SAO Pages

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Northern Exposure; The pursuit of Salmon. Part I

4x4 trek into Canadian bush counrty.

15 gentleman from OH, PA, NY, NJ, IL started their trek early last Friday morning to meet at my place for a quick BBQ and to begin the long journey north to Ontario, Canada. Our goal this weekend was salmon on the fly, and we knew with the early September dates selected we would hit the migration just right.

A look at base camp along the river.

We made it safe and sound to our outfitters shop on the banks of the St. Mary's River, were we met with our guide Ben, and started the 45 minute off road adventure into the wild. We would be setting up camp deep in the bush along one of the more productive upper sections of the Garden River. This was my third year back to the Garden, but no other trip up to this remote country was more exciting, enjoyable, and as rewarding as this season.

Tim Hess with one of many pigs caught during our stay.

After an off road adventure well worth the use of our 4x4 vehicles, We reached our destination and began to set up camp on one of many remote sandy beaches, thousands of pink salmon where rushing through the rapids and aggressively spawning and fighting off king Salmon directly in front of where our tents were being set up, for the guys who have never experienced this before; The sounds of Kings crashing the water brought ear to ear smiles and most couldn't resist getting their waders on and setting up camp later in the day.

Ben Johnson Fighting a King Salmon on the upper Garden.

The deep pools where filled with fresh king salmon and loads of pinks. This years run seen many more Pinook of considerable size than in the past seasons, and native trout and steelhead were ever present ghosts that struck a fly with a vengeance.

King Salmon that smacked one of Senyo's Tube flies.

I dedicated this trip to the two hand and swinging tubes exclusively, the Garden River has such beautiful water it was almost a shame to fish it any other way.. It didn't take long for me to tie into a few very good "players".

Herb Imondi with a fly caught male pink salmon.

Chartreuse/White and purple/blue/black color combos were hot. I fished 4"Scandi style tubes constructed on Eumer 22mm and 15mm brass, black, and silver tear drops with matching monster cones. The Chinook could not resist a swung streamer or Attack them fast enough.

Greg Senyo with one of many that could not resist a 4" Scandi style tube fly.

Besides swinging tubes guys did well indicator fishing eggs, nymphs, and small streamers through the large pools and deeper runs catching steelhead, native rainbows, pinks, kings, and pinook. Bottom bouncing and stripping clouser minnows and woolly buggers through the runs and pools with woody debris was also highly effective.

John Clouser with a night time king caught swinging flies through the dark pools.

After each days fishing nothing was better than the dinners of fresh and smoked polish sausage and brats with green peppers and onion. We ate and drank like kings even if only for a few days.. The fellowship and friendships built was second to none and to share in this experience with so many great guys was the best part of the whole trip for me. Thank you all for making this such a memorable trip.

Cooking Fresh polish sausage and trimmings for the guys!!!

We have already locked our days in for September 2009 and will be going back.. if interested give me a call at 419-466-9382. All of the guys that went had a great time and it seemed they had a mutual dismay when we finally departed for home and the usual grind of daily life; but theres always next year.. :)

Remember the fall run is upon us and we have expanded our guide service once again, and we are always available if you are still looking to experience Ohio's steelhead on the fly and on the swing. All packages are customized to your preferences and held to a high standard of excellence... Report is that fish have already headed into the Lower PA Tribs in smaller numbers, and from what I hear there are as many fisherman as fish in the tribs.. No need to get too excited yet!!! Its really early and water levels are still to low and clear. With the next couple really good rains, we should see a good push of fish. For those who are fishing or looking to make the trip anyway Emerald shiner patterns and white woolly buggers have been picking up a few fish in and around the tributary mouths and in the lake surf. Light tippets and small nymphs, wiggle stones, mini buggers are top producers for spooky fish in the clear pools. Better fishing still to come!! Once the season is in full swing check in for daily up to date stream conditions, hot fly patterns, guide tips, and pics..

Tight Lines!!
Part II of Northern exposure still to come..

Greg Senyo

No comments: