Salmon & Smallmouth Bass in Algoma | Sault Ste. Marie

People ask me all the time
where’s your favorite place to fish andI always say the same thing
Algoma country Sault Ste. Marie. This week wetravel with two different guides for two
different species. I’m Bill Spicer thisis The New Fly FisherOn 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 riverfrom its twin city of Sault Ste. Marie
Michigan. The two cities are connected byan international bridge which crosses
over the rapids at the locks. Accommodations from campsites to
five-star hotels are available alongwith restaurants, shopping, a casino and a
picturesque boardwalk that follows theHarbourfront. Within a very short drive
of the Sault are numerous lakes andrivers with many different species. Uur
target species this week are smallmouthbass and chinook salmon. Our guides are
Adam Vallee owner of Angling Algomaand Tyler Dunn of Tyler Dunn Guiding. The
reports of the previous week on the lakehad 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 aftercold front. The temperature drops
suddenly from 23 degrees Celsius or 76degrees Fahrenheit to 3 degrees Celsius
or 38 degrees Fahrenheit. I know thatfishing will be tough. Now Adam we’ve run into some pretty
nasty weather and most people that fishbass 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 hasgotten a little bit tougher because of
the big drop in temperature. As we getmore stable conditions, whether it’s
overcast for a few days the fish willstart to feed more heavily agai, but
right now we’re just right in thattwo-day post front time where the
fishing is going to be a little bit toughSo Adam then if that’s the case
that we got bad weather and and the fishhave 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 dirtyon the bottom getting that bait right in
front of those fish. They’re not going tobe chasing anything so they’re gonna
want something really slow-moving andthey’re gonna want something that they
don’t have to aggressively go after butthey can pick up and still get a meal.
Okay bill what we got here is we have anice feeding flat for these fish to come
up and feed on, and we’re close to a nicedrop dropping off into deeper waterAnd so it drops off quite a bit I can see like a like atable rock here. Exactly and what what we
have is stable water out deep and whenthey get the need to go up or the crayfish
start moving they get up on the flatand they eat. But you want to fish over
top of it. Fish over top and into thedeep water. Yes sir. Okay so because of
the temperatures and all the fronts thathave 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 inon this year. Here you got a finesse
painfully slow and I’m gonna show you ina second. It’s a decent fish though. Yeah! How do he hit it good?Oh Wham!! Yes it’sfighting 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 a sunken 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 goVery nice!No you grab them I’ll let you
handle him. Now that is yeah really reallynice fish! It’s chunky, not huge, but
see how much of a battle it gave methrough cold water? And like I said
painfully slow retrieve. I mean we’reused to the summer for bass attacking.
This was just little 3/4 inch jerks andit 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 AdamIt was eating a crayfish very
similar in size to your Clauser Bill, andcolor, and it’s a great sign for us
because we know that the crayfish aregoing to be moving in the rocks now so they’re coming up to feed. I was dragging that right on the bottom so I’m just like a cray fish and a fishpounded on it and hit. It was feeding
definitely because that was in itsgullet there. Yeah yeah. How do cold fronts affect fish?Air pressure affects fish because their
buoyancy in the water is controlled byan air sac. This is very sensitive and
they feel the slightest change inpressure. It’s generally believed that a
falling pressure tends to make fish moreactive and a rising pressure shuts them
down. therefore, when a front isapproaching 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 aswell after it passes. Adam was admiring my rod and reel and
asked if he could try it out and lo andbehold he hooks into a nice small mouth. Oh there’s a fish. That’s outstanding! there AdamYou want to sit, you could sit down all
you wantBill. I took a little breakand 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 gonnaget 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’tpanning out, another lake is not too far.
