Doug’s Christmas Shopping List

With the fishing season over and equipment taken care of, I’ll wrap up another year with my annual Christmas shopping suggestions for the angler.  But first a big THANK YOU to Terry Matchett of and his staff particularly Stacy Underhill and Les McLaughlin who make this possible and send it to you each week.

As well, I cannot forget our sponsors, organizations and donors who have support us in keeping this column going each year.  Without them this column would not be possible.

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I must also THANK my weekly contacts who are the real ones who make this report possible, as well as those who have submitted stories, photos and comments via e-mail.

santafishermanI’ve checked with my friends in the tackle shops and have an estimated price range for many items mentioned.  This column is the “clip and paste” on the fridge with certain items highlighted, as a sort of a hint.

With more and more ladies getting “on the water”, this might help the gentleman angler solve his Christmas shopping as well.

New in the last couple of years is the digital water thermometer.  It clips on the vest, looks like a small pen, you point it at the water, click it and have the temperature instantly.  A lot easier and quicker than the older models.  I believe they run in the $30-$40 range.

For many of the following items, check with W.W. Doak and Sons (365-7828) in the Doaktown area, Curtis Miramichi River Outfitting (843-2481) in Blackville, Herb’s Fly Shop (843-6354) in Blackville, George’s Fly Shop in Renous (622-8226), Miramichi Hunting and Fishing (622-3071) in Miramichi,  and Trout Brook Fly Shop (622-0676) on the Northwest for more detailed prices.

A visit to Bryant Freeman’s Eskape Anglers (386-6269) on Wentworth Street in Riverview is always fun.  Drop into Doug White’s Tammarach Fly Shop in Juniper for a selection of flies and angling equipment (246-5232).  Don’t forget Pro-Nature in Miramichi and Miramichi City Surplus.

First the big items.  Maybe a new rod may be in order. These could run anywhere from $100 to $1000.  I like the Emery Streamside Rods.  They offer a very good product at a reasonable price range $125 to $200.  Streamside has a four-piece rod with its own case, which is ideal to carry on an ATV, walking a trail to a favourite pool, or packing to travel.  They also have a very nice Streamside Elite, my favourite rod, that is a 10-footer, priced under $200, and it throws a very nice line. A nice 9-foot Streamside is the SS909 graphite with a five-year warranty.  Eskape Anglers has a nice selection of Redington Rods, and if you want a rod especially made for you, contact Luc Gagne at his shop (L & G Fly & Rod) in the Edmundston, NB area at 111, Route 161, Clair (Caron-Brook) NB, E7A 1X8 (506)992-3008 or

Next look at waders (George Routledge has some nice Emery Streamside Compac in hip, chest along with the breathable.  There are also the stocking-foot waders with the wading shoe, some with felt and studs, for both men and women, and neoprenes).  Syd Matchett carries a line of Snobees which are a good buy as well, and very light.

Then consider reels. (Emery Streamside puts out a nice affordable Classic Cast Deluxe at $50 to $100, along with the LA 3000 Legacy models.  I like the large arbor for quick reeling.  This series will cost from $250-$300).  Orvis also has a great line with a varying price range as does Redington.

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Rain suits: ($100), rain jackets ($35), rod cases where the reel stays attacked ($35-60), vests ($30-$100) (Emery has a beautiful new vest with detachable sleeves and more pockets than you can count in its Streamside wear, as well as an adjustable Lady’s vest), landing nets ($20-$50) (Try to get one that will not scratch the eyes of the fish), Bug Jackets ($25-$40), and Inflatable fishing vests with a pull cord to inflate immediately in case the water gets too deep unexpectedly or slips in fast water ($150), and a new fly line.

