Nahanni Camping and Fishing  ~  Summer 2015

Nahanni Camping and Fishing  ~  Summer 2015

nahannijeep

A Nahanni Jeep

It is about time for some updates for the Nahanni Camping and Fishing Club website and it is also about time for another return trip to northern Maine! Lots of wilderness fun is planned. The fishing for landlocked salmon and brook trout should be excellent for the simple reason that it is always excellent in this part of Maine. Camping is planned for the Cherwonki Big Eddy Campground and for Baxter State Park’s Nesowadnehunk Field.

Mount Katadin from Abol Bridge

Mount Katadin from Abol Bridge

Maine Rock

Interesting rock just outside BSP.

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October 2014 – Return to the Kettle!

Return to Kettle Pond!

Our annual October trip to the Kettle has come and gone. Lots of fun was had by all….. at least by all who showed up!  We had a few no shows, most notably missing was Cahill, one of the official Nahanni dogs.

Nahanni Campers - Oct 2014

Nahanni Campers – Oct 2014

There was a fair amount of rain but that was not much of a problem as there was also a fair number of umbrellas. The fall foliage looked very nice as it usually does this time of year. There were lots of leaves still on the trees and the nearby hills looked very nice (some hills looked better than others!)

One night the Patriots football was heard from over the radio as they just barely won. The Heady, also know as the words best beer was not it short supply and there was also an excellent sample of other crafts beers. Once again there were not any bear attacks unfortunately!

Cooler full of THE HEADY

Cooler full of THE HEADY

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Summer 2014      Hey you……..!

Autumn is almost here …….

Fall is almost here and that means the annual tip to the Kettle is upon us. How awesome is that? But it in sad to see that the summer is behind us. For a few Nahanni Warriors the summer included an epic trip to Northern Idaho! The Locksa River, the Selway River, the famous Kelly Creeck and the North Fork of the Clearwater River all were very productive when it came to fishing for Cutthroat trout! Many trout were caught and released by the Nahanni fisher-dudes!

Happy Campers in Idaho

Happy Campers in Idaho

Also there were several GREAT wilderness campsites used, including the well known Colgate Licks campground, the Best Site Ever (or at least in the top 5 ???) on the North Fork of the Clearwater and the end-of-the-road site on the Selway River.

Lots more went on in Idaho but you know the saying……… What Happens in Idaho Stays in Idaho!

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Summer 2014 ~ the 4th of July is upon us!

Summer 2014  Yahoo! Summer is here and the 4th of July is upon us!

Earlier this spring the steelhead fishing on the Salmon River was better than ever. Those

nahanni fishing for steehead

nahanni fishing for steehead

giant fish are beginning to tremble with fear at the mere mention of the word “Nahanni”.   A lot of the credit for our fishing success goes to Josh from Wack’em Fishing Guide Service. Not only did he locate lots of big, hungry fish but he never once fell out of the boat!

Happy Independence day! What is better than a warm weather holiday full of cookouts and fireworks? But let’s not forget the real reason this holiday exists. It is to celebrate the creation of the United States of America and the dramatic and unique fashion that our county came into existence.

Thomas Jefferson great work The Declaration of Independence starts out with a great message to all people who cherish freedom –

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation……

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness……”

TJ was not one to mince words and he made a point to show his dislike for England’s King George III. He pointed out the rather bad behavior of the king –

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance.He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant. He has sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world: For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences: He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death. He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

Have a happy summer everyone. Be sure to stay well hydrated, use sun block, remembera nahanni skunk to floss, sleep well, don’t get sprayed by a skunk, watch out for merciless Indian Savages and most importantly – do NOT let anything cut into your fishing time and have lots of fun. Nahanni!

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Nahanni Music

 Turn that music up louder !

The Nahanni trips have always been accompanied by great music. There are many wonderful songs and albums that are definitely associated with our Nahanni Camping and Fishing trips.

During the early Nahanni trips to the rocky mountains the number one favorite was the Eagles Desperado album. Desperado was the Eagles 1973 theme album based on outlaws of the wild west. What better music to hear while traveling through the heart of the Rockies! The album is said to draw comparisons between western outlaw’s lifestyle and the lifestyles of modern rock stars. This album introduced the group’s penchant for conceptual songwriting. It was during the recording sessions that Don Henley and Glenn Frey began writing with each other, co-writing 8 of the album’s 11 songs, including two of the group’s most popular songs: “Tequila Sunrise” and “Desperado“. Throughout the album, the story of the notorious Wild West Dalton gang was the main focus, featured in the songs “Doolin-Dalton,” “Bittercreek” and “Desperado”.

