Miramichi River, New Brunswick, Canada - Atlantic Salmon fishing at it's best!!


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Salmon Association

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"One of Canada's 50 best trips"- 'Explore' Magazine, February 2002 edition.             


The crew at Country Haven would like to thank everyone who visited us in the past and look forward to seeing all of you again.

We would also like to remind you about our Gift Certificates that never expire and may be used toward anything Country Haven offers.
River Reports...
Main Southwest Miramichi


2017 River Reports
2016 Report • 2015 Report • 2014 Report • 2013 Report • 2012 Report • 2011 Report • 2010 Report • 2009 Report
2008 Report • 2007 Report • 2006 Report • 2005 Report • 2004 Report • 2003 Report • 2002 Report • 2001 Report




YEAR 2017 River Reports


The 2017 Atlantic Salmon season opened on April 15th and the Trout & Striped bass season opened on May 1st. With the high number of Large Salmon in the system, the good returns of Trout and the abundance of Striped bass, we are looking forward to another great season on the Miramichi River system.




October 9th 2017

Ken Ferry, Morlten NJ

Plenty of fishing stories...

Andrew Moy, Towaco NJ
www.tightlinesflyfishing.com

Nancy Moy, Towaco NJ, - fresh from the Sea


Canada's Picture Province

'Fresh Fish Only' Section of the River


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 Hair Patterns.


Tight Lines from the Miramichi.




October 2nd 2017

Stephen Mulholland, Calgary Alberta
(First Atlantic Salmon)

Casting Instructor Bryan Martin, Devon UK
devonflyfishing.co.uk

Andrew Done, Leysin, Switzerland




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.

With much needed rain over the weekend, this resulted in a foot or so rise in water height and gave us our best fall fishing so far yesterday and this morning. Let's hope this continues until the season close on October 15th. . The Last week of September was our 10th season of hosting our annual U.K. Spey Week and the next 2 weeks will be our 12th season for hosting our U.S. Spey Clinics with Andrew Moy from Tightlines N.J. - they sure make casting look easy. Bombers and #8 and #10 Bear Hair are still the most productive flies.


Tight Lines from the Miramichi.




September 23d 2017

Simon Sylvestre, Montreal Quebec landing his Salmon
www.wildcatsfilms.com

Simon Sylvestre, Montreal Quebec


David Tremblay, Montreal Quebec
www.wildcatsfilms.com

Guide Keith showing off his carving skills



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.


Tight Lines from the Miramichi.




September 15th 2017

David Martin, Denver Colorado

Nigel Blackley

Jurgen Kritzinger, South Africa

A Miramichi morning


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.


Tight Lines from the Miramichi.




September 1st 2017

Bomber paradise

Duncan Craig London Ontario

Rose Greulich, Pulaski NY

Another successful dry fly fishermen


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.

This coming week's forecast looks like we will be receiving a good rainfall and this is really needed for the entire river system and the tributaries. If we receive as much as forecast, it will be perfect timing to get our fall fishing season underway on the main river and it's tributaries. With the lower water we have experienced throughout the summer there should be a great splash of fresh fish entering the system when the fresh water arrives. Every guide has their favourite pools and favourite rivers to fish each season. The weather forecast for this week is sure to make the guides happy - especially Gary Colford for the Cains and Darryl Tucker for the Renous. Flies of Choice this past week were the Peach Carter Bug, Green White Bomber, #10 Undertaker and Bear Hair.

Tight Lines from the Miramichi.




August 20th 2017

Salmon at the end of the Rainbow

Taken on a Peach Carter Bug

Edmond Neuberger, London England, landing a big one

James Neuberger's 1st Atlantic Salmon


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.
Flies of Choice have been #8 All Black Butterfly (Wet) and Peach Carter Bugs also Brown Bombers (Dry).

Tight Lines from the Miramichi.




August 7th 2017

Fishing Coughlan pool at Gray Rapids

Cool weather again

David Tuberfield, Ridgewood CT.

River at Country Haven


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.

On a more positive note... it has been years since we have had such warm low-water conditions with so many fish holding in the bay waiting for conditions to improve. We have always enjoyed some of our better fall fishing when the holding July and August fish decide to move in along with the September and October fall runs and they all enter the system at the same time. Flies of choice have been #8, #10 and #12 Summer Patterns (wet) and Peach Carter Bug (dry).

Tight Lines from the Miramichi.




July 31st

Thomas Carmody, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Tony Spratt, London, England

Jason Andalo, West Roxbury, MA


"Old timers" Guide Gary Colford and
Bill Mather, Elgin, Ontario, with Camp dog"Diesel".


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.

Every week we get anglers of all ages from around the world trying to catch Atlantic Salmon including youngsters - some having success, - some more interested in playing than fishing in the water but every now and then a special child angler will arrive who just amazes us and the adult guests in our lodge. This past week we enjoyed our youngest fly fishermen ever, fully equipped in L.L. Bean equipment. At the young age of 5, Thomas Carmody from Cedar Rapids Iowa is obviously a boy wonder when it comes to fishing. His grown-up attitude, his casting and love for fly fishing (although he will need to catch his first Atlantic on a return visit) and his excitement of landing smaller species and the fishing stories told on returning to the lodge may never be matched by any older angler. It is simply great to see kids this young with so much enthusiasm and passion for fly fishing.

Flies of choice this week: Peach Carter Bug and Bombers (dry), #10 Brown bugs, Blue Charm and Christmas trees (wet).

Tight Lines from the Miramichi.




July 15th

Wild Canadian Moose crossing the river

Enjoying their guided tour

Off on a canoeing adventure

Green Bomber


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.

Having the selection of pools throughout the river system and it's tributaries that we offer to our guests, we are always confident that we can at least find a few pools producing at the same time, but the past week has turned out to be a much better week for canoeing, side by side, Bear, Moose and Whale watching tours than fishing but, as is always the case, with a bit of rain or change in conditions all this can sometimes change overnight. The water height is becoming a bit low for upriver and the tributaries but just starting to shape up well for all our lower water pools on the lower stretch of the river below the mouth of the Cain's down to tidal waters. In this stretch of river we never complain about low water, only warm water. We are looking forward to cooler temperatures to finish off July. Flies of choice this week: Green/Brown/White Tail Bombers, Peach Carter Bugs, dry and #10 Blue Charms, wet.

With today being July 15th it is exactly half way through the fishing season. The past three months could have been better but overall we would have to say it was a good first half of the season with so many large Salmon, Striped Bass and Brookies landed in the spring and some good-to-average days over the past 6 weeks of summer but fishing every day on the water along with many wonderful guests from around the world is always a success. Normally, mid-July into early September, is prime time for dry fly fishing on the Miramichi and the guides' favorite season - fall fishing - is just around the corner, so we are looking forward to a great last half to the 2017 fishing season.

Tight Lines from the Miramichi.




July 1st

Taurus Group, Boston MA
arriving to fish the Miramichi

Hal Thompson, Calgary Alberta
a long way from his Bow River now

Adan Johnson, Boston MA
first Atlantic Salmon

Heather McQuay, Boulder Colorado
Perfect Location


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.

Tight Lines from the Miramichi.




June 15th

Canoeing the Miramichi

Bob Bowser, Nor'west Miramichi Salmon

Wendy Smith, Australia
(First morning on the Miramichi)

Main Sou'west Miramichi Salmon



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.

In the pools, the guides decide where to fish each day, sometimes moving from pool-to-pool upriver as the runs move through and sometimes fishing over the same Salmon off the morning tide in Quarryville or White Rapids to Upper Blackville or Blissfield in the evening. One thing about Atlantic Salmon is that no one ever said catching them would be easy, so it is great to have our fishermen guided by some of the best guides on the river who are always ready for the challenge of doing "whatever it takes" to catch Atlantic Salmon. Flies of choice have been the #6 Blue Charm, White Tail Green Machine and the Cosseboom. With perfect conditions now here for the June runs we should expect some good fishing throughout June and July but, once again, it always depends on the conditions and a lot of co-operation from the Salmon.

Tight Lines and all the best of luck to everyone who fishes somewhere this season - especially for the wild Atlantic Salmon.




May 22nd


Priscilla Ellis, Alberton PEI

Celia McDermont, Moncton NB,

Landed by Dana

Landed by Art Mesher, Waterloo Ont

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.


