Miramichi Fishing Report for Thursday, July 11, 2013

Extremely hot weather last week has put the breaks on most angling  as water levels dropped and temperatures soared.  Any success anglers were having was mostly early morning at some cold water pools.

The Trap net at Cassilis on the Northwest had a grilse Saturday, but none since, while Millerton on the Main Southwest was spotty with maybe 10 fish a day at best.

Doug White’s Tammerack Sports Fly Shop in Juniper said due to the heat  not many people are on the water. There seems to be a good run on but are reluctant to take. The water is still a fishing pitch but is warming up some. The tally at the counting station on the North Branch as of Sunday was 151 Salmon and  44 Grilse and that is a fair amount of fish this early in the year .Hopefully there will be rain and not a repeat of 2012.

Flies of choice are Shady Ladies, Whitetail Green Machines, Jigaboos and Bombers.

W. W. Doak and Sons in Doaktown said the hot weather had slowed fishing both for anglers and for the fish which were in no taking mood.  However, with a slight reprieve on Tuesday, fish were moving again from one cold water pool to the next, with a few being hooked.  Over all angling was not what it could be, but there was a slight improvement.  Cooler nights and day-time temperatures, along with some rain would be a major improvement.

Flies of choice were Same-Thing-Murrays, Undertakers and White-tailed Green Machines.

Derek Munn of Ledges Inn in Doaktown and Mountain Channel in the Rapids area said water levels were getting down and temperatures were quite warm.  Anglers were picking up a few fish early in some cold-water pools.  They had caught fiveto0 6 on Tuesday and Wednesday between five rods.  One was a huge 41-inch salmon.  Rain would be very welcome coupled with cooler temperatures, especially at night.

Flies of choice were Undertakers, Shady Ladies and White-tailed Green Machines in wets on nos. 8 & 10 hooks, along with Bombers such as blue & white, and brown & orange.

Herb Barry Sr. of Herb’s Fly Shop on the Station Road in Blackville said they hadn’t seen a fish in four days.  Some were being hooked in the Doaktown area.  The water was dropping quickly and was now almost a perfect height, but very warm, so fish were not taking.

About the only excitement was watching Buster Williston take a bath in the river while fishing last week.

Flies of choice were almost desperation choices as anglers were trying everything such as Colburn Specials, White-tailed Green Machines, Shady Ladies, Undertakers, Same-Thing-Murrays, Bear Hairs and some Killer Whiskers.

Curtis Miramichi River Outfitting in Blackville said angling was not great, but they were catching a few.  They reported a few dead fish, but said the eagles were picking them up.  Fish were being seen, but not taking well.  Some were moving from one cold water pool to the next.  One lady angler had caught a fish on Monday and on Tuesday.  The fly fishing classes which they offered were busy.  The tributaries were getting low for canoeing, but the Main Southwest was still good.

Flies of choice were Blue Charms, White-tailed Green Machines, White-tailed Green Machines with red buts, Undertakers with jungle cock, and a mixture of Bombers.

George Routledge of George’s Fly Shop at the Mouth of Renous in Quarryville said angling was very slow and the water was very warm.  He was telling those who called to go to the beach instead and watch the girls.  Cooler nights were needed and some rain.

Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines, Shady Ladies, Yellow-winged Butterflies with white tails and pearl Krystal Flash and Blue Charms.

Jim Laws of Miramichi Hunting and Fishing in Newcastle, Miramichi reported quiet angling with no great amount of fish being hooked.  He noted that DFO has announced a retention period for Striped Bass from August 2 to 11 with a limit of one fish a day as it was earlier in the spring.  Retention size is 55 to 65 centimeters.

Laws also asks that any lobster fishermen, smelt fishermen, shad fishermen and gaspereaux fishermen contact him about the state of the Striped Bass in the area so that he can get together an agenda for a meeting with DFO.  Call 506-622-3071.

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

Syd Matchett of Trout Brook Fly Shop on the Northwest Miramichi said angling there was extremely quiet with the water low and warm.  Cooler nights and some rain are greatly needed.

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

Debbie Norton of Upper Oxbow Outdoor Adventures on the Little Southwest Miramichi said angling was very quiet.  There had been decent fishing until the heat struck last week.  The water level was a decent height, but very warm, and the Northwest has almost dried up.

