After two full months of very consistent Atlantic Salmon fishing - probably the best since 2011 - it quickly came to a screeching halt when the weather temperature hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit! It did not take long for waders to be replaced by swimming trunks and fishing replaced with canoeing, kayaking and swimming - it became too hot to fish, too hot to work, even too hot to even talk about it. As the Old Timer's called it... "The Dog Days of summer" had arrived. Now the water is low and warm on all stretches of the river system and the forecast is calling for good rain over the next few days. The forecast for the weekend is looking up however it will depend on how much rain we do receive from the storms and the what the temperature levels are. It is again starting to look very promising for the fall, especially for September and October, with normal cooler conditions in the forecast.
Anglers are still picking up fish throughout the river system but not as many are traveling, preferring to pick the pools with fish in them and take their chances - unlike earlier in the season when fish were moving and the rule of "being in the right place at the right time" applied. The fish are starting to hold up more and fishermen are having the most success using "Peach Carter Bugs" & "Bombers". As with all our guests, it's always great to have them returning - especially the ones that have not been returning to the Miramichi due to travel restrictions - however things are improving and now opening up again! Longtime returning guest Bill Mather was our first "out-of-Atlantic-Canada-Bubble" guest, which makes another "first" for Bill, as he also holds our record for "first fish of the season" in 3 of the past 20 seasons.
Conditions have remained quite consistent here but they are calling for warmer temperatures this coming week so let's hope it will not be too warm and won't last for too long. If you are thinking of making the trip to the Miramichi this fall, this might be a good time to place any orders with our three local fly Shops - "Miramichi Curtis Outfitters" in Blackville, "Doaks" in Doaktown or "Syd Matchett" - Trout Brook, on the Nor'west. If you will be staying at Country Haven and placing a order with any of these fly shops, let us know and we can have it picked up and ready for you when you arrive at the lodge.
Please remember that we also specialize in providing "Father & Son/Daughter" trips and it's always great seeing two or three generations together, having fishing success while enjoying quality time together.
What a wonderful start to the 2021 summer fishing season with fantastic cool conditions and an abundance of fish throughout system for over two months now. We have received good reports from Juniper, Clearwater, Rocky Brook, Rocky Bend, Boistown, Doaktown, Millerton and everywhere in-between - Little Forks, Square Forks, Cains River and the Renous River. We are not sure if the numbers are that much better than some of the past few years - as they might have been quite similar over the past 11 years if we would of had conditions comparable to this season's good results. Fish swim so they need water and with the lower water over the last few seasons, the majority of fish ended up arriving after the season when the conditions improved. Unfortunately, the late arrivals were not so good for fish count numbers as the counters are always removed after the fishing season. So.. we do expect better overall counts for this season which should show very good return numbers. Although the majority of fish being landed right now are Grilse, there are also some nice big Salmon being hooked, but many are being lost due to the great fighters and the use of barbless hooks is taking a bit of getting used to for those who have never fished barbless. But overall, it’s the way to go and many of our fishermen have been fishing barbless for years! With the amount of rain we have been receiving, the water is on the higher side for the lower stretches of the river for July fishing, but ideal for the Salmon - and that is the most important thing of all! Fishermen have been experiencing better results using Wet flies but also catching a few on Dry flies. Conditions are also ideal for canoeing trips on the Cains River and all of the Main River System. It is still looking like August the 9th will be the date for opening the Canadian border for American fishermen! Although the border has been closed for just over a year, some anglers tell me that it seems like 20 Years! This might be a good time to read the 'Herby Curtis' book once again - “The Americans are Coming“!
Please remember that we also specialize in providing Father & Son/Daughter trips and it's always very nice seeing two or three generations together, having success while enjoying quality time together. As of today, I can't think of many past July's where conditions looked much better to be on the Miramichi than right now.
It was another decent week on the Miramichi with fishermen catching well throughout the system. The higher water made for great canoeing trips on the Cains as well as some Salmon and Trout fishing included for those that were paddling the lower stretches. With the rise in water levels, some pools fished well because of the rise and others did not produce as well due to the holdup fish moving out, but overall, I think these two past months have been one of the best starts to the summer fishing season in 20 years! There have been lots of fish but the big advantage this year has been the ideal fishing conditions throughout the province - that sure helps. We had a couple of warmer days over weekend which slowed things a bit but the higher water was a buffer to keep conditions OK for now. With the rain we are receiving this morning, along with good reports from our fishermen, it’s starting to look like another good week on the river. Dry fly fishing has also been improving as the time of the season moves on. Spring streamer fishing can be good.. summer Wet fly fishing can be great.. but hooking an Atlantic Salmon on a Dry Fly is simply the best experience of all! As you can see from our notice above, the U.S./Canada border is opening up and early September anglers from other countries will be able to visit us. All this is welcome news and we are looking forward to seeing old fishing friends once again - as well as many new faces who wish to try their luck challenging the feisty Atlantic Salmon or testing some BIG Striped Bass. We hope to see all of you very soon.
Overall, it was another great week on the Miramichi, with some decent fishing most of the week and now improving daily into the weekend. We enjoyed most of our success on the lower stretches of the Main Southwest Miramichi but also received great reports of good catches throughout the Main river and tributaries - especially on the Renous. It has been quite tough to receive good rains in the month of July over the past few years, but so far this year, that has not been the case as we received another good rainfall on Sunday, bringing the water levels up by approx. 8 ft. but they seem to drop faster now than in past years. There seems to be an abundance of fish this season as even in the higher and dirty water conditions, Salmon are jumping and rolling everywhere with good hook ups close to shore. With the water now falling again, fishermen are again having luck in the normal high water pools. Flies of choice early in the week were "#8 Wet". Flies of choice now are "#4 Green Machines" and "#4 Sugarman Shrimp".
Each week we try to get a few photos of angler's catches - mostly provided by the anglers themselves. It's always nice seeing the reaction of an angler to their first Atlantic landed! I can’t think of many much better than this one of Beth Bourque from Nova Scotia this week. (see photo below)
We also specialize in providing Father & Son/Daughter trips and it's always so nice seeing two or three generations having success while enjoying quality time together. As of today, I can't think of many past July's where conditions looked much better to be on the Miramichi than right now.
Her first Atlantic, The Photo says it all
Craig's first Atlantic
Good news... we finally got a good rainfall in the Month of July however there was some bad news too... the water was high and dirty over the weekend, making for poor fishing... but the best news was that our having access to a lot of private water, we still managed to have some success over weekend. With the water now falling and lots of fish moving up the system, fishermen are now having much better results once again. With the rise in water there are reports of every Miramichi Salmon fishing river now producing well - including good fishing on the Renous and Little Southwest rivers. with good conditions forecast for this week and another rain in forecast for Friday, it's looking like good fishing should continue for a while yet. So far with these conditions we have been fishing mostly with wet flies but did lose our first big Salmon on a dry fly on Sunday Morning. Flies of Choice have been "White Tail Green Machine" and "Undertakers Blue Charm".
We have had good conditions with lots of fish again this week, with hookups throughout much of the river system. This week we have seen a good mix of both Salmon and Grilse as last week we were seeing many more Salmon then Grilse. The Grilse landed so far are fighters! Althought the fish appear to be taking flies better above Blackville, Anglers in the White & Gray Rapids area were also having luck throughout the week. It is always fun watching the fresh fish as they come in off the tides. There are a good number of fish moving up through the Main river system and there are also fish starting to move up the Renous river, with some nice ones landed on the lower stretches over the last few days. If we get the rain they are calling for then we should see some good-to-great fishing throughout much of the Renous and Main River System. Flies of choice lately are the "Blue Charm", "Green Machine" and "Same Thing Murray #8".
So far, June results on the Main southwest Miramichi have been quite positive with a good number of Salmon entering the system. Without the number of regular fishermen on the river - due to borders being closed - not as many are fishing but for those that are, they are starting to have good results - especially in the lower stretches of the system - as we are seeing fish moving in off the tides daily. As more fishermen start fishing and these good conditions continue, we expect to see a good number of hookups throughout June and July. As the water has remained consistent on the Cains river, guests are still enjoying the Canoeing and Trout fishing trips on the river which can only be described as a "wonderful wilderness experience". Right now, the conditions for Salmon fishing are perfect for June runs on the Main river but a bit too low for much of the Renous. However, with a bit of rain, the Renous can be the place to be - with "expectations for good things“ in late June and early July.
The Countdown is on until the June Salmon runs begin on the Miramichi. With good conditions, some positive news on the borders opening, lots of "Daryl Tucker", "Austin Sullivan", and still some "Emerson Underhill Special" flies available for guests, I am not sure who is getting more excited for the start of the Salmon Season this year - the guides or the fishermen. We are in the "In Between" season - too late for spring and too early for summer Salmon - so we have been enjoying lots of canoeing, kayaking and Trout or Bass fishing to pass away the time. On the Main Southwest Miramichi, anglers normally get on the water by mid-June, with a few trying to hook an early-one before that. There have been some reports of a few being seen or lost so far - including Jason and his brother Jeff Curtis, Eddie Colford and Nick Keenan - they almost had fish landed but we are not sure if they were using the "Almost" fly or not = but we do expect to see photos of one of these fellows, or Collin Gilks, to post a picture of success soon! The first Salmon I know of so far that was hooked for the 2021 season was landed by Jeremy Inman while fishing the Nor'west Miramichi on June 1st. We figured it would be Jeremy or Bob Bowser on the Nor'west sticking with tradition. We can sometimes expect to catch an early one on the Nor'west, the Dungarvon or on the lower stretches of the Renous before Main River system results, but when fish do start, it can be great with landing beauties ranging from 17 to 22 lbs being normal in June. June 2019 was excellent for us on the lower stretch of the Main River and last year, July was better until it warmed up. A full Moon on June 24th will not a bad thing. We will always remember long-time Salmon fishermen Jim Leonard from Springfield MA saying to me, "Byz, always set your alarm to go fishing and always be on the Miramichi after a full moon". There are so many great memories of so many wonderful people and friends who will never be visiting the Miramichi again - but memories of them will live on among the Miramichi people and guides. We are all looking forward to things returning to normal soon, so we can welcome back many old and new friends and once again we can experience all that the Miramichi has to offer. Remember... do visit your local fly shop in person or online, including our local shops that we are all so proud of - Doaks in Doaktown, Curtis's in Blackville and for Brook Trout, Syd Matchett on the Nor'west.
With the Spring Salmon season now behind us and the Summer Salmon runs still a couple of weeks away, the almost daily canoeing adventures on the Cains River have been going extremely well! Guests have been enjoying trips ranging from one day to a week with some camping while others have enjoyed our luxury accommodations along the way! I just can't think of many places for 'getting away from it all' as being peacefully isolated in a wilderness setting - where you can still enjoy nature 'at its fullest'- than on this beautiful river. www.cottagesnewbrunswick.com
As we wait for the fresh runs of Summer Salmon to arrive, it’s a good time to visit your local Miramichi fly shops where you can learn from 'the best'. The Boys at Doaks, the Ladies at Curtis Fly Shop and the old Master - Syd - on the Nor'west. It is too early to know what conditions may be like for this coming summer but so far it has been a big improvement from last year as we have had some good rain.
With the Spring Atlantic Salmon season now winding down after a full month of fantastic fishing - anglers landed Salmon daily from April 15th to May 15th - making it one of the most consistent Spring Salmon seasons we have ever seen on the river. That is great news for the Salmon! The river also has an abundance of Striped Bass this Spring - good news for the fishermen but probably not so good for the Salmon. The DFO might not have any idea about the number of returning Salmon we received last season or how many Striped Bass are in the system this spring - again - probably not good news for the Atlantic Salmon or the River.
But overall, there have been many very happy fishermen on the river this spring, landing Salmon, Trout and 'Stripers'. With Spring Salmon fishing officially over, anglers will now be spending more time fishing for Bass and Trout in the tidal waters and also, canoeing & Trout fishing trips on the Cains River where you can include overnight cottage accommodations along the way. - www.cottagesnewbrunswick.com
With the spring fishing season now moving into its 4th week, there is still a lot of good fishing remaining. The spring Salmon catches are slowing, even though this week we are still receiving good reports from upriver to Doaktown, along with reports of excellent fishing in Blissfield on Friday. With the cooler water temperatures, fishermen will probably still catch a few for a while yet, as the fish are moving slowly. They are still catching some dark Trout in the White Rapids and Quarryville area. Striped Bass fishing from Quarryville to Redbank via Miramichi City - and everywhere in between - has to be considered the best Striped Bass fishing in the world, a title the Miramichi has always received for the Wild Atlantic Salmon. Many say both species can’t co-exist together for too long but let’s hope they can, as it does not look like the Bass are going anywhere soon and it's looking like the "Stripers" have become THE 'species of choice' for the DFO. So for now, everyone is enjoying the fishing. Salmon, Bass, Trout - the "Miramichi Grand Slam" - are being caught daily! The water is still at a good height for canoeing the tributaries and with the Sea Trout entering the system soon, there will be a lot of interest in canoeing adventures on the Cains River - a canoers 'paradise' in May.
As for flies this week, the "Gray Ghost" has been the fly of choice while fishing for Salmon and Trout but with Bass there is no preference, just use up your old spring fly patterns - they will take just about anything!
Today is opening day of the Trout Season on the Miramichi and by all accounts, there are quite a few around. The Atlantic Salmon fishing has remained very consistent throughout the first two weeks of the season, due to ideal conditions and high numbers of Salmon in the system this spring. Flies of choice this week have been "Christmas Tree", "Black Ghost" and "Magog Smelt" using sinking lines and sinking tips, also, with "#4 & #6 Green Machines" on floating lines. The conditions are now good in the lower stretches of the river for landing Salmon, Trout & Bass on any given day as there are plenty of all three species in the river. May is also a good time for canoeing - especially on the smaller tributaries like the Cains River - where we offer canoe rentals and shuttle service and can also include overnight accommodations in our Wilderness Cains River Cottage #6 - see www.cottagesnewbrunswick.com
Tight Lines from the Miramichi.
P.S... while you are here, do check out our All-Inclusive packages with Accommodations -or- Day Fishing packages - at fishingatlanticsalmon.com
I must admit, the largest Salmon landed on the river this week was by Robert Lurche from Bathurst NB, but the ladies really owned the river throughout the week, making for another fantastic week of Atlantic Salmon fishing. Spring is such an ideal time of the season for the entire family to enjoy river fishing. Our guests have been enjoying great success - from above Blackville, to Quarryville - catching lots of Salmon, some Trout and Striped Bass, but by all reports, the entire river system has been fishing very well! We received good reports from Carl Wilson in Boistown and Kyle Price in Doaktown on Wednesday, to fishermen in Miramichi City yesterday and everwhere in between - that’s over 100km of Wild Atlantic Salmon river! As one of our guides described it, "( I might not be the smartest fish in the pond but that is a wack of salmon in the river )". Flies of choice this week were the "Renous River Special", "Christmas Tree" and the "Bill Mather Bunny Strip". There are lots of fish in the river, good conditions for both sinking and sinking tip lines and this week we are expecting that fishermen in some areas will also start catching them using floating lines only.
Tight Lines from the Miramichi.
P.S... while you are here, do check out our All-Inclusive packages with Accommodations -or- Day Fishing packages - at fishingatlanticsalmon.com
Once again, we had some fairly good fishing on the river this week - with the exception of a few windy days when fishing was not at it's best - and we also had some days when guests limited out.
The good news was that the longer the season progressed, more pools with fish in them were there to choose from as fresh fish are still arriving as the season closes. There are reports by Striped Bass fishermen in the Miramichi City area that Salmon are still moving up the System, so with the late fall, we expect many more to arrive. We finally received the rain we were hoping for - but just a bit too late to enjoy fishing the Cains this year - but it was much needed and will be great for the Salmon as they move up the system. We also had the pleasure to finish out the season with young Julian Forlana - owner of "Julz Flies" - who fished with us and landed his first Miramichi Salmon - he has caught many in other rivers. For a 16 year old, he is far beyond his years for both fishing and fly tying - what a wicked fly he ties - and the best part is that they sure do work well! Flies of choice this week were the "Shrimp patterns".
Also, while you are here, do check out our All-Inclusive packages with Accommodations -or- Day Fishing packages - at fishingatlanticsalmon.com
With the 2020 Fishing season now over for another season, Diesel, Tyler and I and all the staff here at Country Haven would like to say "Thanks" to everyone for their help in making 2020 a much more successful season than we would have ever expected, as the Pandemic ended travel to all guests from outside Atlantic Canada. We endured the longest drought since 1939 along with one of the biggest fires on the Miramichi - in the Cains River area, but thanks to the staff and Atlantic Canadians pulling together and continuing to travel throughout the Maritime Provinces. This allowed a good number of returning guests to come, combined with good returns of fish that arrived when conditions were ready for them to come. We feel sorry for all our "away" guests that could not visit this season - and we miss you all - but we still have so much to be thankful for following the 2020 season after all.
There are a few takeaways from this season that we might or might not have known before the season started! * Never take anything for granted. * That there are a lot of fantastic Fly Fishermen here in Atlantic Canada. * That the weather Man can be wrong in his forecast almost every time but that’s still OK! * That ladies almost always outfish the men, but that is ok. * That there were some very big Salmon in the River this fall and that’s good. * That The River has more Bass now than in any time in modern history - that is not good! And, finally, that the DFO can spend a lifetime accomplishing absolutely nothing of any value to our Industry - and that will probably never change so that is not good! Overall, however, it could still be much worse and everyone is looking forward and hoping for a "more normal" Fishing Season in 2021, starting on April 15th.
From all of us, "Thanks again" to everyone.
Take Care and Stay Safe.
Tight Lines from the Miramichi.
Diesel, Tyler & I
We had another great week of Fishing on the Miramichi, with plenty of fish still holding up in some of the holding pools and more fresh fish still arriving daily into the lower stretches of the river system, giving fishermen a good chance for success every time they were on the water! There was a good mix of Salmon and Grilse in the System including some very BIG salmon. Most of our success this week came from 4 pools fishermen were using throughout the system and some fish hooked in the Quarryville area had Sea Lice. This week we also had the pleasure of hosting Deidre Green & crew - and what a fantastic person and fisherlady she is. Flies of choice this week were the "Shrimp Patterns" but the hottest fly by far was a fly introduced to the Miramichi by Rob Roy, called "The Robster". Following his success on the first couple of days of his trip, this Fly was in high demand by the weekend! With fish in the system, fall foliage happening and a long winter waiting over the horizon, we should all take advantage of the final weeks of the season!
Tight Lines from the Miramichi.
Also, do check out our All-Inclusive packages with Accommodations -or- Day Fishing packages - at fishingatlanticsalmon.com
First... The Bad news! We did not get the amount of rain expected this week. Even with lots of holding fish, by the weekend, fishing slowed to our lowest number of hookups in three weeks. The water is still too low to be fishing the Cains River in September this year. Lastly, my Birthday is tomorrow, September 29th and our regular Group from The UK will not be here to throw a party for me this year, and sadly, we will all miss Brian Warrington's singing!
Now..., The Good news! Even without much rain, fishermen still managed to have better-than-expected fishing, especially early in the week. We are blessed to now have access to even more of the best private water on the Miramichi this fall - for all conditions! We have been seeing more fresh fish coming into the lower stretches of the River System Saturday and yesterday than we have seen since early July. Guide Gary Colford said he has caught fish on the Cains every year for over 30 years and he will once again this season. Guide Danny Coughlan said there are more fish starting to hold in the lower pools than any time this Season. Guide Ken Vickers' guests started hooking into some nice fresh fish from the Sea yesterday. We are looking forward to a Full Moon and High Tides On Oct 1st! As the late and great Jim Leonard from MA would say, "What a time to be on the Miramichi, Byz!"
The Weather forecast is calling for a good rain by mid-week so Gary might get to the Cains river in October, after all.
Diesel is our new 'guide-in-training' so we are expecting big things from him by the end of the season.
Tight Lines from the Miramichi.
Also, do check out our All-Inclusive packages with Accommodations -or- Day Fishing packages - at fishingatlanticsalmon.com
Collin Macdonald, N.S.
Low water levels and cool conditions made for some good hookups - using both wet and dry flies - on most days this week. A returning Nova Scotia group of Don MacLean, Robert Skinner, Ira Grant and Chuck Thompson enjoyed the most productive trip they have had over the past 5 seasons! As of today, there are mostly holding fish in the system but we expect that to change very soon as it is time! With the forecast for Tuesday of 40-50 Ml. of rain, if we get it, fishermen should be in for a great fall season, especially on the Cains River where Guides Gary & Tyler look forward to fall guiding all season. So.. with fingers crossed. we are hoping for the rain! Flies of Choice have been #10 Undertakers, Red Butt Bear Hair and Bombers.
Tight Lines from the Miramichi.
Also, do check out our All-Inclusive packages with Accommodations -or- Day Fishing packages - at fishingatlanticsalmon.com
Right now we have low water levels but better temperatures and on the River, some success stories in the news last week. Rain is needed to have a great fall season throughout the system and the Cains, but even with current low water conditions, there are fish around, with some pools holding hundreds of fish with some big "fish-of-a-lifetime" among them. The cooler weather has been producing a bit of success but we are not seeing any great numbers of fresh fish yet, but there should be lots to come! The Fall runs will come, even with low water, if it is cool as the fish have a job to do and need to get it done! We have had low water conditions into September and October in some past seasons, with great fishing, especially in 2018 when it produced some of the best fall fishing on the main river in years - in the lower river pools - as fish started trickling in daily from Mid-September on, so fishermen are hoping for the same results this fall. The long range forecast is calling for some rain mid-week and everything could sure use it as our fall fishing begins. Flies of Choice have been #10 Undertaker, Bear Hairs - wet & smaller Peach Carter Bugs - dry.
