Miramichi Fishing Report for July 21, 2011

There are both good and bad to report this week.  First the good.  There are still good numbers of fish in the system, and the trapnets are putting through an average of 25 grilse and four salmon a day, which is certainly down from the exceptional runs of the previous week, but about normal for the time of year.

On the negative side is the warmer temperatures are heating the water into the plus 70s Fahrenheit.  At these temps, fish will not take as well and it becomes dangerous for the fish to play them any length of time.  So break salmon off quickly, and grilse as well if you plan to release.  The Northwest is starting to be on the low side and could use a good raise in water.

There is some hope for better conditions if we get the rain that is in the forecast which will add oxygen to the water, bring up the levels and cool it off.

W. W. Doak and Sons in Doaktown said there were lots of fish around.  Angling had slowed from the bonanza we had been having, but it was still good.  During a normal year, it would definitely be classified as good.  Angling was probably best in the holding pools.  Water levels were also good and water temps were in the mid 60s in the morning and warming from there.  There was a good mix of salmon and grilse being hooked.

Flies of choice were Bombers, Undertakers, Butterflies, Green-butt Bear Hairs, Black Bugs and White-tailed Green Machines.

Derek Munn of Ledges Inn in Doaktown and Mountain Channel in the Rapids area said there were lots of fish around and they were catching early in the mornings and late evenings.  They were averaging 1 or two per rod a day.  Mountain Channel was also starting to fish better as the water dropped.  They were picking up 5 or six fish a day and had caught 12 one day.  Water conditions were good and perfect at the Channel. The Doaktown area could use a little splash and over all cooler temps would be welcomed.

Flies of choice were Dry Flies and Bombers along with Smurfs, Shady Ladies, , Conrads, Bear Hairs and White-tailed Green Machines on nos. 8 & 10 hooks.

Herb Barry Sr. of Herb’s Fly Shop on the Station Road in Blackville said there were lots of fish around, but they were not taking well due to warm water temperatures.  Thus the catching was slow.  The water had dropped, but it was still at a good level.  Anglers who were having success were catching mostly grilse.

Flies of choice were Preachers, Shady Ladies, Undertakers, White-tailed Green Machines, Green Rats on nos. 6 & 8 hooks.  Many anglers were also shifting to Bombers, with the Blue Whiskers the most popular.

Curtis Miramichi River Outfitting in Blackville said there were all kinds of fish around, but angling was slow and the fish had lock-Jaw due to the warmer water.  There were only a few being hooked, with grilse being the most common.  Water levels were good, but a cold rain was needed.  Canoeing was good.

Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines, Green Machines with Krystal Flash, Traditional Shady Ladies, Undertakers, Preachers, and Bombers.  The wet flies were mostly nos. 6 & 8s, while the Bombers and Buckbugs were mostly no. 4s.

George Routledge of George’s Fly Shop at the Mouth of Renous in Quarryville angling was very slow.  However, there were a lot of fish around and being seen, but they were just not taking due to warm water.  Temperatures in the morning were around 66. but a good 10 degrees higher by day’s end.  Maybe one or two were being caught a day.

Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines, Shady Ladies, Bear Hairs and Black Ghosts on nos. 6 & 8s.

Jim Laws of Miramichi Hunting and Fishing in Newcastle, Miramichi reported angling had slowed this week with lower water levels (particularly on the Northwest) and warmer temperatures.  However, there were still good numbers of fish around, just not in a taking mood.

Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines, Shady Ladies and Smurfs, along with Dry Flies and Bombers.

Syd Matchett of Trout Brook Fly Shop on the Northwest Miramichi said angling had quieted down locally, although the Crown Reserve stretches seemed to be fishing well with Hook ‘n Release.  One party of four had the Crawford stretch and pretty well limited out.  In spite of Hook ‘n Release, there seemed to be few cancellations.  Fish being caught were mostly grilse.  A good rain was needed to restore positive angling conditions.

Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines, Shady Ladies and Belly Dancers on 6 & 8 hooks, with even 10s being requested earlier this week.

Debbie Norton of Upper Oxbow Outdoor Adventures on the Little Southwest Miramichi said the water was warm and the fish were not happy, and therefore not taking well.  There were fish around, but the big run was over, although the numbers coming in each day were about normal for the time of year.  Canoeing and Tubing conditions were good.

Flies of choice were Pompiers and White-tailed Green Machines.

A reminder that the Trout Ponds at the Miramichi Salmon Association’s Hatchery in South Esk are open and provide an excellent opportunity to get the younger kids into fishing.  It is also a great opportunity for parents and grandparents to bond with the younger set, getting them to love and respect the river.  Mark Hambrook said there are good numbers of trout in the ½ pound range that are $2.50 per half-pound.  This is also not only great for the kids, but also helps support the activities of the hatchery, so please give them your support and have a fun day.

In spite of warmer temperatures, angling is good in the holding pools and there are lots of fish in the system and fresh fish coming in daily, although not in numbers of the last two weeks. With some rain in the forecast, conditions should improve, so get out and “on the water”.


Don’t forget to show your support for our sponsors, because without them, this column would not be possible.  If you can’t get there yourself, send your friends!  Tell them you appreciate their support of the column!

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

Drop into Bryant Freeman’s Eskape Anglers in Riverview to stock up on flies 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: “Three-fourths of the Earth’s surface is water, and one-fourth is land.  It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn.”  ~Chuck Clark

HUMOUR: “There was a priest that loved to stream fish.  One year there was a problem every time he had a chance to go fishing the weather was bad or it was on Sunday, when he had to work.  All year he was unable to go.  Finally it was the last week before the streams closed.  The weather was bad all week until Sunday, when the weather was great.  The priest could not resist, he called a fellow priest claiming to be very sick and asked if he could take over his sermon. The flyfishing priest drove over 200 miles, not wishing to see anyone he knew.  An angel seeing the priest playing hooky went to God and said “Your not going to let him get away with this are you?”.  God agreed he should do something.  The first cast the priest made was perfect.  The fly floated past a log and a huge mouth gulped the fly down.  For 45 minutes the priest ran up and down the stream fighting the mighty fish.  At the end he held a 50″ world record rainbow trout.  Confused the angel asked God, “What are you doing?”.  God replied “Think about it, who’s he going to tell?”


This came from Westport, Brier Island, where the local fisherman are fighting the Fish Farms in Saint Mary’s Bay, NS

Thought you might find it interesting……from Jeff Colwell

Last evening I took my niece on a beach along the harbour in Westport. It was low tide and we wanted to explore and look for crabs and shells, etc. It was a sad situation, as the sand was coated with pieces of feces from the salmon in the cages in the harbour. There were many dead periwinkles all over the beach and a large number of …empty clam shells too (maybe eaten by gulls?). The further down the beach we went the grosser it became. My niece asked me to carry her because she didn’t want to walk in it. There was a rusty-yellow coloured film on rocks and seaweed and the sand became so sinky it was like walking on a sponge. The salmon crap literally covered the beach, and was most visible in the wet sand. Needless to say we had to go home and have hot, soapy baths and I was even wondering if I should add bleach to my bathwater.

How long are the native Salmon going to be able to survive?


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.

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

TICKETS – $50.00 including a $25.00 tax receipt

Call – 365 7787 or Email – for tickets & information

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Until next week,

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