Miramichi Fishing Report for Thursday, April 24, 2014

After about a little over a week’s delay, the 2014 angling season for Spring Salmon has finally began in most places.  However, conditions remain dangerous with ice jams breaking and heading down rivers.  The water is cold and high, particularly with the rain in the last couple of days, which will probably float more shore ice down stream.  So extreme caution is advised.

By most accounts, the weekend should bring improving conditions.

JH Stewart

W. W. Doak and Sons in Doaktown said there were only a few anglers out and fishing was spotty.  One had to keep a sharp eye for ice cakes and perhaps an ice jam from up river.  When the ice from the jam at Norrad Bridge comes down, there should be significant improvement.

Flies of choice were Renous Specials, Mickey Finns, Black Ghosts and Golden Eagles.

Curtis Miramichi River Outfitting in Blackville said there were a few anglers starting to hit the water and they were catching a few.  Two were reported in the 40-inch range, but most catches were grilse.  Most were having the best results down deep and close to brooks.  They warned that anglers still have to be cautious with ice coming down river.

Flies of choice were Blue Smelts and Green Slimes in the Maribou pattern.

George Routledge of George’s Fly Shop at the Mouth of Renous in Quarryville said there were anglers out both from shore and from boats, and catches seemed to be quite satisfactory, although the boater were having the best results.  The water was dark, but not dirty.  There were still chunks of ice coming down river, and being in a boat was dangerous to say the least.  One boat barely got ashore on Tuesday as shore anglers helped pull it from the water just as ice was hitting the back end of the boat.  George said that it was not possible to drive very far beyond his shop as the road was still covered with ice that had come with the high water last week.  There was still ice in the Millerton area Wednesday, and some below that.

Flies of choice were Mickey Finns, Black Ghosts, Golden Eagles and Blue Smelts.  In short, anything big and bright.

Jim Laws of Miramichi Hunting and Fishing in Newcastle, Miramichi said he had not received any reports yet as very few were out, but he predicted better results for next week.

Flies of choice were Christmas Trees, Mickey Finns and Black Ghosts.

Syd Matchett of Trout Brook Fly Shop on the Northwest Miramichi said Wednesday of this week was the first day anglers were able to get boats into the water around the Fourman Lodge area.  With the rain in the last few days, Syd felt the water would be raising and dirty, with shore ice being pushed down stream, so caution was recommended.  He felt conditions should improve from the weekend on.  There was still ice in at Johnson’s Bridge on Wednesday.  He had heard good reports from the Mouth of the Cains and the Mouth of Renous.

Flies of choice were Golden Eagles, Mickey Finns, Black Ghosts and Blue Smelts.

Debbie Norton of Upper Oxbow Outdoor Adventures on the Little Southwest Miramichi said there was about ½ mile of open water in front of her place, but basically the Little Southwest was still iced in.  She was hoping for it to move by the weekend.  The Northwest was open as far down as what is known as The Pine Tree.  Bill Nelson hooked a 40 inch female salmon on Tuesday on the Main Southwest and some small grilse.  Her group picked up several Wednesday morning before calling it a day due to cold and rain.

Fly of choice was the Golden Eagle.

Mighty Miramichi

With both a rainfall and snowfall warning in the forecast for today, it is expected that the rivers will rise and have a lot of shore ice in them as well as some debris.  So it could be a few days before conditions improve so that anglers can comfortably get out and “on the water”.

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Thought for the Week: “It is funny how you will remember a particular strike here and there or an individual catch.  In a lifetime of fishing, these are the moments of punctuation.”  Howell Raines in his Fly Fishing through Midlife Crisis

CONDOLENCES: Our prayers and sympathies go out to the family and friends of the late Stevie Allen who passed away this past weekend.  Stevie and his father Charlie before him, were well known anglers and fishing shop operators who helped shape the culture of angling along the Miramichi.


I enjoyed putting together a photographic record of some of the different flies I tied this winter.  It was a long winter and I sure tied a lot of flies for some great folks  Hope you enjoy the quick trip:


Here’s hoping we all have a great season on the water!

Very best regards,
Gary Tanner

Until next week

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