Tight Lines from the Miramichi.
Also, see our All-Inclusive packages with Accommodations -or- Day Fishing packages - at fishingatlanticsalmon.com
We have finally had a change in weather conditions with some rain. As the temperatures cool, fishermen are heading back to the river and catching fish. Many were enjoying the runs in July before the warmer weather arrived and are expecting it to continue as conditions improve and the cold water pools have reopened. With the Canadian border closed until at least September the 25th, it is unsure how many - if any - anglers south of the Border will make it to the Miramichi for fall fishing this season. This is not good for foreign guests but it is a good time for Atlantic Canadian fishermen to take advantage of some of the good private fishing that Miramichi lodges might have available this fall, as the regular guests might not be able to return. Over the last few seasons, here at Country Haven, we have always offered our guests a great selection of private fishing opportunities throughout 27 private pools on four of the rivers of the Miramichi River System. Now we have access to even more water available for this season as we have worked out agreements with some U.S. lodge owners to use their Private water if they cannot make it this year and believe-you-me, there is some beautiful fall fishing to be had in their water!
Tight Lines from the Miramichi.
Also, see our All-Inclusive packages with Accommodations -or- Day Fishing packages - at fishingatlanticsalmon.com
This August, everyone in Atlantic Canada appear to have decided to take advantage of the warm weather but in addition to fishing, there are lots of other activities going on - like Kayaking, Canoeing, Wild Life Tours, Swimming, Wilderness photography excursions and just relaxing with a quality Cottage Rental! cottagesnewbrunswick.com.
A nice break for everyone would be to enjoy the outdoors with family & friends so the Miramichi has a lot to offer for every time of the season, even when conditions are not the best for fishing - but that should be changing for the better soon as we head into late summer and the fall with our spectacular colours.
Also, see our All-Inclusive packages with Accommodations -or- Day Fishing packages - at fishingatlanticsalmon.com
During July there were a good number of fish landings until the warmer weather settled in. With only Atlantic Canadian guests on the river so far, there have been more "first - timers" than normal trying Atlantic Salmon fishing and taking advantage of the private pool fishing that in past seasons, might not be available when in use by foreign owners, due to pandemic restrictions. With the warmer weather, we expect to be doing more canoeing, kayaking and vacation cottage renting until the fishing improves. For more on cottage rentals, visit cottagesnewbrunswick.com.
Also, see our All-Inclusive packages with Accommodations -or- Day Fishing packages - at fishingatlanticsalmon.com
Last week we saw a very good run of fish enter the system when many fishermen limited out daily with a good mix of Salmon & Grilse. The Adam Stone Family, from Floranceville NB, enjoyed great fishing and what a wonderful and exciting way to spend a vacation! As for flies, almost any summer pattern was working but the "Yellow Wing Butterfly" has been the fly of choice after anglers landed 9 using it on Sunday. With the cooler weather and the fish now travelling like crazy, we expect the cold water pools to be open very soon. The Main Southwest Miramichi has so many good pools for fishing so whether open or not - especially when the fish are travelling & not holding up - the fishing forecast is looking better into the weekend and we are expecting many more hook ups throughout the system.
See our All-Inclusive packages with Accommodations -or- Day Fishing packages - at fishingatlanticsalmon.com or Accommodations at cottagesnewbrunswick.com
There has been a “ Good run of fresh Atlantic Salmon & Grilse on the Miramichi “ for over a week now! Good numbers of fish are moving in daily, with many hookups throughout the River System. Water levels are low overall but ideal for the lower stretches of the Main Southwest Miramichi. Conditions have improved "big time" from a week ago, with our having daily rain or rain showers for a while now. After the warmer weather in June, July has been much more favorable for the the fish. "White Tail Green Machine", "Miramichi Cosseboom" and "Green Butt Bear Hair" are the flies of choice right now. For anyone who has been wanting to give fly fishing a try or has been wanting to get into some fresh Atlantic Salmon, this might be as good of time as any to give it a try. If you are a "local" then there are some Public pools in the area. If you are from "Out-of-Province" or would just like to increase your chances by using knowledgable Professional Guides and fishing some of the better Private pools on the River System, then there is a number of First Class Outfitters on the Miramichi that can offer All-Inclusive packages with Accommodations -or- Day Fishing packages - - including fishingatlanticsalmon.com or Accommodations cottagesnewbrunswick.com
This year, the Month of June was a busy one for us on the Miramichi. With the warmer weather, we had many more cottage rentals and canoeing trips than fishing, but with conditions now improving and good numbers of fish entering the system over the past few days, if the Salmon returns this year are anything like the Shad and Gasperpau return numbers, the river should be full. We are not sure if it is just a case of good returns or possibly reduced ocean fishing by trawlers but hopefully, it will be the same with the Salmon. Even though the conditions have not been very good so far, the returns have been very positive, especially on the Nor'west where they arrive a bit earlier. The River is low for this time of season but just perfect for some of the low water pools in the lower stretches. As we start increasing fishing now until we get rain, this is where fishermen will be constricting more as the fish arriving now are still June Salmon - they tend to move through the system no matter what the conditions are. The July run tends to start holding up more in the pools so as conditions improve, we should continue to see good runs of both! With these conditions, floating lines with #8 and #10 wet flies - Green Machine, Green Butt and Bear Hair Blue Charm appear to work well in the lower stretches of the river right now and include Bombers above Blackville. A visit to the Miramichi should always include a trip to local fly shops. We are hoping for good conditions, lots of Salmon and many "Tight Lines" for another productive season on the Miramichi. For accommodations, do visit our Cottages site at: cottagerentalsinnewbrunswick.com
This has been another Week of Salmon, Trout and Bass, Bass & more Bass! Fishermen were still catching all three species in the Quarryville area. Striper Bass fishing has been fantastic almost everywhere including around Miramichi City & the Nor'west and for Spring Salmon fishing, good numbers are being seen again this year -it makes one wonder where all the fish come from after the lower DFO numbers recorded last season! After 6 weeks of open river with fishermen enjoying great success daily and thousands being landed, one has to ask 1f the DFO counts are off by that much because of the counters being removed more frequently now than in past years due to fear of debris during high water when fish normally like to travel? Or, do the fish take longer to move out the system now? Or do the fish now arrive later each year after the counters are removed for the season in October due to the warmer weather we have been experiencing over the last few years? or do they just fly up when we are sleeping! We will probably never know but we do know that June 2019 was one of our best months in 20 years and also, we know that to have that many fish leaving the river again this spring, there had to be many more entering the system than the DFO Counts suggest! Each fall local fishermen say we will know the true number in the Spring rather than the DFO summer and fall guessing statistics. There was a sigh of relief again this spring to see that many spring Salmon around! With the managing of the Wild Atlantic Salmon over the years, the Striped Bass population on the Miramichi and the overall track record of the Fisheries, we can understand why locals do not have as much faith in the counting system and the DFO as they once had.
Jayda Macdonald, daughter of Jamie - who is known from his many years of guiding on the Miramichi - enjoys fishing at this time of year. She is a Miramichi jewel with great qualities. There is not a Salmon fly she doesn’t know or a Country Song she can’t sing. She knows what’s important in life! At Country Haven, we are now turning our attention to the Summer run Salmon that should be entering the system any day now, along with the Sea run "Brookies". Conditions are good for these early run fish. Both the Trout and Salmon are on the move in June as the Trout are heading to the far reaches of the Main River and the Cains, the Salmon to Rocky Brook and above on the Main River. It is more a case of "being in the right place at the right time" at this point in the year. With our Lodge's ideal location on the lower stretch of the Main river system - the only exception being the Renous river - every fish has to swim past our door and through our private pools to get to their destinations. This is also a good time of year for Canoeing and Kayaking trips on the River. We also offer packages that include Cottage rentals if required. Do visit our Cottages site at: cottagerentalsinnewbrunswick.com
"Tight lines" from the Miramichi & remember to visit our local fly shops.
This is that time of year that Miramichers call the "Grand Slam" season, as fishermen can catch Spring Salmon, Trout and Striped Bass all in the same day using flies. Everyone has been doing a great job at that this week! We are still catching Salmon from the Blackville area down, Trout at White Rapids and Quarryville, and Stripers in Quarryville. The "Gray Ghost" fly has been working well for all three species. Father & Son Mohammad and Faisal Hossian from Saint John landed the 3 species on every day of their stay and other anglers have been doing the same.
"Tight lines" from the Miramichi.
With the Spring Atlantic Salmon fishing winding down for another season, the Trout and Striped Bass fishing is picking up daily. Even though there still are some Salmon around - especially in the lower stretches of the river system - anglers are now catching Trout and Bass as well, in the White Rapids and Quarryville area of the River. Some anglers call this the "Grand Slam". Overall, we have to believe - even with the lower count numbers recorded last summer and fall - that there are still lots of fish in the system as everyone who went fishing had success! Here at Country Haven, 2019 was our best Season in the last 20 years with over 1,200 fish landed. With less fishermen this spring, due to travel restrictions, we will never know for sure how good this season might have been as so far, good reports received from throughout the system suggest it should be another successful season for anglers on the Miramichi. Fishermen will now be fishing for Trout and Striped Bass and the majority of fly fishermen on the river are turning their attention to the fresh Sea-Run Salmon that will be arriving in early June. If you are interested in fishing this season, now is a good time to visit your local fly shop in person or online to visit N.B. locals www.wwdoak.com and www.curtismiramichioutfitters.com or Google "Sydney Matchett Fly Shop". In the U.S., we highly recommend Tightlinesflyfishing.com. For those who might be interested in fishing for Atlantic Salmon or other species for the very first time but are not sure if they should invest just to try it, the Miramichi area has a good selection of Outfitters - including Country Haven - that offer a number of packages that can include everything needed to catch the "Big One" - Equipment, Private Fishing Pools, with or without Guides and for Accommodations - CottagesNewBrunswick.com
Throughout the years we have had many anglers who have enjoyed fishing with us on the Cains River - one of the best little Atlantic Salmon rivers in the world! We are so lucky to offer guests access to fishing on six private pools on this secluded little river. For anyone that who interested in the Cains River - whether it's for fishing information or just to enjoy past memories - we highly recommend clicking on link below and reading the books.
A few years ago Brad Burns wrote "Closing the Season" a book about Atlantic Salmon fishing on the Southwest Miramichi and the Cains Rivers. He followed that up with another book called "On the Cains": Atlantic Salmon and Sea-Run Brook Trout on the Miramichi’s Greatest Tributary. "On the Cains" has recently become available and you can read more about it along with viewing a PDF preview of the book at the following page on Brad’s website. You will also see that there is a tab that allows you to get a 50% discount for "Closing the Season" if you buy it along with "On the Cains". www.bradburnsfishing.com/product/on-the-cains
"Tight lines" from the Miramichi.
Overall it was another good week on the water with good reports on Atlantic salmon & Trout catches throughout the system. A rise of water over the weekend slowed fishing a bit on Saturday and Sunday but made for ideal conditions for boating up some of the smaller tributaries that are only accessible by canoes or during higher water conditions for much of the season. It's always nice visiting those rivers. With the large number of fish around, fishing should continue for a while yet for Spring Salmon and Trout. As we move into May, there will be more Striped Bass fishing down-river as the Miramichi is now home to one of the larger runs of Striped Bass in the world, making for fantastic fishing between the Spring Salmon fresh-from-the-Sea runs of Wild Atlantic Salmon in June and the Striped Bass. If you are visiting the Miramichi area for Bass Fishing, Curtis Miramichi River Outfitters now offers a full line of Bass fishing Equipment. If you are interested in fishing for Atlantic Salmon, Trout or Bass, Accommodations, Canoeing/Kayaking/Tubing in central NB then the Miramichi area and County Haven is an ideal location for everything outdoors in 2020.
Below is another nice photo of Chase and his dad Timmy, enjoying the spring fishing. Many of our guests over the years have become friends with the Vickers family of guides. Chase loves his fishing and comes from a long line of Guides - Max Vickers was his Great Grandfather and Bentley is his Grandfather - so fishing is in his Blood. The fish he has been catching have been on flies tied by his Uncle Jamie McDonald - another guide and family member - so Chase is now keeping Jamie busy tying and inventing new patterns with Chases' approval. Blue Smelts, Christmas Trees and Renous River Specials have been the flies of choice on the river this week. For information on Striped Bass fishing or Cottage Rentals visit striperbassfishing.com.
"Tight lines" from the Miramichi.
With the great news of low numbers of Corona-19 in the Province of New Brunswick, the Government decided to open the Fishing Season on Friday April 24th. With ideal conditions over the weekend, fishing has been fantastic throughout the river system. After the long winter and people practicing social distancing, more New Brunswicker's than ever before have decided to try fishing - some of them for the first time -and they are loving it! Often people do not realize just how much New Brunswick and the Miramichi have to offer, but people have been really enjoying it this weekend. At Country Haven we offer Atlantic Salmon, Trout and Striped Bass Fishing, with a choice of 6 Private Riverside and Secluded Cottages, Canoes and Kayaks, side-by-side ATV Rentals and Tubing! We are ideally located in Central New Brunswick with lots to do for a wonderful family get-away. With the good Atlantic Salmon fishing right now, most anglers will be fishing into mid-May and reports are also good for Striped Bass fishing in the Miramichi Area as well. Sinking lines with almost any streamer patterns are working well for Salmon fishing. For more information on what Country Haven offers, visit cottagesnewbrunswick.com and vacationnewbrunswick.com.
"Tight lines" from the Miramichi.
With the river - and our cottages - now open, conditions are really great for boating. We took a family trip - 15 miles up into the Cains River yesterday. The Cains is one of the nicest little scenic rivers in the world! We always enjoy boating on the Cains in the spring, canoeing and kayaking in the summer or fishing for Trout or Atlantic Salmon. There are not many places where we would rather be!
"Tight lines" from the Miramichi.
A news release from the N.B. Government has informed us that the fishing Season for all of New Brunswick will now be opening on Friday May 1st instead of April the 15th. With 3 weeks until the opening day for Atlantic Salmon Fishing Season on the Miramich, the ice is starting to break up along the rivers. The ice in the Doaktown and Upper Blackville areas has moved a bit already but in the lower stretches, it is a bit more solid. We are expecting snow and rain in the forecast which will probably improve conditions for opening day or later into the week. As of now fishing season is still a "go" in New Brunswick and so far we are very lucky dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic however, with much of the world shut down, we don’t expect too much activity on the River - at least for a while - as many of the spring fishermen come from around the world. But we do expect many locals to enjoy the start of the season and as conditions improve on both fronts, we expect to see some good summer fishing - especially since much of the ocean Atlantic Salmon fishing has been placed "on hold" for a while. We expect to see better runs in the summer .
"Tight lines" from the Miramichi.
These photos show the conditions on the Miramichi river System with only 2 weeks to go until the 2020 fishing season starts on April 15th however the Province announced that the fishing season will be delayed in New Brunswick,until Friday May 1st. It's still too early to know if the ice will be gone by then or what conditions will be like, but we will keep you updated on this site so keep checking back.
"Tight lines" from the Miramichi.
The 2019 Fishing season is now in the books. Could we have had better fishing? Yes, we could have! Could we have asked for any better season of guests and anything better in celebrating our 20th Season? Never in a million years!
All we can say is "thanks" to each and every one of our wonderful guests - especially the hundreds who return each year and enjoy the experience through the good and the poor fishing days over the years. For the success we have enjoyed, it takes 100% effort from everyone and we get it every day throughout the season from the wonderful staff, the best guides anywhere to so many fantastic people we work with for pool leases to booking agents - especially Tightlines Fly Fishing - who help bring it all together each season.
Overall, fishing was spotty starting with one of our better spring seasons ever. We had our best June in our 20 years, very good results in early July until the warmer weather began playing a big part in the slower fishing at times through late July and August but always be carful what you ask for as September saw three rises of water that we did need but overall probably too much - especially the big deluge from Dorian - so we might have ended up with just a bit too much water for the fall as many of the resident fish moved on and not any great numbers of fresh fish continued to arrive.
With the counters being removed during the high water we will never know the true numbers of returning fish this year. Spring fishing sometimes gives a better understanding of the true numbers of returning fish for the previous season. For example, in the 2019 Spring season we landed approximately 1,200 Salmon and Grilse - our best spring numbers landed in 20 years - indicating there must have been good numbers of fish that entered the system previous year throughout the season or after the season ended. So with the numbers counted this year - which to date have been lower - and with the counters being out during the high water times and probably about to be removed for the season anytime now, we do not expect the numbers to look great however there are exceptions and we are hoping for a lot more to enter the system after the season's end and after the counters are removed. We will know more during the spring season as to how good or poor the returns were this year.
With every season there are so many great memories, great catches and just plain wonderful people from every walk of life - from so many different places and countries - who visit, who love the Miramichi and who discover what it all means to each one of them. All have their personal Miramichi Stories to tell. I do enjoy one great story that began years ago and ended last week, about Bill Markowitz and his Dad Erwin, from Massachusetts. Erwin was a legend when it came to fishing the Miramichi, spending time at many great lodges on the river including Wilsons, Ledges, Mountain Channel and with us here at Country Haven on his final visit to the Miramichi while in his 90s. Erwin loved the Miramichi so much and the people like Wesley and Boyd Curtis. While I was guiding him on his last visit I never witnessed anyone with such passion and love for the Miramichi and for the Wild Atlantic Salmon. He instilled this great passion in his son Bill and upon Erwins passing, he told Bill that there is one thing you need to do and that is get to the Miramichi and catch a Wild Atlantic Salmon in your lifetime. We did not want to disappoint Erwin as we knew he was watching so we booked and cancled Bill, a couple of times due to conditions but finally settled on what turned out to be one of the slower weeks of the season - but not for Bill who still managed to land 4 in 4 days, including a beauty on his last cast of his trip using one of Erwin’s flies! Everyone who knew Erwin knows he is laughing at Bill who is now hooked just like he was and will be making many more Miramichi visits over the years to come. The Wild Atlantic Salmon has such a tradition in the fly fishing world with many anglers traveling from around the world year after year - some with lifetime catches, some with none but who always re-book for next season before leaving like 89 year old Jim Leonard from Springfield MA who ended his 60th season on the Miramichi this week -or- 90 year old Charlie Mosher who has been celebrating his birthday with us on the Miramichi for the past 10 seasons, traveling all the way from New Mexico. It's not just the age or the fishing that sets these and so many apart from others - it's the unbelievable passion for life - the little things they enjoy - seeing new birds and animals, flowers, fall foliage or meeting old friends - and some have met many over 60 years. Spending time with any of our anglers is always a pleasure but with people like Erwin, Charlie and Jim, it's always special and I always know I came back from the river a much better person than I was when I left that morning. Just being with them and their knowledge - what a great satisfying feeling that is - with or without fish.
The Miramichi means so much to so many people centered around the fishing. We all know that fishermen have been practicing hook-and-release with such passion for years, with many supporting every conservation group available to help save this great species of the Wild Atlantic Salmon that so many have come to love. Let's hope that someday in the future our own Government and the DFO will also find a way to help support this great species with even just a fraction of the passion that these great fishermen have shown and enjoyed for years. Thanks again from all of us at Country Haven Miramichi for making 2019 so wonderful and with (God willing) the hope to see you all again next season.
"Tight lines" from the Miramichi.
Orr Pool, Main River
October 10th 2018
October 10th 2019
a 44 incher
his final visit to the Miramichi
Fishing the Cains
ending his season on the Miramichi
Last week started out on a high note with some nice fish landed but was hampered by the high water for much of the week with fishermen only landing 11 for the week - our slowest last week of September in history. This had more to do with the conditions than anything else. The UK week - as always - was full of fun with many returning guests, all up to their old tricks. It's always so nice to have so many UK Fishermen return each year at this time to help celebrate my birthday - I always feel honoured - especially when Daryl Tucker and Brian Warrington do their Marlyn Monroe version of "Happy Birthday". This week, however, is staring out much better with a number of fish landed throughout the lower system and at a varity of different pools on the Cains - much more like fall fishing should be. Spring, summer, fall - they all can have fish so good fishermen only need the right conditions. This week is the first of the two US Spey Clinic weeks - hosted by www.tightlinesflyfishing.com of NJ, USA., with some fantastic casting demonstrations put on by Andrew Moy who is something else when it comes to casting and catching. The guides say he could catch Salmon in a mud puddle. However... the Ladies are up for a good challenge and will give all the male fishermen in camp a good run this week. Compared to last week - when only a few pools were producing - it's good to know this weeks anglers have a better chance at catching fish in different stretches of water. Conditions are now ideal for both the Main River System and Cains, but a bit on the lower side for the Renous. Flies of Choice this week were all fall patterns being used with some success.
"Tight lines" from the Miramichi.
Playing a nice one on the Cains
This past week we started picking up a few more fish each day on the lower stretches of the Main River system but no great numbers to speak of as it seems like the fall runs are just starting - much like last year around this time - except more summer fish are holding. We received a good rain yesterday - approximately a 2 ft rise on the Main river below the Cains and approximately a 5-6 ft. rise on the Cains. Quite a few fish have been seen moving throughout the system this morning, with some good ones landed including three this morning by Stephen Cuthbert from Manchester England. As the water peaks - probably overnight - fishing should continue to improve. We are looking forward to a good fall on the Main River and the tributaries as this should be just what’s needed to finish off the season. This is the UK Spey week with the majority of our guests being from the UK with some fantastic casting demonstrations being given by Brian Warrington and Bryan Martin from the UK. With the rise in water levels, the guides are now stocking up with their favorite fall patterns, G P, Ally's Shrimp, Cascades, Copper Killer, Red Francis and the Kinermony Killer.