Gino DeBurra, Auburn Maine

Gino DeBurra, Auburn Maine

Bob Weed, Portsmouth NH

Tyler Coughlan

Fishing Guide Steve Burnett, Mystic CT
www.fishwatchhill.com


Peter Cherry, Ann Abour MI


Striped Bass

Ralph Sorley, Orleans MA, landing a nice one


Dave Geetter, Hartford CT
After the end of each season, we reflect back on the year past and think of some of the experiences and the people who visit us each year. With the break between the spring and summer seasons, we sometimes do the same - there are always too many good times and great people to talk about. This is a photo of one of our most passionate fishermen, Dave Geetter from Hartford CT., who returs annually and has been returning for spring Atlantic Salmon each year for 50 years. His first visit to the Miramichi was in 1967 with his friend Mike Price at Tom Boyd's Camps in Gray Rapids. After that camp closed they continued for a number of springs at Black Rapids with George and Jean Curtis and has since been returning to Country Haven for the past 14 seasons - a total of 50 years dedicated to fishing for spring Salmon on the Miramichi. Many returning guests have tried fishing in the spring, summer and fall seasons and they all have their own preferences, with many returning annually for their favoured week of choice. Dave says he has tried many times but the first week of May is his "Miramichi week" and he's hoping that will continue for many more years to come.

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.





May 11th


Carl Soderland, Ipswich MA

Craig Williams, NH

Nancy Mesher, Waterloo ON

Nancy Mesher, Waterloo ON


Paul Carlton, Portsmouth NH



To date It has been a very unstable spring, weather wise. Wth quite a bit of rain, the fishing has been good-to-great on days when the water fell and poor-to-poorer on days when the water rose, and we have had a lot of both conditions so far this spring! Much of last week was quite consistent, however with all our fishing guests landing Salmon almost daily, the better fishing occurred 0n Thursday and Friday. Again, last week, many of the fish landed were Salmon as opposed to Grilse. Carl Soderland from Ipswich MA. landed 23 Salmon and 1 Grilse in 3 days of fishing - all hooked on a cast. But as luck would have it, a major rainfall arrived on Saturday so the water rose - the 4th rise this spring - making the Upper stretch of the river unfishable on Sunday & Monday. On the brighter side, with the tidal waters of the Miramichi area not being effected as much during high water conditions, some of our anglers opted for Striped Bass fishing. Even though these fishermen from the Maine and New Hampshire area were lifelong Bass fishermen, they say they had never experienced better Striper fishing in their lives. (These fellows know Stripers and the negative effects they can have on other species. Their Miramichi Striper fishing experience left them shaking their heads as to why there was not a commercial fishery where there was such an obvious abundance of Striped Bass. Fishermen - especially from the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. - all say the same thing - Stripers may be OK to fish but the Wild Atlantic Salmon is the real reason why they return annually to the Miramichi. When and if there is ever a time where no more wild Atlantic Salmon remain in Canada, which is the case in the US today, they will travel to Russia, Norway or wherever necessary to fish for them. The Atlantic Salmon is called the "King of Game Fish" for a very good reason and they would like to see our D.F.O. get "on board" to protect them more from predatory fish such as the Striped Bass}.

By Yesterday, the water was back to a good height for Atlantic Salmon fishing so it was a successful day on the water with 11 of our 12 fishermen landing Salmon. Without any major rain in the forecast and no snow remaining in the woods, there should not be any more significant rises to speak of for the remainder of the spring season. Much of the conditions so far have helped to hold the salmon in the system, so it looks like there should be some good - even great - spring Salmon fishing remaining for quite a while yet. Even though there are different ways for catching spring Salmon, the most popular - and fun - way, is by casting from boats towards the shore using sinking tips or even sinking lines, however as the water falls and the May salmon start rising to surface more over the next couple of weeks, we will see good results using floating lines and sometimes even summer fly patterns like #4 and #6 White Tail Green Machines. When there are good numbers of fish around in lower and clear water and the weather is nice, there simply isn't a much better time to be on the River than mid-to- late May which is normally an opportunity to land the biggest Salmon of the spring or a chance at landing a record Brookie or some world class Striped Bass - all on Flies. Flies of choice this week were Magog Smelts, Salmon, Gray Ghost, Trout and Blue Smelts for the Bass.

- Tight Lines from the Miramichi.




May 1st

Glen Johnson, Dillon Colorado

Graham Macdonald, Newmarket Ont.

Jayson Dool, Moncton NB

Bill Mather, Elgin Ont.

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.




April 23d


Young Brothers Graham & Scott MacDonald from New Market Ontario
first Atlantic Salmon fishing trip


Spring jumper


Reggie Pratt, Minot Maine

Bernard Pelech, Portsmouth NH





April 4th

        With a very cold March, the Ice conditions were not looking great for opening day however, with warmer weather since Sunday, rain in the forecast and much warmer weather expected by mid-week, there is now more of a chance that the Ice will be gone and we will see good conditions by season opening day on April 15th. Of course, much will depend on how much rain we do get.

It's always good to get back on the water after a long winter. We are hoping for the best!!

- Tight Lines from the Miramichi.





YEAR 2016 River Reports


The following counter numbers account for approximately 5-10% of the actual numbers of fish returning to
the System each year so overall they show a good return of large Salmon for 2016, up to October 15th.

Returning counts for the Main Southwest and Northwest Miramichi
CLICK on image for larger view


Fall 2016

October 17th

"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.

Overall, as a lodge, we enjoyed our best fishing in 17 seasons. We are not sure if this is entirely because of the good returns or because of having more access to better fishing now than in previous years. The rate of returning guests remained steady at close to 90%. Many of our returning guests are getting on in years - with some of them having returned annually to the Miramichi since before I was born - it's always great to see each and every one of them! Throughout the season there are always so many special moments to remember where sometimes the entire lodge gets involved, such as annual Birthday celebrations for guests, to first-time Salmon landed, to the largest fish of the season etc! For me, personally, there are always too many good times to remember however a couple of my favorites this season were having 9 Year old Haley Dow from Massachusetts catch her first Atlantic Salmon during the poorest conditions of the summer and having the pleasure of guiding 93 year old Erwin Markowitz from Massachussets, with us for 3 days in October. He arrived on the Miramichi the first time in 1950 and has been returning to different lodges ever since. We are very happy he chose us for this visit - a lifetime of Miramichi Memories told to me in three days! What a great way to remember and end the Season.

With the 2016 season now behind us, we would like to thank everyone who visited - young or old, long time returning guests and beginners - we hope your stay with us was a memorable one and you will have an opportunity to return in the future. We might be a bit biased thinking we live on the best Atlantic Salmon river in the world, as probably other guides and lodge owners from around the world might think the same. We do know, however, that we are truly blessed to have such great guides and staff and we are told daily by our guests from around the world, just how special they really are.

Thanks again to the returning Salmon, Guests and Staff for making 2016 our best fishing Season in 17 years.

Here are a few of my favorites photos of my favorite people from this season;



Doug Slink, from Anglers Adventures
A lifelong friend of the Guides
and the river

Tom Campbell, from Chatham NY
a lifelong guest of the River


93 Year old Erwin Markowitz, Worcester MA
a lifelong guest of the River


Tyler's first full season
What a great addition to the Guiding staff


Guides Gary Colford & Wesley Curtis inducted into the Guides Hall Of Fame




October 16th


Serge Collin, NB


Patrick Walsh
www.outdoorcanada.ca

Mike Panieo, Orleans MA

Chris Lloyd, England

David Turberfield, Ct

Ken Brenner, Maryland

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.

Thanks again from all of us at Country Haven Miramichi





October 9th


Paul Bazzoni, Little Compton RI
Cains River


Nancy Moy, Towaco NJ
Main River

Andrew Moy, NJ
Renous River
tightlinesflyfishing.com

Bob Mosher, Hingham MA
Cains River


Rob Widgren, Albuquerque New Mexico
Renous River

Jim Mclaren, Chicago Illinois
Main River

"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.

- Tight Lines from the Miramichi.




October 2nd


Landed by Gary Berenson, Wayland MA
Main River


Andrew Done, Leysin Switzerland
Main River

Brian Warrington, Manchester England
Main River

Doc Baker, North Carolina
Cains River

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!

