Miramichi Fishing Report for July 14, 2011

Angling continues to be extremely positive with excellent numbers of fish in the system, the like not seen in years. High water and some warm days caused a slight slowing, but the over all picture remains great.

Attesting to this are reports that the Trapnet at Cassilis on the Northwest was getting a steady average of 50-to-60 fish a day last week while Millerton was averaging over 100. In both cases ΒΌ to 1/3 of the numbers were salmon.

W. W. Doak and Sons in Doaktown said there were fish everywhere with the runs being exceptional with most anglers having considerable success. One angler who has fished world-wide and has been fishing the Miramichi for 50 years said this is the most fish he’s seen in the Miramichi. Generally there were more grilse than salmon, but there were also good numbers of salmon weighing in the mid teens. Water conditions were close to perfect. Most of the traditional excuses given for not going to the river do not apply.

Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines, Glitter Bears, Black Bugs, Same-thing-Murrays, Undertakers, and if the truth be known, almost any fly. There were not a lot of dry flies being used as the fish were moving more so than pooling.

Derek Munn of Ledges Inn in Doaktown and Mountain Channel in the Rapids area said it was still awfully good fishing, even with the few very hot and humid days we’ve had. Mountain Channel was still a bit high, and the Main Southwest received about a foot raise of water on Wednesday, but it still was catching fish, while Ledges was doing better. Generally there were more grilse than Salmon, but they were still picking up 2 or 3 salmon a day between 14-20 pounds.

Flies of choice were Smurfs, Brown Bombers, Blue Bombers, Undertakers, White-tailed Green Machines, Conrads and Silver Doctors.

Herb Barry Sr. of Herb’s Fly Shop on the Station Road in Blackville said anglers were catching some fish, but angling was a bit tighter than it had been as fish were not taking as well and there seemed to be a few less than last week. However, the water was still a little high and a tad warm, before a foot raise on Wednesday. Catches were mostly grilse with some salmon.

Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines, Green Rats, Preachers and Undertakers.

Curtis Miramichi River Outfitting in Blackville said angling was slowing in places Tuesday due to warm weather. Anglers were still catching, but had to work a little harder. The raise in water Wednesday could also affect the final results. However, the rain would also cool the water.

Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines, Buck Bugs, Undertakers, Preachers, Blue Charms and a few Bombers. Most hooks were 6 & 8s with even a few 10s.

George Routledge of George’s Fly Shop at the Mouth of Renous in Quarryville said angling had been very good, but had slowed a bit on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday saw a foot raise in water, and it was still on the rise late Wednesday on both the Main Southwest and Renous. However, in spite of rising water, anglers had picked up 6 or seven fish. Routledge said as the water drops, angling should be good by the weekend.

Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines, , Green Machines, Yellow Bugs, and Shady Ladies.

Jim Laws of Miramichi Hunting and Fishing in Newcastle, Miramichi reported that angling had slowed a little at the start of the week, particularly on the Northwest, Little Southwest and Sevogle Rivers due to lower water levels and warmer temperatures. A good rain would pick up angling again, but there was only a slight raise after Wednesday. There were good numbers of grilse, and some salmon.

Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines, Shady Ladies, Preachers, Undertakers with some Dry Flies in the mix.

Syd Matchett of Trout Brook Fly Shop on the Northwest Miramichi said angling there was still good, but some anglers had stopped due to Hook n’ Release regulations from the Wayerton Bridge up. It was mostly grilse that were being caught, but there were a couple of days where it was mostly salmon. Syd and his grandson Jacob each caught a grilse on Friday of last week. Edward Stewart and his sister Barb from Saint John had a very good week on “a secret Greg MacDonald Special”.

Peter Nevin even went back to basics, hand-lining a salmon to the beach before removing the hook and releasing it. Seem after he had hooked it, the salmon took off down river and well into his backing which was a tad old, and snapped off. He felt he was in for a trip to Syd’s for a whole new line, but as he was walking along the shore, he noticed what looked like his backing floating in the water, so he reached for it and began to pull it in, hand over hand, and soon was at his line, with the salmon still on. Now that’s the way to get your line back and at the same time, give the fish a fighting chance!

Herbie Bell felt that Mike Lavigne should be acknowledged for his endurance. He has been fishing for 11 years, and finally landed his first grilse a little over a week ago. Now that is patience, so congrats Mike!

Ron Hachey released a fish this past Monday, and has released several more earlier. Syd said that this week, all parties drawn for Crown Reserve on the Northwest seem to be taking the opportunity to hook and release and generally have a good time being out. Andre Comeau would like to that his daughter Tiffany also hooked her first grilse but was unable to land it.

Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines and variations of it with Krystal Flash, red, green and double butts, Belly Dancers, Shady Ladies, and Butterflies.

