9-10-03 - Canada, Part I - Pinks Pinks PINKS!
Waters Fished: Garden River
Fish Caught: 0 fair
Outing Date: 9-10-03
Weather: Clear & Sunny
Air Temp: 70's dropping to about 40's - 50's at night
Water Temp: Didn't Take it
Water Level: LOW
Water Color: Clear
Fish Species: Pink Salmon, Chinook Salmon
Pattern Fished: All Sorts
Pattern Color: you name it
Fishing Quality: We're too early!
Finally, almost a month after the fact, I'm sitting
down to write four days worth of reports for the FAT Canada trip.
They'll be short, sweet, to the point, and I"ll let the pictures
do most of the talking!
We all left Bass Pro Shops in Gurnee around 7:00
PM, and drove all night. A couple quick pit stops for gas, a stretch
of the legs, and by about 3:30 AM we crossed the border via the
International Bridge at Sault St. Marie into Canada. I love looking
at St. Mary's Rapids at night...very spooky!
It was still dark at 6:00 AM, some of us were sleeping,
some restless, all waiting for the Tradin' Post to open for licenses
and other goodies. Finally, probably closer to 6:30 AM, we got in
and got out. Bumped into John Giuliani again which was a real treat...I
was looking forward to sayin' hi since our last trip in July.
Another hour or so of driving and we made it to
camp. Everyone went down to the river...we were hoping for the best
but feared the worst...were there fish?
The quick answer, NO. Now, all sorts of rumors
had been circulating at the time about nets blocking the river downstream
on the Indians land...I still to this day have no confirmation or
otherwise on this rumor. However, we did know that it hadn't rained
since we were there in JULY! That's a long time to go without rain!
Folks who'd been on the Garden before filled me in that water levels
were very low. If you ask me, low waters and low flows would be
more likely reasons for no fish.
So what to do? After setting up camp, we all went
our assorted ways and started fishing. One group of us went downstream
a couple miles and did some scouting...good news...we found a few
chinooks right away. I ended up quickly heading downriver a few
bends, ran into some anglers working their way upstream from Michigan,
and found some fish grouped up in a deep oxbow.
Cast after cast, I got a lot of interest but NO
STRIKES. Mostly pinks were holding in the tail end of the pool...I
have all season to fish for Chinnies...bigger Lake Michigan Chinnies
in WI...I was in Canada for the Pinks!
Well, Tim S ended up makin' his way down too, and
we both really concentrated on this pool. NEITHER of us faired any...I
ended up with 2 fouls. Using those X-Point Daiichi hooks means that
once the hook is in...it's not coming out, so both fish were landed,
the first photographed, and of course, with naturally-reproducing
populations, ALL FISH I personally landed would be let go this trip.
After wasting just about all of our afternoon,
Tim and I turned around to head back up, but everyone else was gone.
LUCKY for us a couple of VERY NICE, VERY FRIENDLY MICHIGAN ANGLERS
(yes, they can be nice, considerate, friendly, helpful etc..) let
us hitch a ride back to camp.
After a stunning dinner we headed back out for
a bit to try the night bite. One big problem though, still no fish
at camp! So nightfishing was shortlived, better to turn in and wake