Tuesday, December 16, 2008

River report,Dec 16 2008

I've just returned from a "drive around" looking at conditions for the last few guides I have for this year. Yep, doesn't look good,
everything is high and dirty... not just high and dirty but very cold, slush is a big problem, we are to get another 5-10 cm of snow over
the next 24 hours.

I had a look at our rain gauge yesterday, 4 inches!!! Yes, some of that was snow,but really at 4 inches of melt, that's a lot of very cold run off into the systems. I took some shot's at the Bighead and then, for fun went to the Beaver to have a look. As you can see in the photo's not too much slow water to fish and even less anglers... good thing I took my camera and not my gear!

On another note, please be careful when around rivers for a bit, the
water has dropped and left some very dangerous shelf ice along the banks... don't ask!! Still some pretty deep water under that ice!!
I've got some big projects planned for the up coming year, I hope to have some info posted over the next month. Thanks again for a good year.
Tight lines
Happy Holidays

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Fishing report Nov 30 - Dec 10 2008

More of an update on conditions,
Most of the rivers in this area have slush, the cold nights and days have really developed some bank ice. The river levels are good, we need a few days above freezing before I'll be out.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fishing Report Oct 20 - Nov 30 2008

What a change from last fall, lots of water, almost too much. Like always, fishing has been hit and miss for the last few weeks.
The high water has filled the rivers with Steelhead, they are
not in the same holding locations as previous years. We've had to work a little harder to find them... but we have been finding them.The Lower Saugeen has seen some changes, the debris boom has let go with the high water and heavy debris, half of the boom is hanging over the dam. Lots of fish in the Saugeen below Denny's. It's big water and you need to really read the water to find those fish. The water temps have push many fish in the slower moving areas. I've been have luck with swinging smaller black spey flies with a dropper, single egg or small stone flies in black
We've been fishing a long leader with no sinking tips.

The Maitland has seen more high water than the spring!
We've had a few good days before the river was so high it

was no longer safe to drift. Mike V and I had another 2

boat day, a corporate event, the guy's had done some

Steelheading before, one was a good fly angler, try as

he might the other anglers with spinning gear were

getting the fish. Had a chance to spend a day with Ray

from Hook,Line and Sinker/ The first Cast. We drifted
the Maitland just days before it went off.
It had rained the night before, heavy at times, adding some colour down stream from our starting point. I managed to hook the first fish on the Maitland Leech. A nice Male, the water temps was mid 40's so this fish really put the boots to me. Check out the Video!!

I had a chance to fish the Bighead for fun as the river peaked a few weeks ago. I've never had a day when I've had the river to myself,
what a blast just to fish with no pressure from other anglers. Timing
is everything on the Bighead, be on the river as it's just starting to
drop with about 18 inches of vis... and you're in!
I'll post some photo's of fish we've landed, some are first time
steelheaders with first ever steelhead.
The season should go into Mid to late Dec, I'm booked to the
22nd of Dec,with a few days left here and there.

Try as I might this blog sucks, the pictures are all over the place and I just can't seem to get this to work. Sorry for the ugly lay-out

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fishing Report Oct 6 - Oct 20 2008

And We're Off!!!

Things are heating up, the Lower Saugeen has been producing some good Steelhead. The Notty as well. We could use the rain that has been forecast for this week. With the Water temps around the 46-52 range, fish are full of energy. My Wednesday guide had his hands full with very scrappy 4-5 lb fish. So much so that we didn't land anything over 14 inches!!! The Upper Saugeen still needs some time before we see decent numbers of Steelhead. What a difference from last Fall, good thing, as I don't think I could take that many cancellations again and survive the Winter... or at least I don't think Val (my Wife) could take it.