Debbie Norton of Upper Oxbow Outdoor Adventures on the Little Southwest Miramichi said Wednesday was the conclusion of the 6th Annual MSA Miramichi Salmon Classic, and the results were very good with most anglers having success. Grilse out-numbered salmon about 9-to-1, with the best angling in the mornings as the water became warm as evening approached. There were 26 fish hooked and released on Monday which was day 1 of the event, and 11 by noon Tuesday. All catches were released. Canoeing conditions were iffy, particularly on the Northwest, although there was a small bump in water from storms Tuesday, but certainly not the amounts received on the Main Southwest and its tributaries.

Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines and Pompiers (French for Firemen, I’m told).

So with continued good numbers of fish coming into the system and good water levels and decent temperatures, it is time to get out and “on the water”.

P.S. Thanks to the large number of people who have signed up for the column and to those who have graciously agreed to sponsorship, as well as to those who have given feedback. We can still use more support and more sign-ups, so tell your friends. Send along your stories and photos to me at .


Don’t forget to show your support for our sponsors, because without them, this column would not be possible.

Check out Deals 4 U in Miramichi for your grocery needs, and a very good selection of Cuban cigars to celebrate getting back to the rivers. Also check out their weekly specials.

Drop into Bryant Freeman’s Eskape Anglers in Riverview to stock up on flies for the up-coming “brights season” as well as any other equipment you may need such as a Redington Rod. Don’t forget that this is the home of The Carter’s Bug tied only the way that Bryant can tie it!


Thought for the Week: “The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.” ~ John Buchan

HUMOUR: “Every Sunday afternoon everyone in the neighborhood would meet at the nearby cross roads and country store to compare their weekend catches. Everyone had normal size fish except this one old farmer who had always brought in huge fish. The game warden heard about this and showed up one Sunday afternoon. After inspecting the old farmers fish, he turned to the farmer and said “If you don’t show me your fishing spot, I’m going to have to close you down.” The farmer replied by telling him to come out to the farm in the morning and he would take him fishing. The next morning the game warden shows up with his pole and the farmer tells him to climb onto the tractor. They head out into this big field until they come to a little pond. The warden is scratching his head because all he sees is a rotten old skiff, when he expected a large lake and something closer to a yacht. The farmer said to get in and they start rowing out to the middle. About this time the warden notices that there are no fishing poles. As he is about to say something, the farmer reaches into a box and pulls out a stick of dynamite, lights it and throws it into the pond. After the water and smoke settle, he paddles around picking up the fish. The warden’s jaw is on the deck. He can’t talk for a minute. When he finds his voice, he starts in on the farmer about how he can’t believe what just happened and starts screaming to the farmer about all the regulations he has broken. While this is taking place the farmer calmly reaches into the box grabs another stick of dynamite, lights it, hands it to the warden and asks him if he is going to fish or talk.”

Greetings from three Pennsylvania salmon anglers!

Hello Doug,

My brother Hap and I and our friend Herm Van Fleet had a spectacular week of fishing on the Little Southwest the last week of June. The weather could not have been more perfect! Between us, we hooked 23 fish and landed 10, and we saw large salmon jumping and moving up river at high rates of speed. A nice grilse, shown in the attached photo, was landed in the first half hour of fishing on Monday afternoon, and it only got better from there. Three landed Tuesday, four Wednesday and two Thursday evening in a cool rain at Dennis Pool near the Miramichi Inn. Our stay at Susan, Patrick and John’s Miramichi Inn could not have been better. Beautiful accommodations, exquisite food, expert guide services. We highly recommend it for anyone staying any length of time on the Little Southwest.

As we prepared to depart New Brunswick very early Friday morning for the long drive back to Philadelphia, the three of us vowed to return to fish the summer run again. Cannot wait to get back!

Tight lines!
Bob McCall, Hap McCall, Herm Van Fleet


Doug –

First of all I have been an avid follower of your little “Journal”, very helpful and interesting ! I fish at Debbie’s and have for some years, much easier than The Labrador when one is 81! Got a copy of your book at Cheuter’s Brook last week and it is excellent, a fine piece of work! Keep up the good work!

John R. Woods


Atlantic Salmon Federation News
July 7, 2011
IJC Fails to Address Alewife Issue
Again the IJC has failed to act to open fishways for native alewives/gaspereau on the international St. Croix River on the border of Maine and New Brunswick. Read more.

In addition, a June 2011 Canadian Geographic article gives excellent background to the alewives in the St. Croix.

ASF’s RIVER NOTES BLOG Updated – with some excellent news!
ASF’s RIVER NOTES Blog has just been updated with the very latest information on Atlantic salmon runs. Exciting numbers on some rivers including Cascapedia at 995 and Penobscot at 2,864.

In addition, a 5-min. video of Dr. Paul Elson’s pioneering smolt research in the early 1950s on the Pollett River in NB shows what is possible for the future of the Petitcodiac River system, now that the gates are open.

