Miramichi Fishing Report for Thursday, August 13, 2015

Angling was generally slower than last week, but we are moving into the “Dog-Days of August” and still there are fish in the system and a few fresh coming in daily, so all in all, it is positive.  Rain Tuesday night and Wednesday should help freshen the system.

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W. W. Doak and Sons in Doaktown said angling was a little slower this week than last as the water was low and warm.  However, cool nights gave temperatures a break with mornings registering between 62-64 Fahrenheit and increasing as the day went on.  Anglers were picking up a few bright fish mixed with darker fish that have been in the system a while.  Generally, there were good numbers of fish around, with good numbers of grilse being seen and hooked which was not the case last year.  This year the grilse are out-numbering the salmon.  They were glad to see rain on Wednesday to bring up the water levels.

Flies of choice were Same-Thing-Murrays, Glitter Bears, Bear Hairs, White-tailed Green Machines, and a variety of wet flies with glitter on nos. 8 & 10 hooks, along with Bombers.

Derek Munn of Ledges Inn in Doaktown and Mountain Channel in the Rapids area said angling was fair to good, but had been quite good on the weekend when 5 rods landed 19 fish at Ledges.  Cool nights certainly helped water temperatures and Munn felt that rain Wednesday, which was heavy in the headwaters, should bring the level up about a foot.

Flies of choice were Bombers (blue & white and brown & orange) as well as Christmas Trees and Undertakers in wets on nos. 8 & 10 hooks.

Great pic of Max Hutchison with a feisty grilse on at Ledges last weekend.

Great pic of Max Hutchison with a feisty grilse on at Ledges last weekend.

Herb Barry Sr. of Herb’s Fly Shop on the Station Road in Blackville said anglers were catching a few (a mix of bright and older fish) but at least the numbers were there.  It was certainly slower than last week, but he reminded that we are getting into the “Dog-Days of August” so considering, it was good.  The water was warm and low, but rain on Wednesday would certainly help.  Cooler nights had been the saving grace as far as temperatures were concerned.

Flies of choice were Black Ghosts, Shady Ladies, Bear Hairs with both red and green butts, White-tailed Green Machines and Glitter Bears in wets on no. 8 hooks along with Killer Whiskers.

Curtis Miramichi River Outfitting in Blackville said there were lots of fish around and anglers were seeing good numbers, but only catching a few.  The water was low, but morning temperatures were helping.  Rain Tuesday evening and Wednesday was welcomed.

Flies of choice were Blue Bombers, White-tailed Green Machines, Shady Ladies, Green-butt Bear Hairs, Same-Thing-Murrays, Carter’s Bugs, Bon Bons and Butterflies.

George Routledge of George’s Fly Shop at the Mouth of Renous in Quarryville said angling was slower than last week, but there were still some fish going and reported.  Anglers were picking up a few, but it was the fishermen that were hard to find, rather than the fish.  The water was low and warm, but rain Tuesday night and Wednesday should help conditions improve.  Generally, there were more grilse than salmon.

Flies of choice were Black Ghosts, Undertakers, Shady Ladies, Bear Hairs, Butterflies and Same-Thing-Murrays on nos. 6 & 8 hooks, along with a variety of Bombers.

Mark Hutchison with his first salmon this is one of 5 he hooked last weekend on a 2 day trip to Ledges.

Mark Hutchison with his first salmon this is one of 5 he hooked last weekend on a 2 day trip to Ledges.

Jim Laws of Miramichi Hunting and Fishing in Newcastle, Miramichi reported good numbers of fish around and being seen.  Anglers were catching a few, but the water was low and warm.  Only cooler night and some overcast days were saving the temperatures from getting too high.  He was counting on the rain to improve conditions.

Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines, Shady Ladies, Black Ghosts, Undertakers and Bear Hairs on nos. 6 & 8 hooks along with a selection of Bombers and Dry Flies.

Syd Matchett of Trout Brook Fly Shop on the Northwest Miramichi said angling was not too bad.  On the weekend several people limited out, and one angler at a camp limited out three days in a row.  The water was low and warm, but rain on Wednesday was certainly welcomed.

Syd was telling my friend Danny Sellers that I had hooked a salmon at Wayerton and Danny replied: “The river must be full of fish if Doug Underhill could hook a fish at Wayerton”.

Flies of choice were small Shady Ladies, White-tailed Green Machines, Green Machines with double butts, Bear Hairs on no. 8 hooks, along with some Bombers.

Debbie Norton of Upper Oxbow Outdoor Adventures on the Little Southwest Miramichi said anglers were still picking up some old fish, but the numbers coming in have slowed which is normal for the time of year.   Kenny Kyle and Shawn Betts of Fredericton caught fish on Monday using Dry
Flies and no. 10 Undertakers.  Stephanie Elson picked up a grilse Tuesday evening on a new fly called Paul’s Dream which had a mix of purple, Lime and red with no body in a Maribou pattern.  Norton said the rain had brought the river up about six inches, but it would likely drop four by Thursday.

Flies of choice were as mentioned above.