On another note, we now have a new addition to the Ontario drift boat guides family. A 11 week old Golden /yellow retriever pup. His name is Drake, as in Brown Drake. He's a hand full right now and I'm sure all these sleepless nights will be worth it in the long run. He seems to like being in the Boat more than Sulfur, well, he likes to sleep until lunch then do his business and sleep the rest of the day!! Man I'd love to to that!!
I still have a few openings here and there, so If you've wanted to get out for a day of Steelheading give me a call.
Tight lines

Monday, October 06, 2008

Fishing report

Trout season is now just a memory, Steelhead has begun!!
Now that I've taken the Grand River off the list of rivers I guide, I've added a new drift boat guide for Brown Trout. I won't go into any details but if you would like a truly unique adventure, drop me an email and I'll be happy to get you into some water you will be amazed with. The 2009 trout season will be one of great dry fly fishing for large brown trout... natural, big, beautiful Browns and a few good sized Rainbows tossed in for fun!!We have a huge amount of pristine rivers in this area, most with little or no pressure. Think out of the box in the 2009 season,give me a call and I'd be happy to take you out for a great day of trout fishing.
With the rain fall being above average, fish have been moving into our systems. With the river levels and cooler temps we had some challenging days, and some Fantastic days. The Musky bite was amazing, we had some multi fish days, lots of follows and many lost fish. I've come up with a new pattern, a large tube that has produce many Musky.. and of course the odd fish on a popper while fishing bass!!

Lets talk about The steehead situation, I've got a busy season this fall, and am really looking forward to having all my regulars and some new clients in the boat. The out look is great this year, lots of water with fish starting to move in . The early season will be great, we will be swinging some new patterns I've been working on. As you may know I prefer to guide water that has little or no pressure from other anglers, finding fish can be a challenge at times,but always well worth the effort by myself and my clients. Rivers are a changing thing, structure and pools change all the time, I've spent a lot of time scouting out some new water and double checking the old haunts to be sure we have the details needed to ensure quality days.

Again thank you to all the anglers that booked me for this past season. I truly enjoyed every minute on the water this past season .
P.S. Watch for my episode on the "New fly fisher" in the coming months.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Fishing Report July 16 2008-Aug 6 2008

Hey... can we get some more rain please???

What a great year for River levels, the down side , the Smallies are well dispersed throughout the river.Makes for some challenging Bass fishing. Bass fishing like it should be, know the spots, make a good cast and presentation.. you'll get your fish.
I have seen a huge amount of out-migrating smolts, I've never seen this many!! 3 years from now, we are going to have one amazing Steelhead run!! These little guy's are so hungry and aggresive they have been hitting our poppers.

We've had some great days with top water patterns, great sized fish nailing the flies, they are just not holding on!! Still makes me giggle like a little girl when a fish comes to a popper. The Hex's have started on some of the Smaller rivers in my area, we've also had some really good spinner falls of small mahogany's...and I mean small... 26's are about right. It's a very short spinner fall, maybe an hour, well worth the effort, no really big fish.. but who cares.. it's sipping Brookies in August!!!
Flyfitter's and I shared a drift Monday, great day, good people!!
Mike and I get along really well, it's great when a couple of guides
can do a drift together. With Mike's new Clacka and my boat we had a great day!!
It was the girls against the boy's.. the girls had the boy's hands down.. I think it was 7-3 with the largest fish going to the girls... an easy 22 inch smallmouth, with a first time smallmouth on a fly rod being 21 inches!!
Yesterdays drift was a slow day.. we did manage to raise a
Muskie with a popper, That fish was on a mission, when it
saw the boat it turned off at the last minute . But who cares...
it's a Muskie after a popper!!!
The Bass and Muskie season has really just started, Feel like changing species??? I've only got a hand full of days left for Aug/Sept
Drop me an email to book your day

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fishing Reports, June 24 - July 16 2008

