"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.
(Many of the Atlantic Salmon rivers around the world experienced lower
numbers of returning salmon & grilse in 2014 including the Miramichi River
system. However, overall numbers for the Main Southwest Miramichi at the Millerton
Counter saw an increase in Salmon & Grilse compared to 2013 results, including a higher number of returns than 5 previous years out of the last 16 years on record for the Millerton counter. This adds a positive note to returns on our stretch of river, considering the negative reports being issued throughout the
Atlantic Salmon world in 2014.)
2014 count returns for Salmon & Grilse for the Main Southwest Miramichi river.
The 2014 counts are in for the Millerton trap net as of October 15th 2014.
2014 returns - 743 Grilse, 568 large Salmon
( 2013 returns - 466 grilse, 377 large Salmon )
These numbers are estimated to represent approximately 10% of the actual numbers of fish going through the counters. Based on this, the actual numbers of Grilse could be 7,430 and large Salmon 5,680 for a total of 13,110 for 2014. In 2013 the actual numbers were 4,660 Grilse and 3770 Salmon totalling 8,430. That's approximately an increase of 4,680 over 2013! There are so many factors in determining the actual numbers from year to year. The numbers for 2014 could actually be higher as in the early part of the season, the counters were removed after the hurricane and became more accurate during September and October when we had low water conditions - more like traditional conditions for the lower stretches of the river - without any counter interruptions. The 2013 count could also have been higher as the river received a number of rises, especially in August, resulting in a number of occasions where net counter removals were needed due to grass and floating debris. With rises of water that normally bring in fresh fish to most rivers in the world, if counters are not operating at the time, it is always hard to know the true numbers for that year. The only thing we know for sure is that there were more fish in the system in 2014 than some of the reports might suggest and if anyone didn’t at least see as many fish than they did over the past 5 years on the lower stretches of the Main River System during most of September and early October, and on the Cains in October, then they were probably not on the River. All this should make for a pretty good Spring Season in 2015.
Jeff Dow, Paxton MA
Doug Slink landing Salmon on the Cains (Anglers Adventures)
Thomas Hansen, Elsworth Maine Fall Hookbill
Ray Ziener, Connecticut Cains River
April Vokey, BC, with an Atlantic Salmon
Garry Colford releasing April's Salmon
Although there still are a few fresh fish arriving in the lower main river system each day, most of the final week of the 2014 fishing season was spent on the tributary of the Cains River as it was the most productive location to finish off this year's season. Using three locations on the Cains, anglers managed to land some nice Salmon right up until closing day. We enjoyed finishing out the season with our regular returning guests. It was also a treat to open and close out our 2014 season hosting April Vokey as she filmed "Shorelines", a WFN Series with VP Media House which will be airing in January 2015. This week, almost all of our guests landed fish, including April and company. Our guided Canoeing Fishing Day Trips on the Cains, with shore lunch, are always days to remember. Overall, with beautiful weather, fish and great people, what better way to end the season! The most productive flies this week were the #8 Short Hair Undertaker and Black Marabou Leech.
More photos from the 2014 fishing season
April Vokey and Jennifer de Graaf
Canoeing the Cains
April Vokey Topher Browne and Byron final day of the 2014 season on the
April Vokey holding a fish
Serge and Gary with fish
With the 2014 Fishing season now in the books, here at Country Haven it could be described as the Good, the Bad and the Ugly! The good being that many of our fishermen landed fish throughout August, September and October. The Bad being the slow start to the summer season in June and the heat wave in July. And the Ugly being the hurricane in July that raised the water 12 feet and took any July fish that were in the system up to the headwaters. However, looking back - like they say - a poor start makes for a good end and the fall fishing this year sure made up for the poor start as for over a month, fresh fish arrived daily with some good numbers in September and October and with the good conditions on the lower stretches of the Main river, we experienced some of our best fall fishing on the main river in 5 years. It wasn't as good a season as 2013 or definitely not as good as 2011, but overall, a better season than 2012. Call it luck, good location, or right place - right time because as it turned out, it was another successful fishing season on the Miramichi, with over 400 returning
guests from every province, 31 US states and 12 different countries.
Not everyone landed fish - especially in the early part of the summer with the poor conditions and lack of returning fish. We feel bad for each and every one who did not have success but very happy for everyone that did, and we hope that all those who visited with us in 2014 left with fond memories of the Miramichi. From all of us here at Country Haven Miramichi we would like to say "Thanks" for helping us make 2014 as big a success as it was and we look forward to seeing each and every one again in 2015.
Jody Plonski, Middletown NY Cains River Salmon
Walt Plonski, Seatle WA Cains River
Wade Evans, Clifton Forge VA Cains River
Doug Slink, Old Lyme, CT (Angler's Adventures) Cains River
With a bump in water levels this week many of the holding fish in the lower stretches of the river moved on, making for some good fishing in the upper
stretches of the Main, Nor'west and Cains rivers.
With our having access to three of the better pools on the Cains, in the fall it's a tough job to keep the guides away from the Cains, especially when the river is full of fish like it has been since August. Although we did land some fresh Salmon on the Main river system this week, the majority of the luck for anglers has been on the Cains. With some fishermen limiting out this week, Wade Evans enjoyed landing two 20 pounders in 45 minutes on Wednesday, topping off one of his better fall trips in years. Good weather and good fishing - what more could we ask for to finish off the remainder of the 2014 season on the Miramichi. Flies of choice this week were the #8 Short Hair Undertakers.
Charlie Mosher, Albuquerque NM
Ron Halick, Jersey City, NJ
Nancy Moy, NJ
Andrew Moy, Spey Clinic
Anyone who has not seen fish on the Miramichi this week must not have been fishing as almost all of the holding pools are full of fish and there are a good number of fresh fish arriving every day throughout the Main river. All of our guests hooked and landed fish this week with many big Salmon among them. Some of the pools on the lower stretches of the river have had the best fishing in the last 10 years. Dave Goulet, former owner of Classic & Custom Fly Shop in New Hartford CT, who has been fishing the Miramichi for the last 40 years, says he is happy he did not listen to some of the reports before he left home as this week he has been enjoying his best fishing in 10 years. Even though we are seeing and hooking a large number of fish, we expect fishing might even improve over the next few days following the 20 ml. (almost an inch) of rain we received yesterday. This might also help the Cains which doesn't need more fish but does need water.
East Coast Spey completed another successful week of Spey Clinics on the Miramichi with their anglers taking home some valuable tips on casting along with fond memories of salmon landed. Every week throughout the season there are so many special moments but this week's moment goes to Charlie Mosher from New Mexico who has been fishing with us annually since landing his first Atlantic Salmon on his 80th birthday in 2009. In every year since then, Charlie has not been skunked and he thought that might happen this year, however on his 3rd day on one of his last casts, he hooked a 15lb salmon as his 85th birthday gift. His long trip back to Albuquerque will now seem shorter.
With current conditions we are still having the best luck using smaller flies like #14 Undertaker and Bear Hair. Doug Slink from Anglers Adventures landed two yesterday - one in the evening on a
#16 Allie Cascade. So anglers must use low water techniques for now but the rain yesterday might change that a bit - we'll see! Tight lines.
Anthony Stuart, Pontyates Wales
Bryan Martin, Devon England
Brian Warrington's casting Clinic
Andrew Done, Leysin Switzerland
Nova Scotia Doctors retreat
Fish, fish, fish and more fish have been what fishermen have seen for most of last week as quite a few fresh fish entered the system each day however with some of the nicest beach weather throughout most of the week, catches were nowhere close to what they should have been considering the large number of fish in the system. On Sunday, Gary Berenstine from MA landed four on #8 wet flies but by mid week all the fish being landed were on small #14-16 wets. The water conditions are excellent on the lower stretches of the main river system as the lower it gets, the better the fish hold. Water levels are quite low for the rest of the system but but with the cooler water, these fall fish will still travel to the upriver locations and we are now seeing more fish in our upriver pools in the Doaktown and Blissfield areas than we have seen all summer. In the section of the river between the mouth of the Cains and mouth of the Renous we have seen the most fish in a number of years, due in part to the lower water levels and the fall run arriving at its normal time of September instead of August, like it did in the last couple of years. With fishing there are always excuses as to why the fishing may not be great and the excuse this week has not been the lack of fish but rather the sunny clear conditions. With cooler and cloudy weather yesterday, anglers had much better results than most days with the sunshine that we saw last week. With so many big fish in the system, a bit of rain to freshen things up would be just what the doctor ordered to finish off the season and we would probably have the best fishing of the season. It looks like there is not much rain in the forecast until next weekend so we are hoping for cloud cover and will continue using the smaller fly patterns for now.
Last week we hosted our 8th annual UK Spey Week with a large number of returning guests, great instructors and with this group, even when fishing is not the best, it's always one of the most enjoyable weeks of the season.
www.devonflyfishing.co.uk/miramichi.html. This coming week we will be holding our annual US Spey Week and we will again be hosting East Coast Spey from New Jersey with instructors Jody Plonski and Andrew Moy. www.tightlinesflyfishing.com . We expect another great week of fishing and clinics on the Miramichi.
We opened our 2014 summer fishing season in June hosting April Vokey and we will be finishing off the season with April as she will again be staying with us on the Miramichi during the final week of the season.
Flies of choice last week were #14-16 Undertakers, Orange or Red Butt Bear Hair, and #16 Black Bear with some anglers having luck using leaders as small as #6. It takes a bit of skill to land 20+ Lb. Salmon using 6 Lb. leaders but by using smaller flies it eliminates the big knot that would be in the eye of the hook, so the fly floats much nicer on the water. As always, every week our guides go "above-and-beyond" to provide the best chance for every guest to have success. With only 15 days remaining in the 2014 fishing season, there is no better time of year to be on the water and to find a pool with lots of fish and to enjoy the remainder of the season. Tight Lines.
Karl Arbogasd, Plains PA
Roger Lailey, Newbury England
Peter Cherry, Ann Arbour MI
Peter and Guide Gary Colford enjoying the moment
Carol Cherry, Ann Arbour MI Landing her 20lb Salmon
With another week of fall fishing in the books it's not all doom and gloom on the Miramichi, in fact, depending on who you talk to, you might hear quite the opposite. We feel very lucky to have had as much success as we have throughout most of the summer and fall so far. Even though it has not been the best of years, we have had worse! This week our anglers did manage to land 23 Salmon with 3 exceeding 25 lbs, 2 grilse, and we lost another 11 Salmon with fishermen seeing close to 1,000 jumping or rolling fish throughout the week. Everyone fishing from the mouth of the Cains to the Blackville bridge area this week have seen fish. It's music to our ears when guide Gary Colford says he has seen as many Salmon this week as he has in any week since 2011. Our best results came over the weekend or earlier in the week with a couple of slower days mid week. Overall, numbers of fish landed this week have not been as good as in some past years but most fishermen have been quite happy with the numbers of fish seen - if not hooked - and were amazed at the large size of some Salmon. The Renous is still too low as is much of the Cains. Although conditions are perfect for most of the lower stretches of the river, a couple of feet rise in water levels would help to improve fishing on the entire river. We are not sure what next week holds as not a lot of rain is in the forecast but we will keep our fingers crossed that the fish keep coming and start taking flies better. Flies of choice this week were the #8 Woof Woof, #8 Undertaker and the Black Bomber.
Peter Gubb, Hampshire, England Main river fish
Peter Gubb, Hampshire, England Cains river Salmon
Pippa Lloyd, Bath, England
Mike Parker,Johnstown NY Main river fish
The first week of September has seen a good number of fish in the lower Cains with anglers picking up fish on most days - many on Bombers and #8 & #10 wet flies - with a trickle of fresh fish arriving daily in the Main river system, right on time after the full moon and high tides. In the lower stretch of the river there has been a big push of fresh fish over the past three days in the lower stretch of the River and the water is at a good height for holding fish but with the cool conditions, they are travelling right through. Fishermen saw over 100 travelling fish in some of the pools yesterday, with many big salmon among them. The 8 salmon and 1 grilse we landed yesterday all had sea lice on them while the fish landed on the Cains did not. Flies of choice this week were the #4 Black Bomber on the Cains with #8 Undertakers and #6 Montreal on the Main river. Anyone sitting at home waiting for statistics from the counters to decide on when to go fishing have been missing some good fishing this week as most locals do not put much stock in the counters. We should also remember that the actual numbers from the counters are approximately 7 to 10% of the actual number of fish moving through - according to the DFO. All that matters is that there are lots of fresh fish in the system, conditions are ideal and water height is great for the lower river pools - especially from Blackville to Quarryville - with pools like the Orr Pool and home pool at Ted Williams White Birch lodge having the best water levels in years for the fall runs. However, water levels that are good for one stretch of the river may not always be good for other stretches of the river or tributaries and as of now, even though the lower stretch of the river is ideal, the upper stretches of the Main river, Cains and Renous could all use a couple of extra feet rise in water levels for better fall fishing. On the positive side - for the upper river lodges and pools where low water and the water temperatures are this good, the fall runs will travel through much lower water than the summer fish would to get to their destination. If all the fish we are seeing this week continue to move up the Main river then there should be some good fall fishing throughout the entire main river system.
Here at Country Haven we get 90% of our fishing guests returning throughout September and October because of our access to good private fall water from the Main, Cains, Renous and Nor'west rivers. As of now, our fall season is almost fully booked however we work very closely with a number of other local outfitters who may still have openings and whom we would be happy to recommend to anyone who has not yet made a booking.
With Atlantic Salmon fishing - and nobody knows for sure what can happen - it could be a good fall to be on the river if these fishing conditions continue. "Tight lines and listen to your guides"!
Guide Dan with a Cains River Salmon
Ladies do it best
Good Luck Kiss
Lobster time on the Miramichi
As September rolls in on the Miramichi, so do many returning friends and fishermen - many who have been coming to the Miramichi for as long as they can remember.
With reports of lower-than-normal returns for much of the season so far, everyone has an opinion. Some who are worried that the lower returns might last into the fall - but just can't stay away, and those that say the fish will come - if not in summer, then in the fall. With the latter in mind - even though we again did have better fishing in August than in July this year, we did not have the four big rises of water that we experienced last August. Those rises brought in a lot of fish that normally might have waited until September or October. So, without any major surprises like a flood or a heat wave, conditions are looking good for an old fashioned fall run. With the run traditionally starting around September 10th it is always a great time of year to be on the Miramichi river system. Even though the Main river is normally the most productive river in the system, Guide Gary Colford likes to spend the remainder of the season on the Cains, and Darryl Tucker will do the same on the Renous if conditions are right. One thing we do know for sure is that the Cains will certainly have fish!
Every week our fishing guests are made up of many great people from almost every walk-of-life from around the world. This past week we again enjoyed the company of Jim Buckmelter who returned again - for the 7th Year. What amazes me most about Jim, is his passion for Atlantic Salmon fishing. Each year he drives all the way from New Mexico to spend 3 months fishing for Atlantic Salmon at some of the best places in Eastern Canada. He started in Labrador in mid June, July in Newfoundland, August in Nova Scotia on the Margaree river and here, with us, on the Miramichi, then off to Quebec for much of September. Jim may be getting on in years but he is really enjoying the life that most Atlantic Salmon anglers can only dream of. Although this is not his best year of fishing, so far he has landed over 30 Grilse and Salmon with most fish landed in Labrador in June but he landed his largest fish and has seen more fish on the Miramichi and its tributaries in one week than he saw in all the other stops on his trip combined, so.. depending on whom you talk to, it's not all doom and gloom. Although this past week was not as productive as last week, there were still a good number of holding fish in pools in the lower stretches of the Main river and lower stretches of the Cains in pools that traditionally hold fish at this time of year, with a sprinkle of fresh fish arriving daily. Many of the anglers who put the time in on the water were rewarded including local guides Pete, landing 2 in his pool on a #10 Undertaker over the last couple of
days, and Jim Steves, landing 4 on an Orange Carter Bug Black Hackle. Anglers who were fishing stretches of the river between the mouth of the Cains and Blackville over the weekend - including the Brad Burns Campbell pool - saw the most fish of the season so far - approximately 100 on Sunday alone - so with the cooler and wet weather over the next few days and a bit of rain forecast for this coming weekend along with a bit of luck from the fish gods, we could have a great fall. Still... always remember two things that my uncle - who was a fishing guide - said a number of times over the years, "It's not the money you make, it's the money you save." and "It's not the fish that's gone by but the ones that's coming" that determines success. So "Tight lines" and Welcome to another fall of fishing on the Miramichi.
Photos of three of David Turberfields six fish landed in the past 3 days - 5 on a wet fly, 1 on a bomber.
Erin Manion, Delafield, Wisconsin
In the later part of last week we had fairly good dry fly fishing for holding fish. We were hoping this would continue but another big rain and a 6 foot rise in
water levels made us think that there might not be much fishing until later this week but with high dirty water and not a lot of wading pools being fishable, anglers that did fish from the river bank had good fishing on Sunday, Monday and yesterday on the lower stretch of the main river, where the high water brought a run of fresh fish into the system. There was also a bit of good news for the upper river fishermen for the upcoming
week and weekend as unlike the last couple of schools of fish that passed through our stretch of the river and then went up the Cains and Baltholomue rivers, these fish appeared to be Main river fish as yesterday, a good number of grilse were seen in the Upper Blackville area above the mouth of the Cains. However, when
water is this high, it is hard to know just how many fish are moving up because they travel all over the river -
especialy the big Salmon - and like so many other times over the past couple of seasons, these fish won't be
counted in the Millerton counter due to the fact that they remove the nets because of the high dirty water. It seems that for anyone wants to catch fish on the main river system they need to be fishing in every conditions as it changes daily and it's all about traveling fish and being in the "Right Place at the Right Time". Now that the water is falling and some wading pools are again becoming accessible, if these numbers continue, we could have some good fishing for quite a while. All of the fish hooked since Saturday have been on a #6 LT Special until last evening at least when David Tuberfield from Connecticut landed 2 nice Salmon using a #4 Christmas Tree. There still is high water on the Main river and the guides have been watching some nice Salmon moving upriver past the lodge all morning. If these fish that we are seeing continue up the Main River System - with the water a bit lower in the upper stretches of the river - it should be a good time to be on the water in the Doaktown and above areas - especially over the weekend.
Bob Bowser from Moncton caught a nice Grilse in Pete's pool Thursday evening when this big Bald Eagle decided to give him a fight for it. We are not sure if this means that they are scarce or that it just looked good to him! Bob is a "hook and release" guy so he released the fish - the Eagle probably did not approve. Click on the photo for a larger view
Jezkava Bowen, Kingston ONT
Steven Scott, Fredericton, NB
United Rentals Group
Did someone say this was an "up and down" season, or what! Last week, the first few days saw a lot of fish holding in some of the pools and as a result there was good fishing, but a two foot rise in water made Thursday and Friday very tough fishing days. However, by Saturday evening, a splash of fresh fish started moving into the Main River system again so some anglers had decent fishing on Sunday and Monday on the Main river and on Tuesday and yesterday on the Cains. Some of the fish
landed over the weekend were 'hook bills' with sea lice. The flies of choice have been #8 Undertaker for Main River fishing and #10 Whiskers and #6 Peach Carter bugs on the Cains. Water temperatures are great and levels are falling to a good height for our low-water pools on the lower stretch of the river. The Lower Cains is still a good height and the Renous is now a bit too low but they are not being fished much as of now in any event. The weather forecast is calling for more rain tonight and tomorrow so we are hoping it will not be too much for our stretch of the river. August is always one of the best months for dry fly fishing and this week was no exception as all the fish we landed were hooked on dry flies. Some anglers who return each year from places like Ireland and Scotland, that come in August, say that rolling 10-12 fish a day using dry flies - even without landing any fish on some days - can be as much or more fun than landing fish on a wet fly back home, where salmon seldom take dry flies. Anyway, again this year, so far, our anglers have been doing better in August than they did in July so we are hoping this trend continues.
Neighbour Peter Clark
Johnathan Ingram, Edmonton Alta, 1st Salmon
We have had great conditions and some decent fishing for anglers that were on the water this past week. There are not a lot of fresh fish entering the system but some of the holding pools that normally hold fish this time of year are looking great with hundreds of fish in a couple of them. With fish holding more, it gives fishermen a better chance as they can now go to the pools and know they will actually see fish instead of just trying to be "in the right place at the right time" as has been the case for much of the season so far. Neighbors' on the river - Peter and Sylvia Clark - had a great morning yesterday with both of them limiting out. Peter had 2 salmon and 2 grilse while Sylvia caught 4 grilse. 7 of the 8 fish were landed
on Peter's own #10 Burdock Dry Fly. They are two of the better anglers on the river with Peter being considered by many to be one of the best Trout fishermen in the province - especially on the Cains.
August is a good month for dry fly fishing and the #8 Green Whiskers has been working well for us this week.
We have had a bit of beginners luck this week as 12 year old Tyler Murdock, from Ottawa, landed his first Atlantic Salmon on Monday and 9 year old Johnathan Ingram, from Edmonton Alberta, landed his first Salmon on Wednesday.
Conditions on the Cains are good but water levels are rising a bit after the rains we had yesterday. The lower the Main river gets, the better it will be for us as long as the temperatures stay cool - we have a number of low water pools that we haven't had a chance to fish often due to higher-than-normal water levels over the past couple of seasons.
In any event, over the past few seasons, August has had better conditions than July and with conditions being so important to Atlantic Salmon fishing, we are hoping for good fishing to continue with the fish holding as they are and for more fresh fish arriving in larger numbers which would improve the fishing even more for the remainder of the season.
Fresh from the Sea
William Martin, Fayetteville AR
Ted Ramsaur, Cedar MT, NC
Showing how it's done
We have recently experienced a bump in water levels which has kept river temperatures cool. On Sunday there were 47 Grilse and 25 Salmon and on Monday, 20 Grilse and 17 Salmon passing through the Millerton counter- a better start this week than most recent weeks on the river. These numbers don't always seem to mean much as everything depends on conditions and they are based on approximately 7-10% of the actual fish that might be moving through the main river system. If we assume 10% is reasonable, this means there could be 720 fish on Sunday and 370 fish on Monday. These estimates are not great numbers compared to previous July counts but but on the bright side for the river, if not for the fishermen, we are seeing and catching more Grilse than Salmon this week. So often, including spring fishing, we see a ratio of 3 to 1 Salmon over Grilse, so seeing some of these fresh Grilse with sea lice has looked good to the guides. We hope this trend continues for a while and that these fish are part of the Grilse runs we normally catch earlier in July. Conditions are good for all rivers in the system, with better numbers of fish being seen in the lower stretches of the main river and the Cains. This week we have not seen as many fish on the main river above the mouth of the Cains which makes fishermen think that many of these fish may be heading into the Cains. We have not had a lot of success on the Renous so our anglers will continue to fish the lower pools on the main river and lower pools on the Cains as August arrives and we will hope for the same success we saw last August which turned out to be the most successful month of our 2013 summer fall fishing season. Over the years, on our stretch of the River, we have had some of the best fishing success in August, when fish tend to be plentiful. If water levels are high, the fish keep moving through so we catch them from shore - like much of last August - but in the lower stretches of the river when the water levels are low, fish tend to hold up more than they do in June and July, making for some great dry fly fishing. Anyway it's "goodbye" to 2014 June and July fishing so bring on August, September and October! Lately,#10 Undertaker and #10 Christmas Tree flies have been the most popular choice
David Baeza from Valladolid Spain
Jason Andalo West Roxbury
One of the Big Salmon Tyler Coughlan has been putting through the Counters
Jeremy with a beautiful Atlantic Salmon
With the high water conditions resulting from Hurricane Arthur last week, it seemed like the best place for fishing would be upriver as the anglers who were lucky enough to be fishing in Doaktown or above had the best luck from the run of fish that went through our area
during the high water the previous week. Depending on who you talked to on the river, some said it was the worst week ever, while others had good luck being in 'the right place at the right time'. Fishing Atlantic Salmon depends very much on conditions - even when there are good numbers in the system - so if numbers are below normal and poor conditions exist, it can make for tough fishing. Most of last week was again 'hit and miss' for most anglers on the river - including us - as we fished close to 20 pools throughout the week with our best luck being from the weekend on as the river is finally starting to look like a
salmon river once again as some of the better numbers coming through the counters are now reaching us. Most of the fresh fish that we are now catching are Grilse, even though there are a lot of big salmon going through the counters, such as the "fish of a lifetime" that Trout fishermen Jamie Heine of PA. hooked into on his first day of Salmon fishing on Monday - taking all his line, all his backing and almost his rod.
The water was starting to warm up a bit yesterday but the cooler weather and showers made for a great morning for fishing this morning. It has been such a crazy start to the fishing season this
year and it again reminds us how lucky we are to have what we consider to be the best group of guides on the river, because no matter what the conditions are, they never stop trying their best - each and every day - to put our guests on fish. Every day we see these results from the guests who might not have had the best
of luck on their fishing trip but still re-book again for next year - all wanting their same guides. Sometimes when fishing is not the best it makes us feel so lucky to be running an Atlantic Salmon lodge and not a different species lodge because Atlantic Salmon fishermen are undoubtably the very best. Some of our guests have been returning to the Miramichi for 50 years and have seen it both good and bad, and like a longtime Atlantic Salmon fishermen from the U.S. told us last week - "a bad day of fishing for Atlantics' is better than a
good day for all the other fish species combined! If you can get only one it is worth it." We suspect that is why true Atlantic Salmon fishermen stand out from all the rest. Rich or poor, professional or novice, on any given day everyone can be equal when it comes to fishing, especially for Atlantic Salmon. We are not sure what to predict for the coming week as conditions look promising on all the rivers we fish and there certainly are fish entering the system, but this year has been proof that we can be fooled. The flies that have worked best are #8 Christmas tree , Undertakers and a #10 New pattern Peacock Body Green Machine that Jenna Tucker just landed 3 grilse on.
Amber/Ernst & Young crew at Country Haven
Geoff Giffin playing an Atlantic Salmon Island pool
We've had a less-than-optimal start to our 2014 summer fishing season but are hoping that the worst is now behind us. We had a slower-than-normal start in June because of the lower numbers of returning fish - due in part to a later-than-normal spring. By late June, better numbers of fish started entering the system however a heat wave hit - a week of 100F weather - which brought fishing to a a quick halt. After the week of abnormal heat and everyone on the Miramichi doing a rain dance, we finally got our cooler weather and rain - all 150 ml./6" of it - in the form of a hurricane called Arthur, with a 10 foot rise in river levels which cooled the water. This brought in some nice fish that swam as fast as possible to get to the headwaters to avoid all the anglers. By mid week, with the water falling, fishermen again started landing fish on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. We did not fish on Saturday and it turned out to be one of the better days in a while on the river. With the main river water still higher than normal, fishermen landed some fish yesterday on the lower stretches of the Cains and the Renous rivers.
So with improving conditions, everyone is hoping for much better summer fishing throughout the coming weeks. If the old saying "a poor start makes for a good end" proves true, come fall we will need to hide in our basements to avoid being run over by all the Salmon.
April Vokey, Chilliwack BC with the Country Haven crew
Wade Evans, Clifton Forge VA
Landed by April Vokey
The 2014 summer fishing season on the Miramichi has been under way now for over a week and the first week was nothing to write home about, however, the past three days have looked promising - probably as a result of the high numbers of fish that passed through the trap net near Chatham on Friday. 28 Salmon and 42 Grilse were counted. We all know that these counts are not always accurate as the numbers counted represent only 5-10 percent of the actual numbers of fish entering the system, but it suggests that there could have been between 700 to 1400 fresh fish entering the system on Friday. The days before and after Friday have seen lower numbers so it's tough to know the true numbers from these counters - so much depends on the conditions each day. High Water, low water, and sometimes, with very high water when fish like to travel the most due to dirt and debris in the rivers, these counters are sometimes not used for days. Overall however, it does give an idea of approximately how many fish are entering the system and on high number days we can usually see the results upriver within a few days with more fish sightings and hookups.
Since Sunday there have been higher numbers moving past our stretch of river. Yesterday, from noon into the
evening, we have seen the greatest numbers this year resulting in some nice salmon being hooked on both the Main
Southwest and the Renous rivers. Traditionally - with the exception of the Rockey Brook
Salmon that enter the Main River early June - the Main river summer season has always been the best from late June or early July on. In the past few years, however, some anglers have become spoiled with good fishing from early June on. This year, with a later spring and colder ocean water, many locals think the better fishing should be just starting.
Last week saw more Striped Bass hooked than Salmon and some of them were over three feet long. Taken on
#6 and #8 Salmon flies, some were hooked as far upriver as the Doaktown area. Stripers generally put up a so-so fight and are not quite as much fun to catch when you are fishing for Salmon. With the better daily numbers of Salmon we are now seeing and the water at a good height and temperature after a couple of rainy days, we are really looking forward to some good summer fishing over the next few weeks.
The fish we did land this week were landed on #6 White Wing, Butterflies and #6 Christmas Trees.
Our first 2014 Summer Fishing season Atlantic Salmon was landed by April Vokey. April and crew will be fishing with us again from October the 10th through the 15th.
Country Haven Miramichi
At Country Haven Miramichi, our Summer fishing season will
officially start tomorrow with great water temperatures - just a bit higher than
normal - and already, reports of a few nice Salmon and Grilse landed on the Norwest, Renous, Dungarvon and on the Main Southwest Miramichi.
With the higher water levels, on opening day, anglers will be fishing high water pools using larger wet fly patterns. Even though there are reports of some grilse already in the system, fishermen should expect
to land Salmon between approximately 17 to 22 lbs. for this time frame in June.
Among our guests this week we will be hosting April Vokey, Field Editor for Fly Fusion Magazine and an Avid Angler as well as Steelhead Salmon and Trout guide. (www.flygal.ca)
We get approximately 90% of returning guests annually and we all look forward to seeing each one again.
'Tight Lines' to everyone fishing the Miramichi this Summer and Fall. We hope you and the Miramichi have a great Season - from all of us here at Country Haven Miramichi.
If fishing the Miramichi this season. make sure to visit:
Steve and Nathan Morency Quebec City - Father & Son
Angus and Jackie Henderson Oakville Ontario - Father & Daughter
Even though there are quite a few Spring Salmon still working their way down through the system, not many anglers are fishing for them but the ones who did still
had some luck. A couple of fishermen from Maine landed Salmon each day in the morning, casting with floating lines, and also were successful with their bear hunts in the afternoon. Most anglers have now turned their attention to Trout fishing and to landing some of the big Striped Bass that are in the lower stretches of the river. With the water finally starting to warm up, this past week has seen some of the best and biggest Striped Bass of the spring being landed. Starting today, anglers can still fish for Stripers but hook and release only is now in effect until August. Flies of Choice this week have been the smaller streamer patterns - Gray Ghost, Black Ghost and Mickey Finns for Salmon, with Gray Ghost, Muddler Minnows and Woolly Buggers for Trout.
With the Spring Salmon season now all but over for another year, it turned out to be a much better one then most expected when around mid April, it looked like old man winter wasn't leaving. Even though it was one of the
coldest and wettest springs in history, the conditions made for a longer spring season by keeping the fish in the river longer. The downside was that with so much runoff, conditions were poorer with higher-than-normal water levels. Fishermen had some washout days with not many fish landed but when water started falling and good conditions returned, there were some very productive days, including 5 days where over 100 Salmon and Grilse were landed and 9 days where over 60 were landed for the Lodge. Overall, it was not as good as many springs in the past but the bright side was that poor days were due to conditions and never for a lack of fish. The good days were productive throughout the entire river system, making one believe that with the number of fishermen on the water who had caught their limit, there might have been a few days of approximately 2,000 landed for the day in the system. On the bright side for anglers, good numbers of large Salmon were landed - one of the best seasons in years for large Salmon. Approximately 70% of the fish landed this spring were Salmon - good for the anglers but with low numbers of Grilse it might not be so great for the river system. Many anglers suspect that the lower numbers of Grilse might be due to high numbers of Striped Bass calling the the Miramichi river system home over the past few years. Many think the Salmon Grilse run in three year cycles. If this is true, since 2011 was one of the best years since the 1960's therefore 2014, being the 3rd Year, could very well be another banner year for both returning Salmon and Grilse in the Miramichi.
With every season there always are a lot of returning guests and friends and great memories. There are too many to mention but with our specializing in Father Son/Daughter trips to the Miramichi, a few from the Spring stick out. A dedicated angler is Keith Bolt from Potsdam NY. Even though no one else in his family fishes, he loves it and enjoys fishing locations like the Miramichi so he talks his Dad, Erick, into flying their small plane here so he can fish and his dad can watch - much like any other sport but probably more fun. They always enjoy their trips here and we enjoy their company. There is also the case of seven year old Nathan Morency and his dad Steve from Quebec City, who returned for a second time this spring with Nathan landing 4 Salmon, all on his own. Nathan is starting out early and is one of the best at his young age.
Every year a number of lady anglers from around the world travel to fish in the Miramichi. Here are a few who had luck with us this spring;
Rene Karpiak, Edmonton Alberta
Jennifer Glasqow, Montreal Quebec
Amanda Poland, Labrador City NL
Jackie Henderson, Oakvile Ontario
Fabry Christy, Boothbay Harbour ME
Jeff Phinney, Moncton NB
Angus. Henderson. Oakville. Ontario
David Sirucke, Agatha Ontario
It's another great week to be on the Miramichi,
with nice weather and great fishing. Weeks like this make lodge owners wish all of their earlier guests, who did not always have the best of fishing luck due to poor conditions, could be here now. With the water falling to a good height for casting, anglers have also been catching some nice fish using floating lines and smaller
flies. Again this week, there still are a lot more big Salmon in the system than Grilse, with some dark Trout around and the lower stretch of river still full of Striped Bass. Even though there still are lots of spring Salmon in the system - and that should be the case for a while - they may probably become harder to catch as the
season continues due to lower and clearer water or they are feeding on Smelts, but we have to remember that after May 15th, summer rules apply so catch-and-release will be limited to 4 per day instead of the 10 allowed during spring salmon fishing. But there always is lots of Trout and Bass fishing after landing the four Salmon/Grilse daily limit. With the nice weather we are having, some of our fishermen are taking packed lunches and fishing around the lodge area for Salmon in the morning then after releasing the daily limit of Salmon, Trout fishing in White Rapids and finishing off the day with evening Striped Bass fishing in tidal waters. With 3 different species of fish around, it's always a great day had by all. The guides are calling it "Grand Slam Days". For Salmon fishing, the better flies are the Smelt patterns. For Trout fishing the Gray Ghost is working best and for Striped Bass fishing, well.. they take anything, maybe even the kitchen sink, but some fishermen are doing well using fly rods, skidding bombers across the water surface but unlike Salmon, they are more interested in skidding Bombers then floaters. It's a bit early for the Sea Run Trout but still a great time of year to be on the water for anyone interested in fishing. The fiddleheads are now up and they sure go well with a nice feed of fresh Miramichi Smelts or Striped Bass.
Dr. Phillip Moss. Saint John NB
Jeff Dow, Paxton MA
Jennifer Gasgow, Montreal Quebec
Miramichi River Guide Tyler
What a difference a week has made for Atlantic Salmon fishing on the Miramichi! Since Tuesday we have been enjoying some of the nicest weather and some of the most consistent fishing this year and after so many rainy days it's such a treat to have this nice weather. Earlier in the season, even though we had some very good fishing days, they always seemed to be followed by a couple of not-so-productive days due to a rise in water levels. This week, however, has been our most consistent weeks of the
spring fishing season with nice looking and good fighting Salmon. Again this week we have seen many more Salmon then Grilse in the System. The Blue Smelt, Maggot Smelt, and Miramichi Smelt have been the flies of choice this week.
With such good numbers of Salmon still in the system, and not moving a lot so far, It's looking like there
may be good spring Salmon fishing for quite a while yet. Combine that with good numbers of Trout in the system and the million or so Striped Bass in the lower stretches of the river and we can't think of a much better time to be on the Miramichi for anyone interested in fishing.
Double hitter, Art Mesher & Luigi Miceli Kitchener Ontario
Another good week for fish catching especially the first part of the week but fishing slowed down big time over the weekend due to a rise in water levels. It has occasionally been less than perfect weather this spring, with more rainy days than sunny ones, but we are having a good year for big spring salmon on the Miramichi. With any type of fishing, conditions play such a big part and it is no different with spring fishing as anglers have been limiting out on good condition days - sometimes before noon - but with days where water rises, they have been lucky to land any at all.
Once again, this week has seen great reports coming in from the entire river system. This week was
one of our best in years for big salmon with over 30 landed which measured over 40 inches, including a couple exceeding 48 inches - BIG salmon! 48 inch Salmon are seldom landed in summer even though they are in the river, as they are much more pickier at choosing a fly in the summer and fall than in the spring, also anglers tend to use heaver leaders in the spring so they don't break off as easy as in the rest of the season. Another good thing about the fishing this spring has been the high quality and great fighting nature of these Salmon. Again, the only negative so far has been the weather as all the rain has been making for poorer conditions, and that's tough with so many quality fish in the river. Another concern for the river overall is that even though the river is full of large Salmon, which is good for the fishermen, apparent low numbers of grilse in the system so far may not be good in the long term. So far this season, anglers have been landing 5 Salmon to every Grilse.
So far, as of today, May 5th, due to the late spring and colder and rainy conditions, the fish have not yet moved downriver so fishermen are expecting one of the longest spring seasons in years, with some of our best fishing still to come when they do start to move. There is warmer weather in the forecast for mid-week which should warm the water and get them started, so everyone is expecting another productive week on the Miramichi. This week, the most productive flies have been the Country Haven Cardinal, Christmas Tree and Golden Eagle.
Hockey Player/Fisherman Gregory Yoell, New Minus NS
Gino DeBurra, Poland ME
John Torgan, Providence RI
Andy Lipsky, Barrington RI
Even though this year it was a late start to the fishing season due to a longer winter, anglers have really been making up for it since opening
day. With the exception of Thursday and Friday, because of poorer conditions due of rain, fishermen have been limiting out almost daily, with our guests landing over 100 salmon and grilse on Sunday and again yesterday.
It has been many years since fishermen have landed so many big salmon on opening week - many were over 40 Inches. This is good news for the River and the people who are on the river and who really see how many fish are in the System. Most fishermen we have talked to from above Boisetown to below Quarryville - over a 60 km. stretch - have been limiting out at 10 fish a day this week when there were good river conditions. The most productive flies were "Christmas Tree", "Blue Smelt" and the popular "Country Haven Cardinal". The Trout and Striped Bass season opens on Thursday May 1st but with the great Salmon Fishing we are enjoying, there will probably not be as much interest in these for a while.
John Hoffman, Kitchener Ontario
Art Mesher, Waterloo Ontario
Tyler Coughlan, Gray Rapids, N.B.
As of this morning the river is looking great, with water levels falling daily and clearing up nicely. Yesterday was one of our better days on the river in a while with over 50 fish landed. It's funny how fast things can change, from Monday morning with ice floating again in the river and two days later with a river full of fish. Even better news is that two of the big ice jams upriver,
in Doaktown and Porter Cove, have now gone, making the river almost ice-free from Boistown to below Quarryville with only one more ice jam remaining at Norrads Bridge above Boistown. If the water continues to fall and continues to clean up then fishing should improve daily. Our anglers landed 10 Salmon on Monday but had very much better results yesterday. The only negative news is that the weatherman is calling for some rain on Wednesday and depending on how much we receive, that will determine if fishing will continue to improve or not. If water rises again because of a lot of rain then some of the ice we now have on the shore could get pulled back into the river. With rising water, fishing is not as good. The good news, as of now, is that fishing is looking great. The only question is how long this will last. As with any type of fishing the conditions form a big part of how much luck you have but one thing we are certain of is that there is a lot of good fishing to come this spring. The best Fly of the Day was the "Christmas Tree".
1st 2014 season Salmon, Art Mesher, Waterloo Ont.
Ice almost gone - time to fish
Upriver from Country Haven
On the Main Southwest Miramichi, much of the river is ice-free from Boisetown to Quarryville, the Cains and the Renous, but there are still a few ice jams, approximately a couple of miles in length, in and above Doaktown.
The river is starting to look very good this morning as it is now almost ice-free. Over most of the last few days there has been more ice passing in the evening than in the morning. The water has been dropping and clearing up daily. Throughout the rest of April, any time we get a rise in water could result in a bit of ice still running in the river as it will be picked up from the shore.
The few ice jams upriver will eventually leave with a rise in water or just melt away. Most of the time it does not create much of a problem by the time it travels down the river to our location but if going out boating at this time of year, it's always wise to keep an eye open for floating ice.
With the slow start in the season due to the late ice leaving, most anglers will be just getting started this week. A few of our fishermen fished this morning with Art Mesher from Waterloo Ontario landing the first salmon of the season. If the water continues to fall and with the later ice departure and higher numbers of fish in the system we should see some great spring fishing - probably some of the best May fishing we have seen in years. With these conditions, a heavy sink line and big streamer fly will work best.
Even though there should be more fish in the river this spring compared to last year, due to higher numbers of returning fish and the ice leaving later than many of the last few seasons, the excitement of opening day this year looks like it might need to be postponed. Much warmer temperatures are expected this week and next and with so much snow melting, we are hoping a sooner opening but it will probably occur sometime during the week of April 20th if these warmer conditions continue. The weather is so difficult to predict and a few degrees in temperature either way can make the difference. Today is the first day we have started seeing a bit of open water along the shores and there are no snowmobiles on the ice - which are both good signs spring might be coming. If anyone has a trip booked early and it does not work out this spring and your outfitter can rebook you into a later date - even in late May - this year, fishing might be good. When fishing is good in May we always enjoy it best as the weather can be warmer,the fish fatter after feeding on smelts and they take a fly better on a cast. A few dates stick out in our mind from past late springs where good May fishing occurred. Raymond Hill, from Virginia, who has fished with us for years, always fished on the 11-14th of May. Some years he limited out daily and in 2003, before daily limits were in place, he landed 74 fish in 4 days and the Lodge landed 60 on the 21st of May in another year. Every year is different but with this old fashioned winter and spring season we should have close to a month of good spring fishing after the ice leaves this year. The guides are getting anxious so let's hope it happens sooner than later!
YEAR 2013 River Reports
Jens Adamsen, Frederica, Denmark Main Southwest Miramichi Salmon
Tom Hansen, Beddington, Maine Nor'west Miramichi Salmon
Fred Goldburg, Olympia WA Cains River Salmon
Country Haven staff
This week Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday showed a big improvement from last week, with fishermen landing in a number of our pools and with some of the best luck we have had in a few weeks on the main river in the Upper Blackville Area. Early in the week the Nor'west was also producing well but another rise in water levels on Wednesday put the damper on any great fishing to finish off the season, as fishing slowed daily from mid week until closing day yesterday. There was not not a lot of holding or fresh fish in the Main River at week end and even though some of the tributaries like the Cains are full of fish they apparently have things on their mind other than a Darryl Tucker tied fly hook. `
Overall 2013 was a very good year for returning fish, even though on occasion the catching was not the best due to a week of hot weather in July and higher-than-normal water throughout much of the summer and fall. Our Spring season did not last as long as most years but it was a much better spring then many had predicted after the lower runs in 2012. Our first runs of summer Salmon arrived early and from late May until closing day there was always a chance of catching fish. This year was not as good as 2011 but much better then 2012. With so many fish arriving on the high water in August and early September, the fall fishing late in September and into October was a disappointment compared to past years. Many folks here believe there are still more fish to arrive, as has been the case over the past couple of seasons with fall runs of Salmon until mid November. With the exception of Spring fishing, our most productive days occurred in the last week of July and the best month this year was August.
For all of us here at Country Haven, it was again a great year with over 85% of previous guests returning - from 16 Countries, 42 U.S. States and every province in Canada. As each year passes, I am always amazed at just how many wonderful people there are in the fly fishing community - many travelling for days, from around the world each year to visit the Miramichi and fish for the wild Atlantic Salmon. As so many long-time salmon fishermen have told me, including Jens Adamsen from Denmark, who told me that he has fished almost every Atlantic Salmon river in the world and that Atlantic salmon are addictive - once you hook one you are hooked for life and you will travel anywhere to fish for them.
From all of us here at Country Haven we would like to say "thank you" to everyone who fished with us this season. We hope your stay with us was a memorable one and we look forward to seeing you all again in 2014.
sight fishing for Atlantic Salmon
Andrew Moy, Towaco NJ Main River Salmon
Ron Halick, Jersey City, NJ Cains River Salmon
Annual Spey Clinic 2013 with East Coast Spey
Andrew Moy Tightlines Fly Shop, NJ,
Lobster time on the Miramichi
This has been a very good week for weather and fishing conditions - better than most weeks since July - as water conditions improved daily throughout the week. Even with the great conditions this week there were not a lot of hookups - probably one of our slowest weeks ever for the first week of October. The Cains river is full of fish thanks to the the higher water. Many entered that river early and as the water keeps falling they are holding up more in the pools ever day. Our fishermen picked up only a few fish each day this week even though they were fishing three of the best fall pools on the Cains. There were not nearly as many fish in the Renous or Main river but they were taking better when anglers found them. Once again, this week, the Nor'west produced a few nice salmon for our fishermen. Flies of choice this week were the Lt Special, Red Francis and Ally's Shrimp.