Alain Grenier caught this Salmon at Little Fork on the little Southwest last week

Alain Grenier caught this Salmon at Little Fork on the little Southwest last week

As we move into the middle of August, there are still good numbers of fish in the system and a few fresh ones dribbling in each day, so get out and “on the water”.

MSA Biologist Holly Labadie said that they have begun electro-fishing, and are checking for fry in areas where beaver dams were removed last fall.  They also are planning to remove more dams this year to allow salmon to get to the upper spawning grounds.  This is an on-going process of habitat restoration being undertaken by MSA.

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: “The two best times to fish is when it’s rainin’ and when it ain’t.” ~Patrick F. McManus

Well, imagine that, little to no locals on the rivers, reduced numbers of non resident sports catching fish, and poaching is up. I wonder what 1-2 tags per tax paying resident would have done to help keep what is obviously a significant rebound year safer and more productive. Be interesting to see how the coffers of GNB fair at year end, will the out of province license sales compensate or offset the rumored 50%++ drop in sales of resident licenses? Doom and Gloom I know, but the pulse on the ground is rather bitter and pessimistic, as evidenced by the recent MSA poll on their website, which one can safely assume was predominantly replied to by their own membership.

I’ve been out “on the water” a fair bit this year regardless, so on a positive note, I can report that I am seeing a lot of fish from Quarryville to Boiestown. They are taking short on me as I’ve yet to hook one (I’m likely just a poor fisherman), but the numbers at the counting nets and what is immediately obvious if one spends a day at any of the few remaining public pools on the MSW at least is that we are seeing the results of 2010/2011. Like anything in nature, it’s cyclical. I an optimistic for the next 2-3 years.
Matt Mersereau


Hey Doug,

Thought you would enjoy this footage I took with my GoPro on the weekend….I can’t give out the location, but it is in the Miramichi river area!


Sean Dolan


“For Immediate Release”

lumberjackThe Central New Brunswick Woodmen’s Museum, located in Boiestown, NB, will be hosting its Annual Professional Lumberjack Competition on Saturday, August 15th, 2015, beginning at 12 noon.  TimberSport competitors will be busy sharpening their axes and filing their cross-cuts for this one day Lumberjack Competition; which portrays the “skill and technique” of this amazing Sport. This competition will be event 5 of 7 sanctioned by the Maritime Lumberjack Association.

Marcel Dupius of Memramcook, NB (3-time current MLA Axe Champion, member of 2014 Stihl Team Canada World Silver Medalists, 2015 Stihl Canadian Champion) will be defending his 2014 Lumberjack Champion Title, against Nathan Cumberland of Keswick Ridge, NB (2013 and 2014 Stihl Canadian Rookie Champion, member of 2014 Stihl Team Canada World Silver Medalists, 2015 Stihl World Rookie Champion), his brother Ben Cumberland of Keswick Ridge, NB (2015 Stihl Canadian Rookie Champion), Scott Read of Truro, NS (2-time current MLA Sawing Champion), Rod Cumberland of Keswick Ridge (6-time MLA Axe Champion) and Mario Bourque of Saint-Paul, NB.  These Champions will take on the other competing members of the Maritime Lumberjack Association in Springboard Chop, Underhand Chop, Vertical Chop, Cross-Cut, Bowsaw, Axe Throw, Kettle Boil, Stock Saw and Hot Saw.

Melanie Bourque of Saint-Paul, NB will be back to defend her 2014 Title, against the 2015 Stihl Canadian Women’s Champion Janet Walker of Truro, NS and past Central New Brunswick Woodmen’s Museum champions Caitlyn Carroll of Truro, NS and newcomer Jenna McCoy of Fredericton, NB; as these lumberjills compete in Underhand Chop, Bowsaw, Stock Saw and Axe Throw.  And, one of them even has her own Hot Saw.

All eyes will be focused on the competition area as the Springboard Chop gets underway. Spectators will be in awe as the first springboard is set in place, the climbing begins, right down to the last chop. The Hot Saw event is always one of the highlights of the day. And, one of the ladies even has her own Hot Saw. Come watch her take on the boys in this NASCAR of the lumberjack world event. The Run-Cut-Split should keep this group on their toes as they endeavor to take the title of Top LumberJack/Jill.

Don’t forget the Masters Division (the only Masters Division in this Province) as 2 time champion Paul Woodland of Benton, NB looks to defend his title against Roger McPhee of Petticodiac, NB (MLA HofF), Louis Bourque of Rogersville, NB (future HofF), Marc DesRosier of Hay Settlement (MLA HofF), and Marty Merrill of Williamsburg, NB (MLA HofF) as they show that they can still get it done in the Underhand Chop, Vertical Chop and Bowsaw events.

Come dressed as a lumberjack/jill and you may win the Best Dressed Lumberjack and Lumberjill Competition. A BBQ will be available on site; and, a Supper of baked ham, scallop and beans will all be a part of this amazing day of lumberjack competition. Admission applies at the gate.

Join us for the sounds of the crosscut, chopping, and saws; and, a competition that will keep you sitting on the edge of your seat!

