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- Country Haven has increased the number of Private fishing pools accessable by our guests from 22 to 27
thereby offering access to a greater variety of private Wild Atlantic Salmon fishing pools in the Province.
Throughout every season we entertain guests from around the world, with close to 90% returning annually. Not too many spring guests fish in the summer and fall - and vice versa. The spring fishing season - like the birds - also brings hundreds of long-time-returning anglers to the Miramichi every spring - some from around the world but the majority from the New England states of the USA. Spring Fishing for Atlantic Salmon on the Miramichi has been a tradition for generation after generation and continues annually. Mike Price from Weston Mass. made his first visit in 1962 - to Tom Boys fishing lodge! He was hooked and has returned every year since, - spending many years at Tom Boys then at Black Rapids Lodge and over the past 15 Years, with us here at Country Haven. Mike is just one of hundreds who have called the Miramichi River "home" in the spring for as long as they can remember. Mike has seen good times and some less than good but is very happy with his fishing results this season which is great news coming from a fellow with 55 years experience spring fishing on the Miramichi.
This final week was an "up and down" week starting out with decent fishing on both the Main and the Cains rivers but by mid-week we finally got the long awaited rain that we were hoping for most of the summer, making for poor conditions for two out of the last three days of the season. On the final day however, things picked up with some nice salmon landed. These past two seasons - with the rise in water - it would have probably been good to have extended seasons as it looks like better fishing conditions are now finally perfect with good numbers of fish moving in but what is to be will be - at least for the salmon - with lots of water to travel and getting up the rivers to spawn. This was another good week as large Salmon were taken on both the Main and Cains rivers and we had another great week of casting clinics. Andrew and Nancy Moy are simply the best - always helpful with everything to do with casting or equipment - helping out in every way. For anyone interested in lessons or going on any of their guided fly fishing trips around the world, visit their Fly Shop at tightlinesflyfishing.com.
Flies of choice this week were Ally’s Shrimp, General Practitioner and Copper Killer .
Tight Lines from the Miramichi.
When fishing the Cains River, it is interesting to occasionally see a different look of the Cains River Salmon. Many of the Salmon have what we call the "Cains River Look" to them as some can be very dark whether they have been in the river a long time or not. Some may still have sea lice meaning they came in from salt water within a few days even though they do not look like it.
Here are photos of two Cains Salmon, landed in the same pool on the same day - One male the other female - but what a difference in colour! Both proved to be great fighters for these first-time Atlantic Salmon fishermen from New York city.
After this season, all we can say is "Thanks"! "Thanks" to so many returning and new Guests! "Thanks" to our wonderful Guides and Staff and "Thanks" to everyone who helped out in any way in making this season as successful as it could be considering the conditions we had to contend with for much of the season. In the last 18 years this was, by far, our most challenging season with such unpredictable weather conditions starting in Spring with late ice out, then receiving our entire season's rain in April and May which resulted in higher-than-normal water conditions all spring. The guides who are, by far, 2nd-to-none on the river, did everything possible to provide guests with a successful trip, even if conditions were not in their favour so overall we ended up with a much better-than-expected spring season with good fish numbers landed.
June started out with a "bang" with good conditions and some nice Salmon landed on the River early. Some people compared the start to the great season of 2011 but by mid-July, we started having our hottest weather on record which continued for much of the summer, breaking records for Eastern Canada and the State of Maine. It was not until later into August that we started enjoying cooler weather and improved fishing - but never any amount of rain to speak of until the very last week of the season. With the hot weather, many of the July and August runs just did not come in as they normally do and when conditions did improve a bit in September, they arrived fast and in good numbers, making for some decent fishing in September and October, with fresh fish still arriving on the closing day of the season. Many people believe - especially in this year’s conditions - that Salmon continue to arrive into the river long after the season is finished when the counters are removed. On a positive note, there was a good run of large salmon this season - good for the fishermen but unfortunately lower catches of Grilse and Parr may not be so good in the long term for the river. Even though the season could have been so much better with improved conditions it actually turned out much better than we expected it might have way back in August. We feel we have some of the best water for every condition on the system. We have some of the best guides and staff anywhere, but still would not be successful without so many wonderful guests each season. From all of us here at Country Haven, "Thanks" again for another successful season on the Miramichi we so look forward to seeing you all again in 2019.
This Week was the first of our two USA "Spey Weeks" hosted by tightlinesflyfishing.com. This annual event is always a great time with the fishing, friends and daily clinics. Over this past week, the better fishing was still in the lower stretches of the Main River but with a small bump in water levels, we started catching Salmon again in the Upper Blackville area. It was good to see the fish moving up again which should make for better fishing further up the river and much better for us to now have more fishable water throughout the system. With the bump in water we also enjoyed seeing and having better results further up the Cains - making for wilderness experiences as well as daily wildlife sightings. With only one week remaining in the current season we are looking forward to another good fall week on the water. Flies of choice varied a bit more this week as everyone was trying the Kinner Mony Killer, with good results along with slightly larger traditional summer and fall flies. Fish were landed on a number of different flies.
Tight Lines from the Miramichi.
This was another week of having only a select number of our pools producing due to the lower water but if fishing the Miramichi means using these locations, we are by far located in the better stretchs of the system to pick up some fish as they tend to keep holding up in the lower stretchs of the system. As the days go by, more and more fish are starting to hold with better daily count numbers going through the Millerton counters. Some very big fish are in the system this season but again, this week is not looking like there are many grilse in the system. .This week we saw some real beauties landed in the Orr Pool, Gray Rapids, Black Rapids and White Rapids stretch of the river but everyone would love to have a bump in water levels to finish off the season. We have access to a good selection of fishing water upriver, on the Renous and especially the Cains River and the Guides are watching the weather daily and trying all there favourite fall patterns like the Mickey Finn, General Practitioner, Ally's Shrimp and Copper Killer. Even with the good luck they are having on the lower stretches of the river system, it is still disappointing to know that they would probably double their fish catches if they had better water conditions on the tributaries. For people booking October trips to upriver lodges, the fish are coming in daily now. Most are holding but some are still moving through the off tides and during the nights so all we need is a bit more water rise and the upriver lodges could enjoy some of the best fishing this season - especially as many of the larger salmon will probably be on the move upriver. We continue to still have the best luck using the traditional summer flies most of the time but Steven Cuthbert from England landed 10 salmon and 1 grilse on his Kinner Mony Killer a UK fly. This past week our fishing guests enjoyed some great casting instructions by Certified Casting Instructors Bryan Martin and Brian Warrington . devonflyfishing.co.uk
Every week seems a little different and always fun and with so many returning guests, always some great Celebrations for events like "Employee of the year voting" and "Guest Birthdays". This week, Charlie Rawlings from the UK and Charlie Mosher celebrated their birthday fishing. When Charlie Mosher, from New Mexico, visited with us for the first time to celebrate his 80th birthday, he landed his first Atlantic and has since returned for 9 consecutive seasons to celebrate - always trying to catch a bigger one each season of course. Charlie, we look forward to your 90th next season..
Tight Lines from the Miramichi.
Love the fall fly fishing and the number of returning guests to the river each season. With the cooler weather and a bit of a bump in water levels, fishing for this coming week should improve. Once again this past week we saw the best fishing on the lower stretches of the Main River System with some nice Salmon in the estuary. At Country Haven we offer a number of activities that all guests can enjoy but with the abundance of Private water, we specialize in Fly Fishing for Wild Atlantic Salmon and offer a number of packages ranging from "single fishermen self-catering cottages" to "All-Inclusive Corporate events including flights and airport Shuttle service". This past week we enjoyed a great week of music & fishing as we welcomed the USA "Fishing Musicians" - what a great bunch with so much travel from different locations every year. We are just so lucky to have so much musical talent on the Miramichi. Flies of choice this week were #8 Undertakers, and Bear Hairs - wet, Peach Carter Bugs, and White & Green Bombers - dry. This coming Week we will be hosting our annual UK Spey week with the majority of the anglers from the UK including many returnee’s - always a good time had by all. .
"Tight Lines" from the Miramichi.
September is a month when we can normally expect some good runs of Atlantic salmon but with the conditions we have been experiencing much of the summer, they are arriving but not in large numbers as normal and they are only holding up in the lower stretches of the Main Southwest Miramichi River system, so I guess we are lucky to have some good holding pools in this stretch of river. As the fall arrives, conditions should improve along with the fishing. Flies of Choice are still the small summer patterns such as Undertakers, Bear Hairs and, as always, Bombers.
"Tight Lines" from the Miramichi.
We had another tough spell for fishing with not many fresh fish moving in due to warmer water temperatures once again. The pools that were full of fish produced very well after the last rain but slowed again daily until now. With the cooler weather we started receiving this week, fishing has now turned on "big time" as the holding fish are taking again so more and more of the fall runs are now arriving every day. The water is now cool and is still at a good height on the lower stretches of the Main River system and the forecast saying that rain will be coming for Tuesday should make conditions ideal for the rest of the river system and the tributaries like the Cains, for the remainder of the fishing season. Flies of choice are still Bombers for dry and #10 Bumble Bee for wet fishing. If the forecast remains as predicted, there will be a lot of happy guides and anglers on the river.
"Tight Lines" from the Miramichi.
With a bump in water levels along with cooler temperatures, all of our guests landed fish this week with some of them limiting out. Some very nice fish were landed and most of them were holding fish that started moving after the cooler temperatures. There were a few fresh fish with sea lice landed on the river so we should see many more arrivals with the full moon approaching and resulting high tides. It’s always special to have beginners land Salmon on their first try. Honeymooners Christian & Cailey Desforges from Ottawa landed 2 each on their very first morning. They say Salmon fishing trips just might become Anniversary gifts to each other in coming years. Although anglers hooked over 50 Salmon and Grilse this past week, almost all were landed on wet flies until yesterday. With the water again falling and warming a bit, Brown & White Bombers and Peach Carter bugs were the flies of choice yesterday.
