First Trip to St. Mary's Ontario - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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First Trip to St. Mary's Ontario

Hey All - I have a professional lumberjack sports competition (yes, these still happen) in Mackinaw City next weekend and am planning on making the hours drive up to the Sault to check out what I heard is a great fishery the following Monday and Tuesday.

I'm fairly experienced fly-fishing for Lake Superior steelhead on big and small waters and am finally getting the hang of my two hander. If anyone wants to share some advice about water selection, flies, or general tactics I would welcome it on here or in a PM, but please know that I have no expectations. I respect peoples hard earned knowledge and welcome putting in the time (and tough days) to figure out a new fishery. Moreover, I judge success more by what I learn than numbers of fish hooked or landed. Still, any bit of info helps.

I'm most concerned with getting the lowdown on staying safe and being able to access water where I have a chance at success. Any specific details on how to navigate the rapids and stay safe while accessing decent water will be appreciated. I'm young, fit, and will have the right gear, to wade aggressively if need be, but if you can tell me how to avoid that in these dangerous waters I will call upon the fishing gods to bestow good karma upon thee.

Also, any recommendations on a simple, cheap hotel to stay at while there? Internet would be nice. Security would be a pre-req too, as I'll have a bunch of expensive axes and saws with me.

Pura Vida!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 03:24 PM
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There are lots of places to stay that are inexpensive in the Soo, however I can not speak for the security of them. As per wading, just be damn careful, never be in a rush and take a staff. You will never walk in a straight line in the St. Mary's. Make sure you have some micro muddlers with you as well, they love them up there.

Best of luck with the fishing and the competition.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 04:26 PM
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This weekend is spey weekend. Should be lots of folks there. Bring a staff.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 10:20 PM
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stay away from blue water

if the water is blue it's over 4' deep i set my staff at the same height as the top of my waders. If the staff goes under water turn around and find another way. Scan the river from the berm wall you'll see where you need to swing.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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I've heard small muddlers, baitfish patterns, and even nymphs are the go to swing patterns.

Big question, what tips and leader set-ups should I be going too? I'm used to dredging the bottom with short strong leaders taretting cold water steelies in tannic stained waters...this is a big clear river with different quarry. How long and how big should I be going? How important is it to be near the bottom? What is the ideal swing presentation for these atlantics?

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 05:06 PM
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You can try dredging but most guys will be fishing full floaters, hover or clear intermediate tips. The water is clear so the fish will come up and get the fly if you trigger them correctly.

When I was there I used a 14' clear intermediate Airflo polyleader.

Having said that I don't think it would hurt to try dredging if they're sulking on the bottom...but I would only try that after some higher presentations.

I just watched Henrik Mortenson's Scandi Spey Casting II DVD. I think it's a very good DVD for people who don't know much about Salar...myself included.

Good luck!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info everyone, it's a big help, and will hopefully turn into some good results for me! I'm really getting excited!

One last question, if there are some fresh kings around, what do they like? I'm used to going low, slow, with obnoxious patterns for them? Is this a reasonable strategy, or am I better off sticking to the atlantic presentation and chancing the kings or a random steelie getting aggressive and coming up for it?

Thanks again!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 08:38 PM
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It sounds odd, but the kings out there have been known to come up and attack the flies we use for atlantics, however unlike the atlantics they like that "slow swing your used to for steelhead!" honestly if you paused and observe some of my downstream mends for the atlantics you'll ask yourself what the hell is he doing.... Untill i get the tap tap ... Wait for it ..... Bzzzzzzzzzzz and the rod is doubled over. I watched an older fella for about an hour one night before i swang a fly again and it paid dividends!! Hope that helps in your and any one elses endeavor for the great lake salar we are so lucky to be able to chase!!!

Tight lines and great grabs

Kyle d

in a world that seems to happen so fast,
slowing everything down only improves my cast...
Kyle D.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 09:37 PM
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Just an FYI.....we're experiencing near record high lake temps in Superior this summer. Not sure how that will affect the run and what they're looking up for, but it might be useful info. I know the fishing at the Edison plant has started to slow, but that's pretty typical for this time of year. Everything seems to be a good 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule this summer. Good luck, bring a staff, and watch every single step you take. That's not a river I would want to take a ride in.
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