Another Nahanni classic from the southern rock music genre is music by the Outlaws. Originally formed in 1967 the band still performs today, lead by Henry Paul, one of their early band members. The Outlaws’ earliest well known songs were “There Goes Another Love Song” and “Green Grass and High Tides”, both from their 1975 self-titled debut album. Their 1980 cover of “Ghost Riders in the Sky”from the album Ghost Riders was their biggest single chart success, reaching #31 on the Billboard “Pop Singles” chart. And yes, since the horses still snort fire and their hooves are really made of steel, Ghost Riders is the definitely the very best song to listen to on your way to go fishing!

After a long day of fishing,followed by a great campfire dinner, nothing fits better then some great Pink Floyd music. This famous English band produced albums from 1967 to 1994. The most famous of these are “Dark Side of the Moon” (1973), “Animals: (1977) and “The Wall” (1979). During their years of touring this progressive rock band became pioneers in the use of laser and light shows as well as large video presentations. Their concerts also had large balloon puppets including ones shaped like a pig, which became a symbol of Pink Floyd after being used on the cover of the “Animals’ album. Another symbol was a prism with a light shining through it. This was used on the cover of “Dark Side of the Moon”, one of their most popular albums.

More Music stuff to come soon!

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Ice Fishing

 Ice Fishing

In some circles ice fishing is a true passion and almost a way of life! But for most ice fishermen I expect it is simply something to do until the regular fishing season comes about. It can certainly be enjoyable and gives you a great reason to get out of the house on a winter’s day.

In New England the preferred method is the simple tip-up ice fishing with a shiner as bait. Jigging rods and other methods are seldom seen. One of the interesting things about ice fishing is that it seems like mostly good sized fish are active and biting. I cannot remember ever seeing a “small” fish come through the ice. Often exceptionally large fish are caught. Ice fishing also is somewhat social as those hardy souls tend to bond out on the ice and are part of an eclectic sub-culture.

Ice Fishing Safety

The very first thing to keep in mind about ice fishing is always – SAFETY first – make sure the ice is SAFE! If you do fall into ice cold water it will definably cut into your fishing time and you don’t want that! Ice fishing safety is vital!

As with other types of fishing or camping you should make sure your gear is ready to go before you head out. Getting your equipment ready can be an enjoyable way to spend an early winter evening. Go over all your tip-ups and terminal tackle and make sure they are sound. It is a good idea to replace hooks, line, sinkers and leaders for the coming season. All states will have an allowable number of traps you can use and of course this number should never be exceeded. It is a good idea to carry along a extra tip-up or two in case one has a problem. Also make sure you already have you fishing license for the year as in some areas the fish and game wardens know to check for violators at ice fishing lakes. In our area the wardens have been seen as soon as January second!

Your power auger or ice chipper should be in good working order. The gasoline you use for your power auger shouldn’t be old, leftover gas from last year. Use fresh gas and also fuel stabilizer may be helpful. Your ice fishing sled should be equipped with extra hooks and sinkers, a sounding line and an ice scooper. Bringing a small towel will allow you to dry your hands if necessary. You want to keep as dry as possible in sub freezing temperatures. A thick, strong safety rope should be on board and hopefully never used. You may want to include a few non-fishing items such as a football, hockey sticks, Frisbee, binoculars, camera, etc. These may add to your fun, especially if you have kids along.

Flag up goes the yell! Now…….to run or not to run, that is the question!!! Often you will see ice fisherman sprint (and sometimes fall down) as they run to the tip-up flag that has flipped up. Usually of course it is the flag furthest away from you current location that goes up! Yet other times your will see some fishermen take their time in getting to the flag up trap. This may have something to do with experience and perhaps age. In either case you then need to assess the situation as to when to set the hook. While one person is attempting to land the fish another can be winding line back onto the spool so it doesn’t get frozen or tangled. A pair of needle nose pliers should always be carried, especially in pike and pickerel lakes, so that catch and release can be quick and efficient. Another good ice fishing tip is do not let your ice scoop fall down a hole! That sucks!

Upon returning home make sure you keep you fishing gear is put away somewhere it will not freeze. A basement or heated garage is ideal. You want your equipment to thaw out and dry so it is ready for next time!

More details about ice safety can be found on our ice safety page.

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Let’s Go Fly Fishing!

 Lets Go Fly Fishing!

     The Nahanni Camping and Fishing Club fully supports the Trout Unlimited organization and it’s programs to research and promote the conservation and the survival of wild fish (especially trout and salmon) and their efforts lobbying for legislation that will allow for future fishing opportunities. The philosophy of Catch and Release is considered a vital part of conservation and a responsible way to interact with the environment.