Man, I love small mouth bass!!
The Saugeen has been a blast, some good fish have come to poppers. Gotta love top water!!
The River has gone through some major structure changes, a few new channels and sweepers to watch out for.
Water temps up here have been rising well above the comfort zone for Browns and Brookies. I've taken the trout off the current angling list for now. I've also decided to not guide the Grand River. I figure with the other guide services have enough coverage on the Tailwater. With being so close to the many trout rivers and creeks in the Markdale area, I've got some very unique opportunities for anglers looking for something different.
The Saugeen down stream from Walkerton is currently passing the Out-migrating rainbow/steelhead smolts. If we want a good steelhead return, don't target these very valuable fish. The water temps are too high to release these fish with any good chance for survival.. it's our responsibility to ensure the smolts have the best chance to return in years to come.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Fishing Report June 17 - June 24 2008

Hello Fellow Fly anglers!!
What is with the Grand River??I'm no longer driving the 1.5 hours to guide it. I'll let the locals do that.

That being said, I'm posting some shot's of Browns and Rainbows I've got my clients into. None of these fish came from the Grand... or the Conestoga River. I'm not posting names or locations, if you
want to get into fish like these, well you'll just have to book a guide.
I'll be happy to take you out... although I may blind fold you....

With Bass opener this weekend, I'll be busy with a full week of guides, and then some!! Short of an eye appointment on Thursday. I'll be posting a report within the week. I'll be starting the Season off with Dr. Ian Martin and his son, they will be out in the Boat collection a drift Ian won at a Outdoor Writers of Canada event. I wanted to thank Ian again for driving up the bids on the Drift,
with guy's like Ian bidding,I'll keep donating trips. Thanks again Ian!!

Best of luck
Tight Lines

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Fishing Report May 18 - June 17 2008

Another Great month, thank you!!
We've had some fairly frustrating fishing in the Grand, one of the shortest Drake hatches I've seen. Couple that with the extra early algae bloom!! Yikes,even the stockers are having issues.

We have had SO much high water, the Saugeen has been up more often than down...it's a great thing. The temps are still holding well, on average we are getting 66-68 degrees.The Hatches as of late have been fantastic, I managed a couple of good nights with the Drakes... yes just a few days ago. Much later and much longer than the Grand River... with virtually no other anglers to compete with. The Iso's are just starting, these are huge bugs!! Can't wait to get a chance to fish them again.
All the Creeks are fishing well, I'm thinking of taking the Grand off my list and concentrating solely on the water around my home. So many quality Brook,Brown and rainbow trout opportunities, if you are looking for a truly unique experience, on one of the prettiest streams around drop me an email, I'll be happy to oblige.
Just a matter of days until Smallmouth trips begin, I've been so busy I haven't even thought of muskie...that's about to change, the Saugeen below Walkerton has been too high and dirty to really have a good day...gotta love that clay base and high banks!! It's getting better everyday and I look forward having clients hucking big flies to the banks holding one of the best fighters we fish for...in warm water.
Remember, we are all responsible for maintaining good land owner relationships, please keep our rivers and streams clean..take out what's left behind by the irresponsible anglers.
To continue having great sport fishing.. we need to practice catch and release. No better way to ensure quality fishing for us all for years to come.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Fishing Report April 20 - May18 2008


What a busy start to the 2008 season, this is my second day off!! I'm not complaining I truly love what I do and thank all that enjoyed a day on the River with me to this point.

The Maitland was a tough go in the early days of the season, no big surprise it's been like that for 4 years. My first trip on the Maitland was not bad...not great, 4 fish landed 6 hooked. The Last 2 of the day were by far the nastiest fish ever... didn't show themselves just a couple of really good head shakes and runs ...and then...you guessed it... off!! The second trip was slow, with gin clear water and few fish left in the River we managed one nice fish with a fear of cameras...My client held it up for a quick shot and release...the fish just wanted the release. We had a great day on the river with a Maitland River Grand Slam.... a smallmouth,Carp and Steelhead!! Way to go Nigel...well done with the 2 hander.

I've been so busy teaching new fly anglers, it's one of the best parts of my job! I really enjoy watching people "Get It".. so much to learn... and students are always happy to learn it.

