By the time you have received this, the annual three-day Moose Hunt will be well under way. So dress in Hunter Orange if wandering off the beaten track, and avoid flies tied with “Moose Hair” as hunters are out in great numbers in search of the mighty “Swamp Donkey”.
The Fall foliage is beginning to hit stride, making it more enjoyable to get out and on the water. But be extra careful as water conditions are very high, and a dip this time of the year could be very dangerous.
There are fish around, but they are not taking well. The fish that are being seen and hooked are dark, with few fresh fish being reported.
W. W. Doak and Sons in Doaktown said the water was still high on Tuesday and angling was sporadic with one or two fish being hooked here and there. Not many locals were angling. The fish seemed to be dispersed over a bigger area with the high water and seemed to also be stretched over a longer period of time, rather than one big bump that would be considered the Fall Run. They were hoping for fishable conditions by the weekend.
Flies of choice were Ally’s Shrimps, General Practitioners, Mickey Finns, Same-Thing-Murrays, Marabous and Glitter Bugs.
Derek Munn of Ledges Inn in Doaktown and Mountain Channel in the Rapids area said fishing had been slow the last week, but they did pick up a couple of fish Tuesday and three Wednesday morning and started seeing more jumping and rolling. The water is still too high as it came up about 8-10 inches here Tuesday, but was starting to drop now. The fish they are catching are all older fish and there doesn’t seem to be many fresh fish around.
Flies of choice were no particular pattern that is working better than others but they landed fish Wednesday morning on a Cascade, Blue Smurf and Ally’s Shrimp.
Herb Barry Sr. of Herb’s Fly Shop on the Station Road in Blackville said the water was still high, and had come up a foot on Monday. Anglers were catching the odd fish here and there, but in no great numbers. Most of the reported catches were on the Cains River and these numbers were not great. Not many anglers were fishing the Blackville area.
Flies of choice were L.T. Specials, Ally’s Shrimps, General Practitioners, Same-Thing-Murrays and Green Rats.
Curtis Miramichi River Outfitting in Blackville said water conditions were still quite high on Tuesday. Anglers were catching some fish, but not many. The Cains River seemed to be doing the best. The Fall colours were being to be seen and canoeing conditions were very good.
Flies of choice were L.T. Specials, Ally’s Shrimps, and Red Francis’
George Routledge of George’s Fly Shop at the Mouth of Renous in Quarryville said they were seeing some fish, but they were not taking well. The water was still high, but on Tuesday anglers were able to fish the Mouth of Renous.
Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines, Shady Ladies and a variety of traditional Fall patterns.
Jim Laws of Miramichi Hunting and Fishing in Newcastle, Miramichi reported that the water was still quite high and fishing was slow. Generally the fish that were being seen were not taking well with only the odd one being hooked. Decent numbers of Stripped Bass have returned to the Miramichi area.
Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines, Ally’s Shrimps, General Practitioners and L.T. Specials.
Syd Matchett of Trout Brook Fly Shop on the Northwest Miramichi said angling was very quiet, although John Bagel hooked a 20-pound salmon and a friend had hooked a 12-pounder in the lower end of the river. Not many locals were fishing, so it was difficult to get a proper read on catching.
Flies of choice were Shady Ladies, White-tailed Green Machines and Bear Hairs rather than the traditional Fall patterns.
Debbie Norton of Upper Oxbow Outdoor Adventures on the Little Southwest Miramichi said again this week that there was lots of water and someone could turn the tap off any time. Anglers were seeing some fish and losing a few when hooked. Just the odd one was being caught here and there.
Flies of choice were General Practitioners and anything big and bright such as Marabous.
So be vigilant and careful as you take advantage of the few days of sunshine in the forecast as you get out and “on the water”.
Don’t forget to show your support for our sponsors, because without them, this column would not be possible.
Visit Deals 4 U in Miramichi for your grocery needs, and good Cuban cigars to celebrate getting back to the rivers.
Providing quality gear for the outdoor enthusiast all year round, Pronature in Miramichi has you covered. Stop in to check out their rods, reels, tackle and gear.
Fishing Packages are available at the newly renovated Days Inn in Miramichi, located in the heart of downtown Miramichi, just steps from the mighty Miramichi River.
ANY FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS TOWARD HELPING WITH THIS COLUMN ARE GREATLY APPRECIATED. Click here to donate now. A SPECIAL THANKS to all who made contributions.
CONDOLENCES: Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of fellow angler Tommy Biggs who passed away suddenly this past weekend. Tom was one of my closest fishing friends. Tommy will be missed by all who knew him. He was called from us far too soon. Every life deserves a marker of remembrance. The next time I am on the water, I will pause and remember Tommy. Then I’ll pick up a stone, warm it with my hand, and toss it gently into the pool. I know he will feel it, because his soul is there.
Cast a gentle line over us Tommy. We will never forget you!
Thought for the Week: “One thing becomes clearer as one gets older and one’s fishing experience increases, and that is the paramount importance of one’s fishing companions” John Ashley-Cooper
Fr: Garry Tanner: Hope you enjoy! http://theriverscourse.blogspot.com/2013/09/miramichi-salmon-camp-september-2013_24.html
From the MSA
The 18th Annual Fredericton Conservation Dinner was held at the Fredericton Inn on Tuesday, September 17th.
