Miramichi Fishing Report for Thursday, July 24, 2014

Again this week, we have a mixed bag as far as reports go.  One angler or angling area of 10 might just have hit a small wave of fish going through and felt angling was quite good.  On the other hand, the other nine reported almost nothing.  There still has been no great run, but periodically there are spurts of fresh going through.

Deals 4 U

Doug White’s Tammerack Sports Fly Shop in Juniper said the river here is in good shape. There are a few salmon running, no large amounts but the few people out are reporting hook ups. I’m afraid if everyone is waiting for returns like it was, they are in for a grave disappointment.

Flies of choice: Jigaboo, white- tailed green machine, orange hackled bomber and Willie whiskers.

W. W. Doak and Sons in Doaktown said angling was a little slower than last week.  However, one camp above Boiestown did hook 17 fish in one day.  Another angler hooked seven fish last week, and a lady angler hooked a 38-inch (22 lbs.) salmon on a Cosseboom in the Doaktown area.  Water conditions were decent with temperatures in the 60s Fahrenheit in the a.m. and into the 70s by evening.  The height was good, although the tributaries could use a good splash of rain.

Flies of choice were Same-Thing-Murrays, Butterflies, Cossebooms and White-tailed Green Machines on no. 6 hooks and 8s above Doaktown.

Derek Munn of Ledges Inn in Doaktown and Mountain Channel in the Rapids area said angling was so-so with only the odd fish being caught, mostly in the cold-water pools.  Only a few fish were fresh.  Last Friday and Saturday there were a few caught at Mountain Channel as a small spurt went by.

Flies of choice were Shady Ladies, Smurfs, Same-Thing-Murrays, White-tailed Green Machines and Bombers in blue, and also brown and orange.

Herb Barry Sr. of Herb’s Fly Shop on the Station Road in Blackville said angling was very poor.  He had pout in nine hours on Monday and Tuesday and never saw a fish.    A couple had been hooked last week at “The Bench”.  The best fisher was an otter who came up in front of Barry with a small trout or chub.  The water conditions were perfect: there were just no fish.  Poor fishing produced good selling for flies as anglers were buying, trying anything.

Flies of choice were Bombers, Killer Whiskers, Same-Thing-Murrays, Green Rats, Bear Hairs, and White-tailed Green Machines on nos. 6 & 8 hooks.

Curtis Miramichi River Outfitting in Blackville said angling was pretty slow with only the odd fish being hooked.  Canoeing was great.  Water conditions were good.

Fly of choice was the White-tailed Green Machine.

George Routledge of George’s Fly Shop at the Mouth of Renous in Quarryville did not have a report as his wife Shirley was rushed to the hospital Saturday morning with George being at her side most of the time, coming home to sleep and eat only.  We all wish her well and have both she and George in our thoughts.

Jim Laws of Miramichi Hunting and Fishing in Newcastle, Miramichi reported angling as “not the best to say the least”.  Only the odd fish was being hooked, with the Main Southwest being the more productive.  The water was getting down and warming quickly.  A good rain is needed to freshen the system and hopefully bring in more fish.

Flies of choice were Black Ghosts, White-tailed Green Machines, Blue Charms ands some Dry flies and Bombers.

Syd Matchett of Trout Brook Fly Shop on the Northwest Miramichi said angling there was very slow with the water getting down and quite warm.  Crown Reserve parties were averaging a total of three to four fish between four rods.  A week ago, Will Doyle hooked six salmon and a grilse over two days with one salmon being 31 inches long with a girth of 14 inches.  But since the weekend, there have been no reports of catching.

Flies of choice were Shady Ladies, Bear Hairs, White-tailed Green Machines, Green Machines with Krystal Flash, and Butterflies on nos. 6 & 8 hooks.

Debbie Norton of Upper Oxbow Outdoor Adventures on the Little Southwest Miramichi was unavailable for comment, but a couple of sources said the Little Southwest was also very slow.

Hopefully, the thundershowers Wednesday evening will help cool off and raise the river.  This coupled with cooler temperatures in the immediate forecast should help to improve angling.  So plan to get out and “on the water”.

Congratulations are in order for Danielle Davis who will turn 15 this Saturday.   She was selected as one of 10 Canada-wide, (and only one of two in Atlantic Canada) by the Canadian Canoe Foundation to participate in an August 1-10 canoe-trip on the Bloodvein River in Manitoba.  The 10-day trip will focus on leadership, educational and environmental issues along with canoeing experience.  Davies was selected for her essay on the Miramichi River Watershed not meeting maximum spawning requirements.  Upon return, it is expected each participant will become involved in watershed activities.  Danielle attends Miramichi Valley High, likes to salmon fish, and is the daughter of Todd and Lisa Davies.