Fish were landed on a number of flies this week with the better results being with Undertakers - anywhere from #4 through #10, depending on the pools. With two weeks remaining until the end of the season, beautiful fall foliage and pools filling up with big fall Salmon - it is looking very good for October fishing.
- Tight Lines from the Miramichi.




September 26th


Michael Wadden Kentville NS
Renous River Salmon


Bruce Palmer Kentville NS
Cains River Salmon

John Ruckno, Wilkes Barre PA
Nor'west River Salmon

Nick Choremi, Brooklyn NY
Renous River Salmon

Cains River Morning

Dennis Landreville, Ottawa ON

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.

By Friday. the Main river started seeing a good number of fresh fall Salmon entering the system and over the weekend, fishermen were rewarded on all the rivers. With the rise of water in the Cains river, fishermen started having success in the upper stretches of that river as well, unlike the past couple of weeks when fishermen were only having success in a few locations. With the current conditions, people should expect some good fishing throughout much of the river systems. Throughout the season we fish the 4 major rivers almost daily and often have success in most but when anglers start catching fresh fish on the same days in all these 4 rivers, it's usually a good indication that there is a good run occurring. We tried it two days in a row over the weekend. With the rice in water levels and fall conditions, fishermen finally got the chance to have the best results so far this fall using the traditional fall patterns such as Ally's Shrimp, Mickey Finn, Tippet Shrimp and the GP. With three weeks remaining until the end of the season it's looking good for some great fall fishing.

- Tight Lines from the Miramichi.





Summer 2016

September 19th


Roger Lailey, Newburg, England
Nor'west Miramichi Salmon


Alex Krotinger, Boston Ma
Main Southwest Miramichi

Jens Lund Adamsen, Fredericia Denmark
Cains River Salmon

Peter Engelhardt, Summit NJ
Cains River Salmon

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.

Even though the water is at a good height on the lower stretches of the Main River System and the fall runs should increase daily until the end of the season, a good rain will be needed to get fishing until the end of the season on the upper stretches of the Cains & Renous rivers as it should be.

- Tight Lines from the Miramichi.




September 8th


Daniel MacDonald, Monique, PEI


Erik Van Den Berg, Rosmalen, Netherlands
fishingwildplaces.com

Rene Van Bergen, Netherlands

Waiting for a Bomber

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.

The best news on the River this week has been that the new Minister of Fisheries, Dominic LeBlanc, is making changes for the improvement of the Striped Bass season. Everyone is hoping for more positive decisions by the start of the 2017 Season. The Miramichi, one of the best Atlantic Salmon rivers in the world, is seeing returning Striped Bass outnumbering returning Atlantic Salmon by a 10 to 1 ratio. These numbers suggest that it should not be a big decision to relax the restrictions on fishing for Striped Bass. Fly fishermen have been doing their part for Atlantic Salmon Conservation in every way possible. Everyone knows that the Atlantic Salmon has many predators so let's hope these improvements will be only one of many steps in the right direction as to whom should be the leader in making decisions for the protection of all fish species, including the wild Atlantic Salmon - an important segment of the East Coast economy - valued at approximately $255 million annually.

On October 1st there will be a ceremony at the Atlantic Salmon Museum www.atlanticsalmonmuseum.com to induct long-time river guides Marty Stewart, Wesley Curtis and our very own Country Haven Guide Gary Colford, into the Guides Hall of Fame. I do not know Marty personally but being friends and neighbors with Wesley for over 30 years and having had the pleasure of Gary being on our guiding staff for the past 9 seasons, I cannot think of anyone more deserving to be in the Guides Hall of Fame, than these fellows.
- Good Luck and Tight Lines from the Miramichi.

- Tight Lines from the Miramichi.




September 1st


David Paciobio, Ottawa ON

Pam Paciobio, Ottawa ON

Emily Champagne, Markham ON

Michael Kovacevic, Georgetown ON

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.

As of now, conditions remain steady as we head into fall when we can expect some fresh runs of those big hookbill salmon - from now through the end of the season on Oct the 15th. Right now conditions are great for much of the main river system and should be remain that way until the end of the season if we don't receive much rain. The tributaries of the Renous and Cains rivers are good for a while yet but will need at least one good rise in water levels to ensure the traditionally good fall fishing these tributaries are famous for.

Up until now, anglers have been having better results on traditional summer fly patterns like the Bomber, Green Machine, Bear Hair and Undertaker, and that will continue into September but, after the next rise in water levels, the traditional fall patterns such as the Shrimp, GP, LT Special and Copper Killer, to name a few, will be in high demand until the end of the season.

Throughout most weeks of the season we catch some big fish, some small fish, sometimes they get photos, sometimes they don't, but for the guides, the best reward of all is seeing the faces of those who catch their very first Atlantic Salmon on a fly rod. The 4 photos above are all of first timers on their first morning fishing for Atlantic Salmon.

- Tight Lines from the Miramichi.




August 26th


Cains River Salmon

Another Cains River Salmon

Main River Salmon,
Shya Kane, Milford NJ

Main River Salmon,
Shya Kane, Milford NJ

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.
- Tight Lines from the Miramichi.




August 17th


Patric Thebeu, Moncton NB
First Atlantic

Early Morning Miramichi


One of our favorite fishermen

We like it when they're rolling

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.

We are often asked how the fish counter systems actually work. It can be quite confusing if not explained well as the counters only tally a percentage of the actual number of fish entering the river systems. Below is a report by fly fishermen Brad Burns from his Blog, on how they come up with the returning number of fish, with the returns this season - up until July 15th on the Main Southwest Miramichi river.


The 2016 season so far and the coming fall run - by Brad Burns

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.

On July 15, the trap reported 397 salmon for the season to date. This compares to 213 avg. for the same period from 1998 through 2002, and 349 from 2003 through 2007. It is also well ahead of either 2013, 2014, or 2015. So far so good, but it is less than the 494 from 2008 to 2012. The 397 represents just the Main Southwest branch, and the trap catches about 5% of returning salmon. That means that so far in 2016 we have had about 8,000 salmon enter the Main Southwest Miramichi. This isn't bad, especially compared to just about any other salmon river in North America. The grilse count was 536 which, times the 10% efficiency for grilse, puts the run so far at about 5,000. This is about half of the normal grilse returning by July 31 for all but the most recent years - which have generally been lower than 2016. Like the Main Southwest Miramichi, the Northwest Miramichi branch is having quite a good year for Salmon, but not great for Grilse.

So what does all this mean for the fall run? Jason Curtis always says that you can judge the whole season to come by the early fishing. He reasons that the early fish are a certain part of the total run, and if that early component is bigger then the whole run will also be larger. It's like the old bell-shaped curve. If the outer edges of the bell are wider and thicker the bell is likely to be larger. Certainly that is the way it was with the 2011 run, which came in hot and heavy early and continued that way until the end of the season. One day in mid-June 2016 I came in off the river and sat on the bench next to Jason. I had just had a half hour of rolling and touching salmon, but not getting a solid hookup. You have to be feeling pretty good about the number of fish we saw in the tail of the pool tonight, he said. There were plenty of Atlantic salmon coming in to the Miramichi until that first heat wave at the end of June.

- Brad Burns

Last week, with the warm water, it was better for canoe sightseeing and beaches here at Country Haven, than for fishing, but the few fishermen that were on the water still managed to land fish and enjoy seeing lots of holding fish, even when there were no takers. But, with these improved conditions, there have been many fishermen limiting out the past few days and we have had some of the best fishing of the season which could possibly continue over the next couple of weeks. #6 and #8 White Tail Green Machine have been the flies of choice since Sunday. With the lower Canadian dollar compared to many other foreign currencies it is a good time to visit the Miramichi for a fishing trip and we are also finding that anglers are taking advantage of the currency exchange to buy from our local Miramichi fly shops - who carry all the top brands in the business - from Doak & Sons in Doaktown, Curtis Outfitters in Blackville, Trout Brook Fly Shop on the Nor'west and Miramichi Hunting & Fishing Supplies in Miramichi city. With Atlantic Salmon fishing there is never a guarantee, even when the river is full of fish, but we can guarantee some of the best quality service & prices that these local fly shops offer. So... Get ready for the fall season as we are expecting a good one!

- Tight Lines from the Miramichi.




August 2nd


Haley Dow, Paxton MA

Stephane Jansen, Rawdon QUE

Rosemarie Greulich, Pulaski NY

Andy Greulich, Pluaski NY

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.

