Bass and Salmon in Algoma | Sault Ste. Marie

Bass and Salmon in Algoma | Sault Ste. Marie


People ask me all the time
where’s your favorite place to fish and I always say the same thing
Algoma country Sault Ste. Marie. This week we travel with two different guides for two
different species. I’m Bill Spicer this is The New Fly Fisher On today’s show The new fly Fisher
crew is in Algoma country in Sault Ste. Marie. The city is located on the st.
Marys River in Ontario across the river from its twin city of Sault Ste. Marie
Michigan. The two cities are connected by an international bridge which crosses
over the rapids at the locks. Accommodations from campsites to
five-star hotels are available along with restaurants, shopping, a casino and a
picturesque boardwalk that follows the Harbourfront. Within a very short drive
of the Sault are numerous lakes and rivers with many different species. Uur
target species this week are smallmouth bass and chinook salmon. Our guides are
Adam Vallee owner of Angling Algoma and Tyler Dunn of Tyler Dunn Guiding. The
reports of the previous week on the lake had been good and the fishing was
excellent but this week is different. It’s late season and the weather is
changing bringing in cold front after cold front. The temperature drops
suddenly from 23 degrees Celsius or 76 degrees Fahrenheit to 3 degrees Celsius
or 38 degrees Fahrenheit. I know that fishing will be tough. Now Adam we’ve run into some pretty
nasty weather and most people that fish bass know that bass do not like sudden
change can you explain it? So we’re dealing with post front
conditions right now and the fishing has gotten a little bit tougher because of
the big drop in temperature. As we get more stable conditions, whether it’s
overcast for a few days the fish will start to feed more heavily agai, but
right now we’re just right in that two-day post front time where the
fishing is going to be a little bit tough So Adam then if that’s the case
that we got bad weather and and the fish have shut down a bit what do we do to
try to put a fish or two in the boat? We’re gonna do exactly what you’ve been
doing Bill – painfully slow down and dirty on the bottom getting that bait right in
front of those fish. They’re not going to be chasing anything so they’re gonna
want something really slow-moving and they’re gonna want something that they
don’t have to aggressively go after but they can pick up and still get a meal.
Okay bill what we got here is we have a nice feeding flat for these fish to come
up and feed on, and we’re close to a nice drop dropping off into deeper water And so it drops off quite a bit I can see like a like a table rock here. Exactly and what what we
have is stable water out deep and when they get the need to go up or the crayfish
start moving they get up on the flat and they eat. But you want to fish over
top of it. Fish over top and into the deep water. Yes sir. Okay so because of
the temperatures and all the fronts that have rolled through we’re gonna do it
really painfully painfully slow. Okay just little twitches. Little twitches yeah yeah. Now painfully slow, I got a crayfish pattern that’s what Adam
told me that they’re they’re cueing in on this year. Here you got a finesse
painfully slow and I’m gonna show you in a second. It’s a decent fish though. Yeah! How do he hit it good? Oh Wham!! Yes it’s fighting good this is a 5 weight rod
and it’s.. look what it bends over. Come on you. Now you’re telling me there’s a
ridge of rocks there like asunken shelf. Basically it’s a little flat rock
flat that drops off in the deep water. Right and they’re right on the edge. Right on that drop usually, yup. It’s a decent
fish. Stocky one. Yeah there we go Very nice! No you grab them I’ll let you
handle him. Now that is yeah really really nice fish! It’s chunky, not huge, but
see how much of a battle it gave me through cold water? And like I said
painfully slow retrieve. I mean we’re used to the summer for bass attacking.
This was just little 3/4 inch jerks and it hit it like a ton of bricks though! Very nice! Let’s let it go.Now the fish that we just released,
talk about what it was eating there Adam It was eating a crayfish very
similar in size to your Clauser Bill, and color, and it’s a great sign for us
because we know that the crayfish are going to be moving in the rocks nowso they’re coming up to feed. I was dragging that right on the bottom so I’m just like a cray fish and a fish pounded on it and hit. It was feeding
definitely because that was in its gullet there. Yeah yeah. How do cold fronts affect fish? Air pressure affects fish because their
buoyancy in the water is controlled by an air sac. This is very sensitive and
they feel the slightest change in pressure. It’s generally believed that a
falling pressure tends to make fish more active and a rising pressure shuts them
down. therefore, when a front is approaching us the pressure is dropping
until it arrives and then begins to rise. Thus fish tend to bite best before an
approaching front and generally not as well after it passes. Adam was admiring my rod and reel and
asked if he could try it out and lo and behold he hooks into a nice small mouth. Oh there’s a fish. That’s outstanding! there Adam You want to sit, you could sit down all
you wantBill. I took a little break and Adam says I’d like to try that and
very nice fish off this rock pile here. Same pattern you got that
shallow water going to deep water. Oh! That’s a chunk. That’s a chunk! Yeah.