This past week East Coast Spey from New Jersey were again here for their annual U.S. Spey Clinic that we host on the Miramichi, and as always, a great time was had by all.
Bryan Martin, Devon England Nor'west Miramichi
Brian Warrington, Manchester England Nor'west Miramichi River
Piaras Kealem, Dungiven Ireland, Cains River
Robert Hayes, Belfast Ireland Cains River
John Hicks, Neath England 46 inch beauty
John Hicks, Neath England Renous River
Traditionally this is normally a prime week on the Miramichi, as many long-time fishermen will tell you, but results for these past two weeks over the last couple of years have not lived up to that tradition. I would highly recommend August over September again this year for fishing on the Main River. There have been too many big rises in water levels since July, taking many of the holding fish upstream with fewer-than-normal fresh fish replacing them. This has kept our guides busy fishing our pools all over the river system these past couple of weeks. The bright side for us is that when conditions are not the best, we have great access to private water throughout the Miramichi and also our fantastic guides who will travel to all the tributaries seeking the best results for our guests. This past week we fished 17 private pools throughout the Main River and 4 tributaries with 38 salmon and 6 grilse landed for the week. This is good, considering the overall results on the river for the week, but not as good as our weekly high of 137 landed only a few seasons ago. The great news for the fishermen this week was the size of some of the Salmon landed, including two over 30 Lbs,. - both landed on the Renous. As it has been for much of the season this year, there was a big difference between the number of salmon landed compared to grilse - good for the anglers, but it does make us wonder where all the grilse are. Once again, the majority of fish landed this week were female so it looks like we are still waiting for our fall run of males to arrive. Until some greater numbers of fall fish start arriving in the Main river, our anglers will be spending more time fishing the Cains, even though the fish there might not be taking the best. One thing is for sure however - right now there is no shortage of salmon in the Cains pools we have access to. Flies of choice this week were the Undertaker, Red Francis and on the Cains, the Black Slime seems to work best.
This past week was our annual U.K. Spey Clinic week - always a great time with wonderful guests and with world class instructors Bryan Martin and Brian Warrington from England.
Taken on the Cains
Glen Nepin, Lancaster PA, Cains River
Lee Gallant, London England, Main River
Main river Salmon
We have been picking up a few fresh fish daily on the River System but like much of August and September so far, the high water has kept the fish moving which is good news for the fish but not as good for the fishermen. With the high water and not yet having great numbers of fall fish arriving on the Main river, our anglers have been having better luck on the smaller tributaries of the Cains and the Renous where they have been fishing for holding fish. Overall, a few nice salmon have been landed daily on the river system but nothing compared to results for the same week in some past years. With the higher water, the fall patterns such as Red Francis, Ally's Shrimp and the LT Special have been working best.
Chris Lloyd, England
Terry Nab, Lewiston Idaho
Cains River Salmon
Overall, August was a very good month for fishing. Even though the water was too high for the rivers most of the time, anglers had good success, especially when the water was falling. The beginning of September has not been our best so far but fishermen are landing some nice 20+ lb. Salmon as we head into the fall fishing season. It's been the same through all of August and so far into September - almost every week we have been receiving too much water. When water is rising fishing is not good but when water is falling it is quite a different story. Water levels are now starting to get back to a nice height again for good fishing but the forecast is not looking too good for over the weekend. Most of the fish we have been landing are still August Salmon with only a few grilse and/or fall salmon so far. If we do get another rise in water and a full moon next week we should expect to see more of our fall run of fish arriving by next weekend. The most productive flies this week have been The GP Green Highlander and the LT Special.
It was another week of good and cool higher-than-normal water and there are still quite a few fish in the system so no one is complaining. We had one angler from Boston who told me that he has been fishing the Miramichi for over 10 years and this was the first time he has fished a full week and landed at least one fish every day without ever having to step into the water. The best fishing is still from shore but the water is falling and many of the pools are again wadable but some of our best fishing is still from shore in the pools. This week we again landed fish on both the Main River and the Cains. There are still more Salmon than Grilse but we did land a couple of fresh Grilse with Sea Lice early in the week.
We have another great Miramichi Story about a youth Group from Montreal who spent close to a week of lodging and 4 days fishing with us on the Miramichi and we can't say enough about this fine group of youngsters, their leader Mario Viboux and the whole organization as a whole. Our guides said it was one of the most enjoyable week of guiding ever, watching kids from ages 9 and up putting on casting clinics daily while fishing with both single and double handed rods - a job well done.
If the water keeps falling as it is without another big rise, the conditions should be absolutely perfect for September fishing and the fish should now start holding more in the pools - that will be a welcome sight after a year of running fish. Conditions are now great for the Cains, much of the Renous and improving daily on the Main River. Tight Lines for rest of the season.
This week, best flies were the #8 Undertaker, White Tail Green Machine and dry Peach Carter Bug.
William Garrard, Minneapolis, Minn
Bill Blanchard, UK
Bill Blanchard, UK
Overall It has been another good August week on the Miramichi. There still are high water conditions with anglers seeing, rolling and landing some fish daily. August is a month for Salmon and this is what we have been seeing most of this month with some big ones among them! For most of August so far, with the higher water conditions, the Salmon are moving and not holding like they normally would in this lower stretch of River.
Every week some good stories are made and told on the Miramichi - first Salmon, largest salmon, the one that got away or just a great story told by our guests, including this one told by Bill Blanchard from Northampton, UK. Bill's Dad left this area for England in 1939, as a soldier in World War 2, but unlike many soldiers who returned home with a war bride, Bill's Dad remained in England, married and raised a family. This week his sons Bill and Zane returned to the Miramichi to catch an Atlantic Salmon and visit the places their Dad talked so much about. Another interesting part about this story is that Bill is probably the only person in the UK that has a boat Called the "Miramichi" with the City's colors and Logo.
The flies of choice this week were the wet "#6 & #8 Glitter Bear" and dry "Peach Carter Bug"
Aug 13th River Report:
There has been lots of cool water and plenty of fish! So far this August, anyone who has not been having fun fishing, has not been fishing! With the exception of Saturday and Sunday and with too much water due to the heavy rain on Friday, fishing has been good although it has been tougher to find places to fish, but anyone wanting to make the effort or stand on the river bank has been well rewarded. The first week of August has been one of the river's best weeks of fishing this year. Bob Bowser from Moncton landed 10 in three days in a number of different pools - seeing fish in all of them. If the water had been this cool and a bit lower with as many fish in the system as there are now, we hate to think of how good a first week of August it would have been.
Lots of fresh fish have been arriving daily due to the good water temperature, however high water conditions have been allowing them to keep on moving right through. The high numbers of fish are making for good hook ups. If these great numbers of fish continue then this might make August being our best month for fishing in 3 of the last 6 years! Beggers can't be choosers however and we hate to say anything after the low and warm water in July, but less rain now would be okay for our pools on this stretch of the river. As we all know, the lower the water in our stretch of the river, the better the fishing if conditions are good.
So far this August, the Main River has been fishing the best but we were still landing fish on the Cains and Renous before the rise in water over the weekend. It will take a couple of days for those pools to start producing again. This month we are catching more salmon than Grilse. Guide Jeremy has been having some luck on a fly he tied - a cross breed between a Green Machine and a Red Francis. He calls his fly "Francine" - and says it reminds him of a girl he knew years ago from his boat building days down on the Bay. The fly is as good at hooking salmon as she was at hooking men. Fly of Choice recently has been a #6 White Tail Green Machine and a #4 Francine.
Jeff Morneay, Quebec City
Karl Arbogast, Plains PA
Nathan Morency, Lac Beamport Quebec
Steve and Nathan Morency, Lac Beamport Quebec
Did someone say the water was too low and warm last week? Well, they should look again! The river is full of salmon, there is water in the woods and temperatures are in the mid to low 60's. Isn't it funny what a couple of days and 4 inches of rain can do for a salmon river. Last week, into the weekend and the early part of the week, fishing was as slow as it can get due to the warm water, and we did not see any fresh fish moving into the system off the tides for 4 days in a row. This is the first time we have not seen fresh fish daily since early June. However, by mid-week, with the cooler nights and fish moving out of the cold water areas, fishing started picking up on Wednesday. The D.F.O. had no choice but to open up the cold water areas by Thursday Morning. Anglers had some of the best July fishing on Thursday and Friday. on Friday, in one pool alone, our anglers hit, rolled or landed close to 60 fish on Bombers -something that a couple of long-time fishermen said they had never witnessed before in there entire lifetime of summer fishing. With the rise in water on Saturday, Sunday was a washout but surprisingly, with high, dirty but falling water, Monday fishermen that had a place to fish - mostly from riverbanks - starting hooking fish again and had some of the best fishing of the entire year Monday and yesterday. This rise in water is great for the river and the fish as it will be a good buffer for a while if conditions do again change to warmer weather. Over the Years, when warm weather conditions have occured, this has made for not-so-great July fishing so August has turned out to be our best month overall for the entire Season. We're hoping that these cooler conditions and Fresh Run Salmon will continue into the fall. With high water conditions there is not as many pools to choose from on the Main River - only a couple locations on the Upper Renous and Cains - but as the water falls, expect some great fishing on these rivers.
Every week that passes makes for a number of great fishing stories to remember for a lifetime -including the 110% turnaround in the fishing from the start to the finish this week. Someone we shall never forget is our little 7 year old fishing buddy, Nathan Morency from Quebec. In all our years of operation we have never seen such a dedicated 7 year old who dressed, fished and acted the part of a seasoned fly fishermen. Guide Jeremy said that if all our anglers could cast like Nathan does then what a fun job guiding would be. #4 and #6 flies should be the flies of choice until the water falls.
A morning at Blissfield Pool
Taken on the Cains
Relaxing at Country Haven Lodge
Bear Watching Tours
With a few days of record hot temperatures and the water becoming warmer each day, fishing has slowed down big-time since June and the first week of July. The water is still at a good height for our lower river pools but a bit low for upriver pools and tributaries but with the salmon concentrating more in cold water areas, they are not very interested in taking a fly. Even with the lesser conditions we did have some beginners' luck over the past week with first-time fly-fisherman 16 year old Garon Molyle From Edmonton Alberta who landed a 20 Lb'er, and 12 year old Danny Hamilton from Ottawa who landed a 16 Lb'er on the first morning. With the salmon staying in these cold water brooks, the D.F.O. has decided - starting today - to close some of these areas to fishing until the water cools. Closing these areas does not really effect much of the river system as most of these spots are not where most anglers like to fish, so it's still 'fishing as usual' on the Miramichi - even though the Media might make it sound like fishing is over for the season. If you already have a trip booked to the Miramichi, you should check with your Outfitter to see if any of these closures will effect your particular fishing trip. We do suggest using dry flies as much as possible if fishing in areas where salmon are pooling up and also taking extra care while playing and releasing fish. If these conditions continue, your Outfitter will probably work with you to reschedule a later date if possible.
On the brighter side of this week's report were the strong numbers of returning fish. Even with the warm water, every day fish have been arriving with the tides and travelling upriver past our lodge.
Once again, the annual Salmon Classic was held on the Miramichi and some of the participants had better fishing than they were expecting with these conditions, but not quite as good as in the past. Over the years, these dates have been considered prime time for summer fishing on the Miramichi but not the past couple of summers due to the hotter conditions. The number of fish in the system at this time - compared to last year - is high so all we need is a good rain to make for a great end-of-July and a good August. Although fly-fishing for Atlantic Salmon on the Miramichi is our specialty, we also offer our Country Haven guests a number of Tours throughout the Province that can be very popular on poor fishing days. Our Black Bear and Whale-watching tours have been very successful this week with good sighting of both species.
Jim Caputo, Fairport, NY
Karsten Anfrae, Fairlawn NJ
Andrew Moy, East Coast Spey's Clinic
Beautiful summer salmon
This was another great week of fly fishing on the Miramichi with our hosting another annual Spey Clinic with Instructor Andrew Moy from East Coast Spey, NJ. Andrew's clinics always make for a fun-filled week of fishing and instruction by one of the best teachers in the world. The week started out great, like it has been throughout much of the season - cool water temperatures and lots of fish - with almost all anglers landing fish every day, but later in the week, after some of the hottest weather so far this season, fishing started slowing down. Fish continue to arrive with the tides but have become more selective. Throughout much of the season fish could be caught in just about any pool on any fly but now the colder water pools are starting to hold the most fish. The weather man is calling for some rain and cooler nights this week so everyone is hoping the improved conditions will keep the fish moving and anglers happy throughout July. Once again, the Main Sou'west Miramichi has been the most productive river with some fish landed on the Renous and the Lower Cains. The pools we fished on the Nor'west that were very productive earlier in the season have slowed down a bit throughout the week and need a bit more water, but the main river pools are cooler and are now at an ideal height for great fishing. So far, we would have to say, there have been some of the best numbers of returning fish in the main river that we have seen in quite a while, including 2011 which was a record setting year. With so many fingers crossed, we hope this continues until late October. The most productive flies are #8 White Tail Green Machine, #10 Bear Hair, Glitter Bear and Undertaker as well as dry Peach Carter Bugs.
Peter Cherry, Ann Arbour MI
Carol Cherry and guide Gary Colford landing a Salmon
Guide Ken Vickers
Lee Davidson from Snake River Outfitters, Rigbi Idaho
With the exception of only a couple of hot days, lots of rain and cool water conditions in June has been good for fishing and has brought some of the best numbers of fish into the Main Sou'west Miramichi System for the month of June in years.
Ideally, fishing would be fantastic if the water was a bit lower but with the large number of fish in the river, no one is complaining. If these conditions continue then fishermen should have some great fishing throughout July. Anglers have also had good results fishing on the Renous and lower Cains but a drop in water would be ideal with the fish that are moving up these rivers. #4 and #6 White Tail Green Machine are still the "fly of choice" among fishermen.
Country Haven Miramichi
Country Haven Miramichi
First Atlantic Salmon
A nice June Salmon
The start of summer fishing has been just what the fishermen ordered - lots of water and plenty of fish moving through the system this early in the season. With good early results on the Nor'west in May and now some nice big salmon landed on the Main Southwest, Renous and Dungarvon over the past couple of weeks, it's making for an early start to this year's summer fishing. Depending on conditions, June can either be great - with fish arriving early in good numbers - or just trickling in until late June or early July before the big runs start. Even with higher-than-normal water levels for summer fishing, anglers have been experiencing good results. It's a bit early yet but with the great numbers so far, anglers are starting to hope and talk about a repeat of 2011 when the salmon started in early June and continued daily until closing in October. There might not be as many fish entering the rivers in June as in later months - even in a good year - but one thing is for sure - they are some of the nicest, freshest and silver salmon, and pound-for-pound, the best fighters of the season. With June always being so "hit-and-miss" and different each year, we choose to book the majority of our angling guests from June the 15th on - to be safe rather than sorry - and as a result, in some years, we miss out on good early fishing. Again, this year, some of the fishermen we did have early have seen some fine action. With the higher water, fishermen have been landing most of their salmon on #4 and even #2 flies but the majority of fish have been landed on White Tail Green Machines.
Country Haven Miramichi offers guests a choice of all-inclusive or self-catering packages in three main lodges, or private two or three bedroom Cottages, with access to fishing in 11 private pools throughout the Miramichi River System. With a 90% return rate from guests each year, we do book up early but we still have some openings remaining for the 2013 Season. If dates you are interested in are not available we do work closely with a number of great outfitters on the river who might have openings left so we would be very happy to recommend one of them.
Lobster is in Season on the Miramichi
A day on the Water
Mike Price MA, fishing the Miramichi since 1962
Bernie Pelech, Portsmouth NH
With our Spring fishing season all but over for another year, it turned out to be a much better spring than we all expected, after the hot dry summer we had last year. With the exception of a couple of slow days early in the season due to high dirty water and a few slow days toward the end due in part to low clear water and not as many grilse in the system compared to other springs, fishing was quite good including 9 straight days with all our anglers landing fish. Overall, the Salmon numbers were good with many 40+ inch fish landed however the grilse numbers were disappointing. The counters suggested 2011 had the highest numbers of return fish since the 60's with 2012 being the lowest. Overall, there was not a lot of difference in the 2012 and 2013 fishing seasons, proving once again that the local old-time fishermen must have been correct when they said the fish will come in - if not during the fishing season - then after the fishing season. Overall, the spring numbers were quite good, all things considered.
There are still a few spring salmon in the system but any hookups now will probably be by anglers fishing for trout. The Gaspereaux are now entering the system so we expect the Sea Trout soon. We have had no reports of any Bright Summer Salmon yet but it should not be long. This time of season is normally what we call the In-between-season - too late for Spring Salmon and too early for Bright Salmon. Some fishermen are spending their time fishing for Striped Bass in the Lower stretches of the River and the catches have been fantastic. Fishermen from Boston, New York and Rhode Island, who have fished for Stripers for years throughout the Eastern Coast of the U.S. said they have never seen so many bass after fishing in the Miramichi area a couple of times last week. They stated that they come to the Miramichi each year for the Atlantic Salmon, the King of Game fish, and will never come to fish only for stripers - no matter how good the striper fishing is. However it is a good change of pace on slower days of Atlantic Salmon Fishing.
Josephine Connors, Cebu Philippines
Steve Vaccarello, South Orange NJ
Angelo Sacks, Edgecomb Maine, 1st Salmon
Brett Quinn, New Glasgow NS
Another great week of weather. good conditions overall and quite decent fishing. Although this weeks numbers for salmon landed might not be as high as in some past years, the high quality of the salmon landed and the great weather have made it a great week on the Water. With the lower levels of clear water, the anglers who had the best results were casting using floating lines and smaller wet flies - the faster the water, the better the results. There still are a few reports of salmon quite far upriver but the fishermen who are fishing the lower stretches of the Main river have been landing nice salmon as well as some trout between 1-5 Lbs in the White Rapids and Quarryville Areas. Most fishermen come to the miramichi to fish for Atlantic Salmon but the ones who did fish for Striped Bass were landing one every time they casted in the Tidal waters on the Miramichi.
Howard Kilguss, Rehoboth MA
Joe Linares, Feeding Hills MA
John Torgan, Providence RI
Shya Kane, Milford NJ
We have enjoyed perfect weather, perfect conditions and quite consistent fishing this week with all our fishermen averaging between 2 -10 fish daily. The ratio of salmon to grilse has been 75% salmon and 25% grilse with some really large salmon hooked daily, including a 50 inch beauty landed yesterday - something we have only experienced a couple of times throughout the years. The anglers who were casting had the best results using sinking tips. Yesterday and over the weekend as well we even hooked a few using floating lines - lines we might normally use later in May - as the great conditions this week have been more like May than April. The Gray Ghost, Black Ghost and Magog Smelt have been the most productive flies.
We are expecting strong spring fishing for a while as the conditions are good for keeping the fish in the river longer and we are receiving reports of quite a few fish still far upriver. Over the weekend, anglers have reported seeing fish jumping - the first sign that they are starting to move. Over the past few days, fishermen have also started hooking some nice trout in the 3-6 Lb. range, especially in the lower stretches of the Main River and on the Renous. With the Trout and Striped Bass fishing season opening on May 1st, anglers should be able to pick up some of both species while fishing for Salmon throughout the month of May.
Craig Williams, Alexandra NH
Jonnie Jackson, Stamford CT
Mike Legere, New Durham NH
Newbury England Group
With the exception of the first two days of the season, conditions this past week have not been the best as the water was rising almost daily until this past weekend. Fishing was not as good as it should have been for the first week of the new season. However, with the water now falling again, we expect that our best spring fishing has yet to come. Even though the conditions have not been that good, what with the dirty water, fishermen who were casting had the best luck. There have been many reports of fish throughout the entire river system which is good news for the river. The most productive flies were large bright streamers with Marabou patterns working the best.
We would like to say "Thank You" to Paul Carleton, owner of Affordable Adventures who has been sending us fishing guests and personally fishing with us now for many years. Paul has landed hundreds of Atlantic Salmon while fishing the Miramichi with us over the past 10 years. Here are a few photos of some of the Atlantic Salmon Paul landed while here with us for three days. Even though conditions were not perfect, Paul still landed some great fish. Here are photos of some of the fish he landed. Any one of these beauties would make any angler happy. Congratulations Paul, on 10 great years of working together in bringing anglers to fish for Atlantic Salmon on the Miramichi River.
OPENING DAY: It was a great start to the 2013 fishing season yesterday as almost all of our guests limited out at 10 fish each for the day.
The first salmon of the day was landed by Art Mesher from Kitchener Ontario. The largest salmon caught was 48 inches and was landed by Hal Hutchen from N.Y. Overall, it was as good a start as we have seen on opening day for the past few years. After talking to other Outfitters in Boisetown and Quarryville, it appears that there were lots of fish throughout the entire river system on opening day, which seems to add proof to the theory - which locals believe - that a lot of fish enter the system later in the year after the fish counters close in mid October.
Even though fishing was great, we could still use a slight rise in water levels to continue good fishing into the month of May and we will probably get that with the warmer weather in the forecast. Flies of choice were the Christmas Tree, Golden Eagle and the Country Haven Cardinal.
YEAR 2012 River Reports
Salmon landed by Gary Berenson, Wayland MA
Landed by George Stahanovieh Piscataway NJ
Max Gallagher, London England
Sabastien Maitre, St. Thierry France
The fishing season is now over for another year. It will be remembered more for what it was not than for was it was. After the 2011 season - which was one of the best on record - everyone had very high expectations that 2012 would be a repeat of 2011 - but it was not to be! With the warm weather in July setting the tone for a hot and dry summer without any rain to speak of until late September, we ended up having one of our slowest fishing seasons in quite a while. With any type of fishing, much depends on conditions but with the Wild Atlantic Salmon coming in from the Ocean every day there is always a chance of success even with the worst of conditions. We have been through this cycle in the past and will probably be through it again but after so many great years back-to-back, it was a disappointing season much of the time. The older fishermen on the river say that they remember the banner year of 1967 when every man and his dog were catching fish, then the following year of 1968 was one where they said it was even worse than this one and some were even pessimistically suggesting that salmon fishing was done forever. But here it is - over 40 years later - and we have just had four out of the five past years being the very best years of Atlantic salmon fishing we have seen on the Miramichi in a long time. If Mother Nature cooperates and with a bit of luck, everyone is hoping for another great year in 2013. After all, the Miramich River has always been known as one of the best Atlantic Salmon Rivers in the World for a very good reason!
On a brighter note, we again had a very successful fishing season, with over 400 guests and 90% of them returning for at least the second time - from 18 Countries, every Canadian province and 37 U.S. States. With our access to so many private pools throughout the Miramich River System that our guests now have access to, there were times the fishing still wasn't the best, but it was never for lack of trying on our guides' part as each year they always go above-and-beyond in their efforts to try everything possible to make sure guests have the best chance to catch fish - even if it means fishing in Doaktown in the morning and the Nor'west in the evening, wading through muddy wood roads to get to those "special" and "secret" places that only each guide knows best, or packing lunches and doing day trips on the Renous and the Cains rivers! We just can't say enough good things about our guides, staff and all the wonderful guests - many we now consider as friends - who helped to turn an average season into another great one.
Andrew Moy, Towaco NJ
Philip Schweighoffer, Marmagne France
Jody Plonski, Middleton NY
Nancy Lareau, 32 Towaco NJ
Another fall week and Spey Week Clinic in the books for another year on the Miramichi, as East Coast Spey from NJ returned for their annual week of clinics and fishing on the Miramichi. With the rise in water levels over the weekend, many of the pools were a bit high and dirty at the beginning of the week but as the week went along, anglers did most of their fishing on the Cains, Renous and on the main River above the mouth of the Cains. Like most weeks this summer and fall, the catches were not as high as the same period in past years, but fishermen still landed some nice big salmon. Again this week almost all of the fish landed were salmon as there have not been a lot of grilse so far this season. Anglers used more fall patterns like the GP, Shrimps and the LT Special. With the rise in water and the fresh fish moving up through the system early last week in the upper stretches of the Miramichi like Wilson's should result in some good fishing when these fish arrive. Among the fall colors our anglers always enjoy fishing the smaller tributaries of the Cains, Renous and the Nor'west at this time of year. This makes for a great day trip for someone packing a lunch and spending the day on a tributary with a good chance of landing salmon or spotting a wide variety of wildlife including moose. A canoe and fishing trip down the Cains is also very nice in the fall season and many fishermen try to do this each fall. With only a week of salmon fishing remaining on this stretch of the Miramichi we all should enjoy it as it will be another long six months before we get back on the water again for Atlantic Salmon Fishing.
Jackie Grunsell, Yorkshire England
Simon Littlejohn, Cumnock Scotland
Bryan Martin, Devon England
Rupert Asez, Staffondshire England
I must say that in past years, we have seen better weeks for these prime times in September, however with the high quality of our guides and the variety of fishing pools we fish each week and under every condition, fishermen still manage to have success - even when it is not the best fishing! This week we did manage to land 27 fish here at Country Haven. Most of the catches were salmon with a mix of both dark and fresh fish among them. This past week was also our annual UK Spey week, with instructors Bryan Martin and Brian Warrington from England. Although this year's Spey week resulted in the slowest fishing in the past 5 years, the clinic was the best yet with approximately two hours of daily clinics throughout the week. These fellows do a commendable job in making it one of our most educational and fun weeks of the year. Although this week has traditionaly seen a lot more men fishing than women, the ladies are never to be outdone as Mel Shapland was high rod last year and Jackie Grunsell was second this year. They both enjoyed showing up the fellows! It appears that we are finally receiving the rain we had been looking for all summer as the water is rising quickly and we should be fishing our upriver pools, the Cains, and Renous Rivers more this week so we are hoping for better Results. Throughout last week the fish we did land were on such a wide selection of flies that I might need to name off 27 flies. With better numbers of fresh fish now arriving daily at the counters and not a much nicer time to be on the water than the Fall, there still is a a couple of weeks remaining for good fishing.
Glen Nephin Lititz PA
Robert Widgnen, Albuquerque NM
Joe Herzog, VA
Geffory Tyler, Sutton England
It has not been another great week for this time of year but it was much better than last week and we landed some big fish, with a couple in the low 20 lb range and another at 28lbs, and as silver and fresh a salmon as you might see in June. Although most of the fish caught this week are ones that have been in the system for a while there are now more and more fresh fish arriving daily with the tides. Since Friday morning we have seen more fresh fish than we have seenm since early July, with a few jumping grilse among them - something we have not seen in quite a while and it seemed like every fish that was in the river this year was a salmon. Yesterday was also one of the better days in a while and at the trap net in Millerton, approximately 140 fresh fish moved into the system - a small number compared to other times but enough to create hope that it is the start of our fall run. Our anglers who fished the lower stretch of the river last evening landed some nice salmon just before dark. We did get a 1 foot bump in water levels on the Cains and the lower stretch of the Main River below the Cains so we are hoping the pools on the Cains might start giving better results over the next few days. The Renous and Main river above the mouth of the Cains did not rise much. Flies of choice this past week were Bombers, Black Bear and the Almost.
Don Conradson, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Landed on Bomber
Karl Arbogast, Plains PA
Nice sized fall catch
It has been a very slow week for this time of season as there are still not a lot of fresh fish moving through the System and most of the fish we are catching have been in the river for a while. However, with our location being so close to the tidal water we are still managing to pick up a few fresh fish each week off the tide, along with the fish that are holding in the pools. This has been one of the slowest September weeks in years. Even though the water temperature is ideal and our low river pools are in excellent shape, one of those rains that keep missing us would do wonders to improve the fishing. On the positive side, most of the fish landed this week were on Bombers and that is always fun - and we know for sure that there must still be lots of fish to come, when they decide to do so.
Duncan Craig, London, Ontario
Elizabeth Crosby, St. John's NFLD
Nigel Blackley, Macllesfield, England
Graham Birnie, Ellon, Scotland
With the cooler water temperature remaining in the 60s now for a while - a very good temperature for the Miramichi - fishing has been picking up every day on our stretch of river as our anglers landed 17 Salmon and 1 grilse this past week with the majority of them landed over the past few days. Two salmon that were landed weighed over 20 pounds. Although most of the fish we landed were in the River for a while, we did land 4 fresh ones with Sea Lice on a couple of them. Some reports suggest that there are not a lot of fresh fish moving through the counter in Millerton and that may be the case however we should remember that fish that do swim through the counter account for only 10%+/- of the actual number of fish that do come up the River. We know that the Atlantic Salmon is one of the smartest fish in the world so these fresh fish we caught this week were either smart enough to swim past the counter or they got dropped of by helicopter. Although fishing has picked up a bit, a good rain is still needed to freshen up the river and bring more fresh fish into the system. We have had so many big rain storms just east of us but have not received enough here to do much good for the Miramichi. It is raining today but we do not yet know if it will be enough to improve the water levels. Our low water pools below Blackville are at a perfect height - the best in years - but our other pools above Blackville and on the Cains and Renous would be much better with more water. The fish we landed this week were taken on small dark flies - Bear Hair, and glitter Bear, Allie Shrimp in the evenings and the Rodney Colford tied Christmas Tree Bomber .
Nice to be on the River
Good morning catch
Worth smiling about
Zoomer - R.I.P.
It finally looks as if we have turned the corner in our fishing season as the water temperature has remained below 65F in the mornings now for a week.
With a water temperature of 63F on Monday morning there were some nice fish landed on the river, including 10 at the mouth of the Renous river. Nigel Blackley from Macllesfield England landed nice 17 and 15lb salmon yesterday - one on a #10 Green Machine and the other on a Bomber. We leased one of our pools to an upriver Outfitter yesterday evening and they landed 4 nice salmon. August normally has some big salmon and as we know, not many came into the river last month so it appears that they are arriving now. It was a long time coming
but there now are lot of smiling faces among the fishermen as they watch the fresh fish starting to arrive on the tides. For quite a while, due to the warm water conditions, they were coming in with the tides but then going back out again with the tides and any fish we did hook were low in the River - just off the tide line - but it's starting to look like things are changing. With the cooler water and if we get the rain they are calling for over the next few days, we should have a great final six weeks of the fishing season. We all know there should be many more fish left to come in, based on the last couple of seasons. The DFO has also opened up all the cold water pools and fishing hours are now back to Normal.
On a sad note, this week we had to part with our long-time camp greeter, Zoomer, our beloved dog. Many fishermen became very attached to him over the years. He was a great dog and he will be greatly missed.
Ken on the Renous
Early morning fishing
Another Day on the Water
Fishhawk Pete watching for the big one
We are now receiving the kind of warm weather that we would normally expect at this time of year but with less-than-normal rainfall so its not doing much for salmon fishing. The forecast is calling for rain on Wednesday and we can sure use it but what we really need is a good soaking. So far this year, the counting fences are showing less fish than last year but as Jethro from the Beverly Hillbillies would say, "you don't need to be a brain surgeon to figure out this one". Last year was one of the best seasons since the 1960's and the past couple of years have seen ideal conditions for early fish runs but so far, this year's conditions have not been too good. Atlantic Salmon Federation rumours have it that there are large numbers of fish in the Bay waiting for cooler water temperatures. Many old-time locals also say that as far back as they can remember, a couple of good years might be followed by a slow year but the numbers usually improve with better conditions. With the warmer water right now there are more canoers ,kayakers and swimmers on the river then anglers. Fishermen that are on the river are fishing early mornings and evenings and some only in the early mornings when the water is the coolest. Even though the conditions have been poor, the water temperatures have improved a bit overall since last week at this time. A good shower on Monday brought the water up a bit on both the Nor'west and the Renous. Fishermen did quite well on both rivers for a couple of days, landing some nice salmon in a pool on the Nor'west and some grilse on the upper stretches of the Renous. The Main River and the Cains did not see any changes in water levels or any improvement in the fishing so fishing remains poor and will probably remain so until we get some serious rain. As of now there have been no new closures or openings at the locations the DFO is monitoring on the River System - including most of the Miramichi.
August is normally considered as one of the slower months for fishing so if we are going to have warmer water and poorer conditions it will probably be in August - but over the years, with our location on the River, we have experienced some of our best fishing in August - especially after a hot dry spell followed by a good rain - which gets the fish moving. No other month compares to August for Bomber Fishing! In the past when we have had a slow start to the summer fishing season - as most of Eastern Canada has experienced this year - it has been followed by some of our best fall fishing. With a bit of rain and cooler water the fish should be jumping in to our waders throughout the remainder of the Fishing Season.
John Classen, Asotin WA
Steve Johnson, Grayling MI Steve landed this one on a Bomber
Jens Lund Adamsen, Denmark
Our location on the Lower stretch of the Main Southwest Miramichi is probably one of the best locations in the entire Miramichi River System for having enough water - even in low water conditions. Although some stretches of the river and tributaries are now too low for fishing, we still have three pools that have decent fishing even when they are lower than they are right now, and another three pools that are at a perfect height for good fishing. Although many of our lower river pools are at an ideal height, the warmer weather and water we experienced over the past couple of weeks has not made for great fishing. The cooler nights have been lowering the water temperatures but when the water gets to an abnormal temperature, as was the case last week - even if the water temperature does drop it takes a rain to get things going well again.
There are still fish arriving daily with the tides and fishermen are hooking or rolling them in the lower stretches of the system. The fish that do continue up the system are either holding up at the first cold water areas on the lower stretches of the river, or going back out with the tides - so the number of fresh fish traveling up though the system or holding in the pools are less than would normally be at this time of year.
The fish that we have caught or seen in July have almost all been salmon - not many grilse so far. July has traditionally been a good month for a grilse run so it looks like many of these grilse have not yet entered the system - they probably will after our next good rain - which bodes well for August. With some of the best fishing on the Miramichi over the past couple of years since the 1960's, a "normal" year like this has been even harder to get used to. I will never forget what my Uncle told me on my first Summer fishing trip with him on the Renous in July of 1969, He said "The Atlantic Salmon, next to a woman, can be the most humbling thing in the world for a man's ego. You can be a millionaire, have the best equipment in the world, stand shoulder-to-shoulder with a first morning novice and the salmon has a way of leveling the playing field. " Although he has now been gone for a number of years, it seems, almost daily, that there is something to remind me of those words when it comes to Atlantic salmon fishing.
Overall it was probably our slowest July week ever on the river. With the exception of only one of our Main River pools landing 4, a Nor'west Pool landing 5 and a lot of rises for Bombers, anglers did not have a lot of success. With the warm water, the DFO announced - starting today - that they will be closing fishing in some of the cold-water brook areas until cooler temperatures arrive. Only two of the 21 pools we use throughout the season will be affected by these closures so there is still lots of private fishable water open for our guests. When playing a fish in these conditions, it should always be remembered that the sooner the fish is on its way the better off it will be.
Andrew Moy, Towaco NJ
Shya Kane, Milford NJ
Michal Thomas, Chappaqua NY
Michael Starenko, Fairport NY
July has started off much better than most of June but results are still not quite as good as last year at this time. Most of the fish in the system right now are all big Salmon so there are not as many fish showing as Salmon tend to jump less than Grilse. Our anglers have only landed one Grilse so far this summer but there have not been a lot of complaints from the fishermen who have been landing the 20+ salmon. Andrew Moy of East Coast Spey from NJ was with us again this past week and what great clinics these guys always put on. With the water now falling, a full moon and good temperatures, we are hoping for some great July fishing. So far this summer, the White Tail Green machine has been the best fly and the Green Francis has also worked well in high water. As the water falls, fishermen should soon start having more luck using traditional July flies and Bombers. At our location on the lower stretch of the river, we see many of the fresh fish as they swim past us on their journey upriver. Every day now we are seeing more movement following each high tide and we will probably see more grilse entering the system this coming week.
Peter Cherry, Ann Arbour MI
Lee Drake, I.Bloomfield NY
As July arrives, anglers are welcoming it in with open arms as everyone is thinking it will be much better than June was. In many previous years, when June has not been great, July has always made up for it. There were'nt a lot of fishermen on the water until later in June. Even with the good conditions early on, there were not a lot of fish, then when the fish did arrive in late June, the high water conditions did not make for good fishing. So far there are only big salmon in the system, but not many grilse. Although high water makes for poor conditions it will continue to bring in fish and keep conditions good for later in July. With these high water conditions #4 & #6 White Tail Green Machines are the flies of choice on the River.
Jason Curtis's 1st
summer salmon on the Main River
These few weeks of our six month long fishing season are normally the slowest time of the season as the spring salmon have now gone and
the summer runs are just beginning so there is not a lot to report as there are only a few trout fishermen or canoe'rs on the water. Conditions are now perfect for the start of our summer Salmon runs and anglers are once again heading to the river in hopes of landing some of those fresh Rocky Brook beauties that should soon be swimming past our door on their way to the upper stretches of the river system. There is bit of a challenge catching them as they only have travelling on their mind - sometimes covering 20-30 km. a day - but the reward of landing one is always worth the effort because they are one of the freshest, nicest and best fighters pound-for-pound of all the salmon we'll catch this season. Not too many locals fish for them because of the challenge but Jason Curtis seems to be doing something right as every year he always seems to catch the first Rocky Brook salmon in our stretch of the River. He did it again this year, at Campbell's pools above Blackville, on a White Tail Green Machine. He also managed a to catch a Grilse on the Nor'west in the morning as well
as a couple of Salmon landed yesterday on the Lower Renous - probably heading for the Dungarvon River, another early salmon river. In any event it looks like it's time to get back on the water and the next couple of weeks should start getting quite interesting. Let's hope for a repeat of last season's great results.
The 2012 spring fishing season is now over for another year and what a great season it was, with some of the best numbers and nicest spring fish landed in a long time. Two things we do know for sure - after this spring there sure were a lot of fish that arrived last year, and how early the ice goes out does not make a lot of difference in how many fish will be in the river come opening day. For more than three weeks the fishing remained very consistent with all our anglers landing fish. It started tapering off this past week due in part to the arrival of the Smelt run and not as many fish remaining in the system. Smelts look much better for dinner than a Darryl Tuckey Mickey Finn. Although there were still fish moving down over the past weekend, they were much harder to catch. With the spring Salmon fishing completed, anglers are now fishing for Trout and looking forward to the fresh runs of June salmon that could start arriving any time now - as they have in many previous early seasons. There are also a few reports of some salmon already landed on the Restigouche - another good sign for early catches on the Miramichi. With the lull in fishing it is a great time for enjoying a canoeing trip on the river, checking waders and changing over your fishing equipment and flies from spring to summer. There won't be a lot of time to get ready after the rumours begin that someone has landed a fresh one on the River. Overall, it was another great spring season. With a 90% return rate among our spring fishermen each year and with over 20 of them being 75 years of age or older, they have become more like "family" than fishermen so it's always an emotional time for everyone at departure time, but like wine, they keep improving with age. We would like to take this time to thank all of our spring guests and look forward to seeing you all again in the future.
90 yr Old Oscar Hahnell, Lewiston Me
Roger Lailey, Berkshire UK
Benjie Coupendal, Toronto Ont
Art Mesher, Waterloo Ont
So Much for the early ice out and people thinking the fish might move out early, as fishermen are still catching fish from Boisetown to below Barnaby River in the tidal water -.70 km of salmon. Although the number in the upper stretches of the river are slowing down, fish are still being landed every day. This has been another great week on the water with much nicer weather than last week and some very big salmon around. This week has also been a much better week for casters as there was no wind and some trophy-sized salmon have been caught. With the lower and clear water again this week, there are a lot more Salmon showing, making anglers really appreciate the great numbers of fish in the system both this year and last year. We had a fishermen from New Jersey who counted over 50 fish jumping in a single day, near the mouth of the Cains river. Some say it looked much more like September fishing than spring fishing. Although the Salmon fishing has remained consistantly good, there still is not a lot to report on the trout fishing as not too many big ones have been seen as of yet. We are receiving some reports that the Trout fishermen below Quarryville are having more success hooking Striped bass while fishing for Trout than actual Trout. Anyway, there should be more large trout later as we get into May. Any salmon fishermen who might still want to get out on the water for a day or two should have a good chance for a while yet, especially in the lower stretches of the Rivers ( They might need to work harder for them from now on but could catch the "Big" One ). Floating lines or sinking tip only lines with 2/0 Gray Ghost and Smelt pattern spring flies are working well. There are even a few now being landed on #6 White Tail Green Machine.
Bill Mather, Elgin Ontario
Larry Malone Jr., Lincoln Maine
Larry Malone Sr., Bangor Maine
Bernie Pelech, Portsmouth NH
After one of the most wonderful first weeks of salmon fishing, with great weather and great fishing, the weather sure changed in a hurry, with heavy rain and winds for a number of days. Overall, however, it was still a good week for catching fish. Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday, the water rose so fishing slowed down but it picked up again on Thursday morning and good fishing continued right where it left off early Tuesday, with many anglers landing their limits daily throughout the weekend. For as long as we have been in business we have never seen such a quick rise and fall in water height! An 11 foot rise then 8 foot drop - all in only 48 hours. The rise in water levels put the damper on good fishing on Tuesday and Wednesday but it did bring some monster salmon into the system with fishermen landing good numbers of 40+" salmon every day since Thursday. With the opening of the trout season tomorrow anglers are now getting excited about landing some of those 6-7 lb. trout we land each spring. There have not yet been many big ones reported so far but we think it may still be a little early. We are still receiving good reports from salmon fishermen upriver and with the rise in water, it should be good for boating and fishing for quite a while.
Country Haven specializes in Father & Son packages so we always enjoy the success stories of anglers like Larry Malone and his Dad when they land their first Atlantic Salmon. If it's a case of a Dad bringing his young son for the first time or an aging Dad who has always dreamed of landing a Atlantic Salmon, there is not a much better reward for the guides and lodge owners than to help in fulfilling these dreams. The Christmas Tree was the fly of choice when the water was high but the Gray Ghost is getting best results now.
Stephen Vaughan, White Rock BC
Warren Perell, Barrington RI
John Torgan, Providence RI
Andy Lipsky, Barrington RI
Another very consistent week of Atlantic Salmon fishing on the Miramichi. Great weather and great fishing throughout the river system. With the lower water levels, the salmon are not holding as close to shore this early in the season as in most years, making it more challenging for anglers fishing from shore. Those who are fishing from boats in deeper water locations are having the best results. Almost all of our anglers who have been casting from these locations have been limiting out daily. By all accounts it has been a terrific start to the season so far but the weather forecast suggests we might experience some cooler temperatures with a rise in water if we get the rain that is predicted. Although we really do need it we are hoping for not too much rain until after the Spring season is over. Best flies so far have been the Christmas Tree and Renous River Special.
Steve Cullen, Princeton MA
John Pemberton, Uxbridge MA
14yr old Brett Quinn, New Glasgow NS
John Searson, Woburn MA
After the first three days of the fishing season, everyone on the River from Boiestown to Quarryville all agree this has to be one of our best openings for spring salmon fishing ever. With the ice out earlier than usual some anglers were worried that some of the upper river fish might have moved down early. But after talking to fishermen in the Boiestown and Doaktown areas, including Keith Wilson, they said that after the first couple of days it was their best start ever. So once again the old timers are correct - the salmon do not move out until they are ready. All our fishermen have been limiting out daily here in the Blackville Area and with the great reports from upriver we know there will still be lots of good fishing for us to come. Another plus side to the opening this year due to the ice moving out early is the good quality of the fish. They are looking great and fighting more like fish we would normally be catching in May. Last year we all knew the number of fish in the system was the best in years but this spring sure proves it again with a 60 mile stretch full of jumping and rolling salmon. All flies are working. As for river conditions, water is a bit low but just ideal for great casting using sinking tips or floating lines! After the 70F weather over the past few days, we are experiencing a slight water rise yesterday and this morning. It is good good to get River levels up for fishing into May.
It looks like opening day on the Miramichi will be another great one as the ice has now moved out of the river system. If these conditions continue until opening day, with so many fish now in the river system, it will be tough to keep them off your hook.
Even though the ice has gone it is still far too early to know how long good fishing will continue into the spring as much will depend on the conditions. From past experience with early springs when the ice has cleared out, the fish do not start moving down until the right water temperature. We have had early ice leaving seasons with fantastic fishing lasting into late May while there have been other years when the water dropped and warmed up early where the season was shortened by a week or more but this can still happen whether ice is gone early or not. Whatever the conditions, we know we will still have one of the longest spring seasons on the river due in part to our ideal location on the lower stretch of the Main Southwest Miramichi. At our location, we do not just get to fish for all the fish moving down the main river system but also the fish from the tributaries above us, like the Cains and Bartholemew, that swim by our door daily. The fish also tend to move out slower as they get closer and while adapting to the salt water. When conditions are right, our guides also enjoy fishing for the big trout in the faster water of the White Rapids as well as trout and salmon below the mouth of the Renous later in the spring. in Previous years when all the ice has cleared out early, the choice of options and quality of our guides always helps to ensure guests have the best fishing possible - no matter what the conditions are. On opening day our guides recommend using sinking lines and using flies such as 5/0 Christmas Tree, Renous River Special and the Golden Eagle.