"Tight Lines" from the Miramichi.
Wow! What a great morning to be on the Miramichi! Lots of water, great water temperatures and lots of moving fish that were holding in the cold water pools. With these conditions we should also start seeing some fresh new arrivals over the next few days - these are the best looking conditions since June!
Some of the cold water holding pools were holding thousands of fish and we expect some are heading for the upper stretches on the Main River and many of the Black Brook fish are probably heading for the Cains so we should expect the best fishing upriver over the next few days before seeing any great numbers of fresh arrivals - probably by mid to late next week - if improved conditions continue.
Each season we enjoy receiving many guests from around the world, some with and some without Fly Fishing experience, but with the world-class guide service we provide our guests, those without experience will always feel they have received the best instruction and experience possible during their stay with us. We take pride in teaching beginners - what with our large facilities and abundance of private fishing waters - however we also accommodate large Corporate events as well. Our guides still enjoy the thrill of every fish landed as if it was their very first, especially with kids. I can tell the difference on the guides' faces when returning from the river whether they have had success or not. We feel so blessed to have so many fine guides working for us, along with so many wonderful guests who return to the Miramichi each season - generation after generation - and there is nothing nicer to see than Fathers, Sons and Grandfathers enjoying each other's experience - together! The conditions are improving and hopefully will result in a busy and successful remainder of the season for everyone who visits the Miramichi area. Talking about tradition... a trip to visit us by automobile through the State of Maine should always include a stop at L.L. Bean's in Freeport, also a stop in Doaktown at the famous Doaks Fly Shop. In Blackville you can visit Curtis Miramichi Outfitters where you can have a chat with two of the sweetest Ladies on the River, Norma & Cathy. Cathy ties some of the best Bombers on the River and can also arrange for a private casting lesson with Certified Instructor, Brock. A trip to the Miramichi should always include a visit to Syd's Matchett Fly Shop in Trout Brook for a good tackle selection and great stories.
Finally - Great News - DFO has decided that with these ideal conditions they will open up the cold water places they had closed earlier during the warm water time so now all of the Miramichi River System is back to normal for fishing through the rest of the season until closing on October 15th.
"Tight Lines" from the Miramichi.
Heat Wave... Heat Wave... Heat Wave!!! That makes it so nice for swimming, tubing or canoeing/Kayaking but has not been good enough for fishing over the last few weeks. We live in Canada and normally experience only a few overly hot days each year so three weeks of it has been enough! Overall, with the warm conditions, the fish have all seemed to be mamanaging quite well by holding up in cold places. Throughout the heatwave, we managed to get some showers on many days - which kept things better than they could have been for that long period of 90F weather. The rain we received over the weekend has freshened things up with approximately a two foot rise in water levels on all the rivers. With the higher water and cooler temperatures, the rivers are really starting to look fishable again. The D.F.O. opened up full day fishing throughout the system again and will probably be opening up the cold water places soon as conditions continue to improve. It is looking like another couple of warm days early in the week but the good news is that the future looks brighter starting Wednesday, with cooler temperatures and a bit more rain so... hopefully the rest of the July Salmon that did not enter the system yet due to warm weather should be arriving soon. We should also see many "Big August Beauties" that just love hitting those nice "Cathy Colford tied Bombers" and "Daryl Tucker special Peach Carter Bugs". We normally would have enjoyed a full season of continuous runs of fresh Salmon every day but the weather needs to cooperate better than it has been doing. One thing we do know for sure is that our best fishing this season is probably yet to come! Cooler August nights, Dry Flies, Fall runs, Fall foliage and the Cains River! Finally, after three weeks of very hot weather, listening to Daryl Tucker saying "..he can’t wait until fall fishing in White Rapids and the Renous", Gary Colford talking daily about "..the thousands of fish his guests landed over the years on the Cains" along with Ken and Jeremy Vickers debating over "which one of the new pools we picked up this season will be fishing the best in the fall", we are finally starting to get excited about the remainder of the 2018 season.
"Tight Lines" from the Miramichi.
There are lots of fish in the System with both Grilse & Salmon and so far, some of the largest Salmon we have seen in years moving through the system!
When conditions are good we have had some good fishing. When conditions have been poor we have had some poor fishing. So far, we have had too much warm weather for July. The rain we received yesterday is bringing the water up a bit and has improved fishing conditions today and already this morning we have had good results reported. The next couple of days are expected to be warm ones with a much better forecast for next week - starting on Sunday - so we are hoping to finish off July with a bang! Traditionally, August has been the warmer month for New Brunswick, resulting in slower fishing at times however, within the past 10 or so seasons, that trend has been changing, as August conditions have been the better of the two months and with our ideal location on the lower stretches of the Main Southwest Miramichi, we have experienced some of the better fishing of the season during August. Many of the June and July runs head for the upper stretches of the river and sometimes move through more quickly. The August, September and October fish tend to hold up in the pools much longer - especially in the lower stretches of the System when we are experiencing low water conditions. August is also a a favoured time to be on the water for dry fly fishermen.
With better-than-expected fishing over the past week, during less-than-the-best of conditions, anglers had success on a a wide variety of flies - from #12 Undertakers to #4 Rusty Rats. When river conditions are good, fish will take anything. When conditions are not, there isn’t anything that works well! With half of our Atlantic Salmon fishing season now over, it was better than we could have expected with the conditions we received from opening day until now. With another 3 month of fishing remaining, everyone is hoping for improving conditions as that will go a long way in helping fishermen’s success rates. If the runs are anything like what we have seen so far in June and July, combined with improved river conditions, we hope to enjoy good-to-great Atlantic Salmon Fishing for the remainder of the season.
"Tight Lines" from the Miramichi.
What a difference a couple of days can make one way or another when it comes to Atlantic Salmon fishing. After a good June it only took 3 days in a heatwave with 100F temperatures to put the salmon into hiding and the D.F.O. to shut down some cold water places throughout the system. These cold water closures only effect about 10% of the fishing locations on the river and only effect one of the 27 private pools we have access to. So when conditions change for the better and the fish start moving again, luck can change quickly. This week was the best example of that we have ever seen. Without seeing almost no fish for three days, to having our best summer fishing to-date over the past five days - hooking into 40 in one pool. A bit of rain or a few degrees difference in water temperatures can sure make a big difference with Atlantics. It’s looking like the hottest weather is behind us for now as the temperatures are much better and the rain we did receive has done wonders to the fishing conditions. There is also the possibility of a good rain by Thursday due to the tropical storm heading up the coast. We do not need the storm but would like some of the rain. Traditionally, from the 2nd week on, in July is a great time to be on the Miramichi for summer fishing, as there should always be a run of fresh fish arriving and the number of fish we have seen over the past few days sure looks promising. On a positive note, we are not sure if all this has anything to do with the closure of the Greenland fisheries or not but we are seeing more huge Salmon in the system this season than we have seen in quite a while.
"Tight Lines" from the Miramichi.
With June 2018 Salmon fishing now over, it will be described as a good one - as all June's might be, depending who you talk to. It is usually a case of being in the right place at the right time as on some days, one fisherman might limit out in a specific pool and his friend sees nothing in a different location, but when they switch locations the very next day, the lucky angler limits out once again while his friend still sees nothing - that’s June fishing! We have had large numbers of Big Salmon landed throughout the system, with a good splash of Grilse appearing later in the month. Even though June anglers landed some real beauties, they certainly would have loved to land half of the ones that they lost. There were probably more fish lost in June than any other month as they are surprisingly aggressive when you think you have them played out and ready to land. Then they are gone again - stripping line backing and whatever they can take with them! Sometimes fishermen that have landed other species - or even Atlantics at other times of the season - might not be ready for the fight of a fresh-run June Atlantic, resulting in losses. One of our older Guides - Pete Randal - would always tell the older fishermen "brace your feet, this June Salmon will play you out first and make you look like a fool as he swims away". "Pound for pound, the Atlantic Salmon is the best fighting game fish in the world" - famous words of Baseball great Ted Williams - a long-time Miramichi Fishermen.
Each month is different and July - even though there should be good numbers of big Salmon in the system - is normally a month when we receive our largest Grilse runs. With good conditions, we normally have many more hookups than in June as Grilse can sometimes be much more aggressive than the Salmon. July is also a month where the fish start holding up more in pools instead of just travelling, like June fish do, making for much better results using Dry Flies and Bomber patterns. The 2011 fishing season was one of the best seasons on the river for a number of reasons - primarily lots of fish and great conditions. This June has started out in a similar way with fish arriving early and daily but the conditions for July on will do a lot in determining how the overall season will be unless we are unfortunate enough to have a record-breaking drought condition like 2017. “Fish need water“ so we are hoping for much better results in every way. With good conditions we can look forward to a normal season or maybe even a repeat of the banner season we had in 2011. Conditions are now perfect following the couple of feet rise in water over the weekend. We have good temperatures and good water levels. The long- range forecast is calling for a couple of hot days mid-week so let’s hope it passes quickly with lots of good July fishing to come. "Flies of Choice" have been Blue Charm, White Tail Green Machine. Undertakers, Bear Hair, Green and White, Peach and Bombers.
This week we had the pleasure of having "Rollie the Goalie" fish with us. We all know he can stop hockey pucks and now we just need to teach him how to stop Salmon as effectively!
"Tight Lines" from the Miramichi.
