Mosquitoes! No, not mosquito fly immitations, but the real things attacking us with a fury. As I sit writing this, the itchy bites still remind me of the fact that even though we poured Muskol all over our exposed skin, my sons and I found it had no effect on the mosquitoes of Central Ontario.

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We spent 5 days camping on the Burnt River, spending a great deal of time catching some of the most active and scrappy smallmouth bass I have ever encountered. Although the mosquitoes were certainly a major irritant, for me at least, it was worth the experience of catching and releasing dozens of these fish from the strong currents, rapids and waterfalls of the section of the Burnt that we were camping on.
The River - Find out about the river we fished and how to get there.

The Fish - Smallmouth Bass can be fiesty and scrappy fish to fight.

The Flies - The flies I had success with, and how to tie and fish them.

When a business associate of mine, Les Saunders of Britannia Printing discovered that my three sons, Alex, James and Colin were visiting with me, he graciously made available his property near Kinmount, Ontario for our camping use. It was the closest to wilderness camping that my sons had ever experienced, although it was only about a mile from the town. Access to the property is best made with a 4X4, and we loaded up the old Blazer with our gear last week. Using the map provided, we found our way to one of the most beautiful sites one could camp on. The view from the place we would make our home for the next 5 days was tremendous! We set up our tents on a high piece of ground that overlooked a calm stretch of water. To the north of us, we could see a series of falls where water tumbled over rocks into pools below. To the south of the site, a much larger waterfall poured down and provided both a relaxing sleep inducing sound at night and a place during the day to awe at the power of the river.

Althought the Burnt is a popular canoe route, there is still a sense of wilderness and solitude. One day, while walking up the river with my 10 year old, James, I happened to look across and see the naked form of a male getting out of the water and towelling off. After observing us, he then threw his female companion a towel and both wandered off down a path. My apologies for interupting you both! My son was too interested in the fishing to even notice.

Before arriving at the river, I had no idea what the fishing would be like or even what type of fish resided in the river. I didn't have much chance to do any research, but was pleased to discover that it held so many smallmouth, a fish that can fight just as hard, pound for pound as any trout, in my opinion. Although the fish we caught were not big, they were plentiful. It was a great opportunity to try out different flies and probably the most productive was the Cat's Whisker, although others also worked quite well, including a Midnight Blue which a couple of fish seemed to viciously attack and of course the Muddler Minnow, a fly for all occassions.

The mosquitoes were really bad! Perhaps because of the damp summer that Southern Ontario has experienced this year, it has been one of the worst summers for being out in the bush and finding some relief from the nasty pests. One evening, we were literally wiping away dozens of skeeters from exposed skin at any given time. If we talked, me might find three or four of the insects had flown into our mouths! Nevertheless, we still had a great time and the smallies were most co-operative with us.

Last Week: Is Sage "Dissin" Cane Crafters?
In a recent video, Sage seems to be attempting to make comparisons between their rods and those built by cane rod crafters. Does Sage believe their primary competition are bamboo rod makers?

New Magazine Hits The 'Net
My review of the Western Flyfisher.

Second Fly Swap
Looking for some new fly patterns? Take a look at the latest swap's flies! Some nice nymphs, streamers, and more.

Last Year:

Custom Rod Component Selection (Part II)
Snakes VS. SiC guides. Which ones are for you?

Custom Rod Component Selection (Part 1)
Some things you should think about before choosing the grip and reel seat for your custom rod.

Two Years Ago On

Fishing Rods: An Overview (Part One)
An introduction to our multi-part series on the history and present manufacturing of fly rods.