Miramichi Fishing Report for Thursday, July 23, 2015

This week’s report is very positive.  After the end of the heat last week and several rainy days this week, water conditions have improved.  There has been a general raise of water any where from 6 to 14 inches, and temperatures are down to the low 60s Fahrenheit.  And, there are fish!

Danny Munn with a nice July salmon

Danny Munn with a nice July salmon

Byron Coughlan of Country Haven Lodge between Quarryville and Blackville said the river is full of fish   with close to 100 landed from Quarryville to the Mouth of Cains alone on Sunday.  Basically, everyone who is fishing since Thursday has been seeing more fish than they have in a long time.  So that sets the tone for this week.

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Although most know that last week’s fishing closures have been cancelled, here is the official document:

Notice to Recreational Anglers

Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Gulf Region

Salmon angling on the Miramichi River system

Moncton – July 17, 2015 – Fisheries and Oceans Canada wishes to inform the public that the following salmon fishing pools will reopen to angling for all species of fish, due to improved water conditions and favorable forecast in the Miramichi River system. These changes will be in effect as of Saturday, July 18, 2015:

  • Wildcat Brook pool on the Northwest Miramichi River;
  • Trout Brook pool on the Northwest Miramichi River;
  • Harris Brook pool on the Little Southwest Miramichi River;
  • Parks Brook pool on the Little Southwest Miramichi River;
  • Gray Rapids Brook pool on the Southwest Miramichi River, an area locally known as Pete’s Brook;
  • Hudson Brook pool on the Southwest Miramichi River;
  • Bartholomew River pool on the Little Southwest Miramichi River, including the waters of the Bartholomew River upstream to the Highway # 8 bridge;
  • Mersereau Brook pool on the Southwest Miramichi River;
  • Morse Brook pool on the Southwest Miramichi River;
  • McKenzie Brook pool on the Southwest Miramichi River;
  • Black Brook pool on the Southwest Miramichi River;
  • Donnelly Brook pool on the Southwest Miramichi River;
  • Mill Brook pool on the Southwest Miramichi River;
  • Big Hole Brook pool on the Southwest Miramichi River;
  • Betts Mills Brook pool on the Southwest Miramichi River;
  • Porcupine Brook pool on the Southwest Miramichi River;
  • Waters of the Renous River at the pump house – N 46.86483, W 65.67698 (WGS 84);
  • Butty’s Brook pool on the Renous River, an area locally known as Duffy’s Brook;
  • Otter Brook pool on the Cains River, an area locally known as Brophy’s Place;
  • Cold Brook pool on the Cains River;
  • Salmon Brook pool on the Cains River;
  • Muzeroll Brook pool on the Cains River;
  • Six Mile Brook pool on the Cains River;

Please note that the following salmon harvesting pools will remain closed until December 31, 2015:

  • Confluence of Sutherland Brook and Northwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Sutherland Brook upstream to the Highway 420;
  • Waters of the Southwest Miramichi River in Quarryville, including Indian Town Brook from its confluence with the Southwest Miramichi River, upstream to Highway 108 bridge;
  • Confluence of Wilson Brook and Southwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Wilson Brook of its mouth, an area locally known as the Bear Den;

For complete details on these pools, please refer to Gulf Variation Order 2015-055. The Orders Registry is available online at: Orders Registry – Order summaries for existing fisheries

To report any suspicious fishing activity, please contact the nearest Conservation and Protection detachment in the Gulf Region or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

For more information on this fishery, please contact:

Pierre Bélanger
Senior Advisor, Recreational Fisheries
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Moncton, NB
(506) 851-2002

Doug White’s Tammerack Sports Fly Shop in Juniper was not available for comment.

W. Doak and Sons in Doaktown said angling is certainly better than last week.  The water had come up a foot in the Doaktown area and about 1 ½ feet in the Blackville vicinity.  Temperatures were in the low 60s Fahrenheit.  Anglers were catching from Quarryville right through to Boiestown.  Late last week, one camp reported a 46-inch salmon and a 42-incher.  Generally, there was a good mix of salmon and grilse being caught.

Flies of choice were Same-Thing-Murrays, Glitter Bears, Undertakers, Butterflies and White-tailed Green Machines on nos.4 & 6 hooks.

Derek Munn of Ledges Inn in Doaktown and Mountain Channel in the Rapids area said angling had picked up after the warm weather left, and was very good.  Mountain Channel had landed 32 fish in three days, and as many more were lost and seen jumping.   The water temperature was in the low 60s Fahrenheit and had come up about 14 inches.  They were also catching in the Doaktown area.  With more rain this week, fishing should continue to be on the positive side.

Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines, Black Bugs with green butts, Shady Ladies, Same-Thing-Murrays and Undertakers.