After a couple of weeks where only Big Rocky Brook Salmon moved through the system, we landed our first Grilse on Thursday with many more following since then. Although the majority of fish moving through the system are still Salmon, it appears that our normal July Grilse run might have arrived. The June Salmon are just moving through and do not show much until they are hooked but the Grilse tend to be a bit more acrobatic so we are now seeing more fish in the rivers. In June, anglers normally see better results using #6 summer patterns but over the weekend, fishermen had great results in the Upper Blackville area using the #12 Bear Hair Red Butt - a smaller-than-normal pattern for June but it caught on quickly among our guests after word got out. June fishing can change so much from day-to-day with all the running fish but over the past few days - especially with fish throughout the Main Southwest system - and with the full moon on Thursday which will generate higher tides, all this should result in even more fresh Salmon and Grilse entering the system. It's now starting to look like it will be a good-to-great June on the River. Each year The Miramichi enjoys thousands of fly fishermen from around the world - many who have returned annually for over 50 years! At Country Haven we are happy to have a number of these great older guests. We love their visits and stories - much like "fine wine improving with age". There are none much better than two fishing friends, Hal Howard and Tom Campbell from NY who started fishing the Miramichi many years ago with the late, great, guide and Jack-of-all-Trades, Amy Jardine. We have been so blessed to have had them as guests and friends for so many years.
It was wonderful for the Miramichi to host the Atlantic Salmon Fly International (“ASFI”) event over the weekend with so many great fly tiers from around the world participating and even better, to have so many of them fish with us at Country Haven - with great success. The conditions are now ideal and with both Salmon and Grilse now in the system, everyone is looking forward to some great Fishing into July.
"Tight Lines" from the Miramichi.
This past week, many of the Lodges on the Miramichi opened up for the Summer runs of Wild Atlantic Salmon. June fishing can have it's struggles and it's rewards as it is so different in many ways from every other month of the season - unlike most months of the summer and fall fishing season when Salmon and Grilse hold up in pools. Most of the June runs travel up through the system, sometimes 20 Km or more in a day. Instead of fishing pools with holding fish it becomes more of "being in the right place at the right time". Anglers often need to put in more time to be rewarded than in any other month - but many fishermen say the reward is certainly worth the effort as these June fish are fighters and some of the nicest Salmon of any season and sure are "things of beauty". This season, summer Salmon started entering the system in early June and although we have not had great numbers of hook ups so far, it’s good to see them arriving early with some very nice Salmon being landed throughout many of the rivers in the System. June fishing depends so much on how many fish arrive each day and it can take a lot of guessing on a daily basis - even by the best guides. Every year is different and in some years we have experienced great June fishing (such as in 2011) which started around June 7th or 8th and continued daily through to the end of the season on Oct 15th, and in other years (such as June 2006) when the first Salmon landed was on June 21st.
We started our summer fishing on Tuesday this year and landed our first fish just a few minutes into the season. Lawrence Howard from Sand Lane NY opened the season with a bang! With some of our anglers doing a 5 day canoeing trip in our 28 ft. canoes, they managed to see many big Salmon on every day of their journey throughout the lower stretches of the Main River system. Conditions are now perfect for June so we are hoping for many more hook ups and another great season of Salmon fishing. Flies of choice this past week have been #6 White Tail Green Machine, Blue Charm and Butterfly patterns. We are so happy to have access to 27 Private fishing pools throughout the system for our fishing guests this season. We are also looking forward to using our new Private Wilderness Cottage on the Cains River throughout the season, ideally located for fishing canoe trips or just an opportunity to relax in a wilderness paradise. www.cottagesnewbrunswick.com.
For anyone who has not yet visited the Miramichi area, 2018 could be a very good season for fishing. Canada has some of the best fishing in the world and if that was not enough to make you visit us, the great currency exchange rates we are now enjoying makes Canada even more attractive for world travelers. At Country Haven we are proud of the our operation, guiding staff and abundance of access to private fishing water. It is well accepted that the hospitality of the Miramichi River Valley, in fact all of New Brunswick, is "2nd-to-none". Although The Miramichi is famous for it's fishing, there are lots of other things to see and do in this area. For anglers, a trip to the Miramichi should always include a visit to our local top-of-the-line fly Shops such as "Curtis Miramichi River Outfitters" in Blackville, "Doaks" in Doaktown and "Trout Brook Fly Shop" in Nor'West Miramichi.
Tight Lines and "Welcome" to another Summer Fishing Season on the Miramichi.
We survived Spring Fishing!
With over twice as much rain received than a normal spring, conditions were some of the worst in history for much of the spring season. However, with some of the best guides in the world, great staff and so many wonderful annually-returning guests, it turned out so much better than anyone would have ever expected. We received so many returning guests who appreciate how good fishing can be in the spring and almost all of our first-time guests landed some Salmon. Even though the conditions made for a disappointing spring season and resulted in the first time in 17 years where the lodge landed less than 1,000 spring salmon and overall catch numbers were down, some returning guests still had "personal best" days and "personal best" largest Salmon and Trout landings. With the five big rises in water levels and some non-fishing days, this will be the first season we will not have much of an idea how many fish actually moved through the system. On a positive note for anglers, many of the fish landed were Salmon including some big ones. On the negative side, not many grilse were in the system this spring and some were smaller than usual.
For the number of fish landed each year only a small percentage of photos are taken of guests with their fish as guides and fishermen always like to get the fish back in the water as soon as possible. However, in special situations such as "biggest fish" they have landed or especially "first Atlantic landed" it’s always nice to have that special photo online.
With the spring Salmon season now over for another year we will now be fishing for Trout and Striped Bass only until early June when the summer runs of Wild Atlantic Salmon arrive. With the later-than-normal spring conditions, the best Striped bass fishing of the season is probably going to occur over the next few weeks as estimates suggest over a million Stripers are in the system. Those who enjoy catching Stripers on a fly will find it's a great time to be here. Although nothing compares to hooking Atlantic Salmon, there is still action using a fly rod! Many Lodges, including Country Haven, offer guided Striped Bass fishing Packages.
When the first runs of summer Wild Atlantic Salmon do enter the system, you will discover what great fighters these fish are, with many being approximately between 17-22 Lbs. The late great basball player Ted Williams always said, "pound-for-pound, it’s the best fighting game fish in the world". With his spending over 30 years on the Miramichi and fishing many other destinations throughout the world as well, we suggest he knew a bit about fishing as well as baseball. Summer fishing season is approaching quickly and Country Haven takes pride in offering guests some of the best private water available anywhere. With access to 27 private pools for the 2018 season this is the largest quantity of private water we have ever offered with many of these waters noted for being high production pools and we have some of the best guides in the business to show our guests around. Throughout the entire season, Country Haven offers Special events and packages, including our most popular "Father and Son" package.
Tight lines from the Miramichi .
With high water continuing into May, conditions were tough early on but finally started improving as the water fell - so did the fishing! So far this spring, much of the fishing has been using sinking lines only as so far, the water has remained cold during May. Anglers are hoping that as the water falls and warms up more, they will have better luck casting using sinking tips and floating lines only. The most productive flies being used are still the larger streamers Christmas Tree, Blue Smelt and Magog Smelt. As of today, there are still not a lot of fish moving as the colder water has keep them holding close to shore throughout the entire system. With warmer weather in the forecast we are all hoping for a bit more normal conditions to finish off the Spring Season.
Wow! ..but not for the right reasons. We had a late "ice out" with the most shore ice we have ever seen for the start of the season. During the first few days we had low and clear water with some decent fishing but throughout the river system, we have not yet had good conditions for getting boats in and out of the river due to so much ice along the shores - probably the most piled-up-ice ever experienced for the season opener. We did however get a much-needed rise of water this week which cleaned the shores off and pushed the remaining ice out of the system. So far the better fishing and least shore ice has been in the Doaktown Area. Over the past three seasons, for one reason or another, our best Spring fishing has been in May. It's now looking like it might be the same for this year. With the higher water and less than perfect conditions we are now experiencing, the heavier sink lines and bigger/brighter Streamers are producing the best. As the water falls we should expect better fishing - probably into late May this season.
Finally, after a later start than most years, we managed to get on the water Thursday with John Hoffman from Kitchner Ontario landing our first salmon of the 2018 Season. Art Mesher from Waterloo Ontario has landed the largest so far and Bill Mather managed to land 8 yesterday using a Bunny Strip fly. Overall, in the mornings, conditions have not been too bad with low water and not as dirty as expected in the afternoons with more run off.
With beautiful weather like we are having today predicted for most of the week, the water should rise and hopefully clear out the remaining upriver ice. Although we are only getting fully started now, due to the slow ice out conditions, some fishermen in the Doaktown area have managed to get on the River since opening day and have experienced good fishing overall. We are looking forward to a good long spring season lasting late into May this year.
With the fishing season on the Miramichi starting two weeks from today - on April the 15th - It's still too early to know what river conditions will be like for opening day. There is a lot of snow around which makes for a good runoff and there is not too much ice in the river however we will still need warmer weather or some rain to improve conditions for the season opener.
The 2017 Atlantic Salmon season opened on April 15th and the Trout and Striped bass season opened on May 1st and the season is now over. With the high number of Large Salmon in the system and the good returns of Trout and Striped bass, we are hoping for another successful season next year! This year was another good season on the Miramichi River system.
November 30th 2017
Here are the final counts of Atlantic Salmon and Grilse returning to the Miramichi over the past 4 seasons. The counters represent approximately 5 to 10% of the actual number of returning fish entering the system over the years. Using the lower number of 10% to calculate, here are the estimated numbers they come up with.
for the Miramichi River System
Note: The above numbers are based on approximately 10% of the returning numbers provided by D.F.O. and can vary from year to year depening on high water and low water conditions. There have been times, over the years, when counters have been removed for periods of time due to water conditions or other factors so results can never be 100% accurate from year to year. With the conditions experienced throughout 2017, the final returns until counter removal at the end of October were better than expected. It has always been assumed among locals that new arrivals continue long after the counters are removed in most seasons and a good case for this theory is how good the spring fishing can be the following season after a low count the prior season. A good example of this was in 2014 when the D.F.O counts were one of the lowest returing counts in modern times however the spring fishing for 2015 was one of the better ones on the river. This indicated that a good number missed being counted in 2014 or else arrived into the rivers after the counters were removed in the fall. In any event, this is the system used for providing an estimated count for Salmon and Grilse to the Miramichi each year. Although not not an exacting system, it does help in knowing approximately how many fish are returning to the Miramichi each season.