The Annual Miramichi Classic begins this Sunday with a banquet and auction at the Miramichi Rodd River Hotel, followed by five angling sessions over three day.  The full-house booking of 60 anglers will fish different pools morning and evening on Monday and Tuesday with the final outing Wednesday morning.

Mid-day Monday will feature Spey Caster Walt Geryk of the North East Spey and Fly Fishing Service.  If anyone would like private lessons, contact Debbie at (506)622-8834 or at

Fly of choice was the Same-Thing-Murray

So pray for rain and some cooler nights so we can get back “on the water”.

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

Fishing Packages are available at the newly renovated Days Inn in Miramichi, located in the heart of downtown Miramichi, just steps from the mighty Miramichi River.

Providing quality gear for the outdoor enthusiast all year round, Pronature in Miramichi has you covered. Stop in to check out their rods, reels, tackle and gear.

Visit Deals 4 U in Miramichi for your grocery needs, and good Cuban cigars to celebrate getting back to the rivers.


Atlantic Salmon Federation News
Thursday, July 4, 2013

Rivernotes  has the latest salmon numbers and angling success
As June 30 numbers from counting facilities come in, and more reports of anglers and guides come in from the river, a picture is emerging of the year’s salmon runs. Read more.

ASF’s Research Department gives an update on their activities

Bill Taylor Commentary – Leadership Begins at Home
A thought-provoking opinion piece on what steps North Americans need to take to assure the future of wild Atlantic salmon – in our hearts and in our economy.

Salmon and Streams Benefit from Obama’s Climate Plan
The focus has been on reducing CO2 in the U.S. President’s new plan. But it pays dividends for Atlantic salmon and rivers in Maine and Atlantic Canada.

Poaching in Conche, NL
Another boat and motor have been seized, in this Northern Peninsula community. Read more.

ISA Lab Stripped of Credentials
The lab in Charlottetown, PEI has been recognized internationally for many years. But after providing testimony at the Cohen Commission, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency pursued avenues to take away its accreditation – and appears to have succeeded. Read more.

Unveiling of Huge Atlantic Salmon Migration Map in St. Andrews
A unique, new and huge map depicting migration of Atlantic salmon in the North Atlantic painted by area artist Geoff Slater will be unveiled on Wed. July 10. Don’t miss the event. Read more.
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”.

Rise To The Occasion and Participate in an ASF Event!
These nights are an opportunity to enjoy an evening of fellowship and fishing stories.  They are also a great way to show your support for the Atlantic Salmon Federation.
Our Volunteer Committees are working hard on these upcoming dinners/ auctions:

  • Chicago, IL ~ Tuesday September 24 ~ The Racquet  Club
  • Montreal QC ~ Wednesday September 25~ Windsor Ballrooms
  • Ottawa, ON ~ Wednesday October 9 ~ Can Museum of Civilization
  • St. John’s NL ~ Wednesday October 16 ~ The Capital Hotel
  • Saint John, NB ~ Wednesday November 6 ~ Delta Brunswick
  • New York, NY ~ Wednesday November 13 ~ The Plaza

Atlantic Salmon Federation
Phone: 1-800-565-5666  |  Fax: 506-529-1070  |  Email: " >


From the MSA:
Hi All

I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday this week – the weather here was great for July 1st celebrations and was hot everywhere for our American friends festivities yesterday.

I did not receive the barrier counts from DNR this week but as of June 23rd there were 2 grilse and 11 salmon at the Northwest barrier. The Cassilis trap did have some good numbers this past week with 30 or so grilse and 10-12 salmon in the trap for a few days last weekend and the first of this week. We have received word from the Metepenagiag (Red Bank) First Nation that the gill nets will be removed tonight and they will be fishing from the trap net only from now on. This will allow for live release of large salmon. There were reports of good fishing on all tributaries of the Northwest for the past couple of weeks.

The Dungarvon Barrier had 18 grilse and 20 salmon as of June 23rd. Numbers at the Millerton trap have been steady and average in comparison to the last 10 years. DFO did report that they were still catching large numbers of gaspereau at the Millerton trap and this may be why their salmon catch is not corresponding with the great fishing being reported on the Southwest. This warm weather the last couple of days has slowed things down a bit though as fish may be starting to hold up in cold water refuges.

DFO does post salmon and grilse counts from the barriers and traps on their website on the 15th and 30th/31st of each month. They do rely on numbers to be sent to them from other organizations so they are not always up to date – as noted by the Northwest Barrier currently showing no fish. There is a quick link to the DFO site on our home page at www.miramichisalmon.ca.

