see my self there, nice to do when I can't get out and do it myself.
 Thanks Again Chris.
Glad you enjoy them Norm and thanks also 2:40 Gordie along with others for the kind remarkes.

I know some readers think they are a bit long but I try to write them like a story you would read in a magazine although I would be the first to admit they are not anywhere near as good as you would read in a magazine like BC Outdoors but I find them fun to write. I also try to include in some of the reports some tips that may be helpful to some anglers.

I always feel we as fishers are always learning from other's experiences as I did in this trip from Nick as I had never fished chironomids before.

The beauty of the internet and this forum if only have to read what you want to. ;D ;D
« Last Edit: May 25, 2004, 06:11:20 PM by chris gadsden »
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