Country Haven is open yearly with fishing from April 15th to October 15th and offers guests a choice of All-Inclusive or Self-Catering packages with Private fishing throughout four rivers on the Miramichi river system. In 2018 we will again be offering Special packages and our non-expiry Gift Certificates that can be used towards anything Country Haven offers. Also new for 2018, along with our regular accommodations, we will be offering Self-Catering packages or cottage rentals in our NEW Private Wilderness Cottage (photo below) located on the river bank of the beautiful Cains river - one of the best little Trout and Atlantic Salmon rivers in the world. For more information on Gift Certificates or Cottage rentals, visit Cottages New Brunswick
October 16th 2017
2017 will probably go down in the History books as one of the driest summers and
falls on record as we experienced a drought from late June into mid-October. Even though it might not have been one of the better seasons due to these conditions, Atlantic salmon tended to stay longer in the ocean or in the
lower stretches of the river, waiting for improved conditions before travelling up the rivers and tributaries.
Although we have experienced much better fishing in past seasons during normal conditions, we are lucky to be located on the lower stretches of the Main Southwest Miramichi River where we have access to some excellent private low-water fishing pools and it did turn out to be the most productive stretchs of the entire river system during the 2017 season. Even though fishing could have been better, with the help of the great staff
guides, pool lease owners and most of all, so many great guests, the overall success rate at Country Haven could not have been better - having over 80% of returning guests from 21 countries - all drawn to the Miramichi by the elusive Atlantic Salmon. There is so much more involved in fishing than just having great fishing each day to make for a successful fishing trip and as each year passes, we can never say enough about just how lucky we are to be surrounded by so many great people who helped to make our 18th season another successful one. When people ask what I have learned most over the years, there are always two things that come to mind; The first is that "There is not such a thing as a bad fly fishermen as they are the most wonderful people in the world"!
The second thing is that no matter where you have fished in the past, how
many fish you have landed or how much you know about fishing "you should
always listen to the local guides".
October 9th 2017
With the arrival of October came some very good fishing as the beginning of the
week saw our best fall fishing to date, as the rain over the weekend freshened up the holding fish along with a good number of fresh fish entering the system daily, making for a good start to the October season on the river. With Salmon in the river, rain in the forecast, beautiful fall foliage, daily casting lessons given by one of the best - Andrew Moy - and a lodge full of friendly and familiar faces, we can't think of a better way to finish off the season. Flies of choice this week were Red Francis, LT Special, Munroe Killer and still the Bear
October 2nd 2017
Wow! What a tough week this has been for the last week of September. Normally this would be a prime time to be on the Miramichi but with no rain to speak of for much of the season, conditions remained low
for most of the river system. Anglers that were having the most success were on the lower stretches of the Main Southwest Miramichi river system or fishing in deep holding pools throughout the rest of the system. Throughout most of the week our anglers fished over holding fish with the better results on bombers between Blackville and Quarryville - closest to tidal waters as possable for fresh fish on wet flies. This week was our U.K. Spey Clinic week and was our less productive week for fish landed however all of our 16 guests hooked, fished and almost all landed fish along with receiving the great casting instuctions put on daily by Bryan Martin and Brian Warrington from the UK and this also provided some fine entertainment to celebrate my 60th Birthday! It was another very enjoyable week on the Miramichi.
September 23d 2017
Water conditions remain low as we enter the last three weeks of the season but there still is a chance of some rain mid-week. There are quite a few fish holding in the lower stretches of the Main river system as they wait for some fresh water. If and when we do get rain, we Should expect our best fishing of the season as it will be the first major rise in water levels since early summer and this should make for great fishing on the tributaries. But until then we will count our blessings and be happy to be located on the lower stretch of the system, fishing close to the tidal water. On a positive note, in the fall, fish will move through the system anyway, even with low water conditions, as they have places to go and things to do - unlike some of the summer run fish - with some of them just entering the system now that might have entered the system in July or August if the water had been higher. Again, this week, conditions are best for smaller wet flies and Bombers with Undertakers and Bear Hair patterns still working the best.
September 15th 2017
There is still one month to go in the 2017 fishing season on the Miramichi. We are all hoping it goes "out with a bang"! There are quite a few fish still showing in the lower stretches of the river with some
decent fishing following the 16 inch rise in water levels earlier in the week. They say "beggars can't be choosers" and we would like to have received more of a rise in water levels but after this summer, we will take anything we get! We are still using small summer patterns - #10 Undertakers, Bear Hair and Bombers.
September 1st 2017
There are many fish around in the lower stretches of the Main river system, with a
few new arrivals entering the system on the higher tide days. With the low water conditions, the fish are holding in the deeper water pools - ideal conditions for the lower stretches of the Main river below Blackville - especially for dry fly anglers - but not as good for much of the upper river system except for the deep holding pools where fish have been holding up, such as Black Brook, Big Hole and a few others throughout the system.
Every season can be different with either too much low water or too much high water - sometimes this makes it not so great for good fishing and makes it almost impossible to have good producing pools for every possible condition. However, we have worked hard at this over the years - sometimes leasing pools for years and waiting for just the right conditions for them to be successful. With the higher water conditions over the last 10 or so seasons, we often wonder if some of our low water pools would ever work out as well as they did in the '90s and early 2000's when low water conditions were
the norm for quite a few seasons. Downriver Outfitters such as Black Rapids Lodge, Gray Rapids Lodge and Camp Thomas thrived on low water conditions. We have not had great fishing over the past few weeks by any means, but despite these conditions, we still managed to have access to pools with fish around and were lucky enough to consistantly catch fish throughout the entire season by making it worthwhile to continue having access to as many private pools as possible for almost every condition - good or bad.
August 20th 2017
Another "On again - off again" couple of weeks of warm water bomber fishing - lots
of rolls but not many hook ups and cool weather but also cool water with some nice hook ups, making every day different - depending on conditions. However... Good news: There are good numbers of holding fish including some very big salmon in the lower stretches of the river, making things interesting for the anglers. Bad News: Although we received 15 Ml. of rain over the last couple of days, much more is needed to improve fall conditions for the entire river system and tributries - such as the Cains and Renous - traditionaly great fall Salmon rivers.
August 7th 2017
It has been an "On again - Off again" summer so far this season with ever-changing conditions. Many of the pools in the lower stretch of the Main river system have a good number of fish holding due to the lower water, however each day depends on conditions as to how active they will be. With the warm water conditions last week, DFO closed 21 cold water areas throughout the Miramichi water system until such time as the water cools again. This is the 2nd time this season when these areas have been closed then reopened. These closures impact only one of the 22 private pools we have access to, leaving a lot of fishing throughout the system, especially on the cool days when the fish are moving throughout the lower stretches of the river. It is now looking like this heat wave is finally behind us and conditions are improving daily. With 40 ml of rain overnight in the upper stretches of the system at Clearwater and with fall-like conditions in the long range forecast, along with a full moon and high tides tomorrow, all this should bring in another splash of fresh fish this week.
The high tides this week brought in a good number of fresh fish into the system, making for quite good fishing in the lower stretch of the Main river System, especially between the Blackville and Quarryville area where they tend to hold up more with low water conditions than they do with higher water levels. As for
river conditions, the Lower stretch of the river is now ideal for some of the low water pools - some of these pools get better as the water gets lower and never get too low unless it gets too warm. With the cool weather over the past week, D.F.O. reopened the cold water places and fresh fish have been moving in daily, many with Sea
Lice. Some of these lower river pools can never get too low for good conditions.. pools such as the Orr pool, Mom's pool, Kelly pool, both Coughlan pools, the Funnel pool in White Rapids and the White Birch and Mountain Channel Home pools. With these water heights and if the water conditions remain on the cooler side - as it has been for the most of the past week - fishermen should expect to see a lot of fish and enjoy some success on both wet & dry flies for a while to come. A downside to these good expectations is that the water is very clear so Salmon may spook easily. With most of my fishing as a youngster being in this section of the river during low water conditions, I might be a little bit biased towards low water conditions but overall for the river system, a good rain is needed to make the fish more active and keep them moving through the upper stretches of the system and the tributaries such as the Cains.
July started out very promising, with good numbers of both Salmon and Grilse entering the system and even better numbers arriving over the weekend of the 8-9th. However, along with the fish came the first major heat wave of 2017, warming the water and making it one of the rivers' less productive July weeks in a while. With Atlantic Salmon fishing you need Salmon, good water temperatures and a lot of luck. So far, this July, there has not been an overabundance of these three.
Another June is in the history books! It was not as good as some but better than
others as a good number of Salmon and even a few Grilse entered the system. June is known more for Salmon runs and July - even though it also has some nice Salmon - normally has many more returning Grilse than in June. The water level is at a great height for the Main river system and a bit on the low side for some of the tributaries however, with good water temperatures, fish will travel up the tributaries in any event, especially the early rivers like the Dungarvon and the Renous. With the full moon and high tides occurring over the coming weekend of
July 9th this season, we should expect good fishing after that. So much depends on conditions but if they are decent then there should be a good splash of fresh fish entering the system at that time. We have been disappointed during July in some past years when we had a a river full of fish, but poor conditions turned them off so we are hoping for the best this season. Flies of Choice lately have been the #8 Blue charm, Green Butt bear Hair and the Cosseboom.
It's Official! Our 2017 Summer season is underway on the Miramichi after
approximately three weeks since the spring Salmon season ended. After fishing for Striped bass and Trout along with some canoeing trips, it is nice to see the summer runs entering the system and anglers starting to hook up again. Although there are still not too many fishermen on the water, the ones that have been fishing started picking up a few Salmon earlier last week on The Nor'west and this week on the Main River and Renous. Although no great numbers are being recorded yet, these salmon - pound for pound - are some of the freshest and best fighters of the season. June is a month to be in the "right place at the right time" as the fish are travelling - sometimes up to 20 miles a day - the tides play a big part in this of course.