Herb Barry Sr. of Herb’s Fly Shop on the Station Road in Blackville said the water was up and was a good temperature.  Anglers were seeing and catching decent numbers of fish.  With thunder showers Wednesday the water should remain fresh and at a good level.  A good mix of salmon and grilse were being caught.

Flies of choice were Green Rats, Preachers, Undertakers, Same-Thing-Murrays and White-tailed Green Machines on no. 6 hooks.

Curtis Miramichi River Outfitting in Blackville said there was lots of good news this week.  The water was up at least a foot and holding and the temperature of it had dropped to very fishable levels.  Anglers were catching good numbers of both salmon and grilse.  One salmon weighed in the 25-pound range.  Canoeing conditions were also good.

Flies of choice were those with blue such as Blue Charms and Blue Bombers, along with White-tailed Green Machines, Same-Thing-Murrays and Undertakers.

George Routledge of George’s Fly Shop at the Mouth of Renous in Quarryville said fishing was good with mostly grilse being caught, although there were some salmon in the 8-12 pound range.  The water had come up and had cooled.

Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines, Shady Ladies, Black Ghosts, Same-Thing-Murrays, Undertakers and Bear Hairs on no. 6 hooks.

Jim Laws of Miramichi Hunting and Fishing in Newcastle, Miramichi reported a raise of at least one foot of water with a corresponding drop in temperatures.  Anglers were seeing a lot more fish and doing some catching since the weather had cooled with a good mix of both salmon and grilse.

Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines. Hairy Marys, Black Ghosts, Undertakers, Shady Ladies and Same-Thing-Murrays.

Syd Matchett of Trout Brook Fly Shop on the Northwest Miramichi said the water had risen and was now a good height and temperature, so angling should be good.  Anglers were reporting half decent catches along the system, but it was mostly from Crown Reserve and the camps as there were still not a lot of locals out.

Flies of choice were Bombers, White-tailed Green Machines, Shady Ladies, Undertakers, and Bear Hair Hairs on no. 6 hooks.

Debbie Norton of Upper Oxbow Outdoor Adventures on the Little Southwest Miramichi said they had received a nice rain and more was on the way.  Water levels had come up at least six inches and the temperature of it had dropped.  They had picked up three grilse after the heat wave.

Flies of choice were White—tailed Green Machines with Angel Hair butts.

So with good water conditions and temperatures, as well as fresh fish coming into the system each day, it is time to get out and “on the water”.

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 Market to get fresh-cooked lobster and all your seafood needs!

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

Thought for the Week: “There is no greater fan of fly fishing than the worm.”  –Patrick F. McManus


Thanks for posting my note about missing gear. I’m happy to say my gear has been returned safe and sound!  Cheers…Matt Weir


Hi Doug,

Last week I decided to bring my 14-year old son, Theo, to Wilson’s and introduce him to Salmon fishing. We live in Montreal and spend time at our cottage in Cape Brulé every summer and decided to call Keith Wilson to try our luck on Friday July 10th. Are we ever glad we did!

We arrived on Thursday night and were told that the water was low and water temp. was above 70 degrees F. Thursday evening produced no fish but Friday morning was a different story. We were on the water at 8am and by 9:15am we had hooked three grilse and landed and released two. Our guide Henry Stewart was a great help and wonderful company.

Great father and son day on the Main River.

The grilse were all hooked on a No.8 Green Machine with a bit of flashing in the tail.

Here’s a photo of yours truly with Henry Stewart with Theo on the camera. I am also including another snap of the river at Wilson’s. Great moments and memories for the future.

Many thanks —

Ben and Theo Forcier


From Miramichi Salmon Association

Hi All

As a note of interest I wanted to share with you some very interesting results of a poll we are running on our website. The question was “Do you support the mandatory Live Release of both salmon and grilse?” The split was very close with just a few more in support that against.

  • Yes, I fully support Live Release (31%, 61 Votes)
  • No, and I won’t fish salmon any longer because of it (23%, 44 Votes)
  • No, I don’t believe Live Release will make a difference (22%, 42 Votes)
  • Yes, but only in years when counts are below spawning requirements (17%, 33 Votes)
  • No, but I will abide by the regulation (8%, 15 Votes)

Almost one quarter of respondents have quit fishing salmon because of the Live Release regulation. DNR reportedly has shown a marked decrease in license sales as well.

Pool Closures – Warm Water Protocol

I must apologize for my quick e-mail last night but we were having internet problems at the office and I wanted to get the notice out to everyone. As mentioned DFO has closed 23 cold water holding pools on the Miramichi system. The protocol to reopen the pools is 2 days of temperatures below 20 degrees C – and the forecast would have to be favourable as well with cooler temperatures and/or some rain predicted. That said when I spoke with DFO on Tuesday they told me they were going to be closing the pools and thought it would be for a week or so based on the forecast – and they don’t want to have to issue variation orders every few days. To see the list of closed pools go to our website at Pool Closures.