From the MSA

Hi All
The numbers at the Cassilis and Millerton trapnets have apparently dropped compared to what we have seen in July but are still good for August I am told. Many lodges/outfitters are reporting great fishing but we are also hearing of a lot of poaching taking place. If you see any illegal activity please report it at once – you can call your local DNR office and if it is after hours the call will ring into PMCC who will contact conservation officers. DNR local office number is 506.627.4050. You can also contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

MSA Trap Net
The MSA crew finished fishing the trap net at Chatham on July 30th with good catches but very warm water temperatures. On that final Thursday many fish were released without counting due to the heat.

Grilse(to 63 cm) Salmon (64+ cm)  Total
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 32 25 57
Friday July 17th Did not fish
Monday July 20th 0 0 0
Tuesday July 21st 4 3 7
Wednesday July 22nd  7 4 11
Thursday July 23rd  24 11 35
Friday July 24th 12 4 16
Monday July 27th 22 10 32
Tuesday July 28th 96 43 139
Wednesday July 29th 86 16 102
Thursday July 30th 15* 10* 25*
*Released about 30 more on Thursday due to warm temperatures

DFO Trap and Barrier Counts

DFO does post trap and barrier numbers the middle and end of each month – these can be found at http://www.inter.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Gulf/asir/count?period=0615&group=1 or click the DFO Salmon Counts Quick Link on our home page.

The number of salmon put through at Cassilis was the highest in the series (averaging back to 2002) with 253 salmon being counted. Similarly, grilse were the highest over the series with 1080 grilse put through – the next highest number was an average of 857 from 2007 – 2011.

Millerton beat the last two years with 340 salmon being put through but was lower than the 2007-2012 catches. Grilse numbers however are more than double the last three years with 869 grilse caught; but lower than the 2002-2011 averages.

Barrier Reports

The barriers are showing higher numbers than last year but fish may be holding up below due to warm temperatures.

Northwest Barrier – Total to Date – August 2nd  2015

Grilse(to 63 cm) Small Salmon (64-84 cm) Large Salmon(>84 cm) Total Small&  Large All  AtlanticSalmon Brook Trout
2015 to Date 161 43 19 62 223 639
Previous Year to Date 112 37 18 55 167 787

Dungarvon Barrier – Total to Date – August 2nd  2015

Grilse(to 63 cm) Small Salmon (64-84 cm) Large Salmon(>84 cm) Total Small&  Large All  AtlanticSalmon Brook Trout
2015 to Date 125 55 71 126 251 47
Previous Year to Date 58 15 36 51 109 25

The Minister’s Advisory Committee on Atlantic Salmon has released A Special Report on Wild Atlantic Salmon in Eastern Canada. It can be found at http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/media/infocus-alaune/2015/salmon/MACAS-CCMSA-eng.htm

Looking for salmon fishing opportunities and/or other helpful resources? Then don’t forget to visit to the “Resources for You” section of the MSA website. A featured tab on the MSA homepage, a single click gives you a one-stop shop for great information and resource material, including a list of popular Outfitters – many of whom still have have time open/available for this fishing season, a map showing GPS locations of 15 different public pools, links to various weekly Fishing Reports as well as the Crown Reserve website, and last but not least helpful hints and video on the best techniques for live releasing your fish.

Annual Fredericton Conservation Dinner – This year is indeed a milestone for the MSA Annual Fredericton Dinner – it is celebrating its 20th year on Wednesday, September 16th at the Fredericton Inn!  During the course of those two decades, many individuals have been recognized for serving the cause of conservation with great distinction, and this year, that tradition continues as we gather to pay tribute to Jim Hughson.

MSA would be extremely honoured to have you share this special tribute to Jim Hughson on this occasion together with his family, friends and colleagues.  Tickets are now on sale – $100 each; regular tables of 8 for $800; or “Conservation” tables of 8 for $1,000 by calling Jo-Anne at 506-457-2220 or email   Silent Auction/Raffle Reception starts at 5:30, dinner at 7:00, followed by an exciting Live Auction of fishing trips, fishing equipment, works of art and much, much more!

News Story

CBC recently carried a couple of stories on their TV news regarding the salmon situation and one containing an interview with Dan Bullock can be found online at http://www.cbc.ca/1.3179806.

Yours in Conservation,


Atlantic Salmon Federation News – Friday, Aug. 7, 2015

ASF RIVERNOTES -The Magic of a NL River, and How to Report NB Poachers
A special feature on the Main River, with the latest counting fence updates from across the range of Atlantic salmon in North America. RIVERNOTES also has details for reporting incidents of poaching in NB. Read more.

Report of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Atlantic Salmon Released
This past week the full report, with 61 recommendations, was released. ASF’s President Bill Taylor was vice-chair of the committee. For links to the report:

ASF Research Blog
ASF Researcher staff have been busy retrieving tracking receivers as well as gathering data related to another project involving tracking of alewives on the St. Croix, a Canada/US boundary river.

Smolt Survive the Dams but Die Downstream
A new study on smolt survival in Maine’s Penobscot River has discovered how smolt can survive passage past dams, but die of associated injuries downstream.

Until next week

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