Although the fishing season is still a couple of weeks away, the guides start working early - fine tuning everything for opening day. This is the time to contact a fly Shop if anything is still needed as many are running spring Specials on equipment. Although most outfitters on the Miramichi have a large selection of flies to choose from there are local Miramichi Fly Shops who have everything you may possibly need to get off and running for another fishing season. Shops such as Doaks (www.wwdoak.com) in Doaktown, Curtis (www.miramichifish.com/curtis.html) in Blackville, George's Fly Shop (506 622-8226) in Renous and Syd Matchett (506 622-7598) on the Nor'west Miramichi.
We enjoyed the past weekend in Bethel Maine where we went to view the Gray Ghost Production Film premier of Turning Tail", a 70 minute film on Atlantic Salmon, with footage taken throughout Eastern Canada and the US. This is a "must See" film for anyone who has interest in the wild Atlantic Salmon. For more information on this Film, visit www.ggpfilms.com.
"Tight Lines" and "Good Luck" for another fishing season.
Not a lot to report so far on the 2012 fishing season except it's only one month until opening day on April 15th .
As for Spring Conditions we still have approximately 3 ft of Snow and Ice - still solid on most of the River System however with warm weather in the forecast for the next week, things could change very quickly. We are hoping for a clear river on opening day and with the high numbers of fish now in the System it should be a Great One.
Again, this year, we are being represented at many Sportsmen Shows around the World by some great Agents.
If there is one in your area,drop by their Booth and tell then Country Haven Sent you - and be sure to ask for our brochure.
With Spring Salmon Fishing a while away, Guide Ken Vickers, Tyler and I decided to do a bit of fishing in the Florida Keys over the past couple of weeks and as always, it was a fantastic time in the Sun with friends!
For anyone who might be interested in fishing the Florida Keys in the Future, we would highly Recommend Buddy Lapointe in Marathon Fla. With Buddy's 20+ years of experience we are sure you will have a great Time ( www.fishin-buddy.com
Ken Vickers & Buddy with Ken's shark
Tyler & Buddy with Tyler's shark
We will be posting up-to-date reports from now until opening day with ice Conditions then complete weekly Fishing Reports throughout the season. This is our 12th Consecutive season of River Reporting on The Miramichi. .
YEAR 2011 River Reports
Taking on the Renous
John Norton, Dallas Texas on the Main River
Thomas Kaylor, Milford PA on the Renous
Paul Ranes, Forest Hills NY on the Renous
Chris Snitko,Twin MT, NH on the Main River
A fall hookbill on the Renous
The final week of the season went probably the way it should have as the salmon now have better things on their mind than taking a fly since the spawning season has started. With the beautiful fall weather and lots of fish in the river system, fishing slowed down this week. Our anglers caught 16 on Monday, 15 on Tuesday, 11 on Wednesday, 4 on Thursday, 2 on Friday and none on Saturday - the final day of the season. In all of our years in operation, never before have we seen a year where the final days of the season seemed to be the right time to wrap up for the year. In some past seasons, fishing remained great right up until the final day. I do not know if it's global warming or just that the season
started a bit early this year but it was great from start to finish. However, the fish
started spawning earlier than in past years and when spawning begins, that means less luck for anglers.
Overall, it was a good week to close out the season, spent with many returning friends. The most productive flies this week were still summer patterns of White tail Green Machine and Undertaker on #8 hooks. We do not know if these flies were working best because they were used
more, but the traditional fall patterns were just not too successful this year. Every now and then, with a pool full of fish and nothing taking, an angler would try something out of the ordinary - like a 2/0 Mickey Finn, Black Ghost or something like the 5 inch no-name black fly that Mario Viboux from
Quebec used while here - with good results. Sometimes, when fish are holding, it might be that the fish become accustomed to seeing the same fly too many times so something out of the ordinary works -mind you, as all salmon fishermen know, there are times when absolutely nothing works! After all,
this is the challenge of the Atlantic Salmon.
With the season now over for another year, all we can say is "What a fantastic season it turned out to be for both the salmon and the fishermen". 2011 will go down in history as one of the best years we have seen in a very long time. Catches were up for all the Miramichi system rivers and the conditions were great for the fish throughout most of the season. Here at Country Haven Lodge we surpassed our catch records from other seasons even with the water being higher than normal. We are located on the lower stretches of the Main River System which is favourable for low water fishing, so with slightly lower water levels to help hold more fish in the pools, it might have even better for us. Even though fishing on the lower stretches of the main river might not have been as great as it has been in past years, we are blessed with having access to so many private pools on other tributaries throughout the system. Another plus side to the season this year was the large number of big salmon. This year's numbers at the counting fences were good and with the higher-than-normal water levels there is a good chance that a lot of fish avoided the counting fences alltogether, probably making the actual numbers higher than the count showed. We must also remember that returns through the counters are only estimated to be between 5 to 10% of the actual numbers of the fish that do enter the system. Another bright point of this season was the fact that the first bright salmon was landed on the Main River in May, compared to some years where they did not appear until late June, and the run continued throughout the whole season.
We landed our first salmon on the Cains River on July 13th - way up at Moors - and the fishing continued on an almost daily basis from then on with our landing approximately 200 salmon and grilse from four pools before the end of the season. The Cains is primarily known as a fall river but there were lots of fish from very early in the season this year.
The Renous River also produced great numbers, with fishermen landing the first salmon on June 7th and depending on conditions, good fishing continued most of the time throughout the season. Our anglers landed over 100 salmon and grilse in only the last month of the season using four pools on the Renous. These are good numbers for both these smaller tributaries of the Main River System.
Although our anglers did not fish the Nor'west as much this year, on the Little Sou'west and the Dungarvon, fishermen enjoyed some of the best fishing in years. The higher-than-normal water conditions might not have been as good for the lower stretches of the Main River but they were ideal for lodges 40 and 60 Kilometers upriver with lodges like Wilsons and Rocky Brook also experiencing some of their best fishing in years.
After such a successful fishing season, the future is again looking very bright for the Atlantic Salmon on the Miramichi. Salmon numbers have been great, especially since the closure of the commercial fishery off Greenland, and fishermen and guides all say the numbers of returning fish have been increasing annually since that closure. They still agree that such measures must continue along with the practice of 'hook and release' that many fishermen are now using, if these impressive Atlantic Salmon numbers are to continue. As for the future of the Miramichi Salmon, the biggest concern among many fishermen and guides are the high numbers of Striped Bass now in the system, and their numbers have been increasing at an alarming rate. This species of fish is on the Canadian fish protected list, making many salmon fishermen wonder why, when Stripers are one of the biggest predators of smolt returning back out to sea. We all know the Miramichi River has always been famous for its Atlantic Salmon fishing, with anglers travelling here from around the world, which contributes millions of dollars to the economy each year. We are not sure how much interest there might be for Striped bass fishing but it might help to control the numbers if fishermen were allowed to fish for and keep a few bass throughout the season. Let's hope the Fisheries people in Ottawa make some good decisions on this one because, after all, we want the Miramichi to continue as the "Destination of Choice" for Atlantic Salmon Fishermen for many years to come.
2011 US Spey Clinic week on the Miramichi
Karsten Andrae, Fair Lave NJ - Renous River
Nancy LaRean, Boanton Twp NJ - Renous
Andrew Moy, Towaco NJ - Renous River
Airal Kane, Milford NJ - Renous River
Shya Kane, Milford NJ - Cains River
Big Renous Hookbill
With good water levels and weather conditions on most of the Miramichi river system, anglers had great results this week. The Renous and the Cains were producing good numbers of fish with a lot of large salmon landed. The Valentine pools on the Cains had over 100 fish hooked for the week with lots of fish now holding in that stretch of the river however with the large numbers of fish in some pools, fishing could still be better. Much of the Main River is still not producing as well as we would like with the exception of a couple of low-water pools that are just now getting to a good height which bodes well for the remainder of the season. With the higher-than-normal water conditions this year and so many fish moving through the Main River System, with no need for many to hold up in the lower stretches of the river, there are very high numbers of fish in the upper stretches of the river. With the daily direct flights from Newark N.J. into Moncton, many fly fishermen from the NJ and NY area now find it very easy to fish the Miramichi. Shya and Airal Kane from NJ have been taking full advantage of these convenient flights, visiting us with two trips last year and doubling it to four trips this season, being on the river in April, May, July and again this week. As you can see from the River Reports they have been enjoying the Miramichi Fishing. Overall, we think Shya has landed more fish for the season but not to be outdone, Airal has been landing the largest.
With the Lower stretches of the Main Sou'west Miramichi being such an ideal location for Spey fishing, we host 3 Spey Casting clinics each year here at Country Haven Lodge on the Miramichi - two by Andrew Moy and Jody Plonski from East Coast Spey from the U.S. and one by Bryan Martin and Brian Warrington from the U.K. These weeks are always a fun time to learn more about fishing with a double handed rod or just to watch the demonstrations put on by these world-class instructors. This past week was our final Spey week for 2011 but with so much interest we will be hosting another 3 weeks again in 2012. Anyone interested in any of these 3 sessions should book early as these weeks fill up quickly.
2011 UK Spey Clinic Week on the Miramichi
Duncan Craigie, London Ont - Cains River
Art Arosenstock, CT on the Main River
Brian Warrington, Cheshire England - nice salmon Main Sou'west
Bryan Martin, Devon England and Brian Warrington
Your host, Byron with Bryan Martin
It was another great week spent with our returning guests and friends from the UK as this was our 3rd annual year of hosting a UK Spey week, with a number of returning guests each year. Although there were good numbers of fish in the River System this week, fishing was one of the slowest weeks we have ever experienced for this time of year on the Miramichi. However our anglers still managed to land 34 fish for the week - a very low number compared to over 100 for the same week in some past years. The biggest difference in the numbers was due to not as many fish holding in the lower stretch of the Main River because of the high water and great conditions for moving fish previously in the season. The upside of the week, besides the great casting lessons given by Bryan Martin and Brian Warrington, was that the Renous River started producing the best results of all the rivers in the System, and we were lucky it did or fish numbers might have been even lower for the week. Overall it was another great week to be on the Miramichi with the fall foliage, nice weather and very high expectation for success every time you started off to the river with the high numbers of fish in the System this year. Even though the fish were not holding much in the Lower Main river, there are still fish moving in on the tides daily. The best producing flies were the Red Francis and White Tail Green Machine #8 .
George & Dick Fairchild & Jeff Peck, CT
Dick Fairchild on the Cains
Peter O'Connor, Dublin Ireland
Andrew Judge, Dublin Ireland
A lot of fish were moving throughout the river system this past week with a few more deciding to take the hook than last week. The conditions and water height are perfect for fall fishing in most of the main River and it's tributaries. Our anglers have still been having better results fishing on the Cains and lower stretches of the Main river system. We are also starting to see more of the fall hookbills moving into the River System every day. The best producing fly this week has been the White Tail Green Machine. Every week the Miramichi receives a number of visitors from around the world and many have interesting stories to tell, including a long history of fishing the Miramichi. Guests George and Dick Fairchild from Connecticut have been fishing the Miramichi since the 1950's along with their parents. We were happy to let them have the opportunity to fish some of the very same pools where their Atlantic salmon fishing experiences first began with their parents and grandparents almost 60 years ago. The Miramichi has always been a place where memories are made and dreams are fulfilled.
Tommy Black Glasgow Scotland
Tommy Black landing a fish
Richard Saran, Toronto Ontario
Neta Norton, Dallas Texas - Neta's first Atlantic Salmon
With a couple of cool and frosty nights, the fall foliage is now starting to appear throughout the Miramichi River Valley. River conditions are starting to return to normal and should continue to improve daily for the Main River. The water temperatures this week have been in the high 50's to low 60's most of the week - an ideal temperature. There have been hundreds of fish traveling up through the system over the past couple of weeks but not many holding, as the water has been great for traveling. With the higher water conditions, unlike June and July when similar conditions existed and when we were having our best fishing in the Doaktown and Blissfield area, we are now experiencing better fishing in the lower stretches of the river than on the upper stretches. Even though they might not be holding up a lot for this time of year, which is normally one of the better times of the year, the fall salmon seem to travel slower. With the Main River having risen four times over the past month, the Cains river only came up a bit one time over this same timeframe which has created low water conditions on the river. Our anglers are still picking up a few each day especially in the Moors Pool. It would not hurt to have a bit more water on the Cains as it is full of salmon but now needs more water to improve the fishing. The Renous River has been the most consistent river over the past couple of days with our fishermen hooking 9 and landing 7 on Sunday and hooking 6 with 5 landed yesterday using only two pools. We will probably fish more pools on the Renous during this week as the Renous can be a fantastic fall river. As conditions continue to improve on the Main River, fishing should also improve. With our ideal location on the lower stretches of the Main River, the lower the water, the better the fishing becomes - depending on conditions of course. The best flies of the week were the "Shady Lady", "White Tail Green Machine" and the "Butterfly". Anglers did hook 6 salmon Sunday evening at one of our pools in Upper Blackville using the "Allie Shrimp" but that has been it for the fall patterns. The fall foliage creates beautiful fall days and there are not many places better to enjoy a fishing trip than on the Miramichi. Fishing season runs until October 15th on the Miramichi River system so there is still time for some good fishing.
Peter Gubb, Newburg UK
Rob Costigane, Kitchener Ont
Tim Dipietro, Kearsarge NH
Tom Castle London England
Last week started off with us spending most of our time fishing over a lot of picky fish, with not as much action as we would have liked for this time of the season. With the numbers of fish in the system and with another heavy rain on Thursday which created rising water levels, fishermen had much better luck by the end of the week with the older fish in the system moving and more fresh ones arriving with the fresh water including lots of big fall salmon among them. With all these high rises in water levels that we have been receiving almost weekly this year, it has been great for the fish. We are also very lucky to have three pools on the lower stretch of the river where the water level rarily gets too high to fish by wading or just standing on shore, with some great results when the water is high. If the water is not too dirty the fresh fish travel close to shore in high water, making for good fishing. As the water continues to fall and with a full moon this week which normally brings in the fall salmon, we are looking forward to a great final month for the rest of the season, fishing our private pools between Doaktown to Quarryville on the Main River and on the Cains, the Renous and on the Nor'west Miramichi. Anglers this week finally started to pick up a few fish on fall patterns such as the Allie Shrimp GP'S but the summer flies like Blue Charm, Glitter Bear and Green Machine were still working best.
Connie Kemmer, Obernexingar, Germany
Markus Kemmer, Obernexingar, Germany
Connie & Markus Kemmer, Obernexingar, Germany
Liz Crosbie, NFLD
With the water falling from the last Monday's high, fishing was quite consistent throughout the week with some of the best fishing in weeks on the lower stretch of the Main River on Wednesday and Thursday thanks to many fresh fish moving into the system. By the weekend,however, the fish became more picky about the flies they wanted. This can happen very quickly, especially in August and September, as fishing can turn on or off from day to day without any major changes in conditions. Most of the fish taken this week have been on traditional summer flies, with the White Tail Green Machine and the Blue Charm working the best.
Mariko Izumi dry fly fishing on the Cains
Tyler with Mariko Izumi
Mariko with Atlantic Salmon in the Orr Pool, Miramichi
Jean Dupré, Montreal Quebec
For most of this week there was not a lot of action on the Main River System as not too many new fish arrived on the tides until the rain on the weekend. With the water rising quickly on Saturday and Sunday, fishing was fantastic even though the conditions were not. Although the water was a bit high, anglers were having good luck fishing from the shore in some high water pools. The Island pool we use in Upper Blackville is almost always fishable, no matter how high the water gets, as long as the water is not too dirty like it is right now. Today most of the river is not really fishable but that should start improving as water levels fall again this week. The early part of the week was spent fishing the Cains with some pools holding hundreds of fish. On some days the fishing was great with lots of fish landed and there were also days this week with fish jumping and rolling everywhere but most had lockjaw. For the past couple of weeks we have been using the Cains or the lower stretches of the Main River below the Cains. There are not a lot of moving fish above the mouth of the Cains on the Main River but this should change with the rise in water levels. The CEO of the Canadian Olympic Committee, Jean Dupré joined us for a bit of salmon fishing with us this week, landing a couple of grilse and a 20+ salmon on his first day on the Miramichi. Tyler and Garry had a couple of days worth remembering this week as they guided Mariko Izumi from the "World Fishing Network" while she was doing a episode of "Hooking up with Mariko Izumi" on the Miramichi. Although Tyler is not guiding full time with us this season he says he will definitely be guiding next season if all the guests look, fish, and are as nice as she is. What a sweet young lady to host on a fishing trip! Flies of choice this week have been the #4 Peach Carter Bug and #10 Glitter Bear.
Fishing the Cains
Andrew Castle, London Ont, 1st Atlantic Salmon
Salmon at the end of a Miramichi Rainbow
Andrew David Nickolson
We normally anticipate a bit of a slowdown throughout the season and usually, if it happens, it's probably going to happen in August although last year was probably one of our best and so far, this August has also been an exception as water temperatures and fishing have remained good most of the time. Although there are not as many fresh fish arriving now as in July, we have been experiencing excellent fishing for the holding fish on the Cains. This year, the Cains River has been producing good numbers in all the three private Cains pools that we fish. On some days, the fishing has seemed more like September and October than August. The Carter's Bug has been the the best working fly this past week. Overall, fishing conditions are almost perfect for the whole river system after the rain we received and the temperatures remaining in the low 60's - not your typical August so far! With the water levels we now have, throughout the rest of this season there should be plenty of water, especially on the lower stretches of the Main River. Anglers are also catching fish every day on some pools on the Renous river this August.
Guide Jeremy holding Fish for Dan Leger from Boston MA
Tom Hansen, Knoxville Tenn
Andrew Bello, Toronto Ontario
Andrew Bello, Toronto Ontario with his fish
There are still good numbers of fish within the system, some are fresh arrivals but most have been in the system for a while. In August anglers might need to work a little harder as sometimes August fish tend to not take as well but so far this summer has been an exception. The water levels and angling conditions continue to be good for this time of year, especially on the Cains, as most fishermen are still landing fish daily. August is also prime time for Bomber fishing and fishermen have been making the best of it having the best results on #4 Peach Bugs and Green Orange Bombers.
Bill Forgan, Gettysburg PA
Charles Petruccelli, Redding Ct
Philip Lowry, Bangor Ireland
Darryl Tucker netting another one
Overall it was another great week on the water. Early in the week it was was fantastic on the Cains and the lower stretches of the Main River
as the fish were holding up in the pools. Fishing remained good on Saturday throughout a big rain with a lot of fish landed but yesterday turned out to be one of the slower days this summer with rising dirty water and a lot of floating grass and debris. With the water falling again today and lots of fish again on the move this morning fishing should be getting back to normal especialiy on the Cains as the river rises fast but also falls fast as most smaller rivers tend to do. #8 Undertaker wet flies and #4 Peach Carter Bug dry flies were the best producers. Even though this season has been one of the best for anglers it has also been even a better one for the fish as the water stayed high and cool most of the time. Guide Pet Randal says if the fish keep arriving like they have been this season they will need to make the river longer to hold them all, but we think that this is a bit of wishful thinking. Fishing results throughout August will depend on water conditions and if the fish keep arriving as they have been doing. In past years, during August, we have experienced some of the best dry fly fishing of the season in the lower stretches of the River. We would like to say "Thanks" to all of our July guests and hope you enjoyed your time on the Miramichi and we enjoyed having each and every one of you. With two and a half months left in the fishing season there should be some great fishing remaining until closing day on October the 15th. For anyone still interested in fishing in the 2011 season, if we do not have your dates of choice available we do work closely with a number of other good outfitters on the river and we will be happy to recommend one of them to you.
Matt Harris, Calgary Alberta
Adam Lagacey, Doylestown PA
Alan Mcmaster, Belfast, Ireland
Alan Mcmaster, Belfast
Each year at Country Haven we receive a number of returning fishermen from around the world and over the years many are now considered "Family", none any more so then Alan Mcmaster from Ireland who visits each year for two weeks of fishing and enjoying the other Attractions New Brunswick has to Offer. Since his very first visit 5 years ago Alan has done and seen more of New Brunswick than many residents will ever do, from Whale, Bear, and Moose Watching tours to the Folk, Bluegrass and Irish Festivals. Alan enjoys it all but his fishing comes first as most Irishmen do enjoy their Fishing. Alan had another good trip with lots of fish including 11 salmon in his final two and a half days using Bombers. Many of the UK anglers who return to the Miramichi always enjoy the fun of catching salmon on Bombers as they say they do not work as well back in the UK. We have had some fishermen tell us that the Miramichi has ruined them for fishing back home using wet flies after all the fun they have enjoyed using Bombers on the Miramichi.
This has been one of the better weeks for Dry Fly fishing as the fish are now starting to hold up more like late July or Aug fishing on the lower stretches of the River that we are used to. Fishermen have also been enjoying success on the Cains River and the Lower stretches of the Main River and the Renous. Some of our lower water pools have been producing good results. Lots of fresh fish are still arriving daily with each tide. The fishing, to date, is starting out like a record year as far as the numbers of fish entering the system since late May are concerned. There have not been many changes in fly patterns for our anglers this week and best performers have been the #4 Peach Carter Bugs dry fly and #8 Bear Hair wet fly.
Grandfather Thomas Munn, St. John's NFLD fishing with his three grandsons from NFLD, NS & MA
Doug Munn, St. Johns NFLD with nice Salmon
Philip Cabrera, Shrewsbury, MA
Andrew Munn Halifax, NS
At Country Haven we specialize in Father-Son-Grandfather trips and offer special packages throughout the season with many of these packages being used every day. This past week was another great week for those using these packages as a number of family groups enjoyed good success. Probably the best enjoyment for the guides was working with 11 year old Kyle Forbes from Bedford Nova Scotia who was visiting with his Grandfather Patrick and using all his Great Grandfather's equipment. With his Great Grandfather a long-time salmon fishermen and still alive, Kyle had to return to the lodge to phone his Great Grandfather back in N.S. after each salmon landed. This did not leave a lot of time for his Grandfather to catch up so Kyle easily outfished his Grandfather Patrick who did not seem to mind at all. This Boy sure has a great start at keeping the family tradition of Atlantic salmon fishing continuing.
It was another good week for the Miramichi and the Salmon, with lots of fish and water to keep them moving. Overall, the water temperature has been cool enough and with the good numbers of fish in the system, anglers have been doing very well. Another difference this year is the good fishing this early on the Cains as we have now landed fish on 4 different Cains River pools, some we would not normally be fishing until September. This is all due to the great number of fish and the high water levels. There are reports of fish being landed on all of the Miramichi Salmon Rivers with some of the best fishing in years upriver above the Doaktown area. With the higher water this year, fishing so far has been favourable in the upriver pools so we have been spending much of our time fishing the upriver high water pools. The fish are not holding yet in the lower section of the River even though the river is full of moving fish. Most productive flies this week have been #8 Bear Hair, Undertaker and #4 Peach Carter Bug.
Andrew Moy demonstrating Spey casting to Max Shea, New York, NY
After the Spey casting lesson - the catch!
Fred Klein, Fairfield, N.J.
Colby Donovan has been limiting out Daily
This past week was the first of our three week long spey clinic hosted by East Coast Spey from New Jersey, USA. They will be returning again for another week in the first week of October. We offer three weeks throughout the season, two weeks by East Coast and another in Mid September hosted by Bryan Martin from the Devon Fishing Club from the UK. Throughout the season we now have over 100 Spey Rod anglers fishing with us, with some very good casters among them. Most of the guides all agree that of all the Spey Casters they have seen over the years there are not many any better then Andrew Moy from East Coast Spey.
Andrew is a small man who can achieve unbelievable distance with his casts and his presentation of the fly as it lands on the water with such ease every time is what every wannabe Spey Caster would die for. A lot of Spey fishermen can get distance but to get the presentation of the fly like Andrew does can make believers out of a single handed fishermen. Andrew also owns www.tightlinesflyfishing.com in Pinebrook N.J. and can help with lessons or equipment. The Miramichi, traditionally, has always been a single rod river but it is great river for both depending on the pools and the fishermen. Some of the wider pools we use on stretches of the Lower Main River are ideal for a double handed Rod. There are still lots of fish moving through the system daily with some locations reporting their best fishing ever. We have been landing many more grilse than salmon this week. Having some warmer conditions for a couple of days can do this. Overall, the conditions and fishing were good for another week. Every day, from our great location on the River, we see a lot of the fresh fish as they move up the river off the tides and they have arriving daily since late May. The Flies of Choice this week have been #8 Bear Hair and Undertaker.
Lady anglers having a good time!
Waiting for the big one to bite
The reward justifies the effort
A perfect fishing day and good luck.
There are lots of fresh fish arriving daily with each tide and good numbers of both salmon and grilse are being seen on all the rivers in the Miramichi system. We are seeing some of the best numbers of fish in years. Every year there are more and more lady anglers enjoying the sport of fly fishing and many are taking advantage of "husband and wife" packages. There are even some ladies groups who arrive from around the world each year, even from as far away as California and New Zealand.
This home-grown New Brunswick group (photos) have been returning for 6 years and there are not many anglers who enjoy their trip much better then these Ladies do. With the large number of fish arriving each day, success has a lot to do with being in the right place at the right time. The fish are still not holding up much in the pools but the excellent numbers of fish are still producing great results which makes for very happy anglers.
Jim Buckmelter, Albuquerque.NM
George Newcomb, Earlysville VA
This June will probably go down in history as having one of the biggest runs of both salmon and grilse in 30 years as all rivers in the system have been seeing great numbers. The Nor'west has been fantastic as you might expect, as it is an "early run" river. The Main Southwest Miramichi and the Renous have also seen great results. The Dungarvon has had one of the largest numbers of returning fish, so far almost equalizing it's total numbers for all of last year. Although anglers have been experiencing some of the best June fishing in years, I hate to think just how great it could have been if there had been lower water conditions. With all the rain we received along with some days of flood-like conditions, fishermen were still catching fish. Even though the fishing conditions were not always on the side of the angler, the conditions have been fantastic for the salmon as they made their way upriver and the high cold water. Each year we welcome back a number of returning guests from around the world including, this week, James Buckmelter who travels by automobile all the way from New Mexico every year to enjoy a couple of months fishing some of the best salmon rivers in Atlantic Canada. Always starting and finishing his journey on the Miramichi, he will also be fishing some of the best rivers in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador during his trip. Again, this year, he started out very well, hooking 7 on Saturday. George Newcomb, a trout fisherman from Virginia, said he knew early in the fight with his salmon that it was not like any trout he had ever landed. After his salmon stripped all his line and backing in minutes, George and his guide needed to boat downriver to finally get the fish landed. Way to Go, George! There are lots of fish on the move and with good conditions it looks like there is much more good fishing to come.
Vicki Green from Vernon BC
Vicki Green with another Striper
June has started out very well for salmon fishing as anglers have been hooking into them on the Nor'west and also on the Renous and Main River. The water remains high and cool so the salmon are moving straight on through but fishermen are hooking a few because of the high numbers so early in the season. Vicki Green from Vernon BC came to fish Trout this week but the downside for her has been more Striped bass than trout now in the system. She landed 9 on Saturday while fishing for trout even though she was above the salt water line on the river where stripers normally hang out. This year there have been reports of a few stripers being landed as far upriver as the mouth of the Cains. It's a good thing they don't hang around long into the season or we might all be in trouble. The Miramichi has always been famous for its Atlantic Salmon and Trout fishing so anglers on the Miramichi don't get too excited about hooking stripers while fishing for salmon or trout. There is already a lot of excitement throughout the river about the early run of salmon now entering the system. Everyone has their favourite flies but over the years, we have had the best results for these early run salmon using a big #4 Green Machine and #4 Blue Charm, especially in high water. Often, with June salmon, if you get your fly over them, they will take it.
There have not been too many fishermen on the river this week because it is a bit too late for spring salmon and a bit too early for summer salmon, however anglers who have been on the river have been getting results as it appears that some nice salmon are entering the river early this season. One Friday morning, while sitting on the deck with my morning coffee, talking on the phone with fly tyer and guide Darryl Tucker about our selection of early run flies that we should be using, I saw a couple of nice salmon rolling as they were making their way upriver in the traditional location that June salmon travel. Although a bit early for the summer run I knew they were salmon. Later, in the evening, a friend called and said they landed 6 at Trout Brook on the Nor'west Miramichi. One of my guides was fishing in Blissfield yesterday evening and he and a friend landed one each on a #6 Green Machine. Without any wind on the water this morning, we could see more salmon moving up past the Lodges. It looks more like a Morning in mid June than the end of May - which now looks good for June. Although it's a bit early and the water is a bit high, these fish can be taken in high water pools. Below is a letter Bradford Burns from Maine, a friend of mine, sent along this morning, telling about his weekend while fishing at his camp a few miles upriver. Most of these first-run salmon are short and fat as you can see in the photo below.
I made a trip up to the Southwest Miramichi this weekend, not really expecting to catch anything except maybe some trout. I just wanted to spend some time in camp. I got a call from Jason Curtis the day before I left relaying that one of the neighbors said he had seen a salmon roll, and that he was certain is was a bright fish. Bright salmon, though, are a scarce May commodity on the Southwest Miramichi, and Wayne Curtis who grew up overlooking and fishing Campbell ’s Pool said he didn’t remember ever seeing one caught there in May.
My trip started out by watching a big salmon leap from the water on Friday morning, right in the heart of the pool. Lloyd Curtis and I found, within the next hour, that there were several salmon holding – in spite of relatively high water – in the lower end of Campbell’s side of the pool. Unfortunately we found this out by having salmon roll for the fly, but not touching it. We worked these fish from both sides, with every possible fly, line type, casting angle etc. but never had a touch even though some of the fish repeatedly made big wakes and visibly followed the fly for 20 feet.
On Saturday my luck changed, perhaps for the worse. The number of fish seemed to be down a bit, but we found a couple on the Keenan side too. We had three separate fish bump the fly, but not once did we feel a solid take. This seemed like really strange behavior for early, bright fish, but….
Sunday began with a little rise of water. We fished down the Campbell side and rolled a fish at the top. It never came back for another look. We theorized this was a moving fish. The hot area at the bottom of the pool was now vacant. Over on the Keenan side we fished down through some of the better high water lies without a touch, but in the exact spot where a big, broad-backed salmon had tapped my fly on Saturday we found that either another fish had moved in, or yesterday’s resident was still there – rise in water and all. The fish looked at a #2 Silver Rat but did not take it. Jason Curtis and I discussed strategy, and after waiting for a couple of minutes we made the same cast and got a solid take.
Here is Jason holding what we estimated to be an 18 pound salmon. We thought the length was only about 33 inches, but the fish was as deep and fat as a small tuna. She was hooked in the upper lip, and the fly fell into the net when we lifted her for the picture. A great start to the season, may it continue!
Even though there are still a few Spring Salmon and some Spring Trout moving through the lower stretches on the Main Southwest Miramichi, almost everyone has now taken a break in the fishing to get ready for the summer runs that should get underway in June. The Miramichi River has a six month fishing season for Salmon with a very good chance of landing salmon any time throughout the season from April 15th to Oct 15th with the exception of a couple of weeks now - the inbetween season for salmon on the River - too late for good spring fishing results and too early for the summer runs. This past week the fishing has tapered off daily as the week went on. Anglers were having good results early in the week in the lower stretches of the river, especially in the Quarryville area, to almost zero results over the weekend for both salmon and trout of any size even though there were some big trout around early in the week in the fast water pools. Fishermen below the Quarryville area said they were having trouble catching many trout over the weekend due to the large number of bass now in the system as they keep hooking bass while fishing for trout. Smelts and Smolt are now moving out of the system making for good bait fish for the bass. We did not have a lot of fishermen this past week because this late in the season can be great or poor depending on the numbers of fish still around or how many are still interested in a fly after feeding on smelts but up until Friday all our fishermen were still catching fish daily.
15 Year old Liam Stewart and his Mom had some beginners luck as Liam landed three Salmon and his mom landed one - both were first time fly fishing for Salmon. We do not think it will Liam's last time fishing however. Ariel Kane from NJ finished off our fall season last year with the last salmon on the season and On Friday she finished off our spring salmon fishing season with this beauty - the last salmon landed for the spring run. After landing 30 in 3 days on an earlier trip in April, this lady loves to fish. Single or Double handed rods - she can do it all and has a lot of fun doing it.
Liam Stewart, Sackville NB
Tyler Coughlan with Trout
Ariel Kane, Milford NJ
Overall this spring season will go down in history as being one of the coldest and wettest springs on the Miramichi but it will also be know as one of the best for fishing as it was very consistent from start to finish. With the exception of a couple of weekends when the water got high and dirty, there were always lots of fish in the system and a good number of them were very big salmon. As for the Miramichi River and the Atlantic Salmon supply overall, there is no doubt in the minds of many guides and local fishermen that the numbers are increasing each year and many anglers suggest this is due to the closure of the Commercial fishery off the Coast of Greenland, the hard work by the Atlantic Salmon Federation and Miramichi Salmon Association along with all the others doing their part to preserve the Atlantic Salmon Stock. Many of the Miramichi guides have been on the River all their lives and many are saying there is never a day now when they do not at least see fish. They can remember years past, especially prior to the Greenland closure, when they would not see a single fish for days.
The size of Salmon now being caught daily would have made headlines years ago. With a lot of talk lately about fish numbers, this positive talk is refreshing to hear considering it is coming from the guides who have a "hands on" approach and are on the river daily for years than if it was coming from some agency in a office a thousand miles away. This said, the future is looking very good for the Atlantic Salmon even though there is still lots of work to done in keeping it this way by the Organizations, the governments on both the Provincial and Federal level and by so many wise anglers who continue to practice hook and release.
With Spring fishing now over for another year, we would like to say "Thanks" from everyone here at Country Haven to everyone who fished with us this spring. We hope your stay was a memorable one and we look forward to seeing you all again in the near future. As we now set our sights on summer fishing where most of it is done by wading instead of from boats and with full floating lines instead of sinking or sinking tips and using smaller flies. This is also a good time to stop by a local fly shop and make any equipment changes or additions for the upcoming summer fishing season. A fishing trip to the Miramichi should always include a visit to Doaks in Doaktown, Miramichi Curtis Outfitters in Blackville, George Routledge in Renous or Sid Mattchets at Trout Brook on the Nor'west. The Miramichi Salmon Museum in Doaktown is also a "must" place to visit with lots of information on Atlantic Salmon and the Miramichi.
For anyone who might be interested in a book filled
with lots of Miramichi Information or who might just
like to add another great fishing book to their collection
there is a new "just released" hard cover book now available
called Salmon Country, New Brunswick's Great Angling Rivers
Liu Xiaojun & Family, Beijing China
Kim Oastler, Ottawa Ont
Andrew Done, Leysin Switzerland
Alain Caclard, Leysin Switzerland
The weather this spring has not been the best and this year we will probably set a record for the most rainy days in May, however conditions have helped in making this a very good spring fishing season as the fish are continuing to hold in the system while feeding on smelts. Anglers have been landing some great fighters over the past week even though the numbers are not quite as good as they were in April. Fishermen are still doing very well in the lower stretches of the Main River. With the exception of the weather, so far this spring the fishing has made it worthwhile being on the river. With many anglers landing their fish by casting, they are now being rewarded with more salmon than grilse and finally some really big males among them. For example, Alan Caclard from Switzerland landed 20 in 5 days - not as many as earlier weeks, but out of the 20 he landed, 19 were salmon - a 'fishermen's dream' trip for a hook-and-release fishermen who enjoys casting. After last weekend's rise in water levels the water has since been dropping and the fishing keep improving daily, in fact this weekend has been the best weekend since early April. Sometimes, the quality of the salmon landed later in May encourages the guides to say they enjoy fishing now more than April, especially with many anglers now using floating lines instead of the full sinking lines used in April - much more like summer and fall fishing. May can be a lot of fun when conditions and fish hold as they are doing this year. First time angler Paul Mantil from Ottawa had some beginners luck on Wednesday and Thursday, landing 16 salmon but it was not the number of fish he landed that was amazing, it was that he hooked 16 and landed them all. With fishermen using barbless hooks, a lot of times they are only landing half of the total number of fish hooked, but Paul obviously had the touch. Good going Paul!
The spring salmon season is now winding down however there are still lots of salmon in the lower river system - jumping like crazy this morning - and there will probably be some good spring salmon fishing remaining for quite a while yet. At this time of year, many anglers now turn their attention to catching those big trout we usually catch in the lower stretches of the Main River. Of all the flies fishermen used this spring, they always returned to the lodge each evening looking for more Darryl Tucker Tied Magog Smelts or Alewife for the Salmon and the Gray Ghost for trout - obviously their flies of choice.
Gary Benke, Bellemead NJ
James McKerley, Key West Fla
Alain Caclard, Leysin Switzerland
Edward Lemond, Dieppe NB
Spring fishing is still continuing to hold steady with most anglers landing fish daily except for Friday, due to another
rise in water levels but just as fast as it rose, it dropped again, giving fishermen some luck on Saturday. All anglers in the lodge landed fish Sunday and again yesterday, although the quantity of fish was not quite as plentiful as before the weekend rise in water level. The quality is sure there as some of the fish now being landed are the largest and best looking fish to-date this spring.
Anglers are catching fish on all of the tributaries as they are holding nicely in the system this spring. So far, the cooler weather and slow snow melt has been keeping the water cold and higher than normal, which is helping to extend the spring season. If this weather trend continues, we might still be catching spring fish while fishing for our summer run fish in June. The flies of choice have been the Magog Smelt and Christmas Tree.
Bob and Oscar playing cribbage
Joe Linares, Feeding Hills MA
Dennis Dawe, St. Thomas ONT
Bob Graveline Springfield MA
With April, one of the best opening months of fishing ever, now behind us, things are looking very positive for May as there are still lots of fish in the system. April was fantastic from opening day until th1s
weekend. A rise in water levels put a slight damper on what otherwise would have been an absolutely perfect month. Last week, most anglers limited out daily. Don Dimambro from Barrington NH left Thursday morning saying he had the best spring fishing ever in his 8 trips to the Miramichi. All good things must come to a end however and each spring there are always a few poor days due to cloudy water conditions. After two great weeks the guides were suggesting that maybe this year the entire spring season would be perfect as conditions were so good and the number of fish was so great. But after a rain Thursday night, Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday morning turned out to be poor with only a few fish landed each day. Sunday afternoon improved however and with a beautiful sunny day yesterday, it was again back to great fishing, making anglers and guides marvel at just how much mother nature does control the fishing.. rising water, poor fishing, falling water, good
fishing - very simple but hard to understand sometimes as only a couple of inches each way can make the difference.
Each year guests travel from around the world to fish the Miramichi and for some it has become an annual lifetime tradition dating back to their childhood with parents or grandparents. Country Haven is fortunate to have a number of these returning guests each year including Bob Watermen and Oscar Handel from the Lewiston area in Maine, who first fished the Miramichi at Boyd's Fishing
Lodge in the early 1960's. The tradition continued there for years and later at Black Rapids Lodge. For the past 8 years now they have been our guests at Country Haven and we have loved every minute of their time spent here although they are fishing with a more laid-back approach than in the 60's. They are still using some of their original equipment and flies and they simply will not be out-fished by the younger anglers in camp, having limited-out this morning. Oscar is still doing at 89 years of age in a 1/2 day what some younger fishermen can't even do in a full day! Each year, on his departure,
his parting words are always "With the good lord willing, I will see you all
next year". Way to go Oscar, we look forward to it!
There is still good fishing on the main river and the tributaries and with trout fishing having opened just in time on May 1st, anglers are also landing some nice trout. Guests of guides Jeremy and Ken Vickers both hooked into 4lb+ trout today. Flies of choice are continue to be the Maggot, Smelt and the Alewife. With great weather forecast for today and tomorrow, fishing should continue to be good and we are all hoping that the rain predicted for this coming Thursday won't have as much effect on fishing conditions as last weekend. Overall, there is still lots more great fishing remaining for this spring.
Ariel Kane, Milford NJ
A Spring morning on the Miramichi
Bill "wishing" for the Big One
Bill Mather from Elgin ONT
Another great week of fishing on the Miramichi. Over the past week, almost all of our guests have limited out to the daily spring catch limit of 10 grilse or salmon a day. Arial and Shya Kane from Milford NJ in 3 visits to our Lodge have now experienced the "good", the "bad" and the ugly" of salmon fishing. The "good" was fishing high water pools on the Cains last October with good results. The "bad" was during the 2010 July heat wave where there were lots of fish but no takers. The "ugly" has been just how aggressive these beautiful spring salmon can be while experiencing some of the best fishing possible with 60 salmon grilse landed in 3 days of fishing between them. All fish were hooked by casting. Bill and Jane Mather from Elgin Ontario have been celebrating Bill's birthday with us here on the Miramichi for the past 3 seasons. An Atlantic Salmon fisherman originally from Scotland, the Miramichi is as close to his home in Scotland as it gets, to celebrate his birthday with family and friends. Bill can't think of any better way to celebrate his birthday then fishing for Atlantic Salmon. Bill and Jane would have probably have landed their limit of 60 over their 3 days fishing if Jane had not taken a day off to give Bill a better chance - after all it was his birthday! The water has been staying at both a good height and temperature and with reports of good fishing upriver, great conditions should continue for sometime yet this spring. Flies of choice this week have been the Magog Smelt and the Daryl Tucker tied Alewife has been working wonders.
There are a number of ways for fishing spring Salmon such as "long lineing" and "trolling" in lower stretches of the river but "casting" is what most fishermen enjoy the best and this week, anglers that were casting have been outfishing the other methods 10 to 1 as the conditions have been ideal for casting from both boats and shore in many locations. There is still a lot of good spring fishing remaining and a great time to get out on the water.
12 year old Ailish Bergin, Charlottown
John Pemberton, Oxbridge MA
Bob Mackenney, Edgecomb ME
Guests enjoying a great meal
Steve Culler, Princeton MA
Ailish with another fine catch
Fishing season has been absolutely fantastic since opening day as river conditions have been great with good water height, clarity, temperatures and most important, good numbers of fish. This is creating some of the best spring fishing on the river in years. All of the rivers and tributaries are now open and ice-free for fishing. Examples of the good fishing this season have been the excellent reports being received from the many returning annual guests including Jim Cray from Washburn Maine "Best in 5 springs", Mike Watson of Fairfield Maine "Best in 7" and by Bob Mackenney from Edgecomb Maine, "Best in 9 consecutive springs". With some snow still in the woods which keeps the water cool and at a good height, the fishing should continue for a long time this spring. Our first-time angler honours this week will definitely go to a little lady from Prince Edward Island, 12 year old Ailish Bergin who hooked, fought and landed fish like only a seasoned professional might do! Ailish landed 2 grilse, 2 trout and 5 salmon including a 40+ inch beauty - the "fish of a lifetime" for many anglers. "Way to go Ailish, welcome to the Miramichi". All flies have been working well with anglers having the best results using the Magog Smelt and the Aylmer Special.
Opening day on the Miramichi
Norm Brown, Dover NH
It's official, the 2011 fishing season is now open and it has started out very well. With the water rising throughout much of the night due to a rain Thursday, anglers were worried there might be a bit too much water for opening day. But with the water still rising and some debris floating by, fishermen still managed to have good fishing in the morning and with the water starting to fall, anglers did very well in the afternoon. This morning, with the water having fallen throughout the night, fishermen are still producing great numbers of both grilse and salmon. As I watch from the deck of the lodge, fishermen are all landing fish and guide Randall Connors yells out "We can't keep them off our hooks". This is music to the ears of a camp owner as another fishing season starts off. As to which flies are working best, not an issue as everything is working well!
YEAR 2010 River Reports
Willy Woods with a fall beauty
Willy Woods from the UK with a Cains 'hook bill'
Richard Ostrowski, Smithfield ME on the Cains
Ariel Kane, Milford NJ - last salmon taken in the 2010 season
Richard Mann, Halifax NS Richard's first time fishing for Atlantic Salmon - Nice!
With another fishing season coming to a close on Friday, the final week ended with a 'Bang'! I would have to say that on the Cains from Sunday on was probably our best fall fishing as the water reached a good level and the fish finally started showing up in traditionally good Cains River fall pools like 'Valentines' and 'Moors'. Even though the Main river was not producing fantastic results, our anglers still landed fish daily. Naturally, when the Cains was producing like it was, fishermen concentrated most of the week there with good results in landing fish and less wind than the Main River experienced in the final week of the season.