The water is getting low for most of the tributaries and upper stretches of the main river system but is at an ideal height for the lower stretches, especially from Blackville to Quarryville. Some of these pools are better as the water gets lower. Even with good water height in these pools, rain is needed to cool the water down and bring more of those big August Salmon that tend to hold up in the lower stretches of the river.
- Good Luck and Tight Lines from the Miramichi.




July 26th


Guide Gary Colford

Tony Spratt, London England

Guide Danny Coughlan

Jason Andalo, West Roxbury MA

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.

The forecast is not looking too bad for the next couple of weeks as it is raining today and there is a chance of 20-30 Millimeters (1"+/-) of rain arriving on Thursday. With the water temperatures hovering in the mid 70's over the last couple of days, starting today, the DFO decided to close down 25 cold water brooks to fishing until water temperatures cool. The closures of these brooks effect only 2 of our 22 Private fishing pools that we use throughout the season, giving us access to 20 Private pools instead of the normal 22. If forecast predictions are correct, the closure might not be too long. Flies of choice this week were Peach Bomber dry flies and #10 and #12 Undertaker wet flies.

On October 1st there will be a ceremony at the Atlantic Salmon Museum www.atlanticsalmonmuseum.com to induct long-time river guides Marty Stewart, Wesley Curtis and our very own Country Haven Guide Gary Colford, into the Guides Hall of Fame. I do not know Marty personally but being friends and neighbors with Wesley for over 30 years and having had the pleasure of Gary being on our guiding staff for the past 9 seasons, I cannot think of anyone more deserving to be in the Guides Hall of Fame, than these fellows.
- Good Luck and Tight Lines from the Miramichi.




July 14th


Bill Mather, Elgin Ont
- ready for fishing

Glen Delisle, California
Landing his 1st ever Atlantic Salmon

Glen Delisle, Auburn CA,
Guide Daryl Tucker
Bob Peredi, Savanna GA

Glens' Salmon


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.

Every week is different in catches - some good, some not so good - but one thing that has not changed over the years is our quality of guests, both returning or new. Words cannot describe the wonderful guests and now friends who have visited us over the years. This week we had the pleasure of hosting two new first-time 85 year old fishing guests, and what a treat it was having them at our Lodge. We miss everyone who visits each year but these guys will be remembered for some time! Flies of choice this week were #8 Undertakers, #8 Blue Charms and #8 and #10 Same thing Murry.
Good Luck and Tight Lines from the Miramichi.

Photos of Two nice salmon landed at Campbell's pool above Blackville - by Brad Burns

Guide Jason Curtis

Guide Daryl Warren
For anyone with interest in the Miramichi River, a
must read
book written by Brad Burns " Closing the Season"
can be purchased by visiting www.bradburnsfishing.com/product/closing-the-season/






July 7th

Rick Maser, Bar Harbour Maine
1st Atlantic on the Cains, Summer 2016
Salmon landed by Mike Panio
Orleans MA

Wildlife Tours

Fishing the Miramichi

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.
Good Luck and Tight Lines from the Miramichi.




June 25th


Patrick De Belder, Ottawa ONT
Upper Sou'west




Tim Moore, Mechanicville NY
( Bomber ) Lower Sou'west

Productive Nor'west river pool

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.
Good Luck and Tight Lines from the Miramichi.





Spring 2016

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.




May 17th


Teghan GodKin, Ottawa ON
1st Atlantic, May 13th

Larissa Bryenton
Making it look easy

Jeremy Vickers

Claude Dagenais, Montreal QC

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.

Our angling guests landed Salmon and Grilse every single day from opening on April 15th to May 15th. What a success rate this was as all of our fishermen hooked into Salmon and throughout the entire Month of spring fishing, only three one-day anglers did not land any.

With balanced weather conditions, no water level rises to speak of, cool nights and with many warm days, we wish every spring could be such a success. Even though spring Salmon fishing officially ended on May 15th, with these great conditions, fishermen are still landing a few Salmon - especially throughout the lower stretches of the system - and will probably continue to do so for some time yet. Even though our guides all know it has been one of our best seasons, it is always refreshing to receive so much positive feedback from returning fishermen - some who have been returning for spring fishing for over 50 years! Peter Mychajliw from NY returned after staying away for 6 springs - due in part to some negative reports of low returns on the River - but he was very surprised as he enjoyed his best fishing ever - including his many years prior to the 6 year absence. Dave Geetter from Bloomfield, Ct. - who has fished the Miramichi almost every year since 1967 - said that even though he has had higher count days for fish over the years, he cannot remember seeing so many nice looking Salmon and also knows for sure that he has never caught so many big Trout in all his years of spring fishing on the Miramichi river. On a slightly negative note however, Dave Price from Weston Mass. who started fishing the Miramichi in 1963, said that in all his years, he never landed any Striped Bass. While salmon fishing on the Miramichi, he landed 10 Stripers in an afternoon. He now says that over his 50 years of fishing the Miramichi he has seen it all!! Don Dimambo from Barrington N.H. - after years of spring fishing for salmon on the Miramichi - decided to spend a day fishing for Striped Bass on the Lower Stretch of the River. In his 60 years of Bass fishing in New England, he has never witnessed such Striped Bass fishing! We are so happy to say we have enjoyed some of the best spring Atlantic Salmon, Trout and Striped Bass fishing in years and it is great fun while it lasts. Many of these seasoned Striped Bass fishermen suggest that it might not last as long as we would like because they are worried about the effects of such an abundance of Stripers on one of the greatest wild Atlantic Salmon rivers in the World! The bass fishing is fun but it is the wild Atlantic Salmon that brings these anglers from around the world, to the Miramichi each year. So, with the retention period continuing until May 29th, anglers should get out do some Striper fishing and take one home as there is definitely no shortage of them on the Miramichi. Fly rod Floating lines or light sinking tips, Bombers or Chris Edmonds Striper flies are working best.

Spring fishing will continue for a while yet - especially for the Striped Bass and the fresh runs of Sea Run Trout that should be arriving soon - but with expectations so high for another good year of Salmon and Grilse runs, an early summer with good fishing conditions might see some entering the system early this year. Country Haven has access to 22 private pools throughout the System in 2016, giving guests the best chance possible to catch the wild Atlantic Salmon .
- Good Luck and Tight Lines from the Miramichi.




May 12th


Mike Durant, Pensacola FL

Andy Lipsky ,Cumberland RI

John Torgan, Providence RI


Cody Dey, Thunder Bay ONT
(Cody's 1st Atlantic Salmon)

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.

As the Salmon, Grilse and Trout catches have slowed, the Striped Bass fishing has improved daily. Even though fishermen are catching Stripers as far upriver as the White Rapids, the Miramichi City area numbers are increasing daily. Although there are many ways to fish for Stripers, fishermen are having best results and the most fun landing them using fly rods with Chris Edmonds Striper bass flies. With good water conditions expected for a while yet for boating on the lower stretch of the Main River system, there should still be some good spring fishing remaining with a good chance to catch Atlantic Salmon, Trout and Striped Bass.
- Tight Lines from the Miramichi.




May 5th


Jeremy Vickers

Jake McGill, Kitchener ONT

Nathan Mesher, Kitchener ONT

J.P. Wiggins, Clinton, Ohio

Peter Mychajliw, Port Washington, NY

Raymond Hill, Roanoke VA

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!
- Tight Lines from the Miramichi.




April 29th


Bevin Baker, Tasmania Australia

Gino DeBurra, Poland Maine

Dr. Mohammad Hossain, Saint John NB

Reggie Pratt, Minot Maine

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.

With perfect water conditions most of the week, fishing has been good overall with many big salmon landed - including 15 over 40 inches out of over 600 Grilse and Salmon landed since opening day. The best news is that colder nights have been keeping the water cold and the fish have not been going anywhere since opening day. If these conditions continue, anglers could have some great spring fishing long into May. The water is now on the low side but some rain in the forecast early next week should help in extending the spring season for boat fishing. The conditions are now perfect for casting and some fishermen have changed over to using sinking tips only. When the water does warm up and the fish start moving, presuming these clear water conditions continue, fishermen should have some good success this spring using floating lines as well.

Even though the Salmon fishing is good and will improve even more with the number of fish in the system as the water warms, trout fishing over the past days has been awesome in the lower stretches of the Main river. Fishermen have been landing too many to count on some days - including some up in the 6-7 lb. range. The traditional spring flies are working well but smaller flies have started and will continue to produce, especially for the casters.