Live Release Rules on Miramichi
In New Brunswick’s Miramichi River system, new rules for live release went into force yesterday on some sections of river.

ASF President Bill Taylor comments on the new live release rules in a CBC News podcast – go to 6 min. 39 sec. for this segment.

Research on Scales May Pinpoint Ocean Feeding Grounds
In UK research, a new study has shown that chemical analysis of scales can find the ocean feeding grounds of some individual Atlantic salmon.

To keep track of breaking news on wild Atlantic salmon, use the Atlantic Salmon Federation’s presence on Facebook. Log in, search for Atlantic Salmon Federation, and click “like”.

ASF’s Webworks is an updating service on the world of the wild Atlantic salmon. If you wish to be added or removed, follow details below. Send the ASFWebworks to others interested in the world of wild Atlantic salmon with “Forward email”

Dear ASF Member,

If you haven’t had a chance to get to a salmon river yet this season – this is the year to make an extra effort. River reports coming to the Atlantic Salmon Federation from all over are touting absolutely outstanding returns. On the Restigouche, people on the shore are coming out to watch the salmon jumping as they move upstream. On the Miramichi, a pedestrian bridge below Wilson’s Camp has become a vantage point for local residents to peer into the water and watch the large salmon moving upstream. News from rivers throughout Maine, Quebec and other parts of Atlantic Canada are also reporting their best year in decades.

For up to date river news, visit the ASF River Notes and Blog – you will want to check this regularly for updates.

Another great resource is the Environment Canada Water Survey for information on water conditions in rivers all across Canada.

Check out the list of Live Release Camps too – some of these lodges have fantastic blogs, photos and last minute booking opportunities as well as information on local conditions.

Thank you for your ongoing support and we wish you tight lines and quick releases during this amazing season!

Your friends in Conservation
The Atlantic Salmon Federation

July 11, 2011

Community Groups Appeal Nova Scotia Approval of Fish Farms
Local community members from St. Mary’s Bay and the Atlantic Salmon Federation today filed an appeal to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court to oppose the creation of one of the province’s largest fish farms in the community’s traditional fishing grounds. Read More:

In Norway, Critical Situation for Salmon from Sea Lice and Farm Escapes
This spring and summer there have been large numbers of escapes from salmon farms, and very high densities of sea lice on migrating smolts and adult Atlantic salmon.


Please read the attached file in regard to a fundraising event that is being held at the Atlantic Salmon Museum to honor George Routledge and to raise money in support of our summer camp. George is a ‘best friend’ to our summer camp program “Come Play on Our River”. We hope you can attend & please circulate this message to your contacts.

Thank you for your support & hope to see you on August 19th.

Linda Gaston
Executive Director
Atlantic Salmon Museum

Friday August 19th – Reception @ 5:30pm – Dinner @ 6:30pm – consisting of a fresh green salad, stuffed chicken breast, rice medley, seasonal vegetables, tea/coffee & Georges favorite dessert – strawberry shortcake!

TICKETS – $50.00 including a $25.00 tax receipt

Call – 365 7787 or Email – for tickets & information

An Atlantic Salmon Museum Fundraiser for the ‘Come Play on Our River’ Summer Camp

George started tying flies after his first year of fishing and like all new fly tiers he thought he was going to add a great number of new flies to the history of Fly Tiers. He did design a couple which he can call his own. (1) Georges Renous Copper, and (2) Black Bear Hackle and Squirrel, developed by himself and Marc Madore of Blackville. These two flies are included in Paul Mariner’s book, “Modern Atlantic Salmon Flies”. George’s favorite fly is “The Butterfly”.

George credits his years in the military with his heart felt belief that people should be treated the way he would like to be treated. George’s shop is a real meeting place for many people who visit regularly, and who share his feelings “that fishing is more than catching a fish, it’s just being on the river with friends”.

George has a story on his wall about Ted Williams being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The inscription reads, “George ties my flies”.

He is especially interested in the young people who come into his shop and purchase materials for fly tying and also for advice. He adds up their purchases and divides the total in half. He loves to see young people on the river fishing.

George has been extremely generous with various gifts to our Salmon Museum – especially in supplying rods, and materials for fly tying to our ecological summer camp, “Come Play on Our River”, which we operate each summer. A children’s summer camp has been in operation since the inception of the museum, having been renamed several times.

To keep this amazing award winning camp going we are finding ourselves in need of funds to sustain it.

George has received a “Friend of the River” award from the North West Salmon Protection Association. George’s generosity, his comfortable way of treating his customers, and his outstanding success in the profession he loves, has earned him the title he is often known by, “THE MAN AT THE MOUTH”. It is indeed our pleasure to honor him on August 19, 2011in the River Room, at the Atlantic Salmon Museum, 263 Main Street, Doaktown, NB.

If you wish to say a few words on George’s behalf or if you have memorabilia that you can loan the museum for this special event, please inform Linda. Tickets are now available.


Until next week,

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