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 Post subject: Canada Walk-about
PostPosted: September 1st, 2012, 11:47 pm 
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Joined: December 3rd, 2001, 1:00 am
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Location: N44.88305* W68.67206*
Just returned home from a 12 day trip to Canada which included an 8 day walk-about into a remote river in the NE part of the country – my intent was to explore the headwater lakes and tribs of a major river and assess the hunting, fishing, paddling and camping potential of the area. I did this by driving north for 2 days, to the most remote part of the country a person could drive to, then started walking – 3 days and 24 miles later, I entered the target zone and and then went another 3 miles to the most northerly point I have ever transported myself. My GPS trip odometer said I walked 54 miles and with all the various side trips I would guess I covered 60 miles. The walk was very challenging – based on what I thought I knew about the area, I thought I would be travelling thru a lot of barren ground, but actually encountered a lot of bogs, boulder fields and thick underbrush – water was also a major issue, in the form of rain, bogs, and stream crossings – at least 37 in each direction. My outfit was also heavier than I would have preferred – about 63 lbs, and prolly closer to 70 when saturated, which was immediately. In 8 days, I did not see one sign of human existence and didn’t see or speak to another human for 9 days, which was great.

The fishing got off to a rough start – the day I got into the “zone”, 21 miles in, I realized I had lost my fly rod. After coming to grips with the notion that finding it would be an impossible waste of time, I crafted an new rod from a 4.5’ spruce sapling, some duct tape, some stiff cord and 2 hose clamps, and it served me well for the entire trip. The lower part of the area was dominated by smallish LL salmon – so many that I believe the brookies were squeezed out of the habitat, for the most part – I would also guess that the amount and quality of feed was not available for the salmon to attain large sizes, although the 13-14 salmon I was catching up there would kick the tar out of your average 16” Maine salmon…when I got close to the most distant end of my trek, the salmon started to thin out and the brookies started to get bigger – I caught some very nice brookies but it became evident that the area was under-performing – the area had big fish potential but the catching was off – extreme low water prolly had something to do with it, and this notion was confirmed when I fished another very dependable stream on the way home – all things considered, the fishing was spectacular, but the catching was just good…I got no fish photos – all my fish imagery was in the form of video – check out this YouTube to see one of the more typical fish from the upper part of my trip – please disregard the mindless babble in the background…

http://youtu.be/jZT78qUhLtY

The glacially sculpted landscape had a raw beauty and an extreme wildness that is beyond description – almost overwhelming. To actually visit places that I have been fantasizing about nearly daily for the last year, and to be up to my eyeballs in a reality that had been nothing but squiggly lines on a map, was really cool – as I walked thru that area and stared at my maps, it became harder to tell whether it was a land mass covered by lots of water or a body of water with a lot of land scattered in it…I’ve heard rumors that that part of the world contains 1/8 of the world’s fresh, unfrozen water and I believe it. That said, the bony, rapid nature of the streams up there doesn’t lend itself to anything but downstream travel, so there is no real paddling potential. I saw a good number of grouse in my travels but not enough to warrant another trip to the same area. As far as the camping goes, there are places up there where one can get the same bang for the buck w/o a monumental effort – so, unless something changes I prolly won’t return to the area any time soon, but it will definitely go down as one of my all time favorite trips.

Trip “Firsts”:
First primarily hiking trip in the north country.
First trip with a firearm – will prolly be the last…
First trip all caribou racks found are sheds.
First trip north no pike caught – but MANY seen.
First trip that far north.

Damage Report:
Lost fly rod – my favorite graphite – LL Bean Orion III – 9’, 4wt
Lost maps
Lost glasses
Cracked windshield – 3X
Broken exhaust

Some notions that were recently reaffirmed:
2 servings = 1 serving
2 man tent = 1 man tent
Breathable = B.S.
Waterproof means that once water gets in, it stays there forever.
Hatchery fish are not “as good” as wild, native fish.
Showers, beds and toilets are wonderful things.

As always, it’s great to be home and now to get ready for the fall and winter fishing seasons…Tight Lines!


Attachments:
ready.jpg
ready.jpg [ 93.84 KiB | Viewed 3170 times ]
camp2.jpg
camp2.jpg [ 123.83 KiB | Viewed 3170 times ]
bfield.JPG
bfield.JPG [ 93.9 KiB | Viewed 3170 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Canada Walk-about
PostPosted: September 1st, 2012, 11:49 pm 
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Joined: December 3rd, 2001, 1:00 am
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Location: N44.88305* W68.67206*
A few more pics...


Attachments:
river1.JPG
river1.JPG [ 74.35 KiB | Viewed 3169 times ]
rbow.JPG
rbow.JPG [ 84.75 KiB | Viewed 3169 times ]
grouse.JPG
grouse.JPG [ 103.31 KiB | Viewed 3169 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Canada Walk-about
PostPosted: September 1st, 2012, 11:51 pm 
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Joined: December 3rd, 2001, 1:00 am
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Location: N44.88305* W68.67206*
And a few more...