Now for the “also” category.  A new hat ($5-$20), polarized sunglasses ($15 -$25), pliers for removing the hook from the fish quickly and efficiently, not to mention protecting your own hands on from the fall hook bills (($10-$15), a new set of braces for the waders ($15), a good knife ($6-$10), or a really good one $60-70), tape measure preferable attachable to the vest ($5), thermometer and depth gauge (for the lake angler) ($10-$20) Fly boxes (plastic $10, aluminum $15-25), and a box with a dozen flies ($30).

Then there are the stocking stuffers.  These include retractable clippers ($5), landing gloves ($8-$10), Gink and Xink for making the flies float or sink ($5), dry fly spray ($5), scents ($ 5-$10), glasses holders ($3), hook sharpeners ($3), leather man micro tools ($30-$75), and new felts for the waders.  I picked up polarized sun glasses that clip on to the brim of your hat and just flip up & down much like the pro baseball outfielders use.  I found them most convenient.

This past year I picked up a simple, but extremely valuable item called “EZ-SPOOL” which wraps around your spool of leader, preventing it from becoming an unraveled mess in your vest pocket.  ($3-5).

For the reader there are angling books such as Wayne Curtis’ book OF EARTHLY and RIVER THINGS: An Angler’s Memoir  ($19.95  Goose Lane Editions), along with his previous  “Fly Fishing The Miramichi” and “River Guides of the Miramichi.”  Wayne has just launched a new Christmas collection of his stories about growing up in the festive season.  It is titled “Sleigh Tracks in New Snow: Maritime Christmas Stories” ($18.95 ) phone 1-800-646-2879.

Another “Must Have” is Morris Green’s new book  “160 years of Salmon Stories: The Atlantic Salmon Museum’s Hall of Fame” ($60.00) Contact Morris Green: 506-365-7847

There are also  David Adams Richards’ “Lines On The Water”, George Frederick Clarke’s “Song of The Reel” and “Six Salmon Rivers and Another”, Lee Wulff’s many books especially on dry fly fishing, Michael Brislain’s “Bugging The Atlantic Salmon”, “The Main Southwest Miramichi River” book of coloured maps marking pools and open water ($25.00) to the coffee table books such as Gary Anderson’s “Atlantic Salmon: Fact and Fantasy” or “The Atlantic Salmon and The Fly Fisherman”, and Timothy Frew’s “Salmon: The Angler’s Guide”($30-$40), James (JIM) Mariner’s TIGHT LINES MEAN BRIGHT FISH: THE LARRY’S GULCH STORY.

There are “The St. Mary’s and Other Waters” by Charles Widgery ($13.95), “Recollections” by Clayton Stanley Stewart, “Stillwater Fly Fishing” as well as several others by Paul C. Marriner, including his latest (and updated) Modern Atlantic Salmon Flies, “A Little Thing I Tied Myself” by Don MacLean ($19.95),  “Men of The Autumn Woods: The Golden Years” by Gerry Parker ($24.95)  and “Rivers of Yesterday” by Mike Parker.

I must add that I have a book titled SALMON COUNTRY: New Brunswick’s Great Angling Rivers which sells for $45.00 There are also angling videos ($20-$40), fly patches to hold flies ($4), and line cleaners ($3-5).  Don’t forget a measuring tape.

For the builder and tyer there are the rod building kits ($100-$150), salmon fly tying kit ($100-150), scissors, ($12-$30), bobbins (steel $6-$10, ceramic $15-$20), vices ($15-$200), and any number of fly tying materials from feathers, hackle, deer hair, capes, threads, yarns, head cement in a variety of colours, flash, from $2 to whatever, and boxes of 100 hooks ($6- $10, and doubles a bit more).

For the trout fishermen there are the lures ($2-$5), spinners ($1-$2), reels ($15-$20) and rods ($40-$100) and maybe a new creel ($10-$20).

Magazines: A subscription to, FlyFusion (based in Calgary) ($24.95 or “The Canadian Fly Fisher” ($18) (613) 966-8017 are excellent choices.