All our anglers landed fish including a few limiting out on salmon with no grilse being caught - a good way to finish out the season. Ariel and Shya Kane from Milford NJ returned for the final three days - their second time this season, landing 9 between them including the very last salmon caught in the 2010 season. Willy Woods from the UK finished off his week with 17 Salmon, the majority of them landed since Sunday. As the season came to a close on Friday, guides and anglers were thinking that there would have been more good days of fishing remaining on the Cains if the season could have been extended, but fishing was just about finished on the main river system for another year as the fish were getting into the spawning mood and were just not interested in taking flies. A lot of anglers believe there are more male salmon waiting to enter the system after the end of season as there were not as many spotted in the system during the season as had been seen in past years.
Flies of choice were Ally's Shrimp, GP, Ally's Cascade and LT Special.
Cains River Salmon
Christian Stathis, Manhattan NY, Cains River Salmon
Guide Darryl Tucker Landed on the Renous
Guide Randal, Main River landed in Upper Blackville
Landed at Campbell's pool Main River
Timmy Vickers, landed Upper Blackville
Above are a few more fish photos to end the year. Most were taken in the last few of days of the 2010 season from various rivers in the Miramichi River System.
Overall the 2010 season was another good one for the Miramichi River apart for the hot spell in July that saw some fish dying due to the extremely warm water and for a short time, where some stretches of the river needed to be closed for the protection of the fish. There were a few slow days in late August and early September but overall, the season was good with high numbers of returning fish. Latest count to date shows Salmon returns for the Millerton counter at 853 Salmon and 2,806 grilse - double the count for grilse compared to 2009. We must remember these numbers are estimated to represent approximately 10% of the actual numbers of returning fish that pass through these counters, so the numbers of returning fish could be as high as 8,530 Salmon and 28,060 Grilse - 36,590 Fish in all in only the Main River. For the Nor'west Miramichi, numbers were 561 Salmon and 2,699 Grilse compared to only 286 Grilse in 2009, great news for the Nor'west Miramichi. Again, these Nor'west numbers could represent 5,061 Salmon and 26,990 Grilse or 32,051 in Total. The total estimate for both rivers combined could be 68,641 fish. These numbers should make for some great spring 2011 fishing and a bright future for the Miramichi River System.
As for Outfitters on the River, it was a good season, as anglers continue to travel from around the world to tangle with the legendary leaper on an equally legendary river.
For all of us here at Country Haven, it was another successful year, from Spring until the end of the season with 85% of guests being returning fishermen from 18 different countries . We would like to thank everyone who visited and hope you had a vacation to remember and landed that 'big one' you were seeking. Behind ever successful season is a lot of dedicated indivuals, from the cooks who rise some mornings by 4 AM to the evening staff who finish up sometimes after 10 PM, and the dedicated guides who travel every river and pool, from daylight until dark, changing leaders, lines and hundreds of flies, always with the best interest of the fishermen at heart. We, as a lodge owner, also do our part in providing guests with 11 private fishing pools on 4 different rivers on the Miramichi, throughout the season, plus another 10 on daily basis, depending on conditions, including probably 3 of the best pools on the Cains, for a total of 21 pools we can access throughout the season. We can offer all this but still never guarantee catching an Atlantic Salmon. We will, however, guarantee that everyone at Country Haven will try their very best to help make your stay with us the trip of a lifetime. Until next season we all hope you have a wonderful winter and we look forward to your return visit in 2011.
Andrew Moy of East Coast Spey NJ on the Renous
Some of the East Coast Spey group enjoying time at the Lodge
Walt Plonski, Seattle Way on the Cains River
Richard Ostrowski, Smithfield ME, on the Renous River
Andrew Moy with a Cains River 'hook bill'
Another Spey Clinic - our final of the three for this season - this time with Andrew Moy, Owner of Tightlines Fly Shop, and East Coast Spey from Pine Brook NJ and Jody Plonski from Wynantskill NY. This is their second visit with us this year after being the unlucky group during the heat wave in early July. Although fishing was still not as good as some past Octobers they have experienced during their spey clinic week, it was a big improvement from the July week as all anglers in the group landed fish. Fishermen had success on the Main River, Nor'west, Renous and the Cains. Fishing this late in October on the Cains should be much better as the conditions are now better but so far not a lot of fish are showing in the pools compared to other years. With the water slowly rising daily for much of the week, fishing has been much like any typical time when water is rising - a number of pulls but no great number of hook ups. Of the rivers we fished this week, the Renous has been the most consistent of them all, producing fish daily with a few males among them. Locals have Traditionally considered the Miramichi as a single-handed rod river but with our now having over 100 double-handed anglers and three spey clinics a year, there is increasing debate over what rod is best suited for Atlantic salmon fly fishing on this river, Double or single. Another benefit in favor of using double-handed rods has been the ease of using the double handed rod that fishermen experienced while fishing in the wind. With the last couple of days being quite windy, some single-handed fishermen packed it in while the double-handed anglers were landing salmon.
Everything has it's time and place and this is the same when it comes to fly rods and fishing. The most productive flies this week were Ally's Cascades, GP and Ally's Shrimp. The dates for our Fall 2011 Spey Clinic with East Coast Spey will be from October 2nd-8th. You can find more information at www.eastcoastspey.com
A nice catch
Paul Maitre, Montbard, France looks like he is enjoying his 8th season on the miramichi
Geffory Lauerant, France
Paul Maitre, Montbard, France with another catch
Phillippe Schweighoffer, Marmagne, France
Paul Maitre, Montbard, France - nice fish
The fishing slowed by mid week on the Main River and the Renous but improved a bit on the Cains and Nor'west. Anglers have been seeing a lot of fish moving up the lower stretches of the Cains after the rain over the weekend - they were probably moving out of Black brook. It's now looking better for fall fishing on the Cains. As for the Main river, we are seeing only hookups in the high water pools but fishermen still landed some nice fall salmon in a lot of other pools throughout the Miramichi River System. With the rising water, fishing was not as good as it should have been for the last weekend of September and early October. Once again the Spey clinics were a success as the lessons were great and instructors Bryan and Brian landed 20 fish between them - 38 for their group and 72 in total for our fishermen over the week - not bad considering most were landed in 4 days before the fishing started to slow down. Most anglers understand that conditions plays a major role in Atlantic Salmon fishing and all our fishermen except one did land fish this week. The flies of choice were Ally's Shrimp, GP, LT Special, and Red Francis.(Our instructors Bryan and Brian will be returning from Sep 22 through Sep 29th for our 2011 UK Spey Clinic. Anyone interested should visit www.devonflyfishing.co.uk/miramichi.html
Every year we get a number of returning guests from around the world with some of them still returning since our first year of operation as do other anglers who return to other outfitters on the river. Atlantic Salmon fishermen know that the Miramichi River is one of, if not the best, Atlantic salmon destinations in the world.
This group of great fishermen from France have been returning annually for 8 consecutive years now and man, these anglers really know how to have a good time. Moose meat, Wild Mushrooms Lobster and, of course, wine, is always on these fellows' menu. After 8 years and hundreds of fish landed they are now speaking much better English and our guides are speaking much better French. With every angler there is always a story and much is to be learned from every fishermen who arrives at our door. 'First timers' to experienced Atlantic Salmon fishermen - they are all very interesting and easy to please in their own way. As each year passes and hundreds of anglers pass through our doors, I think back to the very first day of operation when long-time Fishing Guide Max Vickers told me " Byzie, you will never meet a bad fishermen". As the years go by, the fishermen we used to call 'guests' we now call 'friends' and I am starting to realize that old Max knew exactly what he was talking about!
Bryan Martin, Devon, England
Bryan enjoying his Salmon fishing between Spey Classes
Bryan with a nice catch
Brian Warrington demonstrating the art of Spey Casting
Brian with a Renous River Salmon
Every year throughout the season at Country Haven we host three week-long Spey casting clinics. This week is our second one with instructors Bryan Martin and Brian Warrington from the UK. The clinic began Friday and anglers enjoyed both good instruction and good fishing with all fishermen landing salmon. Our fishermen are having the best luck on the Main River between Country Haven, upriver to Doaktown, followed by the Renous. There have been reports of good fishing further upriver as well with all guests this week fishing with Spey Rods. The Main river is ideal for these big rods. Right now the Main river has enough water for consistent fishing until the end of the season and much more water could even slow fishing down. The Cains river could use a rise in water to increase the fall run traveling throughout the pools. Many more female then male salmon are in the System with a good mixture of both salmon and grilse.
Most productive flies this week have been Ally's Shrimp, White-Tail Green Machine, L.T.Specials and All's Cascades.
David Kirstein, Scarborough Me David's first time fishing for Atlantic Salmon
Fishing the Renous
A good sized salmon
Ian Gatehouse from the UK landing a salmon with a Bomber
The beginning of the week looked promising with some good numbers and size but it trailed off a bit by the weekend . After the surge of fish last week, not too many fresh ones were now arriving on the tide. However anglers were catching fish in more traditional places on the entire main river system; the Cains, Nor'west and the Renous as fishermen landed fish on all these rivers, including some big fall salmon on the Renous. Flies of choice this week were Allie's Shrimp, GP, Allie's Cascade and guide Jeremy has been having good Luck on the Upper Main river using #8 White Tail Green Machines. Sometimes, following a long dry spell, fishing can be fantastic after a rain, with the holding fish starting to move and with new ones arriving, but sometimes it takes a while for the fishing to improve again, while waiting for new arrivals as we have been experiencing over the past few days. But as guide Pete always says, "they will come".
Roger Lailey from the UK
Ralph Edwards, Rock Hill SC Ralph's first time fishing for Atlantic Salmon
Salmon landed by Peter Gubb, UK
After receiving the much needed rain at the beginning of last week, fishing sure improved in a hurry as some anglers limited out daily this week, landing fish on everything from White Tail Green Machines, Ally Shrimps and again, the Carter Bug in certain pools. With the improved conditions, fishermen started having better fishing from Tuesday on, including some nice big August females that had been holding in the pools, along with a burst of fresh arrivals from the sea. Fishermen Peter Gubb and Roger Lailey from the UK hooked over 50 and landed approximately 40 fish between the two of them over the week. With a couple of 25+ Lb'ers in the mix they did all right. Guide Jeremy Vickers prides himself at (sometimes) producing more fish than the other guides including older brother Ken and long time Guide Garry colford, two of the best guides on the river, but man, his photography is something to be desired. We think he might be attending a photo class this off season, with the full support of Peter and Roger, even though Jeremy is a happy guide while producing only salmon, not photos. Fishing has improved in other stretches of the river as anglers are hooking up in more traditional fall pools using traditional fall fly patterns. We have not fished the Renous for a while but with this rise in water levels, it should start producing soon. Most of the larger salmon that anglers are now landing are female as there have not been any great numbers of males entering the system yet. There is a month left until the end of the fishing season (Oct the 15th) so lots of good fishing is still available.
This has probably been our slowest week since July 4th as the River is low, warm and needs a bit of rain to freshen things up and get our traditionally good September fishing rolling. With the lower water there are still lots of salmon holding in the lower stretches of the Main River but only moving through the pools in the early morning and late evening. Of all the pools we have access to only two produced any fish this week. If "it's not broken, don't fish it" so anglers rotated between these two pools for most of the week, unlike other times when fishermen have a good chance of landing salmon on any given day in almost any of our 11 private fishing pools. Looking on the bright side for this coming week, there are lots of fish holding in the pools, a good number in the bay waiting to come in, and rain in the forecast over the next few days, which could make for some great fall action. The most effective fly this week has again been the Peach Carter Bug as the guides have almost lost faith on using any fly except this one after the exceptional fishing it produced when nothing else was working throughout August.
'Broads with Rods', what a beautiful sight!
From Japan to the Miramichi for Atlantics
Conrad MacNeil, Inverness NS
With the warmer low water conditions, there was not too much action this week. Mornings and evenings are again producing the best results. All fish taken this week have been on the Carter Bug as the conditions still favour using dry flies. Again, this week, the better fishing has been in the lower stretches of the Main Southwest Miramichi and a few fish were landed in cold water holding pools on the Cains but overall, not a great week on the River. On the Positive side however, there are now a good number of those big August Salmon in the System! We see them daily as they are holding up in some of the traditional low water holding pools. With a bit of rain, anglers should have some good fishing once again. This has been one of our better August months in a couple of years, despite the lower and warmer water than normal for this time of year. We pride ourselves on the number of good low water holding pools that we have access to and even though the conditions this August have not been as favorable to the River as some past years, it has been good for us and we have experienced some great fishing days this month.
Duncan Craige, London Ontario
Patrick Gallagher, Manhattan NY
Peaceful fishing in the mist
Duncan Craige, London Ontario.
Each year, the Miramichi is visited by anglers from around the world, including Atlantic Salmon fishermen who have relocated to North America from their native countries like Russia, Norway and Ireland. With the Miramichi being in close proximity to places like New York and easily accessible with daily direct flights into New Brunswick on Continental airlines, the Miramichi is the #1 choice of destinations for those wanting to get their Atlantic Salmon fishing 'fix' without having to travel back to their homeland. Although we receive many guest sports each year there is no better example than our two Irish anglers, Patrick Gallagher from Manhattan NY and Duncan Craig from London Ontario, who visit a couple of times throughout the season every year. Although they have been living in North America for a number of years now, they are still 'as Irish as it gets' and with the Miramichi being made up of mostly Irish decendents and hosting Canada's Irish Festival each year, it is always like welcoming "family" back "home". These boys know all the tricks and techniques when it comes to catching Atlantic salmon but with conditions as they are this past week, they also learned a bit about how much fun it can be trying dry fly fishing for Atlantic Salmon, something not normally practiced in Ireland. As Patrick boarded his plane back to NY he said that fly fishing will never be the same again after his success using the Bombers. With the Miramichi being one of the best Atlantic Salmon dry fly locations in the world, we think we have him hooked.
Overall, anglers enjoyed some great dry fly fishing this week, including 38 landed over the weekend using a #4 peach colored Carter Bug tied by Darryl Tucker, using hackle from Bryant Freeman of Eskape Anglers. Of all the fish we landed throughout the week only two were caught on a wet fly (#10 Black Bear), two on Brown Bombers and the rest on the
peach colored Carter Bug. It looks like it will remain the fly of choice for quite a while. Anglers also experienced good fishing results on the lower stretch of the Main River as the water levels are still low which keeps the fish from traveling. Conditions are also ideal for the deeper holding pools in this stretch of river, but not that great for much of the remainder of the Miramichi River System, but as we all know, that can change quickly with a bit of a rise in water levels.
Bomber fishing main river
Another wild one.
This week the water levels are lower and warmer than last week, with the best fishing early in the morning and late in the evening. The lower stretches of the Main River are producing best results in the deeper cold-water holding pools as the fish are now more content to hold up than travel. Only a few fish were landed daily with the exception of yesterday when our fishermen landed 8 - not one of the better weeks, however, for dry fly anglers it is not bad as there is still a bit of action when the fish roll for Bombers, even though they might not take. Overall, it is still ok for August conditions. The smaller rivers like the Renous need rain before any real production. Flies of choice have been Green and White, and Brown and White Bombers, wet flies #8-10 Bear Hair and Undertakers.
The World Fishing Network is presently searching for 'Canada's Ultimate Fishing Town'. Even though the Miramichi is know worldwide as one of the, if not 'the' top fishing destinations for Atlantic Salmon, let's try to make Miramichi the #1 Fishing Town in the Country. You can cast your vote at www.wfn.tv/fishingtown. The Winner will be announced in October and will receive a $25,000 donation to be used toward fishing-related causes.
Bill Forgang, Gettysburg PA landing a grilse on the Cains River
A fresh Main River Salmon
Over the past week, fishing Conditions on the Main Southwest Miramichi have been great, especially on the lower stretches of the river. Water temperatures dropped into the mid 60's. The pools in the lower stretches of the river are now starting to hold a lot of fish and with the cooler water temperatures, fishermen have had good luck, especially using dry flies - Brown Bombers, Green Bombers and both dry and wet Black Bear flies have yielded good results. Even though there is a good number of holding fish in the low water pools, some fish landed this week had sea lice. Fishermen have also started to catch some fish in a couple of holding pools on the Cains River. Even though a number of the fish were grilse, many anglers limited out daily. Fishing should remain good for quite a while if these conditions continue as a lot of the holding fish are not going anywhere and the cooler water has them in a taking mood.
Dry fly fishing at it's best!
Max Shea, Manhattan NY
Maurice Erazola, Montreal Quebec
Over the past week, fishing has been just about as good as it gets, especially for dry fly fishermen! Although most of the fish landed have been grilse, there have been such high numbers that many anglers have caught their daily limit. Most of the time during the week, the water has remained at a good height and temperature and there are both old and fresh fish in the system. The fish are now starting to hold more than previous weeks and there are good numbers of both fresh salmon and grilse entering the river daily, even though most of the hookups have been grilse. Many hookups in a day can still be a lot of fun. Fishing has remained good for much of the Main River system and lower stretches of the Cains. The Renous is a bit low right now but anglers did have luck there late last week and over the weekend with some really good fishing at the river mouth. It's good to end July on a high note. As for future prospects, the long range forecast is not looking too bad at all, with a bit of rain in the forecast and lower night temperatures, which could result some good August fishing. Bombers of all shapes and sizes have been working well. Brown or White/Orange Bombers have had the best results.
Guide Dan teaching a few fly fishing tips to Andrew Griffiths, Ottawa
Guide Dan lands a nice one
Jim Holland, Boulder Colorado
What a difference a few days make! A couple of feet increase in water levels along with cooler river conditions can do it for the fishing as anglers have progressed from trying to luck into one-a-day, to some fishermen hooking 7 to 8 and landing 4 each over the past few days. With the full moon and three early morning high tides, the past three days have seen fantastic numbers of fresh fish moving into the system. With the morning water temperatures sometimes dropping as low as 65F, conditions have not been better since June. Although daytime temperatures were high yesterday and again today, the nights remain cool with a bit of rain and cooler temperatures forecast again for the remainder of the week. Anyone who has not caught a fish since the weekend simply has not been fishing!
The DFO have now decided to shut down some cold water areas, mind you, a couple of weeks too late based on past conditions more than present conditions, but let's be realistic, anything done to help protect the Atlantic salmon is always welcome, even though the timing could have been better! But like the old saying goes, it's the thought that counts. There have been times in past years when the lower stretches of the Main river have enjoyed the best fishing of the season in August. With the right conditions it could happen again this year. Let's hope the heat wave in July will be the last one for this season. Almost all fish landed since the rise in water levels have been on Bombers or on small wet flies.
Hal Howard, Manhattan NY with guide
Alan Lord, England
30 ml of rain was received upriver Tuesday night and better temperatures with cooler nights has improved fishing somewhat compared to the last couple of weeks. With the rain we received overnight Wednesday and all day yesterday, the conditions are now looking better then we have seen in a while - with water temperatures going below 70F. For the first time in two weeks, anglers have started hooking fish again. This week fishermen have also had better luck on the Dungarvon and the Cains where water is always a few degrees cooler than the Main Rivers. James Buckmelter from Albuquerque New Mexico continued right where he left off, hooking 11 and landing 7 with us in June, then traveling for three weeks salmon fishing throughought NFLD , Labrabor and Nova Scotia but returning to fish the Miramichi once again where, on Wednesday he landed a 15 Lb silver beauty on the Cains and another last evening on the Main River. What a way to spend a Month, fishing some of the best Atlantic Salmon Rivers in Eastern Canada! Almost all fishermen now are using Bombers as the fish need to rise to take them so this way there will be no chance of foulhooking any which might happen if fishing wet flies since there are so many fish holding in some pools. The sun is back out again this morning after a couple of days of cloud and rain, but on the brighter side, the water has risen over a foot since yesterday - and is still rising - and some of the holding fish are on the move again. We enjoyed the coolest night in weeks last night and the 14 day weather trend is a bit below normal for the time frame and there is some more rain in the forecast for Sunday, Monday and Wednesday which should help. Overall conditions need to keep improving for great fishing and it looks like we might now be finally heading in the right direction.
Annual Country Haven Spey Casting Clinic
If the old saying "you should have been here last week" had not been used in past years it sure would have originated this past week as fishing went from one of the best summer weeks ever to one of the worst fishing weeks in history, due to the 100 degree heat wave that hit the Eastern seaboard of the US and Canada, taking water temperatures to above 80 F which resulted in very poor fishing. With so many fish in the system, they started holding up in cold water areas with some places holding 2,000 plus Salmon and grilse that were really not interested in much of anything except staying in the cooler water. The downside of our week was the poor fishing as fishermen only landed fish early in the week before the water temperature soared, but the bright side for us was the Spey Clinic week, as many anglers opted for the Spey casting lessons over the actual fishing as fishermen appreciated that hooking them under such warm conditions might do them even more harm! Let's hope these conditions do not continue too long, as fishing would normally be fantastic with so many fish in the system. This week is also the MSA Classic week on the Miramichi and traditionally one of the better summer fishing weeks. Not a lot of fish were taken on the river this week but the ones that were seemed to like Bombers.
James Buckmelter, Albuquerque NM
On the Main Southwest Miramichi this past week, fishing has been fantastic! Some of the pools in Quarryville and Upper Blackville reporting fishing not seen since the 1960's. The Millerton trap recorded 150 Grilse and 49 Salmon Friday and 160 grilse and 69 salmon yesterday - and remember, these counts are estimated to be only 10% of what actually goes through the counter, so those numbers could represent over 4,000 salmon and grilse - or more - in only two days. Judging by the number of hook ups and fish moving through the system those numbers appear to be quite realistic. Conditions are ideal with good water height and good temperatures and a big run of grilse and some salmon in the 25 pound plus range. Some returning fishermen are saying they have never experienced as good a late June and early July fishing in many years. White Tail Green Machine by far was the best working fly followed by the Cosseboom and Undertaker. Even a few fish have chosen Bombers as their flies of choice this week. This week, the Northwest Miramichi, Little Southwest Miramichi and the Sevogle Rivers have gone 'hook and release only' for the month of July due to the lower numbers of grilse arriving those rivers last season. The Main Southwest Miramichi has not gone 'hook and release only' but with so many conservation-minded Atlantic Salmon anglers now traveling from around the world to fish the Miramichi and with the value of the Wild Atlantic Salmon at heart, most Lodges are practicing a policy of 100% hook and release anyway.
Wade Evens, Clifton Forge VA
A great start to the Summer fishing season so far, with good reports being received from the entire river system. The number of fish entering the count barriers have tripled compared, to the same time last year. There is a good mix of both salmon and grilse entering the system with the daily tides.
Flies of choice this week have been the White Tail Green Machine, Undertaker, and Cosseboom.
'Fishhawk' Pete watching salmon on the move
Ken's always happy when fresh fish arrive
After a couple of weeks without much fishing on the river, word began to spread throughout the Miramichi river valley that there were fresh fish on the move. Anglers started to hook a few more salmon than the previous week with even a few grilse in the mix even though it was a a bit early for grilse. Although fishermen are not having any great fishing yet, most of the fish landed on the Main River were caught using Green Machines or Bombers - also a bit early for Bombers. Orange Butt Bugs and Orange Butt Green Machines worked best on the Nor'west. June fish do not jump as much as they do later in the season but with the lower water, fish can now be spotted as they move up the river in calm areas. These sighting have been increasing since Friday evening. So it is now official - the Summer run fish are arriving and fishing is underway for another summer season on the Miramichi River System.
Nothing much has changed on the river since our last report, too late for spring salmon and too early for brights but a good time for canoeing/kayaking. There are a few reports of bright salmon on the Northwest Miramich as Rodney Oullette reported a couple landed in his private pool and Rodney Colford landed one in the Public pool at Allison's and there were also a couple landed in the Doaktown area on the Main River, probably Rocky Brook Salmon. Guide Daryl Tucker landed a nice 4 Lb Sea Trout Sunday across from Country Haven, using a Caddis fly. There are not many fishermen on the water so it's tough to tell how many fish are around. There are still some striped bass in the lower system and some gaspereaux and shad moving in but most fishermen are not doing a lot of fishing, preferring to look ahead to the summer fishery and the first major runs of those silver June beauties. Everyone has a preference as to what flies work best for them. Here are a few of the more popular flies our Miramichi River guides will be using in June although much depends on water height and conditions to determine fly size.
Green Butt Bear Hair
Green Machine White Tail
June is a summer month when bigger flies seem to work better than in July and August. It could be that the salmon are on the move more in June. In any event, summer fishing is right around the corner and water height is looking good for the Lower stretches of the Main River and lower water is normally better for fishing on this stretch of the river. With a lot of special events being held on the River this year, from The fifth annual Miramichi Salmon Classic in July, hosted by the MSA to the Youth Fishing School in August, hosted by Black Rapids and Country Haven hosting a Ladies Week in early September along with the three week long Spey Casting Clinics in July, September and October, instructed by some of the best Instructors from the US and the UK. 2010 is a good time to visit the Miramichi if you are interested in Fly Fishing for Atlantic Salmon. We have enjoyed a fishing guests return rate of 85% over the past three seasons and 2010 is looking much the same. We still have a few openings available throughout the rest of the season so if you are interested, give us a call. We also work closely with other fine outfitters on the River so we will be happy to refer you there if your time of choice is not available with us.
Jim and Kurt Austin, Putney Vermont
Kevin and Mitchell Lynds, Hermon Maine
Blair and Logan Quinn, New Glasgow NS
Susho Mackenzie, Antigonish NS
As the spring fishing season comes to a close for another year we would have to say that it was another good one on the Miramichi! Almost all the anglers who visited us this spring were successful, with some landing lifetime size salmon. The fishermen that were still fishing this past week had a bit of luck with both salmon and trout, but not in great numbers or size of either. There are reports of a few bright salmon and trout now in the system with anglers having good trout fishing on the Renous over the weekend. The Miramichi River is famous for it's Atlantic salmon fishing and is considered to be "the place to fish" by generation to generation of returning guests. The Miramichi is also an excellent location for beginners, with some outfitters specializing in beginner and Father/Son packages. Here are a few photos of happy Father and Son beginners from our just-ended spring season.
Each year, as seasons change, we look back at the success of each season and see if there is anything to improve upon. Every season is different in techniques, flies, locations and luck resulting in the best success rate for guests. No matter how successful pools are one year the following year may or may not be the same, depending on a lot on conditions. That is why it is always important to have access to a variety of pools for all water conditions throughout the river System. In the coming summer and fall of 2010, our guests will have access to 12 private pools on four of the Miramichi Rivers in the system. Each year we have seen how important it is to have as much good private water as possible for our guests and we are very proud of the available water we can now offer guests. Outfitters can have the best water, 5 star accommodation and meals - all very important - but with each closing season I again realize just how important our guides are for a successful fishing trip. We appreciate that a guide can make or break a fishing trip, sometimes a once-in-a-lifetime trip, so that is why it is so important to have the very best guides possible, guides who know the water and the conditions, as every day and pool is different. We have a lot to be thankful for considering the success we have enjoyed over the years and our 85% return rate among guests over the past five years. Every year and sometimes each day, the quality and dedication of our guides just amazes me. From years of arriving on time each morning to guiding in every condition, traveling by motor boat miles upriver or through the White Rapids to the tidal water downriver in spring to find the best fishing available, driving to or canoeing other rivers like the Cains, Nor'west, Renous in summer and fall, visiting pools or tying flies in their own time to see what works best, our Miramichi River guides don't know what the word "no" is when it comes to catching Atlantic Salmon. Like the old saying goes "behind every good man is a great lady" which is true in my case, but I realize more and more each year, that "behind ever successful outfitter are great guides and staff" which is also true in my case.
With this being the "in between" time for Salmon fishing as it is now a bit late for spring salmon fishing and a bit early for summer fishing, it is a good time to visit a fly shop in person or online to ones that cater to Atlantic Salmon anglers, before the summer season starts, as some are now offering specials. It may be a good time to pick up those new waders or to stock up on flies or leaders. Two "must visit" shops on the Main Southwest Miramichi are "Doaks" in Doaktown (www.wwdoak.com) or "Curtis Miramichi Outfitters" in Blackville (www.curtismiramichioutfitters.com), or on the Nor'west Miramichi, visit "Trout Brook Fly Shop". If the lower water conditions we now have remain until the June runs arrive, there could be some great fishing in the Lower stretches of the River this year.
Raymond Hill, Roanoke VA
Mike Price, Weston MA
Carroll Ware (Fins and Furs Adventures), Skowhegan ME
Guide Ken holding Carroll Ware's Trout
With the Arrival of the Smelt on Monday, Spring Salmon fishing came to a halt for a few days. To the salmon, Smelt look and taste much better than the flies they have become accustomed to seeing since opening day in April. Anglers that landed salmon this week were fishing above the smelt run early in the week and after the run by the weekend. Although Spring Salmon fishing was slowed down by the arrival of the Smelt, it did not effect the trout fishing at all, as the last few days of the week have seen some of the best trout fishing we have ever experienced in the lower stretches of the Miramichi river. From Wednesday on, our fishermen landed over 50 trout between 4-7 Lbs and many more smaller ones. Raymond Hill from Roanoke Virginia knew he would never come close to the Camp Record for Atlantic Salmon landed that he set when he landed 74 Atlantic Salmon and Grilse in four days between May 11- 14th in 2003. He still went home very happy as he settled for 4 salmon, 24 Brookies over 4+ Lbs. and a feed of delicious New Brunswick Lobster. These southern boys are always easy to please.
For the first week of May, this week may have been one of the slowest Atlantic salmon fishing weeks in history, and as we all know, nothing compares to the fight of the Atlantic Salmon, but it sure was a good time to have one of the better weeks for trout fishing as anglers still enjoyed some action. In fast water using a lighter weight rod, a 7 lb brookie is still a good fight. The best flies this week have once again been the Magog Smelt and Gray Ghost for both Salmon and Trout and the JM Smelt for Trout.
There are still a few big male Salmon moving through the system and with the water conditions as they are, each day it becomes tougher to hook them. There will probably be some good trout fishing for most of this week then it's time to look ahead to the start of Summer Fishing which means June Salmon, trout and Shad, wading instead of fishing from boats and using small flies instead of streamers. Although spring fishing is a fun time to be on the River, absolutely nothing compares to that first fresh June Salmon hooked each year.
Paul Carleton, Portsmouth NH now that's a nice Brookie, Paul
Howard Kilguss, Rehoboth MA
John Torgan, Providence RI
Depending on who you talk to, either "this spring has not been a good one", or "it has been one of the better years for spring fishing", as the overall numbers of fish landed are down due to a number of reasons, including low clear water, warmer water than usual at this time due to no rain or little snow melt, and more Salmon than Grilse in the system this spring. Even though the number of fish landed might be down, almost all anglers returning to the river have landed record-sized big salmon. Even fishermen who have been spring fishing for 30 years or more have broken their own personal salmon size records. Tim Hunter from Hartford Ct. landed
14 Fish in 3 days last week of which 13 were Salmon. There are still a lot of big salmon in the system in some places, especially between the mouth of the Cains and downriver, and there are unbelievably good numbers still available in the fast water at White Rapids. As each day passes, it's getting harder and harder to hook up as we need rain to rise the water level if fishing from boats is to continue much longer this spring. Fishermen have been using an assortment of different flies including spring, summer and fall patterns and are even catching some trout on Bombers. There are still fish in all the traditional places where fishermen would normally be catching spring fish but results could be better. Anglers having success are fishing in the faster water areas and the best fishing for both salmon and trout is probably in the lower fast water stretches of the Main River system. Although spring fishing is a lot harder than some other years, it is turning out to be one of the most consistent springs ever, as so far, all our spring anglers have landed salmon. There have not been any poor water conditions so far, which usually happens when there is high and dirty water that fishermen have experienced in past years due to big rains or from a lot of snow melting - something that was non-existent this year. Overall, spring fishing for salmon is now slowing down, mainly due to a lack of water more than a lack of fish. The good news for anyone who likes catching 5-6 Lb brookies is that they are taking better than the salmon. With these earlier-than-normal water conditions, we could see some early runs of both Salmon and Sea Run Trout very soon. The water may be low for spring fishing from boats but it is now getting to a perfect height for wading in some of the high water pools, waiting for summer run fish to arrive. Of all the flies this week the best results occurred using Gray Ghost or Maggot Smelt.
Ken Bettcher, Portsmouth NH - 42" fish
John Murphy, West Springfield MA, April 20th
Bob Mather, Elgin Ont - April 25
It was a great week to be on the Miramichi for those interested in catching big spring Atlantic Salmon instead of the smaller grilse that we would normally be landing more of this early in the spring. Again, this week, the number of overall catches were down a bit from the same time in other years due, in part, to there being so many more salmon then grilse. Spring Grilse are always more aggressive than salmon. The quality of the salmon that anglers are landing are some of the largest fish in the best condition ever, for April. Over the weekend with 70F weather, fishermen were landing 40+ inch Salmon using sinking tips, floating lines and smaller spring and even summer and fall fly patterns. It's as close as it gets to the summer salmon fishing experience but with a lot more action. Fishermen are still having luck throughout the River System from Boisetown to Quarryville as the fish are moving out slowly due to the lower water conditions and cooler water temperatures. Over the weekend as the water warmed up to 50F, we started seeing more jumping and rolling fish, an indication that they are moving faster. With the lower than normal water conditions for April, the water height is still fine for boating if you are careful. Through much of the main river and the lower stretches of the River System between the Cains and Quarryville, it should be okay for a while yet. If we do get the rain that is forecast for tomorrow and Wednesday we should continue to have some good boat fishing for a couple of weeks or so as there are still good numbers of salmon in the system. If we don't get as much rain as we are hoping for then we'll close out the spring season with the best fishing being in the tidal waters. Flies of choice this week were spring patterns Magott Smelt, Gray Ghost, Golden Eagle and Country Haven Cardinal. Best summer and fall Patterns were #4-6 Black Bear, Ally's Shrimp, and General Practitioner.
Peter Brazier, Presque Isle, Me
Over the past three days, the weather was not as good as it was on opening day. Even with three days of wind and some rain yesterday and today, fishermen are still having good fishing despite the weather. There has been a lot more long lining than casting - not as much fun but still productive. With the clear low water it should be ideal for casting using slow-sink or sinking tips when weather conditions improve starting tomorrow. Although the water conditions are still good for the lower stretches of the river we are hoping that the rain we are receiving will rise the water level and continue to bring more fish. So far, we do not think a lot of fish are leaving the system as we are not seeing a lot of jumpers - a sign of fish on the move. With the water temperature remaining cold and still lots of fish in the upper stretches of the River, things are looking good for a while yet (fishermen in the Boistown area reported a record day for spring salmon fishing yesterday). Even though we had ice clearing early, there are not as many fish. It has more to do with water temperatures than anything else. Although it's still too early to tell how long good spring fishing will continue this year, with the right conditions we could still be hooking spring fish in the White Rapids and Quarryville area a month from now. Although the trout season doesn't open until May 1st, anglers are picking up a lot of trout in the 10 - 16 inch range while fishing for salmon. Over the past couple of days, a #3/0 Gray Ghost has been the fly of choice follow by a Golden Eagle.
Dana De Blois, Sterling MA
William Hrinko, Wayne NJ
The Season is Open! "Fantastic" is the only appropriate word to describe opening day fishing on the Miramichi River. There were lots of fish - and BIG ones too - unlike many past opening days on the River where fishermen had normal catches. There were a variety of both Salmon and Grilse this year, much like most fishermen had predicted it would be. There were very high numbers of large salmon entering the system last year, and the trend is continuing this spring as most fishermen were landing 7 or 8 Salmon for every 2 Grilse grilse yesterday, and some of the Salmon were very large. The water conditions are now perfect for good fishing on the lower stretches of the river, but we'll need rain to keep the water fresh and up to a good height to bring the upriver fish down and make for good May fishing. Most anglers were having the best luck casting from boats and with ice-free shores this year, casting was also great from the river banks using slow-sink lines. The fly of the day on opening day was the 3/0 Renous River Special with pinched barbs. When anglers hook and release as many fish as they do during spring fishing, barbless hooks are perfect for a quick release.
Doctor's Island, Blackville
What a beautiful Easter weekend on the Miramich with 70 degree Fahrenheit weather! The Main Southwest Miramich and tributaries are now almost ice-free and with the ice running today on the Nor'west Miramichi, it's going to be a "GO" for Opening day on the 15th. With the river rising, the water is dirty from debris along the shore. As the river continues to improve up to opening day, it reminds me of an opening day with similar conditions we had 10-12 years ago. The late long-time River Guide Percy Mountain told me that anglers had to tie their flies behind a tree that year to keep the fish from taking the fly out of their hands. Percy liked to exaggerate a little but he was not too far from the truth that time. It is still too early to tell how long the fishing will continue into May this year. Over the past couple of years we have had our best fishing in May due to our location on the lower stretch of the River and with the higher-than-normal water level, but this year, April should be great as well. Here are three flies that should work well for you on opening Day.
Renous River Special
YEAR 2009 River Reports
Doug Small from Onancock, VA (Sunday)
landed by Brad Burns from Maine (Monday)
Mike Troy from Devon England (Tuesday)
James Valuckas from Doylestown PA (Wednesday)
The last few days of the season were not as memorable as many past years with the water remaining high right until the end. It seemed that the only chance for anglers to finish off the season with any luck was on the Cains river. Fishermen that did have luck were using sinking leaders and big fall or even spring fly patters as the salmon were holding deeper and not rising to the flies due to the higher and colder water was higher and colder than normal closing weeks of the season. There probably were a record number of big salmon landed by fishermen this season because of the higher number of salmon compared to grilse in the system. In the past couple of weeks, anglers were still landing many more females then males with many of them having been in the river for some time. Some fishermen believe that there are still a good number of male salmon yet to arrive after the end of the season. The GP, Shrimps, and Mickey Finn were the flies of Choice for the last week of the Season.
As another six month fishing season has now come to an end on the Miramichi, there is only one thing I know for sure and that is I am as far away from knowing how the Atlantic Salmon think or from predicting what a fishing season will end up like, than I was prior to the season. There is no such thing as a typical Miramichi fishing season. Since we started in the outfitting business, it seems that every year has been very different as some years the best fishing was early in season, some years later in the fall while some years there is better fishing in high water or some times better in low water. At times there has been no need to travel or fish any rivers other than our own local pools while other times there was a need to travel to different locations to provide the best possible fishing for our guests.
With the weekly fluctuation of water, we found that this season, more than any other, our guides traveled to many different locations and pools throughout the Miramichi River System - always in the best interest of the fishing guest of course. As another very successful fishing season comes to a end at Country Haven, we would like to say a big 'thanks'' to our full time guides and staff and also to part-time guides Jeff Price, Doug Chase and to "Mr Cains River", Gary Colford, who, once again, all helped make our guide service one of the best on the river. We would also like to thank all our returning and new guests who visited us from all the provinces
of Canada, 42 US States and 17 other Countries during 2009. We hope your visit with us was a successful one and we look forward to your return in the future.
A great day to be on the Miramichi River .....
Andrew Moy from Parsippanny NJ .....
Jody Plonski, Wynantskill NY .....
Andrew Moy teaching a few Spey Casting tips to Harry Ptasynski, Casper Wyoming
It was a good week for the Spey Casting clinic with Andrew Moy and Jody Plonski of East Coast Spey, NJ, USA. Most of the week was better for learning the techniques of spey casting than for fishing due to the almost flood-like conditions due to rains on Monday and Thursday. Even though conditions were not favourable for fishing, all anglers with this week's Spey group still managed to land fish, including Instructors Jody and Andrew, who hooked 10 and landed 6 Salmon Wednesday . With the higher water, a couple of the days days were dedicated to Spey clinics only and man, do these guys know how to use their Rods.
Miramichi anglers have traditionally used single handed rods ever since the first American Fly Fisherman ventured North from places like New York's Catskills to try fly Fishing for the larger Atlantic Salmon instead of the local trout, using much the same equipment and techniques. Still, to this day, the Miramichi is fished more by single handed Rod Fishermen, but each year, with more Atlantic Salmon anglers traveling from the UK and Europe to fish the Miramichi with its easy accessibility, affordable prices and quality of fishing, the Miramichi is now becoming known as a great destination for Fly Fishing with Double Handed Rods. Also, with our dedicating two weeks this year and next, for Spey Casting Clinics, it makes for a great combo week of fishing and learning.
As for the fishing this past week due to the higher water, the most productive river on the system was the Cains and with these conditions it was great to be able to offer guests access to three private pools on this river. Although on some days this week, nothing worked terribly well but on the days that were good, it was the bigger General Practioners, Ally's Shrimp and Cascades that worked best. With no season extension on the Cains River this year, there are only a few more days remaining in the 2009 fishing Season.
Geoffrey Lallerant, Russy, France
Phillipe Scheighoffer, Marmagne, France
The rise in water levels last week was a welcome sight to both the fish and anglers alike as it started the holding fish moving and brought some fresh fish into the System. The rise in water levels also helped conditions on the smaller rivers like the Cains and the Renous. Last week was the most productive week this fall for both these smaller tributaries, with fishermen enjoying some good days of fishing. As the conditions change so does the locations of the guides and fishermen as they are always looking for the most productive pools to suit every condition. It seems that every week, and sometimes even daily, the more productive pools change with only a small change in water levels or temperature. A pool that was great at a specific time last year, or even last week, might not be worth fishing at another time. This is where an experienced Miramichi guide helps, in making the correct decision each day for the best fishing experience. When conditions are not the best, having access to more private pools on different rivers in the system is always a bonus. With the tough conditions this fall, being able to fish 20 different pools on 4 rivers greatly improved fishermen's chances. Overall, this fall has not been as good as last year but with the improved conditions now, there should be good fishing remaining as long as we don't receive too much more rain. "Too low, too high, too hot, too cold" - every angler dreams about those perfect days, perfect conditions, and perfect fishing. But even when everything is not exactly "perfect", Atlantic Salmon Fishing on the Miramichi is as close as it gets.
Jonathon Cawley, Wood Gud, England
St. Albans Herts, England
Not a lot of improvement for most of last week as the conditions were still not the best for fall fishing. The water was at a good height on the Lower stretches of the Main River but too low and clear on the upper stretches and the tributaries. The rain we are now receiving should improve conditions and make for better fishing on the tributaries such as the Cains and the Renous Rivers.
This season is turning out to be the "year of the salmon" as so far, there have been many more salmon hooked than grilse and more females then males. Although anglers have not been landing the number of fish they landed in previous years, some have landed large salmon - "fish of a lifetime" as Wade Evans from Clifton Forges VA would agree on Friday evening after 1/2 Hr and 1/4 mile travelled while fighting his 35 pounder. The summer flies like the Bear Hair and Green Machine are still producing better than the fall patterns, but with the water rising, the fall flies should start producing more this week.
Mark Lutz, Green River, Wyoming
Another vacation-like week with beautiful weather daily - great for the whale, Moose and Bear watching tours, or just Relaxing outdoors, but less than perfect times for Atlantic Salmon fishing. Even though many of the pools are full of fish, the water is now gin clear and there are not a lot of takers, but anglers are being entertained by the large numbers of holding fish. Most of the fish are holding in the Lower Stretch of the Main River as many of the tributaries are now too low for fishing. As the season progresses, there are now more fresh fish moving in with the tide. Even though the water remains low, they will come. Fishermen are now hooking a few fresh fish daily. If the weather forecast for 10-20 ml's of rain mid week is correct, it might just turn out to be what the doctor ordered for a fantastic finish to a great fishing season. One thing is for sure - the best of the fall fishing season has yet to come! The most productive flies this week have been the Allies Shrimp, Bear Hairs and Dark Brown Bombers.
Roy Winter, Beds England
Brian Warrington, England
Brian Martin, England
Anglers enjoying the annual Country Haven 'Spey week'
Another so so week for fishing on the Miramichi with some pools holding fish with not a lot of takers. Other pools were without a lot of fish but had some takers. The pools are in good shape on the Lower stretch of the Main River but I have to say something I never thought I would say after all the rain this summer. We now need a bit of rain to freshen up the System and bring more of those fall runs of fish in! Our Week-long Spey week with Instructors Brian Martin From Devon and Brian Warrineton From Cheshire England, was a great Success. Although the fishing was not as good as it would have been with a bit of fresh water, some anglers still enjoyed some memorable fishing experiences, including Brian Warrington who hooked 5 and landed 3 lifetime salmon in one morning - all on a # 8 Red Francis. With some very skilled Spey fishermen in the group there were not many techniques or stretches of water on the Main River and the tributaries that were not covered. Anglers fine-tuned their casting skills with tips from both Brian's and dined on Lobster and Salmon and were entertained in the evenings by the Guitar player of the group "Collin Wait". The Fredericton-based band "Common Folk" also showed up for a night of Musical Entertainment. As the guys fished, the ladies enjoyed the Bear and Whale Watching tours that Country Haven offers. The week turned out to be a much better week for sightseeing than fishing but overall, was a good week. Some big fish were landed in spite of the conditions, new friends were made and everyone went home a better Spey Fishermen than when they arrived. We will be offering this Spey Casting week again in 2010 with both Brian's and we look forward to you joining us. The better flies this week were the Red Francis after 11 hookups on it in one Day, followed by the Allie Shrimp, # 10 Double Black Bear and Yellow Brown Bomber. We are still receiving reports of a lot of salmon in the Bay moving in and out again on every tide with only a few fresh fish traveling through the system daily. With the colder weather they will eventually move in but a bit of rain would really help move this process forward.