The Saugeen.. below Walkerton is a real challenge for fly anglers, Mike, one of my best clients, had a good start before the rain dirtied up the river,filling my boat with 6 inches of rain in 15 minutes!! Good thing the river got ugly early or Mike would have cleaned up.. this guy can fish!!

I've managed to stay clear of the Grand River Below Shand Dam.. had a couple of courses turn out very well with everybody catching fish... nothing too big but hey, the first fish on the fly rod is always a really good experience!I try to hold my courses in the Markdale area, some new water for most and great hatches, as of yesterday Hendrickson's, Grey Foxes and BWO's in huge numbers are coming off. The Bigger brookies are very happy to give my clients lots of chances to hook them. I've had a chance to fish once this year, a spot I really enjoy on the Saugeen. Was a tough hour, nothing rising, nothing really moving at all..what do I do when fishing is slow...??? you guessed it, get that Mouse pattern on!!! A beautiful 15" male Brookie was happy to eat my mouse!!! After a couple of quick photo's off he went into the dark hole he came from...I know this fish and his home...you wanna catch a Ontario brookie??

Give me a call things are just getting started!!

The Lower Grand was slow to start.. not for Steelhead but,for the Resident Rainbows...these fish can be some of the hardest fish to find and hook. It may take all day to find a fish worth catching..just like George did,he fished hard with some smaller fish hitting his fly then we found them... 2 beautiful fish a 16" and 19" fish full of power to give George a great fight and be real eased to do battle again.

With this Springs cooler nights and rainfall we are in great shape (so far) for a fantastic fly fishing season. With the River levels up a full foot from last year at this time and water temps at 54-56 degrees.... Trout will be very happy for some time yet.
If you have been thinking about hiring a guide..this would be the year to do it..
Give me a call, I'm booking the last few days of June, and can't wait for Smallmouth.
Tight Lines

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Fishing Report April 6-April 20 2008

Not too much to report, I've been busy getting the boat ready for opener..not for guiding for my wife and
I!! Many rivers are fishing well, The Maitland is very clear but still flowing well/ The Smallmouth have started to show up in the lower river.. try not hooking one! They do get thick from 21 down stream,but remember the season is still closed, catch too many with a C.O. watching, and you will be charged.
The Saugeen has bee producing some better numbers...of anglers... good fishing too, but a busy river as always.
The Notty has seen of the highest water levels in a long time, good for the fish. With all that water, the Steelhead would have been able to get to the spawning tribs to do what they do.

I've done most of the changes to the boat, it's mostly finishing now. New paint, more varnish and that will be it. Good for atleast two years,god thiong, it will take that long to get the skin back on my fingers!! I had to replace the steam bent oak knee brace, with the new gunwales the pressure had cracked the epoxy/cabosil bond. Weakening the brace too much to trust. I ended up making up a jig with a compound curve and laminated 1/8 th marine ply to get the shape. I was a little upset cutting the oak out of the boat, but it gave me an idea to improve my rod holders... you'l have to book a trip to see them!
Have a look at the progress.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Report March 11 April 6 2008

No big surprise..The rivers are shot!
At least for now, gives me more time to get the boat all fixed up for the up comming season.
Some of the work is now completed, it's now down to finishing work.
Have a look at some of the new changes.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fishing Report Feb 14- March 11 2008

Not so much a fishing report,but a boat build and up coming events report.
I will be at the Casting lanes Thursday(March 14) from 5 pm on in the Fly Fishing section at the 2008 Sportsman Show. I'd really like to see/meet some of you at the show.
As I write this, it's snowing again in Markdale, The snowbanks have reached a new high... 9 feet!! I have to walk out to the road check for traffic!Yep, I'm tired of winter.
That being said, we should have a great spring Steelhead season. Lots of snow=water and fish that didn't get too far in the Fall.Spring Bookings are filling my calender for both guiding and the First cast course.Shaping up to be another excellent year!!
The boat is coming along nicely, I have built some pretty heavy duty seats, they might even take abuse from Tim'r... or not!!
I 've made some pretty cool changes, lost the old style gunwales and made up new oar lock blocks from solid White Oak. Changed the seat in the stern, to a swivel mount with new drink holders. I've shaved some weight off the boat by removing some heavy items,no not you Tim'r. Changed my anchor rope system,cleaner and neater. I'll be re-varnishing the entire boat in about a week,and another coat of paint. Should look good as new!