This year’s honoree was J.W. Bud Bird, MSA Chairman Emeritus and Campaign 60 Director – Bud Bird was honored by a crowd of over 500, including Premier David Alward, for his life-long dedication and commitment to the cause of the wild Atlantic salmon, and in particular the Miramichi salmon. Bud expressed since appreciation for the recognition he received, delivering a key note address that one long time salmon enthusiast described as; “the best darn salmon speech I’ve heard – Bud nailed it!” Read Bud’s address, entitled “The Wild Atlantic Salmon – A symbol for Environmental Integrity”.
The MSA wishes to thank everyone that attended and /or donated to this year’s Fredericton Conservation Dinner.
The Daily Gleaner published a great story about Bud’s contributions and the dinner – Dedicated to Conservation
and the Miramichi Leader published an interview with Bud at the Miramichi Salmon Conservation Centre on September 13th – Salmon must be saved, says Bud Bird
As the Fall season approaches, MSA staff are especially busy in both the field and at the hatchery.
September is the beginning of our annual broodstock collection where we gather wild adult salmon for spawning. This is a great opportunity to volunteer in a fun activity to help the MSA gather these fish. We have collected fish from the Northwest Barrier and Rocky Brook and tomorrow plan to be in Juniper. Next week we hope to visit the Little Southwest and Clearwater Brook and if you would like to volunteer please call us at the South Esk office at 506.622.4000.
The collection process involves surrounding a pool with a fine mesh net with weights on the bottom of the net to keep it along the gravel and floats on the top of the net to keep it at the surface to form a barrier to the salmon. The seine net is slowly drawn into one shore and the area that the fish can swim in becomes smaller until the area is small enough that we can reach in and pick the salmon up. The salmon are then placed in a special vessel with water and carried to the tank truck and placed in the tank. Once the appropriate number of salmon are collected, the balance of the salmon are released and the tank truck takes the captured salmon to holding tanks at the hatchery where they are held until spawning time, usually mid-October. Once spawned, the salmon are released back to the wild.
JD Irving has posted a video to Youtube in which MSA President Mark Hambrook describes the broodstock collection process and you can watch our staff at work.
To view the video go to Burnt Hill Brook Broodstock Collection.
The fall is a great time to visit the hatchery – we have large salmon on site and you can watch the spawning of the fish – if you would like to come for a tour please call ahead to make sure we are spawning that day – the schedule is determined by the fish.
MSA Field crew has begun our beaver dam reconnaissance. Biologist Alex Parker and field technician Tyler Storey flew the Cains and Barnaby rivers yesterday and the field crew are canoeing today to ground truth the flight results. We will be flying the watershed over the next couple of weeks and in October will be breaching dams allowing salmon to move up the affected brooks.
The media published a number of stories regarding the funding the MSA received for the beaver dam program. Kris McDaniels from the Miramichi Leader wrote – Dam removal funding will help salmon.
Though the high water has impeded our progress we will be helping DFO technicians complete the annual electrofishing program which is used to assess juvenile Atlantic salmon populations on the Miramichi watershed over time. Plans are, pending clear skies for the next little while, to complete the surveys next week.
The Cassilis and Millerton traps have been catching approximately 3 – 5 fish daily. Fish are being seen and some being caught – one of our US Directors visiting this week caught a 15 lb salmon near Blackville – and due to the high water the numbers of fish being caught in the traps may not be representative of what is going up river.
The Northwest Barrier was holding 393 salmon as of Sept 15th, an increase of 23 fish over the week and the biggest weekly increase since early July. This compares to 285 fish at the barrier the same time last year.
The Dungarvon Barrier was holding 439 salmon as of Sept 25th, up 15 fish from the previous week. This compares to 242 fish at the Dungarvon barrier the same time last year.
Campaign 60… 250 donors and growing!!
We are pleased to report that the number of donors to Campaign 60, the MSA’s 60th Anniversary capital campaign, has now exceeded the 250 mark with contributions and commitments now totalling 80% of our $2 million goal. With over 1,200 plus members, we are hoping many more MSA supporters will re-confirm their support for salmon conservation by joining ranks with the current group of 250+ donors to Campaign 60. You can view of listing of current Campaign donors at MSA Campaign 60 Donors.
It looks like another great weekend coming here on the Miramichi – though Sunday calls for thundershowers it will have a feel like temperature of 28 Celcius (82 Farenheit). Enjoy!
Yours in Conservation
Atlantic Salmon Federation News
Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013
ASF RIVERNOTES has the Latest Updates
ASF RIVERNOTES has reports on the latest conditions, plus the new Atlantic salmon counts as we head into autumn.
ASF RESEARCH Blog has been updated, with some new faces helping to meet the challenge of a high water late field season.
Innovative Arches for Salmon and Trout
In Maine, a new and interesting design of culverts is showing great promise for fish passage beneath the roadways.
Fishing banned from Parts of LaHave River in NS
Concerns raised on Atlantic salmon are impacting trout angling.
Government Must Answer Questions on Fish Farm Impacts
A NAFTA-related agency has said the Canadian government must answer questions on the effect of fish farms on West Coast salmon. There are implications for Atlantic salmon in this decision.
Until next week