The spring Atlantic Salmon season is now over for another year and now anglers will turn all their attention to Trout or Striped Bass fishing until the early runs of Bright's start arriving in early June. The 2017 spring season was quite different from what we have experienced in recent years - not because of a lack of fish, as fishermen landed some of the largest spring Salmon ever throughout the season and a good number overall - but the weather and water conditions were the worst in 17 years. The most consistent fishing was in May as the water fell and cleared up. On some days, anglers fished for, - and landed - Salmon, Trout and Striped bass all in a single 3 day period. The overall numbers landed were a ratio of 10 Salmon to every Grilse - a contrast to the exact opposite (1 Salmon to 10 Grilse) only five springs ago. We are not sure what this means for the river but with bigger fish landed, it was good for the fishermen. Overall, there were not as many fish landed for the spring as in most years, the grilse are more aggressive and take a fly easier, so numbers were down overall.
This has been the first spring Salmon season in 17 years where we did not land over 1,000 Salmon and Grilse but it was still quite a successful season considering the conditions for much of the time. The most successful fly was the Christmas Tree. The most successful angler for the spring was Art Mesher. Them most successful shortest trip was Carl Soderland's with 23 Salmon and 1 Grilse over three days. Largest spring Salmon? Kevin Holmes beautiful 48 inch'er.
With the Salmon fishing over for a couple of weeks, the Trout and Striped Bass fishing is now at it's best and this should continue for a while, with both dark Trout moving out of the rivers and fresh Sea run coming in. With close to 1 million Stripers in the lower stretches of the System there is still some good fly fishing to be had even if it's not for Salmon.
Thanks to all who visited with us this spring and we hope your visit was a memorable one. We look forward to seeing you all again next Spring. For all those who are coming to visit with us this summer and fall, we look forward to seeing you and enjoying some great times and fishing.
Tight lines from the Miramichi.
Slow and steady was a daily challenge for good fishing with the unsettled weather so far this spring. With the colder water, the Salmon are holding steady and staying close to shore so casters were having the best results so far, unlike last spring when the water just fell slowly over a period of weeks, making for great fishing every day. This spring has been more of a challenge with good fishing on days when the water was falling and not so good on days when the water was rising, but so far, almost all of our fishermen have had good success. The ratio of Salmon-to-Grilse landed this week has been 90% Salmon with the majority being between 30 - 48 inches in length. For example, Bill Mather landed 19 Salmon and only one Grilse over his 3 day trip. This is great for fishermen who were landing big Salmon but it would be better to see more Grilse in the river system. Blue Smelt, Bunny Strip and Renous River Specials have been the most productive flies so far this spring. With these conditions our best Salmon fishing should once again be in May with the Trout season opening today and the lower stretches of the river seeing Striped Bass. A day of fishing in May might consist of a 40+ inch Atlantic Salmon, 5+ Lb. Bookie and a 20 + lb. Striper. Although Atlantic Salmon are, by far, still the most sought after species, a change in techniques and species is always fun.
the System each year so overall they show a good return of large Salmon for 2016, up to October 15th.
"Wow!" is the only way I can properly describe the wonderful fishing season we enjoyed on the Miramichi this season. From start-to-finish it was our best in every way - from having our most consistent spring season in 17 years - to more good days than bad in both June and July - to one of our best Augusts ever - and topped off by a fantastic fall with some of the largest
Salmon landed in years throughout the system. The returns of big salmon to both the Main Sou'west and the Nor'west were higher than any year since 2010. Negatives to these high returns have been the lower returns of
Grilse in both rivers and the high number of returning Striped Bass to the river system.
With a bump in water levels over the weekend, anglers enjoyed some very good catching right through until closing day in a number of different pools. Some of the more traditional pools on the upper Cains river started producing well and the Renous river continued to produce daily along with a number of pools on the Main River. Even though water levels were still on the low side, the Fall Salmon are going to come and move up these smaller rivers in any event. They were really moving this week on both the Cains and Renous rivers as fishermen landed fish with Sea Lice every single day far upriver. This was another week of Salmon-to-Grilse ratios in the 10-3 range, including some very large Salmon. Of all the
fall weeks we have had so far, this week was more like a traditional fall week with colourful foliage, crisp mornings, lots of fish in the system and fall flies like the Allie Shrimp, GP,LT Special and Copper Killer working well. Overall, we have had a very productive fall on the River and a productive and enjoyable final week of the 2016 Season.
"You should have been here last week" is a famous saying by fishing guides around the world and it was probably said a number of times this week on the Miramichi
as each day of the week, fishing became slower. With clear sunny days and low clear water, anglers landed 11 Salmon on Monday but only averaged between 3 to 6 daily for the remainder of the week, even though there
were great numbers of fish in the system. On the positive side however, everyone was seeing lots of fish! We had another 30 Lb'er landed and almost all our fishermen did manage to hook into fish this week. The conditions this week saw fishermen who used the smaller fly patterns enjoy the most success - some landing salmon on #10 and #12 Undertakers. It has been another week of mainly Salmon being landed with apparently not many Grilse in the system. With the rain we are now receiving it is almost certain the season will end on a high note.
This year's UK Spey Clinic week was a great one with good casting lessons and a lot of nice salmon landed. Throughout the week, anglers hooked 111 and landed 70 with the majority of them being Salmon, including three 30+ Lb. fish. This week was another good week of catches in a number of different pools from all the rivers we fish. The major run of fresh fish this week was in the lower stretches of the Main Southwest Miramichi river system. Early in the week the fish were still traveling throughout the Main river system, as the water was still at a good height for running fish. Now they are starting to hold up more, with the traditional fall pools that normally hold fall fish, starting to
hold more daily. Even though some nice Salmon were landed on the Cains and Renous rivers - with lots of fish in both rivers - a bump in water levels would improve catches. Andrew Done from Switzerland enjoyed his 2nd best week out of his 7 visits, landing 10 with 9 of them being Salmon. Also, Jim Long from Chicago fished 6 different pools in 3 days and landed fish in all of them. Luck or Skill or just good at taking fish? - we are not quite sure, but Jim thinks it's skill so maybe it was!
With a 3 foot rise in water levels on the Main river and a couple of feet rise on the Cains and Renous rivers, it was just what the doctor ordered to get more fresh Salmon moving into the system. Anglers started seeing more fresh fish by mid week on the Renous and the
Nor'west, even though the Nor'west never received much of a rise compared to the other rivers.
Some warmer and dryer-than-normal weather for this time of the season has resulted in one of our less productive fall weeks on the river but anglers did manage to land fish most days throughout the system. With our having access to 22 private pools, there are times when many are producing at the same time and other times when only a few pools on different rivers are fishing well. That was how it was this week as the majority of the fish landed were from the same pools on different rivers. It's always good to have the variety of water and top guides to provide guests with the best chance possible to land Salmon. All Atlantic rivers are unique in their own way - some are famous for big Salmon, even though they might be few-and-far between, and some are famous for their big runs, even though these rivers offer a very short
season. The Miramichi has a 6 month season with a chance of catching Salmon almost every day throughout the season, including the chance to catch the "fish of a lifetime" - especially on a Dry Fly. Even though there are many great Atlantic Salmon rivers throughout the world, we are told by fishermen from around the globe that it's pretty hard to beat the Eastern Canadian rivers - especially the Miramichi - when it comes to landing the "Big one" on a dry fly. This week it Was Jens Adamsen from Denmark. Even though he has landed hundreds of Atlantics throughout the Atlantic Salmon world, he always knew his best chance for landing his lifelong dream Salmon using a Bomber was on the Miramichi and he was not disappointed! Sometimes it's quantity, sometimes it's quality and sometimes it is just learning how to flyfish. Guests come and go and they all echo the same thing - "fish the Miramichi on a daily basis"! Flies of choice this week are still summer patterns of Orange or Red Butt Bear Hair, Undertakers and The Almost has been working well in evenings with holding fish using #8 and #10 Peach Carter Bugs Dry.
It was another interesting week on the Miramichi as fishing remained quite consistent over the weekend and early into the week. Over the past couple of days, however, warmer weather has been moving in and will probably slow fishing a bit until there is a cooling trend. The weather prediction is calling for 30 ml. of rain over this weekend and that should be just about the perfect amount of precipitation - if it happens. The long range forecast is looking good and a full moon on the 17th is occurring at an ideal time to start bringing in the big runs of fall Salmon. Flies of Choice this week have been #10 Undertakers, Orange Butt Bear Hair and wet flies, Peach Carter Bug and Brown White With Orange Hackle Bombers.
With August in the books for another season, one wishes some of the fishing in June and July could have been as good as most of August has been. With Atlantic Salmon fishing, so much depends on conditions and the majority of the time - if there are fish in the system and the conditions are good - fishermen can be rewarded every month of the fishing season. Over the years, some of our best fishing has come in the month of August and this August was no exception as there was a good mix of both holding and fresh fish throughout the system.
This has been another good week of August fishing as fishing has been quite consistent throughout the entire river system over the past couple of weeks. The Renous can be a very productive river under the right conditions, especially in July, September and October but has been very good since the rise in water levels which happened in early August. With the good water height in the smaller tributaries, not only has the fishing been good in the lower stretches of the Cains - as it usually is in August - but anglers have started catching and seeing Salmon in greater numbers much further upriver this year. So... if good conditions continue and the fish continue to arrive as they are doing then we could expect some good fall fishing throughout much of the river system for the remainder of the season. Flies of Choice this week have been (wet flies) the White Tail Green Machine and (dry flies) Brown Orange Bombers and Peach Carter Bugs.