"Tight lines" from the Miramichi.
On the Main Southwest Miramichi
On the Main Southwest Miramichi
With the rise in water levels last week and the majority of the holding fish moving on, it has been more of a "right place - right time" week - More like June fishing than September as we wait each day to see how many fresh Salmon arrive off the tides. As the water falls, fishermen are starting to have better results. Even though most are still moving with these ideal conditions, more fish are being caught in the traditional fall pools each day with almost all fish that have been landed this week on the lower stretches of the river were fresh with Sea Lice. Yesterday was our best day so far this fall on the Main River, hooking into 7 large Salmon last evening. The conditions are better for fishing this fall now than at this time last year when we enjoyed a great last week of September and quite good October overall - as over 80% of the river's returns last season entered the system from mid-September through the end of the season. Although we had a much better June and early July this season than last, we are still hoping for a repeat of good returning numbers - with the same results this fall as last - to finish off the season. Flies of choice this week were traditional fall patterns along with #6 Red Butt Bear Hair and Undertakers.
"Tight lines" from the Miramichi.
Ann Arbour, Michigan - on the Cains
3rd fresh one this trip at Orr Pool, Main River
We got our water approximately a 3 ft. rise on the Main River above the mouth of the Cains and approximately a 5 ft. rise below the mouth of the Cains as the Cains River received more of the rain from the storm. Not much was happening on our stretch of river over the weekend - only rain and wind - except on Saturday when the water was starting it's rise and the holding fish started moving. The upper stretches of the Main River enjoyed some decent fishing on Monday and yesterday as the fish that were holding during the low water decided to run in places like Black Brook, Mill Brook and Big Hole. As for us, we did not fish for a few days as we did not expect much success until the water fell and started clearing up again and the fresh runs started entering the system again. The rain we received should freshen the entire system up for the fall. As the water falls we expect to enjoy our best fishing for a few days on the Cains and possibly the Renous as they both tend to rise and fall quicker than the Main River System. As of today, we landed our first fish since Friday on the Cains - one of many more to come we hope! With these conditions the traditional fall patterns will be the norm for a few days. A positive note for the week is that we got the rain we were hopeing for without any damage from the storm and this will help the Salmon finish their journey upriver. The Negative side is that the DFO removes counters during high water so there is just no way of knowing the true numbers of returning fish each season.
"Tight lines" and "Happy Fishing" from the Miramichi.
As we kick off the last 6 weeks of the fishing season its always so good to see so many familiar faces as 90 % of our fishing guests who return each year during the fall has been here before .The final 6 weeks of the season normal sees so many changes as the conditions change to cooler weather the most productive pools might change daily depending on water height the guides & the fishermen adapt the best they can with the conditions From Fly Patterns to locations throughout the system & tributaries With a rises in water height from summer to the end of the season fishermen might have the opportunity to fish in 27 Private Pools on 4 different rivers as the tributaries can fish so good in the fall .The guides enjoy fishing all the locations but would have to say the Cains River pools in the fall is all of their favorites especially Gary Colford . Daryl Tucker has a lot of good Memories & big fish stories of the Renous So its quite easy to send him off in that direction in right conditions & he will return with happy fishermen. With the forecast predicting rain from the hurricane as it heads North it is still to early to know how much rain we will receive Hope not to much but a good soaking might be ideal to keep the salmon the fishermen & guides happy for the remanded of season . Flies of Choice this week still Bombers & Carter bugs but 5 salmon was landed on a # 6 Micky Finns . The majority of the fish landed this week have been around for awhile but a few more fresh ones are being spotted moving through & Jason Curtis had some good luck with guests the past few days at Dr Island landing some that were fresh from the Sea .As the water rises & the fall colors appear We can expect to start having good luck on many of the traditional fall patterns like the Coper Killer GP & Shrimp patterns Tight Lines from the Miramichi .
"Tight lines" and "Happy Fishing" from the Miramichi.
Fall is in the air and with the rain we are having we should see more fresh fish moving in every day. Overall, we have had some decent fishing over the past week. Nigel Blackley and his group from England enjoyed good fishing and activities - including Nigel landing 3 on Saturday - all within a hour - using an Orange Bomber. Rose Gueulich from Pulaski NY had the best success of the lady fishermen this week, landing three - all on bombers. So many guests return on the same dates each year and it is often funny how it works out when they catch Salmon approximatelt the same size in the same pool on the same days - a year or two apart. Overall we have a good number of lady fishermen each season - many husband and wife couples or ladies retreats - band also, like our special father/son packages, our mother/daughter packages have become increasingly popular over the last couple of seasons. Its always great to see quality time spent together by families on the river.
"Tight lines" and "Happy Fishing" from the Miramichi.
Cooler Conditions and a bit of rain overnight on Tuesday improved the fishing yesterday. With a bit of a water level rise on a couple of the tributaries and a lesser rise on the lower Main river system last night combined with the coolest overnight temperatures since June forecast over the next week, we are looking forward to some decent fishing - hopefully for the remainder of the season. A 2 foot rise of water would be great to push fish up through the system and improve fishing everywhere but with these cooler temperatures, fall fish will still enter the system and hold up in the lower stretches of the river as some of these areas are at a good height for these fall runs. The Majority of the Fish landed on the River this week have been taken on Dry flies - most on "Peach Carter bugs".
"Tight lines" and "Happy Fishing" from the Miramichi.
With cooler temperatures and a bit of rain over the weekend, fishing has improved over the last few days and we are starting to catch fish again but with Sea lice which is always a good sign. The Smith family from Foster VA started off their fishing with a bang on Sunday, with all family members landing Atlantics on their first ever morning fly fishing. Their beginners success continued yesterday as they hooked and landed many more nice ones. We were not seeing a lot of fish during the recent warm spell but are now starting to see more and more fish beginning to hold in the traditional August fishing pools. We are still having success on wet flies but Bombers are by far the fly of choice now. With the conditions over the past couple of July's having their warm days, it is hard to get a good read on the fish counts as to what they normally would have been at the end of July if the good conditions had continued being closer to the same July conditions we saw over the last couple of seasons. Here are the comparitive DFO Counts as at July 31st.
|Main Southwest Miramichi at Millerton
2018 Salmon 91 At approx.10% Total = 910
2018 Grilse 189 at approx.10% Total = 1,890
Total approx. 2,800 Salmon & Grilse at July 31st 2018
2019 Salmon 85 At approx. 10% Total = 850
2019 Grilse 366 at approx. 10% Total = 3,660
Total approx 4,510 Salmon & Grilse at July 31st 2019
Nor'west Miramichi at Castles
2018 Salmon 37 at approx. 10% Total = 370
2018 Grilse 172 at approx. 10% Total = 1,720
Total approx. 2,090 Salmon & Grilse at July 31st 2018
2019 Salmon 38 at approx. 10% Total = 380
2019 Grilse 206 at approx. 10% Total = 2,060
Total approx. 2,440 Salmon & Grilse at July 31st 2019
Although we enjoyed some great fishing in June and early July, the warmer conditions did slow fresh fish from moving in for a while but with the improved cooler conditions we now expect to see more fresh fish arriving. The River system as a whole is now low and a good rain is needed. The lower stretch of the Main River System is at a good water height for the low water pools. Traditionally, when we have a warm spell in the summer, the majority of the fish will arrive in the latter part of the season so, with two months remaining in the season, we are expecting some great days on the water.
"Tight lines" and "Happy Fishing" from the Miramichi.
We have had the Crazy, Lazy, Hazy days of summer this week on the River - Ideal for canoeing, kayaking swimming and tubing but too warm for good fishing so most people - including Camp Mascot Diesel - soaked up the sun as we took the week off for fishing guests. With cooler weather and rain in the forecast and with conditions improving daily, we are now back at it again this morning on the lower stretches of the Main River System with guests from Ottawa, Scotland and Quebec giving it a try. With the cooler temperatures and rain coming, fishing should be picking up again on the Main River however a good rain is needed for most of the system and all of the tributaries before expecting great fishing again. Most of the activity on the river this past week was hosting some of the 2019 ASCSN Fly Fishing Trip groups with students from Scotland's Tay River, East Machias Maine and the Miramichi - all getting together to know each other and gain international appreciation for the wild Atlantic Salmon. What a great idea, wonderful experience for the students and such a fantastic job done by organizers ans volunteers.
As for the remainder of the season, hopefully most of the warm weather is now behind us and cooler weather will prevail. With improved conditions we should soon see some of those big August Salmon start moving in and holding in the lower stretches of the system. Anglers should never leave for the river now without Beach Carter Bugs, Green White Bombers, and Brown Bombers. There are seven weeks left until the October 15th season closing so probably some of the best fishing has yet to come.
"Tight lines" and "Happy Fishing" from the Miramichi.
We had a couple of warm days over the weekend that made conditions better for canoeing and swimming than fishing, but still cool enough to keep the fish moving, as they continue to enter the system daily. As this week improved each day, the cold water pools were reopened again yesterday, making for some very happy fishermen along the river - especially those who depend more on their cold water fishing spots. Fishermen were picking up some fish yesterday at different locations on the Main River, Cains and Renous. All our anglers landed fish yesterday and at Black Brook they hooked 20 in the morning. The Upper stretch of the Main River and the Renous could use a good rain to freshen things up but the Cains is still in good shape due to the 40 ML of rain it received last week when other rivers received very little, if any. The pools on the Lower stretches of the Main River from Quarryville to the mouth of the Cains are still a bit high for holding fish as most fish are still moving with the good conditions this week. As August arrives and the water falls, we expect some of our better fishing will be in locations in the lower stretches of the river.
There is not a lot of rain in the forecast until after another warm weekend but it is looking like we will need rain by then. Conditions have always played a big part of Salmon fishing but over the past few years - with water rising and falling so quickly - due mostly to poor forestry practices - it seems conditions have become even more important than ever in how the fishing will be - so rain is never a bad thing when it comes to summer fishing.
Guests from around the world visit us almost daily from April 15th to Oct 15th and each season we meet so many interesting people from all walks of life. They tell different stories, different paths taken and different reasons as to why they have traveled from around the world to fish for what the great baseball player Ted Williams called "The Greatest Game fish of them All - the Wild Atlantic Salmon". After 20 years in business and 40 years working with traveling fishermen, it never ceases to amaze us how important the Atlantic Salmon and the Miramichi River are to some people. Whether it’s the 50 year returning fishing veterans of the river who stand looking at the river upon returning each time - as if it’s their first visit - some being 70, 80 and 90 year olds' whose eyes have never lost that excitement to finally be back on the Miramichi once again. No matter where they are from in the world, many say it’s like coming back home, or for first timers who may have traveled by train, plane or automobile to reach us - like recent guests Eugenia and her granddaughter Analiese Walker from Memphis, TN and Jackson, Mississippi - did this week. Eugenia said growing up in Memphis she was told - at a young age - that Elvis was the King of Rock & Roll and the Miramichi River was famous for the King of the Game Fish, the Wild Atlantic Salmon. Although Eugenia did not catch a salmon on her first visit, she witnessed her granddaughter who is a hunter and an angler with a southern drawl that most southerners would die for, with more determination than most seasoned fishermen can only wish for - at the early age of 10, catch her first Atlantic Salmon on her very first day on the River. Someone once said "dreams are fulfilled and memories are made on the Miramichi".
With conditions now quite good again and fishermen enjoying catches let’s hope the weekend’s warmer weather forecast doesn’t hang around too long. The flies of choice this Week were the Peach Carter Bug Dry and #8 Undertaker, White Tail Green Machine on the Upper river pools and on the Lower River pools , #6 and #8 Green Butt Bear Hair.
In this coming week we are happy to be working with the MVHS Fly Fishing Club - along with others - in hosting the ASCSN 2019 Fishing trip with 21 students from Canada, the USA and Scotland participating, to enjoy the Miramichi and all it has to offer. We hope they have a great time fishing our waters and visiting the Miramichi.
"Tight lines" and "Happy Fishing".
Grand Daughter Ann Walker Jackson Miss.
Grand Daughter Ann Walker Jackson Miss.
his first Atlantic of this season
Grilse, Grilse and more Grilse was the story for most of the weekend and into this week with our guests hooking over 60, many with Sea lice. There are still some nice Salmon in the system but Grilse have taken much better than Salmon this week. The counters are showing very good numbers of Grilse - as much as three times more than last year at this time. With Salmon numbers around the same, it is great to see such a good run of Grilse - fantastic for the river. A nice rise in water from a big rain - mostly on the Cains - dirtied the water and slowed fishing over the last couple of days but we are still seeing good numbers of fresh fish moving through the system. With the Full Moon and high tides, we should continue to see fresh fish entering the system.
Sadly, the DFO is not doing much in the way of protecting the Atlantic Salmon from predators such as striped bass and poachers - having only a skeleton crew of conservation officers working the rivers (compared to the past when the Wild Atlantic Salmon species mattered to government). The long range forecast is calling for warmer weather over the weekend and it only needs to be warm a couple of days now until they close down the cold water pools as they do every year - possibly to appear looking like they are doing something - so they could probably decide to do it anytime. Although the cold water pools do not effect much of the fishing on the entire river system and closures effect only two of the 27 Private pools we have access to - cutting our number of fishable pools down to 25 from 27 during the closures - so we can still have good fishing throughout the closures, especially in the lower stretches of the river when fish are arriving fresh from the ocean off the tides.
With so many obstacles in the way of survival of the Wild Atlantic Salmon, if the closing of some cold water pools to fly fishing is the best that DFO can do in protecting this great fish then we are all for it. We Also recommend using barbless hooks and fishing with dry flies as much as possible in warmer water so if the Salmon take a dry fly from the surface, they want it - this reduces the chance of foul hooking fish. This has been the practice of many locals for years when they fish holding pools full of Salmon. If weather conditions do not cooperate and it does warm up, let’s hope it doesn’t last too long as this is not good for the fishing or the fish. Conditions are such a big part of both fishing and fish health.
We get many returning guests each year and love them all but a day on the Miramichi can be rewarding or disappointing - but never dull - especially when "Wild Bill" and Peter Pat are around. We do not know If Stomping Tom Connors ever fished with these two, if so he might have written another hit for his song collection and Daryl Tucker could have sang it daily - that could sound much better than the only song he knows “Give me 40 Acres”.
With three full months remaining in the 2019 season, we are looking forward to lots more great fishing. Flies of choice: Undertaker, Cossaboom, White Tail Green Machine - Wet flies, Peach Carter bug, Green White Bombers - Dry .
"Tight lines" and "Happy Fishing".
With a couple of very warm days over the weekend that slowed fishing and held Country Haven fishless on Saturday for the first time in three weeks, it was a great relief that the warmer weather only lasted a short time. As conditions improved, so did the fishing, as fishermen continued right where they left off before the warmer weather with many of them limiting out before and after the warm spell. From early June into July the majority of fish landed were Salmon but so far this week, we have landed 30 Grilse - most taken on a #8 Cossaboom. Overall, conditions have been ideal for traveling fish with the exception of only a few warm days.
This year - more than any year that we can recall - the fish are moving but we seldom see any jumping. On some days in the pools we have hooked into as many as a dozen and you would not think a fish was in the river until hooked. So this year, don’t get discouraged if you are not seeing fish - they are there and in good numbers as anglers who are patient are having good results. So far this summer, with the good results we have been experiencing on the Main Southwest Miramichi, we have not been spending much time on the tributaries, even though we have access to private water on most. We did decide to try one of our favorite pools on the Cains this morning with Bill Mather from Elgin Ontario landing our first Atlantic from the Cains this season and we are sure it won’t be our last as the Cains is starting to look perfect for July. Bill also kicked off our spring fishing season with the first Atlantic Salmon landed in April. Originally from Scotland but living in Ontario Canada for years, using the best of both countries' techniques for fishing. ”There's never a dull moment when Wild Bill comes to town". As we look out on the river there is a steady run of fish moving up the system. With a full moon and higher tides next week, the pools that normally fish well in July are taking shape so the fish should start holding up more. We expect to be doing much more dry fly fishing along with wet fly soon. No matter how good or how poor the fishing is, a trip to the Miramichi should always include a visit to our local fly shops and the Miramichi Atlantic Salmon Museum.
"Tight lines" and "Happy Fishing".
With June fishing now in the books we would have to say it has been one of the best in recent years with ideal conditions for the fish. We have had some of the nicest fish landed and some of largest Salmon that fishermen ever hooked that got away - we all know that the ones lost are always the biggest (LOL) - there were some very big ones that did get lost this June! With such good conditions for moving fish that’s just what they are doing - it looks like Rocky Brook pool should soon be full if this continues.
July has started out being fantastic as all our fishermen have landed fish on July 1st and July 2nd with high rod being Nigel Croft from England who hooked into 10 and landed 7 over his first two days - the majority being Salmon. From our location on the lower stretches of the Main Southwest Miramichi, as the water falls and during calm conditions we can see many of the fish as they travel up past the lodge. The good news as we enter July is that yesterday was one of those days! Guide Wesley Curtis from Mountain Channel also saw the most moving fish he had seen in a while. With the June fish moving up through the system and the July fish starting to hold more it should make for good fishing for both Wet and Dry fly use. Almost all of the success so far has been on wet flies #8 Undertaker, Bear Hair, snd Green Machine. A lady named Jackie - who knows who she is HA HA - also had success using a Blue Charm. It just might be the only fly she has in her tackle box but it works. On the Main River, Nor'west, Little South West and NFLD, it is all she uses - and she usually out fishes most other guests - so why change now! Everyone is quite optimistic about this season's fishing but so much will depend on the conditions of course. With the Greenland agreement signed for a lesser catch quota, this being a cycle year for good returns and with many of the older locals and Guides on the River being excited for this season - including Wesley Curtis, Pete Randal and Garry Colford (with over 100 years of guiding experience between them ) - well, that’s good enough for me! For those who were unfortunate not to get the opportunity to get on the river for the June run then you probably should think about sometime this season. If you are interested in lodging or good Guide Services, there are a number of great outfitters throughout the system that we work closely with and are happy to recommend if we cannot accommodate your dates for 2019.
"Tight lines" and "Happy Fishing".
After almost a month of the summer Salmon season behind us, we would have to say that overall it’s been a good start so far. With catches reported throughout the system, most fish landed have been nice sized Salmon and Grilse runs have also started in good numbers over the past week. From what we have seen, some Salmon started showing up early in June and have increased in numbers over time. Even though most of June conditions have been perfect with good numbers of fish around, it’s still never a guarantee with Atlantic Salmon catching anytime - especially in June - as most of these fish are heading for the upper stretches of the River System. So it’s usually being in the right place at the right time as they move through. When these June fish move they move even when hooked, unlike other months where salmon will drop downriver and fight after being hooked. These June fish will sometimes take you into your backing upriver - especially when hooked in the lower stretches of the river system. Baseball great Ted Williams once said "pound for pound, there is no better fighting game fish in the world than a June Atlantic Salmon" and he would know as he fished them all. We have started to see a few more fish now holding up in traditional holding pools. All our fish hooked so far have been caught on wet flies - mostly #6 and #8 Glitter Bear, Blue Charm and Green Machine. Local fisherman Danny Steward landed two beauties in the Blackville area last evening using Bombers - a good sign the fish are starting to hold more.
Conditions are looking good for long-range fishing. With good reports from downriver counters and with our anglers hooking into more than 20 Salmon and Grilse over the last 3 days in this section of river, good fishing should continue throughout the system as the moving fish continue heading to lodges upriver and the new ones we have been seeing continue to arrive daily. So far it's looking like a better start to the season than some of the past few years. If the weather conditions and fish continue to cooperate then we are looking forward and hoping for a fantastic July, August, September and October.
"Tight lines" and "Happy Fishing".
playing his first Atlantic
This was his first Salmon landed. They are fighters.
The 2019 Atlantic Salmon summer season has now started on the Miramichi with the first summer Atlantic known to be landed was on May 31st in the Doaktown area. A few have been trickling in since then with some landed along the river but for us here at Country Haven, our first summer salmon was landed yesterday by John Frost from Sonderborg Denmark with his landing three on a Green Butt Bear Hair and yesterday was also the first day for seeing any really good numbers of salmon showing in the lower stretches of the River System. June Salmon are traveling and can cover many miles daily so it’s a case of being in the right place at the right time for fishermen. Conditions are perfect for June fishing. So far We are receiving good reports on numbers from down river and with improvements to the commercial fishery off Greenland, anglers are hoping for good conditions as this plays such a big part in having a successful Atlantic Salmon Season.
"Tight lines" from the Miramichi.
The spring Atlantic Salmon season should normally be winding down now on the Miramichi but the Salmon are not going along with it this spring as they just keep coming and anglers continue to have some of the better results of the spring on the lower river system - landing many 40+ inch Salmon almost daily with the majority being males. There are also some nice Trout and Striped Bass in the system that some anglers are now fishing for but they are still landing more Salmon - even when targeting the other species - and there are no complaints to see so many Salmon and Grilse overall this spring! Now let's hope we get a bit more rain than the last couple of seasons so we might get to see more of these good returns throughout the summer & fall without having to wait until spring to see the true number of returnees each season. Flies of Choice are Gray Ghost for Salmon and Trout with Smelt patterns for Striped Bass.