The Northwest Miramichi River has dropped quickly this week – some say down 18 inches – since the high water last week. The Little Southwest and the Southwest system though still seem to have lots of water.

Water temperature did pass 24 degrees yesterday on the Southwest at Doaktown and was above 20 degrees at Catamaran on the Little Southwest. The MSA has been working closely with DFO and other interested affiliates on a warm water protocol. In the past when the minimum daily river temperature at Doaktown remained at 20 – 22 degrees for over 2 days there were 15 cold water pools throughout the Miramichi system known to be used by salmon that were closed to angling. When the minimum temperature for a two day period was between 22 – 28 degrees the river was open to morning fishing only and the protocol called for a total river closure at minimum temperature over two days of 28 degrees. The Miramichi River Environmental Assessment Committee (MREAC) has purchased (with help from MSA) 2 new weather stations to be deployed at Doaktown and Upper Oxbow on the Little Southwest. These stations along with temperatures from other DFO monitoring stations will be used in the future to develop a new protocol which will hopefully account for lower temperatures found in the headwater areas of the river. For the near future however the Doaktown temperature will be used and it is expected that 2 days of minimum temperature of 20-23 degrees in Doaktown will result in the closure of the cold water holding pools (more than the original 15 have been added) and two days with minimum temperature above 23 degrees will result in a morning only fishery. The new protocol has not yet been finalized but is expected to refer to total river closures in special cases only. Variation orders will be issued when these measures take place. MREAC posts the water temperature on their website – http://mreac.org/realtime_water.html – Currently the temperature is updated once daily Monday to Friday but the new stations will provide realtime temperatures  updated hourly. We also have a link to this page on our website home page under the Quick Links.

There have been many questions lately about the Greenland Salmon Fishery and the Atlantic Salmon Federation request for anglers to release any grilse they catch. The Greenland fishery was a subsistence fishery (for their own consumption) that used to harvest about 9 tonnes of fish annually. This has grown to over 20 tonnes last year. The Greenland government has this year allowed for a commercial fishery of 35 tonnes of salmon to be processed and sold commercially within Greenland. When complaints were made to Greenland their response was that Canada harvests over 100 tonnes of fish annually. This harvest is made up of the recreational grilse fishery, a recreational salmon fishery in Quebec and the First Nations Food Fishery. ASF feels that by releasing more grilse we can reduce the total harvest and thus ask Greenland to reduce their total harvest. MSA promotes the voluntary release of grilse.

Questions have also arisen over the hook and release fishery on the Northwest Miramichi and the fact that many members of the Aboriginal Peoples Council are arriving at pools, fishing with hardware and taking grilse. DFO has confirmed that the NBAPC members do have an allocation and are allowed to take grilse, are allowed to fish with hardware but must tag the fish. They are not allowed to fish with nets and they are not allowed to harvest large salmon. We do understand it is very frustrating for anglers at these pools but presently this is the law.

And finally… From the Field

Satellite tanks at Rocky Brook

Satellite tanks at Rocky Brook

Last Friday MSA Biologist Alex Parker, and Environmental Technology student Sarah Price transported the first batch of 2013 Atlantic salmon fry from the Miramichi Conservation Center to satellite tanks at the Rocky Brook Camp, where they will remain for several weeks before being released into the headwaters of the Clearwater River. Stocking has successfully continued this week into more satellite tanks, as well as rivers and tributaries feeding into the Southwest Miramichi. Next week our focus will shift to the Northwest system, where fry will be stocked into the headwaters of the Little Southwest, Sevogle, and Northwest Rivers. Here’s hoping that the fry we release today will be the salmon we release tomorrow.

Salmon Fry in Satellite Tank

Salmon Fry in Satellite Tank

Have a great weekend!!
Thought for the Week: “Most anglers spend their lives making rules for trout, and trout spend their lives breaking them.” George Ashton.

E-MAIL:  I had a couple of e-mails this week about catching grilse on the Northwest Miramichi.  As a point of clarification, it is legal for an angler to keep a grilse if caught BELOW the Wayerton Bridge.  Anything above the bridge is strickly hook and release.

I want to thank you for the excellent work.  I am always keen to view your next report.
Thanks again.
Laurent McLaughlin


grilsecounts salmoncounts

Until next week