Miramichi Fishing Report for July 7, 2011


Moncton – Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) wishes to inform the public of changes in management measures for Atlantic Salmon angling on the Northwest Miramichi River system.

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Effective July 6, 2011, at 12:00 p.m. (noon), the following stretches will become mandatory catch and release: the portion of Little Southwest Miramichi and its tributaries upstream from Catamaran Brook: the portion of Northwest Miramichi upstream from Little River; both the north and south branches of the Sevogle upstream from and including Square Forks. In 2012 and beyond, these catch and release restrictions will be in effect for the entire season.

Also effective July 6, 2011, at 12:00 p.m. (noon) until July 31, 2011, the portion of the Northwest Miramichi from and including Little River downstream to Wayerton Bridge at Route 430 will become mandatory catch and release. In 2012 and beyond, this catch and release restriction will be in effect from June 1 to July 31.

These measures will be in place for three years (2011, 2012 and 2013), unless there is a major change in the percent of conservation achieved. At the end of the 2013 season, these measures would be subject to a review to determine if they continue to be adequate.

Atlantic Salmon returns on the Northwest Miramichi system only achieved 53% of conservation requirements in 2010 (34% in 2009). The conservation requirement is the minimum spawning requirement to ensure salmon stock conservation.

Stakeholders have expressed concerns to DFO that salmon conservation requirements on this system are not met. The decision to change the management measures has been made after extensive consultations with the Miramichi Watershed Management Committee, the New Brunswick Wildlife Federation, the New Brunswick Salmon Council, the Province of New Brunswick, the resident First Nations of the Miramichi, and other affected Aboriginal groups.

Anglers practicing catch and release play an important role in the conservation of the resource. The measures announced today will allow anglers to continue their participation in the recreational fishery and to also become a part of the solution to address the low returns of salmon in the Northwest Miramichi River system.

For more information:
Pierre Bélanger
Resource Management, Department of Fisheries and Oceans
Moncton, New Brunswick

Moncton – Le ministère des Pêches et des Océans (MPO) désire informer le public de changements qui seront apportés aux mesures de gestion de la pêche à la ligne du saumon atlantique dans le bassin hydrographique de la rivière Miramichi Nord-Ouest.

À compter du 6 juillet 2011, à 12 h (midi), la pêche avec remise à l’eau obligatoire sera imposée pour les passages suivants : la portion de la Petite Miramichi Sud-Ouest et ses tributaires en amont du ruisseau Catamaran : la portion de la rivière Miramichi Nord-Ouest en amont de Little River; les bras Nord et Sud de la rivière Sevogle en amont de la fosse Square Forks et incluant celle-ci. En 2012 et au cours des années subséquentes, cette restriction relative à la remise à l’eau obligatoire sera en vigueur pour la saison complète.

Également en vigueur à compter du 6 juillet 2011, à 12 h (midi) jusqu’au 31 juillet 2011, la portion de la rivière Miramichi Nord-Ouest à partir de Little River et incluant celle-ci en aval jusqu’au pont Wayerton de la route 430 sera visée par une pêche avec remise à l’eau obligatoire. En 2012 et au cours des années subséquentes, cette restriction relative à la remise à l’eau obligatoire sera en vigueur du 1er juin au 31 juillet.

Ces mesures seront en place pendant trois ans (2011, 2012 et 2013), à moins d’un changement important dans le pourcentage des objectifs de conservation atteints. À la fin de la saison de 2013, ces mesures seront sujettes à un examen dans le but de déterminer si elles sont toujours pertinentes.

Les remontées du saumon atlantique dans le bassin de la rivière Miramichi Nord-Ouest représentaient seulement 53 % des impératifs de conservation en 2010 (34 % en 2009). Les impératifs de conservation correspondent au nombre minimal de reproducteurs requis pour assurer la conservation des stocks de saumon.

Les intervenants concernés ont exprimé leurs préoccupations au MPO au sujet des impératifs de conservation du saumon relativement au bassin hydrographique en question qui ne sont pas atteints. La décision de modifier les mesures de gestion a été prise après de vastes consultations avec le Comité de gestion du bassin hydrographique de la Miramichi, la Fédération de la faune du Nouveau-Brunswick, le Conseil du saumon du Nouveau-Brunswick, la province du Nouveau-Brunswick, les Premières nations résidentes de la Miramichi, et les autres groupes autochtones concernés.