The Miramichi traditionally sees anglers travel from around the world for summer and fall fishing, with the majority of spring anglers arriving from the eastern US. It is very early in the season however fishermen have already arrived from Australia, England, Scotland, Norway and the western US States of Washington and Arizona with great success had by all! Spring, summer or fall, each season may be different but the thrill of landing a Wild Atlantic Salmon is special at any time.
- Tight Lines from the Miramichi.




April 22nd


Steve Cullen, Princeton MA
1st Atlantic Salmon 2016 season

Fish landed by Art Mesher, Kitchener, ONT


Bernie Pelech, Portsmouth NH

Jason Tham, Toronto ONT

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.

As we head into the second week of the season, there are lots of fish throughout the entire river system. Anglers having the best results now are casting toward shore from boats as the majority of fish are still holding. With some nice weather in the forecast, it's looking like another great week ahead to be on the River.
- Tight Lines from the Miramichi.




April 1st


Doaktown

Upper Blackville

Gray Rapids

Blackville

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.

2015 count returns for Salmon & Grilse for the Main Southwest Miramichi river.

NW Miramichi 4,171 Salmon 11,981 Grilse 16,152 Total Salmon and Grilse
SW Miramichi 11,490 Salmon 13,980 Grilse 25,470 Total Salmon and Grilse
Total Miramichi System 15,661 Salmon 26,961 Grilse 41,622 Total Salmon and Grilse




YEAR 2015 River Reports



Summer 2015

October 17th


Stephen Tonning, Fredericton NB

Roger Lailey, Newburg England

Stephen Tonning, Fredericton NB

Lower Cains

Fish on Middle Cains

Fish on Upper Cains

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.

Overall, here at Country Haven, it was another good year with over 80% of returning guests from around the world who joined us in enjoying the Miramichi, including all the Canadian provinces, 37 US States, and 14 Countries. The returns were up over last season - especially summer returns - but the fall numbers will probably be a little disappointing, not because of lack of fish, but mainly being due to the removal of counters again because of the flood in late September which is normally a prime time for the fall returns. However, in this season, compared to some past seasons when conditions were good, anglers felt like every time they headed to the river, they had a good chance of catching fish. The guides tend to agree that the most positive thing about the 2015 season was the large returns of Grilse throughout the season compared to the last couple of years and with the large number of fish that have entered the system, fishing should be good for the coming spring season.

The Atlantic Salmon is a traveler and so are the fishermen who fish for them as guests travel from around the world every year to fish the Miramichi. It always amazes me just how far people will travel to fish for Atlantics, even with some having great fishing for other species in their back yards. It always reminds us just how important the wild Atlantic Salmon truly is. What amazes me even more is that over the years, how these fishermen's paths have taken them to meet up at lodges from Russia, Norway, Scotland and the Miramichi without even knowing each other would be there. Every year is similar but always has something that sets it apart from other seasons, whether it's the variations from year to year as to the best locations, changing conditions or the fly selections that work best from season to season or where the majority of guests will be from by season's end . One thing that was a bit different this season was where guests arrived from at the same time without knowing each other or without any connection to be here without a group booking or other arrangement. It just happens - like in July, when three traveled from Salt Lake, Utah in the same week, or in early September when five from North Carolina arrived the same week, and in late September, three from Victoria BC in the same week. Some of these guests were almost neighbours but had not known each other before their arrival. After traveling thousands of miles to fish the Miramichi they were all brought together by the allure of the wild Atlantic Salmon - the king of the game fish - a species worth fighting for!

We would again like to say "thanks" to all our guests - we could not do it without you and look forward to seeing you all again in 2016! Tight lines.




October 10th


Colin Townsend, Voorhees N.J.

Pete doing what he Likes best

Landing Salmon on the Cains river

Ron Halick with Andrew & Nancy Moy
on the Miramichi

Andrew Moy Casting Clinics


Lobster time on the Miramichi

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!

For best flies - fall patterns, especially anything with orange, is working best.

For Information on 2016 U.S. Spey Clinics visit www.tightlinesflyfishing.com

- Tight Lines




October 4th


Gary Berenson, Wayland MA


Gary Berenson, Wayland MA


Bryan Martin, Devon England
fighting a salmon

UK Spey Week on the Miramichi

Andrew Duncan, York, England

Curious visitor

This week could be called "the Good, the Bad and the Ugly"!

The "Good" would be that this week is always one of our most enjoyably weeks of the season as it is our UK Spey week on the Miramichi with a number of fishermen returning each year from the UK for a week-long adventure of fly fishing for Atlantics and Spey Casting clinics hosted by Bryan Martin & Brian Warrington from the UK. The beginning of the week was promising with ideal conditions and good numbers of fresh fall run Salmon entering the system with many 30+ Salmon seen and landed on the river.

The "Bad" was the 150ml (6") of rain we received mid-week, bringing the water up by approximately 21 feet in 36 hrs.

The "Ugly" was the flood-like conditions where fishing was impossible for two days since there was too much floating debris and and it took until Saturday before conditions improved enough to again have any success. What started out looking like probably one of the better fall seasons on the Main river, will not happen this year. But on the positive side, the instructors did an excellent job at the casting Clinics and our staff provided a number of tours - including bear watching - that all our guests enjoyed very much. Another positive aspect in this rise in water levels is that even though it might not be good for the lower stretches of river, it should make for some great fall fishing on the tributaries of the Cains and Renous where we have access to some great fall pools! I Can't think of any place better than the Cains to finish off the fishing season! For anyone interested in fishing the Main river only this fall, with this rise in water, probably it will be the upper stretches of the Main river that will be fishing best for a while. It might be a good time to try places upriver as the conditions are now in their favour for Main river fishing.

Flies of choice this week were all fall patterns; GP, Ally's Shrimp, Red Frances and LT Special.

For information on the 2016 UK Spey week, visit www.devonflyfishing.co.uk/miramichi.html

- Tight Lines




September 27th


Canoeing & Fishing the Main River

Cains River Salmon

Canoeing & Fishing the Cains River

Tyler & Gary on the Cains River

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.
- Tight Lines




September 20th


Joe Herzog, Virginia

Joe Herzog, Virginia

Chris Lloys, England

Jamie Long, Moncton NB
( 1st Atlantic Salmon )

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 Special.

For more information on Miramichi river fishing and river conditions, visit www.bradburnsfishing.com/miramichi-update-sep-20-2015/
- Tight Lines




September 12th


Todd Steinmetz, Bozeman Montana

Taken on a Bomber

Jens Adamson, Federicia, Denmark

Serenity and great fishing!

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".

Now the good news is that we expect no more low and warm water for the rest of this season! With the good amount of rain we received all day yesterday, we are expecting the Main river to rise approximately 3 feet and the tributaries rising even more. Yesterday, With the water rising, anglers had good success, especially in the Doaktown area Main river and lower Cains. With so many fish in the lower river system now, good fishing should continue for some time on the upper stretches as these fish move up the rivers. With the rise in fresh water levels we can soon expect the start of our fall run as conditions this week should be perfect for bringing in more fresh fish. With our having access to 5 private pools on the Cains and this rise in water levels, we have many happy guides this morning as they know just how good fishing can be on the Cains in the fall when conditions are right!

Over the last few weeks anglers almost all used dry flies - and what a treat it is landing Salmon on a dry fly - but with the higher and cooler water, the wet fly patterns will probably work best from now on. The fly of choice this past week was the Peach Carter Bug. Recommended flies to use this coming week are the traditional summer wet fly patterns such as the Green Machine, Bear Hair and Undertakers as well as fall patterns like the GP, Allie Shrimp, Red Franchis and the Copper Killer.

- Tight Lines




September 5th


15 yr old Daniel Macdonald
releasing his 1st Atlantic Salmon

Dr. Michael Kelleher, Duxbury, MA
First ever Atlantic Salmon

Chantal Collin

Jack Thorpe, Lock Haven, PA

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.