The warm water protocol is a guideline for river closures based on water temperature. Basically if we have 48 hours where the minimum river temperature at Doaktown is 20 degrees Celcius (68F) or more then DFO will close 23 cold water holding pools. If we have 48 hours where the minimum water temperature is 23 degrees Celcius (73.4F) or more then DFO will impose morning fishing only.

Water temperatures at Doaktown reached a high of above 25C five days in a row and have been at highs of 24C and 23C the last two days. The salmon will undergo great stress at these temperatures and we encourage people to respect the closures.

Last night was the first night the temperature dipped below 20C in a week hitting approximately 18C. When air temperatures drop at night to 10 – 12 degrees, the water temperature does have a chance to get below 20 degrees and thus the salmon have a break.

To monitor the water temperatures a link can be found on our site at www.miramichisalmon.ca under Quick Links. The monitoring stations are at Doaktown on the Southwest, Upper Oxbow on the Little Southwest and at Trout Brook on the Northwest, and they update hourly to the site – 7 days a week.

MSA Trap Net

I have not heard the numbers being caught by DFO at the Millerton and Cassilis traps but I know that due to high temperatures they have not been tagging any. Temperatures at our trap in Chatham have been hovering around 20C and the salmon we catch are still very lively. We will continue to watch and should the temperatures rise or the majority of fish seem to be in stress we will not set the net.

As mentioned previously we do not know what percentage of the total run is being caught in this trap but it would be reasonable to estimate we are catching 1-4% of the total number of fish going up the river. The fish we catch are being tagged and returned to the river as part of the Mark-Recapture stock assessment carried out by DFO. Any fish the crew feels are struggling are not tagged.


(to 63 cm)


(64+ cm)



Monday June 29th 8 4 12
Tuesday June 30th 16 11 27
Wednesday July 1st 15 15 30
Thursday July 2nd 0 2 2
Friday July 3rd 13 7 20
Monday July 6th 12 4 16
Tuesday July 7th 11 8 19
Wednesday July 8th 13 6 19
Thursday July 9th Not Fished
Friday July 10th 29 10 39
Monday July 13th 10 4 14
Tuesday July 14th 8 2 10
Wednesday July 15th 16 11 27
Thursday July 16th
Friday July 17th

The crew is presently fishing the trap so I will report today’s numbers next week.

Barrier Reports

There was a large jump in numbers of fish making it to the traps the week of July 6th – 12th. And numbers are up compared to the same time last year at both barriers.

Northwest Barrier – Total to Date – July 12th 2015


(to 63 cm)

Small Salmon

(64-84 cm)

Large Salmon

(>84 cm)

Total Small

&  Large

All  Atlantic




2015 to Date 85 31 14 45 130 617
Previous Year to Date 71 30 14 44 115 765

Dungarvon Barrier – Total to Date – July 12th 2015


(to 63 cm)

Small Salmon

(64-84 cm)

Large Salmon

(>84 cm)

Total Small

&  Large

All  Atlantic




2015 to Date 61 28 50 78 139 23
Previous Year to Date 40 10 29 39 79 23

This time last year the Dungarvon Barrier had been washed out by the hurricane.

Crime Stoppers

I have been getting reports of illegal netting and passing these on to DFO Conservation Officers. Unfortunately it is well after the fact and chances of catching someone is limited. They have requested that if people see or hear anything they suspect is illegal to call Crime Stoppers right away –  Crime Stoppers will then call the Conservation Officers and they will be able to investigate while the suspicious activity is in progress. The number to call is 1-800-222-8477.

I have been hearing good reports from both the Northwest and Southwest systems of fish being seen, hooked and caught. Our President just returned from Crown Reserve with his party catching 5 grilse over the two days.  Maybe those who have decided to give up fishing due to mandatory hook and release will get the bug again – yours in conservation.


Atlantic Salmon Federation News
Friday, July 17, 2015

ASF RIVERNOTES Finds Patterns Emerging in 2015 Salmon Returns


A wealth of scientific and anecdotal information this week is finding interesting patterns of returns emerging. Read more

ASF Research Blog – Attending a Fish Telemetry Conference

ASF Researchers attended a fish telemetry conference this week and examined a new design of fish counting barrier on the West River-Sheet Harbour.


Scientists to Study “Rock Snot” Proliferation

A five-year study supported by a $125,000 grant is under way to better understand why Didymo or “Rock Snot” is expanding – and the impact on salmon populations. The Matapedia and Restigouche are central to the study.


Funding Announced for PEI Habitat Conservation Projects

Six projects, including some on PEI salmon rivers, have received new financial support. Read more.


Investigation Reveals More Illegal Salmon Netting in NL

Thirteen untagged Atlantic salmon were found when two ATVs were investigated.
Read More – and photo.


Until next week,

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