Througout the season we get fishermen from around the world, including many Father and Son/Daughter visits where we offer special packages. There is always a bit of competition among fishermen - especially the Father/Sons but overall - in the end - the son normally wins! It just might be that the son tries harder or the father goes easier on him or both but in the end, the son is happy, the father is happy, MOM and the wife are happy so everyone is happy! So... accolades to the Sons outfishing their Dads everytime - no matter the age! It also makes for great quality time spent together - especially for those who only get together on occasions due to distance. For more information on Father and Son/Daughter packages visit flyfishingatlanticsalmon.com/packages.html
Anglers will continue to fish for Trout and Striped bass into June and probably continue catching some Spring Salmon but the majority of Atlantic Salmon fishermen will now start getting ready for the first runs of the Wild Summer Salmon - fresh from the sea - that should start arriving soon.
Now is a good time to check and change over equipment for summer fishing. If planning to visit us this summer or fall, we have a good selection of equipment and flies for your use while here if you are interested in having your own or upgrading. The Miramichi area has a great selection of shops that can help with all your needs. With the good exchange rate on foreign currency, you might be surprised at the deals you can get while visiting Canada. We also work closely with and offer special discounts through dealers from around the world who know our business and what is required to land the Wild Atlantic Salmon, so feel free to contact us about dealers in your area that we might be working with. Local Miramichi area dealers who are a "must" to visit while on the Miramichi are Curtis Miramichi Outfitters (1-506-843-2481), W. W. Doak (1-506-365-7828) or Trout Brook Fly Shop (1-506-622-0676).
"Tight lines" from the Miramichi.
After another week of spring fishing we are starting to think that we might be catching spring Salmon into June as during the first couple of weeks the the majority of fish landed were ones that were holding in the lower stretches on the Main river and the Cains. With so much snow melt running down from the woods, the water temperatures never rose above 48F and this season - no matter when the ice went out or how warm the weather gets - the water temperatures need to be over 50F before the fish start travelling. It may be hard to believe but since opening day until yesterday, May 10th was the first day we started to see any good numbers of jumping or rolling Salmon which suggests that they are finally moving. Our lodge landed over 100 Salmon and Grilse on some days and so far, this spring, have landed over 1,000. This is the latest ever in the season before we started seeing many moving Salmon in this location of the river. Salmon and Grilse are still being caught far up into the river System with the best fishing close to shore.
This past week started out slow over the weekend with fishermen only landing an average of 1-3 per day but things improved as the week progressed - especially for the casters - and the better the caster, the better the results as casting seemed, by far, to be the best method for hooking fish this week. Jim Zein from CT managed to land 23 casting in his 6 day stay with us and Tony Spratt from London has been on fire since arriving, he started fishing Wednesday and hooked close to 20 casting using a Small Black Ghost. We would have to say that the star of the week would have to be Bill Robbing from Bidderford Maine - not because of the amount of fish he landed (he did manage to land 6 beauties and lost many more in 4 days by Fishing long line) but as an 86 year old, driving himself from Maine with a positive attitude that some younger anglers will never be blessed with even if they live to be 100. Bill lit up the Salmon, the River and the Lodge for 4 days even though he was a "first timer" finally fulfilling his dream! His only regret is that he did not visit earlier in life but his new dream is hoping to return for another 10 years.
A spring season would never be the same without long-time returnee Burt Williams - a classy older gentleman from Bristol NH who normally out-fishes the younger fellows - always saving his best for the last afternoon each year. We love having each and every guest but these older gentlemen are in a league of their own when it comes to determination, respect and appreciation of life and everything that comes with it.
Although we do not expect too many more days of anglers limiting out at 10 daily this spring, with the good number of fish still throughout the system, we do expect to have some more good days of Salmon, Trout and Striped Bass fishing for the remainder of the Spring fishing season.
"Tight lines" from the Miramichi.
Another great week on the Miramichi for fishing and the weather as many of our guess limited out daily - good reports were being received throughout the entire river system. The majority of fish landed have been large Salmon with many in the 40"+ range. The Trout season started on May 1st with fishermen also landing some nice trout. As for flies, it seems like all types have been working but the Bunny Fly, Christmas Tree and Blue Smelt have been the flies Of choice.
Although much can change from day-to-day with spring fishing - like rises in water, fresh smelts travelling high up into the river system or just too much hot and sunny weather however, with much luck and help from Mother Nature and the fish Gods, we are hoping for a long and productive spring season. As of now, the water height is ideal, the snowpack in the woods is good and reports from up the river are good.
"Tight lines" from the Miramichi.
Bob Watermen, Sabattus Maine
First ever Atlantic Salmon
First ever Atlantic Salmon
Throughout every season we entertain guests from around the world, with close to 90% returning annually. Not too many spring guests fish in the summer and fall - and vice versa. The spring fishing season - like the birds - also brings hundreds of long-time-returning anglers to the Miramichi every spring - some from around the world but the majority from the New England states of the USA. Spring Fishing for Atlantic Salmon on the Miramichi has been a tradition for generation after generation and continues annually. Mike Price from Weston Mass. made his first visit in 1962 - to Tom Boys fishing lodge! He was hooked and has returned every year since, - spending many years at Tom Boys then at Black Rapids Lodge and over the past 15 Years, with us here at Country Haven. Mike is just one of hundreds who have called the Miramichi River "home" in the spring for as long as they can remember. Mike has seen good times and some less than good but is very happy with his fishing results this season which is great news coming from a fellow with 55 years experience spring fishing on the Miramichi.
After a slow opening of the spring season due to slow ice out, high water levels and cold weather, we finally got on the water mid-week and have enjoyed some fantastic fishing over the past 3 days. Good news is the high number of fish being landed throughout the entire Main Southwest Miramichi, as fishermen have been limiting out at 10 each per day from above Boiestown to Quarryville and everywhere in between a 40 mile stretch of the river. We never know exactly what the true numbers of returning fish each season are until spring fishing season as the previous summer runs may hold out due to warm weather and sometimes move through without being counted when counters are removed due to high water or other conditions - this is what many old timers on the river believe. When conditions are not good during the summer and fall, many fish will come into the river later, even after the counters are removed in October so in most of the 20 years of our operation on the river there have been over 1,000 Salmon and Grilse landed on some days throughout the spring season for the river system which gives fishermen a better understanding as to how many Salmon and Grilse actually entered the system . It is still too early to know for sure but so far it is looking like 2018 had a much better return than 2017 did according to the counters. The majority of fish landed have been Salmon but there also have been a good number of Grilse so far - something that makes anglers happy to see after not many grilse being reported in the 2018 season. The long-range weather forecast is now looking good and this should make for much more enjoyable conditions and fishing. Fishermen should enjoy some good salmon fishing late into May this season.
The Trout and Striped bass fishing opens on May 1st. Flies of choice this week have been Christmas Trees and Bunny Strips.
"Tight lines" and "Happy Fishing".
(First Atlantic Salmon Landed in 2019)
(Ken's First Atlantic of many for the 2019 season)
(His first Atlantic of the 2019 Season)
(Start of the 2019 fishing season)
The 2019 Atlantic Salmon Fishing season is now open. Our Staff are ready, the food is ready, the flies are tied and the river is open but it will take another few days for it to clean up from moving ice and to get the Spring season underway. Most fishermen will be waiting for the coming weekend when the fishing and conditions should improve. With the water levels rising early, this should make for better conditions from ice and debris for later on in the spring.
Our location on the Main Southwest Miramichi below Blackville is a great location for spring fishing as we get the opportunity to not only fish for the salmon that travel up the Main River, but also the tributaries of the Cains and Bartholemew Rivers - close to the White Rapids, Renous and Tidal Waters - good locations for Trout and Striped Bass fishing as well as holding Spring salmon extending the season longer in this location. Spring fishing is a great time to get out after a long winter and travel the River using different methods of fly fishing with the chance of landing Salmon up to 50 inches or a Trout up to 7lb and an unlimited number of striped bass every single day. We are looking forward to another great year and hope you get the opportunity to fish the Miramichi - especially for the Wild Atlantic Salmon - and get to visit us for our 20th Anniversary or follow our Reports throughout the Season.
"Tight lines" and "Happy Fishing".
At Country Haven we are very fortunate to have approximately 80% of returning guests each year. We are also very thankful to be represented by these fine exhibitors at Sportsmen Shows around the world. They have all fished with us and know firsthand about the quality of service Country Haven Offers. So stop by and say "Hi" and pick up a Country Haven Miramichi Brochure.
January 25th - The 2019 Fly Fishing Show East - Edison NJ, at the New Jersey Convention & Exhibition Center
We will be represented at this Show by Tight Lines Fly Fishing Inc. and East Coast Spey, Parsippany NJ. Andrew May, Jody Plonski and Jorge Posada are all familiar with the Miramichi River and our Operation and will also be holding their 8th annual Spey casting Clinic with us here at Country Haven from September 29th to October 5th 2018 and also October 6th - 12th 2019. Web site: www.tightlinesflyfishing.com/canada.htm
January 18th - 20th - The Fly Fishing Show East - Marlborough MA, - Royal Plaza, 1st Booth on right after entering.
January 25th - The Fly Fishing Show East - Edison NJ.
February 16th, - Bear's Den 21st Annual Fly Fishing show, 11:00am - 6:00pm - Free Entry
We will be Represented at both These Shows by Bears Den Fly Fishing Co.. from Taunton, MA., Owner Scott Wessels has fished with us in the past. Stop by and pick up a Country Haven Brochure and have a look at all the Great fishing Equipment that will be on display. Their web site is at: www.bearsden.com.
2020 Show Schedule|
Carroll and Lila Ware are very familiar with the Miramichi River,
having fished it a number of times and will be fishing with us again in 2017.
Check out their web site at: www.finsandfursadventures.com
- January 18th - 20th 2018 The Fly Fishing Show - Marlboro, MA
February 9th & 10th 2019 - Brian Warrington who fishes with us each year will be repesenting as at the British Fly Fair held in Stafford. www.bffi.co.uk He will be demonstrating and be at the AAPGAI stand on both days. He will also be demonstrating at the Prince Albert Fishing Club open day on the river Ribble at Ribchester in Lancashire (Date TBA). Brian knows much about the Miramichi River and will be happy to answer any questions about Country Haven and the Miramichi.
July 26th - 28th 2019 - Once again, we will be Represented at the CLA Game Fair, Hatley House, Warwickshire by our UK booking agent
Brian Warrington will happily answer any of you questions about fishing for Atlantic Salmon on the Miramichi..
last years shows and we look forward to seeing you again this year.
When fishing the Cains River, it is interesting to occasionally see a different look of the Cains River Salmon. Many of the Salmon have what we call the "Cains River Look" to them as some can be very dark whether they have been in the river a long time or not. Some may still have sea lice meaning they came in from salt water within a few days even though they do not look like it.
After this season, all we can say is "Thanks"! "Thanks" to so many returning and new Guests! "Thanks" to our wonderful Guides and Staff and "Thanks" to everyone who helped out in any way in making this season as successful as it could be considering the conditions we had to contend with for much of the season. In the last 18 years this was, by far, our most challenging season with such unpredictable weather conditions starting in Spring with late ice out, then receiving our entire season's rain in April and May which resulted in higher-than-normal water conditions all spring. The guides who are, by far, 2nd-to-none on the river, did everything possible to provide guests with a successful trip, even if conditions were not in their favour so overall we ended up with a much better-than-expected spring season with good fish numbers landed.
We survived Spring Fishing!
With the spring Salmon season now over for another year we will now be fishing for Trout and Striped Bass only until early June when the summer runs of Wild Atlantic Salmon arrive. With the later-than-normal spring conditions, the best Striped bass fishing of the season is probably going to occur over the next few weeks as estimates suggest over a million Stripers are in the system. Those who enjoy catching Stripers on a fly will find it's a great time to be here. Although nothing compares to hooking Atlantic Salmon, there is still action using a fly rod! Many Lodges, including Country Haven, offer guided Striped Bass fishing Packages.
When the first runs of summer Wild Atlantic Salmon do enter the system, you will discover what great fighters these fish are, with many being approximately between 17-22 Lbs. The late great basball player Ted Williams always said, "pound-for-pound, it’s the best fighting game fish in the world". With his spending over 30 years on the Miramichi and fishing many other destinations throughout the world as well, we suggest he knew a bit about fishing as well as baseball. Summer fishing season is approaching quickly and Country Haven takes pride in offering guests some of the best private water available anywhere. With access to 27 private pools for the 2018 season this is the largest quantity of private water we have ever offered with many of these waters noted for being high production pools and we have some of the best guides in the business to show our guests around. Throughout the entire season, Country Haven offers Special events and packages, including our most popular "Father and Son" package.
Tight lines from the Miramichi .
The 2017 Atlantic Salmon season opened on April 15th and the Trout and Striped bass season opened on May 1st and the season is now over. With the high number of Large Salmon in the system and the good returns of Trout and Striped bass, we are hoping for another successful season next year! This year was another good season on the Miramichi River system.
December 1st 2017
Here are the final counts of Atlantic Salmon and Grilse returning to the Miramichi over the past 4 seasons. The counters represent approximately 5 to 10% of the actual number of returning fish entering the system over the years. Using the lower number of 10% to calculate, here are the estimated numbers they come up with.
for the Miramichi River System
Note: The above numbers are based on approximately 10% of the returning numbers
provided by D.F.O. and can vary from year to year depening on high water and low water conditions.
There have been times, over the years, when counters have been removed for periods of time due to water conditions or other factors so results can never be 100% accurate from year to year. With the conditions experienced throughout 2017, the final returns until counter removal at the end of October were better than expected. It has always been assumed among locals that new arrivals continue long after the counters are removed
in most seasons and a good case for this theory is how good the spring fishing can be the following season after a low count the prior season. A good example of this was in 2014 when the D.F.O counts were one of the lowest returing counts in modern times however the spring fishing for 2015 was one of the better ones on the river. This indicated that a good number missed being counted in 2014 or else arrived into the rivers after the counters were
removed in the fall. In any event, this is the system used for providing an estimated count for Salmon and Grilse to the Miramichi each year. Although not not an exacting system, it does help in knowing approximately how many
fish are returning to the Miramichi each season.
October 16th 2017
2017 will probably go down in the History books as one of the driest summers and
falls on record as we experienced a drought from late June into mid-October. Even though it might not have been one of the better seasons due to these conditions, Atlantic salmon tended to stay longer in the ocean or in the
lower stretches of the river, waiting for improved conditions before travelling up the rivers and tributaries.
Although we have experienced much better fishing in past seasons during normal conditions, we are lucky to be located on the lower stretches of the Main Southwest Miramichi River where we have access to some excellent private low-water fishing pools and it did turn out to be the most productive stretchs of the entire river system during the 2017 season. Even though fishing could have been better, with the help of the great staff
guides, pool lease owners and most of all, so many great guests, the overall success rate at Country Haven could not have been better - having over 80% of returning guests from 21 countries - all drawn to the Miramichi by the elusive Atlantic Salmon. There is so much more involved in fishing than just having great fishing each day to make for a successful fishing trip and as each year passes, we can never say enough about just how lucky we are to be surrounded by so many great people who helped to make our 18th season another successful one. When people ask what I have learned most over the years, there are always two things that come to mind; The first is that "There is not such a thing as a bad fly fishermen as they are the most wonderful people in the world"!
The second thing is that no matter where you have fished in the past, how
many fish you have landed or how much you know about fishing "you should
always listen to the local guides".
October 9th 2017
With the arrival of October came some very good fishing as the beginning of the week saw our best fall fishing to date, as the rain over the weekend freshened up the holding fish along with a good number of fresh fish entering the system daily, making for a good start to the October season on the river. With Salmon in the river, rain in the forecast, beautiful fall foliage, daily casting lessons given by one of the best - Andrew Moy - and a lodge full of friendly and familiar faces, we can't think of a better way to finish off the season. Flies of choice this week were Red Francis, LT Special, Munroe Killer and still the Bear
October 2nd 2017
Wow! What a tough week this has been for the last week of September. Normally this would be a prime time to be on the Miramichi but with no rain to speak of for much of the season, conditions remained low
for most of the river system. Anglers that were having the most success were on the lower stretches of the Main Southwest Miramichi river system or fishing in deep holding pools throughout the rest of the system. Throughout most of the week our anglers fished over holding fish with the better results on bombers between Blackville and Quarryville - closest to tidal waters as possable for fresh fish on wet flies. This week was our U.K. Spey Clinic week and was our less productive week for fish landed however all of our 16 guests hooked, fished and almost all landed fish along with receiving the great casting instuctions put on daily by Bryan Martin and Brian Warrington from the UK and this also provided some fine entertainment to celebrate my 60th Birthday! It was another very enjoyable week on the Miramichi.
September 23d 2017
Water conditions remain low as we enter the last three weeks of the season but there still is a chance of some rain mid-week. There are quite a few fish holding in the lower stretches of the Main river system as they wait for some fresh water. If and when we do get rain, we Should expect our best fishing of the season as it will be the first major rise in water levels since early summer and this should make for great fishing on the tributaries. But until then we will count our blessings and be happy to be located on the lower stretch of the system, fishing close to the tidal water. On a positive note, in the fall, fish will move through the system anyway, even with low water conditions, as they have places to go and things to do - unlike some of the summer run fish - with some of them just entering the system now that might have entered the system in July or August if the water had been higher. Again, this week, conditions are best for smaller wet flies and Bombers with Undertakers and Bear Hair patterns still working the best.
September 15th 2017
There is still one month to go in the 2017 fishing season on the Miramichi. We are all hoping it goes "out with a bang"! There are quite a few fish still showing in the lower stretches of the river with some
decent fishing following the 16 inch rise in water levels earlier in the week. They say "beggars can't be choosers" and we would like to have received more of a rise in water levels but after this summer, we will take anything we get! We are still using small summer patterns - #10 Undertakers, Bear Hair and Bombers.
September 1st 2017
There are many fish around in the lower stretches of the Main river system, with a
few new arrivals entering the system on the higher tide days. With the low water conditions, the fish are holding in the deeper water pools - ideal conditions for the lower stretches of the Main river below Blackville - especially for dry fly anglers - but not as good for much of the upper river system except for the deep holding pools where fish have been holding up, such as Black Brook, Big Hole and a few others throughout the system.
Every season can be different with either too much low water or too much high water - sometimes this makes it not so great for good fishing and makes it almost impossible to have good producing pools for every possible condition. However, we have worked hard at this over the years - sometimes leasing pools for years and waiting for just the right conditions for them to be successful. With the higher water conditions over the last 10 or so seasons, we often wonder if some of our low water pools would ever work out as well as they did in the '90s and early 2000's when low water conditions were
the norm for quite a few seasons. Downriver Outfitters such as Black Rapids Lodge, Gray Rapids Lodge and Camp Thomas thrived on low water conditions. We have not had great fishing over the past few weeks by any means, but despite these conditions, we still managed to have access to pools with fish around and were lucky enough to consistantly catch fish throughout the entire season by making it worthwhile to continue having access to as many private pools as possible for almost every condition - good or bad.
August 20th 2017
Another "On again - off again" couple of weeks of warm water bomber fishing - lots of rolls but not many hook ups and cool weather but also cool water with some nice hook ups, making every day different - depending on conditions. However... Good news: There are good numbers of holding fish including some very big salmon in the lower stretches of the river, making things interesting for the anglers. Bad News: Although we received 15 Ml. of rain over the last couple of days, much more is needed to improve fall conditions for the entire river system and tributries - such as the Cains and Renous - traditionaly great fall Salmon rivers.
August 7th 2017
It has been an "On again - Off again" summer so far this season with ever-changing conditions. Many of the pools in the lower stretch of the Main river system have a good number of fish holding due to the lower water, however each day depends on conditions as to how active they will be. With the warm water conditions last week, DFO closed 21 cold water areas throughout the Miramichi water system until such time as the water cools again. This is the 2nd time this season when these areas have been closed then reopened. These closures impact only one of the 22 private pools we have access to, leaving a lot of fishing throughout the system, especially on the cool days when the fish are moving throughout the lower stretches of the river. It is now looking like this heat wave is finally behind us and conditions are improving daily. With 40 ml of rain overnight in the upper stretches of the system at Clearwater and with fall-like conditions in the long range forecast, along with a full moon and high tides tomorrow, all this should bring in another splash of fresh fish this week.
The high tides this week brought in a good number of fresh fish into the system, making for quite good fishing in the lower stretch of the Main river System, especially between the Blackville and Quarryville area where they tend to hold up more with low water conditions than they do with higher water levels. As for
river conditions, the Lower stretch of the river is now ideal for some of the low water pools - some of these pools get better as the water gets lower and never get too low unless it gets too warm. With the cool weather over the past week, D.F.O. reopened the cold water places and fresh fish have been moving in daily, many with Sea
Lice. Some of these lower river pools can never get too low for good conditions.. pools such as the Orr pool, Mom's pool, Kelly pool, both Coughlan pools, the Funnel pool in White Rapids and the White Birch and Mountain Channel Home pools. With these water heights and if the water conditions remain on the cooler side - as it has been for the most of the past week - fishermen should expect to see a lot of fish and enjoy some success on both wet & dry flies for a while to come. A downside to these good expectations is that the water is very clear so Salmon may spook easily. With most of my fishing as a youngster being in this section of the river during low water conditions, I might be a little bit biased towards low water conditions but overall for the river system, a good rain is needed to make the fish more active and keep them moving through the upper stretches of the system and the tributaries such as the Cains.