Based on the long range forecast, it's too early to know what's in store for us next week as sometimes forecasts change daily. The days do look warmer but if nights are cool then that counteracts warmer days in cooling water temperatures which will keep conditions OK. Night temperatures dropped to as low as 5C this past week and we had frost in places, making it seem like fall. If these cool night temperatures would remain for a while then good fishing should continue on the lower stretches of the river, as the water height is low but still ideal for this area - especially between Blackville and Quarryvillle. If conditions are right on this lower stretch of the river and there are fish in the pools then the lower they get the better the fishing! This week we will need to wait and see what weather we receive as with any fishing, it's so much luck, being in the right place at the right time, and good conditions. This past week we were blessed to have access to the best pools on the system for the conditions.

For the river as a whole, more rain is needed to get the remaining holding fish moving, to bring in more fresh fish and to make many of the upper stretches and tributaries like the Renous and Cains more fishable for the fall runs. With so many fish in the system, the upper stretches should enjoy excellent fall fishing this year if we get rain. Although this week we landed fish on a number of different fly patterns, using dry flies was by far the best choice - Bombers, Whiskers, etc.. On Tuesday, guide Ken issued a warning to our anglers that Peach Carter Bugs should only be tied on while on shore as the Salmon might take them out of your hands! We guess they were working that well!!
- Tight Lines




August 31st

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.

Tight Lines - enjoy your fall fishing on the Miramichi.




August 29th


Newlywed Dustin Hildebrandt
Winnipeg Manitoba.

Dustin's Bride, Michelle Funk
Winnipeg Manitoba.

Dustin Hildebrandt, Winnipeg Manitoba.

Byers family, Brockville Ontario

"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.

We always enjoy fishing after the full moon. The fish will come in low water if conditions are OK. With the good fishing we enjoyed for so long this summer, it would have been nice if that had continued every week until the end of the season but if there had to be some poor fishing, it was at a good time, so let's hope it is past us now for this year. Along with the full moon and high tides, another positive thought for good fishing this fall might be the lack of big rises in water levels throughout July & August, as in past years when we had big rises of water, it seemed like they flushed the system and brought in too many fish early in August which resulted in less fresh fish numbers later in the season. This year we have just had normal water rises - no floods - just consistent runs until now, so... if past history prevails, it should be a good fall for fish numbers - but again - so much will depend on conditions!

Every week we receive guests from around the world, including quite a few novice newlyweds who think it's cool to land an Atlantic Salmon on their honeymoon. Dustin and Michelle from Winnipeg managed to land three on their day trip with us. Sometimes the tradition continues resulting in anniversary gift trips to the Miramich such as Andrew and Nikkie Sutherland from London England - Honeymoon 2005, 5th Anniversary in 2010, 10th anniversary in 2015! As the old saying goes "Happy Wife - Happy Life"! It's not diamonds afterall, it's Atlantic Salmon fishing that makes "reel" Ladies happy!




August 21st


Sylvie Prefontaine, Quebec

Sylvie's fine casting form

Kayaking on the Miramichi

Visitors checking out the anglers

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.

With the fish counts up to August the 15th in, this leaves two months of counts yet to come. The numbers so far into the season are very good, especially when compared to last year. We all know the counts last year were not as bad as reported because of the counters being removed more times than in previous years, due to high water rises and during the flood in July. Normally, a good time for returns and the good number of spring fish moving back out to sea would be April and May. This spring also proves that the counts could not possibly have been as low as reported, but no matter how accurate the counts are, this season is looking very good compared to past years - especially the Nor'west, a river of concern over the last few years.

With the A.S.F. comparing the Dungarvon and the Nor'west counting fence barriers in it's latest report, it might be good to compare the numbers from the stretches of the Rivers where the majority of fishing takes place.

Counts as of August 15th at the Nor'west Cassilis trap:
Salmon: 2007-2011 average = 258 2012 = 166 2013 = 155 2014 = 41 2015 = 284
Grilse: 2007-2011 average = 912 2012 = 237 2013 = 364 2014 = 61 2015 = 1,257

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.

Counts as of August 15th at the Main Southwest Miramichi Millerton trap
Salmon: 2007-2011 average = 513 2012 = 445 2013 = 298 2014 = 185 2015 = 421
Grilse: 2007-2011 average = 1,396 2012 = 437 2013 = 407 2014 = 283 2015 = 1,139

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.

These two counters combined suggest approximately 31,000 of returning Salmon and Grilse to the Miramichi River System as of August 15th!




August 15th


Tracey Bryant, Landenberg PA
August 12 2008

Tracey Bryant, Landenberg PA
August 12 2015

Nicholas Biasotto, Landenberg PA
August 12 2008

Nicholas Biasotto, Landenberg PA
August 12 2015

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.

The Miramichi has a long history of Salmon fishing and has traditionally attracted many returning guests from around the world. Some return annually and some come back every chance they can get. For over 10 years now, through good and not-so-good fishing, we have enjoyed over a 80% return rate each year. Atlantic Salmon anglers are one-of-a-kind, loyal to their fishing, their guides and favoured rivers. There is no feeling like watching them arrive full of excitement and new flies tied through the winter, and sometimes trinkets and gifts for staff. These returning guest arrivals are often described as a homecoming by many, even though they might have traveled from around the world to fish the Miramichi. This week, two of our returning guests had seven years between visits but say it will be much sooner next time. The funny thing about their visit was the timing - landing fish on August 12, 2008 then exactly seven years later, having the same guide on the same day - August 12th 2015. With the rise in water, fishing should continue for a while throughout the system as the holding fish should continue their move upriver and the fresh water should probably help to bring some more fish into the system. Two months remain until the closing of the season on October 15th so planning a trip to the Miramichi might become the trip of a lifetime! With the good runs so far, many of the lodges on the river are booking up for fall but with so many good ones to choose from, you probably won't be disappointed in any of them.
- Tight Lines from the Miramichi




August 9th


Fish on at the Orr Pool

Ladies having fun

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.

Although there are 30lb+ Salmon in the river now - we see them almost every day - the number of Grilse has been amazing this year, even though some of them are the smallest we have ever seen. We are not sure why but it is good seeing them in the system and this is the first time in a few seasons where there are more Grilse than Salmon.

Although anglers were having the best luck using wet flies in the faster water pools on the Main River, the slower pools on the river and it's tributaries were having the best fishing using using wet flies such as a #10 White Tail Green Machine and #10 Blue Smurf in the faster water pools on the main River. On the slower pools on the Main River and its tributaries they were having the best fishing using dry flies such as the Whiskers and Blue Bombers. The pools on the Main River - especially the lower section and lower Cains - are at a great height for holding fish but much of the Renous & Dungarvon are too low except for a few of the holding pools. Although we have been spending most of our time fishing the lower sections of the main river this week there are still good reports being received from upriver Blissfield and above the Doaktown area as well. With the ideal conditions on this section of the river, good dry fly fishing should continue throughout August.




July 31st


Bob Lanzara & Malinda Barna
Altmar NY

Guide Dan with salmon
landed at Coughlan Pool

Anthony Spratt, London England
salmon landed in Upper Blackville

Tony playing one of his many fish
on the Cains this week

"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.

Although most of the fish are on the move there are a few places where they are holding up. A single angler, Randall Connors, rolled 15, hooked 6, and landed 4 in a 90 minute period yesterday morning, all holding fish in a little pool in Upper Blackville. Some fish are also starting to hold on the Cains and Renous rivers. As August arrives, so do the Bomber fishermen as most years, during August, the lower stretches of the Main River see the best Bomber fishing as the fish hold up more at that time. Flies of choice this week have been #8 Christmas Tree and #8 Undertaker for wet fly. It was a tossup between the Peach Bomber and Blue Bomber for dry fly.

Over the years there have been many wonderful books written about the Miramichi by writers from around the world, including some I will never get tired of reading over and over - written by local Miramichi'er Wayne Curtis. I have just finished reading another one called "Closing of the Season" by Brad Burns. With our having access to five pools on the Cains, this book is very interesting as much of it is about the Cains and fall fishing on one of the best little Salmon rivers in the world. It is a "must read" for Atlantic Salmon Fishermen. For anyone who has fished or would like to fish the Cains River in the future and would like to know more about this book, visit www.bradburnsfishing.com/product/closing-the-season.





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.

