Ongoing Blog…

I’m going to try something new here.  As I pass time during the offseason I photograph some of the nature around my home in Maine, people send me photos of the New Brunswick outdoors, I work on equipment and tie flies for next year, and I come across relatively minor but often interesting bits of info.  This is all in contrast to the salmon fishing season when I have enough salmon related stuff to make regular blog posts that have enough substance – I hope – to be interesting.  I generally post some of these tidbits to facebook, and/or I e-mail them to my close fishing friends.  I’m going to just keep this particular “ongoing blog” post going and add to it every now and then.  There won’t be any notices that I have made a new post, until something of consequence comes up, so check in here from time to time to see what is new.

Sea smoke 11/21 on Portland Harbor. The temp was about 6F. Amazing!.

Cold Snap – some of the biggest news this fall is the early snow and cold snap that we are going through.   Actually, here on the coast temperatures are more or less back to normal for a while, and we are getting rain.  For the interior of Maine, though, and up in New Brunswick it is still snow, and it doesn’t look like it will be going away any time soon.  This has had lots of effect on our own planned outdoor activities, and it has also been tough on wildlife.  Here are a few photos that tell some of the story. 
Glen Keenan lives across the river from me and sent Jason Curtis this photo of a nice buck standing on the shore at the head of Keenan Pool, or at least where the head of the pool would be if it wasn’t all frozen sold.

Here in Falmouth, Maine I began putting out a little grain for the deer almost a month ahead of schedule.  They were on it instantly.  In this photo the deer were at my feeder at 3:00 PM on a recent day that broke what a local meteorologist calls “the mini-max.”  This is the lowest high temperature recorded for the day.  I think it was around 14F.  Incredible!

We have 9 male wild turkeys who have decided that my backyard is their territory.  They spent the summer in the clover patch that I planted where my garden used to be – so I could do more salmon fishing this past season – then in the same patch covered with winter rye after Labor Day, and now that it is snowed over they just hang out between deer feeders, bird feeders, and the nearby woods.  They used to roost in the big oaks a little distance up the river.  They have now taken up a handier residence, though, and in this picture you can see a number of them in a big oak tree overhanging the back yard.  One by one they fly up there between 3:30 and 3:45 in the afternoon, and they drop down in the morning shortly after daybreak.  I’ve been doing some reorganizing of my fly tying material.  Here is a photo of my new system for hook filing.  I bought 100 10ml 4×4″ poly bags on e-bay for $10. These are really great.  I write the size of the hook in the left hand corner and then what kind of hook it is.  I then made index tabs out of some 5″ lined cards – not pictured.  So far I like it a lot. 










I did finally start some tying just yesterday, 11/25, and here are a few October Killers I tied to replenish my inventory. 

Next is a post about recovering the stern of a 26′ Sharpe jet powered canoe with Kevlar. Because this canoe will run in relatively shallow water without fear of hitting the lower unit, we use it to run up and down the Miramichi and the Cains in lower water conditions, sometimes too low… In the 10 years that we have been running this boat we have scuffed over enough boulders and gravel bars to actually wear through the fiberglass covering in a couple of small places. I brought the canoe home this fall, flipped it over and prepared the bottom for re-glassing by sanding the area down to bare fiberglass.

Kevlar is an extremely tough fabric that is used to make among other things bullet proof vests. It is used in boats, but the stiff, tough, makeup of the material makes it much more difficult to apply than fiberglass. A 3 yard x 50″ piece cost $200.!!!!

Our troubles began with cutting the materials in two for the two layers we planned to apply to the hull. I had a small pair of scissors made for cutting spectra fishing line. They did cut the Kevlar, but not well or easily.

The second mistake was trying to lay up both layers at one time. We should have applied one layer and let it dry before applying the second. The material is so dense that it is hard to wet it all the way through. In the end I feel that we succeeded, but it was nip and tuck when in about two hours the epoxy started to lose its pot life and thicken up on us. We kept at it until the end with the bubble-busting laminating rollers, squeeges, and brushes, and hopefully it will be good. It looks pretty good, but check out the work for yourself below.












The finished product. Note that this is the jet tunnel. Water travels along the bottom and then up this tunnel as the boat runs forward. The intake snout of the jet turbine that replaces the standard outboard lower unit gets its water from this tunnel thus can be positioned higher than the bottom of the boat on both sides thus protecting itself from contact with the bottom. Forming the double layer of Kevlar to the tunnels angles was difficult.


Celebrity Cast is a new mystery, suspense, thriller with a fishing twist written by fellow salmon angler Harry Groome.  I told Harry that I seldom read books like this, mostly because my energy for reading is taken up with reading historical books about fishing.  Harry sent me the book, though, and I did read it and enjoyed it.  First, it was written against the backdrop of an Atlantic salmon trip to Russia, so that would have helped, no matter what.  Second, it was written in a pleasant, easy-to-read style that I enjoyed.  Third, it didn’t drag on as some of these things do into 600 pages of endless and meaningless details.  Fourth, while it had the required recipe of sex, perverted financial ambition, politics, and violence, it was all in measured levels that weren’t offensive to me anyway.  Last, the story line was lively and moved along nicely.  I read it in a few evenings which is not the way I usually do things since all of my pleasure reading is in the last 0 to 15 minutes before I clonk out for the night.  If you can’t use it yourself it would make a good present for most salmon fishing males.

3 Comments on “Ongoing Blog…

  1. Hello Brad and follower ship,
    I’m writing this from downtown Geneva-Switzerland on a grey December day, wanting to share with all of you a lovely occurence, late October at my Bartholomew Camp. Two days after arriving there, a friend of mine and I were privileged to watch from the veranda of my camp how the salmon gingerly moved in to the pool down below and during a 24-hr period went steadily about theuir spawniung business. It made my heart jump! As a fact, there’s always salmon fry in the Bartholomew in June – now I see why that is so. Just when I thought that … well, I don’t have to catch (and release) one single salmo – as long as they come back. This would confirm what many say: The fish come in with the right water levels, go about their spawning business and high-tail it outta there. John Stucki, Bartholomew River (and GVA-Switzerland)

    • Great comment John, thank you. Just as they do in other Miramichi spawning tributaries I would think that after spawning that most of the salmon do leave the Bartholomew and find a deeper place in the system to spend the winter before going back to sea. In addition to salmon fry do you also regularly see adult salmon jumping in the river?

      • I was there in late June until the beginning of July. Where I usually see fish, there were none, due to historically low water levels and consequently warm water temps.
        Halas, I wasn’t there before the season closed in mid-October, thus I’m not the best to gauge or judge.
        Keeping my fingers crossed that in 2019 I won’t have to venture North to the Matapedia, where water levels at the end of June ’18 were … too high (!)
        Over the years, the fishing in the Bartholomew has been spotty at best. I’m just happy when I see some spawning activities going on in fall. And in spring, when the great bald head eagle moves upriver, I’m not long to brake out my looking glasses to watch for salmon activity.
        Tight lines to all <°))))<<

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