Equipment

The sport of fly fishing is now more popular then ever and has taken on more forms in the last few years. Traditionally fly fishing was for the pursuit of trout and salmon. Now saltwater fishing, bass fishing and even fly casting for carp have many devoted followers. Fly fishing can be challenging, relaxing, rewarding, exciting and frustrating all at the same time. It is an activity that requires patience, observation, persistence and attention to detail. To begin the process a fly fisherman needs proper equipment.

Fly boxes – Flies can be a big investment of money and time and you want to be able to get them easily when on the river. Fly boxes come in many styles and most experienced fly fishermen end up with fat too many boxes. There are some thing to consider. You don’t want your fly collection to get wet if you wade too deeply or drop a box in the river. You also don’t want your dry flies to blow away in the wind. This is one of the main reasons old-fashioned compartmentalized fly boxes have fallen out of favor. Foam boxes keep your flies in place but hooks can destroy the foam over time. Slitted foam boxes keep the flies in place, organized in neat rows. Fly boxes are generally designed to hold certain type of flies. A box that fits your small nymphs might not be correct for holding large streamer flies. You do not want flies to get squished while in the box. Boxes with transparent or translucent exteriors allow you to see the flies inside before your open it.

Fishing jackets. Don’t underestimate the importance of a good wading jacket made specifically for fly fishing. Frequently the best fly fishing is in the spring and fall when it is cool and wind, rain, and even snow can accompany your fishing. If you have no jacket, or don’t have the right jacket, weather can force you off the stream and cause you to miss some of good fishing. Remember – anything that “cuts into your fishing time” is against the Nahanni Camping and fishing Club rules! If it is cold and raining hard your fishing jacket may be your most important piece of fishing equipment. If you are too cold and wet to continue fishing, your rod brand becomes irrelevant!

Equipment – The basics start with a rod, reel, fly line, leader and flies. In addition a fly vest, waders, landing net and wading staff are extremely useful. The first and most import aspect of fly fishing equipment is to have a balanced rod, real and line combination. A fly rod is always rated for a specific size line, ranging from size 1 to 15. The mid range of 4 to 8 are most common. A size 5 or 6 is a good choice for most freshwater fishing.

Rod – The standard fly rod material is graphite. The quality of graphite rods has improved over the years and they are now made to be light, strong and cast very effectively. Traditional bamboo rods are also very effective although a quality bamboo rod can be relatively pricey. Rod building has become a side hobby related to fly fishing. Some consideration should be given to the number of pieces the rod breaks down to. For hiking trips to back county ponds and streams you may want a rod that is made up of 4 or more pieces to make it easy to carry. A good rod tube will be very useful whenever you are traveling with your fly rod.

Fly Line – The line should be selected so the size/weight matches the size rod. The weight of the line head to load (bend) the rod during the casting motion. Fly lines can be floating, sinking or sinking tip. Most fly fishing situations call for a floating line. They can also have different tapers such as a double taper, tapered at both ends so that the line can be reversed when one end is worn, or a weight forward taper designed for better distance. Buying as quality line will pay dividends when you are out fishing.

Cleaning your line – Line tend to get coating with dirt and debris with use. Most fly shops will carry a line cleaning solution. A moist soft clothe will also do a good job a cleaning your line. A clean line will make a big difference in your casting.

Reels – The reel on your fly rod is more then just a device to store your line. It should be the proper size to balance the outfit and be able to hold the fly line and a reasonable amount of backing line. It should have a smooth reeling in motion and a an effective drag to deal with a large fish on the line.

Waders – Since you may be out on a trout stream for several hours you will want your waders to be comfortable and effective. Proper wading will get you in position to cast to feeding tour and should always be done safely. Some fisherman use simple hip waders but most are waist or chest high. Traditionally waders had simple rubber boot bottoms. These are useful in some applications but that are not as comfortable or as safe as foot fitting wading boots over stocking foot waders. Felt bottoms provide excellent foot traction when stepping on slippery rocks and moss in the stream. Some felt bottom wading boots also have small metal spikes to add traction. The problem with felt wader (all waders actually) is the potential to transport invasive nuisance species such as New Zealand mud snails and didymo algae. Waders should be clean thoroughly between fishing trips. A mild bleach solution will work.

A wading staff is also very useful and highly recommended. Wading staffs can be tethered to your waist, carried collapsed in a pouch and are shocked corded and fit together quickly. A staff makes wading much easier and safer and you staff will also be handy on land as you bushwhack along the side of a stream.

Vests – having vest to carry all your fishing supplies, along with sunblock, water, cell phone, poncho, snacks, etc, will be so convenient that you won’t want to do without. Varies pockets, both inside and out, will soon be filled up with all your gear. It makes sense to get a mesh vest to help keep you cool in warm weather.