July started out very promising, with good numbers of both Salmon and Grilse entering the system and even better numbers arriving over the weekend of the 8-9th. However, along with the fish came the first major heat wave of 2017, warming the water and making it one of the rivers' less productive July weeks in a while. With Atlantic Salmon fishing you need Salmon, good water temperatures and a lot of luck. So far, this July, there has not been an overabundance of these three.
Another June is in the history books! It was not as good as some but better than
others as a good number of Salmon and even a few Grilse entered the system. June is known more for Salmon runs and July - even though it also has some nice Salmon - normally has many more returning Grilse than in June. The water level is at a great height for the Main river system and a bit on the low side for some of the tributaries however, with good water temperatures, fish will travel up the tributaries in any event, especially the early rivers like the Dungarvon and the Renous. With the full moon and high tides occurring over the coming weekend of
July 9th this season, we should expect good fishing after that. So much depends on conditions but if they are decent then there should be a good splash of fresh fish entering the system at that time. We have been disappointed during July in some past years when we had a a river full of fish, but poor conditions turned them off so we are hoping for the best this season. Flies of Choice lately have been the #8 Blue charm, Green Butt bear Hair and the Cosseboom.
It's Official! Our 2017 Summer season is underway on the Miramichi after
approximately three weeks since the spring Salmon season ended. After fishing for Striped bass and Trout along with some canoeing trips, it is nice to see the summer runs entering the system and anglers starting to hook up again. Although there are still not too many fishermen on the water, the ones that have been fishing started picking up a few Salmon earlier last week on The Nor'west and this week on the Main River and Renous. Although no great numbers are being recorded yet, these salmon - pound for pound - are some of the freshest and best fighters of the season. June is a month to be in the "right place at the right time" as the fish are travelling - sometimes up to 20 miles a day - the tides play a big part in this of course.
The spring Atlantic Salmon season is now over for another year and now anglers will turn all their attention to Trout or Striped Bass fishing until the early runs of Bright's start arriving in early June. The 2017 spring season was quite different from what we have experienced in recent years - not because of a lack of fish, as fishermen landed some of the largest spring Salmon ever throughout the season and a good number overall - but the weather and water conditions were the worst in 17 years. The most consistent fishing was in May as the water fell and cleared up. On some days, anglers fished for, - and landed - Salmon, Trout and Striped bass all in a single 3 day period. The overall numbers landed were a ratio of 10 Salmon to every Grilse - a contrast to the exact opposite (1 Salmon to 10 Grilse) only five springs ago. We are not sure what this means for the river but with bigger fish landed, it was good for the fishermen. Overall, there were not as many fish landed for the spring as in most years, the grilse are more aggressive and take a fly easier, so numbers were down overall.
This has been the first spring Salmon season in 17 years where we did not land over 1,000 Salmon and Grilse but it was still quite a successful season considering the conditions for much of the time. The most successful fly was the Christmas Tree. The most successful angler for the spring was Art Mesher. Them most successful shortest trip was Carl Soderland's with 23 Salmon and 1 Grilse over three days. Largest spring Salmon? Kevin Holmes beautiful 48 inch'er.
With the Salmon fishing over for a couple of weeks, the Trout and Striped Bass fishing is now at it's best and this should continue for a while, with both dark Trout moving out of the rivers and fresh Sea run coming in. With close to 1 million Stripers in the lower stretches of the System there is still some good fly fishing to be had even if it's not for Salmon.
Thanks to all who visited with us this spring and we hope your visit was a memorable one. We look forward to seeing you all again next Spring. For all those who are coming to visit with us this summer and fall, we look forward to seeing you and enjoying some great times and fishing.
Tight lines from the Miramichi.
- Tight Lines from the Miramichi.
Slow and steady was a daily challenge for good fishing with the unsettled weather so far this spring. With the colder water, the Salmon are holding steady and staying close to shore so casters were having the best results so far, unlike last spring when the water just fell slowly over a period of weeks, making for great fishing every day. This spring has been more of a challenge with good fishing on days when the water was falling and not so good on days when the water was rising, but so far, almost all of our fishermen have had good success. The ratio of Salmon-to-Grilse landed this week has been 90% Salmon with the majority being between 30 - 48 inches in length. For example, Bill Mather landed 19 Salmon and only one Grilse over his 3 day trip. This is great for fishermen who were landing big Salmon but it would be better to see more Grilse in the river system. Blue Smelt, Bunny Strip and Renous River Specials have been the most productive flies so far this spring. With these conditions our best Salmon fishing should once again be in May with the Trout season opening today and the lower stretches of the river seeing Striped Bass. A day of fishing in May might consist of a 40+ inch Atlantic Salmon, 5+ Lb. Bookie and a 20 + lb. Striper. Although Atlantic Salmon are, by far, still the most sought after species, a change in techniques and species is always fun.
With the 2017 fishing season kicking off on April 15th, this week could be described as "the Good, the Bad and the Ugly"! The "Good" being that we got started on time and landed some lovely Salmon. The "Bad" was that this was the coldest opening week to start off the fishing season in years. The "Ugly" was that this was the first time in 17 seasons where we received snow two days during the opening week. On a more positive note, however, we landed some of the largest opening week Salmon in quite a while using a variety of different flies (Christmas Tree, Magog Smelts, and Blue Smelts to name a few). With the colder water, the fish are not moving yet so the best success has been by finding places that have not been fished - in other words - going to where the fish are instead of waiting for the fish to move down. As conditions improve, so should the fishing. With this late spring and the fish moving down slowly, it looks like the better Spring fishing might again be in the month of May.
the System each year so overall they show a good return of large Salmon for 2016, up to October 15th.
"Wow!" is the only way I can properly describe the wonderful fishing season we enjoyed on the Miramichi this season. From start-to-finish it was our best in every way - from having our most consistent spring season in 17 years - to more good days than bad in both June and July - to one of our best Augusts ever - and topped off by a fantastic fall with some of the largest
Salmon landed in years throughout the system. The returns of big salmon to both the Main Sou'west and the Nor'west were higher than any year since 2010. Negatives to these high returns have been the lower returns of
Grilse in both rivers and the high number of returning Striped Bass to the river system.
With a bump in water levels over the weekend, anglers enjoyed some very good catching right through until closing day in a number of different pools. Some of the more traditional pools on the upper Cains river started producing well and the Renous river continued to produce daily along with a number of pools on the Main River. Even though water levels were still on the low side, the Fall Salmon are going to come and move up these smaller rivers in any event. They were really moving this week on both the Cains and Renous rivers as fishermen landed fish with Sea Lice every single day far upriver. This was another week of Salmon-to-Grilse ratios in the 10-3 range, including some very large Salmon. Of all the
fall weeks we have had so far, this week was more like a traditional fall week with colourful foliage, crisp mornings, lots of fish in the system and fall flies like the Allie Shrimp, GP,LT Special and Copper Killer working well. Overall, we have had a very productive fall on the River and a productive and enjoyable final week of the 2016 Season.
"You should have been here last week" is a famous saying by fishing guides around the world and it was probably said a number of times this week on the Miramichi
as each day of the week, fishing became slower. With clear sunny days and low clear water, anglers landed 11 Salmon on Monday but only averaged between 3 to 6 daily for the remainder of the week, even though there
were great numbers of fish in the system. On the positive side however, everyone was seeing lots of fish! We had another 30 Lb'er landed and almost all our fishermen did manage to hook into fish this week. The conditions this week saw fishermen who used the smaller fly patterns enjoy the most success - some landing salmon on #10 and #12 Undertakers. It has been another week of mainly Salmon being landed with apparently not many Grilse in the system. With the rain we are now receiving it is almost certain the season will end on a high note.
This year's UK Spey Clinic week was a great one with good casting lessons and a lot of nice salmon landed. Throughout the week, anglers hooked 111 and landed 70 with the majority of them being Salmon, including three 30+ Lb. fish. This week was another good week of catches in a number of different pools from all the rivers we fish. The major run of fresh fish this week was in the lower stretches of the Main Southwest Miramichi river system. Early in the week the fish were still traveling throughout the Main river system, as the water was still at a good height for running fish. Now they are starting to hold up more, with the traditional fall pools that normally hold fall fish, starting to
hold more daily. Even though some nice Salmon were landed on the Cains and Renous rivers - with lots of fish in both rivers - a bump in water levels would improve catches. Andrew Done from Switzerland enjoyed his 2nd best week out of his 7 visits, landing 10 with 9 of them being Salmon. Also, Jim Long from Chicago fished 6 different pools in 3 days and landed fish in all of them. Luck or Skill or just good at taking fish? - we are not quite sure, but Jim thinks it's skill so maybe it was!
With a 3 foot rise in water levels on the Main river and a couple of feet rise on the Cains and Renous rivers, it was just what the doctor ordered to get more fresh Salmon moving into the system. Anglers started seeing more fresh fish by mid week on the Renous and the
Nor'west, even though the Nor'west never received much of a rise compared to the other rivers.
Some warmer and dryer-than-normal weather for this time of the season has resulted in one of our less productive fall weeks on the river but anglers did manage to land fish most days throughout the system. With our having access to 22 private pools, there are times when many are producing at the same time and other times when only a few pools on different rivers are fishing well. That was how it was this week as the majority of the fish landed were from the same pools on different rivers. It's always good to have the variety of water and top guides to provide guests with the best chance possible to land Salmon. All Atlantic rivers are unique in their own way - some are famous for big Salmon, even though they might be few-and-far between, and some are famous for their big runs, even though these rivers offer a very short
season. The Miramichi has a 6 month season with a chance of catching Salmon almost every day throughout the season, including the chance to catch the "fish of a lifetime" - especially on a Dry Fly. Even though there are many great Atlantic Salmon rivers throughout the world, we are told by fishermen from around the globe that it's pretty hard to beat the Eastern Canadian rivers - especially the Miramichi - when it comes to landing the "Big one" on a dry fly. This week it Was Jens Adamsen from Denmark. Even though he has landed hundreds of Atlantics throughout the Atlantic Salmon world, he always knew his best chance for landing his lifelong dream Salmon using a Bomber was on the Miramichi and he was not disappointed! Sometimes it's quantity, sometimes it's quality and sometimes it is just learning how to flyfish. Guests come and go and they all echo the same thing - "fish the Miramichi on a daily basis"! Flies of choice this week are still summer patterns of Orange or Red Butt Bear Hair, Undertakers and The Almost has been working well in evenings with holding fish using #8 and #10 Peach Carter Bugs Dry.
It was another interesting week on the Miramichi as fishing remained quite consistent over the weekend and early into the week. Over the past couple of days, however, warmer weather has been moving in and will probably slow fishing a bit until there is a cooling trend. The weather prediction is calling for 30 ml. of rain over this weekend and that should be just about the perfect amount of precipitation - if it happens. The long range forecast is looking good and a full moon on the 17th is occurring at an ideal time to start bringing in the big runs of fall Salmon. Flies of Choice this week have been #10 Undertakers, Orange Butt Bear Hair and wet flies, Peach Carter Bug and Brown White With Orange Hackle Bombers.
With August in the books for another season, one wishes some of the fishing in June and July could have been as good as most of August has been. With Atlantic Salmon fishing, so much depends on conditions and the majority of the time - if there are fish in the system and the conditions are good - fishermen can be rewarded every month of the fishing season. Over the years, some of our best fishing has come in the month of August and this August was no exception as there was a good mix of both holding and fresh fish throughout the system.
This has been another good week of August fishing as fishing has been quite consistent throughout the entire river system over the past couple of weeks. The Renous can be a very productive river under the right conditions, especially in July, September and October but has been very good since the rise in water levels which happened in early August. With the good water height in the smaller tributaries, not only has the fishing been good in the lower stretches of the Cains - as it usually is in August - but anglers have started catching and seeing Salmon in greater numbers much further upriver this year. So... if good conditions continue and the fish continue to arrive as they are doing then we could expect some good fall fishing throughout much of the river system for the remainder of the season. Flies of Choice this week have been (wet flies) the White Tail Green Machine and (dry flies) Brown Orange Bombers and Peach Carter Bugs.
With two months remaining until the end of the 2016 fishing season, it is really exciting to be part of the family of fly fishermen challenging the Wild Atlantic
Salmon. In the time remaining, a lot of good and bad can happen but, to date, everyone should be happy with the season and returns so far! The Spring season was the most consistent in 17 years and June and July had some of the better numbers of fish returning to the river in quite a while! The annual "Bump in the road" we seem to get, where warm water conditions occur, is behind us, hopefully for another season! With a 3 foot rise in water levels and all the cold water brooks reopened, fish are now moving throughout the system - what more could a Miramichi River Guide ask for! With this rise in water levels, the majority of the holding fish started moving on Sunday evening, making for some very good fishing on the Lower Cains and the Main river Systems. Normally, with these rises in water after a period of hot dry weather, fishing can be fantastic as these fish move through the system . There is normally a lull of a couple of days between the holding fish moving out and the fresh runs moving into the system so anglers in the upper stretches of the river should expect some good fishing heading into the weekend and fishermen should start to see more fresh August fish entering the lower stretches of the system by the weekend as well. One thing we do know is that the Miramichi River is only one of a few river systems in the world that receive such an abundance of fish in a fall salmon run and it's always good to be part of it! Every day throughout the spring, summer and fall seasons we are reminded that we are blessed to have such a group of quality guides giving a 100% effort at catching fish as they travel throughout the river system. We do know that our guides enjoy guiding in the fall season best of all. It also helps to have access to 22 private pools throughout the system, including five on the Cains river which is, beyond a doubt, the best little Atlantic Salmon River in the world for fall fishing.
One of the best measures that we have is the Millerton trap net which we have discussed on this blog before. The government website can be found at this link. I won't bore you with a long tutorial because many of you understand how the trap works already, but for those that don't but who are interested, just go on the site and spend some time changing the dates, clicking salmon or grilse and looking at the results. Compare the current period with earlier years that are also listed. There is no other way to learn it.
On July 15, the trap reported 397 salmon for the season to date. This compares to 213 avg. for the same period from 1998 through 2002, and 349 from 2003 through 2007. It is also well ahead of either 2013, 2014, or 2015. So far so good, but it is less than the 494 from 2008 to 2012. The 397 represents just the Main Southwest branch, and the trap catches about 5% of returning salmon. That means that so far in 2016 we have had about 8,000 salmon enter the Main Southwest Miramichi. This isn't bad, especially compared to just about any other salmon river in North America. The grilse count was 536 which, times the 10% efficiency for grilse, puts the run so far at about 5,000. This is about half of the normal grilse returning by July 31 for all but the most recent years - which have generally been lower than 2016. Like the Main Southwest Miramichi, the Northwest Miramichi branch is having quite a good year for Salmon, but not great for Grilse.
So what does all this mean for the fall run? Jason Curtis always says that you can judge the whole season to come by the early fishing. He reasons that the early fish are a certain part of the total run, and if that early component is bigger then the whole run will also be larger. It's like the old bell-shaped curve. If the outer edges of the bell are wider and thicker the bell is likely to be larger. Certainly that is the way it was with the 2011 run, which came in hot and heavy early and continued that way until the end of the season. One day in mid-June 2016 I came in off the river and sat on the bench next to Jason. I had just had a half hour of rolling and touching salmon, but not getting a solid hookup. You have to be feeling pretty good about the number of fish we saw in the tail of the pool tonight, he said. There were plenty of Atlantic salmon coming in to the Miramichi until that first heat wave at the end of June.
- Brad Burns
Last week, with the warm water, it was better for canoe sightseeing and beaches here at Country Haven, than for fishing, but the few fishermen that were on the water still managed to land fish and enjoy seeing lots of holding fish, even when there were no takers. But, with these improved conditions, there have been many fishermen limiting out the past few days and we have had some of the best fishing of the season which could possibly continue over the next couple of weeks. #6 and #8 White Tail Green Machine have been the flies of choice since Sunday. With the lower Canadian dollar compared to many other foreign currencies it is a good time to visit the Miramichi for a fishing trip and we are also finding that anglers are taking advantage of the currency exchange to buy from our local Miramichi fly shops - who carry all the top brands in the business - from Doak & Sons in Doaktown, Curtis Outfitters in Blackville, Trout Brook Fly Shop on the Nor'west and Miramichi Hunting & Fishing Supplies in Miramichi city. With Atlantic Salmon fishing there is never a guarantee, even when the river is full of fish, but we can guarantee some of the best quality service & prices that these local fly shops offer. So... Get ready for the fall season as we are expecting a good one!
- Tight Lines from the Miramichi.
Overall it has been a positive June and July with very good numbers of returning fish reported to date at the counters - some of the better numbers in a while. With the warmer water, fishing has slowed a bit for the number of fish in the system. As always, we have seen better results using dry flies when the water is warmer so this past week was a week for Bombers with some very good results. Throughout each season we enjoy an 85% of returning angler guests who fish with us but it's always a great thrill when first-time Atlantic Salmon anglers have good luck. This week the photos above are of first-timers with their Atlantics. Every photo has a good story but we love the one about 9 year old Haley Dow from Massachusetts who not only had the Country Haven cooks and staff fall in love with her, it seemed like the Salmon did as well, as phey played with her Bomber almost every time she cast. Other fishermen could only watch and wish as they listened to her excitement with every roll and hookup throughout her visit. All fish taken this week were on Dry Fly Peach Bombers and Whiskers.
Overall, it was a very good week for fish numbers throughout most of the river system with much better catches than the previous week where the lower water
conditions were perfect in the lower stretches of the Main river for much of the week. Although many of the fish landed this week were Grilse, there was a good mixture of big Salmon in the system. By the weekend, a couple of rain storms brought the river up approximately a foot, making for good water levels on the Renous and as a result, fishermen were rewarded daily. On the lower stretch of the Renous river system, the rise in water levels put a few fish into the Cains, also a few Grilse and Salmon were landed on the lower stretches of the Cains river.
This has been a great week for fish numbers throughout the river system with daily numbers at the Millerton counter on the Main river system ranging from approximately 500 to over 1,200 each day this week, using a standard calculation formula of between 7-10 percent of fish moving through the counters. Although the numbers were good, the actual catches should have been much higher with overall good conditions. The lower stretches of the Main river and the Renous have seen amazing numbers of fish travelling through the system. The long-range weather forecast is looking great and with these high numbers, it appears like some great July fishing should be had by all throughout the entire Main river system.
must read book written by Brad Burns " Closing the Season"
can be purchased by visiting www.bradburnsfishing.com/product/closing-the-season/
The Run is On! What a difference a week makes! With 4 days of 90F weather to start last week, fishing was spotty at best as anglers only landed a few fish during the week and during a couple of days mid-week we saw more moose on our Wildlife Tours than Salmon in the river. Everyone was thinking "not another heatwave" for the start of the July run this year. But what a change in conditions and fishing a couple of days can make when land temperatures reduced from 90F to 40F and water from 76F last Wednesday to 60F this week. Since Tuesday evening we have seen a river full of Salmon as there has been a nonstop run of fresh wild Atlantics moving through the lower stretches of the Main River System and some fishermen limited out last evening. The majority of the June run Salmon are destined for the upper stretches of the Main River System but the July runs are also heading for the Upper stretches plus the smaller tributaries of the Cains and the Bartholemew and tend to start holding up more than the early runs. We landed our first Cains river Salmon of the summer season this week and know it's just the beginning of great days to come on the Cains. With a rise in water, the Renous should also produce as the first few weeks of July can be prime time on the river when conditions are good. Flies of choice this week were the #8 Undertaker and the #8 Blue Charm. There were also some fish landed on Dry Flies during the slower fishing days last week. With the cooler temperatures followed by a week's forecast for rain, the outlook is very promising for July fishing this season.
After a couple of weeks of summer fishing there has been a good number of fish landed on both the Main Southwest, the Nor'west and the Renous river systems. June can be unpredictable as to when the fish arrive some years - early some years or later in June - but for those who take the gamble, they can sometimes be rewarded with big silver fish of a lifetime. Early June has seen a number of happy anglers throughout the system. Most of the fish landed have been Salmon with a few Grilse that have entered the system over the past couple of days. The water is now at an ideal height for the June runs as long as it remains cool. Good fishing should continue however the next couple days forecast could see some hot weather that we do not need but then there will be cooling again mid-week with a good long range forecast predicted. Flies of choice have been the White Tail Green machine, Green Machine Crystal Flash and the Blue Charm.
The 2016 spring Atlantic Salmon season is now officially over for another season. Effective May 16th, hook & release numbers will drop to 4 a day from the normal 10 a day limit that runs from April 15th through May 15th - the "Spring Salmon Season" and overall, what a great season it was! With good conditions and an abundance of Salmon, it turned out to be our most successful spring season in 17 years.
Another great week to be on the Miramichi! With the exception of a couple of colder days on the water after so many nice warm days, anglers have continued to catch
spring Salmon every day since the season opened. Even though we are fishing from Upper Blackville to Quarryville for Salmon and Grilse, fishermen are still having the best results upriver above Blackville. If this trend
continues, this season fishermen might continue to land some Salmon until the end of May. Although the number of daily catches has slowed since April, this spring has been as consistent as any spring we have seen, with fish landed daily. The Salmon landed now are fighters after feeding so long on smelts. The trout fishing has also slowed up a bit but what nice trout fishermen have landed since late April. Fishermen have now switched over to floating lines or light sinking tips. Flies of choice remain the Smelt Patterns for Salmon, Gray Ghost for trout along with some results in the Quarryville area using big Brown Bombers.