The movie I worked on as a "fly fishing expert"(The Russell Girl) on was on the tube. It aired on the 27 th of January. My job was to teach the Main actors to cast like they had been fishing for years. Paul was casting like a pro with an hour,he's a very focused guy, wanting to learn and perform like he had been fishing for years. I didn't have too much time with Amber, although she was fun to teach. The entire scene we shot was 10-20 seconds long...if that! I was to show up on set at 9:00 am and be ready for anything. I supplied the rods and reels, a net and tackle box, we had a "fish wrangler" from Camp creek hatchery bring some really pretty Browns for the "release shot". Ben had the fish (14-24 inch Brown Trout) in the Back of a pick-up with oxygen and coolers full of ice to keep the fish happy. At 2:00 pm the Fishes water in was getting hot,and The the fish restless. It was a good thing we had the Craft Truck right beside us. It was a constant supply of ice as the Air temp was getting over 90 in the shade. The sequence was to be filmed on the Credit river, the Fish wrangler,( Ben) and I had been checking the River water temp and to be honest, we got worried as the water temp hit 80+!! We figured the fish would die as soon as they hit the water. Making for an ugly shot!Well, long story short, it was well after 7:00 pm when they did the filming so it wasn't too bad. We built a small "coral" with a seine net to hold the fish and acclimate them before using them in the shot. It worked out very well, the sequence was true to life. The film crew was great and did a fantastic job. Well done, if any of you get the chance, and see the movie for rent give it a watch.
Good News.. Markdale has high speed wireless.. so I'll be able to post more often!!
Have a look at the Photo gallery,I'll be up-loading some new shots of the boat,and some old ones of the build. Enjoy!!
I'll be checking out the Rivers with a report soon.
Tight lines
I love high speed


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Fishing Report Jan 7-Feb 14 2008

Snow Snow and more Snow!!
You gotta love all this precip, with the ground saturated and the aquifers full,we should have a fabulous spring!! We currently have 4 feet of snow in Markdale. Lets hope for a slow melt!!
I want to thank the the people that came out to the First Cast Fly shop in Guelph to see some of my fly patterns. It's always great to show new fly anglers patterns that work for multiple spieces.
The boat is getting some small modifications this winter. Mostly re-finishing/cosmetics and small repairs. I was hoping to cut the bottom off to decrease rocker but that will have to wait. That's what I love about building my own boat, no matter what,I can do whatever I want to it!!

Looks like we will have high-speed shortly, that will allow us the update and upload much faster.
I'll be posting photo's of the boat building from scratch,I hope you find them interesting. I will also be putting together a DVD this year.
My spring is looking good, increased interest in guiding and more people looking to learn to fly fish. Anyone looking for gift ideas should consider my courses,I've got something for everyone.
I look forward to getting out with all of you this year.
Thanks again for a great 2007!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Happy New Year!!

2008 has begun, not so much the fishing end of things. I have some work to do on the boat, I'm re-designing the seats,taking out some rocker and re coating the bottom on the inside. The varnish needs to be done,doesn't sound like much,but it will fill the next 2 months. I've got some new ideas/areas for this year, some water that doesn't get the pressure and should make for some great trips.

Hey John from Michigan, could you send an email address for the drift swap? I'd like to chat about the possibilities of that trade this spring.
I hope everybody had a great holiday and look forward to seeing you this season.