Flies – The variety of available flies in literally endless. Dry flies, wet flies and nymphs, streamers and bass bugs are just some of the basic categories. It makes sense to always be equipped with standard patterns as they are tried and proven to work. It also makes sense to have more the one of each pattern as you don’t want to be frustrated by losing a fly once it is determined that that is the fly that the fish are hitting.

Once you have your fly gear ready you are ready to head for your fishing destination. Over time most fishermen tend to acquire more and more equipment. Various rods, reels and lines for various fishing applications and many flies and fly boxes to entice your prey.

 

We hope you have enjoyed these fly fishing tips from the Nahanni Camping and Fishing Club. Now you are ready to go fishing! Good luck!

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Let’s Go Camping!

  Lets Go Camping !

     There is a reason why “the great outdoors” is described that way. Man’s natural and primitive needs are fulfilled by spending quality time outside. Camping offers us the opportunity to revel in the original form of the world, enjoy both solitude and great companionship and develop a sense of survival and accomplishment. You can hike a mountain ridge with a hundred mile view in all directions, watch a brilliant sunset on the lake or enjoy the view of a rainbow from the rain shelter of a tall pine. Weather your idea of camping is backpacking in true wilderness, car camping to the local state park or traveling the country in a thirty foot RV, the feelings can be equally wonderful. As with most aspects of life, proper preparation will prove to be immensely helpful. Remember the boy scout motto – Always Be Prepared!

Where to go camping? One of the great things about planning a camping trip is the vast number of places you can choose from. Throughout the US and Canada there are many National Parks, National Forests, State Parks, Wilderness Areas and private campgrounds that will offer the type of experience you are looking for.

National Forests – One our favorite places for hassle free camping are National Forests (www.fs.fed.us) These can be easily researched on the web, as can just about any camping area. One of the great things about National Forest Campgrounds is that they offer a wide variety of beautiful natural settings. Some National Forests can be surprisingly empty even in the middle of the summer. They are also generally inexpensive and many offer “dispersed camping”. These are remote areas where you can camp (often for free) in an unestablished campground. This is ideal for those looking for some peace and quiet. Accommodations will be very minimal but you may find that you have located a truly great place to camp. Be sure to check with the National Forest you are going to visit if you plan to camp this way to get full details.

Both National Forests and National Parks are generally located in some of the most spectacular and scenic areas. Parks such as Yellowstone, Yosemite and Rocky Mountain National Park are wonderful places to visit but they do offer slightly different experiences then National Forests.

National Parks are established primarily for the benefit of visitors to enjoy. 275 million Americans per year visit these parks so you will not be alone unless you make a point to get off the beaten path. (www.NPS.gov) will provide helpful information on National Parks. National Parks and the National Park Service are set up and maintained by the Department of the Interior while National Forests are run by the Department of Agriculture and the campgrounds and other recreational services are a non-profit component of this department.

To really learn about the great history of National Parks you may want to watch Ken Burn’s series The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. This six part documentary series was filmed over six years in such locations as Arcadia, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and the Everglades. Along with being a story of these great places it is also a story of the many people involved in this “Great Idea”. Strongly recommended.

It is a great idea to conduct a lot of research to fully understand the area you are going to visit. Print out the important information you find and bring it with you as later this can be very useful. With the help of the Google Earth program you can actually see the place you will be camping.

Another idea that can provide some very useful information is to call the ranger station for the camping area you are planning to visit. If you are planning to enjoy some fishing on your camping trip it is also strongly recommended that you call the local area fishing shops before you go. They will have much more fishing information then the campground employees. The folks working in the local fly/fishing shop are invaluable and will often share vital information with you. Details about water level, best ares to fish and what flies or bait to use will be offered. You can repay the favor by visiting the store when you are in their area. Even though calling the campground, Forest or Park office is very useful for camping information, the people working there generally know absolutely nothing about fishing! Very surprising – but true! This odd fact was recently emphasized in northern Maine. While checking into a campground located directly on the West Branch of the Penobscott River. Renowned for great fishing, the woman working at the campground was asked “so how has the fishing been?” The response was “Fishing? What do you mean by fishing? …oh, actually trying to catch those things?”…… Needless to say this person did not offer any recommendations on what type of flies the landlocked salmon and brook trout were currently hitting!

One other lesson that can be learned from the Boy Scouts is the Outdoor Code. With this in mind you can always have a fun, enjoyable and responsible outdoor experience.

The Outdoor Code

—-I will do my best to—

Be clean in my outdoor manners

Be careful with fire

Be considerate in the outdoors,

and

Be conservation minded.

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