Now for the angler who has everything, try a salmon fly broach pin with a classic pattern.  These are good for hats, vests, or Jacket/shirt for both the male and female angler.

There are memberships in the Atlantic Salmon Federation which gives several glossy coloured magazines a year with excellent stories, not to mention that you are helping salmon conservation, memberships in one of the local salmon associations such as The Miramichi Salmon Association, The NB Guides Association,  the N.B. Wildlife Federation which has been in existence since 1924, the Moncton Fish & Game Club, the Dieppe Fly-Tyers or other clubs in your area.

The Atlantic Salmon Museum in Doaktown has memberships ($25 or cheaper if one belongs to a local association) which includes visiting rights to the museum and its Hall of Fame as well as eight newsletters throughout the year which give the news and counts from the rivers. (See their adopt a parr program)

You might consider pampering yourself and your wife by booking a vacation on the river at a salmon club or lodge such as Ledges Inn (Doaktown), Wilson’s Fishing Camps, Upper Oxbow Outdoor Adventures, Red Rock Lodge, Metepenagiag Lodge, Country Haven Lodge, and any numbers of others.  A day to a week might be out of this world in your own back yard.  We book elsewhere, so why not at home!

Some of the fly tyers such as Dewey Gillespie, Jack Kitchen or Jacques Heroux will make up beautifully framed and mounted classic salmon flies, which are very classy in any room or office.  As well, many of the angling shops mentioned above will put together Christmas Fly packages for you.  They make a nice gift.

PLANNING A Christmas party or an anglers’ meeting or dinner, contact MAC’S SEAFOOD MARKET  in Miramichi 1-506-778-0165.

Stock up for Christmas or even your weekly groceries at DEALS 4 U in Miramichi, and don’t forget to CHRISTMAS SHOP for those special CUBAN CIGARS for special occasions and fishing friends.

For the person who has everything, Mark Hambrook of the MSA suggests sponsoring a transmitter for a kelt heading out to sea for $500.  The person to whom it is registered get updates about the fish every time it passes a code reader.  It would be nice to track your own fish. (506-633-1781).

Book a stay at DAYS INN MIRAMICHI where they have “Fishing Packages Available” (1-866-463-0748).

I hope this makes your Christmas shopping a little easier.  I would like to thank all you have helped make this column the fun it has been.  Until next season, plan to be “on the water”, and don’t forget to attend the annual 2015 Dieppe Fly Fishing Forum and outdoors Sportsman Show in Moncton (usually a Saturday and Sunday at the very end of March and/or start of April).  This year’s event will be held at the Moncton Colisium and is combined with the “Boat Show”.  Check out the program at (and then click on either the English or French “Welcome/Bienvenue)   It is a great way to get into the mood for getting back “on the water.”

We had a very successful season with numbers of subscribers approaching 1,800.  The report on my website received 21,500 unique visits and had 423,000 hits.  This is not counting those who do not have a computer and had arrangements for a friend or relative to print off the report each week for them.  WE have subscribers from across Canada, the US, Europe, South Africa and New Zealand.  Thanks to all of you.  Tell your friends to sign up for next season.  It’s FREE!

From the MSA:
Hi All

Another season comes to a close. A late season flurry of fish should give us all hope. As you may have already heard, both branches of the river experienced a measurable fall run, with the Southwest Miramichi receiving the largest number of fish. DFO has published counts at the barriers and traps as of October 15th and hope to have salmon counts for the rivers in December.

Grilse Counts as of Oct 15th 2014

2011 2012 2013 2014
Northwest Barrier 966 206 236 198
Cassilis Trapnet
Millerton Trapnet
Dungarvon Barrier 680 166 239 114


Salmon Counts as of Oct 15th 2014

2011 2012 2013 2014
Northwest Barrier 295 141 250 66
Cassilis Trapnet
Millerton Trapnet
Dungarvon Barrier 308 128 289 83


The Dungarvon Barrier was out for 19 days following the July 5th storm thus numbers are not representative of the actual numbers that went through. Both barriers were removed October 16th as heavy rain was forecast for the 17th. Approximately 40% of the total salmon and 54% of the total grilse on the Southwest arrived after September 1st. On the Northwest approximately 40% of both the total salmon and grilse arrived after September 1st.