That’s a nice fish on the fly rod for me Bill. That’s a nice fish in anybody’s… Look at that! I’ll take that that. Did he ever eat that. Go ahead. You just got to be persistent
at this time of year. You’re not gonna get record numbers at all, but you’re
gonna get excellent top quality fish like that. Slow down slow down slow down,
that’s what I’ve learned on this episode. This time of year, cold water,
slow down.The best thing about coming to the Sault
Ste. Marie area is if one lake isn’t panning out, another lake is not too far.
Adams suggested we move over to another lake that he knows. When you have a cold
front situation you must remember that smallmouth bass will hold tight to
structure. Structures such as submerged trees and rock piles are definite
hotspots. But this lake the structure they were on was an underwater hump that
went from 25 feet up to 8 feet. A good sonar is a must to stay on fish. Now we’re post-storm, it’s about day 2
after a storm and you’ve got to slow down. And when I mean slow like, I’m
dragging the bottom. I have a weighted fully full sinking line type six that
goes down quickly. I’ve got a weighted fly. I’m right on the bottom and I’m just
bouncing it on the bottom painfully slow. But that’s what you have to do in these
conditions. These cold weather cold front conditions can make you crazy but if you
do slow down you will be successful. The equipment I used this week was a
nine-foot number five weight rod but it’s a stiffer five weight – it’s got a
stiffer tip on it. I used a full sinking type six line
that sinks at about six inches per second, and I counted it down. We knew how much water we were in, so I counted it down to make sure I got right to the bottom. A good reel, large arbour system, good drag system, a must. These fish can be quite chunky. So
that’s it in a nutshell, sinking lines, no fancy top water this
this time. We had bad conditions so I had to get right down to the bottom.no missed him. Good hook set though give
it to him, why not?Hh no you don’t! There’s something wrong with this fly. I’ve got a problem. That’s my
third fish I’ve hooked up. The distance here between the gap of the hook and the
head isn’t enough. That fish hooked up hard and hit it hard and I still wasn’t
able to hook it. That’s the third time that I’ve done that this morning. I’m gonna
have to change flies and get something that’s got a wider gap in the hook.Conditions being what they were with the
low ceiling, heavy rain, and low pressure coming in, the fish went deep. So what I
had to do was go to crayfish patterns, this being a Clouser minnow in the
crayfish color. It’s got a little bit of sparkle on it, weighted, and it went
right down to the bottom with a type six full sink line. The other pattern that
worked really well was this crawdad pattern that was given to me by a friend
of mine. It sits with a hook up and it’s got rubber legs and lots of sparkle.
But you work it the same as a crayfish, skirting it n along the bottom. That’s the only thing that works. So basically that’s what we used this week. Now Adam, tell me a
little bit about your guide service, what it’s called first and what species of
fish you go after. Bill my company is called angling Algoma you can find me at
anglingalgoma.com or that handle on Instagram and Facebook. We target Muskies, northern pike, large mouth, smallmouth bass and walleyes for the majority. If somebody wants to get your guide service how sooner head should they book? Well, never be afraid to call you never know when there is an opening. But it’s always
nice to have a couple months in advance to have a schedule.Just gotta get down. It’s the one problem,
with fly-fishing you can’t get down as fast you can with a spin rod. Boy he’s coming up! How deep is that? It’s funny how they moved out to deep water. Fish fish fish fish Nice Job Bill. Bouncing it and down a couple of times and the line just goes tight. Oh it’s a big fishNice fish! This is a really really nice fish Clouser minnow. it wasn’t.. it was designed
for smallmouth bass. The color that Adam has picked for me, same color as crayfish. Great fight great fight now this is a really really nice fish. Yes man! (laughs) Good job buddy! Oh yeah! oh that’s, that’s a good fish! He’s strong. Look how strong he is in his mouth. There you go nice nice
bass Let’s release this guy.Thanks a lot for a great day. It was tough
conditions but you knew exactly what to do. It was slow but we managed to get
some good fish. I highly recommend you call Adam for your next trip when you
come up to the Sault, the man knows his stuff I’m telling you I highly recommend
him. Thanks a lot buddy. Thanks Bill, great day. Up next king salmon action in
the st. Marys RapidsThe next day I meet up with guide Tyler
Dunn, a fun easygoing type of person with a ton of experience in guiding.
