With the fishing season in New Brunswick ready to open in one month and one day( but who is counting?) I thought I would mention a few things I do in the early part of the season. One thing I do is I go to a few spots and try some brook trout fishing. In the past I have tried some smaller brooks in the Turtle Creek area but have not had a lot of luck until May. A few years ago I did go trout fishing on April 15th in the Sussex area and caught a nice 14 inch brook trout. I am thinking I may go back to this spot this year in the first week of the season to see what it is like. It does depend how much snow melts before then. The past week saw a lot of our crazy amount of snow melt. Even though the water is still very cold it is good to get out and see what the conditions are like.
Early season at Sussex area
As I mention in my brief post last time I do have a friend that is going to take me black salmon fishing on April 16th so I am very excited to give that a try for the first time. Last year he said they had a great time catching a handful of the salmon. I will certainly do a post on the day.
Last year, even though it was a month into the fishing season, I did do some smallmouth bass first on First Eel River Lake. We fished Saturday and Sunday and had a great time. I am hoping for a return visit again this year. It is a nice spot and has plenty of bass to keep you busy.
Early season bass fishing at First Eel River Lake
Although the conditions do not really pick up until mid to late May I am excited to hit the water. I am sure many of you are feeling the same way I am.
A nice open spot on the Kennebecasis with some tree cover as well.
This post will be directed more towards people who are new to fly fishing so if you read this and have been trout fly fishing for awhile feel free to add anything extra in the comments section as I am certainly no expert. I have been trout fly fishing in New Brunswick now for 20 years and truly enjoy everytime I get a chance to get the fly rod out and try to catch some trout. I have tried many different spots in New Brunswick fly fishing for trout but like I mentioned in one of my previous posts, my favorite place is Crooked Creek in Riverside Albert. I have also spent countless hours on the Kennebecasis River in the Sussex area.
If you are new to trout fly fishing I would strongly suggest that you try some places that are fairly open as you do not want to spend most of your time getting your fly out of the trees or bush. We all get caught up here and there but if you are new and practicing your casting you will want to have some open space. The above mentioned Kennebecasis River is pretty good for this as you can get right in the middle of the river and mainly be free from the trees. As I just mentioned standing in the middle of the river you really do need to get some waders if you want to get into fly fishing. There are many different kinds and brands that you can get. I use chest waders and I have the green rubber kind. They work great but do not breathe so on a hot day you are certain to sweat in them. You can buy this kind at pretty well any department store (Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire) for around $70. Some have felt on the bottom of the shoe and some do not. The felt do help if you are walking on a lot of rocks (Crooked Creek).
When learning to cast many people say to focus on the 2 o’clock for your back cast and 10 o’clock for your forward cast. It is also important to keep your casting arm straight. Give your line time to get behind you before you start you forward cast. Following these tips will help from your line slapping the water. The better you get with this technique the longer you will be able to cast, which will be important when you get to wide open places where the fish might spook easily. Do not worry to much about making long casts right away. Just practice the 2 and 10 and keeping your arm straight.
When you get to a river or brook and start walking it, always be on the lookout for some deeper pools, some nice looking runs, tree covered areas(careful of those tress ), bigger rocks in the river. Trout will hold in deeper pools as the water is usually cooler in the deeper water. If you are walking up to a pool I would suggest to start casting to it as you are walking towards it. This allows your fly to be seen by the trout before you are. Continue to fish up the pool until you get to the top of the pool. Usually at the top of the pool there will be some rapids going into the pool. If you are dry fly fishing (which I love to so) cast the dry fly into the running water and let it run down into the pool and through the pool. Try this a handful of times. If you do not see any action but feel it is a good spot then try a few different flies. Part of fly fishing is having patience and to be willing to change you fly constantly. Also, when are are walking the river you might see some areas that look like a nice run. What I mean by a run is that the water might be a little deeper and is running a little harder than other parts of the river. Trout will hold in these areas because the water is cooler, there is more oxygen in this water, and there is usually more food supply in the running water. You could also come across some spots that there is a tree over hanging or some branches or anything that might give some cover to the trout. If you are able to get your fly to run through the spot I would certainly give it a try as there could be some nice trout sitting there as they feel protected by the tree cover. You may also find some rocks that are sticking above the water. These are good spots to try because the rock makes a break in the water and the fish may hide behind the rock waiting for some food to float by in the current or rapids.
A spot on Crooked Creek where we always catch some trout.
When trout fly fishing you can use wet flies or dry flies. Wet flies are flies that sink in the water. The trout hit these under the water. You usually cast a wet fly into the current and let it go until your line tightens and then pull the wet fly back towards you in the rapids, current, or in the pool. If you are wet fly fishing a pool I would suggest getting on top of the pool so you can cast out and drag your wet fly back towards you through the pool. When dry fly fishing it is best to cast up into the current or rapids and let the dry fly float down towards you. Same thing when dry fly fishing the pools. Stand back of or beside the pool and cast up and let your dry fly float down into or through the pool. I absolutely love dry fly fishing because I love seeing the action on top of the water. It is very exciting to see a trout come up from it’s hiding place and smack your dry fly. Unless the conditions are not good at all I would say I pretty well always use dry flies. My favorite dry flies to use are the Royal Coachman, the Adams. and the Mosquito. I may lose out on some fish because of this but I enjoy watching the fly float on the water and love the top water action when a fish hits the fly.
A nice pool at Crooked Creek. Careful of those trees.
It is useful to have a wide variety of flies in your fly case so you can try many different flies. It is funny, you can try a spot with a certain fly and have no action and then try a different color and the fishing turns right on. It is also important to have different colors because when you are fishing on a river or a brook you will see a hatch start. This is when you see a bunch of insects flying around or near the water. When this happens you would like to be able to match the hatch with a fly as the trout will most likely go after that color at that certain time. You can build your collection over time. Do not feel you have to spend hundreds of dollars all at once. I am sure you can find someone close to your house who sells flies. If not you can buy some at the store or order some online. If you are going to look at buying online feel free to message me and I can tell you some that I have had good luck with.
Again, if you are new to fly fishing I would not spend a crazy amount of money on your rod, reel, and line. I say this because perhaps you will give it a try and not enjoy it. Yes, having good (more expensive) equipment can give you an advantage on the water but my rod, reel, and line are from either Wal-Mart or Canadian Tire and are certainly not the most expensive around and I catch plenty of trout while fly fishing. If you enjoy it and have the money then go for it and get what you want. I may treat myself soon and buy a new fly reel.
Proof I can catch rainbow trout with my fly fishing setup
I think I have rambled on long enough Again I am no expert but the things I mentioned above have helped me catch lots of trout over the past twenty years of fly fishing. Again, please feel free to add any other tips or comments you may have in the comments section. I will look forward to reading them and adding them to my arsenal for catching fish while trout fly fishing.