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> Issue 26 > Page 5 - Guiding for Salmon on the Margaree

Page 5 - Guiding for Salmon on the Margaree

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1980/8/1 (395 reads)

Now Duncan MacDonald, he taught me a lot of things. He taught me, when your salmon is downriver with 75 yards of your line out, he's boss, he's got command. It's on? ly luck any more if you ever get him back up again. Which is right. You've got to take him against the current. You can't put any pressure in God's world on a fish then, if he's that far away. So you've got to watch for that. You can chase them some? times, because sometimes they take off from one pool to another--downriver. If they started upriver it's all the better, because you'll kill them a lot quicker. They'd have the current to fight along with the pressure on your reel. When they take off down, rather than have them strip all your line down to the backing and then break your leader--and that has happened-- you've got to take off on the run as fast as you can go and get ahead of him, if you can. Run along the bank--if you can get a- long. And sometimes you have to go out in the water to get by certain places--bushes and limbs. Oh, it's the old story, just like music. You could learn something every, every, every day, regarding fishing. I'll be 77 in September, and I guided 41 years exactly. Jimmy Hannigan: We had a lot of guides here one time. My father and my brother Pat and I were guides for years and years. Practically all the old people--not all, but a lot--were guides. All men. I don't know, our women never got interested in fishing salmon. I don't know why. And the American women are crazy for it and they're good fishermen, a lot of them. We had at least 20 guides here you could get hold of. One time they were supposed to have a guide, the Americans--but they've done away with that. They'd enquire at the different hotels where they could get a guide--and the hotels would call. And as a rule, if you were a fairly good guide, the party you'd be with, they'd engage you for .the next summer. (When you guided, would you also fish?) I didn't. Some of them would want you to fish and some of them don't want you to fish. A good many of the guides would fish, but I felt if there was salmon, they wanted to get them, and they were paying me to get them for them--I mean, not to catch them but to show them how--then, if they'd ask mie to fish, they'd give me a rod and I'd fish probably over a pool or a couple of pools for them. (Johnny White: The guide could hook the fish • and a lot of them would have you do it--then give them the rod and let them play it. A lot of them wanted that. The way I look at it, the main thrill is in hooking the fish-- then after that, it's a worry. They wanted the worry....) When I'd take people out, I'd try to get them on one of the best pools on the river that I knew of--if I could get there. At one time here, cripes, you might spend all day trying to get on one pool--the people would all flock to the best pool. Say there were five fishermen on one pool and I came there with two more--well, we'd have to wait. They'd start at the head of the pool and they'd work down--well, we had to go in behind to get a chance to fish it down. You had to wait your turn. That's the courtesy of the river. You knew there were salmon in the pool. They'd be jumping, and a lot of the fish you could see off of the bank--you knew there were fish there. But whether they'd go for your hook was up to the fish. You tried to use your judgment, tried to pick out XAjhat you thought were the best flies to put on to catch a fish--a lot of the time, the old homemade flies were better than the bought flies--you'd catch a fish quicker. You make up an old fly with some kind of feathers and stuff like that, and it didn't look like a professional fly-- but it'd often take a salmon quicker than the professional fly would. My brother Pat used to tie flies to sell. I only made them for my own use. There was a fellow (5)
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