Tyler fishing the river and the Bay
After the abundance of fish and too much water most of the summer, we now have perfect water conditions but not a lot of new fish are moving into the system. Many of the fish have been in the system for a while now and some of the pools are holding good numbers of fish, especially from below the mouth of the Cains to Gray Rapids on the Main River. Pools are holding fish on the Northwest and Little Southwest Miramichi Rivers but the smaller tributaries of the Renous and the Cains River are getting quite low for fishing. The way it is looking this week it's a bit too late for the Summer fish to take good and a bit too early for any great numbers of Fall Fish. Bombers and small dark wet flies have worked the best. Tyler has not missed many fishing opportunities this summer, between fishing the Main River for Salmon, Day Trips on the Cains for Trout, or saltwater fishing on the Bay. He says he would trade a poor day of fishing for a good day of School anytime. He is starting to sound more like his dad at that age.
Each year in New Brunswick it seems like we are guaranteed to get at least one week of summer. For both the end of last week and most of this week, the anglers and the fish were both experiencing those crazy, hazy, lazy days of summer, with water temperatures reaching 75+ F. There was not a lot of action on the River by either fish or fishermen as it was too hot for both. Only a few fish were landed in cold water pools in the mornings and evenings, using #10 wet flies and Bombers. There were not a lot of fish moving but man, there were a lot of fish holding at places like Black Brook and Welsh Spring. The conditions are now improving with the bit of rain and cooler temperatures we received yesterday, thanks to Hurricane Bill. The good news is that the water is staying at a good height and the forecast looks much better, with cooler temperatures in store for this week and next. Throughout the years the Miramichi River has become famous as a destination for fly fishing and learning to fly fish, so each year throughout July and August families travel here from locations around the world to vacation and learn the art of fly fishing. The Miramichi River guides always enjoy teaching beginners. Even if they do not always land salmon the first time, they always have fun trying.
Girls just want to have fun!
This past week has finally become a bit more seasonal and the water has been falling daily since Monday so the fish are now starting to hold a bit more, especially in the pools between Blackville and the mouth of the Cains on the Lower Stretch of the Main River.
So far, with all the cool wet weather this summer, the past few days of 30+ (high 80's F) weather has been a shock to the river system - yesterday it was better for swimming than fishing. Let's hope the rising water temperature is not a shock to the Salmon as well. As the water falls and the pools take shape, the cooling weather should make conditions ideal when the runs of fall salmon arrive. Flies of choice this past week have been #8 Undertakers and Newfoundland Purple Bugs. The Bombers were also picking up some fish and should continue to do so. There are still more Salmon than Grilse in the system. Alan McMaster from Belfast Ireland returned to the Miramichi for his annual visit and landed some salmon of a lifetime and at the same time, took time to enjoy the local festivals.
Alan McMaster, Belfast Ireland
Alan McMaster, Belfast Ireland
Peter Morrison, British Columbia
Tony Marian, from Cork Ireland
Another quite productive week for August, considering the poor conditions overall as the water continues to fluctuate daily - the rain storms have continued almost ever day. Still, lots of salmon are moving through the system with some big salmon hooked throughout the week. Anglers have been having some good luck after the water rises in pools on the lower stretches of the Cains. This week we have received some good reports from the Northwest, on days the water was falling but with the river still being too high. Friday was one of the most productive days of the Week with fishermen landing a lot of fish on a #8 Purple Bug. The Chief Needabah and Ally's Shrimp were also productive on high water days. For this late time of the year, the fish are still not holding as much as normal due to the higher water conditions, but the places where they are holding, the bombers are doing well. All said and done, there are lots of fish in the system and fishing should improve a lot with lower water conditions. So far, the season is turning out like past trends - a good year for Salmon following a good year for Grilse
Mike Russel, Acton Ontario First Morning, 1st Atlantic Salmon
There were lots of fish and lots of hookups at the beginning of the week, but you guessed it... too much water later in the week as another big rainstorm arrived Wednesday and brought the water up by two feet within twenty four hours, spoiling the good fishing that anglers have been enjoying for the past weeks. Even though there have been some large numbers of fish entering the system daily, the only fish landed on Thursday and Friday were landed fishing from shore using Big Spring fly patterns and using Allies Shrimp . By yesterday however, the water was again falling and clearing up, yielding some better results. One thing is for sure, so far throughout July and into August, even when the conditions have not been ideal, there has been no shortage of fish which makes one wonder just how good fishing would be with normal water conditions. The Numbers for the Salmon runs through the Millerton counter are in for the period ending July 31 and they show unprecedented numbers for recent years. With the fall run yet to come, it seems almost guaranteed that the Miramichi will have a modern record run for salmon. With the fishing season open on the Miramichi River until October 15th, there is still a lot of fish and season remaining. Sometimes conditions are not always in favor of the fishermen, however so far, this season has been very good for the salmon runs, suggesting a very bright future outlook for Atlantic Salmon fishing on the Miramichi.
Lew Huddiesdo, Rigby Idaho First Morning, 1st Atlantic Salmon
Tyler has been keeping company with some pretty
classy ladies this summer, Joan Wulff last week
and Courtney Hatfield this week. He is turning
out to be quite a fishermen and 'Ladies Man'.
Overall this has been the best week for Summer fishing on the River this year, with high numbers of both Salmon and grilse in the System. There were even a couple of Club Daily Catch Records for numbers Broken during the week. So far this year there are still more Salmon than grilse in the System. This is good news for the anglers and the River as many fishermen now are into hook and release and would much sooner fight one big salmon then a dozen grilse. There were also a few famous anglers enjoying the good fishing on the river this week as former Vice President Dick Cheney spent time at The Rocky Brook Fishing Club in the Boiestown area. Television hosts Peter Morrison and Courtney Hatfield were also on the Miramichi, fishing with Country Haven in pools in the Blackville and Doaktown area while filming an episode for the popular Vancouver-based fishing show "Get Reel"! As the water keeps dropping, the fishing keeps improving and the fish are starting to hold more in some pools, making for great results with Bombers. The most success this week has resulted from using Brown or Brown and Orange Bombers and #8 undertakers or Same Thing Murrays. If the water continues to fall, fishing should remain good into August as there are still lots of fish in the Bay yet to come into the System.
Guide Jeremy with beautiful Atlantic Salmon caught by Harold Howard, Manhattan NY
One happy group of Atlantic Salmon anglers! Photo courtesy Harold Howard, Manhattan NY
By far this has been the best week of our summer fishing with a good number of both salmon and grilse in the system every day.
With the reduced water levels, fishing has picked up on the lower stretches of the river with anglers landing fish in all of our pools, from White Rapids to Doaktown and the Renous.
Bombers and #8-10 Undertakers are working best. As the water keeps falling and the fish keep coming we are looking for another great week ahead.
Happy angler Mike Marr from Pawtucket RI WoW! 2 beautiful salmon 'of a lifetime'!
Mike was obviously in the 'Right place at the Right time'!
Tyler Coughlan with Joan Wulff
Although the water in the Main Southwest Miramich is still a bit high for our liking, it continues to fall and the fishing has continued to improve. With the lower water,
anglers are expecting some fantastic fishing over the next few weeks. July is normally considered a month for grilse more than salmon. In previous years where we have had a lower-than-normal run of salmon in June, July has usually had a higher-than-normal run of salmon. So far it's looking like this trend is continuing as there are still as many salmon as grilse moving through the system. Although fishing was not as good as hoped for over the past week, some fishermen did have good luck based on location - being in the 'right place at the right time'. As an example, Mike Marr from Pawtucket RI hooked into two 'salmon of a lifetime' on Tuesday (see photos). June and July are 'more of the right place right time' than other months as the fish tend to travel more than holding up.
Over the past few days our guides are starting to see more fish holding up in pools and are seeing more success on dry flies. The Nor'west, little Sou'west and the Renous Rivers have also started seeing improved fishing over the past few days. The best results this week have been on White Wing Butterflies and Orange and Brown Bombers. The Miramichi Salmon Classic is taking place again this week, July 12-15th. With conditions improving, anglers should have success this year.
Lady fly fisher Joan Wulff was a guest at the opening Dinner yesterday and was a big hit among fly fishing enthusiasts, as she and her late husband Lee have become Legendary figures throughout the fly fishing world.
Guide Danny with a nice Summer Salmon caught by Kevin Gaddess, Minto NB
Another slow start to the week but fishing did start improving on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with anglers landing both salmon and grilse. On Thursday there was also a beautiful 33 Lb Salmon landed on the River. So far, fish have been arriving in spurts so the fishermen in-the-right-place-at-the-right-time are having the best results. When things started to look like we might begin enjoying some good fishing again, another big rain arrived Saturday and brought the water up two feet. Enough gloom and doom and poor fishing - now for the good news! The sun is shining again, there is no rain in the forecast, the water is falling, fishermen landed fish this morning, there is a full moon tonight and there will be higher tides this week! Historically, over the years. this has been one of the better times for the Summer Runs so expectations are high! Best flies this week were # 4 White Wing Butterfly and Green BT.
Tasukn Salo from Boston MA releasing his 1st ever Atlantic Salmon
After the good June fishing we had last year, this June is turning out to be a little disappointing so far. The daily rains have made for high water conditions and with the high water the fish that are in the system are not stopping until they reach Juniper. There have not been a great number of fish entering the system yet. The only ones happy with the wet conditions so far have been the fish and the ducks. With better than normal catches during this period last year, some returning anglers have come back to the river this past week but without the same great results as last June. Again this week, the best luck has been experienced by first-time anglers. Best fly this week was the White Tail Green Machine.
Michel Ferguson and guide Jeremy
Michel catches a Shad
Michel and Jeremy with Salmon
Again this week, each day there are fish coming into the system with the tide and they can be easily seen moving upriver as they swim through flat water sections of the River, unlike later in the season when fish are jumping and rolling. A few big salmon were caught this week but so far there is not a lot to write home about but we should see an improvement in numbers in the coming week. Let's put it this way "the best summer fishing has yet to come". Most of the fish landed so far have been Salmon but now there are also a few grilse entering the system. George Lamkey from Bristol Tenn. hooked into three on Wednesday, even though there is not yet a great run to speak of! It goes to show that you'll always catch more fish when your fly is in the Water.
8 year old Michel Ferguson from Stanford CT had a memorable time on the Miramich this week as he learned to fly fish, made a new friend in Jim the Turtle and enjoyed the fight of Trout, Chub, Shad, Gaspreau and yes, an Atlantic Salmon on a fly Rod. All while singing some of the best Hip Hop, Country and Rock and Roll that Guide Jeremy Vickers had ever heard. It would be great if everyone could see the world through the eyes of a child. What fun we would all have!
The weather forcast for most of this coming week is calling for rain. Sometimes this helps bring in more new fish and as long as the water does not rise too much, it might be an improvement. Flies of choice this week were the White Tail Green Machine and Butt Bug #'s 4 & 6.
Jeremy and Sandra canoeing and fishing
Fishing Conditions are just right but fishing has continued to be spotty with better results coming from the Northwest. There are not a lot of fish being caught on the Main River yet but some of those that were released were sizeable salmon, some over 20 pounds. There have been more and more fish moving in with the tide each day and anglers are fishing the pools in conjunction with the tide more in June than other times in the season because in June the salmon travel more and cover much more of the river every day, sometimes reaching the uppermost stretches of the river in less then a week. So much of the success in June fishing is to be in the right place at the right time. Most Miramichi River Guides know where you should be fishing at any given time for the best chance to land these June Beauties. Even though there may still be Salmon moving throught the system, June fishing can be slow, due to the quantity of Shad and Gaspereau in the System, and we now have an abundance of both. For a chance to hook these beautiful 20 Lb + salmon that are now moving through the system, the reward is always worth the effort but fishermen may need patience. The most productive flies in June have been the Brown Butt Bug or Green Machine with white tail, #s 4-6. With the water height, June is always a good time for taking a guided fishing and canoeing Day Trip on the river.
With the exception of 2007, in most years there are usually a few Bright Salmon landed by the last week of May or first week of June and this year it looks like they are again arriving on time. There have been a few nice big ones landed on the Nor'west since Tuesday and also reports of one or two being landed on the Main river. There are also reports of Sea Trout in the whole river system. in past years, a #4 -6 Green Machine has been a very good fly for these early run salmon. After such a great run of returning salmon last year, anglers are looking forward to a repeat fishing season again this year.
A great time for canoeing
There was not a lot of action on the river this week except for some nice winter trout in the one to two pound range along with a few fresh Sea trout in the 3-5 pound range. Not a lot of anglers on the water but this could be the week we hear of a few bright salmon starting to arrive. Most years the Northwest Miramichi is the first to see their arrival. Although there will probably not be a lot of anglers on the Main River for a while, fishermen might soon have a chance of landing one of those beautiful Rocky Brook Salmon, especially if the water continues to drop. The flies of choice this week were Brown Muddlers and White Tail Green Machines. It's not peak time for Atlantic Salmon so over the next couple of weeks, from mid-May until early June, it will be one of the better times of the year to canoe many of the rivers in the Miramichi River System, including some of the smaller tributaries where the water might get too low for canoeing later in the season.
George Garbette, Cheshire England
George Garbette, Cheshire England
The Spring salmon fishing season is now officially over for another year and has been slowly coming to a close as fishermen were hooking fewer salmon by the weekend. Even though there are still some spring salmon in the system, this year there are too many smelt for them to take well and by Friday and Saturday, anglers were landing more trout than salmon. The Atlantic salmon fishing season on the Miramichi runs from April 15th until October 15th with fishermen having the best chance of landing Spring Salmon between April 15th and May 15th. Summer and Fall salmon are usually best between mid June until Oct 15th. Overall it was another great spring season with high numbers of salmon landed on all of the fishing stretches of the Miramichi River System. The best days for fishing on the Main River were probably during the first days of the season, April 15-19th. The Most consistent week was the last week of April, 26th - 30th and from May 4th to 8th when many of the larger Salmon were landed. George Garbette from the UK had a consistent week of fishing, landing 53 in 6 days before departing from the Miramichi on May 12th. It depended on what river or location as to which fly was the most productive this spring but the Renous River Special, Golden Eagle and Magog Smelt had to be three of the best. It's now the in-between stage for Atlantic Salmon fishing as the Spring salmon are slowing and the bright summer salmon have not yet arrived. Much of the Miramichi River System is Fly-Fishing only but from May the 15th there is a two week period where trout anglers can use their spinning equipment on some stretches of the Renous and the Bartholomew. On July 1st, angling returns to fly fishing only. There are a few reports of the first runs of Sea Trout now being hooked around Strawberry Marsh in the Miramichi City area, so very soon, fishermen should start hooking a few in fast water stretches of the Main River. It should not be too long before some of those big fresh silver Rocky Brook bound Salmon enter the System. This is a good time for changing equipment if have not already done so, from sinking to floating lines, smaller flies and making sure last years' waders are ok for another season. Also, remember, that for anyone planning a fishing trip to the Miramichi this season, there are top notch Tackle Shops locally with the highest quality equipment available right here on the Miramichi. Over the next couple of weeks is also a very good time for Canoeing the River System as the water is still at a good height for some of the smaller tributaries like the Bartholomew, Renous, Dungarvon, Cains and the Barnaby. These little rivers have some good trout fishing, great fiddlehead picking, and stretch miles in a pristine wilderness setting.
Mike Legere, New Durham, NH
Buddy Satterfield, Tallahassee, FL
This has been a very consistent week of Atlantic Salmon fishing on the Miramichi as fishermen landed a good number of big fish every day. Fishing is still good on much of the larger rivers like the Main Sou'west, The Nor'west and Little Southwest Miramichi with the lower stretches of these rivers now producing the best numbers. Fishing has remained great from above Blackville to the tidal waters in Quarryville. Many of the smaller tributaries still do not have a lot of salmon and will not until the June runs arrive. The Most productive fly this week has been the Magog Smelt. Speaking of Smelts, they are now entering the rivers in large numbers so this will probably slow the fishing for a few days. These fresh run smelts look much tastier to the salmon then a fishermen's fly on most days. The bright side of the arrival of Smelts is the first spring Smelt fry along with fresh fiddleheads - a Miramich Tradition. We Miramichers' enjoy eating almost as much as fishing. Fresh Lobster for Mothers Day Weekend is always another Miramichi Tradition. Back to fishing - normally, after few days of feeding on smelts, the flies start looking better again and although anglers may not get the numbers they experienced earlier in the season, this is the time for the biggest spring salmon. With a belly full of smelts, they are by far the better fighters. After being spoiled with 70+ weather yesterday, today has sure changed with wind and cooler temperatures, but for tomorrow and much of next week, they are again calling for 70+ temperatures. There are still some good days of weather and spring salmon fishing remaining before the Sea Trout and the first runs of Summer fish arrive. It's a good time for boating, canoeing and enjoying all that the Miramichi has to offer.
Robert Karosy, Bridgeport CT
Oscar Hahnel, Lewiston ME
The Atlantic Salmon Fishing Season on the Miramich River is into it's third week, with some fantastic results so far. The Trout fishing season also opened on May 1st and there are reports of nice dark trout being landed in the Quarryville area, probably as they exit from the Renous River. With the exception of a bit of slow fishing on both of the last two weekends due to rising water, fishing has been fantastic on the whole Miramichi River System.
Paul Carlton, Affordable Adventures NH
The Affordable Adventures group From New Hampshire returned to Country Haven this past week, as did Northwoods Sporting Journal who filmed a TV production on Spring Atlantic Salmon fishing, which should air in Maine and other New England States within a couple of weeks. Both groups experienced good fishing Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The Water in now falling to a good height and clearing up daily after dirty water over the weekend. So far this spring, fishing through the week has been the best time to be on the water as the weekends have not been as good. The best flies this past week have been the 5/0 Golden Eagle and the Magog Smelt. Over the years, the Miramichi has a tradition of attracting many of the same anglers year after year, sometimes generation after generation making their annual trip back to the Miramichi. This week, 87 Year old Oscar Hahnel from Lewiston Maine, returning to the Miramichi for his 17th consecutive year, again enjoying some good fishing, landing 15 Salmon Grilse over two days. Overall it is looking like many anglers' predictions are coming true - a great spring fishing season. The season should continue to be great for casting from both boat and shore as more fish are now rising with the water falling and there are still lots of fish in the system.
Conny Kretzmann, Hamburg Germany Conny's first Atlantic Salmon
Bill Mather, Elgin Ont nice spring salmon
This the second week of the fishing season. We have seen a 'mixed bag' of results with anglers enjoying fantastic fishing at the beginning of the week but lesser conditions and fishing to close out the week, due to more rain than was hoped for. However, after three days of high and dirty water, conditions have now improved, with anglers starting to again enjoy better success yesterday and today. Conditions are now good on all the Miramichi rivers including the Northwest and the Little Southwest Miramichi, as they are now ice free as well. Fishing should continue to improve daily for the rest of this week as the water keeps falling. There are lots of big salmon in the System so we should see some great fishing into May. The Golden Eagle and Christmas Tree flies have produced the best results for many anglers so far this spring.
Tim Panella, West Hartford CT
Jeff Panella, West Hartford CT
Father & Son having a great fishing day on the Miramichi!
The first week of the 2009 fishing season on the Main Southwest Miramichi River has been the most productive in years as the weather has been absolutely great! Fishing has been the best anglers can ever remember! Everyone is remarking on the quality and fight of the fish this early in the spring. We now know the meaning of the old saying 'hooking fish every cast'. The Main River is in perfect condition as is the entire river system from Juniper to below Quarryville, plus the tributaries of the Cains, Renous and the Balthomew. Its a different story for the Northwest and Little Southwest Miramichi however, as The Northwest is in the ice moving stage and ice on the Little Southwest is still holding tight. These rivers also have a lot of fish in them and should have some good fishing when conditions improve. The weather forecast is predicting warm weather for the week with a bit of rain on Tuesday which should improve the ice conditions on the Nor'west and Little Sou'west. As for the choice of flies, almost any spring pattern is working including Marabou. On the weekend, fishermen were having the best results casting similar to May fishing. So far It's a wonderful start to another season on the Miramichi.
John Pemberton, Oxbridge MA
John Sersin, Woburn MA
The 2009 Angling season on the Main Southwest Miramichi river had its opening day yesterday and anglers enjoyed great weather, great water height and conditions (water temperature 36F yesterday) along with fantastic fishing as everyone said it was a day to remember and could very well be one of the best opening days ever! John Pemberton from Oxbridge Massachusetts landed the first salmon of the season at 8:10 AM in the Blackville area and John Sersin from Woburn MA landed the largest one. The Blackville area was a great location for opening day as there was still some upriver ice holding in the Blissfield area which left the lower stretch of the river ice free. The good news today is that the upper river ice did move down thought the system overnight and fishermen are back on the water again this morning. The Ice has now moved from the popular Quarryville area, leaving a bit of shore Ice around. The Upper Renous is clear but there still is some ice in approximately a 3 mile stretch of the Lower river. The Little Sou'west and Nor'west are still a few days away from good fishable conditions but overall, another fishing season is under way and is looking like it will be a good one! For anyone wanting to try fly fishing for spring Atlantic Salmon, a good quality rod, line, backing, leaders and flies can be purchased for approx $200 Cdn at various locations throughout the Province. If fishing through an Outfitter there are Outfitters On the Miramichi that can provide all the necessary Necessary equipment for a fishing trip. Spring is an ideal time to try salmon fishing as they are hungry and much easier to catch than the summer and fall fish.
The River was clear of ice this morning, from Blackville to Black Rapids on The Main River, approximately 6 Miles, but holding strong from Black Rapids and White Rapids to Quarryville. With the high water level, the ice should let go soon. It's the same up river from above Doctor's Island at Blackville, with many breakups between Blackville,
Doaktown and Boiestown. The Bartholomew is all clear and the Cains is open for miles in some locations, so it is looking like the 2009 fishing season is just around the corner. In many previous springs, this stretch of the main river is the first to move and in some years, anglers have enjoyed great fishing here before the ice moved in the Quarryville area. It is always best to have a ice-free river on opening day if possible. With some rain in the forecast and almost a week remaining until the April 15th opening day, it's looking very promising.
YEAR 2008 River Reports
FALL FISHING 2008
Each year after the season ends we take the time to reflect back on everyone and the memories that make each year unique - new guests, different fishing locations and the runs of fish. But, in many ways, each year remains the same because year after year, the Miramichi river draws people from all over the world and from every walk of life with the same passion and desire of landing an Atlantic Salmon. They say there is no fish so humbling or rewarding and the sacrifice is always worth it.
These photos say it all....
Growing up on the River Banks of the Miramichi we sometimes take Atlantic Salmon fishing for granted, but each year, after listening to hundreds of stories from guests, from Where to When and to Why, their dreams are the same - the dream of catching an Atlantic Salmon. Ever year there are many stories but two of the most memorable ones this year come from Donald Conrad who traveled from Heber Springs Arkansas, with wife in tow, because some 30+ years ago, while fishing for salmon in Machias Maine, he saw one landed. No matter where he travelled or what species of fish he sought, the Atlantic Salmon was his 30 year dream. Or from Douglas McGeachin from Alexandria, Scotland, who last landed an Atlantic salmon some 21 years ago. They all say the same thing when the chips are down and there are dreams to dream, that when it comes to Atlantic Salmon, there is no place in the world any better than right here on the Miramichi River. We, as Miramich'ers, should always be proud and appreciate the great resource at our doorstep known as the Miramich River, and appreciate the hard work over the years to help make it and keep it this way - hard work by organizations like the Miramichi Salmon Association and the Atlantic Salmon Federation.
Main River, Doug McGreachin, Alexiondrea Scotland
Cains River, Ray Pemberton, Uxbridge Ma.
Renous River, Duncan Craigie, London Ontario
Renous River, Patrick Gallagher, Manhattan NY
After 6 Months, another fishing season has once again come to an end here at Country Haven. From start to finish, it has been a fantastic season for us and for the entire Miramichi River System, even though at times we had too much water for good fishing but it was great for the fish. With three big rises of 4 ft plus throughout the summer and fall, we still had some great fishing. Even in the final 3 weeks, with higher-than-normal water, we still managed to have 5 days of over 20+ fish landed and 2 days of over 30+ fish landed! Even though there were always lots of fish in the system, much of our success this year (more so than in other years) has to be credited to the high quality of our guides as they always travelled to where the fish were, depending on the conditions. With the higher water, we spent more time than normal fishing pools in Doaktown, The Cains, the Renous and the Nor'west Miramichi. As in most years, we never need to travel any great distance from the Lodge for good fishing.
We take pride in having some of the better low water pools on the Lower Main River System. Overall, 2008 was one of the best seasons in the past twenty years for the Miramichi River System and we suspect that should make for some great Spring Fishing in 2009. We would like to take this time to thank everyone who helped us in any way, to make this our most successful season ever.
We would like to say "Thank You" to all our returning and new guests who visited us in 2008. We hope you enjoyed your visit and we look forward in having you all visit us again in 2009. We do have a 85% return rate among our guests each year and 2009 is looking much the same so let us know if you are interested in fishing with us in 2009. Here are a few pictures of fish we landed throughout the last week of the season from the rivers of the Renous, Cains, and the Main Southwest Miramichi.
Robert Koscviszka, Totowa NJ
Greg Defoe, Roosevely NJ
Jody's Brother (Walt Plonski) from Seattle Wa.
Even with the higher water it was a very successful week for our guests.
This past week fishermen landed some nice fish and learned lots from the Spey Clinic that Andrew May and Jody Plonski of East Coast Spey held throughout the week.
The higher water this week has not been great for our traditional lower water fall pools but sometimes what might not be good for one river might be just what the Doctor ordered for another, as both the Renous and the Cains produced better-than-normal results than in any of the past few seasons.
The higher water also made for some good two day Canoeing and Fishing trips on the Cains this week, paddling from Moors pool to Valentine's pool on the first day, and the Lower stretch between Valentine's pool and our Lodge the following day. Our Guide Pete always enjoys these trips in the fall.
Click on this link to See writeup and slideshow of East Coast Spey Weeks visit with us on the Miramichi.
Richard Ostrowski,Smithfield Me
There were only a few good days this past week due to the higher water conditions following another big rain. With the Main River high, most of our fishing is now being done on the smaller tributaries of the Cains and the Renous. Even though these rivers do rise quickly after a rain, they also fall and clear much faster due to their size. With our excellent low water Fall pools on the Main River, we always enjoy fishing these pools with good results most of the time, but when mother nature does not cooperate, it's great to be in such a good location and have access to private Water on the smaller salmon rivers like the Cains and the Renous where it is now looking like much of our fishing will be done for the remainder of this season. Even when the conditions are not the greatest, just knowing the numbers and size of the salmon that are in the system this year makes every cast worthwhile. Best fly this past week - Allies Shrimp. This week we will be hosting 'East Coast Spey' from NJ, USA for a week-long clinic on Spey Casting. The Miramichi is usually fished with single handed rods however the increasing number of guests visiting from places like the UK, where 2 handed Rods are more commonly used, is resulting in Spey Rod fishing becoming more popular each year here on the Miramichi.
Geoffroy Lallemant, France
Overall a much better week than last for landing fish, even though things did slow down a bit toward the end of the week. There are still lots of fish in the Miramichi and its tributaries. Some days the fish are taking, some days they are not, but overall most fishermen landed some big salmon this week. With the water falling there is a good number of fish again starting to hold in our pools. We are hoping that this rain we are receiving will not effect the water height again as everything is now perfect for good fishing until the end of the season on the lower stretches of the Main River. With the higher water we have experienced from time to time over the past few weeks, we are also having some better-than-normal fishing on the Cains River as well. Orange or Red Butt Bear Hair #8 have been the flies of Choice this week.
Geoff Bobyk from Oshawa Ont
The past two days have seen a big improvement in the number of fish landed following the slower-than-normal period we had for most of last week, as a number of both salmon and grilse were landed in all the pools we have been fishing over the weekend, from Doaktown to the Nor'west, to the Cains and in our local pools on the Main River. All of our fish landed on the Main River have been caught on a small Ally's Shrimp and Bomber and # 10 Bear Hair. Colburn Specials have also been working well in the other locations. We have started seeing more fresh fish arriving with the morning tides beginning Sunday. Let's hope this continues throughout the fall.
Scott Mackenney, Whitefield Maine
Overall, it has been another good week to be fishing on the Miramichi, even though a rise in water levels moved some of the holding fish out of the pools. Not a lot of new ones were arriving with the tides but anglers still managed to land fish throughout most of the week. With nice fall weather in the forecast, with cooler nights, warm days and the water falling again, we are hoping the higher tides that will occur after the full moon next week will bring more fresh fish into the system. Ally's Shrimp was the fly of the week.
Jonathan Paterson, Stamford CT
With the lower water this week, lots of fish have been holding up in the pools, with the majority of those caught being hooked on Bombers. The pools on the lower stretches of the Cains River are also starting to fill up with some big salmon. The water is still at a good level for the Cains so the Day Trips, Canoeing and Fishing have been good. There is still lots of great fishing left - on all branches of the Miramichi River system - so it is a great time to be on the water.
Big Fall Salmon
The last week of August was again more typical of an August week, with lots of fish starting to hold in the pools and being a bit more picky as to which fly they they like and when they might take it, but overall it was another good week as anglers landed fish almost every day. Even though the last two weeks of August were not quite as successful as the first two, August has been one of the best we have seen for a number of years. With the beginning of September we are starting to see more of the bigger fall-colored salmon moving into the system and fishermen have been having better luck on the big Bomber Patterns although they are still hooking a few fish using the smaller summer flies and Ally's Shrimp
in the evening. September is a month when many anglers like to be on the water, with cooler temperatures, big fish, and the beautiful fall foliage. As the water continues to fall, fishing should remain steady. With us being an outfitter that prides itself on the success we enjoy in our low water pools, it will be a welcome teat to finally start fishing them as the water remained too high throughout the season. We are looking forward to some great Fall Fishing.
Alan Mcmaster Belfast Ireland
This August has not been your typical August with the cool wet weather we have had, which makes for great water for the fish to travel in, so the fish just continue to arrive daily. We are again starting to see a few fish holding up in the pools as the water lowers and the pools start taking shape. It is a bit more like normal August fishing this week as many of the pools are filling up with holding fish with
some taking and some not, but overall it is another great week of fishing on the Miramichi. One thing for sure is that there has not been a day since early June that fishermen have not at least seen fish. Bombers,White Tail Green Machines and Bear Hair have been the flies of the week. Ally's Shrimp used in the evening has also produced well. With the water still falling and the forecast a bit more normal, the best fishing should be in the holding pools instead of the runs that have been producing the best so far this year.
Tracey Bryant, Landenberg PA
Nicholas Biasotto, Landenberg PA
As the water keeps falling, the fish keep coming, making for another great week of salmon fishing throughout the river. With the water still higher than usual for many of the normal pools, fishermen have been having great luck just fishing from the river bank, with many just wearing rubber boots instead of waders. We have three pools where this type of fishing has been very successful.
With so many fish in the river anglers have been hooking them in places where you might normally not fish at all or where spring fishing might be best. This week a wide variety of fly patters have been successful, from Bombers to Butterflies, Bugs and Bear Hair. With the current height of water, the fish are still not holding much but as it continues to fall, they should start pooling more.
The King of Game Fish
With the water still high but now falling, fishermen have been having some great fishing since Wednesday as the higher and colder water over the weekend brought in another fresh surge of both salmon and grilse from the Ocean. When the water is high in June and July the fish travel more to the right side of the river, on our lower stretch of river, but throughout August, September and October they travel throughout all of the River on both sides and the middle. This has been the case since Wednesday with some of the biggest salmon we have seen all season among them. Some of the older guides claim that when august arrives, all the summer patterns like the Green Machine will still work well for the Grilse but when trying to hook these big august salmon, the Bear Hair patterns work best. This might be why Roy Curtis, long time guide of Ted Williams, was once quoted as saying that his favoured two flies to fish with were a Bear Hair and another one in case he lost the first one. The month of August in most years has been a productive month for our stretch of the River and if these great numbers continue throughout the month, the entire river system could experience good fishing throughout the month. It is too early to tell but its now looking like this years numbers of returning fish could surpass any we have had in recent years!.
First morning on the river
There are lots of fish and many more hookups this week, both the Main River and the Cains, with more first-time anglers also landing fish. By late week, after all the rain, anglers were having the best results just fishing from shore using big fall and spring patterns. By the weekend, the result of all the rain took its toll as the water rose too high for any fishing by wading or from shore, making boat fishing the only method that produced any success. Even though there were lots of fish still showing, it was poor fishing Saturday and yesterday. It now appears that there will not be much good fishing until the water drops and clears, probably later in the week if the rain ever stops. This is good for the fish but not so good for the fishermen. Overall, even with the poor weekend, there still were a lot of fish landed on the rivers this week. Best flies were Allies Shrimp, GP and 2/0 Mickey Finn and Gray Ghosts.
Nice fish, taken on a Bomber
There are still lots of fish in all of the rivers, with Bombers working the best early in the week. With the rainiest summer in history so far, the water levels have been changing daily, along with the pools, as the guides have been fishing pools between Doaktown to Quarryville on the Main River and the tributaries of the Renous , Northwest, Little Southwest, Bartholemew and the Cains. All have lots of fish but there are not a lot of takers. Overall it has not been an overly productive week.
Brett Quinn, New Glasgow NS
So far this summer there is one thing we do know for sure, and that is there are lots of fish in the rivers. This past week the counting station located at Millerton has been setting records for the numbers of daily fish counts, including a 15 year high on Tuesday. This is great news for the River and anglers. June has always seen more salmon than grilse enter the system and that should be the same this year. July has always seen many more grilse than salmon and that also looks to be the same this year. But the number of returning salmon this July has been very impressive. There isn't anything much more rewarding for a lodge owner and guides than to have fishermen landing fish. This becomes even more special when first-time anglers and children are also having great success. This week, once again, the smaller wet flies were working best and with the fish now starting to hold a bit more, anglers that were using Bombers were outfishing wet fly fishermen 5-1. The Miramichi Salmon Classic was again held this week and by all accounts it was another good success as anglers had an opportunity to fish new water, meet new friends, and help raise money for the Miramichi Salmon Association. A great start to another summer fishing season on all of the Miramichi Rivers.
Gregory Cwalina, from Columbia MD
Again, this week Lots of fish arrived daily with anglers landing fish on all of the river systems. The 90 degree fahrenheit weather sure made it tough on some days, as the fish stayed deeper in the pools and were not as interested in a fly. With fishing it sometimes seems like there are not a lot of those 'perfect' days when everything is just right - water not too high or too low or too warm with the fish taking every fly you throw at them. However the thrill of landing the greatest game fish in the world keeps fly fishermen returning year after year regardless of conditions, in the hope of landing the 'big one'. We are very lucky to have access to so many good pools throughout the system that when conditions are not the best we can almost always find a pool that will provide a few takers. Best flies this week were the #10 Orange Butt Moose or Bear Hair Brown or Green and White Bombers Dry.
Garry Mousely, Devon, England
A week of much water and lots of fish - sometimes this is a great combination for good fishing. However during the early part of the week the water was too high for good summer fishing as the fish just motored straight on through on Monday and Tuesday. It looked more like spring fishing as anglers were fishing from boats and from shore. Those fishing from boats had some luck in the smaller river of the Bartholemew and close to shore in the other rivers. A good thing about the high water was the good run of fish that entered the system each day. By the weekend all the rivers were again fishing well with anglers having great results on the main rivers of the Main Southwest and the Northwest branches of the Miramichi where some fishermen were landing their daily limit within a hour during morning fishing. The runs are continuing daily with more Grilse than Salmon arriving in the System. The flies of choice this past week with the higher water at the beginning of the week were the #4 Yellow Wing Butterfly and by the weekend, the White Tail Green Machine. Rat Patterns were working best on the Northwest Miramichi. With the water falling and lots of fish available, good fishing should continue as long as we do not get the Heat Wave of 30 degree weather that is now in the forecast for the next few days.
Matt Harris, Calgary Alta.
Another good week with lots of fish moving through the system. Fresh fish are arriving daily with each tide. Most of this week fishermen did not land as many fish as they expected as the water was a bit warm for this early in the season however the cooler nights improved the fishing greatly with many fish landed on most of the Miramichi Rivers. The pools above the mouth of the Cains River produced fish daily throughout the week. The Renous and the Norwest rivers were also producing well on Thursday, Friday and yesterday. Another fresh run arrived this morning as a result of last nights big tide and our anglers landed fish this morning in all 5 of the pools. If the water had remained lower and cooler we are confident that we would of had the best fishing ever for the Month of June considering the number of fish in the System. We know the numbers will be much higher than any of the past few years in June which is good for the Salmon and the River. White Tail Green Machine appears to be the fly of choice as it is successful in every pool for us over the past few days. With the rain we are now receiving it is looking like this week the better fishing will again be in the higher water pools above the Cains or close to the Shore in the lower Stretches of the River. The smaller Rivers like the Renous Dungarvon rise fast but also drop quickly so fishing should also be good by Wednesday on these smaller rivers.
Fernand Girouard, Ste.Marie NB
Lots of big salmon and a few grilse are still moving through the system. Early in the week we saw great fishing with some nice big salmon landed throughout the river system. Mid week was slower even though there were still lots of fish, but the river rose over a foot due to an upriver rain. The fish that were landed were traveling closer to shore. All the fish that our anglers landed this week were on hooked on a # 4-6 Superman Shrimp and White Tail Green Machine. This week anglers are again landing some fish on the Renous. June is continuing to look like a good month for fishing.
Ronald Saxon, Clarksville TN battling his first Atlantic Salmon
With our June salmon fishing only under way now for a few days, so far there have been more fish in the river than throughout the entire month of June last year - a positive sign to the start of our summer fishing season.
Most of the fish early in the season and this week were salmon but by late week, a number of grilse also started entering the system. The most productive flies have been a white tail green machine and Cossebooms # 4. The conditions are ideal in both water height and temperature for this June run of fish. especially in pools above the mouth of the Cains river and as the water continues to drop, fishing should also improve in the lower stretches of the river.
Anglers also started landing grilse on the Renous River yesterday. It is good to see an improvement in the number of returning fish over last June so lets hope this continues throughout the season.
Over the years at Country Haven, the first week of June has been the 'in-between' week for our salmon fishing, with the end of the Spring salmon and still waiting for the arrival of the first bights. Fishermen did start hooking into a few throughout the week on the Northwest and over the past couple of days on the Main Southwest Miramich even though there are not a lot of fishermen on the water. Here is a picture of Guide Colin Gilks with one of the first Summer Salmon landed upriver yesterday, in the Blissfield Area on the Main River. With the water falling and the pools beginning to take shape, we welcome another Summer Fishing season. Flies of choice have been the White tail Green Machine and Miramichi Cosseboom .
Tyler loves his Trout fishing..
The spring fishing season for Atlantic Salmon is all but over for another year on the Miramichi and overall it was another very successful one. Although some of the peak weekends early in the season did not see high numbers of fish landed, as in previous seasons, mainly due to high water and smelt runs, it was the most consistent spring season ever as all of our anglers landed salmon, with only one exception - almost 6 successful weeks for nearly 100 anglers - not bad at all for a year that many fishermen thought might not be good due to the low number of returning fish last year. Even though the daily numbers were down a little, the overall total was good. Another good thing was the high number of Salmon compared to the number of Grilse - the first time this has ever happened since we opened for spring fishing! The most successful fly was the Renous River Special
We now look forward to June and the first run of summer fish as this is the first week of our Summer Season. The summer season is when when anglers change from using spring tackle to the summer floating lines and patterns. Much of the fishing will now change from boat fishing to wading that normally occurs in the summer season. Anglers should now start landing a few salmon on the Northwest Miramichi or even on the lower stretches of the Renous as an early run of fish should be heading for both the Nor'west and to a lesser scale, the the Dungarvon that empties into the Renous. As the water levels fall, anglers on the main Miramichi should also start hooking into the first run of salmon that will be heading towards the Rocky Brook area of the Upper Miramichi - and what beautiful fish they are!! The best results we have seen over the years when we try to hook these fish on their way through, have been the pools with the lowest water level, like a narrow part of the river or a bar, occasionally on the right side while moving upriver. These salmon are very smart, they travel on the same side as automobiles on the road! In these lower stretches of the Miramichi, the bigger summer patterns such as #4 and #6 Green Machine have worked well over the years. June should also see some good trout fishing on the upper stretches of the Cains as a run of big Sea Trout enter the river. With four and a half months of fishing yet to come in our season, we expect great fishing and hope to see you on the water.
Thanks to everyone who visited with us during the spring season which we hope was an enjoyable one! If you are thinking of returning for the 2009 spring season, do let us know if you have not already made your booking. With an over 90% return rate by our spring guests, we do book up early!
Steve Nelson, Green Bay, WI
Overall, this spring is turning out to be another great one as the water has remained higher and colder than normal, keeping a good number of salmon in the system longer and the river still remains good for boating, from the mouth of the Cains to as far downriver as you might like to go. Anglers are still picking up a few spring salmon around our stretch of river and both salmon and big trout in greater numbers downriver in the faster water of the rapids and in the tidal waters. The past couple of weeks have remained consistant for trout fishing as anglers are now having the best luck using floating lines while still using the traditional spring fly patterns. There have been no Sea Run Trout or summer run of Atlantics as of yet but they should be arriving soon.
Martin Meyers, Cheshire England
Again this year, as in previous seasons at this time, the guides have started fishing in the rapids as the fish have now started taking flies better in the faster water instead of the slower traditional places fished earlier in the season. Anglers have been having good luck averaging between 3-7 fish daily with some big salmon among them. The conditions are now right for these locations as fishermen are having luck casting with smaller flies from both boat and shore. For any angler who enjoys casting for Spring Salmon, this is the right time and place. After almost a week of feeding on smelts, the fish are now much better fighters than early in the season, pound for pound! Fishermen are also picking up a few nice trout every day. Overall, fishermen might not have landed the high daily catches as in the last 2 seasons but so far, fishing has been very consistent with all anglers, with the exception of only one, landing fish - almost a 100% percent success rate so far this season, with more big salmon landed compared to grilse than in any of the last few seasons. This weeks' most productive flies were 2/0 Gray Ghost, Renous River Special and Golden Eagle.
12 yr old Tyler Lynch, Kingston Mass Tyler's first Grilse
The beginning of this week was everything that a fishermen could ask for! Great weather, falling water and fantastic fishing, as our anglers enjoyed every minute of it, including our 7-time returning guests Irwin and Debbie Mallory from Hunter Mountain NY, who both hooked into between 10 to 20 fish each on 3 consecutive days. Raymond Hill of Virginia also had another great week on the Miramichi, landing 38 fish in 5 days. The conditions were great for anglers who enjoy casting for Salmon. Fishermen continued to have luck into the weekend but to a slightly lesser degree due the arrival of the Smelts that arrive each spring time. Also, windy weather made it a little tougher for casting. With the colder high water, the fish are still holding in the river so we should still have some good fishing for some time yet in these lower stretches of the River. The most productive fly this week was the Christmas Tree, Gray Ghost and Blue Smelt.
Ken Bettcher, Portsmouth NH
For the most part of the week fishing was very consistant, with all our anglers landing fish, with the exception of Wednesday and Thursday when the water came up a bit too high due to rain at the headwaters of the River. Fishing again picked up Friday, Saturday and yesterday when all fishermen again landed fish. The biggest fish this week was a 46 inch'er landed by Harvey Packard from Eustus,Maine. We also enjoyed another nice fishing story told by Ken Bettcher from Portsmouth NH, who fished the Miramichi for the first time, landing a number of fish including his first salmon. This was 40 years ago to the day, after his father landed a big spring salmon in the Mackamie area - a 40 year dream come true on the Miramichi. The water is now falling to a good height for casting and with the cold and high water we have had so far this season, we think good fishing should continue well into May this year. The best fly has been the "Ken's Renous" and "Chartreuse in Color Christmas Trees"..
Bill Hoffman, Fisherville Ky.
Overall it was a great opening week for our fishing season as all our guests landed fish throughout the week, with some very large salmon being landed for this early into the season. The number of salmon landed so far have been more than grilse. Early in the week, the river was finally clear of ice. With higher water levels and with the water falling, it made for some good fishing. The water levels now are at a perfect height. So far, this spring, the most productive fly has been the Renous River Special. There is one small change to the spring season regulations this year that anglers should be aware of. It is now required that fishermen use only barbless flies. That is not a big change for us as most of our guides have been using barbless flies in spring fishing for a number of years. It makes it easier to remove the hooks, is less stressful on the Salmon and offers a bit more challenge for the angler. With current conditions, good fishing should continue...
