5 Days Canoeing and Fishing the Cains River

Cain River Trip 2014

After a long hard Canadian winter, the warm sun on our backs was welcoming and brought on a flood of river memories and emails. Our cravings to indulge our thoughts deeper into a trans of the coming river trip dictated that we meet and spend a few hours together for some planning. Well as usual laughter and beer over shadowed our planning process and a couple of hours later we walked away not knowing what the hell our plans were except that our busy scheduled coincided on June 15 to June 19 of 2014.

June of 2014 arrived and with it organizing, planing and training had to begin. My training aids was my pipe, pipe tobacco and beer. I had to build up my endurance for I knew I would be exposed to more of the same during the trip..

After performing a refit on my canoe(patching a hole and repainting), I carefully organizing my supplies into the dry bags and felt I was ready to go. Now the challenge was to endure waiting for three more days until we set sail…. a feeling that a small child has for his wait for Christmas day.

We arrived at the put in under the Doaktown Bridge on route 123. We bid our driver Albert farewell(which is Chad’s good friend)and guaranteed him we would meet him at Salmon Brook Pool at 7:00 P.M. five days from now. Albert knows his way around this neck of the woods and we could trust him to find his way into Salmon Brook Pool through old remote logging roads that were barely on the map.

The Cains is a slow moving river. To canoe it without scraping on rocks, water levels has to be above summer levels. The excitement of fast rapids and falls is non existent from the Doaktown Bridge down to the mouth but it is a river where you can enjoy the scenery, friendship and fishing without having to break for precariously navigating through white water rapids riddled with boulders and big drops.

Typically, we like getting our tents set up around 4:00 pm cook some trout then have the evening for fishing, camp fires,lies, guitar playing, and a few refreshment well into the night. Our energy runs out long before our conversation and laughter,  but as soon as we awake we start all over again. The first night, June 15,2014, was no exception. Around the Upper Trout Pool Area, under the comfort of the hardwood trees and a roaring camp fire, we partied well into the morning before cashing in and calling it a day.

The second day was colder then average for this time of year – around 15c. Early morning a moose crossed 150 meters downstream from where I was fishing. The day progressed with lots of stops and the cooking of freshly caught trout. The day came and went in a flash and before we knew it we were setting up camp again. We tarped our tents to shelter us from the rain.
A few showers didn’t stop us from the usual guitar playing, having a warm fire and cold beer. We all slept well and stayed dry.

We awoke to a warm hot day. Mid morning Aaron’s neck was getting burnt so he borrowed my hat. Denis’s forearms were getting burnt so he borrowed some wet grass from mother nature and tied it to his arms. Our third night camp was near Blackville at a pool I think is Dr. Island Pool. The camp spot was up a hill about 150 meters away. Dragging the cooking gear would of been a task so we cooked and ate our supper by the river’s edge. Despite the dropping temperature, we had a bath in the icy water. I am not sure what was worse, the cold water or hauling the camp gear up the hill. It was however a nice place to camp and worth our efforts.

The forth morning greeted us with a bright sunny day. I dressed light thinking it would be warm. It started to rain, the temperature dropped and we all got wet and I got very cold. The down pours caused the day to be rained out as far as fishing was concern. We paddled hard for several hours until we got to Fin Pool where we found a wet campsite up on a hill. We pulled our gear up the bank and about 100 yards into the wood, quickly got a fire going and pitched our tent complete with an over head tarp. I changed into dry cloths and put on my rain gear and started cooking supper. The rain let off and although it was not an ideal camp site we though it would be decent spot to spend the forth and last night of the trip. Well we got more then what we bargained for because about 3:00 a.m. we all awoke to strange screeching noises and branches being broke by an animal that would have to be as big as a bear. Now folks we are not new to the woods so we figured the screeching may have been an owl, but the breaking of big branch and trees had to be by something big. I joked a big foot but the boys settle there minds to be a simple old black bear with no claws and dull teeth. The sounds seem to go away and we fell back to sleep for another couple of hours.

The 5th morning was cold and I dressed for it. I used my neoprene waders, a sweater and an oil skinned rain jacket. Despite the cold and rain we were all fairly comfortable and enjoyed the day fishing and floating down the river. Early afternoon the temperature dropped again and we had one heck of a hail storm. The pellets were bouncing off my hooded rain coat like a rubber ball on pavement. We sat in wonderment of the storm and somehow enjoyed it’s splendor.

After the storm we continued our way downstream. I spent an hour or so fishing at Pickards Pool which is about 1 km upstream from our take out at Salmon Pool. I caught a few small trout and like most of the fish we catch, I released them back into the river to live another day.

We arrived at our takeout at Salmon Brook Pool. We walked our boats up Salmon Book about 100 meters to a steep embankment where we unload our gear. Off in the distance we heard our drive coming up the woods road. The timing was perfect so it wasn’t long before we had our boats and gear loaded on the trailer and heading back to Moncton. The trip back home was endured with many colourful stories each replete with exaggeration and humour.  I am not sure when we will be back but I will sure miss this 40 km, 5 days on the Cains River.

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