Carleton County Conservation Dinner – a new MSA Conservation Dinner is being held on Thursday, November 6th, 2014, at the picturesque Covered Bridge Golf Club in Hartland, NB. Like other MSA fundraising events, the evening will offer a fun and relaxing way to support the MSA’s important salmon conservation programs. Tickets are only $40 each or $75/couple and include a roast beef buffet dinner, fun raffles and an entertaining live auction.  Reserve your ticket(s) today by calling the MSA at 506-457-2220

The Vince Swazey Roast – “it will take a lot of roasting to tenderize this ole bird”, so says Vince Swazey, long time MSA Director and a true salmon aficionado,. This sure to be fun “Roast”, being held on Saturday, November 15th, 2014, at the Woodsmen’s Museum in Boiestown, NB, wll include a reception, a home cooked turkey dinner, a small raffle & auction and of course the highlight of the night; a good ole roasting by some of Vince’s best (or worst) friends. At only $40 each or $75/couple, tickets will sell fast for this one-time event so reserve yours today by calling the MSA at 506-457-2220.

Your SalmonLetter is in the mail – be sure to watch your mail box for the latest issue of the MSA SalmonLetter. This issue includes a reprint of MSA Chairman David Wilson’s remarks at the recent Fredericton MSA Dinner, at which time he recognized Keith Ashfield, MP, for his contributions to salmon conservation plus called upon the Prime Minister to establish a ‘Wild Atlantic Salmon Action Plan’. Also featured is an article on the recent work done by the MSA to enhance the cold water influences of Donnelly Brook (sorry, we got the ‘before and after’ photos reversed). You’ll also read about other exciting activities carried out in the field this fall.

The MSA Field Crew is finishing up our 2014 Beaver Dam removal program. I will have some figures for you next time but it was great to hear from the crew of the fish waiting at the dams for a breach to help them up the river. Spawning is continuing at the Miramichi Salmon Conservation Centre. Many salmon have already spawned but some of the fish from later rivers are still waiting. You can still visit the hatchery and watch the spawning or just see some large fish – call ahead at 506-622-4000.

Yours in Conservation
Nola Chiasson

Atlantic Salmon Federation News
Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

ASF RIVERNOTES – An update on fall runs and a consideration of binoculars for salmon fishing
The latest ASF RIVERNOTES has an update on Margaree fishing, plus interesting salmon numbers for a couple of New Brunswick rivers, and a feature on compact binoculars for that salmon fishing kit.

ASF’s Photo Contest for “In the Water” Live Release
The contest deadline of Oct. 31 is coming right up, so see details for sending along any last entries.

Research Blog Update – The rain upsets plans

Cobequid Salmon Association Continues to Restore Rivers
With the help of federal funding, this organization is continuing its river restoration work.

Awards for ASF Regional Directors
Two ASF Regional Directors have recently received awards for their work; John Burrows in Maine, Lewis Hinks in Nova Scotia.

Salmon Restoration Money Goes to Fundy Park and Cooke
ASF’s Jon Carr points out need for better understanding of mortality at sea.

Selling Wild Salmon Down the River
The New Brunswick Conservation Council and Friends of the Earth have released their comments on proposed changes to aquaculture regulation regarding pesticide use and the buildup of wastes by open net-pen aquaculture

Been working too much this summer, but finally made time for a new blog post:
Still to come: June, July and September Miramichi trips.
Very best,
Gary Tanner

Thought for the Winter: “Most of the world is covered by water. A fisherman’s job is simple: Pick out the best parts.” Charles Waterman

Merry Christmas & Tight Lines Always

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