Cheryl Dugal, Augusta Me. 1st & biggest opening day fish
Daniel Dugal, Rock Falls Ill.
We're Open! Our 2008 Fishing Season started today at Country Haven, 5 days after the season officially opened, due to the late moving of the ice this year. Cheryl Dugal of Augusta Maine landed both the first fish and the Biggest fish of opening day, landing two nice 39 inch salmon in the morning. All 6 of our anglers landed fish today. With the water now falling after a few days on the rise, fishing should continue to improve as the water clears. My 14 year old son Tyler also landed his first salmon this evening using a Marabou fly pattern. This is Tyler's favorite time of the year with both the opening of fishing season and the start of the NHL hockey Playoffs.
YEAR 2007 River Reports
We would like to say "thanks" to every one of you who visited us throughout another successful season, whether you were visiting us for the first time or among the 80% of our yearly returning guests. We hope you all enjoyed each day spent with us as much as we have enjoyed having each and every one of you visit with us. To all of you from the 17 Countries, 46 US States and all the Provinces of Canada who visited us in 2007, we look forward to seeing you all again in the future.
Thanks from the crew at Country Haven Miramichi where "you might arrive as a stranger but will always leave as a Friend".
Here are the salmon counts for 2007 (as of the end of October) for the two largest rivers in the Miramichi River system. (all numbers are approximate as it is estimated that 10% of the fish moving through the system travel through the counter).
Main Southwest Miramichi
6,430 Large Salmon & 14,390 Grilse (small salmon) - Total 20,820
3,980 Large Salmon & 9,730 Grilse (small salmon) - Total 13,710
Total for both rivers 34,530
This does not include the fish for the tributaries located below the these rivers in the Miramichi System.
Our 2007 fishing season is now over. It was another positive one although some might disagree if comparing to last year, when we had exceptionally good counts of both salmon and grilse. Last year, the Main Southwest river had some of the better numbers of returning fish in years but the numbers were less this year. Last year the Nor'west had low counts but much higher counts this year. Overall, we had a great spring with lots of fish but June was a little disappointing as the fish were slow to return from the Ocean compared to past years. Most of July was great but August was poor compared to the last 5 years. Throughout most of September and October we had lots of fish around as our water stayed low and there were good conditions for our low water pools, but not as good for the river as a whole, with the lower water encouraging many of the fish to stay in the lower stretch of the river and only move up after each rise of water where normally the water would stay high so the fish would have lots of water to travel. The Miramichi river fish count as a whole will be down this year compared to the last few seasons. Past history suggests, however, that sometimes a lower count one year results in much higher counts the following year. Many local fishermen refer to the poor return of 1977 and the excellent return the following year 1978 as a good example. So let's hope this trend will continue for next season.
As for the extension on the Cains over the last two weeks, we would have to think it was a success as it gave fishermen the opportunity to enjoy a few more days of fishing. With the lower water throughout the fall right up until the end of the normal fishing season, many fishermen who had not enjoyed fishing the Cains River before had an opportunity to prolong the end of the sport they enjoy most before another long winter, while others combined a bit of hunting and fishing while enjoying a shore lunch cooked over an open fire. With the beautiful weather that we experienced most days throughout the extension, one would have to think that whatever the age, good fishing or not, or where in the world you might be from, any day spent fishing on the Cains River in late Autumn would have to be considered a success.
The fishing season is now over for another year on the Main river but still remains open till the 29th of Oct on the Tributary of the Cains. Much of last week again saw many large salmon in the holding pools on the lower stretches of the river. This produced good fishing on some days, as they took both wet and dry flies, and on other days they were very fussy as to what flies the big fall salmon chose. Over the weekend, on the Cains extension where the water rose due to a big and much needed rain, fishermen had some good luck friday evening to high and dirty Saturday for the Lower Main River, but fantastic fishing on Sunday and yesterday on the Cains, with a good number of fish landed. The better flies this past week were Allie's Shrimp, Main River and Mickey Finn, Cains. With the autumn colors at their peak, the gentle flowing little river of the Cains is probably one of the best fall Atlantic Salmon rivers in North America, and this could be where many fly fishermen will finish of their fishing season this year.
Salmon, Salmon and more big Salmon are now moving into the low water pools every day. With water levels low, some of these pools are now holding hundreds of fish with many big fall salmon among them. It seems like each week, over the past few weeks, for some reason, the better fishing has always been at the beginning of the week. By mid week we are seeing lots of fish but they are not taking a fly as good. With the warm dry weather last week, and the colourful fall foliage everywhere, it was a great time to be outdoors. The cooler temperatures even with the low water are resulting in some fish traveling more and this should also improve the fishing upriver. World renown Outdoor Writer John Bailey, along with five friends from the UK, returned for the second time this season and they experienced some good fishing yesterday as everyone in the group hit into fish. Anglers are still landing a mixture of both fresh fish and some that have been in the river system for a while, both Main river and Cains river fish. With the Main River fishing season over on the 15th, a good rain will be needed to make for good fishing for the Cains river extension. The most productive flies have been the Minister's Dog, the Copper Killer and still the most productive fly for us this season, the #8 White Tail Green Machine. With only a week remaining for fishing the Main River and most of the Tributaries for this fishing season, it should be a fantastic time to be on the Miramichi River.
Lots of fish in the holding pools and a few fresh ones arriving in with the tide each day have made things interesting for fishermen throughout the week. Even though the number of fish landed might not have been as good as it should be, considering the number of fish in the pools, fishermen did land a number of salmon in the 20-25 lb. range last week and there are many big salmon now in the holding pools. The fresh water from the rain we received over the past weekend has improved the fishing. There were lots of fish landed yesterday and again this morning, with one fishermen landing 4 in two hours using a #8 Minister's Dog. Our pools are full of fish and the water looks the best it has been at this time of year over the last three seasons. It appears that fishing should be good for the remainder of this season on the lower stretch of the Main River. Anglers fishing the Nor'west also started seeing an improvement yesterday and a few also hooked fish in the deeper pools on the Renous. So far the Cains is still a bit too low but conditions should improve for the extension if we get rain, as we are now starting to hook some of the fish that are Cains River bound. Flies of Choice this week were Ally's Shrimp, Minister's Dog and the White Tail Green Machine.
The beginning of the week started out with promise as fishermen landed some big salmon and a number of fresh grilse, but overall, for the great numbers of fish that anglers cast over, fishing was slow for this time in September. Traditionally it can be one of the best weeks. With a good number of both grilse and big salmon in the low water pools, our fishermen still went fishless on Wednesday and Thursday but did land fish each day during the rest of the week, using both wet and dry fly patterns. Sunday did see another run of fresh fish enter the system however and fishermen enjoyed some good action between Quarryville and the Mouth of the Cains as the fish moved up the river. With our lodge being located so close to the tidal water, four of our low water pools never get too low for fishing and so far this fall they are at an ideal level for holding fish. The 'lower the water the better the fishing', as long as the fish keep arriving. Most productive fly was the Ally's Shrimp early in the week and Black Bear over the weekend.
Most of the week we have seen lots of fish in the holding pools, from Quaryville to the mouth of the Cains with hundreds holding at Black Brook. There are not many fresh ones arriving in with the tides. With the water at a great height for our low water pools below Blackville and so many fish in them, even though there are not a lot of fresh fish, anglers are still having good luck with the holding fish. In the pools, fishermen enjoyed good fishing over the weekend as all our fishermen landed fish. The water is remaining cool, being as low as it is, keeping fishing consistant. With four of our pools now full of fish, things are looking good for the lower stretches of the river but we will need rain to get more of the fresh Fall run to enter the system. The most Productive flies this week were #8- 10 Almost and Bombers with 6 fish also hooked Sunday on Allie's Shrimp.
Another consistent week of fishing in two of our pools as many of our fishermen landed fish this week. In our low water pools, the majority of the fish landed were grilse but approx 20% of the fish in the pools are salmon and some very big ones among them. Even though there are fish moving through the system daily, and pooling up in some pools, these fish are not yet part of the bigger fall runs that will be soon be entering the system. The most productive flies were #8 Almost and Bombers.
We experienced better fishing Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with low water and some big salmon holding in the pools. and the best fishing of the week was on Friday as the water rose a foot from a much needed rain storm as some of the holding fish started moving through the system. But with rewards there is a cost and the higher water made for dirty water conditions and poor fishing Saturday and Sunday. However with the water receding, fishing picked up again Monday and yesterday with some nice fresh bigger salmon entering the system and fishermen had good luck on both days. Things have started to look more like September fishing as the fish have begun jumping and rolling more in some of the holding pools, making things more interesting for the fishermen. If you see them you know they are there. With the cool night time temperatures, the falling water and fresh fish moving into the system, it looks likke better times ahead for salmon fishermen on the Miramichi. Ally's Shrimp, General Practioners, and the LT Special have all produced good results since the rise of water over the weekend.
June was one of the slowest fishing months we have had in years, due to the fish arriving later than normal from the Ocean, and July was one of the best in years due to most of the June and July fish both arriving in July. August did not produce the good number of fish we have enjoyed the past few seasons however things are looking like September and October will be the better fishing months this season. In past years, with similar returns of fish at this stage of the season, this has been the case, including 4 consecutive years from 1999 through 2002 when our better fishing was in September and October. Over the past few seasons, this had sometimes changed from year to year. With our now having access to 13 Private pools for the Fall Season, we are looking forward to some great fishing for the rest of the season in the lower stretch of The Main River, as all the big fall runs of salmon swim past our door to reach the spawning grounds upriver. Fishing on the Main River and the tributaries is open until Oct 15th. The great little fall river of the Cains will remain open until October 29th this year. Here at Country Haven, we only have a few openings still available for the remainder of the season but we do work closely with other great outfitters on the river that still have availability for the dates you might be interested in. This week was again much like most of August being like a crap shoot from day to day. Our Fishermen landed fish Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday on both the Main River and Renous but nothing Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
The fish that were landed were all fresh with the holding fish in the pools not being interested in much of anything offered them. With our lowest production in August in 10 years we will welcome September and October and the fall runs along with the remaining August Salmon that we think have just been slow to arrive.
Get out your fall patterns as the fun is just beginning. Although the water is at a great height for many of our pools, sometimes a rain at this time of season freshens up the water and that is all that is needed to make for some great fall fishing. Atlantic Salmon are one of the toughest fish to hook and land after hooking and are difficult to predict from season to season.
After a couple of weeks of not seeing a lot of fresh fish entering the system, we have finally started to see more fish holding in our low-water pools on the lower stretch of the river. On Sunday the 6 fish landed were all fresh from the Sea. The water is at a perfect height for holding fish and some of the pools are starting to hold some very big salmon. Throughout the season our daily Guided Fishing and Canoeing trips are very popular among our guests and with these ideal conditions for this lower stretch of river, fishermen are enjoying fishing between 4 to 7 pools, lunching on shore while traveling approx 10 KM from Country Haven to Quarryville. Our guides have made this trip for a number of years, almost daily, from June until October when conditions are right with many anglers returning on a yearly basics to enjoy this Day trip with their favourite guide. Overall, this August has not yet produced the high number of fish landed the previous two years, even with the good conditions thoughtout much of the month. Many 'locals' say the good fishing we enjoyed last August spoiled us. Our fishermen landed fish 28 days out of the Month it won't happen this year. With almost two months remaining in the season on this stretch of river we are sure this years 'best' fishing has yet to come. Best fly this week was the #8 Almost Wet, Green White tails Bomber Dry.
Not much in the way of success to talk about this week with the exception of some great fishing Monday morning in the Doaktown area, as 3 fishermen hooked into 12 fish in less than 3 hrs in a holding pool. Monday evening, anglers had some success in the Quarryville area, landing fresh fish, but other than that, most of the week was slow. The cooler water had moved many of the holding fish upriver, with the exception of some still at the traditional holding places like the mouth of the Bartholomew and Black Brook. There has not been as many fresh arrivals as fishermen had hoped for with the high tides. The only good news about this is that the Big Salmon that we would normally see entering the system in August have yet to arrive. With the water falling and cooler temperatures, we are looking forward to better fishing in our low water holding pools on the Main River, as many of the fish from now on tend to hold more than the earlier runs, making for some great fishing.
The past couple of weeks have been great for enjoying our canoeing trips on the river. On these trips, if fishermen do not always have success in landing fish, they should always see them holding in cooler water areas and leaping out of the water. The wild Atlantic salmon (the leaper ) in its natural surroundings is an amazing sight to see, even if not always on the end of a fly line. We had 6 honeymoon couples fishing with us over the past two weeks, from Alberta, Ontario Pennsylvania, California, Ireland and the Netherlands. It is starting to look like fly fishing for Atlantic salmon is becoming a popular activity, even for honeymooners. Flies of choice this week were Bombers and #8 and #10 Bear Hairs.
With not a lot of fresh fish moving through the system this week, much of the fishing was using Bombers, sometimes without much sucess, for fish that were holding up in the cooler water pools. A few fishermen that were interested in traveling to fish pools on the tributaries did have some luck in holding pools on both the Dungarvon and the Cains rivers. Unlike the Main River, these smaller rivers might never have a great bunch of fish in any of the pools but with a little bit of patience, anglers can have good sucess traveling from pool to pool in the cooler water of these rivers. Even though you might not be fishing over as many fish, those that are there may take a fly better. Flies of Choice were #10 Undertakers and Bombers on the Main River and a Royal Wulff on the Tributaries. With the tides being 5.2 ft for 5 consective days this coming week, fishermen are hoping to see more fresh fish moving into the Main River.
The great fishing we have enjoyed over the past three weeks has slowed, due in part to the hot weather, however with the lower and warmer water, the fish have not been travelling as much and have started to pool up more, especially in our cold water pools. With the warmer water, the fishermen that were landing fish were having the best results on Dry Flies in the cold water pools on the Main River, and on smaller bugs on the cooler water of the Dungarvon river.
This week, the best results were experienced by the anglers that fished mornings and evenings, as the afternoons were better for swimming than fishing. Sometimes, with the warmer water, some of the fish arriving on the tide will have a tendency of coming in and out again on each tide untill the conditions are just right for them to move on up the river system. This was happening over the weekend. With the 1/2 foot rise in water levels, cooler temperatures overnight and 4.9 ft high tides for much of this coming week, fishermen are hoping to return to the good fishing the river has experienced throughout much of July.
Overall, another consistant week for fishermen on the Main River and some of the tributaries, with anglers landing more grilse than salmon. So far this month, our anglers have landed fish every day. Last weeks' annual Miramichi Salmon Classic was very successful with anglers landing more fish than last year. Glenda Powell of the Black Water Lodge in Ireland gave a 4 hour Spey Casting demonstration at Upper Oxbow. Glenda is the Ladies Distance Caster Champion. The Classic is a great way to be introduced to the Miramichi River. Much of the Classic's success is due in part to the hard work by people like Mark Hambrook, Debbie Norton and the many volunteer guides. This past week was also Canada's Irish Festival, held annually here on the Miramichi, always a good time for combining some Irish celebrations and Atlantic Salmon fishing, especialy by the visitors from Ireland who are always interested in a day of fishing throughout their travels. Water levels are now falling. The best fly this week was the Green and White Bomber.
Still lots of fish moving through the system this past week as just about every man and his dog were hooking fish. Throughout the week, our guides were teaching more than normal the amount of first time fishermen here at Country Haven and many of them had great success, including both kids and adults. Toni Luksie from Ingersoll, Ont landed 4 Tuesday afternoon - his first time ever fishing. A group of our fishermen from Wilkes Barre PA enjoyed a good week of fishing with most of their success coming while fishing on the Renous. Fishermen had some good fishing most of the week on the Renous, landing both salmon and grilse.
Brad Burns from Massachusetts also had good fishing Thursday morning, landing a 30+ lb. Salmon and a Grilse on a wet fly and a 20 lb'er on a Bomber above Blackville. This July there are more large salmon than usual in the system, and we think there are many of the June salmon that didn't arrive in June. So far, July is turning out to be a good month with our fishermen landing fish ever day. The conditions are still good for July in the lower stretches of the Main River and many of the tributaries as we have been receiving some rain almost daily. The better fly over the past few days has been a # 6 Undertaker, tied by our 13 year old son Tyler, who has also been having good success this year.
Lots of fish again this week on all of the river system as fishermen were having good luck from Quarryville to above Doaktown and beyond on the Main River . With the higher water on the Renous, fishermen were having great fishing. 3 fishermen from Vermont landed 7 fish in 1 hr on a pool on the Renous. Fishermen who are fishing the Nor'west say fishing just keeps getting better ever day. Our better fishing area, again this week, has been above Blackville as the fish do not seem to be slowing down much as they are arriving fresh in from the tide until they reach the lower water above the Cains.
The conditions are great for these pools this year as the water is high and cool and these first fish like to travel. This week however we did start landing more fish in the lower stretches of the River as the water keeps dropping. The better wet fly this week has been the # 6 Undertaker wet fly but most success has come on Brown Bombers. Jackie Legere from Boutouche landed a salmon and a grilse friday morning - her first time fishing with a Bomber. Yesterday 13 year old Anthony Corbin from Quebec City landed a 20lb Beauty also first time using a Bomber. From our Lodge we can usually see the wakes from fish that are moving upriver. The last two days had much movement and the fishermen located 5 miles below us at the Quarryville pool have been experiencing some good fishing since July 1st - averaging between 10-30 daily. Yesterday, at the counting station in Millerton on the Lower Southwest Main River, the numbers were 170 Grilse and 51 Salmon and they estimate that this is represents 10% of the fish that do go through each day. The cool weather has also been keeping the water temperatures down below 60F this morning.We should see more good fishing this week.
Over the years, the Atlantic Salmon have been considered a very smart species of fish, traveling back to the very rivers where they were born - sometimes within inches of the same location after years spent at sea. This week again proves just how smart the Atlantic Salmon really are! After many weeks where fishermen waited for the big run, they arrived in full force on July 1 - just in time to join the Canada Day Celebrations. Wow, what a smart species of fish, as fishermen enjoyed the first great summer fishing day throughout the lower stretch of the Main River, the Renous and the Northwest Miramichi. The fish landed were anywhere from 3lb grilse to 28 Lb Salmon, with fishermen landing most of them on Bear Hairs, Shady Ladies, Butterflies, and even big Brown Bombers. Again, yesterday, and this morning, fishing has remained quite consistent with the water a bit high on the lower stretch of the river. The better results have been in pools above the mouth of the Cains. With the number of fish moving up the system, the upper River fishermen should experience some good fishing by weekend. Water temperature was 62F this morning.
Another slow week for Atlantic Salmon fishing even though the conditions have been fantastic, with cool water and a few showers daily keeping the water at a good height and temperature. Fishermen are starting to see and hook a few more fish daily than in the previous weeks' making for high expectations, that any day now will be the beginning of a bigger run thought the river system. Over the years, when June has not been good, July has traditionally been a better one. In 1990, another year of late ice out in the Atlantic, July was the better month of the season. With the high tides coming over the weekend, fishermen are anticipating some great fishing very soon.
One thing is for sure when fishing for the Wild Atlantic Salmon there is never any guarantee that things will be the same from one year to the next! Each year might be different as to when the big runs arrive, depending on their journey across the open sea from the Coast of Greenland. The water height and temperatures, seals and other predators, even to a late run off of ice moving down the North Atlantic, can all play a part in determining when and how big the runs of salmon might be from season to season. without any great numbers so far anywhere in Eastern Canada, this year much of the talk is that it is due mostly in part to the late spring and cold temperatures that have kept the ice longer in the ocean between Greenland and NFLD - the travel route of these Wild Atlantic Salmon.
We Know that at times the Atlantic Salmon can be the most challenging and picky of any species of game fish and at times it has been called the "Too" fish. Water Too high, water too low, water too warm, tides too low. But all the best things in life come with a price and at the end of a fly line there is no fish more rewarding than these Wild Atlantic Salmon. Not a lot to report this week except the lack of fish everywhere in Eastern Canada, including the Miramichi. Single handed rods have always been the rod of choice by many of the local fishermen and by many of the fishermen that travel to fish these waters, but over the past few seasons we have been seeing a big increase in the number of fishermen changing over to Spey Rods for fishing this river. Among our fishermen from Europe and the UK it was always a popular method of fishing but now we are seeing an increase in Spey Rod fishing from both the west coast of the US and Canada and the past two years the east coast of the US. We were a bit skeptical at first as to why such a big rod was needed but over the years I have come to appreciate the skill and the technique associated with spey rod fishing and that some fishermen in some pools can outfish anglers that are using single handed rods, even the locals, and that the lower stretch of the Miramichi is a great location for both single handed and double handed fly Rod Fishing.
Great for Canoeing, great for Sea Trout fishing on the Cains, great for ATV Tours and a fantastic week for our Moose watching tours but other than a few Brookies it was not a great week for fishing the Main River as not a lot of the June salmon have entered the river system yet. There were a few salmon landed on the Nor'west and the Dungarvon but nothing to write home about.
This past week at the lodge, and for most of the Main Southwest Miramichi River, has been our 'in-between' week, as we have been between our spring salmon fishing and our Summer fishing seasons. We are very fortunate to be located on the productive lower stretch of the river because, with the exception of only a week or two, most years fishermen have a good chance to land Atlantic Salmon throughout the entire fishing season from April 15th till Oct 15th - one of the longest salmon fishing seasons in the World. The anglers that have been fishing throughout this week have been concentrating primarily on trout fishing, picking up some nice ones in front the lodge and cottages, also while canoeing and fishing some of the tributaries. There are still no reports of any Bright Salmon being landed on our river although they probably are moving through the system, but not many fishermen have been fishing for them this week as most fishermen know that results for the first week of the summer fishing season are usually better on The Northwest River as it is the earliest river to experience the June run up the Miramichi River System, with the first salmon often being landed landed a week to ten days before our section of river. As a result, many anglers will begin the first week of summer fishing on the Northwest or just wait for reports of fish being landed there before trying the main river. Fishermen did start having some limited success from mid-week in its lower stretch pools so now they should began landing some of those Rocky-Brook-bound Silver Beauty's on our river this week. Of all the Atlantic Salmon that travel throughout the Miramichi and its tributaries, these first-run June salmon are the most silver and nicest looking fish of them all. The water is falling to a good height for many of the high water pools so we are expecting to see more locals heading to the river this week as the first fishermen to land a June Salmon has local celebrity status, if only for a short time. On two of the last five seasons our Lodge landed our first bright on the 4th. The best flies this week have been Big Brown Bombers and Muddlers for trout. The salmon landed on the Northwest were landed on the Green Machine and the Green Highlander. There are also plenty of Shad now in the system where fishermen can use sinking lines. The Shad is not a great fighter compared to the Salmon but for this in-between time for salmon runs, a shad at the end of the line can be quite rewarding. One of the better locations on the River for shad fishing is in the Upper Blackville area.
After almost 6 weeks of Spring fishing there are still some spring salmon moving down through the river system, with reports of some still as far up as the Doaktown and Boistown area, however fishing for them is winding down for this season, as many of the anglers are now changing their fishing for the first runs of summer bright salmon and trout. Fishermen should start hooking a few of these soon, probably within the week. The fishermen that did catch fish this week still had some good spring fishing in the White Rapids area, with all our anglers landing fish, including James Mckerley from Penacook NH who landed 4 salmon 30 inches or more every day of his trip this week. With the rise in water levels over the weekend it helped bring some of the remaining fish down, making for better fishing right until the end. This week fishermen again landed some nice dark trout in the 2 lb range. As this portion of our fishing season ends we would have to say that overall it was another very successful one as out fishermen landed over 1,200 salmon and grilse, and 200 trout. Our largest salmon this spring was 48 inches landed by Jeremy Holloway from Claryville NY, his first Atlantic Salmon after 50 years of fly fishing trout in the Catskills. According to Jeremy, after landing that one Atlantic he now thinks he will be a hooked Atlantic Salmon fishermen for life. We had more productive days in April but May was the most consistent, with fishermen landing fish almost daily thoughout the month, including a salmon, a grilse and a trout yesterday - all on the same fly - the Gray Ghost.
We would again like to take this time to say 'thanks' to everyone who helped us have another great spring season, and we look forward to seeing you all again next spring. And for those that will be visiting us for our summer or fall seasons, you can start getting excited,as we have been seeing an increase in returning fish to the Miramichi each year over the past few seasons, and we are expecting the same high returns again for this season. Many believe the high numbers of returning fish is due, in part, to the closure of the commercial fisheries off the coast of Greenland - the feeding grounds for the Atlantic Salmon that return to many of the salmon rivers throughout the World, including the Miramichi.
For the better part of this week, our anglers had fairly consistent fishing in the faster water areas on the lower stretches of the Main River. Fishermen had success in both casting from shore or by boat and also fishing long-line from boats in the rapids. This weekend looks like another good one on the water as all our fishermen landed big salmon yesterday, including 36 inchers by Shawn Larson and William Hancock of Florida, minutes into their first morning of fly fishing - ever. Each year, toward the later part of the spring salmon fishing season, the majority of salmon landed are sometimes the biggest of the spring fish and this year has been no exception, as fishermen have not been landing as many fish a day as earlier in the season but the quality of the fish are now much bigger, brighter and better fighters.
There have also been a decent number of dark trout throughout this season and fishermen have been hooking them daily with a few in the 3lb range this week. The best spring flies this week for both salmon and trout have been the Gray Ghost, our Camp Fly, JJ Smelt and the Magog Smelt and some limited success on big summer patterns such as the Green machine and the Butterfly. With some spring salmon still moving slowly down the system, expectations are high about the possibility of landing that first Sea run trout or early run Rocky Brook salmon.
With Miramichi'ers enjoying a traditional springtime feed of fiddleheads and smelts, lots of water for boating on the Main River and canoeing on all of the tributaries, it's a great time of year to be enjoying the river - but then again, anytime is a great time on the Miramichi River.
The first 5 days of last week would have to be described as 'fantastic'. The weather was beautiful, water conditions were great and the fishing was excellent, with some fishermen having luck on floating lines and smaller flies. However, sooner or later all good things have to come to an end, so by Friday, with the arrival of the smelts in our stretch of the river, they were the 'Special of the day' on the salmon's menu on both Friday and Saturday which made for slow fishing. Yesterday, and again this morning, our angler guests started fishing the faster water areas, such as the White Rapids, with better results catching both salmon and trout. With lots of salmon and grilse still in the system still feeding on smelts, the numbers of fish landed daily will be down. However the ones that are landed should be the better fighters of the spring season. Under these conditions and considering the time of season, better results may not come in the traditional ways of fishing for spring salmon -
in slow deep water - but rather in the places, pools and faster water that you might normally fish in the summer, even though we are still fishing for spring salmon and sometimes even using floating lines and larger patterns of Summer flies like the Green Machine and Ally Shrimp. Anglers should also start landing some bigger trout before long, using these tactics in the fast water. The best fly this week was a small Black Ghost and a big Summer Green Machine.
By all accounts the past week provided excellent fishing everywhere on the Main Southwest Miramichi and its tributaries. The water levels are at a good height and clean. Overall it was probably one of the more consistent weeks of spring fishing in years as all our anglers had good fishing results. Raymond Hill from Moneta, VA returned for the seventh consecutive year and averaged 14 salmon and grilse a day for a total of 70 in 5 days. This past week was also a great week for trout fishing with fishermen landing many nice trout on a daily basis. Good Spring fishing should continue for a while yet as fishermen upriver 30-40 miles away are still having success. With good weather in this week's forecast the warmer water should speed up more of the upper river fish moving down through the system. Under these conditions it should be a great week for fishermen who enjoy casting using sinking tips instead of the full sinking lines. Flies of choice are still the traditional spring flies such as the Golden Eagle and Renous River Special. The Maribou patterns are also working well but in smaller hook sizes than used earlier in the season.
Since the water began lowering on Thursday morning, the fishing has been great with all our fishermen landing fish. Friday, Saturday and Sunday were all 100+ fish days and a good number of nice big salmon among them. The best fishing occurred when fishermen casted close to shore from boats. Fishing was also good for those fishing from shore over the weekend - the best shore fishing experienced so far this spring. The more successful flies have been the Ken's Renous and Golden Eagle. The cooler conditions this week are great for helping to keep the good fishing for a longer period of time this spring. With the great reports of fish many miles up river, it appears that the good fishing will continue late into May. This is great news as May is a fantastic time of year to be fishing on the Miramichi. With trout season now open, warmer weather, and if good conditions continue, fishermen can start having increased success using sinking tip and floating lines as the fish will rise for the fly a bit more like summer fishing. Spring fish landed in May usually tend to be the better fighters caught in the Spring fishing season. There is still a lot of spring fishing remaining for the lower stretches of the Main Southwest Miramichi.
International journalists visit Country Haven
Michael McRae from Oakland Maine
So far this season fishing has not been quite as good as we had hoped but it has been much better than other locations on the Miramichi River System. Fishing started out well and remained consistent for most of the first week, but a rise in water levels due to warmer weather and the snow melting brought the water up to more normal conditions for this early in the season. The rising water also caused a lot of debris to float down through the system, making for poor fishing over the weekend and into yesterday. The good news is that all the upper ice has now gone and with the upper river ice remaining as long as it did, it looks like our best spring fishing is yet to come. Angling Conditions are continuing to improve daily and our fishermen starting hooking fish again today. The best fly so far this season has been the Golden Eagle and our own Country Haven Cardinal. This week has also been interesting as we have been hosting eight well-known international journalists. The group (photo above) includes David Profumo(UK), Keith Elliot (UK), John Bailey (UK), Richard Bakken (Norway), Peirre Affre (France), Phillippe Boisson (France), James Babb (US) and Neil Freeman (UK). Last evening they were entertained by a number of NB Fly-Tie'rs and story tellers including Peter Clark and Jacque Heroux and also locals Kathy Colford and Marc Madore. With the improving conditions everyone should have some great fishing over the coming weekend.
It is now starting to look like lady luck is on our side again this spring as the ice has been gone now for almost a week over our 15 mile stretch of river. With some beautiful weather on Sunday, opening day, our fishermen landed over 100 Salmon and Grilse and another 77 yesterday making for two great days of fishing to start off the new season. With the water as low as we have ever seen for the start of the season (more like May conditions), fishermen discovered early on in the first day that the fishing would not be like many other opening days, when the best fishing was close to shore. With the lower clear water the fish were hanging farther out in the river than normal and the fishermen that usually have good luck fishing from shore were not having the same luck as in past years. But with our stretch of river free of any running ice, anglers could anchor boats and fish anywhere in the river and those that were doing so were having a great and successful time with their fishing.
We are enjoying the fishing but still taking it day to day as there is still some ice upriver that has yet to move down through the system. If we get any great deal of rain and the water rises too high then there could still be some floating ice for a few days however if the weather warms up and the upriver ice just melts away, then we may never get any floating ice thougout our stretch of river. This works out ideally for us and has in the past, but not as good for upriver anglers as they would rather get rid of the ice as soon as possible. With lots of fish in our lower stretch of river now and fish still holding upriver with the ice, fishing should continue longer into the season this year. With the water as low as it is, it makes for great fishing now but it should rise a bit over the next weeks for this great fishing to continue.
As the old song goes "What a difference a day(s) makes.."! With the opening day of fishing season only days away, after a long winter, everyone is excited about the prospects of getting back on the river. The warmer days this week have done a great job melting the ice. As of now the Bartholomew and the Cains rivers are ice-free and the Lower stretch of the Main Southwest Miramichi is now open from the mouth of the Cains to Gray Rapids (approx. 10 miles) and it is looking like it might be open another 5 miles to Quarryville by the weekend. Above the mouth of the Cains, the ice is deteriorating daily but with the low water and many little islands it is moving out at a slower pace. On opening day, there will be fishing on our stretch of the river, even though there is still some more upper river ice to move down through the system. With the spring salmon usually holding in inlets and back channels there will be many ice-free locations even if the upper river ice has not all moved down by the weekend. In springtime, much of the fishing is done from a boat but with the water at this low height, there are also some great places to fish from shore for anyone that enjoys shore fishing in spring. Another warm day today and some precipitation in the forecast for tomorrow can only help the upriver ice conditions. A 1-2 foot rise of water would do wonders but as of now it looks like it might just continue melting away daily. Things look good! See you next week!
With only a week now until opening day the conditions are not as easy to predict as the past few years when the ice had been gone now for some time. This year, old man winter is hanging around as long as he can on much of the east coast. With some snowfall over the past week, there is not much ice in the river and the shorelines are open for miles in places and the ice is even running out in a few locations. Some years, the ice would have been gone by now but the cold nights have not helped by rising the water to get the ice moving on out of the river. With the warm weather starting Wednesday, we are hoping it will melt the new snow that arrived last week and bring the water level up in the river. How early the ice leaves this week will determine what opening day conditions might be like as sometimes it takes a couple of days for a clean river. For anyone wondering about May fishing conditions, it is now starting to look like fishing will be much better this year than the last two years when the ice went out early and the water dropped quickly. This year, with the ice remaining longer and still lots of snow, the water levels should remain high for a longer period of time, keeping the fish in the river longer and Spring fishing extending later into May. It is still too early to know how good spring fishing will be as much will depend on the conditions, but with all the fish that went up last fall and a late spring this year, it is now beginning to look like the springs of 2002, when a group of fishermen were still landing over 50 salmon and grilse a day in the third week of May, and the Spring of 2003 when Raymond Hill from Virginia landed 74 in 4 days of fishing on May 11,12,13,14th. As of now we are still not sure about opening day but we are confident that if not on the first day, then soon after, we will be fishing and fishermen will again have some great days of spring salmon fishing on the Miramichi.
With fishing season opening day only two weeks away and the onset of spring right around the corner, much of the talk throughout the river valley is starting to be about spring fishing. Many of the fly tyers are finishing up their spring flies, guides and outfitters are beginning to get boats and equipment ready for the season and with the 'locals' starting their 'ice out' predictions, it's a great time to visit a local Atlantic Salmon fly-shop in person or online at Doak's Or Curtis Miramichi River Outfitters here on the Miramichi, suppliers of all your spring fishing needs.
The warm foggy weather at the beginning of the week has seen the snow reducing daily and the ice is opening up along the shore over much of the lower stretch of the Main River. With warmer tempetures throught the day, the ice should continue to erode however with colder nights in the forecast through much of next week, it will probably take a good rain before much movement in the ice is seen before next week. The longer the ice remains, the better fishing might continue later into May, as long as conditions are still good for Opening Day. It's still a bit too early to tell, but everyone has their fingers crossed here on the Miramichi.
A week at this time of year can sure change things.
Last week the snowmobilers were travelling along the river. After a big rain over the past weekend along with warm weather, most of the river is now looking like it usually does at this time of year.
It appears that everything should be fine for the opening three weeks from now.
With only a month until the opening of Atlantic Salmon Fishing season on the Miramichi on April the 15th, it is still looking a lot like winter as the Miramichi river remains frozen and the snowmobilers are still using it on a daily basis. We did have a bit of rain and temperatures rose above freezing for the first time in a while over the weekend but with all the cold weather we have experienced over the past month, it still looks a lot like winter outside. Over the past few years, at this time of year, the ice was not looking as good and there was not as much snow on the ground. So when the ice went out early and the water dropped fast with no snow on the ground, it made April one of our best spring months. There are two good things about having lots of snow. When we do get rain or warmer weather, the higher water helps the ice move out quicker and if there is still snow on the ground after the season opens, the water does not drop as fast in the river and the fsh stay in the river longer before they move back out to sea, which can make for better spring fishing late into May. However with still a month remaining until opening day, it is much too early to guess when the best Spring fishing will be this year. We will be posting weekly reports on how the ice and river is looking up until our opening day for the lower stretches of the Miramichi - so check back often.
YEAR 2006 River Report
Here are the salmon counts for 2006 (as of Oct the 15th) for the two largest rivers in the Miramichi River system. With an increase since 2005 of approximately 6,600 more salmon and grisle for the Main Southwest Miramichi alone, it wasn't any wonder why the river was full of fish almost daily! (all numbers approximate)
Main Southwest Miramichi
11,250 Large Salmon & 29,140 Grilse (small salmon) - Total 40,390
2,560 Large Salmon & 7,590 Grilse (small salmon) - Total 10,150
Total for both rivers 50,540
This does not include the count for the tributaries that are located below these rivers in the Miramichi System. With the excellent numbers of fish now in the system, it looks like we should have some great spring fishing again in 2007. Better make your bookings now!
Another angling season is now over for another year and by all accounts it was a great one! Throughout the season, fishing was excellent, with lots of fish in the system almost all of the time. Last week, our fishermen spent most of the time fishing the great little fall rivers of the Renous and the Cains. Anglers had good fishing on the Cains throughout the week. An interesting thing about the last three weeks, the first week and a half saw a good number of male salmon, the last week and a half were almost all female.
My last day of the season was spent fishing with my 12 year old son Tyler on the Cains as tradition dictates, fishing and enjoying the final day of the season fishing together as father and son. On this day we fished a number of pools using flies tied by him. After all, Valerie Shelton from New Market, NH landed her first salmon on the Cains Wednesday using a Mickey Finn tied by Tyler.
With salmon still rolling for our flies and the sun setting behind the trees to end another great season, we walked away from the Salmon Brook pool and the beautiful Cains River listening to Tyler talk about his fishing successes over the season and all the new fly patterns he would be tying for use next year and also thinking about all the old and new friends we got to meet again this season. It's time like this that makes me think that I am the luckiest guy in the world, living and doing what I love here on the beautiful Miramichi.
We would like to thank everyone that visited us throughout the season. We hope you enjoyed your visit and we look forward to seeing you again in the near future.
Normally the first two weeks of October have seen some of the best fall fishing, especially in low water conditions however over this past week, anglers have not enjoyed as much success as in previous years. A rain at the beginning of the week moved many holding fish out of the pools and it was also one of the slowest weeks this year for fresh ones moving back into the system from the sea. However, with the large number of pools we have use, our fishermen did have some success upriver in the Doaktown area where fish started holding again, and also on the Renous River, as the Renous always has a fall run in late September and early October. Flies of Choice were Ally's Cascade and #6 & #8 Undertakers.
Another successful week with lots of big fish sightings and most of our pools were full of fish. It was one of our better fall weeks for landing fish as anglers had some great fishing at the beginning of the week. On Monday, father and son Dave and JB Berwick from Saint John landed 6 between them in the morning and friends David Korl and Justin Green from Billings Montana both landed four. On Tuesday, Scott Henderson from Knoxville Tennessee hooked seven and landed three - two of them were over 20 lbs. Throughout the week the river remained full of fish but they became a bit choosey over flies to take. Being located below the mouth of the Cains on the Main River, we sometimes land a good number of fall fish destined for the Cains and this past week over half of all the fish we landed were Cains-River-Bound. This suggests that fishing on the Cains might be good this fall.
There were lots of big fish in the river this week but most were not taking a fly as well as anglers would have liked. The majority of the salmon caught this week were large salmon including a 48 lb beauty taken at Black Brook, below the mouth of the Cains. Most of our fish landed were taken on a #10 Preacher including the 16 lb salmon Alexander Strom from Goettingham, Germany landed on his first ever morning of fly fishing. Charles Burns from Charlottetown, PEI returned yesterday for his annual one day fishing trip, landing another one to make him four for four on day trips over the years. Flies of choice were the #10 Preacher and Undertaker and the typical full patterns such as Ally Shrimp and General Practioner.
Fish, Fish, Fish and more big fish holding in all our low water pools, daily, keeping fishermen excited every time they go to the river! With the water at a great height for our low water pools, some of the best fly fishermen from around the world have not had as good a success this past week as they should have. With hundreds of fish holding in some pools the fish were mostly dark and had developed a fall hook indicating that many of them have been in the system for quite a while and almost all the fish that were being taken were bright fresh ones just arriving with the tide. Although many of our upriver pools were full of fish, fishermen have been concentrating more on the pools closest to the tide influx, where the fish are more prone to taking a fly. Fishermen did start seeing more fresh fish moving through the system this week than last week. The best weeks of September this year will, again, probably be the last two weeks of the month. Best Flies this week were the traditional fall pattern of the Ally Shrimp (a fisherman landed three using this fly on Tuesday) and #10 Summer patterns - anything black. We are hoping that the fly of the week this week will continue to be a #8 White Wing Butterfly with red Butt. Joe Herzog from Stafford VA landed a large salmon using a White Wing this morning, within minuts of putting it on. With the beginning of fall foliage and the river full of fish it is a great time for visiting the Miramichi.
The system is full of fish but not a lot of being taken this week. Most of the pools below the mouth of the Cains River on the Main River are full of fish with a good number of large Salmon in the mix. The fish that were landed this week were usually fresh from the sea as the fresh ones usually take a fly much better than the ones that have been in the system for a while. When fishing is good throughout the river and the water is high, fishing can sometimes be best in our pools up river. But when the water gets low and the salmon get more picky, it sure helps to be located on the Lower Stretch of the river, fishing over the freshest fish before they spend too much time moving up the river system. Best flies were the #10 Orange Butt Preacher, Green & White Bomber and a Spring pattern Mickey Finn has worked well in the Blackville area over the weekend .
This August has been our best August in 10 years as almost all of our fishermen that fished with us were successful. We landed fish a total of 28 days out of the potential 31 days in August, making it one of our most consistent months ever. Since the beginning of September, with more fish in the system daily, fishermen have not enjoyed as much success as they did in the month of August. Best fly has been the #10 Orange Butt Preacher.
Another good week for us here on the lower stretch of the Main Miramichi River. Good weather, Good Conditions, and lots of fish! This week was, again, a very successful one, as almost all of our guests landed fish daily, including some first-time fly fishermen like Doug Spotswood from Dallas Texas, who landed three on Monday or Steve Hawse from Pentecton BC who landed two on Tuesday and firs-time-ever angling husband and wife Hank and Lynn Brown from Hartford CT, they both landed Salmon on Thursday. Our experienced fly fishermen also had good luck including Bill Riehle from Cincinnati, Ohio, who was welcomed to the Miramichi Saturday by hooking seven and landing three on his very first day of Atlantic Salmon Fishing. Then there was experienced Scottish fly fishermen Ian Parker who returned yesterday for his seventh time fishing with us, landing two on his Ally's Shrimp for a good start to his week of Fishing. With his great experience and European Style, Ian always manages to enjoy good fishing, often when other fishermen do not. With all the fish we are seeing this morning it is looking like another good week of fishing. Traditionally September and October have been two of the better months for Atlantic Salmon fishing on the the Miramichi river system, and if August is any indication on how fishing might be, then we can't wait. Flies that have worked best for us this past week have been #8 & #10 Black Bear, The Almost, and the Shady Lady.
Another good week for fishing on our stretch of the Miramichi, with good water conditions and lots of fish as most of our fishermen landed fish this week. The fish are now holding more in three of our lower river pools. Fishermen had the best luck this past week using # 10 Black Bear and The Almost. Fishermen started having more luck by week end on the Ally's Shrimp, also one of our favored fall patterns . Great week on the Water.
With the water falling and at a good temperature, almost all of our anglers hooked fish this week, including all of our lady fishermen that stayed with us, starting with Jackie Legere from Bouctouche NB, who hooked 3 and landed one on Monday evening, then returned again yesterday to land another two, with one being a 16 Lb Beauty. Lynn Waters from Pittsburgh PA, and Cissy Alexander from Hartsville, South Carolina, also landed their first Atlantic Salmon on Wednesday and Thursday. Overall, this past week was a good week for Atlantic Salmon fishing on our stretch of the River. All fish landed were on # 10 Bearhairs and Undertakers with the exception of the four Saturday and two Sunday. John Warren from Milton Ontario landed his fish using a big # 6 Orange ButtBearHair. The conditions are great for fishing on most of the lower stretch of the Main River and new fish continue arriving daily. So far, August is turning out to be a good month for us again this year as in some years it has proven to be the best summer month. With two months remaining until the end of Fishing Season on Oct the 15th, we are looking forward to many more days of great salmon fishing here on the Miramichi.
By all accounts we would have to say the first two months of the summer fishing season have been good ones, if not always for the fishermen then great for the fish. With the higher-than-normal water height, some of the upper river camps have had some of the best fishing in years as the fish always had lots of water for traveling. Here at Country Haven, being located on the Lower Stretch of the Main Southwest Miramichi has its advantages as all the fish traveling up the Main Southwest Miramichi have to swim past us to get to other
upriver locations on the Main River and the tributaries of the Cains and Bartholomew. This gives our anglers access to all the fish moving through the system. With lower water usually comes improved fishing as the fish tend to hold more instead of traveling so far a distance each day. With this year's high water, our fishing so far has not been as good as it might have been under lower water conditions, and with so many returning fish, our anglers still managed to have very consistent fishing, mainly in two of our high-water pools, landing fish for seven consecutive days in June also seven and nine consecutive days in July. But the best and most interesting thing this season is we have seen at least a few fish in the river every single day since June 5th - over two months, giving fishermen high expectations every time they head off to the river.