The 2016 Spring Atlantic Salmon season has been great so far as the conditions have remained almost perfect for an extended long spring season. Even though some days were in the 70's F, nights stayed cool, keeping the water colder than some years. Spring Salmon don't go anywhere until water temperatures are just right, no matter how early the ice goes out or how low the water levels may get. With these conditions, many anglers have switched over to sinking tips or floating lines only when using smaller flies. With the Atlantic Salmon fishing being more consistent than we have seen in
years, Trout fishing has also been terrific as fishermen have been landing fish daily - some up to 7 Lbs. The Miramichi has always been known as one of the best Atlantic Salmon producing rivers in the world, but now, with the population explosion of Striped Bass in the system, at this time of the season, anglers can limit out by landing 10 Atlantics, big Bookies and a boatload of Stripers - all in one day! Not good for the river but good action for the fishermen! Flies of choice this week for Atlantic Salmon were the Magog Smelt, Christmas Tree and Black Ghost. For Trout, the Gray Ghost was best and for catching Striped Bass, the Chris Edmonds Special worked best!
It has been another great week of Salmon fishing on the Miramichi as all anglers landed fish every single day! Although numbers were not quite as good as our first week, the fishing is staying very consistent and the quality of fish is the best we have seen in years, especially the ones that have been feeding on smelt.
What a great start to the 2016 fishing season as almost every angler on the river limited out at 10 fish each on opening day. Fishing has continued to remain good throughout the week and with summer-like weather conditions, this week would have to be described as a perfect start to the spring season. Flies of choice this week have been the Christmas Tree, Black Ghost
, Renous River Special and Magog Smelt.
With only two weeks remaining until the start of the Atlantic Salmon fishing season on the Miramichi, the conditions are beginning to look good for this years opening day. There is still more ice to clear but the DFO Salmon & Grilse returns are now out for last year on the Miramichi River System and they are looking good for this spring's fishing season.
With the 2015 fishing now behind us, we would like to thank all our guests who experienced a season of some great fishing, some poor fishing, high & low water conditions and a season of new conservation measures that has placed the Miramichi and Atlantic Canada in the forefront in the conservation of Atlantic Salmon. Let's hope there will be more areas that will "get on board" like Quebec, Saint Pierre & Miquelon and yes, Greenland, in protecting the Wild Atlantic Salmon.
As the water is now falling daily, fishing is also improving throughout the week - especially on the Cains and Renous rivers. We love these fall weeks with the
colourful fall foliage, normally good fishing and the back-to-back casting clinics which were held last week and this week. It's always a pleasure to watch these fellows casting. With the water falling, we landed fish in a number of different pools from five different rivers throughout the system. The water was at an ideal height for canoeing and fishing day trips on the Cains river which are always a treat - usually with good results. Although the Cains river is probably one of the best little fall rivers in North America for Atlantic Salmon when the conditions are right, this year has been no exception as almost all the pools are now producing good results but with the higher water, the best results have come from the Middle Cains. Sometimes it's the lower stretches and other times the upper stretches so the more access, the better it gets as each year, best results can come from different locations. One thing for sure is that there is nothing much better than finishing out the fishing season on the Cains River. Only five days remain in this year's fishing season so get out and enjoy it if you can!
This week could be called "the Good, the Bad and the Ugly"!
This week, our stretch of the river was not quite as productive as it was last year at this time due to the rise in water from last week taking most of the holding fish upriver and only a few of the fall run fish moving into the system. Even though we fished a number of pools throughout the system all week, most of our fish came from four pools - two on the lower Main river, one on the Cains and one on the Nor'west. Again this week, luckily, we had access to pools that could bail us out when conditions were not as good as usual for this section of the river at this time of year. As the water levels fall and more of the fall runs enter the system we can expect better results throughout the entire river system as conditions are now almost perfect for the fall runs. Although we are still using a mix of summer and fall fly patterns, the fall patterns worked the best this week.
More water was what we needed for the river system to improve conditions for the fall and we received a nice 3+ foot rise on the Main River and even more on the
tributaries early in the week. With the water rising, anglers enjoyed some decent fishing before too much debris started moving. The rain was needed for the long run but as it sometimes happens, it slows fishing
for a while as for a couple of days the water is normally too dirty and it also moves fish from holding pools, so it can be a waiting game as it takes a few days, following the rain, for conditions to improve and for
fresh fish to enter the system to take the place of the holding fish that have moved on. That was the case for most fishermen this week. Even though we did land some nice salmon, it ended up being our slowest week of
the summer fishing season on our stretch of the river. With the bump in water levels and cooler weather in the forecast for the remainder of the fall season, we expect numbers for the fall runs to now increase daily for a while .Even though there has been some fresh
fish entering the system since with the rise in water levels, higher numbers traditionally start arriving between September 21st to 25th and should continue past the closing of the season. As it now looks, conditions
should be excellent for the fall run arrivals. Traditionally, these fall runs have fish arriving in all the rivers in the system around the same time whereas the summer runs tend to vary from river to river. The Main
River and the Cains have always been known for their good fall runs so let’s hope the tradition continues for this season. Flies of choice this past week have been the Ally’s Shrimp, GP and the LT
With our having such good fishing in the first week of September, this past week we had to settle for much slower fishing as the third heat wave of the season arrived over the weekend and brought water temperatures up again by Monday, resulting in our anglers being shut out for the first time in a while! On Monday, however disconcerting, we still managed to have a successful week as almost all our fishermen landed fish - including Atlantic Salmon fishermen Jens Adamsen of Denmark who landed 7 and lost another two fish during the tough fishing days. Fishing improved by the end of the week and we did manage to hook another 20. With our having access to 21 private pools on the Miramichi River system, sometimes almost all of the pools are producing well but this week we were down to only three that were producing on the entire river system, but three is better than none! Every year we often wonder if it is worth the investment for access to so much private water, as over the years some pools are seldom used. Occasionally, times like these make it all worthwhile as an otherwise poor week would turn into a good week and all anglers went home happy. Each year days on the water can be so different as conditions change and so do the pools - sometimes even rivers - as to where the best fishing will be. There is an old saying which goes "never put all your eggs in one basket" or in other words, "a varity of pools is the spice of life when it comes to Atlantic Salmon fishing".
With warm water conditions over the past week, some thought those conditions might continue longer than they did however with the rain late last week and water temperatures dropping into the low 60's over the weekend, the DFO reopened the cold water places on Monday.
When temperatures dropped into the 50's early in the week, what more could Atlantic Salmon fishermen ask for?
With the cooler water, many pools on the lower stretches of the Main river and a couple of pools on the Cains
enjoyed great fishing. We are not sure if there were many new fish entering the system or just the high abundance of holding fish on the move, but from Monday morning on, our anglers enjoyed one of the best weeks on the water this year and we have had some great weeks to really remember this year! The only thing that might have made this week even better would have been more fishermen on the river. With less than optimum previous conditions and some negative reports involving pool closings there were less fishermen on the water than normal for this time of year but those who were fishing were in for a real treat as our anglers hooked close to 100 fish over the last 5 days. With a good variety of both Salmon and Grilse in the system the majority landed at our Lodge were Grilse as this week there were quite a few novice fly fishermen and sometimes it takes practice landing the bigger ones and novices manage to lose Salmon every way possible - from holding rods too tight, breaking leaders, having lines getting tangled around sticks on the river bottom and a Black Bear encounter in the pool while landing Salmon can help in a quick release every time! Overall, however, it was a very enjoyable week on the water with some nice fish landed and fun was had by all! Even though we started hooking salmon as early as Monday morning off the tides in the White Rapids Area, many of the fish landed looked quite fresh but this week only a couple had Sea Lice.
As of this afternoon, the Variation Order has been lifted on all of the 23 cold water holding places throughout the Miramichi River System. The water temperature has decreased into the low 60's over the past few nights.
"Dog days of August" - and that's what it was for over a week with lots of swimming, canoeing and relaxing - most lodges including ours did not do much fishing. Once again there was no shortage of holding fish - in some places close to 1,000. Downriver places like Engine Town Brook, Welch Springs and Bears Den! Upriver places like the mouth of the Bartholemew, Black Brook, Mills Brook and Big Hole were doing the same as well as many smaller places inbetween. Throughout the week, however, fishing conditions gradually improved as the cooler nights resulted in D.F.O. opening up full day fishing again on Tuesday throughout the system as a few days over the weekend were restricted to morning fishing only. With the rain we received on Wednesday and Thursday, everyone is hoping it might just be enough to reopen the cold water
brooks again. The Southeastern part of the Province received the most rain, resulting in water rising over a foot on the Cains river and the lower stretches of the Main River from the Cains on down. This prompted some of the holding fish to start moving on Thursday and yesterday, resulting in better fishing in some locations. With these cooler conditions and water rising, the water cooled down to as low as 19C on Wednesday night and 18C on
Thursday night on the lower river and the Cains - good temperatures for fishing and to get fish moving from the cold water holdouts. The decision to open or close cold water fishing spots throughout the Main River system is based on water temperatures in Doaktown so with Doaktown missing much of the water levels rising and water temperatures just borderline at 20C in that area, no decision has been made on those places yet. It will be good when they do open - after all, it does effect approximately 5% of the Miramichi River system fishing and many are good fishing spots. Our Lodge has access to 12 private pools on a yearly basis and another 9 on a daily basis - we decide to use them or not depending on how the fishing is in these pools each day. The closures effect 2 of the pools we use, leaving 19 still open for fishing. We would certainly like more rain but for now we are happy to have received what we did. With the rise in water levels we will be fishing the pools on the Cains - where
rain made a difference in the lower stretches of the Main River system - looking for fresh fish that could be arriving after the full moon and higher tides tonight.
For approximately a month, from mid-July to mid-August, we enjoyed some of our most consistent summer fishing in a long time, with good conditions and a great number of fish in the system. But, like they say, all good things must come to an end! As another summer heat wave arrived on Saturday, the fishing came to a halt on Monday. This is Canada and we do like having summer weather, but 30C (86F) is too hot for both me and the Salmon but ideal for canoeing, kayaking and swimming. With the warm water temperature, the D.F.O. again closed some of the cold water sections throughout the river system. In July the closures reopened after just two days but we expect a longer period this time as the forecast does not look as favourable as it did in July, so we could be looking at a week or so this time. Keep in mind that with these closures in place, they still only effect approximately 5% of the river system fishing, but with current warm conditions, it is not worth the effort to be fishing as the fish just won't take a fly in these conditions. On the positive side, although it might not be good for the fish, it is amazing to see just how many are holding up in these cold water areas throughout the system. On another positive note, we are reminded that we are in Canada and these hot temperatures won't last long for anyone to be concerned about warm water conditions! For September and October I think it would be a safer bet to bring along your "Long Johns" instead of your "Speedo's"! So, for now, make the best of the warm weather and get ready for some good fall fishing.
The system used each year to determine the actual numbers, is based on approximately 7 to 10% of the actual number going through the trap nets. If this is correct, even at 10%, then the true number of returning fish as of August 15th is approximately 2,840 Salmon and 12,570 Grilse for a total fish count of 15,410.
Again, if the System used is approximately 7 to 10% of the actual numbers going through the trap nets, the estimate at 10% the true number of returning fish as of Aug 15th is approximately 4,210 Salmon and 11,390 Grilse for a for a total fish count of 15,600.
Anyone who has not seen many fish on the river this year has simply not been on the river or has been in the wrong location as almost every day since mid June fresh fish have been entering the system. With more fish holding this week, we have seen a mix of both fresh and older fish in the system. The water was getting on the low side for much of the system but the cool nights keep temperatures good for fishing, with hook ups daily however the rain on Tuesday night and Wednesday brought the water up almost two feet so every pool we fished from Wednesday on had turned on fish. Each pool is different with some pools good for moving fish runs while other pools are good for holding fish. Pools with runs have had fish moving through daily and the holding pools are starting to hold fish daily. Some days are great and some days are not as good so much depends on conditions. By mid-August the numbers of returning fish have been as good as anyone could have predicted this year. It is still too early to know what the fall holds but with two months of fishing remaining, if the runs continue then this could be a banner year for returns to the Miramichi.
Again, this week, there was no shortage of fish in the system but on a couple of days early in the week we did experience more lookers then takers. However, on Thursday, it was "switch on" once again as anglers had good success with close to 40 hook ups over the last 3 days. Any time you have first-time fly fishermen limiting out while salmon fishing, it's a successful day! Sometimes the ladies have all the luck! August can be the same as any other time of the year where right conditions mean so much. As the conditions improve, so does the fishing.
"Wow!" is all that can be said about the runs of fish so far this summer! They started out good in June and have not stopped - even in the warm first
week of July where they were still entering the system. The numbers at the MSA trap net in Chatham said it all on Tuesday. Although it's the same as all the Miramichi counters - only an estimate based on the actual numbers of fish going through the Counter - but if calculations are right, there could have been between 3,475-13,900 fish moving up the river system on Tuesday alone. Fishermen say they have never seen so many fish moving through the system as they are now seeing, especially during the last two days. We are seeing both Salmon and Grilse but again, this week, more grilse are being landed than Salmon. At our location, overlooking the river, we see the majority of the fish that swim past and it has been nonstop action daily, especially after each high tide. 2011 was a great year and it is still early in the season however the guides are saying this has been a great July - one to remember! Throughout the season and with over 400 guests each year we see a number of great casters but every now and then someone comes along that just blows you away. Throughout the year, with our busy schedule
and having so many excellent guides on our staff, I personally do not get out on the water with guests as much as I would like to, but on Sunday I had the pleasure of spending the day with Bob Lanzare & Malinda Barna. Malinda is the owner of Malinda's Fly Shop in Altmar, NY. What a treat it was! Not only is Malinda one of the best casters, she is also one of the best anglers we have ever seen, as she covers the water and pools as well as anyone! Her efforts never went unnoticed as she got into some nice Salmon and Grilse while on her stay with us.
July 24th After so much rain and cool temperatures over the past week it is now hard to believe that only 10 days ago they were shutting down cold water pools
because of the heat. Wow! When things improved, they did - big time - from last Thursday on, fishermen have seen as many fish entering the river in one week as they might have seen in any July in their lifetime.
After so much rain and cool temperatures over the past week it is now hard to believe that only 10 days ago they were shutting down cold water pools
because of the heat. Wow! When things improved, they did - big time - from last Thursday on, fishermen have seen as many fish entering the river in one week as they might have seen in any July in their lifetime.
There is so much yet to learn about the wild Atlantic Salmon, including their life at sea. Why they return in greater numbers in some years but not others and often in years and times not predicted by the DFO and other
Scientific Predictions, remains a mystery. For anyone interested in helping the cause of the wild Atlantic Salmon, the Miramichi Salmon Association and the Atlantic Salmon Federation are both great organizations to support.
The news on the river this week has been more about the cold water pools D.F.O. has closed until conditions improve, as the hot weather this week brought
water temperatures up into the high 70's by Tuesday. With cooler temperatures - as low as 46 F last night - and a bit of rain on Wednesday, water temperatures have again dropped to 64 F this morning - great conditions for fishing the Miramich. Even though water temperatures should remain low into the weekend, next week's forecast is looking good with over an inch of rain expected early in the week. With cooler water temperatures, the D.F.O. will probably open up the cold water areas once the water temperatures remain constantly cool for 72 hrs. The decision to close some spots is based on water temperatures in Doaktown remaining at 68F or above for 48 Hrs. The closure of these cold water locations does not affect much of the fishing on the river system as only approximately 5 percent of fishing throughout the river is impacted leaving approximately 95 percent of the river still open to fishing. The Miramichi River System is the warmest Atlantic Salmon river in the world, after all, so we should expect these closures from time to time. With the cooler water we had a good run of both Salmon and Grilse moving into the system yesterday with some nice fish landed throughout the lower stretches of the system. The Millerton Counter has been reporting high numbers throughout all of July and results have been consistent with the number of fish we are seeing. Even with the warm water over the past weekend, the counter had the highest consistent four days (Friday through Wednesday) of fish moving up the system this year. If these numbers of fish keep coming and the water keeps cooling, it looks like some of our best summer fishing could occur over the next couple of weeks! Flies of choice this week have been the #8 Undertaker, #8 Highlander and #8 Blue Charm.
Fish, fish & more fish are all we have seen since the later part of June - a very positive outlook for fish numbers so far this summer season.
Having good numbers of fish in the system is always the key ingredient for good fishing however, conditions also play a big part and with the warmer weather we have experienced since Monday, fishing has been slowing down. With high numbers of big Salmon in June, it is also encouraging to see high numbers of Grilse in the system. This is the first time in a couple of seasons that we are seeing more Grilse than Salmon.
The Summer fishing season on the Miramichi "came in like a Lion" so let's hope it "goes out like a Lion" as well in October - a good start and a good finish! Reports from all the rivers have been quite positive, with good numbers of fish around and some nice catches as well with 16 hook ups and 10 landed on Thursday. We also had the first summer fishermen limiting out this week. Andrew Munn from Halifax landed four on a #8 White Tail Shady Lady. With the majority of the fish landed so far on the River being Salmon - which is normal in June - we also started landing some Grilse by Thursday and over the weekend. Since early last week, we have seen some good numbers of fish moving up the system daily. It sure looks good seeing so many fresh fish entering the system in June, but again, with June fish, it has a lot to do with timing - being in the right place at the right time is everything! The most productive flies this week have been the #6 Blue Charm, #6 Undertaker and #8 Shady Lady.
July 5th - 8th, East Coast Spey from NJ USA will be offering a spey casting School on the Miramichi.
July 5 - 8th, The Miramichi Salmon Association’s 10th Annual Miramichi Salmon Classic
On the Miramichi there are a couple of weeks between the spring Salmon season and the summer runs where the time is spent mainly on Trout fishing or, in the last couple of years, Striped Bass fishing. Every year can be different as there are no set dates for the summer runs to arrive from the sea. In past years we have had excellent success as early as June 7th but in other years, not until the last week of June before having any success. One good day does not guarantee success the following days as these early run Salmon are travelers - some traveling up to 20 kilometers a day. These Salmon are the most challenging as it's hard to know where they will be at any given time. The guides fish the pools by
the tides - sometimes moving from downriver pools to upriver pools - depending on the tides. Sometime it's more a case of being in the right place at the right time and more luck than skill. But one thing is for sure - every time an angler lands one of these June beauties, the fight and the fish is always worth the effort.
Our Spring fishing season came to an end on Sunday - approximately a month since starting day this year due to a late ice out. But overall, it was a much
better spring than anyone had expected after the late start and low DFO number count reports.
This has been a week where spring fishing was as it should be. Even though numbers of fish landed were not as high as in previous weeks, the nicer weather and ideal water conditions for casting made up for it and anglers had good success landing Salmon and Grilse throughout 50 Miles of the River, with the better fishing occurring in the stretch between Blackville and Quarryville, also we had some of the best trout fishing in years occurring between White Rapids and Quarryville. This past week was also the first time this spring that the fish started moving out and on Monday and Tuesday, what a sight it was to see hundreds of jumping Salmon and Grilse between Upper Blackville and Quarryville - one of the best couple of days in a while for watching jumping spring Salmon. It was a nice sight to see after not seeing many during last summer as most Salmon arrived later in the season or during high water conditions.
Overall this has been quite a good week on the water but with such warm weather early in the week, the water levels rose and made for a couple of slow fishing days mid week. Even with the less-than-perfect water conditions, the large number of fish in the system made for some good fishing as almost all of our guests landed fish daily, with one guest limiting out on 4 of his 5 days with 10 landed per day. With the water levels falling by the weekend, some anglers started using lighter lines and smaller flies. On a positive note, the entire Main Southwest Miramichi River system is producing well overall, as fishermen are still landing fish in Boistown, Doaktown, Blackville and Millerton - approximately 50 kilometers/30 miles of Salmon fishing river. We had another week of large fish being caught as the ratio of Salmon to Grilse has been 75% large Salmon compared to 25% Grilse - good for the anglers but possibly not so good for the longterm future of the River - however fishermen are really enjoying it for now.
With the late start to our season we were hoping for nice weather and good fishing for much of the spring season since we had great fishing in the
first couple of days in the season - it really looked promising! Although the fishing remained quite consistent, the weather for much of last week was something to be desired, with rain almost every day and below normal
temperatures up until Friday, making it tough for anglers to really enjoy themselves - even on days when the fishing was good. All of our guests did land nice salmon this week - some 40+ inches - including a 47 inch'er by guide Gary Colford and his guest Bill Moor from Pennsylvania - despite the weather. Warm weather moved in on Friday
and fishermen enjoyed temperatures in the 70's over the weekend, making it a great time to be on the water.
Finally, after one of the longest winters in years and slow ice-out conditions, anglers managed to get out on the water on Sunday. "All good things come to those who wait" and for fishermen who were lucky enough to have yesterday as their starting date, they enjoyed some great success as almost everyone limited out - once again, another season opening day with over 100 Grilse & Salmon being landed. After talking to other lodges and anglers who fished on the river from Boiestown to Quarryville yesterday, reports were very positive, with close to 1,000 Salmon & Grilse being landed on the main
Southwest Miramichi System for a good start to the 2015 fishing season. It seems like each year it's a different fly that's most productive to start the season and this year it was our very own Country Haven Cardinal that was producing the best. However, with rain in the forecast, fishing might slow down for a bit over the next few days - depending, of course, on how high the water rises. The first Salmon of the season for us this year was a tie as Bill Mather from Elgin Ontario and Art Mesher from Waterloo both landed Salmon at 8.10 AM. Nathan Mesher landed the largest Salmon on opening day. With the delayed start to the season this spring, fishermen are expecting to have good spring fishing late into May for Salmon and Trout as well as Striped Bass later in May to early June.