Adams suggested we move over to anotherlake that he knows. When you have a cold
front situation you must remember thatsmallmouth bass will hold tight to
structure. Structures such as submergedtrees and rock piles are definite
hotspots. But this lake the structurethey 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 slowdown. And when I mean slow like, I’m
dragging the bottom. I have a weightedfully full sinking line type six that
goes down quickly. I’ve got a weightedfly. 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 frontconditions 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 butit’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 persecond, and I counted it down. We knew how much water we were in, so I counted it down tomake 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 hadto 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 withthis fly. I’ve got a problem. That’s my
third fish I’ve hooked up. The distancehere between the gap of the hook and the
head isn’t enough. That fish hooked uphard and hit it hard and I still wasn’t
able to hook it. That’s the third time thatI’ve done that this morning. I’m gonna
have to change flies and get somethingthat’s got a wider gap in the hook. Conditions being what they were with the
low ceiling, heavy rain, and low pressurecoming 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 ofsparkle on it, weighted, and it went
right down to the bottom with a type sixfull sink line. The other pattern that
worked really well was this crawdadpattern that was given to me by a friend
of mine. It sits with a hook up andit’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’swhat we used this week. Now Adam, tell me a
little bit about your guide service, whatit’s called first and what species of
fish you go after. Bill my company iscalled angling Algoma you can find me at
anglingalgoma. com or that handle onInstagram and Facebook. We target Muskies, northern pike, large mouth, smallmouthbass and walleyes for the majority. If somebody wants to get your guide servicehow sooner head should they book?Well, never be afraid to call you never knowwhen there is an opening. But it’s always
nice to have a couple months in advanceto have a schedule. Just gotta get down. It’s the one problem,
with fly-fishing you can’t get down asfast you can with a spin rod. Boy he’s coming up!How deep is that?It’s funny howthey moved out to deep water. Fish fish fish fishNice Job Bill. Bouncing it and down a couple of times and the line just goes tight. Oh it’s a big fish Nice fish!This is a really really nice fishClouser minnow. it wasn’t. . it was designed
for smallmouth bass. The color that Adamhas picked for me, same color as crayfish. Great fight great fight now this is areally really nice fish. Yes man! Good job buddy!Oh yeah!oh that’s, that’s a good fish!He’s strong. Look how strong heis in his mouth. There you go nice nice
bassLet’s release this guy. Thanks a lot for a great day. It was tough
conditions but you knew exactly what todo. It was slow but we managed to get
some good fish. I highly recommend youcall Adam for your next trip when you
come up to the Sault, the man knows hisstuff 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 witha ton of experience in guiding.
Originally we’re going after large mouthbass nearby but due to bad weather we
decided to go after chinook salmon inthe St. Marys Rapid. There’s a
well-groomed pathway to the rapids thattakes about ten minutes to travel. You
can only access the rapids from theCanadian side. the Rapids are a minor 2/3
of a mile in length, by a quartermile 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 hereThat’s Chinook isn’t it?Yeah that’s a king!Good startMaybe 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 acceptwhen fly fishing for chinook salmon is
you will hook up plenty of times but youonly land approximately two out of every
ten fish. With fish averaging in thetwenty 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 daysis mending your line. Now what I’m doing
is I’m making sure my lines follow myindicator. 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 poundsOof!Get him?Here we go!Get Him?Got him! Down insideYup, I’ll hold him upWell there you go Tyler, congratulations. Thanks Bill you go to give us a lesson on mending lineand 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 bigplace but there’s a real variety of fish
up here isn’t there?it’s multi-species Mecca in my opinionYou know spring and
fall you got the steelhead run. Pacificsalmon all through the fall months
We have the summer Atlantics, we have thebrook trout we target throughout the
summer months. 365 up here, there’s alwayssomething 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 gotthe dates they want?That relates to time
of year. If you’re looking for early seasonMay, 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 youdon’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 canNice drift – bang on the draft another King?That feels like it Good fight not not a jumper though
this one. No, staying down. Staying down. Strong Strong
powerful fish. One thing that’ll happenwith 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 bellyUh-huh, it might be a big pink salmonOh no! Oh that looked like to me a pink salmon. Well no, I just I just lost the battle onthat one just pulled the hook outOh 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 poundfluorocarbon and then the second fly 14
inches above the first fly. I attachedthe minimum amount of split shot to take
the fly to the bottom. The indicatorplacement was constantly being adjusted
to one and a half to two times the depthof the water. The flies for the rapids are simple. I
used only three patterns. First a singleegg 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 woolybugger – make sure you have them in black
and in white. There you go! 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 sizesthat the other ones it’s not very bigThat’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 kingsalmon all day and pulled out a small
pink. There are all sorts of them hereespecially in September. Well we’ll let
this guy go and I’m having a great day Idon’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 highlyrecommend you call Tyler for your
next outing here in Sault, Ste. Marie. For more information on this episode and
others in our informative series visitus on the net at thenewflyfisher. com.
From all of us here at The New FlyFisher, 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 youwant to see more, subscribe and you can
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