This past week was "lady luck" week for some of our lady fishermen, as Helen Riau from Valeyfield Quebec, Carolyn Drake of Woodstock NB, And Dian Wise from Bolder Colorado all landed their very first Atlantic Salmon, while Kathleen Ledo of Rutland VT., Rhea Boudaoud of Stafford Virginia and Paula Murphy from West Springfield Mass all had great fun trying with only Carolyn having fly-fished previously. A 3 out of 6 success rate on a one-day fishing trip for the Wild Atlantic Salmon is not bad, even with great conditions.
With the water now falling, we are seeing more big August Salmon moving in and starting to hold in our low water pools. In our stretch of river, the water never gets too low for fishing in some of the low water pools so this has made for some of our better fishing over the years, especially in the months of August, September and October as most years the water tends to be lower in these months, so this suggests our best fishing this year might still be coming. #10 Glitter Bear and # 10 Green Butt Bear Hair were the best flies overall for the week.
Another week of seeing lots of fish as our fishermen fished pools between Quarryville and Doaktown, seeing fish in all of them with with increased numbers of bigger salmon starting to hold up in cold water pools, making for good fun for dry fly fishermen. After landing fish for nine consecutive days, our anglers were shut out for three days of mid week fishing when lots of fish were rolling and jumping daily. By weekend on our canoeing and fishing day trips, fishermen had improved success while fishing two of our faster water downriver pools. We are happy to start landing more fish in these pools as the last 28 salmon and grilse we had landed were all in two of our high water pools. The best news on the river this week has been the great number of returning fish reported at the counting station in Millerton - the best return for both salmon and grilse for the months of June and July in 10 years for the Main Southwest Miramichi. This is great news for the Atlantic Salmon and the entire river system. # 8 # 10 Black Bear and Brown White Bombers worked best this week.
Fresh fish have continued arriving daily with the tides, giving anglers a chance of landing one everytime they go to the river. The weather was a bit too warm and sunny for great fishing but excellent for canoeing kayaking and swimming. The fish we landed this week were all grilse on # 8 Wet flies with the exception of the three landed on Bombers, including one by another senior fishermen - 88 year old Doug Hamm from Sackville NB who was visiting the Miramichi as part of the Miramichi Salmon Classic weekend - a weekend dedicated to introducing new fishermen to the Miramichi for some fishing and hospitality. Overall, for a first time event, it was a great success as many anglers fished the Miramichi for the first time and saw firsthand why this River has always been considered as one of the premier fly-fishing destinations in the World.
Another good week of fishing on the lower stretch of the Main Southwest Miramichi and some of its tributeries. Fishermen hooked into 52 and landed 33 at Quarryville on Monday, their best day, and fishing remained quite consistant throughout the week. The Renous river also had some good fishing on most days and a great number of fish continued to swim past our door each day this week as they journeyed upriver, with some of them heading up the Bartholomew River. The Bartholomew is a smaller tributary that enters the Main River in Blackville. Fishermen had some great luck there, in the lower stretch of the river. Our Father and son week started with a 'bang' as 8 year old Sean Lafage from Portland Maine landed his first-ever salmon at 9:15 AM Monday Morning and the week ended at 12 noon yesterday when 90 year old Fred Morgan from Halifax Country Nova Scotia - a life-long Atlantic Salmon fishermen - successfully landed a real beauty using a #4 Copper Killer. Fred landed his fish on the last cast of his 1 and 1/2 day fishing trip, adding to his total of literally thousands of fish landed, and adding another story to tell from a lifetime of memories fishing for the wild Atlantic Salmon. The amazing thing about fishing is to see the same joy shining in the eyes of this 90 year old fishing veterian as in little 8 year old Sean a few days earlier. Fishing has a unique way of making us all equal, no matter from where or what walk of life we might be from. We see it daily while entertaning fishermen from all around the world. Flies of choice this week have been the Undertaker and Green Butt Bear Hair.
More rain, More fish, best fishing the Renous for most of the week as a good run of July grilse started moving up the Renous early in the week and with another rise of water the conditions and fishing were much better on the Renous. With our being centrally located to many of the Miramichie's salmon fishing tributaries, anglers can fish the Renous, Dungarvon, Bartholomew or the Cains - all great salmon rivers - in less than 20 min from our lodge. By weekend, fishermen were again having better luck on the Main River with lots of fish arriving daily on the tide. Fishermen on the lower stretch have been fishing more in conjunction with the tide times. "Right place - right time" results in a better sucess rate. Fishermen landed over 25 salmon and grilse in Quarryville and another 11 on the Renous yesterday. The catching could be better but the good number of fish moving up the system last night and again this morning are as good as any Atlantic Salmon fishermen could hope for. Flies of choice this week were #4 - 6 Green Machines on the Main River and #6 Silver Rats and Butterflies on the Renous.
This past week was a mixed bag of fishing that saw days of many fish although none were landed and other days with no sightings but with fish landed, - days of poor fishing and days of good fishing, especially above Blackville on the Main Southwest Miramichi. The high water was ideal for fishing in the Doaktown and Boistown area with some fishermen saying they had the the best 3 days of fishing upriver they had ever experienced at this time of year. For our stretch of river, the lower the water gets, the better the fishing usually gets. For many of the past years it seemed like Mother Nature was on our side, with low water and good fishing, but so far this summer, with all the rain, the best fishing has been upriver or on the smaller tributaries where the water is not as high. Even though we have been seeing lots of fish, the high water has been keeping them moving right up through the system, sometimes traveling approx 20 km. a day. By the weekend, with the water falling, fishing on the lower stretches started again improving with fishermen landing some fish Thursday,
more on Friday and more again on Saturday, with the best results coming in the Blackville and the Mouth of Cains areas. Most of the fish were grilse, landed on #4 Single hook Bear Hairs and White Tail Green Machines.
With more rain today we might be fishing upriver again by Wednesday
This week has seen much greater numbers of fish on the Main Southwest Miramichi. Like in June, most years, the first major surge of fresh salmon will be on the Northwest followed a week later on the Main Southwest Miramichi. Some salmon in the 25 lb. range have been landed between Blackville and the Upper Blackville Area over the past few days, but the interesting thing has been the good number of grilse this June. Fishermen have had some pretty good fishing but we all hate to think of the great fishing they would have had if the water had been lower with the same number of fish that were in the system. Overall, this has been one of the best June weeks for fish numbers in years and with falling water, fishing should only get better for our stretch of river at Country Haven, with our low water fishing pools. Best Fly #4 Red Butt Green Machine.
Over the past three seasons we have had an 85% return rate among our anglers, which does not leave a lot of openings for new guests however we have some good news, as we are opening another new lodge in early summer! We now have increased availability throughout this summer and fall for fly fishing in our 11 private pools on the Miramichi River System.
This week has seen the greatest number of fish on the Northwest Miramichi, as this is the first river of the system to experience the first run of June Salmon however there were also some good numbers of fish moving up the the Main Southwest Miramichi and its tributaries. With all the rain we received, the fish have lots of water for traveling up the river which makes for good fishing this early in June far up the River System. Some of the smaller rivers where water levels sometimes get too low for canoeing throughout the season are at a great height for fishing and canoeing day trips. With this high water on the Main River the best angling luck has been fishing the points along the salmon's journey, not requiring much wading, and using #4 green, black or brown bugs.
Fishermen have now started hooking a few salmon almost daily on the Main Southwest Miramichi, with all of the salmon weighing between 15-22 lbs. With the water falling and the June run arriving, it looks like we are going to have some good fishing for the start of our summer fishing. One thing is for sure, you will never see any salmon more beautiful or fight any better, lb for lb, than the fresh June Atlantic Salmon.
With the weather remaining beautiful throughout most of the spring it has made for some low clear water and too many smelt so not a lot of action in our stretch of river over the May 7th weekend. However anglers did have some great trout fishing on our guided canoeing and fishing trips over a 17 Km stretch on the secluded Bartholemew river. By Tuesday afternoon fishermen were again having some good salmon fishing between the tidal waters in Quarryville and the fast waters of the White Rapids. Anglers landed another 36 salmon and grilse and 44 trout, some being the largest trout of the season with many of them in the 4 lb range. We finished up our spring salmon fishing season with all our anglers fishing at White Rapids, where this late in the season, the water is faster and the salmon tend to take a fly better than in the slower water. On Saturday and Sunday almost all of our fishermen were still landing big Spring Atlantic Salmon on a fly the guides tied and are calling "The Crazy Thing". Throughout the spring we have had good weather, good fishing and have made some great new friends. We would like to say "Thanks" to everyone who visited us in our most sucessful spring ever here at Country Haven. There are still a few Spring Salmon in the system but our fishing for them is over for another season. We are now awaiting the arrival of the Sea Run trout and the first run of the Rockey Brook salmon, which should be on the move any day now as everything seems a bit earlier this season. Over the past three seasons we have had an 85% return rate among our angler guests, not leaving a lot of openings for new guests but with our opening another lodge in June, we do now have some more availabilty throughout the summer and fall for fly fishing in our 11 Private Pools on the Miramichi River System.
Without any change to the water flow due to the lack of rain this spring the smelts have remained in the system much longer than normal, which makes for easy feeding for the salmon, however fishing has remained very consistant throughout the first week of May with most fishermen landing between 5 to 10 salmon and grilse per day.
Bob Karosy from Connecticut landed 31 in three days of fishing over the weekend and Debby and Irwin Mallory from N.Y. landed 40 between them in mid week, so along with our other fishermen we landed another good total of 267 salmon and grilse and another 66 brookies throughout the week. Most fishermen were still having the best luck on the traditional spring fly patterns. A bit of rain would help to freshen things up and bring the remaining fish down through the system.
We are now almost two weeks into our spring fishing season and the only way to describe the fishing so far is that it has been 'fantastic' with all fishermen at Country Haven landing salmon and plenty of them. All our anglers have averaged between 6-15 a day since season opening, with Paul Carlton and his group from Affordable Adventures leaving this morning after his group landed a total of 244 fish in just three days of fishing. It just doesn't get much better! Our total number of Salmon and Grilse landed is now standing at 1,064 with 35 Salmon being over the 40+ inch range. We also landed 55 Trout in our first 12 days of the season making this our most successful start to spring fishing - ever! The most productive fly so far has been the 'Renous River Special', 'Ken's Renous' and the 'Christmas Tree'. The water is now a bit low again so over the past few days fishermen has been starting to have luck with smaller flies and lighter lines. Some anglers have also started to have luck using floating lines and traditional fall patterns like the 'Ally's Shrimp' and the 'General Practitioner'. The downside is that now the smelts have arrived, giving fishermen a bit of competition as the salmon are sure to be enjoying a feed of fresh sea-run smelts as much as we will be here at the lodge this evening. After the smelts arrive, fishing sometimes slows, but only for a few days as it then picks up again, with the Salmon putting up an even better fight then before the smelts arrived. A bit of rain is in the forecast for early next week and by then it will be needed for our great fishing to continue long into the Month of May.
Another great start to another fishing season here on the Main Southwest Miramichi. On opening day, Saturday the 15th, the weather was beautiful and the fishing was fantastic as our group of fishermen landed 122 salmon and grilse on opening day. The spring fish this year are in great condition, giving anglers lots of action. The first Salmon hooked in 2006 at Country Haven was by Jason Thibodeau and the largest one landed on opening day was a 48 incher successfully landed by Craig Thibodeau. Both Jason and Craig were from the State of Maine. Aafter three weeks of almost perfect weather, rain finally moved in overnight Saturday and the river rose on Sunday and Monday but with only a little snow left in the woods this spring the water only came up to a good height for spring fishing on our stretch of the river. Although it is a bit dirty, fishing has remained very consistent with each angler landing between 8 to 24 fish on Sunday and 6 to 21 yesterday. It now looks like most of the rain is behind us so the river should start falling again and fishing should continue to be good as there are reports of good numbers of salmon and grilse many miles up river. They will be continuing to move down thought the system over the next few weeks, giving fishermen lots of fun along the way. The most productive flies so far this spring hves been the Renous River Special, Christmas Tree and the Pink Lady.
Things are looking great for the start of our 2006 fishing season as the ice has all gone. The weather has been great over the past few days and the water is at the same height as on opening day last year - just a bit lower than on most opening days over the years, a great height for fishermen who enjoy casting from a boat. Have Fun on the Water and always think safe.
The fishing season is starting to look like things should be great for opening day here on the Main Southwest Miramichi. With the warm weather we have been having throughout the past week, the ice has been melting away like a snowball in July. Over the past couple of days it has started breaking up in a few places and has moved between Blackville and White Rapids, a stretch of approx 6 miles, with open water in a lot of places. Still lots of upper river ice to come and the water is a bit low - some rain would help at clearing the ice left on the riverbank - but most of it should be gone before opening day on April the 15th. Let's hope we still have some of this beautiful weather still around by then. If you plan on heading to the river for opening day, we recommend using sinking line and having at least one Renous River Special in your flybox. This is also a great time of year to visit a fly shop in your area that also caters to Atlantic Salmon anglers, or better still, make an online visit to any of our local fly shops or make them your first stop upon arriving on the Miramichi. They they will know what is working best from day to day and are always happy to help guide you in your gear selection. Good Luck to you for another fishing season and let this be the year that you take that special someone fishing. Father & Son/Daughter or just a good friend that you always knew will truly enjoy the experience .
YEAR 2005 River Report
Here are the salmon counts for 2005 (as of Oct the 15th) for the two largest rivers in the Miramichi River system. (all numbers approximate)
Main Southwest Miramichi
7,840 Large Salmon & 25,940 Grilse (small salmon) - Total 33,780
4,870 Large Salmon & 10,260 Grilse (small salmon) - Total 15,130
Total for both rivers 48,910
This does not include the count for the tributaries that are located below these rivers in the Miramichi System. With the excellent numbers of fish now in the system, it looks like we should have some great spring fishing again in 2007. Better make your bookings now!
Another Angling season is now over on the Miramichi with the exception of the Tabusintac and the Bartibogue as these rivers remain open until the 29th of Oct. By all accounts it was another great season for us here at Country Haven. Overall, from the spring through the fall, it was not as good a fishing seasons for anglers as in past seasons. Although the fish were there, the water fluctuated almost daily from all the rain we received making it the wettest year on record for Atlantic Canada. Our most successful months were June and August with some very good times throughout the year, just not as much luck as in past seasons. But on the other hand it was a very good year for the fish, as they had lots of water to move through the system. Although the numbers have not yet been finalized the number of large salmon that have returned to spawn was up again and the grilse numbers were about the same as last year so this is looking good for Spring 2006 fishing and the future of the Atlantic Salmon on the Miramichi River.
From all of us here at Country Haven, we would like to thank all of our returning and new guests who visited us throughout the season. We hope your stay with us was a memorable one and we look foward to seeing you all again.
With the water remaining high, the best fishing this week has been on the tributaries of the Dungarvon and the Cains. Our canoeing and fishing trips on the stretch of the Main River from Doaktown to Country Haven also produced some fish. The fishermen doing the Cains River run had the best results as there were always a good number of fish available throughout the trip. For any fly fishermen to stand in the silence of the Cains - it being one of the best little fall Atlantic Salmon rivers in the world, surrounded by nature and fall colors, with each cast anticipating that tug from the greatest game fish of them all - for a fly-fishermen, it doesen't get much better than the Cains in the fall! Best fly was the Mickey Finn on the Cains, Ally's Shrimp on the Main River, Rusty Rat on the Dungarvon and nothing working on the Renous. With another rain over night and more in the forcast, it might be another week of shore fishing on the main river and more day canoeing and fishing trips on the tributaries.
With the remnants of Hurricane Rita dumping more rain on us at the beginning of the week, fishing has begin to look more like spring fishing than fall fishing, but it does have its advantages. With the high water, fishermen can travel with a guide by motor boat, stopping to fish the high water pools - sometimes fishing 5 or 6 pools a day - instead of 2 or 3 when the water is lower, and with the high water, fishermen are having most of their luck fishing from shore using fall patterns. Many fisherman are excited about the thought of doing more fishing on the tributaries of the Renous, Cains and Dungarvon this fall, as these rivers should have some good fishing as a result of the high water. We are also looking forward to our canoeing and fishing day trips on the Cains, as the fall foliage and fishing conditions are looking great for these fall Salmon River runs. Each week we welcome guests from around the world and we always look forward to our returning guests, like our friends from France who returned again last week for their two weeks of fishing. It was also a great pleasure, for the past two weeks, to host 5 senior fishermen from England with 4 of them over the young age of 80, a joy to see their zest for life, enjoying nature and all the little things most of us younger folks take for granted each day. With plans to fish Norway next year and again with us in 2007, it doesn't look like they are planning on slowing down any time soon. With our many years in business hosting fishermen from around the world, each departure always amazes me as to how much we have learned from them and reminds me how luckey we are to be doing what we are doing here on the the Miramichi.
Most of this week, fishermen fished our high water pools by standing on the riverbank and not having to do any wading at all. For our groups from the UK, they felt right at home as this is like the way they are used to fishing back home, standing on the riverbank and casting their long lines with their spey rods. Our returning group from France also had some luck fishing the Cains and Renous. Over all, fishermen did manage to hook approximately 60 fish over the week but lost most of them as they were always hitting short. Most of the fish hooked were on fall patterns, but when we did land one, it was usually on a #6 Summer Fly Pattern. Not a great week for us as we usually have the best fishing when the water is low, as most of our fishing is done in our low water pools. With the water remaining high, the fish are moving through. If you don't hook them on the first roll, the fish probably won't be back. The good news this week is that we have finally started to see more of our fall run of fresh fish entering the system.
Fisherman are still landing a few grilse daily but not a lot of large salmon have been landed throughout most of the week, and just as the water was getting back to a good height again in our low water pools, another rain resulted in another rise of 4 feet. Fishermen are having the best luck fishing from shore and not having to wade in the water. It looks like we might have some good fishing on the tributaries this fall as during some of our past seasons the water remained too low until the end of the season.
With almost a four foot rise in water at the beginning of the week, fishermen had some fantastic fishing with the water on the rise as most of the fish in the system started moving up river. After a couple of days rising, the water got too high. With most of the fish being Main River fish and not heading for the Cains, the better fishing over the weekend was up river in the Doaktown amd Boistown area. Fishermen did manage to land a few fish in one of our high water pools in Upper Blackville and with the water falling again it is now looking good for our down river pools. Best flies were the #4 & #6 Butterfly and White Tail Green Machine.
Water is low and lots of fish are holding in our down river pools, with fishermen picking up a few fish daily using # 8 and #10 wet flies and Bombers. 14 year old Terry Hacket from Greensboro, North Carolina landed his first Atlantic Salmon on Wednesday morning, a 22lb'er on his first morning of fly fishing for salmon - a good way to start the day for a boy a long way from home! With the warm water, the fishing has been best early in the mornings this week.
Lots of fish throughout last week as the low water has been keeping them in our low water pools and preventing most of them from moving up through the system. Many of the pools - from the mouth of Cains river down - would remind you of an aquarium, with the number of fish in them! Sometimes, even with lots of fish around, the Atlantic Salmon can be a tough fish to catch, and even harder to land, as most of our group from International Truck Association of Canada found out this week. All our fish landed this week were on a #10 green butt bear hair and Bombers.
A bit too warm for good fishing and after all the fish landed last week, including 46 in one pool alone, this week has been a letdown. Each week we have a number of guests from around the world fishing with us and this week was no exception, with Hayden Long, all the way from Australia, 7 times returning guests Mike Marr from Rhode Island and from Scotland, long time fishing friend Ian Parker, who, with various conditions throughout the years, can always manage to pull a few from the water each trip. I would have to think our most interesting guest this week had to be Dennis Musgraves from Alaska. After successfully landing the King, Red, Chum, Pink and Silver Koho - the other species of salmon from around the world - the Atlantic salmon was all that was needed for him to become a member of the Royal Salmon Slam Club. So on Friday evening, with the first cast, he succesfully landed a 15 Lb Atlantic to become one of only a select few to qualify as a member of this exclusive Club. What better place to fullfill a life-long dream than here on the Miramichi. Overall, the first part of the week started out slowly but with the water rise and cooler temperatures on Thursday, fishing again picked up into the weekend so with the better conditions we are now experiencing and with more rain in the forecast, we are hoping to have some good fishing this week. Best Fly used was a #8 Bear Hairs wet and Bombers Dry
"It doesn't get any better than this", 84 year old Tom Lawson from Sarasota, Florida said after landing his eighth Atlantic Salmon in his two days of Atlantic Salmon fishing ever and all of us at Country Haven would have to agree with him. We have just experienced one of our most successful weeks of summer fishing ever with almost all of our fishermen landing fish daily including all of the children that fished with us this week. Although we fished 9 pools on the Main Southwest Miramichi all of the fish landed were in two of our down-river pools. The fish always took well as they were arriving on the tide each day. The best flies this week were the #8 Undertaker, the Crossfield, White Tail Green Machine, and the Miramichi Cosseboom also fished well. Still lots of fish moving but lets hope the warm weather today doesn't continue long as it may slow things down again.
Fishing this week would have to be described as fantastic, as the water cooled and by early in the week the run of fresh fish again began moving into the system so, with some beginner's luck, all our fishermen from the age of 9 to 90 landed fish daily from Tuesday afternoon on. Fishermen landed 27 fish in one pool alone throughout the week. Best flies were # 6 White Tail Green Machine and Green Butt Hair.
At the start of the week, it looked like we might be in for some good fishing, With the run of fresh fish moving into the system, we had lots of fish and great water height. Most of the time, with other things, 2 out of 3 isn't bad. But not with fishing. As the weather soared between 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit and the Atlantic Salmon being the smart fish that they are, it didn't take long for them to decide the best place to be was in the cooler water of the Bay, and for those that were already in the river, they headed for the mouth of the brooks and deeper holding pools until the water cooled. Not good for fishing but great for viewing and photographing salmon in their natural habitat. Best fly wasa "Kodak Moment"
The beginning of the week didn't see much action on the Main River but fishermen did fare a bit better in some of the tributaries like the Dungarvon usimg dry flies. With cooler weather the fish that were holding at the mouth of the Bartholomew and Black Brook moved out and fishermen upriver had some pretty decent fishing on Friday and Saturday. The best news of the week arrived yesterday evening and has been continuing throughout the night and morning with a fresh run of July fish arriving from the sea.
They say all good things must come to an end and so, after a very good June, our first week of July wasn't anything to write home about. Most of the fish in the system were those that were still holdouts from our June run with only a few new ones arriving on the tide, so fishermen had to work hard for every fish landed.
June finished strong with a good run of salmon moving through the system daily. With the water remaining low enough in our stretch of the river, fishermen enjoyed some very good fishing throughout most of the last three weeks of June. The best fly for the month was a # 6 white tail green machine.
So far this month it is looking like it might be one of the best June's for a number of years, as the Main Southwest Miramichi and most of its tributaries have seen a very large return of salmon and grilse - they keep arriving daily with every high tide. The first part of the week was much like the previous week with our best fishing in pools upriver as the water height was good but by mid week, with the water falling, the lower stretch of the river was THE place to be. Fishermen landed 17 salmon and grilse in one pool on Thursday and a good number in most of the other pools. One guide said that the only fishermen that didn't land any fish on the river must have been those who did not want to! The Renous river was also fishing well throughout the week and into the weekend. The best flies have been the Green Machine and Ken's Special.
Another good week for canoeing and fishing the tributaries as the water has remained high with the rain we have been receiving. This week has also been good for wildlife sightings on many of our trips. Fishermen have landed salmon, some river trout and our first two summer grilse of the season on the main river and there have been a few reports of shad entering the system - good news for anyone who might be interested in fishing for them. Shad fishing can be fun using light tackle.The best news this week is the good number of fish we see moving up river each day this early in season. The salmon landed have been again caught on # 4-6 green machine with white tail and grilse on a # 6 Cossboom with trout caught on a number of flies including the white tail green machine which again looks like it remains the fly of choice among fishermen here at Country Haven.
As we now move into the summer fishing season, not a lot of fish have been landed so far, even though there have been a good number of salmon moving through the system this early in the year. With the water still a bit high compared to the past few seasons, all our fishing is being done in high water pools as the low water pools haven't formed much of a shape as of yet, and it is a not as easy to get a fly over them. The best sucess for landing fish at this time of season under these conditions, is a bit of luck and to be in the right place at the right time while they are moving through, unlike later in the season when you might be fishing cold water holding pools that sometimes hve hundreds of fish in them as you try to intice them with your fly. A couple of our guides and a few fishermen did manage to land some salmon this week. Colin Turner from the UK landed his first-ever Atlantic salmon today, on the Main River, and Shawn Ketchum of Ontario landed his first-ever grilse on the Renous. There have also been good reports received from the Northwest Miramichi this week as the water is at a good height for most of the tributaries, for both fishing and canoeing. All fish landed this week were caught on # 4 -6 green machine with white tail.
Not a lot of changes from last week as we are now at our "in-between stage" from Spring to Summer fishing season with a few straggling spring salmon and some river trout to fish for, and a few reports of bright trout on the way. The water is at a great height for canoeing almost any of the Miramichi's tributaries, an excellent time for a trout 'fishing and canoeing combo'.It is also a good time for visiting your local fly shop as most now have a good selection of summer flies and some of our local Miramichi shops are offering summer specials on rods, waders and accessories.
With our Spring Salmon season now over for another season, we would like to take this time to thank everyone who visited us or helped in making it another great spring season. We look forward to seeing you all again next year and for those of you who will be visiting us for our summer season you can start getting excited, as last year was our most productive year in our many years of operation. Many believe the terrific fishing is due, in part, to the closure of the commercial fisheries off the coast of Greenland. So with a higher number of returning grilse and salmon over the past few seasons, there is reason to be excited as we start another summer and fall season here on the Miramichi.
Another week of unpredictable weather and fishing conditions with only a few fishermen on the water this past week. The anglers that are still fishing are picking up a few spring salmon and a few river trout daily. Axel Lereche from Germany landed 3 salmon on 4 consecutive days within 2 hrs of fishing each day last week. Fishermen were using Renous Specials and Christmas Trees for Salmon, and Maribous and Mickey Finns for trout
Although there has probably been more salmon in the river this spring then in previous years, so far this spring has turned out to be one of our most inconsistent in a number of years! Weather has been in the high 70s with great fishing on some days, with rain and not so good fishing on the next. With the changing weather patterns and influx of water, fishing has not been as good as it should have been throughout this spring. This past week has seen some good fishing on Tuesday and Wednesday with all our fishermen landing fish on both days. After 83 year old trout fisherman Dr. Irvin Hamlin from East Millinocket, Maine landed 11 Atlantic Salmon on Tuesday and Wednesday - his first Atlantic Salmon ever - he was wondering why he had waited so many years to try fly-fishing for Atlantic Salmon. By Wednesday, another run of smelts arrived and the salmon decided they were a bit tastier than the flies we were offering, so fishing again slowed into the weekend. Most of the salmon that fishermen are still landing are some of the biggest so far this spring. We are still seeing and catching a few spring salmon and trout daily, but it's still a bit early for any sea run trout, and our summer run of salmon is still a few weeks away, so our spring season is starting to wind down for another year. Best flies so far are the Renous River Special and Grey Ghost.
Traditionally the first week of May has always been considered by fishermen as the most dependable week for spring fishing on our stretch of the Miramichi River. But the past few seasons have suggested otherwise, with the best fishing occurring in April or later in May, but this past week has again been our most consistent so far this season. Our fishermen landed over 200 fish during the week, with a good number of very large salmon among them. Irwin Mallory of Hunter NY, landed 33, all while casting, and his wife Debby also had another great spring fishing trip, landing a few less then Irwin, but doing something most spring fishermen never do in a life time - landing a 20lb Rocky Brook Summer Salmon on the early date of May 5th while fishing for spring salmon.
Raymond Hill from Virginia has been the most consistent spring fisherman, landing 20 or more each year throughout his 6 consecutive years of fishing with us. He landed 29 in 4 days last week but didn't come close to his record of 74 in 4 days in the second week of May 2003.
With the great weather and fishing this past week it was a good time to have been on the Miramichi. With the rain we received on Saturday it, fishing slowed down again for yesterday but with the water again falling, we are expecting some more good fishing into next week as there are still lots of Big salmon in the river. Fishermen have also been catching more trout over this past week .
They say be careful for what you wish, for as most were wishing for rain to rise the water a bit and bring some more fish downriver, we actually received a rise of 5 feet which was certainly not what we were looking for. Paul Carleton's group from Affordable Adventures had some pretty good fishing on Monday with the water rising but Tuesday was a wasted day with only a few fish being landed anywhere on the river. But just as fast as the water rises it sometimes falls off again and by Wednesday afternoon some fisherman were again landing fish. By Thursday when the water was looking good and fishing was improving again, another inch of rain landed slowing fishing into the weekend. But with the arrival of the Malory group yesterday, from the Catskills of NY, the weather changed for the better and so did the fishing as all our 10 fishermen landed fish today with a lot more of them being over 40 inches in length. With good weather in the forcast, the water falling and the fishermen and guides seeing more fish in the system then they have seen so far this spring, it is now looking like our best spring fishing might again be in May this year. The best flies so far this spring have been the Kens Renous, the Christmas Tree and the TNT Special.
The first week of the fishing season was again successful this year with temperatures in the 60's to 70's for most days, and a good number of fish in the system. Fishermen enjoyed some pretty decent fishing throughout the week. The numbers were not as high as last year due to the low clear water that you usually don't have on opening week.
The best numbers of fish landed were by Blaine Hanz from Boston, who landed 33 in two days, and by 12 year old Shane Curtis, who landed 29 on Saturday and Sunday - four less than the 33 he landed on the same two days last season.
Most of the fish landed so far have been grilse or salmon less than 40 inches in length. Most of the bigger salmon are yet to move down through the system. The best flies this week have been the Renous River Special and the Kens Renous.
This morning, after a long winter, it sure looks good to look out at the river and see the Miramichi flowing almost free of ice, as most of the ice from above Doaktown to Quarryville has now run out of the river. With the warm temperatures we are experiencing, the Miramichi River should be free of Ice by the weekend so things are looking good for the start of our Spring season on the 15th. After the great run of salmon and grilse last summer and fall, we should have some excellent spring fishing this year.
Here are the final 2004 counts for the two largest rivers in the Miramichi river system. Like everyone was predicting, all of the Miramichi rivers saw an excellent return of salmon and grilse this season. (all numbers approximate) The Main Southwest Miramichi: 11,240 large salmon - small salmon (grilse 32,130) - total 43,370 The Northwest Miramichi: 3,980 large salmon - small salmon (grilse 13,640) - total 17,620 Total for both rivers: 60,990
This total does not include the count for the other tributaries that are located below these two rivers in the Miramichi river system. With these excellent numbers of fish in the system, it looks like we should be in for some more great fishing again next spring.
After our first week of fishing this spring is starting out to be our most productive opening week ever. With perfect weather conditions, the exception being some wind on Wednesday, the weather and the fishing has been fantastic. With an average of 6 anglers fishing each day they have landed approx 528 in only 8 days of fishing. Jerry Dugal of Freeport, Maine had the best 2 consecutive days of fishing landing 57 on Saturday and Sunday. 10 year s old Sean Curtis of Old Orchard Beach also had beginners luck, landing 27 in two days - just like a seasoned professional. Yesterday, Anthony Vellali from Middlebury, Ct. had the best day, landing 26. Most fishermen have been having the best luck casting, using the Renous River Special.
The ratio so far has been 70% Salmon and 30% grilse with most of the salmon being between 32 to 34 inches in length. They have taken a few over 40 inches but most of the larger ones have yet to come. The water is a bit low for this early in the season but we are expecting some rain over the next week to keep things stable and result in some more great fishing.
Predictions for the ice-out date amongst 22 guides resulted in only only two with the correct date of April 12th. Long time guide Percy Mountain, who tells me he is almost always right, and our Guide Elvis hit it right on the nose. See ya on the river!
The first part of the week has again seen some great weather and fishing, but not quite as good as numbers seen last week. Fishermen have been landing more and bigger salmon throughout the week using slightly smaller flies. By mid week the water got low and very clear for this early in season. It makes for some good casting from shore but with the conditions as they are, the fish are becoming much more selective on which flies they choose. We have been seeing many more fish moving and jumping thispast week, as some of the upper river fish are now moving down. The trout season opened yesterday and fishermen are catching some trout each day but we now need a rain to get the salmon biting again.
After most of our April fishing season, which was one of the best ever, the first few days of May were slow but not because of a lack of fish as they were everywhere, jumping out of the water and rolling. With the rain on Tuesday they decided to start biting again with most fishermen having good luck throughout the week, landing almost all large salmon. Irwin Mallory of Hunter, NY landed 9 and Peter Mychajliw of Port Washington, NY landed 8 on Wednesday with all of them being 34 inches or larger in length and all hooked on a Mickey Finn while casting.
So far this spring, the largest salmon landed was this past week, measuring 47 inches and caught by James Bowen of Waterville, Me.
With the water still falling and being very low for this early in the season, on most days fishermen are still having some good spring fishing. The smelts have arrived and this makes for some competition for the fishermen but it also makes for a greater fight from the salmon after a few days of feeding on smelts. Although fishing has slowed a lot from earlier on in the season, there are still fish moving out and with a rain we could see a few more days of good spring fishing. Almost all of our 14 guest who fished over the weekend landed salmon and trout with the Gray Ghost Fly being the most productive.
The river is now beginning to look more like July as some of the pools are taking shape and a few fishermen are using summer patterns hoping to luck into an early Rocky Brook Salmon that have been seen moving up river. With the low water condition they can be seen easier than most years. Overall our spring fishing season was another great one here at Country Haven, with most guests landing fish daily. Although this year the best fishing was in April instead of last year's May, anglers landed salmon on 27 of the first 30 days of fishing. The most productive date was April 18th and the most productive fishermen was Carl Hans of Boston, landing 68 in 3 days along with Jerry Dugal of Freeport, Maine who landed 57 in 2 days of fishing. The largest salmon were 47 inches - two of them. The most productive fly was the Renous river special. Although fishing wasn't as consistent as last spring there were more fishing days and with more anglers, we managed to have our most productive spring fishing season ever, with fishermen landing approximately 1275 salmon and grilse and over 125 trout.
We would like to take this time to say thank you to everyone who helped us have another great spring season and we look forward to seeing you all again next spring!
This past week has been the in-between week for us as it is normally the time for putting away our spring equipment and getting everything ready for our summer salmon season. It is too late for spring salmon and a bit early for any significant numbers of our bright summer runs. Not many fishermen on the water except for those trout fishing and they have been catching quite a few dark trout and a few sea run. We had a group canoe and fish the Bartholemew river over the weekend and they landed 39 trout in two days! The water is now getting a bit low for canoeing in some of the tributaries but the main river is at an excellent height for canoeing and also for the start of our summer fishing.
There have been some reports of a few brights being hooked on the Northwest and two at the mouth of the Renous so it looks like the next few weeks should be a good time to be on the water. You will not see the quantities of fish you normally see later on in the season but they are more aggressive and when you hook into one, pound-for-pound there is no game fish better than a fresh June Salmon. Our most productive fly in June over the past few seasons has been a # 6 white tail Green Machine. The Mclaughlin group did their annual 2 day canoeing and fishing trip on the Cains river over the weekend and again this year, had some good trout fishing. This is a great time of year for seeing the Miramichi by canoe... good weather, good water, and great scenery. Fishermen have been landing more of the sea run trout throughout the past week then in previous weeks of trout fishing, with the orange butt brown bug being the most productive fly.
Fisherman over the past week have been having better luck salmon fishing with a few more being hooked each day in the lower stretches of the Main River. So far, all the fish being landed have been salmon between 12-16 lbs, - short, fat and fighters for their size. The water is now almost at a summer level, great for fishing the Main River but becoming a bit low for fishing some of its tributaries.
Another week of salmon being landed most days with the best luck still being on the White Tail Green Machine, and this week, the stretch of river between Blacklle and Upper Blackville has been the most productive. The Shad and Gaspereau have arrived in full force and some more trout are travelling with the Gaspereau. Still not any great numbers of grilse to speak of in the river yet. The fishermen that are having the best luck are those that are in the right place at the right time as the salmon are on the move. The bit of rain we received yesterday is starting to bring the water up a bit and it has risen by 4 inches since yesterday and the Renous is also on the rise. We are now starting to do more of our canoeing and fishing day trips covering approx. 10 miles of water, stopping at a numbe of pools along the way and with salmon fishing picking up on the river, the only tough decision for our guests, is choosing between our upper river tour or the lower river one.
Angling improved again this week with more fish showing up each day. The water conditions are excellent with good height and good temperature and with more salmon then grilse in the system. There have also been a few salmon landed on the river this week measuring over 40 inches in length. Anglers were having success on traditional summer patterns such as the Green Machine, Bear Hair, Butterfly and the Rusty Rat on No. 6 and 8 hooks.
Another week of good numbers of fresh fish moving through and anglers are having some good success. This week has seen more grilse than salmon, with most grilse taking Green Machine and Butterflies. The salmon seem to be more interested in the Bear Hairs and the Undertaker. The Wild Atlantic Salmon can sure be unpredictable as to what fly to choose, why they jump and also their time of arrival, but there is one thing we do know for certain and that is this June they have returned in greater numbers then we have seen in the month of June for a number of years. Let's hope it continues for the entire season!
This past week has seen another week of very good quantities of fresh fish moving into the system each day and there have been twice the number of salmon and grilse entering the millerton count trap this year compared to last year at this time. We are also seeing a very good number of salmon parr in the river this year. This is encouraging for the future of the river.
This week, with all the fish, good conditions existed most of the time as the water temperatures did rise to the low 70's on Thursday then dropped back down to the low 60's yesterday, resulting in the fish being more fussy then in the past few weeks of our summer fishing.
Generally the fish are still moving rather then holding. The flies of choice have been the usual small summer patterns and, again this year, it seems that on some days the novice fishermen will always outfish the seasoned fishermen.
It was also another great week for wildlife sightings as we spotted moose, bear, deer and bald eagles on our trips. So with all the fish we now have in the river and the main summer runs about to start, it should be a great time to enjoy a fishing vacation.
Angling this past week had a bit of everything, as the first of the week was fair-to-good depending on what time of day you were on the water. Midweek fishing was slow but should have been much better with the great numbers of fish, good water levels and temperatures, and by the weekend, without any significant changes in anything, fishing was fantastic, as fishermen had the best fishing of our summer season. Yesterday some fishermen reported two to three hookups by different fish on the same cast. Many of the hookups didn't result in fish landed, as a lot of the fish were hitting short, but it was still a great day to be on the water. Flies of choice were just about anything from the summer fly patterns.
Monday continued to be another good day to be a salmon fisherman on the Miramichi! With daytime temperatures reaching 80 and 90 degrees for most of the week, the water temperature went up and the fishing went down. By Thursday and Friday the cold water pools were full of fish that were not interested in anything, but with fishing things can change one way as easy as it can the other, often from day to day. So with the main key ingredient for good fishing all ready in the river; the salmon, a good rain Friday night and a lot cooler temperatures, yesterday found fishermen again having some good fishing with most of the fish landed being grilse hooked on the Shady Lady, Undertaker,and the Preacher. Even though most of the fish being landed are grilse there are still a good number of large salmon in the river and we have seen many big ones holding up in the cold water pools throughout this past week.
This past week turned out to be one of our most consistent weeks of summer fishing, with lots of fish and cooler water temperatures on most days. It was also a great week for the novice fishermen as on Tuesday morning, 17 year old Jacob Wells of St. Catherines, Ontario, became as hooked for life on flyfishing as the salmon were by him, as he hooked 3 and landed 2 grilse in his first morning of work. Wednesday, 14 year old Paul Hains and his 16 year old sister from Atlanta, Georgia, both landed their first grilse while participating in our down river canoeing and fishing day adventure combo. Thursday, 15 year old Tristam Standfield from Stouffville, Ontario had the best fishing luck of the day. Friday saw Helen St. Jean from Valleyfield, Quebec outfish her husband Paul, who has many years of Atlantic Salmon flyfishing experience. Saturday, Delbert Lawlor from England outfished his brother George, who was again the fisherman with the most experience and yesterday morning, Brittany Noll from Raleigh, N.C. celebrated her 14th birthday while landing her first Atlantic Salmon. Everyone knowsthat when you are fishing for the greatest game fish in the world, hooking them isn't always easy but the reward of landing one will always be worth it. The most productive fly of the week #10 Squirrel Tail.
The beginning of the week was much like most of the summer with a good number of fish throughout the system but by midweek, instead of fish being in all the pools they began to hold up in greater numbers in only a few of the pools. So fishermen concentrated on the pools with the most fish showing rather than the pools that are traditionally fished at this time of year. Some fisherman did have good fishing days throughout the week but there were still a lot more being seen than landed. In the early part of the week the best fly was the #10 Squirrel Tail and Bear Hairs but by the weekend, with cooler water and the fish on the move again, the fly that was working best was the #8 White Tail Green Machine. One of our guides, Ken, finally getting a day off Saturday, did what a fishing guide on the Miramichi does on his day off - he goes fishing of course. He managed 14 hookups between the morning and evening. With most of the fish that were holding moving again, fishermen will be fishing the upper river pools over the next few days or the down river pools for the fresh ones as they arrive with the tide. If these great numbers of fish continue into the fall it is sure to be one of the best seasons in many years
Fishing has remained guite consistant again this week as it has been most of August, with a good number of fish in the system and fresh ones arriving each day. Some of the fish that we see staying in the same pools for days at a time usually don't take well but when fresh ones arrive into the pool with them. after a while
they all seem to start taking better. Most of the fish landed this week have been fresh from the sea. With a rise of 8 inches in water things freshened up for the weekend. A bit of beginners' luck again this week as Jill Delong from St. Foy Quebec landed 2 on her first day of Fly-fishing and Barbara Curtis from Fort Lauderdale Fla. landed one, using a Bomber, on Saturday - her first time fly-fishing. Overall, with the exception of a few slow days due to warm water tempetures, we are having a very good summer of fishing. Flies of choice this week were the #10 bear hairs with red or green butts on low water days, and # 8 white tail green machines on days with the water rising.
Another week of fish being landed almost daily, but not in great numbers. The cooler nights are keeping water temperatures better for fishing than it has been for most of the summer. Our best luck over the past couple of weeks has been in the pools between Quarryville and the mouth of the Cains River as most of the fish seem to be holding up in this lower stretch of river. But each time we receive rain and the water rises by 6 inches or more, the fish start moving and we are sure to get a couple of good days of fishing in our pools above the mouth of Cains as well. The best flies this week were Bombers and Bear Hairs. The # 8 Almost, has also been working well in the evening. We are starting to have some luck on the great fall fly, the Ally's Shrimp as Lowell Selvin from California used it to land one on Wednesday and Peter Chirila from Pittsburgh, PA landed two on it Friday. With the cooler nights we are having, fishermen are starting to try some fall patterns while fishing some of the fall pools. We are not wishing summer away but it does remind us of how much fun fall fishing can be here on the Miramichi.
For any fishermen who enjoyes fishing dry fly over hundreds of rolling atlantic salmon then this past week was a good week to be on the water. With lots of fish holding in the lower river pools, a rise of water at the beginning of the week, and cooler temperatures, some fishermen had good fishing. John Payne Jackson from Millersville Maryland returned after 4 years, for 3 days of fishing, to fullfill his dream of landing an Atlantic Salmon on the Miramichi, as he had lost every fish he had hooked here on his last visit. After losing two large salmon Wednesday he thought it was 1999 all over again until he landed one 16lb'er Thursday and another 11Lb'er Friday. We also had the pleasure of hosting a group of Ladies from the Lady Reelers fishing club from Long Island NY this week and if they were salmon fishing, lobster fishing, canoeing, or just sitting around a bonfire, these ladies knew how to have fun. We would of liked to keep Grace Liesto here for a while longer just to watch her dry fly fishing demonstration. This week has seen more large salmon being hooked then grilse as they are now many large salmon in the river and new ones are arriving daily. We have already seen a few fall grilse with their small hook-bill and copper looking sides, moving into the system. Although most of the fish taken this week were on Brown Bombers with white tails and the brown whiskers. Fishermen did land some fish on wet flies using a #10 undertaker or bear hair with red or orange butt. The rain in todays and tomorrows forcast is what we now need again to stire the fish up and continue the good fishing into the fall.
