I hope everyone is healthy and enjoying 2014. It’s certainly been a wild winter to date here in the Northeast, kicking off in late November and then bouncing up and down with a few weeks of extreme cold and snow followed by a few days of mild weather and rain. Hard to say how this will effect the fishing in June but we should have a lot of water to kick things off!
After a very good and very busy 2013 fishing season, I was happy to return home for a bit spending time with my family, and work around the house. Now though, after spending more than a few days shoveling excessive amounts of snow, I am looking forward to getting back to the camp and getting into the 2014 season. I think that everyone involved with our specialty guest format last year really enjoyed the experiences and came away as enthusiastic about the possibilities as I did! To that end I’d like to let everyone know about what we have on tap in 2014.
Lots going on these days and some of you may have seen the latest edition of the Atlantic Salmon Journal and a fantastic article on Camp Brûlé written by Topher Browne. Topher did a great job, I think, capturing the essence of our efforts at Brûlé. Its easy to understand why his book on Atlantic salmon, Salmon Magic, was so well received! If you haven’t checked it out, you really should. Salmon Magic covers a lot of ground regarding all aspects of Atlantic salmon and I highly recommend it.
Continuing on the topic of Mr. Browne, I am pleased to say that he will be hosting a spey clinic from July 27- Aug. 3rd at Camp Brûlé. Topher has tremendous experience with the spey rod and has such an easy handed approach to teaching spey casting that even a bungler like myself was able to get very comfortable with my casting within a few hours. The thing that caught my attention right away was his ability to match rods and lines. Navigating through rods and line weights is quickly becoming a degree worthy pursuit and I was impressed with Topher’s understanding of the grain weight required to load up some of these two handers. We still have a few slots, so if thats some that intrigues you, beginner or veteran, don’t hesitate to give me a shout!
Following Topher’s week, we are pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with Master reel maker, William Olson, to host a week from Aug. 3-10. This stays in keeping with our philosophy of mixing in our heritage with the future. If you’re a gear head or a fan of antiquity, this is the week to check out. William, a laid back lad from Utah, has been making some serious art work for some time now. His serpentine crank reels are being considered in the same breath with the likes of Bogdan and Vom Hofe. The difference is the type of material available now but based upon the traditional aesthetic. Function and form! I hope that folks will take some interest in William’s efforts even if they cannot make it up to camp for that week!
Rounding out our Aug. events, I’d like to let the dog lovers and dog hunting enthusiasts know that Don Bates
, bush pilot, dog trainer extraordinaire and qualified CKC and NAHRA judge will be hosting a 4 night/3 day package from Aug.10-14. Don is pleased to have an opportunity to discuss all aspects of health, obedience training, hunting and will be exhibiting some of his dogs in the field. I can’t recommend Don highly enough and can back that up, as I have recently picked up one of his pups.
Brian Chou, Northwestern Spey master and Thomas and Thomas Pro will be joining us at Brûlé from Sept. 20-25. Brian represents the young, immensely knowledgable and enthusiastic school of guides This is a great opportunity for folks to enjoy some spey instruction as well as fishing techniques using intermediate and skagit lines as well as the traditional floating lines. The bulk of Brian’s fishing experiences are related to the West coast and steelhead fishing and it will be very interesting to see the different techniques, applied to a different species…on the other side of the continent!
At the end September, Artist Galen Mercer will be returning to tap into the fall colours of our area. Not only is Galen a very talented painter, he has also spent a good deal of his time fly fishing around the world. Well spoken and easy to talk with, Galen has insight into a number of topics that can only come from a wide variety of life experience. Galen’s personality and knowledge fit in well with the heritage setting of Brûlé.
So there we have it. A great list of personalities coming into camp this year add in a few other folks, like UNB fish biology Professor Rick Cunjak and Thomas and Thomas Master bamboo rod builder Troy Jacques and we have an excellent variety of professionals staying with us in the upcoming season. I hope that we can continue to build the momentum that we generated after this past season. I am very happy to say that all my staff from 2013 will be returning and they are every bit as enthusiastic to get the season going as I am!
On one last note, We have decided to join the 21st century. Camp Brûlé will finally have a Facebook page as well as an alternate blog section to coincide with our T&T blog. The purpose of both the Facebook and blog section will be to bring you regular, even daily, updates throughout the upcoming season! Join our Facebook page and hopefully we can keep you up to date on the season and upcoming events.
If any of these specialty dates are of interest to you or any other time slot, don’t hesitate to contact me at any time: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin McWhirter is a fourth generation camp manager and long-time guide at Camp Brûlé, the Thomas & Thomas Proving Ground for two-handed rods.