On The Water

With angling season over, one way to stay close to the water during the winter is to join a fly-tying and/or salmon conservation group.  When you hit the water next spring, you’ll feel more a part of the whole process.  Either is a good way to further interest in the species we love.
Perhaps join the Atlantic Salmon Federation located in St. Andrews, NB.  They have four good salmon journals a year.

With fishing over, most anglers simply chuck their equipment out in the garage or in the basement where it remains forgotten until next season.

The wise angler will take a few minutes to examine his equipment and properly prepare it for winter storage.  This will ensure a better start next year because the gear will be in top shape and ready for another season.

First take a look at your waders.  They should be thoroughly checked for leaks, dried and stored in a cool dry place.  A good hint I picked up from Everett Mosher is to take them is to go into a totally dark room.  Take a flashlight and insert it into the waders and look for any light coming through.  Then patch the lighted area.

Stephen Pond of Doaktown suggests avoiding storage in the furnace room as the high heat could cause them to crack and produce an unpleasant surprise next spring. Pond even suggested putting some newspaper in the boot part.  If they are moist, mould will set in.  If the waders are the type without a boot, make sure they are rolled and not folded, as the creases will crack.

George Routledge of George’s Fly Shop in Renous suggests hanging them up side down, or if they are hung by the braces, make sure they barely touch the floor with no wrinkles in them.

Next comes the rod.  It definitely should be taken apart if still together or it may never come apart.  Dry it and wipe it down removing all dirt and dampness.  Make sure the cork handle is dry and then store out of the way it in a place with moderate temperature until next spring.  This will ensure it does not get other stuff piled on it so that it can get broken.  A bit of parawax on the male end will make it fit better next year.  This is a good practice several times throughout the season even.

Be sure to check all the guides to see if they need repair or that there is no fraying of the binding.  If a touch up is needed, now is the time to get it done rather than next spring the night before you plan to go out the next morning only to find it still in need of repair.  If the rod has to be sent back to a company or taken to a local fly shop, do it now rather then be without it a month or so next spring when you need it.

Next check the fly-line.  It should be reeled off including the backing, stretched, cleaned and let dry.  Once, dry, it can be coiled loosely and stored for next season.

To clean it, Routledge suggested plain water, and Pond added using silicone to grease-clean it.  Cortland puts out small pads which sell for about six for a dollar.  These can do several lines.  This helps against cracking.

Pond suggested removing the backing and throwing it away if it is over three years old.  This might save losing a nice bright grilse or salmon (not to mention the line itself) next June.

Routledge suggested taking the reel completely apart, letting it dry and cleaning all dirt from it.  Then it should be given a covering of light oil that is heat resistant.  He suggested 2 in 1, Singer sewing machine oil or a light gun-oil.  He cautioned against using WD-40 as it is a penetrating substance.

Now look at the fly box.  Take out all flies so that both the flies and box can dry thoroughly.  This will stop them from rusting and ruining them as well as the metal boxes.  Make sure the box is clean.

Then organize the flies as you put them back with the spring streamers in one area, the larger flies for June and early July in another, the summer flies and smaller hooks for late July and August together and then the fall patterns together.  Starting off will be a lot simpler.

Pond then suggested that some even put the open box in a Tupperware container with a couple of mothballs to make sure nothing eats the hair and feathers.  Make sure everything is completely dry before sealing.

Don’t forget the flies, which are still on the vest or in the hat, or where ever you keep them while on the river.

The vest itself should also be dry, pockets emptied of all debris and minuscule lunches, bottle tops, old fly dope containers and any other garbage which remains.  It may even be washed or dry-cleaned to remove the ring-around-the collar from fly dope or what ever.

Then replace all the equipment and make sure the covers are on tightly on such bottles as gink or xink, dry fly sprays, fly dope, or scent etc.  These can destroy a perfectly good vest.

Routledge suggested throwing away any leader that is no. 6 or 8 as it may rot causing you to lose a bright grilse next June.  That is not worth the cost of a new roll.  He said no. 10 and up could be kept providing it is not too old.

Even the landing net should be dry and stored.  Don’t forget to put the polarized sun glasses and glasses holders back with the vest where you can find them next season.

If all of these simple things are done, it will put you in fine shape when the fever hits again next spring.

If a canoe, boat, trailer or motor needs tuning up or repairs, get them done now.

Maybe enroll in a fly-tying course, or learn to tie with a buddy.  Catching a fish on a fly that you have tied doubles the pleasures, and a lot of stories, maybe even a few lies, can be shared at the tying bench.  Visit your local tackle shops for equipment and suggestions.

Next week: The angler’s Clip and Save Christmas shopping list.

“60 on 60” – A celebration of MSA’s 60th Anniversary and Mark Hambrook Roast.
This event will be held on Saturday November 16th, 2013 at the Renous Rec Centre. The Reception and Silent Auction will begin at 5:30 and dinner will be at 7:00pm followed by a Live Auction. Entertainment will include musical guests and a roast of MSA President (and Renous native) Mark Hambrook. Please mark this date on your calendar as it is sure to be a fun evening. Tickets are $40 each or two tickets for $60.

For tickets TO either event please call Jo-Anne at 506.457.2220 or myself at 506.622.4000.
Have a great weekend!
Yours in conservation;
Nola Chiasson / Membership Programs Coordinator / Miramichi Salmon Association
E-Mail: As a person who fished the Magaguadavic for years, I wish they would let the escaped salmon into the river so we would have something to fish for.  The aquaculture industry ruined the river in the first place.  Talking to people who work on the cages and mention the word of escaped salmon they just smile.  There are a lot more escaped fish out there than the industry is letting on.
James Madsen

Atlantic Salmon Federation News
Friday, October 25, 2013

ASF RIVERNOTES – Northumberland Strait Rivers were HOT for anglers
ASF RIVERNOTES BLOG has comments on the salmon coming in to the Nova Scotia rivers – and hosts an online “Festival of Atlantic Salmon Movie Shorts”. Check it out.

ASF Research Blog updated – The latest from ASF’s Research staff

Federal Grants Boost Salmon Conservation in Maine
NOAA has provided funds that will help open up new habitat for wild Atlantic salmon in Maine. Read more.

ASCF Increases River Conservation Grants
The Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation is increasing grants to projects across Atlantic Canada. Read how this was accomplished.

Fundraiser Will Support Groups Working in New Brunswick
Read how an important event in Saint John will support efforts to restore wild Atlantic salmon runs on the Miramichi and elsewhere in NB.

Interbreeding of Farmed and Wild Salmon Measured in Norway
A fascinating piece of scientific research has found that five of 20 rivers studied have been seriously affected through crossbreeding of wild salmon with farmed escapees. Read more.

Jellyfish Kill Farmed Salmon in Ireland
Read how salmon farms on Ireland’s west coast are at risk from stinging jellyfish that have already killed 20,000 salmon in County Mayo. This would be another reason for land-based salmon salmon farming.

Yours in Angling

Leave a Comment