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 good Cuban cigars to celebrate getting back to the rivers.  Drop by Mac’s Seafood for Miramichi Smoke House Award Winning Smoke Salmon.


If you would like to sponsor this column, give us a call at (506) 352-7668 or email .

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Thought for the Week: “The great charm of fly-fishing is that we are always learning.” – Theodore Gordon

The use of Crime Stoppers to report suspicious or illegal activity taking place in any type of fishing activity.

Anonymous tips can be submitted on line at http://www.crimenb.ca/en/home or by phone at 1-800-222-tips (8477) or by mobility on the Bell and Telus network at *8477 and the Rogers network at #8477.

These tips are confidential and you may qualify for an award.

More information is available at the above link.

For urgent matters people can contact DFO at 1-800-565-1633 to report illegal fishing activity.

Thank you Doug and looking forward to seeing some more fish in the system.

Todd Davies, Fishery Officer – Renous, NB

From MSA: Hi All

As mentioned last week, tropical storm “Arthur” took out the trap nets at Metepenagiag (Red Bank), and word that the gill nets were back in the river spread rapidly. Adam Augustine, the Director of Operations for Metepenagiag, has graciously offered some information on what is happening with their fishery. He said the Little Southwest trap net has begun operation as of Monday July 21st.  The Northwest trap was completed yesterday but will not be fished until after this evening’s rain.

“The gill nets were put back in the river on July 14th and removed on July 18th.  This was due to the fact that the both trap nets were destroyed by the hurricane Arthur.  Before the storm, the trap nets only produced 1 grilse for the community.  During the power outage after the storm, we had lost our store of farmed salmon from Nagmis First Nation.  Chief and Council felt that in order to provide salmon to our community while the traps were down that gill nets would be used for a limited period of 5 days.  Our trap net crew worked overtime and during the weekend to ensure that our trap nets would be back up and fishing as soon as possible.  Our community remains committed to conservation and ensuring that the large female salmon continue on their journey upriver to spawn.”

“At this time, we would like to announce that we have a new Director of Fisheries.  Bill Ward was recently elected to council and has been appointed by Chief and Council to assume the roles and responsibilities associated with the fisheries portfolio for Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation.  He looks forward to working with Chief and Council to ensure that the management plan and vision that we have for our river is carried out and conservation is on the forefront.  He looks forward to meeting all of the other stakeholders in the Miramichi watershed.”

Thanks Adam for the update.

MSA Trap Net

The MSA trap net has not been producing as we had hoped but salmon and grilse are being tagged for the adult assessment.

Day/Date # Salmon # Grilse
Monday July 14th 2 6
Tuesday July 15th 10 8
Wednesday July 16th 8 3
Thursday July 17th Not fished Not fished
Friday July 18th 11 8
Monday July 21st 0 0
Tuesday July 22nd 1 1
Wednesday July 23rd 2 4


I have no official word from the Millerton and Cassilis traps but have heard Millerton had upwards of 50 fish on Sunday with numbers in the 20s Monday and Tuesday. Cassilis is in single digits I am afraid. I also have not received numbers from the Barriers for last week – will catch up next week. I did hear of people seeing and hooking fish throughout the watershed on the weekend so there appears to be a few waves entering the system.

Striped Bass
Just a reminder that a retention season for striped bass will open again on August 1st and run until the 21st. The retention limit is one fish a day with a possession limit of one – 50cm to 65cm size slot. Fishing will probably be best along the coast this time of year though we have reports of bass still being caught in the Southwest and Northwest Rivers and our trap near Chatham has been full of bass.

Warm Water Protocol
With more warm weather is in the forecast I thought I would remind you of DFO’s warm water protocol which they use as a guideline for river closures based on water temperatures. Basically if we have 48 hours where the minimum river temperature at Doaktown is 20 degrees or more then DFO will close 15 cold water holding pools. If we have 48 hours where the minimum water temperature is 23 degrees or more then DFO will impose morning fishing only. Let’s hope tonight’s rain will cool things down.

Proper Technique to Release a Salmon
Also with the warm water it is even more important to properly release your fish to ensure survival. To view a great video on the best techniques for live release go to Proper Techniques.

If you have not renewed your MSA membership for 2014 watch your mail box for your renewal notice. If you are not a member and would like to be please check out our web site at Become a Member.

And finally for those of you who have not visited us on Facebook I have attached a couple of pictures of some nice fish from our trap in Chatham. If you are on Facebook please “Like” us!