Attachments:
stream.JPG
stream.JPG [ 111.21 KiB | Viewed 3169 times ]
rod.JPG
rod.JPG [ 105.05 KiB | Viewed 3169 times ]
river2.JPG
river2.JPG [ 90.03 KiB | Viewed 3169 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Canada Walk-about
PostPosted: September 2nd, 2012, 12:19 am 
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Joined: June 20th, 2006, 12:00 am
Posts: 1780
Great post Brian, sounds like another great experience. Love the boo rod.....Maybe you can start a new trend. and the video is way cool. Where was the cam on your hat??

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 Post subject: Re: Canada Walk-about
PostPosted: September 2nd, 2012, 12:52 am 
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Joined: September 28th, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 2789
Brian,

I tip my scotch to you brother. I've watched you cast whole rods with flies that should have been on much heavier rods, I've watched you repair and fish a rod that damn near had twice as many sections as what it was designed and I've watched you fish a cane rod with a spruce splint. And when you said you had to craft a rod deep in the bush I knew that it would be functional. Dame Juliana would have been proud. Although the blue wraps are a bit much. Great footage of an awesome experience.

Those pictures bring back a lot of memories. That caribou moss is beautiful to look at, great to sleep on but a bitch to walk through. What a great fish. And in typical fisherman fashion the statement that, that fish was prolly some of your last casts, and then you say I wonder if he has some cousins to catch.

I followed your itinerary each day reading your plans and looking at your maps. You did very well.

Ron

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 Post subject: Re: Canada Walk-about
PostPosted: September 2nd, 2012, 1:48 am 
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Joined: December 28th, 2009, 2:41 am
Posts: 86
Location: Cedar Park, TEXAS
WOW how amazing is that :) Beautiful pictures & a very functional rod.

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 Post subject: Re: Canada Walk-about
PostPosted: September 2nd, 2012, 8:46 am 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 3403
Location: Vassalboro, Maine
You are unquestionably the most independent person i know....but I just want to know one other thing- do you still have your made rod? THAT would be a wall hanger.

Hutch

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 Post subject: Re: Canada Walk-about
PostPosted: September 2nd, 2012, 9:41 am 
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Joined: October 13th, 2002, 12:00 am
Posts: 3338
Location: Sidney, Me
I heard a Freudian slip in that babble. Incredible adventure for sure.


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 Post subject: Re: Canada Walk-about
PostPosted: September 2nd, 2012, 9:52 am 
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Joined: April 1st, 2010, 10:35 am
Posts: 369
Location: flatland and Vienna Me.
Brian what a great adventure, having traveled some of that terrain my hats off to you. One mile in those bogs is like a five mile climb. Your truely an adventurer. I'm sure that was the frist time that brookie came to a net!! Great pictures and report, made my day :)
Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Canada Walk-about
PostPosted: September 2nd, 2012, 12:54 pm 
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Joined: August 28th, 2002, 12:00 am
Posts: 1445
Location: Wells, ME
WOW! Thanks for sharing your adventures Brian. Building that rod is one for the ages - well done McGyver!


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 Post subject: Re: Canada Walk-about
PostPosted: September 2nd, 2012, 1:07 pm 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 4330
Location: Ellsworth
Salmosebago wrote:
WOW! . Building that rod is one for the ages - well done McGyver!



X-2. You definitely are the McGuyver of FFIM.
Seems like a wonderful trip. Thanks for sharing. Three windshields?? That must have set you back a few bucks? (Well...let me re-phrase that. I presume you had ONE windshield that got cracked three different times---and you replaced once.)

Dave M

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 Post subject: Re: Canada Walk-about
PostPosted: September 2nd, 2012, 5:38 pm 
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Joined: December 27th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 2736
Location: Portland
Brian, that is just outstanding....all of it. Love the video. In this day and age of the $700+ rod...a spruce sapling casts a dry to a huge brookie....classic.

You have to have some serious intestinal fortitude for a trip like that. Kudos, my friend.

-Dan


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 Post subject: Re: Canada Walk-about
PostPosted: September 2nd, 2012, 6:22 pm 
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Joined: July 31st, 2009, 3:36 pm
Posts: 83
That is far and away the best TR I have read this year, and the most enviable adventure as well.
I can only imagine how good a hot shower felt when you returned to civilization.
Thanks for sharing!

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 Post subject: Re: Canada Walk-about
PostPosted: September 2nd, 2012, 10:28 pm 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 548
Location: Portland, ME
Brian Foley...you are the man! That was awesome.


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 Post subject: Re: Canada Walk-about
PostPosted: September 3rd, 2012, 10:18 am 
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Joined: May 9th, 2004, 12:00 am
Posts: 27
Location: Southwest Harbor
Brian,

Looks like another great adventure. The rod is classic and looks very well constructed.


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