With two months remaining until the end of the 2016 fishing season, it is really exciting to be part of the family of fly fishermen challenging the wild Atlantic
Salmon. In the time remaining, a lot of good and bad can happen but, to date, everyone should be happy with the season and returns so far! This Spring season was the most consistent in 17 years and June and July had some of the better numbers of fish returning to the river in quite a while! The annual "bump in the road" we seem to get, where warm water conditions occur, is behind us, hopefully for another season! With a 3 foot rise in water levels and all the cold water brooks reopened, fish are now moving throughout the system - what more could a Miramichi River Guide ask for! With this rise in water levels, the majority of the holding fish started moving on Sunday evening, making for some very good fishing on the Lower Cains and the Main river Systems. Normally, with these rises in water after a period of hot dry weather, fishing can be fantastic as these fish move through the system . There is normally a lull of a couple of days between the holding fish moving out and the fresh runs moving into the system so anglers in the upper stretches of the river should expect some good fishing heading into the weekend and fishermen should start to see more fresh August fish entering the lower stretches of the system by the weekend as well. One thing we do know is that the Miramichi River is only one of a few river systems in the world that receive such an abundance of fish in a fall salmon run and it's always good to be part of it! Every day throughout the spring, summer and fall seasons we are reminded that we are blessed to have such a group of quality guides giving a 100% effort at catching fish as they travel throughout the river system. We do know that our guides enjoy guiding in the fall season best of all. It also helps to have access to 22 private pools throughout the system, including five on the Cains river which is, beyond a doubt, the best little Atlantic Salmon River in the world for fall fishing.
One of the best measures that we have is the Millerton trap net which we have discussed on this blog before. The government website can be found at this link. I won't bore you with a long tutorial because many of you understand how the trap works already, but for those that don't but who are interested, just go on the site and spend some time changing the dates, clicking salmon or grilse and looking at the results. Compare the current period with earlier years that are also listed. There is no other way to learn it.
Overall it has been a positive June and July with very good numbers of returning fish reported to date at the counters - some of the better numbers in a while. With the warmer water, fishing has slowed a bit for the number of fish in the system. As always, we have seen better results using dry flies when the water is warmer so this past week was a week for Bombers with some very good results. Throughout each season we enjoy an 85% of returning angler guests who fish with us but it's always a great thrill when first-time Atlantic Salmon anglers have good luck. This week the photos above are of first-timers with their Atlantics. Every photo has a good story but we love the one about 9 year old Haley Dow from Massachusetts who not only had the Country Haven cooks and staff fall in love with her, it seemed like the Salmon did as well, as phey played with her Bomber almost every time she cast. Other fishermen could only watch and wish as they listened to her excitement with every roll and hookup throughout her visit. All fish taken this week were on Dry Fly Peach Bombers and Whiskers.
Overall, it was a very good week for fish numbers throughout most of the river system with much better catches than the previous week where the lower water
conditions were perfect in the lower stretches of the Main river for much of the week. Although many of the fish landed this week were Grilse, there was a good mixture of big Salmon in the system. By the weekend, a couple of rain storms brought the river up approximately a foot, making for good water levels on the Renous and as a result, fishermen were rewarded daily. On the lower stretch of the Renous river system, the rise in water levels put a few fish into the Cains, also a few Grilse and Salmon were landed on the lower stretches of the Cains river.
This has been a great week for fish numbers throughout the river system with daily numbers at the Millerton counter on the Main river system ranging from approximately 500 to over 1,200 each day this week, using a standard calculation formula of between 7-10 percent of fish moving through the counters. Although the numbers were good, the actual catches should have been much higher with overall good conditions. The lower stretches of the Main river and the Renous have seen amazing numbers of fish travelling through the system. The long-range weather forecast is looking great and with these high numbers, it appears like some great July fishing should be had by all throughout the entire Main river system.
must read book written by Brad Burns " Closing the Season"
can be purchased by visiting www.bradburnsfishing.com/product/closing-the-season/
The Run is On! What a difference a week makes! With 4 days of 90F weather to start last week, fishing was spotty at best as anglers only landed a few fish during the week and during a couple of days mid-week we saw more moose on our Wildlife Tours than Salmon in the river. Everyone was thinking "not another heatwave" for the start of the July run this year. But what a change in conditions and fishing a couple of days can make when land temperatures reduced from 90F to 40F and water from 76F last Wednesday to 60F this week. Since Tuesday evening we have seen a river full of Salmon as there has been a nonstop run of fresh wild Atlantics moving through the lower stretches of the Main River System and some fishermen limited out last evening. The majority of the June run Salmon are destined for the upper stretches of the Main River System but the July runs are also heading for the Upper stretches plus the smaller tributaries of the Cains and the Bartholemew and tend to start holding up more than the early runs. We landed our first Cains river Salmon of the summer season this week and know it's just the beginning of great days to come on the Cains. With a rise in water, the Renous should also produce as the first few weeks of July can be prime time on the river when conditions are good. Flies of choice this week were the #8 Undertaker and the #8 Blue Charm. There were also some fish landed on Dry Flies during the slower fishing days last week. With the cooler temperatures followed by a week's forecast for rain, the outlook is very promising for July fishing this season.
After a couple of weeks of summer fishing there has been a good number of fish landed on both the Main Southwest, the Nor'west and the Renous river systems. June can be unpredictable as to when the fish arrive some years - early some years or later in June - but for those who take the gamble, they can sometimes be rewarded with big silver fish of a lifetime. Early June has seen a number of happy anglers throughout the system. Most of the fish landed have been Salmon with a few Grilse that have entered the system over the past couple of days. The water is now at an ideal height for the June runs as long as it remains cool. Good fishing should continue however the next couple days forecast could see some hot weather that we do not need but then there will be cooling again mid-week with a good long range forecast predicted. Flies of choice have been the White Tail Green machine, Green Machine Crystal Flash and the Blue Charm.
The 2016 Atlantic salmon season opened on the Miramichi on April 15th. We are looking forward to another great Spring season on the river. Even with good and sometimes not so good conditions and reports received of both good and poor numbers of fish returns over the years, we have still managed to land over 1,000 Spring Salmon and Grilse for 16 consecutive years on the lower stretches of the Main Southwest Miramichi River System. With Canada now having an exchange rate that makes many foreign currencies worth much more, 2016 should be a great time to make plans for a fishing trip to the Miramichi.
The 2016 spring Atlantic Salmon season is now officially over for another season. Effective May 16th, hook & release numbers will drop to 4 a day from the normal 10 a day limit that runs from April 15th through May 15th - the "Spring Salmon Season" and overall, what a great season it was! With good conditions and an abundance of Salmon, it turned out to be our most successful spring season in 17 years.
Another great week to be on the Miramichi! With the exception of a couple of colder days on the water after so many nice warm days, anglers have continued to catch
spring Salmon every day since the season opened. Even though we are fishing from Upper Blackville to Quarryville for Salmon and Grilse, fishermen are still having the best results upriver above Blackville. If this trend
continues, this season fishermen might continue to land some Salmon until the end of May. Although the number of daily catches has slowed since April, this spring has been as consistent as any spring we have seen, with fish landed daily. The Salmon landed now are fighters after feeding so long on smelts. The trout fishing has also slowed up a bit but what nice trout fishermen have landed since late April. Fishermen have now switched over to floating lines or light sinking tips. Flies of choice remain the Smelt Patterns for Salmon, Gray Ghost for trout along with some results in the Quarryville area using big Brown Bombers.
The 2016 Spring Atlantic Salmon season has been great so far as the conditions have remained almost perfect for an extended long spring season. Even though some days were in the 70's F, nights stayed cool, keeping the water colder than some years. Spring Salmon don't go anywhere until water temperatures are just right, no matter how early the ice goes out or how low the water levels may get. With these conditions, many anglers have switched over to sinking tips or floating lines only when using smaller flies. With the Atlantic Salmon fishing being more consistent than we have seen in
years, Trout fishing has also been terrific as fishermen have been landing fish daily - some up to 7 Lbs. The Miramichi has always been known as one of the best Atlantic Salmon producing rivers in the world, but now, with the population explosion of Striped Bass in the system, at this time of the season, anglers can limit out by landing 10 Atlantics, big Bookies and a boatload of Stripers - all in one day! Not good for the river but good action for the fishermen! Flies of choice this week for Atlantic Salmon were the Magog Smelt, Christmas Tree and Black Ghost. For Trout, the Gray Ghost was best and for catching Striped Bass, the Chris Edmonds Special worked best!
It has been another great week of Salmon fishing on the Miramichi as all anglers landed fish every single day! Although numbers were not quite as good as our first week, the fishing is staying very consistent and the quality of fish is the best we have seen in years, especially the ones that have been feeding on smelt.
What a great start to the 2016 fishing season as almost every angler on the river limited out at 10 fish each on opening day. Fishing has continued to remain good throughout the week and with summer-like weather conditions, this week would have to be described as a perfect start to the spring season. Flies of choice this week have been the Christmas Tree, Black Ghost
, Renous River Special and Magog Smelt. April 1st
With only two weeks remaining until the start of the Atlantic Salmon fishing season on the Miramichi, the conditions are beginning to look good for this years opening day. There is still more ice to clear but the DFO Salmon & Grilse returns are now out for last year on the Miramichi River System and they are looking good for this spring's fishing season.
With the 2015 fishing now behind us, we would like to thank all our guests who experienced a season of some great fishing, some poor fishing, high & low water conditions and a season of new conservation measures that has placed the Miramichi and Atlantic Canada in the forefront in the conservation of Atlantic Salmon. Let's hope there will be more areas that will "get on board" like Quebec, Saint Pierre & Miquelon and yes, Greenland, in protecting the Wild Atlantic Salmon.