Tyler Coughlan with large female salmon July 16th 2014

Tyler Coughlan with large female salmon July 16th 2014

Tyler Coughlan with large female salmon July 16th 2014

Tyler Coughlan with large female salmon July 16th 2014

Enjoy this great weather,
Atlantic Salmon Federation News
Friday, July 18, 2014

ASF RIVERNOTES on 2014’s runs
Can we make assumptions about the year’s Atlantic salmon returns at this time? Check out the latest ASF Rivernotes for discussion and numbers.

ASF Research BlogUpdate
How do you follow up on salmon transmitters that may have ended up in a predator’s stomach?  Read more

Dams – The Alewife Story
Dams block more than Atlantic salmon to rivers. A restoration effort on the St. Croix involving ASF is helping to restore ecological health to an international boundary river.

US Federal Appeals Court Reverses Decision on Dam and Salmon Lawsuit in ME
A lawsuit involving the Kennebec River in Maine can proceed. Read more:

DFO and NL town at Odds over Salmon and Dam Responsibility
Maintaining fish passage is the obligation of dam owners, but the Town of Grand Bank in NL would like to think otherwise. Read more:

Wild Salmon Can Adapt to Climate Change
A fascinating tale of research from Norway that concludes Atlantic salmon are resilient and can survive our ongoing climate change.

Level Playing Field Needed for Aquaculture
A Letter in NS draws attention to the money being poured by government into support of open net-pen salmon farming
Hi Doug,
Just landed back home from Miramichi and got your fishing report. I only wish my report matched yours in any semblance or detail.

We fished 5 straight days, 13th to the 17th. We fished 2 to 3 pools a day from Doaktown to Blackville. From the Miramichi to the Cains to the Renous. Terrible is the greatest of understatements.

The finest speycasting fisherman and guide I know (west coast steelhead guide) was with us belting out 100’ casts flawlessly. Me and my other friend were hitting 80’ casts, 1 a minute, 60 per hour, in 4 hour increments, mornings and evenings (and some afternoons) the whole trip. We tried cossebooms, green machines, ally shrimp, sugarman shrimp, shady ladies, blue charms, undertakers, glitter bears, black bear green butts, and Christmas trees.

We caught nothing. Absolutely nothing.  3 guys with good proficiency, working harder than anyone we met up there and we did not connect with fish. (save 5 par and 3 chubs)

The other dozen plus people at the same lodge we were at the lodge had identical luck for the same days. We heard a father and his boy that had never fished for salmon before caught a grilse that week but not sure if they were at the lodge or if that was rumor from other establishments.

That’s our report. Spent $10,000 for three guys to fish 5 days and catch nothing. Dozen other people with the same story.

By the numbers: 60 casts an hour, 8 hours a day, (plus extra sessions)  5 days, 3 men =  2500 casts per person, 7500 total casts.

We should have tried Muskie instead, they are the fish of 10,000 casts and that would have been much, much easier.  We  fished in downpours, we fished in mosquito infested waters. We waded 100’ in if necessary. We fished every inch of the pools behind the museum, downtown Doaktown, the Orr pool and 7 others often multiple times.

Not sure we’ll be back to the Miramichi anytime soon as we’re broke and exhausted but we’ll see if morale improves in the coming months to give it another go next year. Thought you’d like the on-the-scene fishing report because what I saw isn’t matching what I hear.

I also notice that we use different terms than the NB folks. When something bumps your line (log, minnow, shad, riffle, rock) we call that a bump. In Miramichi they call that a bite. When some fish bites the line but doesn’t hook up, whether par, brook trout, striper or chub, we call that a bi-catch species nibble but the NB folks call that a hook up on a salmon. Everything seems a bit less accurate and more ambitious in the retelling of tales.
Troy Moritz
Hello Doug. Enjoy receiving your reports. We just returned yesterday from Stoney Brook on the North West crown reserve. We were very fortunate that we missed the storm. However, the previous party had quite a struggle getting thru the downed trees. The water & pools were very nice and a good height. One member of our party did hook a grilse, but basically fish were nonexistent, except for a few trout, as we did not hook or even see any other fish over the three days. I believe that this is one of the better crown reserve camps and in good shape.  It is a long drive off the main gravel road (approx 8-1/2 k/m), but the road was in good shape. Most pools are hard to reach but two very nice pools close to the camp. Hopefully fishing will improve for the next groups. Regards, Brian Richardson, Minto, NB
Hi Doug, you posted my note, wasn’t expecting that! But my sincere thanks for doing so! and setting it up so well!!…I want to make a financial contribution to what you are doing there, since you show such fine stewardship, it’s only appropriate and the least I can do. My sincere thanks for all you do and have done!
Your Friend,
Daniel Porter


Grilse from Doaktown Saturday July 12. Caught in the morning and on the bbq Saturday night. That’s what fishing is all about and the real purpose of fishing – food on the table.

Richard E. DeBow  Moncton

Until next week

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