(Many of the Atlantic Salmon rivers around the world experienced lower numbers of returning salmon & grilse in 2014 including the Miramichi River system. However, overall numbers for the Main Southwest Miramichi at the Millerton Counter saw an increase in Salmon & Grilse compared to 2013 results, including a higher number of returns than 5 previous years out of the last 16 years on record for the Millerton counter. This adds a positive note to returns on our stretch of river, considering the negative reports being issued throughout the Atlantic Salmon world in 2014.)
2014 returns - 743 Grilse, 568 large Salmon
( 2013 returns - 466 grilse, 377 large Salmon )
These numbers are estimated to represent approximately 10% of the actual numbers of fish going through the counters. Based on this, the actual numbers of Grilse could be 7,430 and large Salmon 5,680 for a total of 13,110 for 2014. In 2013 the actual numbers were 4,660 Grilse and 3770 Salmon totalling 8,430. That's approximately an increase of 4,680 over 2013! There are so many factors in determining the actual numbers from year to year. The numbers for 2014 could actually be higher as in the early part of the season, the counters were removed after the hurricane and became more accurate during September and October when we had low water conditions - more like traditional conditions for the lower stretches of the river - without any counter interruptions. The 2013 count could also have been higher as the river received a number of rises, especially in August, resulting in a number of occasions where net counter removals were needed due to grass and floating debris. With rises of water that normally bring in fresh fish to most rivers in the world, if counters are not operating at the time, it is always hard to know the true numbers for that year. The only thing we know for sure is that there were more fish in the system in 2014 than some of the reports might suggest and if anyone didn’t at least see as many fish than they did over the past 5 years on the lower stretches of the Main River System during most of September and early October, and on the Cains in October, then they were probably not on the River. All this should make for a pretty good Spring Season in 2015.
Although there still are a few fresh fish arriving in the lower main river system each day, most of the final week of the 2014 fishing season was spent on the tributary of the Cains River as it was the most productive location to finish off this year's season. Using three locations on the Cains, anglers managed to land some nice Salmon right up until closing day. We enjoyed finishing out the season with our regular returning guests. It was also a treat to open and close out our 2014 season hosting April Vokey as she filmed "Shorelines", a WFN Series with VP Media House which will be airing in January 2015. This week, almost all of our guests landed fish, including April and company. Our guided Canoeing Fishing Day Trips on the Cains, with shore lunch, are always days to remember. Overall, with beautiful weather, fish and great people, what better way to end the season! The most productive flies this week were the #8 Short Hair Undertaker and Black Marabou Leech.
With the 2014 Fishing season now in the books, here at Country Haven it could be described as the Good, the Bad and the Ugly! The good being that many of our fishermen landed fish throughout August, September and October. The Bad being the slow start to the summer season in June and the heat wave in July. And the Ugly being the hurricane in July that raised the water 12 feet and took any July fish that were in the system up to the headwaters. However, looking back - like they say - a poor start makes for a good end and the fall fishing this year sure made up for the poor start as for over a month, fresh fish arrived daily with some good numbers in September and October and with the good conditions on the lower stretches of the Main river, we experienced some of our best fall fishing on the main river in 5 years. It wasn't as good a season as 2013 or definitely not as good as 2011, but overall, a better season than 2012. Call it luck, good location, or right place - right time because as it turned out, it was another successful fishing season on the Miramichi, with over 400 returning
guests from every province, 31 US states and 12 different countries.
With a bump in water levels this week many of the holding fish in the lower stretches of the river moved on, making for some good fishing in the upper
stretches of the Main, Nor'west and Cains rivers.
Anyone who has not seen fish on the Miramichi this week must not have been fishing as almost all of the holding pools are full of fish and there are a good number of fresh fish arriving every day throughout the Main river. All of our guests hooked and landed fish this week with many big Salmon among them. Some of the pools on the lower stretches of the river have had the best fishing in the last 10 years. Dave Goulet, former owner of Classic & Custom Fly Shop in New Hartford CT, who has been fishing the Miramichi for the last 40 years, says he is happy he did not listen to some of the reports before he left home as this week he has been enjoying his best fishing in 10 years. Even though we are seeing and hooking a large number of fish, we expect fishing might even improve over the next few days following the 20 ml. (almost an inch) of rain we received yesterday. This might also help the Cains which doesn't need more fish but does need water.
Fish, fish, fish and more fish have been what fishermen have seen for most of last week as quite a few fresh fish entered the system each day however with some of the nicest beach weather throughout most of the week, catches were nowhere close to what they should have been considering the large number of fish in the system. On Sunday, Gary Berenstine from MA landed four on #8 wet flies but by mid week all the fish being landed were on small #14-16 wets. The water conditions are excellent on the lower stretches of the main river system as the lower it gets, the better the fish hold. Water levels are quite low for the rest of the system but but with the cooler water, these fall fish will still travel to the upriver locations and we are now seeing more fish in our upriver pools in the Doaktown and Blissfield areas than we have seen all summer. In the section of the river between the mouth of the Cains and mouth of the Renous we have seen the most fish in a number of years, due in part to the lower water levels and the fall run arriving at its normal time of September instead of August, like it did in the last couple of years. With fishing there are always excuses as to why the fishing may not be great and the excuse this week has not been the lack of fish but rather the sunny clear conditions. With cooler and cloudy weather yesterday, anglers had much better results than most days with the sunshine that we saw last week. With so many big fish in the system, a bit of rain to freshen things up would be just what the doctor ordered to finish off the season and we would probably have the best fishing of the season. It looks like there is not much rain in the forecast until next weekend so we are hoping for cloud cover and will continue using the smaller fly patterns for now.
With another week of fall fishing in the books it's not all doom and gloom on the Miramichi, in fact, depending on who you talk to, you might hear quite the opposite. We feel very lucky to have had as much success as we have throughout most of the summer and fall so far. Even though it has not been the best of years, we have had worse! This week our anglers did manage to land 23 Salmon with 3 exceeding 25 lbs, 2 grilse, and we lost another 11 Salmon with fishermen seeing close to 1,000 jumping or rolling fish throughout the week. Everyone fishing from the mouth of the Cains to the Blackville bridge area this week have seen fish. It's music to our ears when guide Gary Colford says he has seen as many Salmon this week as he has in any week since 2011. Our best results came over the weekend or earlier in the week with a couple of slower days mid week. Overall, numbers of fish landed this week have not been as good as in some past years but most fishermen have been quite happy with the numbers of fish seen - if not hooked - and were amazed at the large size of some Salmon. The Renous is still too low as is much of the Cains. Although conditions are perfect for most of the lower stretches of the river, a couple of feet rise in water levels would help to improve fishing on the entire river. We are not sure what next week holds as not a lot of rain is in the forecast but we will keep our fingers crossed that the fish keep coming and start taking flies better. Flies of choice this week were the #8 Woof Woof, #8 Undertaker and the Black Bomber.
The first week of September has seen a good number of fish in the lower Cains with anglers picking up fish on most days - many on Bombers and #8 & #10 wet flies - with a trickle of fresh fish arriving daily in the Main river system, right on time after the full moon and high tides. In the lower stretch of the river there has been a big push of fresh fish over the past three days in the lower stretch of the River and the water is at a good height for holding fish but with the cool conditions, they are travelling right through. Fishermen saw over 100 travelling fish in some of the pools yesterday, with many big salmon among them. The 8 salmon and 1 grilse we landed yesterday all had sea lice on them while the fish landed on the Cains did not. Flies of choice this week were the #4 Black Bomber on the Cains with #8 Undertakers and #6 Montreal on the Main river. Anyone sitting at home waiting for statistics from the counters to decide on when to go fishing have been missing some good fishing this week as most locals do not put much stock in the counters. We should also remember that the actual numbers from the counters are approximately 7 to 10% of the actual number of fish moving through - according to the DFO. All that matters is that there are lots of fresh fish in the system, conditions are ideal and water height is great for the lower river pools - especially from Blackville to Quarryville - with pools like the Orr Pool and home pool at Ted Williams White Birch lodge having the best water levels in years for the fall runs. However, water levels that are good for one stretch of the river may not always be good for other stretches of the river or tributaries and as of now, even though the lower stretch of the river is ideal, the upper stretches of the Main river, Cains and Renous could all use a couple of extra feet rise in water levels for better fall fishing. On the positive side - for the upper river lodges and pools where low water and the water temperatures are this good, the fall runs will travel through much lower water than the summer fish would to get to their destination. If all the fish we are seeing this week continue to move up the Main river then there should be some good fall fishing throughout the entire main river system.
As September rolls in on the Miramichi, so do many returning friends and fishermen - many who have been coming to the Miramichi for as long as they can remember.
In the later part of last week we had fairly good dry fly fishing for holding fish. We were hoping this would continue but another big rain and a 6 foot rise in
water levels made us think that there might not be much fishing until later this week but with high dirty water and not a lot of wading pools being fishable, anglers that did fish from the river bank had good fishing on Sunday, Monday and yesterday on the lower stretch of the main river, where the high water brought a run of fresh fish into the system. There was also a bit of good news for the upper river fishermen for the upcoming
week and weekend as unlike the last couple of schools of fish that passed through our stretch of the river and then went up the Cains and Baltholomue rivers, these fish appeared to be Main river fish as yesterday, a good number of grilse were seen in the Upper Blackville area above the mouth of the Cains. However, when
water is this high, it is hard to know just how many fish are moving up because they travel all over the river -
especialy the big Salmon - and like so many other times over the past couple of seasons, these fish won't be
counted in the Millerton counter due to the fact that they remove the nets because of the high dirty water. It seems that for anyone wants to catch fish on the main river system they need to be fishing in every conditions as it changes daily and it's all about traveling fish and being in the "Right Place at the Right Time". Now that the water is falling and some wading pools are again becoming accessible, if these numbers continue, we could have some good fishing for quite a while. All of the fish hooked since Saturday have been on a #6 LT Special until last evening at least when David Tuberfield from Connecticut landed 2 nice Salmon using a #4 Christmas Tree. There still is high water on the Main river and the guides have been watching some nice Salmon moving upriver past the lodge all morning. If these fish that we are seeing continue up the Main River System - with the water a bit lower in the upper stretches of the river - it should be a good time to be on the water in the Doaktown and above areas - especially over the weekend.
Did someone say this was an "up and down" season, or what! Last week, the first few days saw a lot of fish holding in some of the pools and as a result there was good fishing, but a two foot rise in water made Thursday and Friday very tough fishing days. However, by Saturday evening, a splash of fresh fish started moving into the Main River system again so some anglers had decent fishing on Sunday and Monday on the Main river and on Tuesday and yesterday on the Cains. Some of the fish landed over the weekend were 'hook bills' with sea lice. The flies of choice have been #8 Undertaker for Main River fishing and #10 Whiskers and #6 Peach Carter bugs on the Cains. Water temperatures are great and levels are falling to a good height for our low-water pools on the lower stretch of the river. The Lower Cains is still a good height and the Renous is now a bit too low but they are not being fished much as of now in any event. The weather forecast is calling for more rain tonight and tomorrow so we are hoping it will not be too much for our stretch of the river. August is always one of the best months for dry fly fishing and this week was no exception as all the fish we landed were hooked on dry flies. Some anglers who return each year from places like Ireland and Scotland, that come in August, say that rolling 10-12 fish a day using dry flies - even without landing any fish on some days - can be as much or more fun than landing fish on a wet fly back home, where salmon seldom take dry flies. Anyway, again this year, so far, our anglers have been doing better in August than they did in July so we are hoping this trend continues.
We have had great conditions and some decent fishing for anglers that were on the water this past week. There are not a lot of fresh fish entering the system but some of the holding pools that normally hold fish this time of year are looking great with hundreds of fish in a couple of them. With fish holding more, it gives fishermen a better chance as they can now go to the pools and know they will actually see fish instead of just trying to be "in the right place at the right time" as has been the case for much of the season so far. Neighbors' on the river - Peter and Sylvia Clark - had a great morning yesterday with both of them limiting out. Peter had 2 salmon and 2 grilse while Sylvia caught 4 grilse. 7 of the 8 fish were landed on Peter's own #10 Burdock Dry Fly. They are two of the better anglers on the river with Peter being considered by many to be one of the best Trout fishermen in the province - especially on the Cains.
August is a good month for dry fly fishing and the #8 Green Whiskers has been working well for us this week.
We have had a bit of beginners luck this week as 12 year old Tyler Murdock, from Ottawa, landed his first Atlantic Salmon on Monday and 9 year old Johnathan Ingram, from Edmonton Alberta, landed his first Salmon on Wednesday.
Conditions on the Cains are good but water levels are rising a bit after the rains we had yesterday. The lower the Main river gets, the better it will be for us as long as the temperatures stay cool - we have a number of low water pools that we haven't had a chance to fish often due to higher-than-normal water levels over the past couple of seasons.
In any event, over the past few seasons, August has had better conditions than July and with conditions being so important to Atlantic Salmon fishing, we are hoping for good fishing to continue with the fish holding as they are and for more fresh fish arriving in larger numbers which would improve the fishing even more for the remainder of the season.
We have recently experienced a bump in water levels which has kept river temperatures cool. On Sunday there were 47 Grilse and 25 Salmon and on Monday, 20 Grilse and 17 Salmon passing through the Millerton counter- a better start this week than most recent weeks on the river. These numbers don't always seem to mean much as everything depends on conditions and they are based on approximately 7-10% of the actual fish that might be moving through the main river system. If we assume 10% is reasonable, this means there could be 720 fish on Sunday and 370 fish on Monday. These estimates are not great numbers compared to previous July counts but but on the bright side for the river, if not for the fishermen, we are seeing and catching more Grilse than Salmon this week. So often, including spring fishing, we see a ratio of 3 to 1 Salmon over Grilse, so seeing some of these fresh Grilse with sea lice has looked good to the guides. We hope this trend continues for a while and that these fish are part of the Grilse runs we normally catch earlier in July. Conditions are good for all rivers in the system, with better numbers of fish being seen in the lower stretches of the main river and the Cains. This week we have not seen as many fish on the main river above the mouth of the Cains which makes fishermen think that many of these fish may be heading into the Cains. We have not had a lot of success on the Renous so our anglers will continue to fish the lower pools on the main river and lower pools on the Cains as August arrives and we will hope for the same success we saw last August which turned out to be the most successful month of our 2013 summer fall fishing season. Over the years, on our stretch of the River, we have had some of the best fishing success in August, when fish tend to be plentiful. If water levels are high, the fish keep moving through so we catch them from shore - like much of last August - but in the lower stretches of the river when the water levels are low, fish tend to hold up more than they do in June and July, making for some great dry fly fishing. Anyway it's "goodbye" to 2014 June and July fishing so bring on August, September and October! Lately,#10 Undertaker and #10 Christmas Tree flies have been the most popular choice
We've had a less-than-optimal start to our 2014 summer fishing season but are hoping that the worst is now behind us. We had a slower-than-normal start in June because of the lower numbers of returning fish - due in part to a later-than-normal spring. By late June, better numbers of fish started entering the system however a heat wave hit - a week of 100F weather - which brought fishing to a a quick halt. After the week of abnormal heat and everyone on the Miramichi doing a rain dance, we finally got our cooler weather and rain - all 150 ml./6" of it - in the form of a hurricane called Arthur, with a 10 foot rise in river levels which cooled the water. This brought in some nice fish that swam as fast as possible to get to the headwaters to avoid all the anglers. By mid week, with the water falling, fishermen again started landing fish on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. We did not fish on Saturday and it turned out to be one of the better days in a while on the river. With the main river water still higher than normal, fishermen landed some fish yesterday on the lower stretches of the Cains and the Renous rivers.
So with improving conditions, everyone is hoping for much better summer fishing throughout the coming weeks. If the old saying "a poor start makes for a good end" proves true, come fall we will need to hide in our basements to avoid being run over by all the Salmon.
The 2014 summer fishing season on the Miramichi has been under way now for over a week and the first week was nothing to write home about, however, the past three days have looked promising - probably as a result of the high numbers of fish that passed through the trap net near Chatham on Friday. 28 Salmon and 42 Grilse were counted. We all know that these counts are not always accurate as the numbers counted represent only 5-10 percent of the actual numbers of fish entering the system, but it suggests that there could have been between 700 to 1400 fresh fish entering the system on Friday. The days before and after Friday have seen lower numbers so it's tough to know the true numbers from these counters - so much depends on the conditions each day. High Water, low water, and sometimes, with very high water when fish like to travel the most due to dirt and debris in the rivers, these counters are sometimes not used for days. Overall however, it does give an idea of approximately how many fish are entering the system and on high number days we can usually see the results upriver within a few days with more fish sightings and hookups.
Since Sunday there have been higher numbers moving past our stretch of river. Yesterday, from noon into the evening, we have seen the greatest numbers this year resulting in some nice salmon being hooked on both the Main Southwest and the Renous rivers. Traditionally - with the exception of the Rockey Brook Salmon that enter the Main River early June - the Main river summer season has always been the best from late June or early July on. In the past few years, however, some anglers have become spoiled with good fishing from early June on. This year, with a later spring and colder ocean water, many locals think the better fishing should be just starting.
Last week saw more Striped Bass hooked than Salmon and some of them were over three feet long. Taken on #6 and #8 Salmon flies, some were hooked as far upriver as the Doaktown area. Stripers generally put up a so-so fight and are not quite as much fun to catch when you are fishing for Salmon. With the better daily numbers of Salmon we are now seeing and the water at a good height and temperature after a couple of rainy days, we are really looking forward to some good summer fishing over the next few weeks.
The fish we did land this week were landed on #6 White Wing, Butterflies and #6 Christmas Trees.
Our first 2014 Summer Fishing season Atlantic Salmon was landed by April Vokey. April and crew will be fishing with us again from October the 10th through the 15th.
At Country Haven Miramichi, our Summer fishing season will officially start tomorrow with great water temperatures - just a bit higher than normal - and already, reports of a few nice Salmon and Grilse landed on the Norwest, Renous, Dungarvon and on the Main Southwest Miramichi.
With the higher water levels, on opening day, anglers will be fishing high water pools using larger wet fly patterns. Even though there are reports of some grilse already in the system, fishermen should expect to land Salmon between approximately 17 to 22 lbs. for this time frame in June.
Among our guests this week we will be hosting April Vokey, Field Editor for Fly Fusion Magazine
and an Avid Angler as well as Steelhead Salmon and Trout guide. (www.flygal.ca)
We get approximately 90% of returning guests annually and we all look forward to seeing each one again.
'Tight Lines' to everyone fishing the Miramichi this Summer and Fall. We hope you and the Miramichi have a great Season - from all of us here at Country Haven Miramichi.
If fishing the Miramichi this season. make sure to visit:
Even though there are quite a few Spring Salmon still working their way down through the system, not many anglers are fishing for them but the ones who did still had some luck. A couple of fishermen from Maine landed Salmon each day in the morning, casting with floating lines, and also were successful with their bear hunts in the afternoon. Most anglers have now turned their attention to Trout fishing and to landing some of the big Striped Bass that are in the lower stretches of the river. With the water finally starting to warm up, this past week has seen some of the best and biggest Striped Bass of the spring being landed. Starting today, anglers can still fish for Stripers but hook and release only is now in effect until August. Flies of Choice this week have been the smaller streamer patterns - Gray Ghost, Black Ghost and Mickey Finns for Salmon, with Gray Ghost, Muddler Minnows and Woolly Buggers for Trout.
With the Spring Salmon season now all but over for another year, it turned out to be a much better one then most expected when around mid April, it looked like old man winter wasn't leaving. Even though it was one of the coldest and wettest springs in history, the conditions made for a longer spring season by keeping the fish in the river longer. The downside was that with so much runoff, conditions were poorer with higher-than-normal water levels. Fishermen had some washout days with not many fish landed but when water started falling and good conditions returned, there were some very productive days, including 5 days where over 100 Salmon and Grilse were landed and 9 days where over 60 were landed for the Lodge. Overall, it was not as good as many springs in the past but the bright side was that poor days were due to conditions and never for a lack of fish. The good days were productive throughout the entire river system, making one believe that with the number of fishermen on the water who had caught their limit, there might have been a few days of approximately 2,000 landed for the day in the system. On the bright side for anglers, good numbers of large Salmon were landed - one of the best seasons in years for large Salmon. Approximately 70% of the fish landed this spring were Salmon - good for the anglers but with low numbers of Grilse it might not be so great for the river system. Many anglers suspect that the lower numbers of Grilse might be due to high numbers of Striped Bass calling the the Miramichi river system home over the past few years. Many think the Salmon Grilse run in three year cycles. If this is true, since 2011 was one of the best years since the 1960's therefore 2014, being the 3rd Year, could very well be another banner year for both returning Salmon and Grilse in the Miramichi.
With every season there always are a lot of returning guests and friends and great memories. There are too many to mention but with our specializing in Father Son/Daughter trips to the Miramichi, a few from the Spring stick out. A dedicated angler is Keith Bolt from Potsdam NY. Even though no one else in his family fishes, he loves it and enjoys fishing locations like the Miramichi so he talks his Dad, Erick, into flying their small plane here so he can fish and his dad can watch - much like any other sport but probably more fun. They always enjoy their trips here and we enjoy their company. There is also the case of seven year old Nathan Morency and his dad Steve from Quebec City, who returned for a second time this spring with Nathan landing 4 Salmon, all on his own. Nathan is starting out early and is one of the best at his young age.