Originally we’re going after large mouth bass nearby but due to bad weather we
decided to go after chinook salmon in the St. Marys Rapid. There’s a
well-groomed pathway to the rapids that takes about ten minutes to travel. You
can only access the rapids from the Canadian side. the Rapids are a minor 2/3
of a mile in length, by a quarter mile wide. The riverbed is bedrock,
boulders, rubble, gravel, and sand. Perfect spawning grounds for fish. I don’t wan tto interfere with his fishing. No, we’re fishing right here That’s Chinook isn’t it? Yeah that’s a king! Good start Maybe keep your rod to the side – we’ll try
and turn a little bit. Oh! Let go! Popped him? Popped him. that’s the way
it goes but, that’s a good sign I’ve only been here a
few minutes. One fact you must accept when fly fishing for chinook salmon is
you will hook up plenty of times but you only land approximately two out of every
ten fish. With fish averaging in the twenty to twenty-five pound area it’s
easy to see why this is so. Biggest problem my clients have
especially in the rapids on windy days is mending your line. Now what I’m doing
is I’m making sure my lines follow my indicator. Flick it hand to hand, finger on
line. Follow, indicator down, set the hook. Another fish! Biggest factor in hooking
this fish was the dead drift. My indicator was making no motion at all, I
was mending my line. Ya, it usually works, you put your rod tip in the
water. You got it over in the pool that’s good. I have a chance at this guy. That’s a big fish oh boy that’s a big fish! You know what? I gonna have to hook this net. That’s upwards of 25, 30 pounds Oof! Get him? Here we go! Get Him? Got him! (laughs) Down inside Yup, I’ll hold him up Well there you go Tyler, congratulations. Thanks Bill (laugh)you go to give us a lesson on mending line and he ends up catching big fish. Yes
excellent fish.. we’ll let her goNow Tyler we’re up in Sault Ste. Marie
and Algoma country. It’s a pretty big place but there’s a real variety of fish
up here isn’t there? it’s multi-species Mecca in my opinion You know spring and
fall you got the steelhead run. Pacific salmon all through the fall months
We have the summer Atlantics, we have the brook trout we target throughout the
summer months. 365 up here, there’s always something going on whether it’s bass,
walleye, pike we’re always always on a bite. Now Tyler your guide service
is called Tyler Dunn Guide Service. How soon ahead would somebody have to
call you in order to make sure they got the dates they want? That relates to time
of year. If you’re looking for early season May, June, July, you want to get booking
at Christmas time, early winter. I book up you know, six months ahead of
time. If looking for fall fishing you don’t have to booked till May, June, but
contact me five six months ahead of time. There it is. Fish!Nice! I think it’s a fish. Get it on the reel as fast as I can Nice drift – bang on the draft another King? That feels like itGood fight not not a jumper though
this one. No, staying down. Staying down. Strong Strong
powerful fish. One thing that’ll happen with chinook salmon is they run directly at
you so you got to be quick. okay I’m gonna start backing up. Looks like a big pink , think I seen a white belly Uh-huh, it might be a big pink salmon Oh no! Oh that looked like to me a pink salmon. Well no, I just I just lost the battle on that one just pulled the hook out Oh well.. but the hook ups! I’m having a ball here yeah!The setup we used on this trip was a
typical nymphing setup using two flies. I used a floating line to a leader the
same length as my rod which was 11 feet. it was tapered down to an 8 pound
fluorocarbon tippet then the first fly. At the bend of the first fly I tied a
length of 14 inches of 8 pound fluorocarbon and then the second fly 14
inches above the first fly. I attached the minimum amount of split shot to take
the fly to the bottom. The indicator placement was constantly being adjusted
to one and a half to two times the depth of the water. The flies for the rapids are simple. I
used only three patterns. First a single egg yarn fly, in cheese color, white,
chartreuse, and fluorescent orange. The second pattern was a size 8 black stone fly. The third pattern was an olive wooly bugger – make sure you have them in black
and in white. There you go! (laughs) Tyler, it’s just the way my day’s going isn’t it! I’m having lots of fun, lots of hookups, it’s just not my day but that happens. That’s a fish!I think it’s pink. I think so. Compared to the sizes that the other ones it’s not very big That’s what it is, it’s a humpy. Awesome! Now look at this folks it’s uh
I’ve been I’ve been hitting big king salmon all day and pulled out a small
pink. There are all sorts of them here especially in September. Well we’ll let
this guy go and I’m having a great day I don’t have much success. I’m hooking lots
but not much success but hey that’s one fish. Waters warm warmer than the
airWell Tyler, I want to thank you very
much for taking me out. I highly recommend you call Tyler for your
next outing here in Sault, Ste. Marie. For more information on this episode and
others in our informative series visit us on the net at thenewflyfisher.com.
From all of us here at The New Fly Fisher, thanks for joining us, tight lines
and we’ll see you next week. Hii I’m Tom Rosenbauer. I hope you enjoyed this video. If you liked this and you want to see more, subscribe and you can
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