Miramichi Fishing Report for June 30, 2011

There have been a lot of questions as to what happens on the Northwest Miramichi, Sevogle and Little Southwest Miramichi come July 1. This is because last year’s Variation Order was still on the books, and so would come into effect July 1, 2011.

However, in talking to DFO mid afternoon on Wednesday June 29, 2011, the following three points of information were given to me:

  • As of July 1, 2011, angling will continue as it was through June with anglers allowed to retain one tagged grilse per day or release up to four salmon/grilse.
  • The Variation order that was to come into effect July 1 is to be ignored.
  • However, changes may occur from on-going discussions. If and when changes are made, they will be announced to the public prior to being implemented.

NOTE: Late Wednesday I received an e-mail that said the 2011 Variation Order had been cancelled and a new one was signed on June 29, 2011. This new order will take effect on Wednesday July 6, 2011.

So, fishing as usual until Wednesday. Check with proper officials and check for public announcements regarding details and changes. More on those next week.
Angling continues to be good in most sections of the Miramichi system. However, on the Main Southwest Miramichi from the Mouth of the Cains River down, water conditions are somewhat high which is curtailing results from this area. Generally, for the time of year, numbers are quite good.

W. W. Doak and Sons in Doaktown said the water was still a bit high, but dropping, and there were good numbers of fish around, both salmon and grilse. There were no “monster” salmon reported, but a few around 25 pounds. The water was also staying at a very good temperature, about the mid to low 60s Fahrenheit. It has been the best June fishing in quite a few decades.

Flies of choice were Undertakers, Shady Ladies, Butterflies and White-tailed Green Machines on nos. 4 & 6 hooks.

Derek Munn of Ledges Inn in Doaktown and Mountain Channel in the Rapids area said there were lots of fish for the time of year. Two of their anglers had each caught three fish and lost one heading into Wednesday evening. Not bad for a day’s fishing. Five of eight fish hooked were salmon ranging from 12-18 pounds. Water conditions were good.

Flies of choice were Christmas Trees, White-tailed Green Machines, Undertakers, Cossebooms and Shady Ladies on nos. 4 & 6 hooks.

Herb Barry Sr. of Herb’s Fly Shop on the Station Road in Blackville said angling there was not good as the water was into the alders. You had to almost hang on to the bushes and try to cast with one hand. However, other places were having better results and there were good numbers of fish around. He felt the fish must be taking the Fredericton Bus around Blackville. He said there were lots of trout in the one-pound range.

Flies of choice were Black Ghosts, Butterflies and White-tailed Green Machines on nos. 2 & 4 hooks.

Curtis Miramichi River Outfitting in Blackville said there were lots of fish around, but fishing was not great. A few were having luck in the high water, but not many. If you could get to the river, you might do well. The water needs to drop a fair bit before angling improves, and the weekend forecast is not the best. The Blackville Fire Department will be holding their Splash Down Canoe Run on Saturday from the Mouth of the Cains River to the Blackville Park.

Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines, Undertakers and Blue Charms on no. 4 hooks.

George Routledge of George’s Fly Shop at the Mouth of Renous in Quarryville said angling was good on the Renous with anglers picking up fish in the Renous between the mouth and highway bridge and also further up river. The water was still a bit high, even on the Dungarvon. It was very difficult and dangerous to try to get out on the bar to fish the Main Southwest due to high water, and more rain was being called for by the weekend.

Flies of choice were Black Ghosts and Shady Ladies on nos. 4 & 6 hooks.

Jim Laws of Miramichi Hunting and Fishing in Newcastle, Miramichi reported fairly good fishing as the water dropped with a good mix of salmon and grilse being caught and seen. Water temperare was very good, keeping the fish active. One angler had hooked three in a day and then gave his fly to a friend who immediately hooked one as well. There had been high numbers of bass reported this spring, but the gaspereaux counts were down according to fishermen.

Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines, Butterflies, Black Ghosts and Undertakers on nos. 4 & 6 hooks.

Syd Matchett of Trout Brook Fly Shop on the Northwest Miramichi said fishing was excellent, particularly last weekend. Both his grandsons hooked grilse, and one pool produced 18 fish on Saturday. There were a fair number of salmon in the 12-pound range reported. Jon Saunders picked up a couple of fish recently, and Dave Ingersoll released a grilse and 10-pound salmon this week. Syd said this June has been the best fishing seen since the 1980s. Todd LeBlanc lost and landed a grilse this past week. Bernie Brennan also caught a grilse, but did a lot more. While driving on the Urquhart Road he noticed a sage rod on the road, so he picked them up and notified Syd Matchett. Together they were able to return the equipment to its owner. Kudos to Bernie and Syd for their care and consideration.

Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines, Green Machines with red butts, Shady Ladies and both white and yellow Butterflies.

Debbie Norton of Upper Oxbow Outdoor Adventures on the Little Southwest Miramichi said they had been seeing good numbers of people catching fish, and began to pick up some themselves on Tuesday with five being caught between 13 rods. Some local anglers have hooked up to 20 fish this June. Water conditions were very good and canoeing was great. She had heard of one 20-pound salmon being hooked on Sunday.

Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines, White Butterflies and Blue Ewes on no. 4 hooks.

NOTE: Congratulations to Debbie on her retirement from teaching at NSER. She will be greatly missed by both staff and students. Well done Deb!

Both the Cassilis and Millerton trapnets were averaging 20 to 30 fish a day this past week, with grilse being in the higher percentage.

So with good numbers of fish continuing to enter the system, and fairly good water conditions and temperatures, it is time to get out and “on the water”.

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

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

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

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


Thought for the Week:  “Give a man a fish and you can feed him for a day – teach a man to fish and you can get rid of him for the weekend!” ~ Anonymous

Humour:  “Wanted: Woman who can cook, clean house, take out the trash, mow the lawn, tie flies and build fishing rods, clean wild game and fish, has hunting dog and drift boat. Please send picture of drift boat and dog.” ~ Anonymous

CONDOLENCES: Regards and best wishes go out to the family and friends of the late Dr. Jack McKay of Fredericton who died this past week while fishing on the Miramichi. He will be missed by all who knew him. Tight Lines up there, big fellow!


Jeff McGuigan wrote to say he had enjoyed reading about the “Fish Friends” program mentioned in last week’s column.

Hi Doug,
I really like your reports. Can you tell me if there is any salmon and grilse in the Little South west Miramichi where Smith Forks is? I just really hope they don’t put to hook and release this year again as last year they put the Smith Forks stretch to hook and release and there was so many fish up there last year it was unbelievable I see the salmon association is trying to put that to hook and release again this year I am fighting it right now I sent e-mails to a lot of high up people including the DFO. They are waiting for a decision from the DFO. They were expecting an answer by May 31, but DFO never got back to them. Maybe I can take that as good news that they we will be able to retain a grilse this year. Anyways get back to me with an e-mail when you can.

Denis Geneau


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

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

Linda Gaston
Executive Director
Atlantic Salmon Museum

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

TICKETS – $50.00 including a $25.00 tax receipt

Call – 365 7787 or Email – for tickets & information

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Linda Gaston


Hi Doug,

I had quite the weekend on the river! I drove down from Moncton to visit a good friend of mine who lives in Newcastle. We arrived in Quarryville at 6:00am and nobody was fishing the pool. There were lots of people up above the rip on the main river and people fishing the Renous, 18 people in total, but nobody in the main Quarryville pool. I figured we had hit the jackpot, until we got down closer to the river. The water was still about 1/2 meter higher than it should be for that pool, but there was still a swing and it was fishable. We each took 2 turns down and only saw a large salmon jump in the middle of the river. I had a rise, which may have been either a grilse or a sea trout, but no takers. So, we decided to try our luck someplace else.

We headed up the Renous River to the bridge crossing the Northwest Branch of the Renous. We were going to head down to the Forks, because I’ve always had good luck there. To our demise there were 4 cars parked there and along the way there were cars parked along the Renous where I’ve never seen them parked before. I don’t know where all of the fishermen came from all of a sudden. Anyway, we were a little frustrated, so I decided to take him up the Little Southwest where he has hunted, but never fished before.

We finally landed on a pool where there were no cars. It’s called Red Stone, and it’s called that for a reason, as you will see from the picture. When we got to the river there were 2 other gentlemen there who had canoed the river. One guy hooked one and landed it 5 minutes after our arrival, so that got the heart pumping a little bit. After the guys left in their canoe, we continued to fish for a while and to my surprise my line went tight. I played it for a while and finally managed to land it. It’s not an easy place to beach a fish by the way. Afterwards, I stood by the river watching my friend fish, when he looked at me and said “holy crap”. I turned around and there was a moose not more than 15 feet away from me. He was probably coming to the river for a drink and realized that he had company. He stood there long enough for me to take a low quality picture on my cell phone. I’m not sure which was better, the feeling of hooking a salmon, or the fear of staring down the snout of a moose.

A fish and a moose all within the span of ten minutes. Now that’s good fishing!

Take care for now,
Dan Crouse
Atlantic Salmon Federation News:

June 28, 2011
NS Conservationist Arrested for Blockading Smolt Transfer
Nova Scotia conservationist Darrell Tingley was arrested during a blockade of smolts being transferred to a newly approved salmon cage site in Nova Scotia.

Close Encounters of the Salmon Kind
There is a new posting to ASF’s River Notes blog, including photos of leaping salmon, updates on salmon returns, and notes on Atlantic salmon places up the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland.

Maine’s Penobscot Returns (2,500+) brings new ways of working
On Maine’s Penobscot the tremendous returns are pushing new ways of working with the Atlantic salmon at the Veazie Dam.

Great Excitement in UK on Rebounding Salmon Numbers
In the UK there is great excitement at the rebound in salmon numbers.

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

ASF’s Webworks is an updating service on the world of the wild Atlantic salmon. If you wish to be added or removed from the list, email .

Until next week,

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