Every year a number of lady anglers from around the world travel to fish in the Miramichi. Here are a few who had luck with us this spring;
It's another great week to be on the Miramichi, with nice weather and great fishing. Weeks like this make lodge owners wish all of their earlier guests, who did not always have the best of fishing luck due to poor conditions, could be here now. With the water falling to a good height for casting, anglers have also been catching some nice fish using floating lines and smaller flies. Again this week, there still are a lot more big Salmon in the system than Grilse, with some dark Trout around and the lower stretch of river still full of Striped Bass. Even though there still are lots of spring Salmon in the system - and that should be the case for a while - they may probably become harder to catch as the season continues due to lower and clearer water or they are feeding on Smelts, but we have to remember that after May 15th, summer rules apply so catch-and-release will be limited to 4 per day instead of the 10 allowed during spring salmon fishing. But there always is lots of Trout and Bass fishing after landing the four Salmon/Grilse daily limit. With the nice weather we are having, some of our fishermen are taking packed lunches and fishing around the lodge area for Salmon in the morning then after releasing the daily limit of Salmon, Trout fishing in White Rapids and finishing off the day with evening Striped Bass fishing in tidal waters. With 3 different species of fish around, it's always a great day had by all. The guides are calling it "Grand Slam Days". For Salmon fishing, the better flies are the Smelt patterns. For Trout fishing the Gray Ghost is working best and for Striped Bass fishing, well.. they take anything, maybe even the kitchen sink, but some fishermen are doing well using fly rods, skidding bombers across the water surface but unlike Salmon, they are more interested in skidding Bombers then floaters. It's a bit early for the Sea Run Trout but still a great time of year to be on the water for anyone interested in fishing. The fiddleheads are now up and they sure go well with a nice feed of fresh Miramichi Smelts or Striped Bass.
What a difference a week has made for Atlantic Salmon fishing on the Miramichi! Since Tuesday we have been enjoying some of the nicest weather and some of the most consistent fishing this year and after so many rainy days it's such a treat to have this nice weather. Earlier in the season, even though we had some very good fishing days, they always seemed to be followed by a couple of not-so-productive days due to a rise in water levels. This week, however, has been our most consistent weeks of the spring fishing season with nice looking and good fighting Salmon. Again this week we have seen many more Salmon then Grilse in the System. The Blue Smelt, Maggot Smelt, and Miramichi Smelt have been the flies of choice this week.
With such good numbers of Salmon still in the system, and not moving a lot so far, It's looking like there may be good spring Salmon fishing for quite a while yet. Combine that with good numbers of Trout in the system and the million or so Striped Bass in the lower stretches of the river and we can't think of a much better time to be on the Miramichi for anyone interested in fishing.
Another good week for fish catching especially the first part of the week but fishing slowed down big time over the weekend due to a rise in water levels. It has occasionally been less than perfect weather this spring, with more rainy days than sunny ones, but we are having a good year for big spring salmon on the Miramichi. With any type of fishing, conditions play such a big part and it is no different with spring fishing as anglers have been limiting out on good condition days - sometimes before noon - but with days where water rises, they have been lucky to land any at all.
Once again, this week has seen great reports coming in from the entire river system. This week was one of our best in years for big salmon with over 30 landed which measured over 40 inches, including a couple exceeding 48 inches - BIG salmon! 48 inch Salmon are seldom landed in summer even though they are in the river, as they are much more pickier at choosing a fly in the summer and fall than in the spring, also anglers tend to use heaver leaders in the spring so they don't break off as easy as in the rest of the season. Another good thing about the fishing this spring has been the high quality and great fighting nature of these Salmon. Again, the only negative so far has been the weather as all the rain has been making for poorer conditions, and that's tough with so many quality fish in the river. Another concern for the river overall is that even though the river is full of large Salmon, which is good for the fishermen, apparent low numbers of grilse in the system so far may not be good in the long term. So far this season, anglers have been landing 5 Salmon to every Grilse.
So far, as of today, May 5th, due to the late spring and colder and rainy conditions, the fish have not yet moved downriver so fishermen are expecting one of the longest spring seasons in years, with some of our best fishing still to come when they do start to move. There is warmer weather in the forecast for mid-week which should warm the water and get them started, so everyone is expecting another productive week on the Miramichi. This week, the most productive flies have been the Country Haven Cardinal, Christmas Tree and Golden Eagle.
Even though this year it was a late start to the fishing season due to a longer winter, anglers have really been making up for it since opening day. With the exception of Thursday and Friday, because of poorer conditions due of rain, fishermen have been limiting out almost daily, with our guests landing over 100 salmon and grilse on Sunday and again yesterday.
It has been many years since fishermen have landed so many big salmon on opening week - many were over 40 Inches. This is good news for the River and the people who are on the river and who really see how many fish are in the System. Most fishermen we have talked to from above Boisetown to below Quarryville - over a 60 km. stretch - have been limiting out at 10 fish a day this week when there were good river conditions. The most productive flies were "Christmas Tree", "Blue Smelt" and the popular "Country Haven Cardinal". The Trout and Striped Bass season opens on Thursday May 1st but with the great Salmon Fishing we are enjoying, there will probably not be as much interest in these for a while.
As of this morning the river is looking great, with water levels falling daily and clearing up nicely. Yesterday was one of our better days on the river in a while with over 50 fish landed. It's funny how fast things can change, from Monday morning with ice floating again in the river and two days later with a river full of fish. Even better news is that two of the big ice jams upriver, in Doaktown and Porter Cove, have now gone, making the river almost ice-free from Boistown to below Quarryville with only one more ice jam remaining at Norrads Bridge above Boistown. If the water continues to fall and continues to clean up then fishing should improve daily. Our anglers landed 10 Salmon on Monday but had very much better results yesterday. The only negative news is that the weatherman is calling for some rain on Wednesday and depending on how much we receive, that will determine if fishing will continue to improve or not. If water rises again because of a lot of rain then some of the ice we now have on the shore could get pulled back into the river. With rising water, fishing is not as good. The good news, as of now, is that fishing is looking great. The only question is how long this will last. As with any type of fishing the conditions form a big part of how much luck you have but one thing we are certain of is that there is a lot of good fishing to come this spring. The best Fly of the Day was the "Christmas Tree".
On the Main Southwest Miramichi, much of the river is ice-free from Boisetown to Quarryville, the Cains and the Renous, but there are still a few ice jams, approximately a couple of miles in length, in and above Doaktown.
The river is starting to look very good this morning as it is now almost ice-free. Over most of the last few days there has been more ice passing in the evening than in the morning. The water has been dropping and clearing up daily. Throughout the rest of April, any time we get a rise in water could result in a bit of ice still running in the river as it will be picked up from the shore. The few ice jams upriver will eventually leave with a rise in water or just melt away. Most of the time it does not create much of a problem by the time it travels down the river to our location but if going out boating at this time of year, it's always wise to keep an eye open for floating ice.
With the slow start in the season due to the late ice leaving, most anglers will be just getting started this week. A few of our fishermen fished this morning with Art Mesher from Waterloo Ontario landing the first salmon of the season. If the water continues to fall and with the later ice departure and higher numbers of fish in the system we should see some great spring fishing - probably some of the best May fishing we have seen in years. With these conditions, a heavy sink line and big streamer fly will work best.
Even though there should be more fish in the river this spring compared to last year, due to higher numbers of returning fish and the ice leaving later than many of the last few seasons, the excitement of opening day this year looks like it might need to be postponed. Much warmer temperatures are expected this week and next and with so much snow melting, we are hoping a sooner opening but it will probably occur sometime during the week of April 20th if these warmer conditions continue. The weather is so difficult to predict and a few degrees in temperature either way can make the difference. Today is the first day we have started seeing a bit of open water along the shores and there are no snowmobiles on the ice - which are both good signs spring might be coming. If anyone has a trip booked early and it does not work out this spring and your outfitter can rebook you into a later date - even in late May - this year, fishing might be good. When fishing is good in May we always enjoy it best as the weather can be warmer,the fish fatter after feeding on smelts and they take a fly better on a cast. A few dates stick out in our mind from past late springs where good May fishing occurred. Raymond Hill, from Virginia, who has fished with us for years, always fished on the 11-14th of May. Some years he limited out daily and in 2003, before daily limits were in place, he landed 74 fish in 4 days and the Lodge landed 60 on the 21st of May in another year. Every year is different but with this old fashioned winter and spring season we should have close to a month of good spring fishing after the ice leaves this year. The guides are getting anxious so let's hope it happens sooner than later!
This week Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday showed a big improvement from last week, with fishermen landing in a number of our pools and with some of the best luck we have had in a few weeks on the main river in the Upper Blackville Area. Early in the week the Nor'west was also producing well but another rise in water levels on Wednesday put the damper on any great fishing to finish off the season, as fishing slowed daily from mid week until closing day yesterday. There was not not a lot of holding or fresh fish in the Main River at week end and even though some of the tributaries like the Cains are full of fish they apparently have things on their mind other than a Darryl Tucker tied fly hook.
This has been a very good week for weather and fishing conditions - better than most weeks since July - as water conditions improved daily throughout the week. Even with the great conditions this week there were not a lot of hookups - probably one of our slowest weeks ever for the first week of October. The Cains river is full of fish thanks to the the higher water. Many entered that river early and as the water keeps falling they are holding up more in the pools ever day. Our fishermen picked up only a few fish each day this week even though they were fishing three of the best fall pools on the Cains. There were not nearly as many fish in the Renous or Main river but they were taking better when anglers found them. Once again, this week, the Nor'west produced a few nice salmon for our fishermen. Flies of choice this week were the Lt Special, Red Francis and Ally's Shrimp.
Traditionally this is normally a prime week on the Miramichi, as many long-time fishermen will tell you, but results for these past two weeks over the last couple of years have not lived up to that tradition. I would highly recommend August over September again this year for fishing on the Main River. There have been too many big rises in water levels since July, taking many of the holding fish upstream with fewer-than-normal fresh fish replacing them. This has kept our guides busy fishing our pools all over the river system these past couple of weeks. The bright side for us is that when conditions are not the best, we have great access to private water throughout the Miramichi and also our fantastic guides who will travel to all the tributaries seeking the best results for our guests. This past week we fished 17 private pools throughout the Main River and 4 tributaries with 38 salmon and 6 grilse landed for the week. This is good, considering the overall results on the river for the week, but not as good as our weekly high of 137 landed only a few seasons ago. The great news for the fishermen this week was the size of some of the Salmon landed, including two over 30 Lbs,. - both landed on the Renous. As it has been for much of the season this year, there was a big difference between the number of salmon landed compared to grilse - good for the anglers, but it does make us wonder where all the grilse are. Once again, the majority of fish landed this week were female so it looks like we are still waiting for our fall run of males to arrive. Until some greater numbers of fall fish start arriving in the Main river, our anglers will be spending more time fishing the Cains, even though the fish there might not be taking the best. One thing is for sure however - right now there is no shortage of salmon in the Cains pools we have access to. Flies of choice this week were the Undertaker, Red Francis and on the Cains, the Black Slime seems to work best.
We have been picking up a few fresh fish daily on the River System but like much of August and September so far, the high water has kept the fish moving which is good news for the fish but not as good for the fishermen. With the high water and not yet having great numbers of fall fish arriving on the Main river, our anglers have been having better luck on the smaller tributaries of the Cains and the Renous where they have been fishing for holding fish. Overall, a few nice salmon have been landed daily on the river system but nothing compared to results for the same week in some past years. With the higher water, the fall patterns such as Red Francis, Ally's Shrimp and the LT Special have been working best.
September 12th Overall August was a very good month for fishing. Even though the water was too high for the rivers most of the time, anglers had good success, especially when the water was falling. The beginning of September has not been our best so far but fishermen are landing some nice 20+ lb. Salmon as we head into the fall fishing season. It's been the same through all of August and so far into September - almost every week we have been receiving too much water. When water is rising fishing is not good but when water is falling it is quite a different story. Water levels are now starting to get back to a nice height again for good fishing but the forecast is not looking too good for over the weekend. Most of the fish we have been landing are still August Salmon with only a few grilse and/or fall salmon so far. If we do get another rise in water and a full moon next week we should expect to see more of our fall run of fish arriving by next weekend. The most productive flies this week have been The GP Green Highlander and the LT Special.
It was another week of good and cool higher-than-normal water and there are still quite a few fish in the system so no one is complaining. We had one angler from Boston who told me that he has been fishing the Miramichi for over 10 years and this was the first time he has fished a full week and landed at least one fish every day without ever having to step into the water. The best fishing is still from shore but the water is falling and many of the pools are again wadable but some of our best fishing is still from shore in the pools. This week we again landed fish on both the Main River and the Cains. There are still more Salmon than Grilse but we did land a couple of fresh Grilse with Sea Lice early in the week. Overall It has been another good August week on the Miramichi. There still are high water conditions with anglers seeing, rolling and landing some fish daily. August is a month for Salmon and this is what we have been seeing most of this month with some big ones among them! For most of August so far, with the higher water conditions, the Salmon are moving and not holding like they normally would in this lower stretch of River.
Overall August was a very good month for fishing. Even though the water was too high for the rivers most of the time, anglers had good success, especially when the water was falling. The beginning of September has not been our best so far but fishermen are landing some nice 20+ lb. Salmon as we head into the fall fishing season. It's been the same through all of August and so far into September - almost every week we have been receiving too much water. When water is rising fishing is not good but when water is falling it is quite a different story. Water levels are now starting to get back to a nice height again for good fishing but the forecast is not looking too good for over the weekend. Most of the fish we have been landing are still August Salmon with only a few grilse and/or fall salmon so far. If we do get another rise in water and a full moon next week we should expect to see more of our fall run of fish arriving by next weekend. The most productive flies this week have been The GP Green Highlander and the LT Special.
It was another week of good and cool higher-than-normal water and there are still quite a few fish in the system so no one is complaining. We had one angler from Boston who told me that he has been fishing the Miramichi for over 10 years and this was the first time he has fished a full week and landed at least one fish every day without ever having to step into the water. The best fishing is still from shore but the water is falling and many of the pools are again wadable but some of our best fishing is still from shore in the pools. This week we again landed fish on both the Main River and the Cains. There are still more Salmon than Grilse but we did land a couple of fresh Grilse with Sea Lice early in the week.
Overall It has been another good August week on the Miramichi. There still are high water conditions with anglers seeing, rolling and landing some fish daily. August is a month for Salmon and this is what we have been seeing most of this month with some big ones among them! For most of August so far, with the higher water conditions, the Salmon are moving and not holding like they normally would in this lower stretch of River.
Aug 13th River Report:
There has been lots of cool water and plenty of fish! So far this August, anyone who has not been having fun fishing, has not been fishing! With the exception of Saturday and Sunday and with too much water due to the heavy rain on Friday, fishing has been good although it has been tougher to find places to fish, but anyone wanting to make the effort or stand on the river bank has been well rewarded. The first week of August has been one of the river's best weeks of fishing this year. Bob Bowser from Moncton landed 10 in three days in a number of different pools - seeing fish in all of them. If the water had been this cool and a bit lower with as many fish in the system as there are now, we hate to think of how good a first week of August it would have been.
Did someone say the water was too low and warm last week? Well, they should look again! The river is full of salmon, there is water in the woods and temperatures are in the mid to low 60's. Isn't it funny what a couple of days and 4 inches of rain can do for a salmon river. Last week, into the weekend and the early part of the week, fishing was as slow as it can get due to the warm water, and we did not see any fresh fish moving into the system off the tides for 4 days in a row. This is the first time we have not seen fresh fish daily since early June. However, by mid-week, with the cooler nights and fish moving out of the cold water areas, fishing started picking up on Wednesday. The D.F.O. had no choice but to open up the cold water areas by Thursday Morning. Anglers had some of the best July fishing on Thursday and Friday. on Friday, in one pool alone, our anglers hit, rolled or landed close to 60 fish on Bombers -something that a couple of long-time fishermen said they had never witnessed before in there entire lifetime of summer fishing. With the rise in water on Saturday, Sunday was a washout but surprisingly, with high, dirty but falling water, Monday fishermen that had a place to fish - mostly from riverbanks - starting hooking fish again and had some of the best fishing of the entire year Monday and yesterday. This rise in water is great for the river and the fish as it will be a good buffer for a while if conditions do again change to warmer weather. Over the Years, when warm weather conditions have occured, this has made for not-so-great July fishing so August has turned out to be our best month overall for the entire Season. We're hoping that these cooler conditions and Fresh Run Salmon will continue into the fall. With high water conditions there is not as many pools to choose from on the Main River - only a couple locations on the Upper Renous and Cains - but as the water falls, expect some great fishing on these rivers.
With a few days of record hot temperatures and the water becoming warmer each day, fishing has slowed down big-time since June and the first week of July. The water is still at a good height for our lower river pools but a bit low for upriver pools and tributaries but with the salmon concentrating more in cold water areas, they are not very interested in taking a fly. Even with the lesser conditions we did have some beginners' luck over the past week with first-time fly-fisherman 16 year old Garon Molyle From Edmonton Alberta who landed a 20 Lb'er, and 12 year old Danny Hamilton from Ottawa who landed a 16 Lb'er on the first morning. With the salmon staying in these cold water brooks, the D.F.O. has decided - starting today - to close some of these areas to fishing until the water cools. Closing these areas does not really effect much of the river system as most of these spots are not where most anglers like to fish, so it's still 'fishing as usual' on the Miramichi - even though the Media might make it sound like fishing is over for the season. If you already have a trip booked to the Miramichi, you should check with your Outfitter to see if any of these closures will effect your particular fishing trip. We do suggest using dry flies as much as possible if fishing in areas where salmon are pooling up and also taking extra care while playing and releasing fish. If these conditions continue, your Outfitter will probably work with you to reschedule a later date if possible.
This was another great week of fly
With the exception of only a couple of hot days, lots of rain and cool water conditions in June has been good for fishing and has brought some of the best numbers of fish into the Main Sou'west Miramichi System for the month of June in years.
The start of summer fishing has been just what the fishermen ordered - lots of water and plenty of fish moving through the system this early in the season. With good early results on the Nor'west in May and now some nice big salmon landed on the Main Southwest, Renous and Dungarvon over the past couple of weeks, it's making for an early start to this year's summer fishing. Depending on conditions, June can either be great - with fish arriving early in good numbers - or just trickling in until late June or early July before the big runs start. Even with higher-than-normal water levels for summer fishing, anglers have been experiencing good results. It's a bit early yet but with the great numbers so far, anglers are starting to hope and talk about a repeat of 2011 when the salmon started in early June and continued daily until closing in October. There might not be as many fish entering the rivers in June as in later months - even in a good year - but one thing is for sure - they are some of the nicest, freshest and silver salmon, and pound-for-pound, the best fighters of the season. With June always being so "hit-and-miss" and different each year, we choose to book the majority of our angling guests from June the 15th on - to be safe rather than sorry - and as a result, in some years, we miss out on good early fishing. Again, this year, some of the fishermen we did have early have seen some fine action. With the higher water, fishermen have been landing most of their salmon on #4 and even #2 flies but the majority of fish have been landed on White Tail Green Machines.
With our Spring fishing season all but over for another year, it turned out to be a much better spring than we all expected, after the hot dry summer we had last year. With the exception of a couple of slow days early in the season due to high dirty water and a few slow days toward the end due in part to low clear water and not as many grilse in the system compared to other springs, fishing was quite good including 9 straight days with all our anglers landing fish. Overall, the Salmon numbers were good with many 40+ inch fish landed however the grilse numbers were disappointing. The counters suggested 2011 had the highest numbers of return fish since the 60's with 2012 being the lowest. Overall, there was not a lot of difference in the 2012 and 2013 fishing seasons, proving once again that the local old-time fishermen must have been correct when they said the fish will come in - if not during the fishing season - then after the fishing season. Overall, the spring numbers were quite good, all things considered.
Another great week of weather. good conditions overall and quite decent fishing. Although this weeks numbers for salmon landed might not be as high as in some past years, the high quality of the salmon landed and the great weather have made it a great week on the Water. With the lower levels of clear water, the anglers who had the best results were casting using floating lines and smaller wet flies - the faster the water, the better the results. There still are a few reports of salmon quite far upriver but the fishermen who are fishing the lower stretches of the Main river have been landing nice salmon as well as some trout between 1-5 Lbs in the White Rapids and Quarryville Areas. Most fishermen come to the miramichi to fish for Atlantic Salmon but the ones who did fish for Striped Bass were landing one every time they casted in the Tidal waters on the Miramichi.
We have enjoyed perfect weather, perfect conditions and quite consistent fishing this week with all our fishermen averaging between 2 -10 fish daily. The ratio of salmon to grilse has been 75% salmon and 25% grilse with some really large salmon hooked daily, including a 50 inch beauty landed yesterday - something we have only experienced a couple of times throughout the years. The anglers who were casting had the best results using sinking tips. Yesterday and over the weekend as well we even hooked a few using floating lines - lines we might normally use later in May - as the great conditions this week have been more like May than April. The Gray Ghost, Black Ghost and Magog Smelt have been the most productive flies.
With the exception of the first two days of the season, conditions this past week have not been the best as the water was rising almost daily until this past weekend. Fishing was not as good as it should have been for the first week of the new season. However, with the water now falling again, we expect that our best spring fishing has yet to come. Even though the conditions have not been that good, what with the dirty water, fishermen who were casting had the best luck. There have been many reports of fish throughout the entire river system which is good news for the river. The most productive flies were large bright streamers with Marabou patterns working the best.
OPENING DAY: It was a great start to the 2013 fishing season yesterday as almost all of our guests limited out at 10 fish each for the day.
The first salmon of the day was landed by Art Mesher from Kitchener Ontario. The largest salmon caught was 48 inches and was landed by Hal Hutchen from N.Y. Overall, it was as good a start as we have seen on opening day for the past few years.
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