As the water is now falling daily, fishing is also improving throughout the week - especially on the Cains and Renous rivers. We love these fall weeks with the
colourful fall foliage, normally good fishing and the back-to-back casting clinics which were held last week and this week. It's always a pleasure to watch these fellows casting. With the water falling, we landed fish in a number of different pools from five different rivers throughout the system. The water was at an ideal height for canoeing and fishing day trips on the Cains river which are always a treat - usually with good results. Although the Cains river is probably one of the best little fall rivers in North America for Atlantic Salmon when the conditions are right, this year has been no exception as almost all the pools are now producing good results but with the higher water, the best results have come from the Middle Cains. Sometimes it's the lower stretches and other times the upper stretches so the more access, the better it gets as each year, best results can come from different locations. One thing for sure is that there is nothing much better than finishing out the fishing season on the Cains River. Only five days remain in this year's fishing season so get out and enjoy it if you can!
This week could be called "the Good, the Bad and the Ugly"!
This week, our stretch of the river was not quite as productive as it was last year at this time due to the rise in water from last week taking most of the holding fish upriver and only a few of the fall run fish moving into the system. Even though we fished a number of pools throughout the system all week, most of our fish came from four pools - two on the lower Main river, one on the Cains and one on the Nor'west. Again this week, luckily, we had access to pools that could bail us out when conditions were not as good as usual for this section of the river at this time of year. As the water levels fall and more of the fall runs enter the system we can expect better results throughout the entire river system as conditions are now almost perfect for the fall runs. Although we are still using a mix of summer and fall fly patterns, the fall patterns worked the best this week.
More water was what we needed for the river system to improve conditions for the fall and we received a nice 3+ foot rise on the Main River and even more on the
tributaries early in the week. With the water rising, anglers enjoyed some decent fishing before too much debris started moving. The rain was needed for the long run but as it sometimes happens, it slows fishing
for a while as for a couple of days the water is normally too dirty and it also moves fish from holding pools, so it can be a waiting game as it takes a few days, following the rain, for conditions to improve and for
fresh fish to enter the system to take the place of the holding fish that have moved on. That was the case for most fishermen this week. Even though we did land some nice salmon, it ended up being our slowest week of
the summer fishing season on our stretch of the river. With the bump in water levels and cooler weather in the forecast for the remainder of the fall season, we expect numbers for the fall runs to now increase daily for a while .Even though there has been some fresh
fish entering the system since with the rise in water levels, higher numbers traditionally start arriving between September 21st to 25th and should continue past the closing of the season. As it now looks, conditions
should be excellent for the fall run arrivals. Traditionally, these fall runs have fish arriving in all the rivers in the system around the same time whereas the summer runs tend to vary from river to river. The Main
River and the Cains have always been known for their good fall runs so let’s hope the tradition continues for this season. Flies of choice this past week have been the Ally’s Shrimp, GP and the LT
With our having such good fishing in the first week of September, this past week we had to settle for much slower fishing as the third heat wave of the season arrived over the weekend and brought water temperatures up again by Monday, resulting in our anglers being shut out for the first time in a while! On Monday, however disconcerting, we still managed to have a successful week as almost all our fishermen landed fish - including first time Atlantic Salmon fishermen Jens Adamson of Denmark who landed 7 and lost another two fish during the tough fishing days. Fishing improved by the end of the week and we did manage to land another 20. With our having access to 21 private pools on the Miramichi River system, sometimes almost all of the pools are producing well but this week we were down to only three that were producing on the entire river system, but three is better than none! Every year we often worry if it is worth the investment for access to so much private water, as over the years some pools are seldom used. Occasionally, times like these make it all worthwhile as an otherwise poor week would turn into a good week and all anglers went home happy. Each year days on the water can be so different as conditions change and so do the pools - sometimes even rivers - as to where the best fishing will be. There is an old saying which goes "never put all your eggs in one basket" or in other words, "a varity of pools is the spice of life when it comes to Atlantic Salmon fishing".
With warm water conditions over the past week, some thought those conditions might continue longer than they did however with the rain late last week and water temperatures dropping into the low 60's over the weekend, the DFO reopened the cold water places on Monday.
When temperatures dropped into the 50's early in the week, what more could Atlantic Salmon fishermen ask for?
With the cooler water, many pools on the lower stretches of the Main river and a couple of pools on the Cains
enjoyed great fishing. We are not sure if there were many new fish entering the system or just the high abundance of holding fish on the move, but from Monday morning on, our anglers enjoyed one of the best weeks on the water this year and we have had some great weeks to really remember this year! The only thing that might have made this week even better would have been more fishermen on the river. With less than optimum previous conditions and some negative reports involving pool closings there were less fishermen on the water than normal for this time of year but those who were fishing were in for a real treat as our anglers hooked close to 100 fish over the last 5 days. With a good variety of both Salmon and Grilse in the system the majority landed at our Lodge were Grilse as this week there were quite a few novice fly fishermen and sometimes it takes practice landing the bigger ones and novices manage to lose Salmon every way possible - from holding rods too tight, breaking leaders, having lines getting tangled around sticks on the river bottom and a Black Bear encounter in the pool while landing Salmon can help in a quick release every time! Overall, however, it was a very enjoyable week on the water with some nice fish landed and fun was had by all! Even though we started hooking salmon as early as Monday morning off the tides in the White Rapids Area, many of the fish landed looked quite fresh but this week only a couple had Sea Lice.
As of this afternoon, the Variation Order has been lifted on all of the 23 cold water holding places throughout the Miramichi River System. The water temperature has decreased into the low 60's over the past few nights.
As of this afternoon, the Variation Order has been lifted on all of the 23 cold water holding places throughout the Miramichi River System. The water temperature has decreased into the low 60's over the past few nights.
"Dog days of August" - and that's what it was for over a week with lots of swimming, canoeing and relaxing - most lodges including ours did not do much fishing. Once again there was no shortage of holding fish - in some places close to 1,000. Downriver places like Engine Town Brook, Welch Springs and Bears Den! Upriver places like the mouth of the Bartholemew, Black Brook, Mills Brook and Big Hole were doing the same as well as many smaller places inbetween. Throughout the week, however, fishing conditions gradually improved as the cooler nights resulted in D.F.O. opening up full day fishing again on Tuesday throughout the system as a few days over the weekend were restricted to morning fishing only. With the rain we received on Wednesday and Thursday, everyone is hoping it might just be enough to reopen the cold water
brooks again. The Southeastern part of the Province received the most rain, resulting in water rising over a foot on the Cains river and the lower stretches of the Main River from the Cains on down. This prompted some of the holding fish to start moving on Thursday and yesterday, resulting in better fishing in some locations. With these cooler conditions and water rising, the water cooled down to as low as 19C on Wednesday night and 18C on
Thursday night on the lower river and the Cains - good temperatures for fishing and to get fish moving from the cold water holdouts. The decision to open or close cold water fishing spots throughout the Main River system is based on water temperatures in Doaktown so with Doaktown missing much of the water levels rising and water temperatures just borderline at 20C in that area, no decision has been made on those places yet. It will be good when they do open - after all, it does effect approximately 5% of the Miramichi River system fishing and many are good fishing spots. Our Lodge has access to 12 private pools on a yearly basis and another 9 on a daily basis - we decide to use them or not depending on how the fishing is in these pools each day. The closures effect 2 of the pools we use, leaving 19 still open for fishing. We would certainly like more rain but for now we are happy to have received what we did. With the rise in water levels we will be fishing the pools on the Cains - where
rain made a difference in the lower stretches of the Main River system - looking for fresh fish that could be arriving after the full moon and higher tides tonight.
For approximately a month, from mid-July to mid-August, we enjoyed some of our most consistent summer fishing in a long time, with good conditions and a great number of fish in the system. But, like they say, all good things must come to an end! As another summer heat wave arrived on Saturday, the fishing came to a halt on Monday. This is Canada and we do like having summer weather, but 30C (86F) is too hot for both me and the Salmon but ideal for canoeing, kayaking and swimming. With the warm water temperature, the D.F.O. again closed some of the cold water sections throughout the river system. In July the closures reopened after just two days but we expect a longer period this time as the forecast does not look as favourable as it did in July, so we could be looking at a week or so this time. Keep in mind that with these closures in place, they still only effect approximately 5% of the river system fishing, but with current warm conditions, it is not worth the effort to be fishing as the fish just won't take a fly in these conditions. On the positive side, although it might not be good for the fish, it is amazing to see just how many are holding up in these cold water areas throughout the system. On another positive note, we are reminded that we are in Canada and these hot temperatures won't last long for anyone to be concerned about warm water conditions! For September and October I think it would be a safer bet to bring along your "Long Johns" instead of your "Speedo's"! So, for now, make the best of the warm weather and get ready for some good fall fishing.
The system used each year to determine the actual numbers, is based on approximately 7 to 10% of the actual number going through the trap nets. If this is correct, even at 10%, then the true number of returning fish as of August 15th is approximately 2,840 Salmon and 12,570 Grilse for a total fish count of 15,410.
Again, if the System used is approximately 7 to 10% of the actual numbers going through the trap nets, the estimate at 10% the true number of returning fish as of Aug 15th is approximately 4,210 Salmon and 11,390 Grilse for a for a total fish count of 15,600.
Anyone who has not seen many fish on the river this year has simply not been on the river or has been in the wrong location as almost every day since mid June fresh fish have been entering the system. With more fish holding this week, we have seen a mix of both fresh and older fish in the system. The water was getting on the low side for much of the system but the cool nights keep temperatures good for fishing, with hook ups daily however the rain on Tuesday night and Wednesday brought the water up almost two feet so every pool we fished from Wednesday on had turned on fish. Each pool is different with some pools good for moving fish runs while other pools are good for holding fish. Pools with runs have had fish moving through daily and the holding pools are starting to hold fish daily. Some days are great and some days are not as good so much depends on conditions. By mid-August the numbers of returning fish have been as good as anyone could have predicted this year. It is still too early to know what the fall holds but with two months of fishing remaining, if the runs continue then this could be a banner year for returns to the Miramichi.
Again, this week, there was no shortage of fish in the system but on a couple of days early in the week we did experience more lookers then takers. However, on Thursday, it was "switch on" once again as anglers had good success with close to 40 hook ups over the last 3 days. Any time you have first-time fly fishermen limiting out while salmon fishing, it's a successful day! Sometimes the ladies have all the luck! August can be the same as any other time of the year where right conditions mean so much. As the conditions improve, so does the fishing.