Due to the earlier warm water conditions and negative reports there were not as many people fishing as usual but those who did were enjoying it as there were good numbers landed each day throughout the week, including approximately 100 fish in the stretch from the mouth of the Cains to Quarryville on Sunday alone! With the barbless hook being used this year, some anglers are losing half of their hookups, along with the fact there were not as many fishermen last week. One angler said these "100 fish days" could probably have been "300 fish days" in past years before barbless hooks and he is probably correct. With the perfect conditions and lower water in the lower stretches of the main River over the weekend, this is where the best fishing was. With the water levels rising every day this week, anglers are now enjoying good fishing throughout the entire main river system, the Renous and the lower stretches of the Cains. Overall, the most positive thing we have taken from summer fishing so far - even though we are catching and seeing many big Salmon (including some 30+ lb'ers) - is the great number of Grilse in the system - something we have not seen for a couple of years.

With the water still rising, fishing will probably slow down for a couple of days but with the large number of fish in the system, fishing should improve daily as the water falls, especially on the smaller tributaries. Most productive flies this week have been the #8 and #10 Undertaker during the low water, and #4, and #6 White Tail Green Machine after the rise.

Every year is different! With the numbers of returning fish in the system, some years are great and some not so great due to lower returns and sometimes more to do with the not-so-accurate counting systems on the rivers that can increase or decrease the numbers. The overall number counts vary by conditions more than the actual fish numbers. In good conditions the counters might be kept in place for an entire season, making for a good yearly count. In other years, the counts might not be as accurate due to high water or net removals due to floating debris - sometimes during the best times for returning fish like during the flood of July 2014. But overall, the counters give as good an indication as possible for the returning numbers from year to year. It is believed that approximately 7-10 percent of the fish moving though the system go through the counters each day depending on conditions.

Here is a photo of a 34 Lb+ salmon landed in Upper Blackville Wednesday by Tim Vickers and this fish has a story! This fish had a tag. It was tagged at the Millerton Counter in August 2013 and probably returned to the Sea in the spring of 2014 to return again in July 2015.

( With the short time it spends at sea, this Salmon is called a Consecutive Repeat Spawner. These Salmon are good for the River System. )

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.

Even though there is so much yet to learn about the wild Atlantic Salmon and only so much information available from studies, books and biologists, it seems to me that every year is different and I will never figure them out. But a good place to start learning is by spending time with some of the older and more experienced guides on the river as some of them have forgotten more about the river and the Salmon than what you might ever learn from all the studies that have been made. Every Atlantic Salmon angler who fishes the Miramichi should spend at least one day on the river with one of the true and genuine generations of guides, such as Wesley Curtis, Ernest Long, Vince Swazey, Pete Randall or Gary Colford. As an outfitter who has been studying the river and Salmon every day for over 15 years, I have discovered that every day provides a new experience as I am always learning! Some of my nicest memories from before my time on the river have been told to me by older locals and guides and even guests who have been returning to the River for generations.

Gary Colford has been guiding for us here at Country Haven since 2007, with 50 years of guiding experience, Gary started at Wades Fishing Lodge at only 15 years of age. There is not much Gary has not seen or knows when it comes to Atlantic Salmon Fishing on the Miramichi, especially concerning past conditions, high or low water, years of good or years of poor fishing or banner years of returns in the 60's with the following year full of rumours about closing the river due to low returns. Low water river reports are now a concern but Gary remembers water levels close to 2 ft lower than levels fell during the past few seasons. Overall, what amazes me the most about Gary's knowledge of the river is with his fish predictions from year to year. With the lower numbers of returns reported last year, Gary kept suggesting we should get ready for this year - even though it's still early in the season - but as of now it's looking like Gary is correct once again. Of all the concerns for the future of the Atlantic Salmon on the Miramichi, there are many that Gary shares concerns over! Even though the Striped Bass has been in the system for years, the high numbers we are now experiencing are the biggest threat to the Atlantic Salmon on the Miramichi. I am starting to think that the DFO should spend some time on the river talking to locals and these older guides! They just possibly could learn more about the River and the Salmon.

For those of you who have not met Gary, here is a link to the video of Gary & the River.





July 18th

As of today, all the cold water locations the DFO closed on Tuesday have now reopened as the water is again at a good temperature. Congratulations to the DFO for reopening them in a timely manner when conditions improved. Let's hope the DFO and the Media do as good a job reporting the reopening as they did with the closures. Today was another good day on the Lower Main River System with lots of fish and some nice fish landed.


July 17th

  
20 years of fishing the Miramichi for these NY Boys
  
Ken doing what he does best

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.




July 9th


Andrew with a fresh grilse

Nancy Moy getting it done

The best young double handed Caster
on the Miramichi, Zac Colford

Taking a private lesson
from one of the best.

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.

As for water levels, some of the upriver pools on the main river are getting low. The Cains and Renous rivers are dropping too low for good fishing. So far, the Cains has not seen any great numbers of fish to speak of, as it's a "later" river, but with a rise in water levels, many of the fish presently holding at Black Brook are now Cains River bound. Some of the pools on the lower stretches of the river are only now becoming fishable, as they need low water and some of them never get too low for good fishing. The Coughlan, Orr, Mountain Channel and Ted Williams pools can drop a bit more to have improved fishing. So far, in these pools, fish have not been holding but merely traveling through, even with the warmer water. Our anglers have been getting the best results fishing pools closest to the tidal waters as every tide has been bringing in fish. We do need rain or cooler weather to improve fishing and it looks like we may get these improved conditions next week. Flies of Choice this week have been the #10 Undertaker and #8-#10 Blue Charm. As always, Andrew Moy and crew from Tight Lines Fly Shop from New Jersey hosted some great clinics in double handed fishing - one of the best instruction teams for sure.





June 28th


Ernst & Young annual corporate event

Salmon landed by Ivan Toner, Bedford NS

Andrew Munn, Halifax NS
1st of 4 for the day

Ian Cavanagh releasing
his 1st summer 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.

Events on the Miramichi in July

July 5th - 8th, East Coast Spey from NJ USA will be offering a spey casting School on the Miramichi.
www.tightlinesflyfishing.com/canada.htm

July 5 - 8th, The Miramichi Salmon Association’s 10th Annual Miramichi Salmon Classic
www.miramichisalmon.ca/salmon-classic




June 22nd


Nice 18 Lb'er landed by Bob Bowser

Chris Losier's 20 lb. Salmon

Rodney Colford's beauty

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.

With our summer season now getting under way, reports from the Gaspreau fishermen downriver so far have been very positive as they have been releasing more salmon from their nets than they have done in quite a while. Canoers on the Dungarvon have been seeing fish now for a couple of weeks. Fishermen who have been doing canoeing and fishing Day Trips on the Nor'west are picking up some nice salmon. Also, there have been reports of Salmon landed on the Sevogal, Renous and some beauties on the Main Southwest Miramichi River system. So... we are starting our Summer season full of optimism for a good season to come.

Above are photos of a few Salmon landed on the System over the past week by Chris Losier, Bob Bowser and Rodney Colford. Chris & Bob's fish were landed on Wet flies. Rodney landed his yesterday using a Blue Bomber. Flies of choice for these early run Salmon were #4, #6 under normal June water conditions. With a bit of rain throughout the week along with cool water tempetures, more fish have been entering the system daily so find a good location on the river and brace your feet.

Tightlines!!!




Spring 2015

May 26th


Larissa Bryenton, 1st Atlantic Salmon, May 18th

Girls in the kitchen

Robert & Eric Hollenberg, Dundas Ont.

Jeremy with a real beauty!

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.

After a month on the water, guests had 4 days where over 100 Salmon & Grilse were landed, 5 days where over 50 fish were landed and 7 days where over 30 were landed! All other days of the month there were some fish landed every day from start through Friday with approximately 1000+ total landings for the month. After speaking with our guides and many long-time returning guests, this spring was as good as most and probably as consistent a producing spring as we have had in quite a while - and can only be described as another successful spring. The reason for the good fishing may have been due to no great water rises to speak of, or the fish moving down daily, or just more fish arriving than was expected. Another positive aspect of the good season was the high number of big female spawners in the system and the large numbers of big salmon overall. On the negative side, once again this spring had low numbers of Grilse in the system. Over the past five years we have seen a complete reversal of the Salmon to Grilse ratio on the river. This is good for the fishermen but who knows what it really means for the river in the long run! After the Salmon & Trout fishing slowed toward the end of the week, anglers enjoyed some great Striped Bass fishing to finish out the spring as our boats - with 2 to 3 fishermen per guide - landed approximately 100 Stripers per boat each day over the weekend. But even though it's fun, some fishermen tell us they would sooner fish all day for one Salmon than land over 100 Striped Bass.