Les pêcheurs à la ligne qui pratiquent la pêche avec remise à l’eau jouent un rôle important dans la conservation de la ressource. Les mesures annoncées aujourd’hui permettront aux pêcheurs à la ligne de continuer leur participation dans la pêche récréative, ainsi que de faire partie de la solution pour régler le problème des faibles taux de retour de saumons dans le système de la rivière Miramichi Nord-Ouest.

Pour obtenir de plus amples renseignements :
Pierre Bélanger
Gestion des ressources, ministère des Pêches et des Océans
Moncton (Nouveau-Brunswick) 506-851-2002


Well, it finally feels like summer is here, and so are the fish. The whole Miramichi system is reporting good numbers of fresh fish daily. However, with warmer water, the fish may be a tad more particular about taking. Water levels are getting to the point where fish will start pooling. Thus far, they have been mostly on the move with higher water levels and cooler temperatures.

W. W. Doak and Sons in Doaktown said there were lots of fish all along the Main Southwest, especially above the Mouth of the Cains River where the water levels were better than below it. There was a good mix of salmon and grilse being hooked. There had been a couple of salmon in the 34-35 inch range.

Flies of choice were Undertakers, Same Thing Murrays, Green-butt Bear Hairs 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 doing well with the catching. He just hoped the warm stretch of weather did not ruin the angling. They were hooking more grilse than salmon, but were still picking up salmon in the 16-22 pound range. So far the water level and temperature was good.

Flies of choice were Christmas Trees, Green-butt Bear Hairs, Shady Ladies, White-tailed Green Machines and even a few on blue & white dry flies.

Herb Barry Sr. of Herb’s Fly Shop on the Station Road in Blackville said there were lots of fish around the Blackville area, but they were a little hard to catch due to high water. It was a tad high, but fishable, and finally starting to produce. He had hooked “a fright train of a salmon” on the weekend, but it tore down river and he eventually lost it. There was a good mix of salmon and grilse, but the fish were moving right through rather than pooling. As such, some were taking short. He’d heard of one salmon over 30 pounds.

Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines, Shady Ladies, Green-butt Bear Hairs with glitter, and Green Rats

Curtis Miramichi River Outfitting in Blackville said there were all kinds of fish, with more grilse than salmon. Water levels were good and the temperature was good, although the warmer weather was starting to have an effect. Canoeing conditions were excellent.

Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines, Double (red & Green) butt Green Machines, Red-butt Green Machines, Shady Ladies, Same Thing Murrays, Blue Charms, Undertakers, Sugarman’s Shrimps and Picasses.

George Routledge of George’s Fly Shop at the Mouth of Renous in Quarryville said the lower parts of the Renous in the vicinity of his shop were fishing well with 40-50 fish being hooked on consecutive days this week. However, the Mouth of Renous at the bar or Quarryville Pool was not fishing well as the water had been too high for most anglers to comfortably get out. To his knowledge there had been one fish caught at the Chub Hole and three at the mouth. As the water dropped, anglers were starting to be able to fish the Rip from Wanda’s Shore side. It was mostly grilse being caught, and very good sized grilse. Francine Melanson of Moncton had been to Larry’s Gulch and hooked a 35 pound salmon. She said she’d send along a photo for next week’s column.

Flies of choice were Shady Ladies, White-tailed Green Machines, and Black Ghosts.

Jim Laws of Miramichi Hunting and Fishing in Newcastle, Miramichi reported good angling, but he figured if the warmer weather continued, it would slow the catching. To now the fish had been more active due to good water levels, cooler temperatures and a lot of cloudy days. There was a good mix of salmon and grilse reported.

Flies of choice were Undertakers, White-tailed Green Machines, Bear Hairs and Shady Ladies.

Syd Matchett of Trout Brook Fly Shop on the Northwest Miramichi said fishing was still good with a lot of good-sized salmon being reported on Monday and Tuesday. Andrew Comeau said he has had the best fishing ever with seven hook-ups so far and his son had caught his first ever this year. Fred Nowlan hooked the first salmon of his life. Witnesses said it was so big, if Fred had landed it , the river would have dropped three inches. Both of Syd’s grandsons, Steven and Dylan Miller, had grilse on at the same time on the weekend.

Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines, Undertakers, Shady Ladies and both yellow and white-winged Butterflies on nos. 6 & 8 hooks.

Debbie Norton of Upper Oxbow Outdoor Adventures on the Little Southwest Miramichi said there were good numbers of fish around, but the water there was still a bit high for optimal angling. However, they were catching some, with most being grilse.

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

Both the Cassilis and Millerton trapnets were averaging about 40 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:  “I’ve spent most of my life fishing, the rest I just wasted.” ~ Anonymous

Dear Doug

I just wanted to take a moment to say how much I enjoy and eagerly await each installment of your “Miramichi Fishing Report”. I live in Northeastern Pennsylvania, USA and fish the river in the Blackville area in June and again usually in mid- late September each year. Your reports keep me up to date with a wonderfully even handed description of fishing conditions which would be very difficult for me to obtain otherwise – of course, I come without fail no matter what the fishing is supposed to be. Salmon fishers always believe the best day is “any day we are on the river”.

I would also like to express my happiness at seeing in today’s report that George Routledge will be honored on August 19, 2011 at the Atlantic Salmon Museum. I always make a point of stopping at George’s shop when I am in the area (and his shop is open). He is always wonderful to talk with and I have often heard of his kindness to and support of youngsters interested in Salmon fishing. He is an icon.

I won’t be in Doaktown in August, but I do have one quick story about George to share. Several years ago a few of us were fishing at Hershey camp. Fishing was slow, so we took off for George’s shop. Our rule was that if one bought a fly he would have to buy one for each fisherman in camp, in the event that it was successful in hooking fish. This particular year, among a number of other flies, we returned to camp with “Blue Bombers” for everyone. We all had a laugh, thinking that George “had really seen us coming” and had unloaded this ridiculous looking bomber on us with a chuckle and a sigh of relief that he’d finally sold the last of those! How could this possibly catch fish? The following season, I stopped in the Atlantic Salmon Museum in Doaktown – a favorite pastime of mine – to look at the many flies on display as I enjoy tying. Suddenly a smile crossed my face and excitedly I motioned to a friend of mine to look. There, in the exhibit featuring George Routledge, I looked at George’s hat band crowded with salmon flies, and there was a Blue Bomber! “He hadn’t seen us coming” after all. And if the Blue Bomber was good enough for George Routledge, it was certainly good enough for us.

Thank you again for the “Miramichi Fishing Report” and to all the fine shops that contribute information.

Hoping to see you on the river,

Peter E. Rodgers, President
Hershey Salmon Camp
Blackville, NB


Hi Doug,

I was lucky enough to get out fishing again the past weekend. I visited with my friend Ben during the afternoon on Saturday and spent some time sitting in a swimming pool (I couldn’t imagine being in waders in that heat!). Anyway, once it cooled off a little we decided to take a run back to Allison’s Run on the Northwest.Dan Crouse I figured that it would be like a zoo back there with people, but low and behold we were the only 2 of 4 people there. We didn’t actually start fishing until around 7:30pm that evening.

I managed to hook 2 fish before it got dark and was luckily enough to experience a “first time experience” with each fish hooked.

My first of 2 experiences involved my first fish jumping clear out of the water after the fly, something which I’ve only ever had a trout do. The hook set itself while the fish was in the air. That was pretty cool, and it took me by surprised. There wasn’t much fight to that one and it probably one of the smallest grilse I’ve ever caught. I released him to be caught again when he grows up.

My 2nd of first timers happened on my second fish hooked just before dark. I hooked it in the lower stretch of the run and it was a fighter. Before this, the most jumps I ever got out of a fish was 7. This particular fish jumped 9 times. He was like a silver acrobat and spent more time out of the water than in.

I’ve talked to other people and the consensus is that there is no shortage of fish in the river this year. And, they are constantly on the move too so patience to hooking them is the key.

Hopefully I have another story for you next week. Until then, take care.

Dan Crouse


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

Until next week,

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