"Wow" is all that can be said about the runs of fish so far this summer! They started out good in June and have not stopped - even in the warm first
week of July where they were still entering the system. The numbers at the MSA trap net in Chatham said it all on Tuesday. Although it's the same as all the Miramichi counters - only an estimate based on the actual numbers of fish going through the Counter - but if calculations are right, there could have been between 3,475-13,900 fish moving up the river system on Tuesday alone. Fishermen say they have never seen so many fish moving through the system as they are now seeing, especially during the last two days. We are seeing both Salmon and Grilse but again, this week, more grilse are being landed than Salmon. At our location, overlooking the river, we see the majority of the fish that swim past and it has been nonstop action daily, especially after each high tide. 2011 was a great year and it is still early in the season however the guides are saying this has been a great July - one to remember! Throughout the season and with over 400 guests each year we see a number of great casters but every now and then someone comes along that just blows you away. Throughout the year, with our busy schedule
and having so many excellent guides on our staff, I personally do not get out on the water with guests as much as I would like to, but on Sunday I had the pleasure of spending the day with Bob Lanzare & Malinda Barna. Malinda is the owner of Malinda's Fly Shop in Altmar, NY. What a treat it was! Not only is Malinda one of the best casters, she is also one of the best anglers we have ever seen, as she covers the water and pools as well as anyone! Her efforts never went unnoticed as she got into some nice Salmon and Grilse while on her stay with us.
July 24th After so much rain and cool temperatures over the past week it is now hard to believe that only 10 days ago they were shutting down cold water pools
because of the heat. Wow! When things improved, they did - big time - from last Thursday on, fishermen have seen as many fish entering the river in one week as they might have seen in any July in their lifetime.
After so much rain and cool temperatures over the past week it is now hard to believe that only 10 days ago they were shutting down cold water pools
because of the heat. Wow! When things improved, they did - big time - from last Thursday on, fishermen have seen as many fish entering the river in one week as they might have seen in any July in their lifetime.
There is so much yet to learn about the wild Atlantic Salmon, including their life at sea. Why they return in greater numbers in some years but not others and often in years and times not predicted by the DFO and other
Scientific Predictions, remains a mystery. For anyone interested in helping the cause of the wild Atlantic Salmon, the Miramichi Salmon Association and the Atlantic Salmon Federation are both great organizations to support.
The news on the river this week has been more about the cold water pools D.F.O. has closed until conditions improve, as the hot weather this week brought
water temperatures up into the high 70's by Tuesday. With cooler temperatures - as low as 46 F last night - and a bit of rain on Wednesday, water temperatures have again dropped to 64 F this morning - great conditions for fishing the Miramich. Even though water temperatures should remain low into the weekend, next week's forecast is looking good with over an inch of rain expected early in the week. With cooler water temperatures, the D.F.O. will probably open up the cold water areas once the water temperatures remain constantly cool for 72 hrs. The decision to close some spots is based on water temperatures in Doaktown remaining at 68F or above for 48 Hrs. The closure of these cold water locations does not affect much of the fishing on the river system as only approximately 5 percent of fishing throughout the river is impacted leaving approximately 95 percent of the river still open to fishing. The Miramichi River System is the warmest Atlantic Salmon river in the world, after all, so we should expect these closures from time to time. With the cooler water we had a good run of both Salmon and Grilse moving into the system yesterday with some nice fish landed throughout the lower stretches of the system. The Millerton Counter has been reporting high numbers throughout all of July and results have been consistent with the number of fish we are seeing. Even with the warm water over the past weekend, the counter had the highest consistent four days (Friday through Wednesday) of fish moving up the system this year. If these numbers of fish keep coming and the water keeps cooling, it looks like some of our best summer fishing could occur over the next couple of weeks! Flies of choice this week have been the #8 Undertaker, #8 Highlander and #8 Blue Charm.
Fish, fish & more fish are all we have seen since the later part of June - a very positive outlook for fish numbers so far this summer season.
Having good numbers of fish in the system is always the key ingredient for good fishing however, conditions also play a big part and with the warmer weather we have experienced since Monday, fishing has been slowing down. With high numbers of big Salmon in June, it is also encouraging to see high numbers of Grilse in the system. This is the first time in a couple of seasons that we are seeing more Grilse than Salmon.
The Summer fishing season on the Miramichi "came in like a Lion" so let's hope it "goes out like a Lion" as well in October - a good start and a good finish! Reports from all the rivers have been quite positive, with good numbers of fish around and some nice catches as well with 16 hook ups and 10 landed on Thursday. We also had the first summer fishermen limiting out this week. Andrew Munn from Halifax landed four on a #8 White Tail Shady Lady. With the majority of the fish landed so far on the River being Salmon - which is normal in June - we also started landing some Grilse by Thursday and over the weekend. Since early last week, we have seen some good numbers of fish moving up the system daily. It sure looks good seeing so many fresh fish entering the system in June, but again, with June fish, it has a lot to do with timing - being in the right place at the right time is everything! The most productive flies this week have been the #6 Blue Charm, #6 Undertaker and #8 Shady Lady.
July 5th - 8th, East Coast Spey from NJ USA will be offering a spey casting School on the Miramichi.
July 5 - 8th, The Miramichi Salmon Association’s 10th Annual Miramichi Salmon Classic
On the Miramichi there are a couple of weeks between the spring Salmon season and the summer runs where the time is spent mainly on Trout fishing or, in the last couple of years, Striped Bass fishing. Every year can be different as there are no set dates for the summer runs to arrive from the sea. In past years we have had excellent success as early as June 7th but in other years, not until the last week of June before having any success. One good day does not guarantee success the following days as these early run Salmon are travelers - some traveling up to 20 kilometers a day. These Salmon are the most challenging as it's hard to know where they will be at any given time. The guides fish the pools by
the tides - sometimes moving from downriver pools to upriver pools - depending on the tides. Sometime it's more a case of being in the right place at the right time and more luck than skill. But one thing is for sure - every time an angler lands one of these June beauties, the fight and the fish is always worth the effort.
Our Spring fishing season came to an end on Sunday - approximately a month since starting day this year due to a late ice out. But overall, it was a much better spring than anyone had expected after the late start and low DFO number count reports.
This has been a week where spring fishing was as it should be. Even though numbers of fish landed were not as high as in previous weeks, the nicer weather and ideal water conditions for casting made up for it and anglers had good success landing Salmon and Grilse throughout 50 Miles of the River, with the better fishing occurring in the stretch between Blackville and Quarryville, also we had some of the best trout fishing in years occurring between White Rapids and Quarryville. This past week was also the first time this spring that the fish started moving out and on Monday and Tuesday, what a sight it was to see hundreds of jumping Salmon and Grilse between Upper Blackville and Quarryville - one of the best couple of days in a while for watching jumping spring Salmon. It was a nice sight to see after not seeing many during last summer as most Salmon arrived later in the season or during high water conditions.
Overall this has been quite a good week on the water but with such warm weather early in the week, the water levels rose and made for a couple of slow fishing days mid week. Even with the less-than-perfect water conditions, the large number of fish in the system made for some good fishing as almost all of our guests landed fish daily, with one guest limiting out on 4 of his 5 days with 10 landed per day. With the water levels falling by the weekend, some anglers started using lighter lines and smaller flies. On a positive note, the entire Main Southwest Miramichi River system is producing well overall, as fishermen are still landing fish in Boistown, Doaktown, Blackville and Millerton - approximately 50 kilometers/30 miles of Salmon fishing river. We had another week of large fish being caught as the ratio of Salmon to Grilse has been 75% large Salmon compared to 25% Grilse - good for the anglers but possibly not so good for the longterm future of the River - however fishermen are really enjoying it for now.
With the late start to our season we were hoping for nice weather and good fishing for much of the spring season since we had great fishing in the
first couple of days in the season - it really looked promising! Although the fishing remained quite consistent, the weather for much of last week was something to be desired, with rain almost every day and below normal
temperatures up until Friday, making it tough for anglers to really enjoy themselves - even on days when the fishing was good. All of our guests did land nice salmon this week - some 40+ inches - including a 47 inch'er by guide Gary Colford and his guest Bill Moor from Pennsylvania - despite the weather. Warm weather moved in on Friday
and fishermen enjoyed temperatures in the 70's over the weekend, making it a great time to be on the water.
Finally, after one of the longest winters in years and slow ice-out conditions, anglers managed to get out on the water on Sunday. "All good things come to those who wait" and for fishermen who were lucky enough to have yesterday as their starting date, they enjoyed some great success as almost everyone limited out - once again, another season opening day with over 100 Grilse & Salmon being landed. After talking to other lodges and anglers who fished on the river from Boiestown to Quarryville yesterday, reports were very positive, with close to 1,000 Salmon & Grilse being landed on the main
Southwest Miramichi System for a good start to the 2015 fishing season. It seems like each year it's a different fly that's most productive to start the season and this year it was our very own Country Haven Cardinal that was producing the best. However, with rain in the forecast, fishing might slow down for a bit over the next few days - depending, of course, on how high the water rises. The first Salmon of the season for us this year was a tie as Bill Mather from Elgin Ontario and Art Mesher from Waterloo both landed Salmon at 8.10 AM. Nathan Mesher landed the largest Salmon on opening day. With the delayed start to the season this spring, fishermen are expecting to have good spring fishing late into May for Salmon and Trout as well as Striped Bass later in May to early June.
While staying at Country Haven we also offer salt water and deep sea fishing on the Bays of Fundy and Chaleur, and smallmouth bass fishing in Southern New Brunswick. You can "do it all"!
- offering some of the best vacation packages available!
Country Haven where you come as strangers and leave as friends
601 Route #118
Gray Rapids, NB, Canada
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