Every year people ask us what the best times of the year are for the best fishing and the longer time goes by, it seems like the less we know about it as every year and season are so different. After another spring season, however, the only thing we do know for sure is that there were many more Salmon entering the Main River system than were counted, probably during the flood in July when the counter was damaged, or other times when it was removed due to high water and debris, and definitely after its final removal last year on October 16th. We hope the conditions will be better this year for both returning fish and fishermen over the remainder of the season as we will now be turning our attention to summer fishing as we wait for the fresh runs of June Salmon that could arrive any day. If history and statistics mean anything, then 2015 is the "cycle year" for good returns 2011 to 2015. We will also spend some time on the Cains River fly fishing for Sea Trout, which is great fun using light weight tackle. For anyone interested in Striped Bass fishing, there are miles of fishable water with a number of boat ramps and from May 29-31st there is Atlantic Canada’s premier Striped Bass fishing tournament taking place nearby in Miramichi. For more information, see miramichistripercup.ca .

Some Atlantic Salmon fishermen find it sad hosting the Striper cup on one of the most famous Atlantic Salmon rivers but there are lots of Bass, lots of prizes, and lots of fun to be had. Do remember, as the popular vehicle bumper sticker reads "Keep a Striper-Save a Smolt"!

Every season we look back and remember the good times and stories and with over 100 guests from around the world visiting us this spring, it was another great one for memories as 90% were returning guests and over the years, so many are now like family - having watched our youngsters grow up from kids to having them now guiding on the river, and from once teaching the boys to tie flies and knots to now needing it done for them - as they had taught them many years ago - as their eyesights are now not like they used to be.

Every day is a story and there are so many good ones, but each spring we have a chuckle with a group that has been coming to the Miramichi annually since 1967 as they fished with a number of other - now closed - lodges in the past before coming with us. 13 years ago we had a lodge owner call, telling us he was closing and that he had a group of older gentlemen who had fished with him for years and who were now looking for a good place to fish. They were nice fellows and were getting up there in years but we might get them for a couple of years. They are still laughing about this now, 13 years later, as some of them are now in their 80'S & 90's and still catching Salmon.

Another memory started this spring is of 14 year old Quinn Cavanagh who arrived from Halifax in search of his first Atlantic Salmon. History and stories had created a family tradition of catching an Atlantic Salmon on the Miramichi as his great grandfather Lewis Brown was camp manager at Rocky Brook Camp from 1960-1969. His Grandfather and his father, Ian, landed Salmon on the Miramichi in the Doaktown area and this trip was his turn as he had lost some beauties over the last couple of years - but this day, with guide Gary Colford, he would have made his ancestors proud as he landed his first Atlantic on the Miramichi. We're not sure who was happier, Quinn , his Dad Ian, or guide Gary. We take such pride in having some of the best guides on the river and they all have unique differences, but one of Gary's many qualities, after guiding for 50 years and after landing thousands of salmon, is that he still gets as excited as the guests when they land their first Salmon.

Almost everyone knows of the great baseball player Ted Williams. Ted spent so many summers here, fishing Salmon on the Miramichi. How he loved the fight of the Atlantic and the solitude many locals gave him as we were hockey fans and did not care much about baseball. The nice stories of the great duo - Ted and his longtime guide Roy Curtis - made over the years, including one of the best traditions on the Miramichi - all of Roy's six sons are still actively guiding on the Miramichi River after so many years. Every so often a Ted Williams fan will show up to go fishing, with stories of Ted and baseball, but here is a different story - one of a side some may or may not have known about Ted as a person and an angler. Guide Ken Vickers tells us the story many times, of him being 12 and down at the river fishing with his brother's rod when Ted saw him, thought he was doing ok casting and then gave him a brand new Shakespeare autographed rod and reel which Ken still has today! Ted was right, as Ken is one of the best single-handed casters on the Miramichi River today.

Throughout the winter months we are sometimes lucky enough to spend time in the Florida Keys fishing and vacationing. We have seen Ted's place in Islamorada, where he enjoyed his winter fishing, a number of times. We enjoy listening to stories at places like Buds & Mary's, from guides who knew him. In January this year, at a local shop, I had the pleasure of meeting up with a fellow full of fishing stories about Ted and his dad. Ted's family and his family all enjoyed the memories and if you did not know better, you would think you were listening to one of the Curtis family members talking about Ted and fishing, and like Ken, Ted had given him his first fly rod that he still cherishes today.

After an airport pickup this spring we met Lodge owner Shawn Leadon from the Bahamas Andros Island. Shawn was coming to fish Atlantics for the very first time, accompanied by a friend who has visited with us many times. During the drive to the lodge we heard about his many interesting stories, his love for fly fishing and a guy by the name of Ted Williams who had fished for years with his Dad on the Island. Once again, same stories of a great fishermen with a big heart but different families with similar memories, and yes, Ted gave Shawn his first fly rod because he thought he had potential! Once again, Ted was right about his casting as today Shawn is one of the best there is! After visiting Ted's Camp on the Miramichi and after going through the guest book 20 years later it was nice for Shawn to see his dad's name written there. When Shawn came to the Miramichi he never knew Ted or that his Dad was here and thought he might have been the only kid Ted Williams had given a fly rod to! In the world of fly fishing we all come together and on the Miramichi, every day is a story with many stories having happy endings. If anyone is interested in visiting Andros Island and fishing with Shawn for Bonefish, Tarpon or getting permits then visit androsoutdooradventures.com.


Shawn Leadon and Art Mesher

Shawn Leadon & Ken Vickers




May 18th


Adam Curtis - nice Trout

Olivia Donahue and her Striped Bass

Keffer Pitfield, Toronto Ont

Colin Fisher, Toronto Ont

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.

After three weeks of spring fishing we now know the fish did arrive in much greater numbers than DFO figures indicated. With water levels remaining at a good height for boating, fishermen should continue to land some spring Salmon into this coming week, along with some nice trout in the lower stretch of the Main River System as well as Striped Bass in the tidal waters. Only Fly fishing is permitted for Salmon and Trout but other methods can be used for catching Striped Bass however stripping Bomber flies across the surface is still the most rewarding method for hooking Stripers.

Most fishermen now adhere to a hook-and-release-only policy for most species but on the Miramichi - famous for its Atlantic Salmon - many believe in "hook and cook" when it comes to Stripers, as a new bumper sticker available in the Area reads, "Keep a Striper - Save a Smolt". So... anglers should get out on the water as there is still lots of good spring fishing remaining on the Miramichi for a while yet. This week floating lines or floating lines with sinking tips are working best when casting for Salmon and Trout but some anglers are still using full sink lines when trolling in the tidal waters. Best fly this week has been the 2/0 Gray Ghost for Trout and Salmon.




May 11th


Aaron Kroeker, St. Davids Ontario

Father & son Ian & Quinn Cavanaugh, Halifax NS

Gino DeBurra, Poland ME

Lobster Season now open. Mmmm...

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.

Our Trout fishermen have been landing some nice 20in+ fish in the faster water of White Rapids and in the Tidal waters. Flies of choice this week have been theBlack Ghost, Magog Smelt for Salmon and Gray Ghost for Trout. The real Smelts have now moved up into our stretch of the river making competition for the fishermen but great feeding for the Salmon, Trout and guests at the lodges. Lobster season has also opened so life is good on the Miramichi.




May 4th


Andy Lispky, Cumberland RI

Roger Lailey, Newbury England

Larry Brown, Haymarket PA

Bill Moor, PA

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.

Trout season opened on May 1st and fishermen are catching some nice trout this year. With the water levels staying high and cold, it's too soon to know for sure how many fish are in the system as most are being caught close to shore and so far in the season it is looking like there is no shortage of big salmon. With warmer weather and falling water the fish should start moving more, making for increased hook ups while casting. Anglers were still using full sinking lines and 5/0 streamer's over weekend.




April 27th


Early season anglers

Bill Mather, Elgin Ontario

Nathan Mesher's beauty

Country Haven Cardinal

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.





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Country Haven
601 Route #118
Gray Rapids, NB, Canada
E9B 1G9
Toll Free: (877)-Fly-Hook (359-4665) * Fax: (506)-843-9010

E-Mail us at:flyhook@nbnet.nb.ca
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