This August has turned out to be one of our best months ever and after the first week of September there is still some great fishing. 13 of the 15 guests who visited us this week landed fish, and a good number of large salmon among them. With a good rain and the water rising on Monday, Bob Mackenny from Edgecomb, Maine had some beginner's luck on Monday, landing a 9 lb, 16 lb and a 21 lb'er before noon - all on a White Tail Green Machine. Tuesday was the only day throughout the week as the water had risen a bit too high from the rain. Wilson Kistler, 13 years old from Washington, DC had fun outfishing his dad Andy, landing the biggest of their 9 salmon landed in three evenings of fishing. The rise of water moved most of the fish that were holding in the low water pools, up river and it seemed as though many of them were Cains river fish as the fishing was great on a number of pools on the Cains on Thursday and Friday. Although the rise of water did move a lot of fish upriver, fishing remained consistant in the lower stretch of the Main river as the rise of water brought a good surge of fresh fish into the system. Fishermen at Quarryville landed 75 on Friday and over 40 on Saturday. In the early part of the week the best fly was the White or Yellow Wing Butterfly on a # 4 or # 6 hook. But by weekend it was the Ally's Shrimp or the White Tail Green Machine on a # 8 hook that was working the best.
The beginning of the week was much like our fishing earlier on in the summer, with the water a bit high for the low water pools and with the fish moving. The best fishing each day was after a high tide while fishing the high water pools. By mid week the fish had started to hold again and fishermen were having the best luck using the traditional summer and fall patterns. Fishing has remained quite consistant over the past 2 weeks with 18 of our last 22 guests landing salmon and a good number of them were heading for the Cains River. With another rain on Friday the Main river had risen over 3 feet by the weekend so the past couple of days have been a great time for our guests to fish the smaller tributaries like the Renous and the Cains. With nice weather, good water and fish, it is looking good for our fishing and canoeing day trips on the Cains river over the next couple of weeks. The fishermen that have been fishing the Main river over the past couple of days have been receiving lots of hits but not very many hook ups as the fish are hitting short! But with fresh fish still moving into the system with each tide and the water falling, there should be good fishing again in a few days on the Main River. But until then we will be doing much of our fishing on the beautiful Renous and the Cains. Like they say, 'its a tough job but someone has to do it'.
With the water high at the beginning of the week, fishing was slow in the lower stretches of the river as most of the fish moved out of the holding pools and started moving up river. Fishermen had the best luck in the pools of the Main river, above the mouth of the Cains and on the Cains and Renous Rivers. By Saturday and yesterday, fishing was again improving on the lower stretch of the Miramichi. The Ally's Shrimp, General Practitioner and the Butterflies worked the best.
It was another good week to be a salmon fisherman on the Miramichi River as most fishermen had good luck throughout the week. Long time friend, Phil Auclaire from New Hampshire, returned again and had his best fishing in 3 years. The most productive fly this week was the Almost and the Orange Butt Bear Hair in day time, and the Ally Shrimp in the evening. All of the fishermen with us this week landed fish with the exception of Debbie Mallory from Hunter Mountain, New York, who always outfishes everyone during her spring fishing trips. These past few weeks have also been good for our whale watching tours as there are a good number of whales around this season. We could now use a bit more rain, but with lots of Salmon still moving into the system and the fishing season extended for another week again this year (until Oct 22) on our stretch of the Miramichi river, there is still lots of good fishing remaining before the end of the season.
After last week on the river, it is easy to see why most of the traditional Atlantic Salmon fishermen enjoy spending the last week of September fishing the Miramichi. For many long-time returning fisherman, the end of September used to mean the closing of the fishing season. With cooler temperatures and lots of fish, anglers from around the world have made fishing the Miramichi in late September a tradition and this past week was no exception as it was the busiest week of the season on the river.
Fishermen were treated to some beautiful fall foliage, great weather and some pretty good fishing. Although fishing wasn't as consistent for the week as some of the weeks we have had throughout the season, there was still a great number of fish in the system and all our fishing guests this week landed fish, with Saturday and yesterday being the best days, with most of the fish landed being very big Salmon. We 'Miramichiers' have always known that the Miramichi River is a great Atlantic Salmon river but it makes it extra special to hear it from fishermen who have fished for salmon all around the world. Six Atlantic Salmon fisherman from France, who have been fishing Atlantic Salmon for 12 years around the world in such places as Ireland, Scotland and Quebec, fished 9 pools on the Miramichi while visiting us this week and even though it wasn't one of our best weeks they left claiming it truly is the best Atlantic Salmon river they have ever fished! Fisherman had the best luck this past week on a #10 Almost, Undertaker or the Black Bug and a #8 Ally' Shrimp was still working well in the evening. Although the water is quite low, there are still lots of big Salmon in the river system and we are still catching fresh fish daily, so fishermen should have some good fishing until the end of the season!
October 11 Another week of big fish as most of the fish landed were very large salmon. There have been a great number of fish in the river everyday but most of this fall, the water has remained very clear and has not turned to a darker color like it usually does this time of season. This has made for the best fishing on small summer flies instead of the traditional fall patterns that usually work best in September and October. Six fisherman from Conneticut had some great fishing at the beginning of the week as a fresh surge of fish moved into the system but by weekend, with lots of fish showing, some good fishermen friends couldn't seem to 'buy one', so it gave 10 year Tyler extra pleasure to land one with his third cast on a General Practioner Saturday evening. Overall it was another good week on the water as there were always lots of salmon to fish for!
The fishing season was extended for another week on our stretch of the river and with the rise of the water fishermen should have some pretty good fishing throughout the extension but we ended our season over the weekend with only a few guests and friends, including Luke Dyer who fished with us for the last couple of days of the regular season. Again this week there were some nice salmon taking along the river but with the summer-like conditions and clean water there were far too many sightings of fish for the number of hook ups. With the exception of only a few slow times, due to hot weather conditions throughout the season, there were always great numbers of fish in the system and fishermen could always go-to and return-from the river with good results or very high expectations for the next day. With all the fishermen and guides we have spoken to throughout the season, the great return of salmon and grilse to the river, and the high number of smolt and parr that were in the system this year, we all agree that the future for the Atlantic Salmon on the Miramichi is looking brighter than anyone has seen in years. From all of us at Country Haven to all the old and new friends who visited us from around the world, we say "Thank You"! Another season is over and the only downside to it all was saying good-bye to all the wonderful people. At this time we would like to again say 'thanks' to all of you - and the fish - for helping make this our most successful season ever and we look forward to you visiting us once again in the future.
Here are the final 2003 counts for the two largest rivers in the Miramichi river system. Like everyone was predicting, all of the Miramichi rivers' saw an excellent return of salmon and grilse this season. (all numbers approximate) The Main Southwest Miramichi: 11,830 large salmon - small salmon (grilse 24,440) - total 36,270 The Northwest Miramichi: 3,730 large salmon - small salmon (grilse 6,740) - total 10,470 Total for both rivers: 46,740
This total does not include the count for the other tributaries that are located below these two rivers in the Miramichi river system. With the increasing number of fish in the system, it looks like we should be in for some more great fishing again next spring.
The Fishing season started for us on Monday the 21st as on opening day on the 15th, there still was too much ice in the river. The first of the week we started landing a few Salmon and grilse each day, but with the spring runoff the water was too dirty for great fishing, but by Thursday night the river peaked and started dropping again. As the water starting to clear, our fishermen started landing more salmon and grilse by Friday. Today was one of our best fishing days in April, with the weather at 60 farenheit and fantastic fishing! Our fishermen landed 73 salmon and grilse with a good number of salmon 40 inches or more in length. Dale Chapman of Brewer, Maine, and Philip Gallucci Of Cape Merrick, Maine, both landed 12, and Paul Carleton of Affordable Adventures from Portsmouth, NH, landing 11. The best fly today, by far, was a 5/0 Renous River Special. For Miramichi weather, visit our website and click on the Weather link.
Today is another great morning on the Miramichi, as the water is dropping and the fishing is great. On Sunday the fishing was good with most fishermen landing between 5 to 8 salmon and grilse per day but with the rain, the water came up over a foot by Monday and fishing slowed down for the day, but we still managed to have some beginners luck as James Poland of Glenburn, Maine, landed 2 Salmon on his first morning of salmon fishing, with one measuring over 40 inches. The water fell again and cleared throughout Monday night so fishing again, yesterday, was great. Fishermen from our lodge landed over 40 salmon and grilse and Gilman Gagnon of Fort Kent, Maine, landed 15 of them. Gilman had the best fishing of the group again this year. The best fly was the Pink Lady and Renous River Special.
Today is another great day to be fishing on the Miramichi, with a beautiful morning, great fishing conditions, and fantastic fishing - what more could a fishermen ask for! So far this spring, fishing has been great, especially on days when the water has been clear and falling, as most fishermen have been averaging between 5 to 15 salmon or grilse each day. Friday was a special day for 84 year old Harry Kearney, one of the best known and well respected Guides in the state of Maine, when he was reunited with his long time Miramichi Guide Darrell Warren. Harry and Darrell had spent 15 years fishing togather on the Miramichi river and in Nothern Maine. After 8 years, Harry showed he had not lost his touch, as he landed 7 salmon and grilse with his first seven lines. Philip Torgon, of Wingate, Rhode Island, had the best luck of our fishermen over the past few days, landing 14 on Friday and 19 Saturday. With Philip being a first-time salmon fishermen, he is now calling his Guide Elvis "The King". Fishing was a little slower yesterday morning but picked up in the afternoon as our guests still managed to land 23 between them. Fishermen are also starting to catch a few trout in the 1 to 2 1/2 lb range. Most of the trout taken have been on a 4/0 Black Ghost.
Another great week of fishing on the Miramichi as most fishermen are still landing between 4 to 15 salmon or grilse each day. The fish are still holding up in places so when fishermen find these holding areas they sometimes can hook into 10 to 20 grilse and salmon before having to move. The fish still haven't started moving down river in any great numbers so we should still have great fishing for a while yet. With the rain over the past few days there are high water levels. This past week was the "week of the Lady Fishermen" as Nikki Andolsik from Brantford, Ontario, outfished her husband, landing 22 Salmon and grilse on Monday and Tuesday. Friday, Debra Mallory of Hunter Mountain NY hooked into 18 and was almost perfect landing 17 with a few being 40 inches and over in length. We also had some more beginners luck on Friday as Christopher Daniels of Peacham Vermont landed 6 salmon and 3 trout on his first and only day of Salmon fishing on the Miramichi. He said he will be thanking his wife for a long time for the Country Haven Gift Certificate she gave him for Christmas. Our most productive fly this week has been the golden king.
Another great week of Fishing on the Miramichi as fishermen are still catching good numbers of fish. Debbie Mallory had another great day on Sunday, landing 12 more for a total of 29 in 2 1/2 days of fishing. Anyone visiting the ski Resort on Hunter Mountain NY. should stop by the Orvis Fly Shop and talk to Debbie or Irwin who can assist you in choosing fly-fishing equipment instructions, or booking a fly-fishing trip with us on the Miramichi River. Raymond Hill of Roanoke VA returned again this year and had the best fishing of our guests With 15 on Sunday, 15 on Monday, 21 on Tuesday and 23 on Wednesday for a total of 74 Salmon and Grilse in four days of fishing - with most being hooked on the Golden King or Pink Lady. With the weather in the mid seventies yesterday and today, the salmon have started jumping and moving downriver more and a few fishermen have started catching them using floating lines. With the good number of salmon still in the system we should have some good spring fishing for a while yet. We are also catching a few trout each day but only in the 1 to 1 1/2lb range - still a little early for the fresh sea run. The smelts are now up river as far as Blackville. Great weekend to be on the water!
Another great spring salmon fishing season is winding down on the Miramichi as most fishermen are now starting to catch more trout then salmon over the past few days. There are still a few spring salmon in the system but they have been feeding on smelts so they are not very interested in salmon flies. This season has been consistent each day, most of the time, as fishermen at Country Haven landed a total of 1033 salmon and grilse ranging from 22in to the largest at 48 inches in length. The best flies were the Renous River Special and the Pink Lady. The only fishing for the next couple of weeks will be for the fresh runs of sea trout and shad that are starting to enter the river system water. The river is still at a good level for canoeing and trout fishing on some of the Miramichi River tributaries like the Bartholemew or the Renous and the brights are just around the corner. We are looking forward to another great summer of fishing!
This week has been an 'inbetween' week as far as salmon fishing goes. Most of the spring salmon have moved out and there are still not many fresh ones coming in yet. This is a time to switch over to summer fishing equipment. It is also a great time for visiting your local fly shop and stocking up on summer fishing gear. Along the Miramichi there are a number of great shops to visit; in Doaktown-Ponds, and everyone has heard of Doaks. Doaks have been offering uncompromising quality since 1946. In Blackville, visit Miramichi Curtis Outfitters as they are running some great summer specials on rods and waders. They also have a large selection of summer fly patterns tied by flytier Marc Madore. In Renous stop by and visit George's Flyshop where you know you will always be greeted with a smile and up-to-the-minute river reports.
The rivers are staying higher than last year at this time but some pools are starting to take shape for summer fishing. We are starting to see some salmon moving up river each day. This early salmon run is destined for the Miramichi headwaters, we call them the rocky brook salmon. These salmon move quickly, travelling many miles a day and if you are lucky to be fishing in the right place at the right time when they move through, they usually take a fly aggresively - you will always have a fight on your hands! They usually run 12-14 pounds, being the shortest and the fattest but not the largest of our Atlantic salmon. Fishermen have been starting to hook a few between Blackville and Doaktown area on #6 Green Machine. Over this past weekend the McLaughlin group did their 14th annual 2 day & one night canoeing and fishing trip from Cashon's Landing on the Cains to the Main River, landing 45 trout with many in the 2-3 pound range. Mostly on #6 Bombers and Butterflies. The water is still great for canoeing on the Miramichi tributaries.
The runs of 12-14 pounders are showing up in greater numbers in the past week than in the same period over the previous few years. Fishermen are starting to land fresh fish daily on the main river and a few have been hooked on the Renous and Dungarvon rivers as well. A group from Heritage flooring saw quite a few salmon moving this morning. Martin Guenette landed a 15 lb beauty on a #6 Green Machine. Richard Wellh and Donnie Bauer - trout fishermen from Arkansas - were trying salmon fishing for the first time and were excited to land one this afternoon, so now they can compare the fight of an Atlantic Salmon to the large trout they have landed in Arkansas.
Our summer fishing season has been off to a great start! A large number of salmon are moving throughout the Miramichi River system with many of them being two sea winter salmon between 10 to 15 pounds,though this past week there have been many more larger salmon in the 20 lb range among them, not many grilse yet though fishermen have started landing a few. Over the weekend, with the clear and hot weather, although they were many fish moving up river, they were being more selective as to what flies they chose. With some cloud cover and cooler temperatures today, fishermen again had some good fishing. Lets hope it continues and the warm weather that is predicted for the next few days does not have much of an affect. So far this has been one of our best June month in Years!
The best thing about this week is that we are still seeing more salmon moving up the river each day than in the past few years. Some fishermen had some luck at the first of the week but by mid-week, with temperatures over 90, the fish were starting to hold up in the cold water pools. If the number of salmon that have moved upriver in June is any indcation as to how the rest of the summer will go, then things are looking great!
Another beautiful morning on the Miramichi and with the rain we received throughout the night the water has risen 7 inches. There are more fishermen heading off to their favourite fishing pool this morning then we have seen in over a week. They know that this could be the first day of the start of the grilse run that should start taking place just any day now, and with all the rumours of the grilse being spotted in the Bay everyone is hoping the rain and cooler temperatures will keep them moving. Fishing hasn't been that great with the warm water temperatures over the past week but each day fishermen are still managing to land a few along the river system. At our lodge this week it seemed to be the week of the fishermen from Arizona as we had 3 different groups, all from the Flagstaff area. Like they say, its a small world sometimes!
This past week has shown some promise. There were some good days of fishing but the big runs we normally receive this time in the past seasons, still await us. Overall the water height is good and water temperature decent. Generally there seems to be a good trickle of fish - mostly grisle - with a few big salmon with them, but they are moving right through and not taking very good. Our best fishing on the Main river was on Thursday with some grilse landed in a number of pools but by weekend the best fishing was on the Renous with a good number of grilse being landed in 3 pools on the lower stretches. The fly of choice this week is still the White Tail Green Machine.
This week has once again proven that you can never predict the wild Atlantic Salmon as they travel on their journey from the coast of Greenland to the Miramichi River, and why they are still one of the most sought-after game fish in the world. Many fishermen returned from around the world, this week, to their favorite locations on the river, expecting the great fishing they have experienced over the past seasons. Although the conditions were good, there were still very few fish landed each day. The fish that have been coming in with the tide have been on the move again this week and even on days when the water started to warm, they were not holding in the cold water pools. the fisherman that did have luck were always in the right place at the right time. As some of our sports fished over 20 pools on 4 rivers throughout the week without any great amount of luck. The fish that were landed were all fresh grilse. All were caught on a # 8 White tail Green Machine or a # 6 White Wing Butterfly. So far, June has been much better than July this year. Each week we entertain guest from around the world and this week was no exception with guest from Rhode Island, British Columbia, California and Denmark, but I think the father and son from Naples, Florida - who spend a month each year travelling across North America by automobile, fishing - was the most interesting. At 15 years of age there aren't too many fishing holes Connor MacDonald and his Dad have not fished . The only province not fished is Newfoundland and the only state is Alaska. What a great way to spend summer vacation! Though the past week has been disappointing for some fisherman, the future looks good for the weeks to come, as we know it can only get better. When our July run does arrive we should have some great fishing. Yesterday Fishermen reported seeing and catching more fish at Quarryville then at anytime since a week ago Saturday. I guess if we always had the Atlantic Salmon figured out then they would be just another fish and might not be referred to as the King of game fish.
"FISH ON!FISH ON!" have been the words spoken most often by fishermen on the Miramichi river, from Thursday afternoon on, as the rain we received on Wednesday brought the water level up by 2 feet. With the rise of water and cool temperatures, fishermen have been experiencing some great fishing throughout the weekend. With almost as many salmon as grilse being landed, most luck has come using a # 6 White Wing Butterfly or a Brown Bug. We should continue to have good fishing for some time to come with these excellent fishing conditions.
Fishermen have experienced some great fishing throughout most of this week, although there have been many more grilse than salmon landed this week. As the water began dropping and started to clear, most luck has resulted from a # 8 Coburn Special, somedays and on a Shady Lady on other days. This week has been another great week for novice fly fishermen as most have had good luck their first time out. Yesterday and today the best fishing seemed to be between Blackville and Quarryville as most of the fish taken were fresh, arriving with the tide. Although we have seen many more fish while fishing pools between the mouth of the Cains to Blackville - with many large salmon among them - they have been far more selective as to their choice in flies. If we receive the rain that is forecast for the next few days then we should see some more great days of fishing up-river as all the fish move on up. It was also a great pleasure to spend the weekend fishing with well known outdoor writer and photographer Paul Marriner, as he spent the weekend with us at Country Haven. His great books are a must-read for any outdoor enthusiast.
Overall, fishing has been good and judging by the number of fish being seen, it could be even better! Fishermen have been having the best luck fishing from shore and not having to do any wading. The rain received has brought the water levels to almost spring height and most fish are only a few feet from shore. This is ideal for the novice fisherman as they have been hooking them on a short line using a #4 Butterfly or Green Machine with white tail. With a good number of fresh fish moving up each day in some of the lower pools on the river, but not as many on the upriver pools as usual, it appeared that many of the fresh fish we had been seeing were destined for the Bartholemew River, as over the weekend, fishermen there had good luck on it's lower stretches, landing 12 Sunday and over 20 all within 2 hours on Monday morning, with most being fresh from the sea. The Bartholemew River is a small tributary of the Miramichi that ends in Blackville after running through Central New Brunswick's woods for approx 30 miles. The Bartholemew River is best approached using small river techniques, covering as many of the pools as possible. This is best done by canoeing with the right water conditions. With the exception of a few pools, most pools might only have a few fish in then not like some of the bigger pools on the main river that might be full on some days. Fishermen also had some good luck around the mouth of the Cains on Sunday and Monday morning but with the water still rising, fishing slowed by afternoon and evening! The good thing about the high water conditions is that water temperatures should remain cool for a while and there won't be many complaints about low water conditions this August.
This past week has seen another great week of great water levels and conditions for August, so fishermen have been seeing a goodly number of fish moving each day. There has been a good mixture of salmon and grilse but even though there are a good number of large salmon, most of the hookups have been grilse on #8 and # 6 green machines with white tails, for wet flies, and big green bombers for dry.
The first few days of the week were much like last week, with lots of fish seen, and the novice fisherman almost always out-fishing the experienced salmon fishermen as most of the fish have been moving upriver very close to shore due to the high water. The beginner fisherman have been lucking out close to shore and not having to cast a very long line. The only downside to the high water condition is that we haven't been doing much fishing in our low water pools this August as some returning fishermen have became accustomed to doing. From mid week, fishing was the the slowest in over a month but first-time Atlantic salmon fisherman Paul Bellamy of Jonesville, Virginia, still managed to land at least one every day of his 5 days of fishing, all on a # 8 Green Butt Bear Hair. With some good high tides expected next week we should see some more fresh fish move into the system
We don't know if it is the great water level and cool conditions or if it has anything to do with the Greenland Atlantic Salmon Fisheries announcing, last year, a complete moratorium on Atlantic salmon fishing, but we have been seeing a greater number of returning salmon and grilse throughout this season with a lot of very large salmon among them. From last Sunday evening most of the river from White Rapids to the mouth of Cains has been like an aquarium full of fish, the most some local fishermen say they have ever seen in August. Yesterday, Nato Kaiba of Japan counted 77 salmon and grilse jump on his first trip through a pool before seeing the 78th one, a 20lb., beauty on the end of his # 8 green butt bear hair. This morning, Don Haller from Corpus Christi, Texas, on his first ever flyfishing trip, landed 2 salmon, both on a # 8 Shady Lady. Most fishermen are still having the best luck with small wet flies but there are also some being hooked on the Brown Whiskers dry fly.
This past week had a mixture of some good and some bad - the good being some great conditions and more fish in the river during this timeframe than anytime over the past few seasons, but the bad thing was on most days you needed to be a Philadilphia Lawyer to figure out how to catch them, as they have been making fishermen work hard for every one they catch as they have not been taking as good as might be expected for all that are in the system. Most of our luck came in the pool closest to the lodge but each day we would see all the other pools so full of fish we would give them a try! We would always return back to the same pool as before to have any luck however. Most of the fish are still summer fish as the fall run has not yet started but a few of the grilse we landed have been hook-billed grilse. Most of the salmon landed are still summer run salmon. Some more beginner's luck again this week as 17 year old Christopher Winebar of Maineville, Ohio, outfished the more experienced fly fishermen throughout the week. Throughout this summer we have seen a higher number of fishermen than in previous years arriving with spey rods instead of the one handed rods that have been traditionally used on the Miramichi. Over the past month we have had fishermen using spey rods from Scotland, Ireland, England and Japan but we have also seen more fishermen from the Western US starting to use them as fishermen are realizing that the Main Southwest Miramichi with some of its large pools is ideal for spey rod fishing. Yesterday and today, fishermen had the most luck on #8 or 10 shady ladies or green butt bear hair. Some more beginner's luck this evening as Lynn Hardy from Ottawa hooked 3 and landed 1 on a green butt bear hair in one of our down-river pools. With fresh fish arriving daily on the tide and the great number of fish already in the system, all we need is a little rain to get the fish and all the Atlantic Salmon fishermen in the world excited about the good fishing we should experience this fall on the Miramichi River
Not a lot of good to report about the fishing throughout this past week except that the river is still full of fish and the water is now low enough to fish all our low water pools on the lower stretches of the river. With crystal clear water, fishermen have been doing sight fishing in some pools using # 10 12 wet flies and a large selection of dries with limited sucess. For some trout fishermen from Virginia, fishing atlantic salmon for the very first time, you would think fishing was fantastic with all the excitement they have shown with every roll or rise they got from a Salmon. Seeing so many fish has given fishermen a high expectation for sucess each day and although they are not landing many they are sure having fun trying. We are still seeing some fresh fish arrive with the tide each day and we did land our first Cains river salmon Thursday evening. The fish have not been too active through the last few crazy, hazy, lazy days of summer, with temperatures reaching the high 80s to low 90s on some days. We now need rain to get the fall fish moving and fishing like fishermen have become accustomed to over the years in September and October. Tomorrow will see a different mixture of fishermen as we will have a Bass fisherman from Texas, a trout fisherman from Missouri and a steelhead fisherman from California - all trying Atlantic Salmon fishing for the first time.
Another beautIful week to be on the Miramichi, with great weather, and although the fishing hasn't been the best we have seen for this time of year, there has been an improvement in hook ups from last week. We did manage to land fish on most days from Wednesday on, and while doing some fishing and canoeing trips from the lodge to Quarryville on Friday and Saturday, fishermen were catching fish in most pools as we sailed through. On Friday, fishermen were landing salmon at The Jardine pool in Barnettville, 2 fishermen had fish on in a pool in White Rapids and a fisherman was fighting one at Quarryville. We also managed to land a 12 lb. Cains river salmon at Mom's pool in the morning on a # 10 Green Butt Bear Hair. Since Saturday morning, the fly of choice for us has been the Chief Needabah after Wayne Bigelow from Toronto started seeing some action while sight fishing over 20 salmom in a pool we had fished over for 2 days with different fishermen with little success. It only took Joel Macdonald from Port Charlotte, Florida three casts on Monday morning to hook a 20 lb hookbill also on a Chief Needabah, in a low water pool down river. Some fishermen were also having some luck on the red and orange butt bear hair. The highest tide this week is Wednesday morning at 5 Am, might help bring some more fresh fish into the system.
Like we have been saying over the past few weeks, fishing isn't as good as it should be for the amount of fish that are in the river, but we did see some improvement over the last few days. With most of the fall run still yet to come and the fishing season on our stretch of the river extended to the 22nd of Oct this year, we are still expecting some more great fishing before this season is finally over.
"Great fishing but not great catching" seems to be what the fishermen were saying along the river again this week. The fish are rolling and jumping out of the water, sometimes even spashing the fishermen as if they were taunting them. The fish that we did manage to hook this week were all on the General Practioner or Allie Shrimp patterns. Some older local fishermen say they have never seen many more fish but they also have never seen the water so clear this late into the season.
This week we also discovered that when fishing isn't at its best you will be lucky if you have a few 'good old boys' from Charlotte, North Carolina among your guests - they sure have a way of turning everyone's trip into the 'trip of a lifetime'. We have the fish - all we need is for them to cooperate more!
Some positive signs this week for our fall fishing season. The beginning of the week started much like last week but by Wednesday we started receiving some rain and the river rose by one foot by Thursday. On Wednesday and Thursday many fish were taking all along the river system thanks to the higher water level. Three high tides of 4.9 feet this week and the water finally starting to darken to its fall colour. Fishermen started to see some better results. A bit of beginner's luck again this week as James Narens from Texakana, AK, hooked two on his first morning of Atlantic Salmon fishng, but Eric Grinnell, owner of Silvertip Outfitters discovered Atlantic Salmon can be much more challenging to catch, and even harder to land when you do hook them, compared to some of the big Rainbow he guides fishermen for on the Bow River in Alberta. Over the past few weeks most fish we hooked throughout the day have been on #8 and #10 summer pattern, but during the evenings, all fish have been hooked on the fall pattern. The exception was well-known fisherman Harry Ptosynski, from Coper Wyoming, who landed almost all of his fish this week on a #8 Almost, including 3 yesterday with one of them being a 21 lb female, landed in the evening. With more rain last night we are hoping we might also get some fall fishing on the Cains and Renous rivers again this year. What a wonderful thought! With the extension of the fishing season on our stretch of the Miramichi this season from the 15 to the 22th of October, we still have some great package and openings for the week so give us a call.
This past week seemed to have the most of the fish upriver as the rise of water last week moved a lot of the fish that were holding in the lower pools up river, and the new ones that came in each day kept on moving through. Yesterday Bob Bowser and his friend Randy Richard from Moncton had some good fishing in a pool upriver as Bob hooked 5 and landed 3 using an LT Special, with one weighing 30 lb. His friend Randy, a rookie fishermen, also landed his first Atlantic Salmon on an LT. The water is still low for the Renous river but some fishermen are starting to have good luck in the low water pools. There are some very large salmon in the river this year. The size of some of these giants sometimes amazes even the veteran Atlantic salmon fishermen.
The Miramichi Angling season has now come to an end and by all accounts it was another good one, particularly in the goodly number of fish in the system. At times the catching wasn't great but the fish were always there. With our doing over 100 canoeing trips of at least 10 miles each day, there was never a day we didn't at least see fish. Overall it was a very good season for large salmon, as last year we had a very high number of grilse which meant that the large salmon stayed out. This year we had a very good return of female spawners so this bodes well for the future of salmon fishing on the Miramichi. The returning count for Salmon and Grilse as of Oct 15th were; on the Main Southwest Miramichi approx 11,190 large salmon and 23,960 grilse. The Northweast Miramichi had 3,570 Large Salmon and 6,610 Grilse. This is not the final count for the season but an indicator of the expected great results.
YEAR 2002 River Report
Here are the final 2002 fish numbers for you: (all numbers approximate) Adult returns of grilse and salmon to the miramichi River this year: Main Southwest Miramichi: 8,800 large salmon, 20,500 small salmon (grilse) for a total of 29,300. The Northwest Miramichi: 1,600 large salmon, 16,800 small salmon (grilse) for a total of 18,400. The total for the two Miramichi rivers was 48,200.
This total does not include the count for the other tributaries that are located below these two rivers in the Miramichi river system. Scientists predict a strong large salmon run for 2003. A good run of small salmon (grilse) one year is usually followed by a good large salmon run the next year as the fish mature. In 2002 the grilse numbers were the highest since 1996 and with the closure of the commercial salmon fishery off Greenland in 2002, there should be lots of large salmon in 2003.
Week one April 22.
The fishing season at Country Haven on the Main Southwest Miramichi River has been under way for over a week now. We had some great days of fishing throughout the week with all sports catching salmon and grilse - and lots of them. Tony Vellali of Middlebury Ct. landing 19 on Wednesday and Thursday. Throughout the weekend, fishing slowed a bit due to the cold temperatures. The fishing and weather was great again Monday and Tuesday. The hot spot being right in front of our lodge.
The water is at a great height and quite clear, making it good for fishing from shore as well as from boats. As for the best flies, the fish seem to be taking everything. The most luck has come on some experimental flies that Marc Madore of Miramichi Curtis Outfitters tied for us.
Week Two April 29
This past week has seen just about everything from great weather and lots of fish on some days, to snow and few fish on other days. Overall this week had more quality of fish than the quantity of fish that we had last week.
Paul Carleton of Affordable Adventures and his group returned again this year and caught some large salmon with Lawrence Woodward of Cape Elizabeth Maine, landing 2 at 43 inches and one at 44 inches. On Saturday, Gary Taylor of Ellsworth Maine landed one 48 incher but all the fishermen have their fishing stories about the one that got away that was larger than 48 inches. Richard Lemieux of Maine landed the most fish of the week.
We have also been catching some trout this week. The water has been dropping each day and is quite clear. The best flies this past week have been a Quebec fly called the Pink Lady and a fly that two of our guides tied called the Wig fly. Looking foward to some better weather starting on Wednesday.
Week Three May 8
We started the week on Monday with rain and not a good day for fishing, but on Tuesday Doug Cyr of Cyr Travel and some friends of Maine arrived and with them, as only a travel agent could arrange, came great weather and some good fishing.
Donald Pelletier and Gilman Gagnon caught the most fish of the group and the best fly was the Joe Smelt.
On Friday, Bob Donaher and his son, from Ottawa, returned again this year and landed 6 on Friday, all caught around the Blackville Bridge Area, using a Golden Eagle. Saturday was windy and slow for this time of year but on Sunday things picked up again with Raymond Hill from Virginia having the best fishing of the group using a small Gray Ghost. The water is staying clear so we are starting to have the most luck with smaller flies. On Sunday some of our guests fished in the tidal waters at Quarryville but we are still having the best luck up river, right in front of the Lodge. The water temperature is still much colder than at this time last year. The temperature helps to hold the salmon in the river longer though we have started seeing a few salmon jumping in the middle of the river, indicating that some of them are moving down stream.
Week Four May 12
Throughout this past week fishing was slow for having so many fish jumping and rolling but most fishermen caught fish daily. The water is very clear and we are using smaller flies. The water is 10 degrees colder then this time last year so this is keeping the fish in the river longer. If this keeps up we might be still catching spring salmon while fishing for our summer run in June. Raymond Hill and Charles Henthorn of Virginia had the best fishing of all our guests this week. On Friday morning Ted Kennedy of Toronto landed 7 on a Tipped Shrimp.
Week Five May 16
Anyone who thought that spring fishing might be over for another season should think again, because over this past week, fishing has been great!
Sunday was slow but ever since David Eng of Maple Ridge, British Columbia landed 3 large salmon on Monday on a General Practitoner, it's been the fly of choice among our fisherman. Jermany Dugal of Durham, Maine released 3 over 34 inches on Thursday, his father Gerald released 4, with one over 40 inches on Friday. Saturday was just as good as 6 fisherman landed over 50 fish among them. On Friday and Saturday we also had some good Trout fishing. The salmon are also feeding on smelts so this can make for a great fight between fisherman and salmon.
Week eight June 9
Our spring fishing is now over for another season and overall we had some great fishing with almost all our guests catching fish daily. Some of the highest numbers in one day came in April but our best fishing throughout a week occurred during the week of May 13th through 21st. There are still a few spring salmon in our river system as Lewis Jardine landed a spring Salmon while fishing in Quarryville on June 1st. Fishermen were also catching some nice trout last week in the 3 lb range, using a Red Butt Brown Bug, also in the Quarryville area. We are now waiting for our first summer guests to arrive. The water is falling and the high water pools are starting to take shape. We hope there will be as many fish in our river this year as there were last year, and if this cool weather trend continues, we should have some fantastic summer fishing.
Week one ending June 22, 2002
Our Summer fishing season got under way over this past week with some great weather and water conditions. The first couple of days were slow for salmon for a fisherman from Germany and one from Boston, but it only took Irwin Mallory of Hunter, NY 3 casts to hook and land a beautiful 15 Lb salmon on Friday morning on a # 6 Green Machine with a white tail, followed by a number of nice trout on a Brown Bug Red Tail. They have been catching a few salmon around the mouth of the Bartholemew in Blackville. We made a canoeing trip to Quarryville on Thursday - not many fishermen on the river - but we spoke to a fisherman at Black Rapids who had caught salmon. Also, the fishermen at the mouth of the Renous landed 3 salmon on Wednesday. We fished the Renous River on Wednesday morning and caught some nice trout. This Morning we woke to see a large doe deer on our river bank and more fish moving up river then we have seen anytime so far this summer.
Week two Ending June 29
Fishing at the beginning of the week was good with Robert Kent of Newton, Mass., hooking into a number of salmon and landing 3 of them on Tuesday using a # 8 Green machine with white tail. And how about the day adventure of fishing and canoeing that Eugene and Jan Provicit of Toronto took on Wednesday, when Eugene wanted to fish and Jan wanted to see the sights. Eugene landed 2 salmon and Jan spotted a moose and Cub bear throughout their 5 hrs. of fishing and 3 hrs of canoeing. However toward the end of the week the water temp got in the high 70 degrees and on our canoeing trips to Quarryville, the fishermen there were only averaging between 2 to 3 fish per day.
Week three Ending July 6
Throughout this past week we did more canoeing trips than fishing and canoeing trips as the weather and water have been very warm with a high temp. on Thursday, reaching nearly 100 degrees and the few fish that we have seen were not biting terribly well. On Thursday and Friday we received some very heavy rains and the water rose about 2 feet by yesterday, and with the high tides next week we should start getting our run of July grilse
Week Four Ending July 13
On Monday July 8th we began to see more salmon and grilse moving upriver and this keep increasing each day. Fishermen were starting to have the most luck using a #4 Yellow Wing Butterfly and on Wednesday Johnathan Gatehouse of Guelph, Ontario, landed his first Atlantic salmon on a # 8 Green Machine with crystal flash, and on Friday morning, his dad Wayne landed an 18 lb beauty along with a smaller one, while Johnathan also got another one on his #8 Green Machine. In the afternoon, Brian Jefferson of Deep River, Ont., landed 2, also on green machines, and his wife Kathy lost a fighter on a # 8 Hairy Mary after doing a good job of playing her first Atlantic Salmon. There have been very good reports throughout the Main Southwest Miramichi, of some excellent salmon fishing with fishermen in the Blackville area landing between 10 to 20 salmon and grilse each day and the fishermen at the mouth of Renous in Quarryville landing aprox 22 on Thursday, 30 Friday , 50 on Saturday and 14 as of noon today (July 14) so it looks like our July run of Atlantic salmon and grilse for the Main Southwest Miramichi has arrived.
Week Five Ending July 22
There was only one word to describe the fishing on Monday and into the evening, and that was fantastic, with all fishermen landing fish and even some local kids who had never done any summer fishing, trying it and having great luck. But throughout the night we received a very heavy rain and by Tuesday the water had risen 2 feet with much debris floating, so fishing slowed down for Tuesday and Wednesday. When fishermen did catch fish they were usually hooked close to shore on # 4 flies. Things picked up again on Thursday with some great fishing. Throughout the weekend there were few fishermen we spoke with, throughout our river runs, who were not having some excellent fishing.
Today was another beginner's luck story for 58 year-old Cameron Murray of Lanark, Scotland who had dreamed about catching an Atlantic Salmon all his life, after his father had told him a story about fishing years ago on a river in Scotland. Today the team of Cameron and his son Allan hooked into 8 Salmon and grilse throughout the day on # 6 and 8 Green Machines and a green Scottish fly they did not know the name of. Upon returning to the lodge I congratulated him and said that I hope that this would help to make for a good trip to Canada. He replied this is the best part of his trip to Canada.
The water is starting to fall with a temperature at 67 this evening and lots of fish moving upriver.
We are looking foward to some more great fishing this week!
Week Six Ending July 28
On Tuesday Morning, New Brunswick woke to see the words Miramichi Salmon Fishing Booming on the front page of the Telegraph Journal, as some outfitters said they had never seen better July fishing on the Miramichi in 10 years. So on most days throughout the week, and into the weekend, fishermen have been proving the headlines correct! With the cool nights and great fishing weather, fishermen have been having some great luck. Most of our fishermen's luck this week has been on on # 8 Green butt bear hair and Red Butt green machines. There have been more large salmon than over the previous weeks and the water is staying at a good height for the fresh runs of fish that keep arriving daily with the tides, so they can keep moving up river. Today was a great day on our canoeing and fishing trip, with guests from South Africa. We are looking foward to another excellent trip tomorrow, with four fishermen from Texas.
Week Seven Ending Aug 5
Fishing was good throughout Sunday and Monday with most fishermen landing fish. On Tuesday, Jim Ferguson of Halifax, NS, fished 5 pools on his guided day adventure downriver and landed 4 salmon - all on # 8 Green Butt Bear hair. But as August arrived so did the August salmon as each day we can see more and more starting to hold up in the cold water pools, being more selective as to what flies they choose. On Sunday we saw over 50 salmon jump or roll but only a few were caught and the ones that were, chose a # 10 wet fly and white Bombers with orange hackle. The water temperature has increased each day - 70f Saturday, 72 Sunday, 73 Today at 6pm. The water is clear and at a good height although it is dropping by at least 2 inches per day over the past few days. This should make for some good fishing in our low water pools if the water does not get too warm. This evening we are receiving some rain so with all the salmon in the river, a little rain should help for more catches throughout the week.
Week Eight Ending Aug 12
For anyone who historically thinks fishing should be slow in August, this past week hasn't lived up to that tradition as we have seen some of our best summer salmon fishing ever, after the rise of water on Wednesday with most fishermen catching fish each day. On Friday the salmon were taking # 4 Butterflies with most fishermen not having to put their feet in the water as the fish were running very close to shore. On Saturday 2 fishermen from Maine had 14 hookups while fishing through a pool but many fish were hitting short and freeing themselves before being landed. We also had some more beginner's luck this week as Graham Young of Branford, Ont., landed his first Atlantic Salmon within the first hour of fishing and on our canoeing and fishing trip to Quarryville yesterday, Annie Tanguay and Mark Herrbach of Valleyfield Quebec both landed their first Atlantic Salmon - and Graham Young another one - all within the first hour of fishing. Annie said she had listened to her uncle telling fishing stories for years, about all his years of fishing the Matane River in Quebec. Now she also has a story of her own! Some fishermen, we have spoken with, all down the river each day, have been having great fishing. Again this morning, the fish are still moving up river, rolling and jumping past our lodge. More fish then we have seen moving in August in years with some very big fresh salmon among them. But with the warm weather that is predicted for the next few days things might change as they start to hold up again in cold water pools.
Week Nine Ending Aug 18
Fishing was good for the start of the week with fishermen having most luck on #10 wet flies and Big Brown Bombers. On Wednesday morning we had some more beginners' luck as Melvin Hale of Northfield, Vermount landed his first Atlantic salmon and son Ryan lost one on their first morning of Atlantic Salmon fishing. Then the water temp rose to over 75 fahrenheit and reality sank in. We should not complain after seeing some of the best fishing in years over the past few weeks. By the end of the week some fishermen put away their fishing rods for cameras as each day we would observe hundreds of salmon in their natural habitat as they lay in our cold water pools waiting for a change in temperature. As for anyone still fishing it has not been effecting the salmon as there is a very slim chance of hooking one but they are getting lots of casting practice. With all the fish in the river we are hoping for some rain to get things moving again.
Week Ten Ending Aug 25
The first few days of the week started with most of the salmon laying in cold water pools posing for cameras as most people had more luck with cameras than their fly rods. On Monday Bill Schmidt of Florida released his first Atlantic Salmon caught on a # 8 Undertaker. On Tuesday and Wednesday every fish we caught or rolled were all on large Bombers. By week end the temperature cooled and the salmon started leaving the cold water pools and moving up river again. Today saw some good fishing as most fishermen were landing fish on # 8 & # 10 Wet Flies.
Week Eleven Ending Aug 31
This past week was a typical August week where fishing can be good in cool weather and not quite as good on hot weather days. The most productive day on the river was Thursday. The water temperature was cooler but we need a good rain to get some oxygen back into the water. The only successful fly this week was Bombers Black with white tails, and White with orange Hackle!
Week Twelve Ending Sep 7
Monday and Tuesday saw some pretty good fishing with dry flies and bombers. Paul Becker of Brantford, Ontario landed his first ever Atlantic Salmon on Tuesday morning. On Thursday we received much needed rain and the water rose by 6 inches on Friday. So with the water rising and a strong east wind blowin, some fishermen opted for our Whale watching tour to St Andrews where they had a very successful day of sighting of over 30 Whales. By evening the water started falling again on the Miramichi and some fishermen had some good fishing. All fish caught were on # 8 undertakers.
Week Thirteen Ending Sep 15
Sunday and Monday were a little slow although we were seeing a good number of fish each day holding in pools - but not many takers. By mid week while fishing some downriver pools where fresh salmon arrive each day on the tide, we managed to have at least 2 hrs of good fishing daily. On Thursday we received a good rain and our water rose approx 8 inches and it started the fish moving again. Throughout Thursday evening and Friday, fishermen experienced great fishing with most fishermen on our stretch of river landing fish. We are also starting to see more Cains River salmon among them.
The fishermen at Quarryville also had a good day of fishing on Friday.
As for the Renous river there hasn't been any great action to speak of as the water is still too low. But the weather is calling for more rain on Monday, so depending on the amount received, we could still have some good fall fishing on the Renous river before the end of the season arrives.
Week one Ending Sep 23
The fishing so far throughout September this year has been variable depending on what days you were on the river. Monday and Tuesday with the water rising over a foot after a rain on Sunday and Monday, we saw some good fishing. Kris Kimble of Norwich,Ct had 5 hookups while fishing through one pool, landing a fresh 18 lb Salmon among them - all on a # 6 Glitter Bear. By mid week we did most of our fishing on the Cains River and in the Upper Blackville area on the Miramichi, as it seemed that the rise in water at the begining of the week had moved most of the fish up river. With most of them having been in the river system for so long, most of our time was spent watching them jump and roll than actually landing them.
By Friday some fresh salmon and grilse had started moving into the downriver pools again with each high tide. Phil Soucy and Mark Hester of Maine both landed fresh salmon in the afternoon but on Saturday and Sunday the salmon were very selective again as to what fly they would choose.
Luke Carrier, winner of the Fly Dressers Competition on Salmon Anglers put some of the finest selection of flies that a Miramichi River salmon has ever seen, to over hundreds of salmon in various pools.
Week two Ending Sep 29th
Fishing was again up and down throughout this past week but it has been more like August fishing then in September as there are thousands of salmon in the river but getting them to take required great skill and luck. But when we do hook, it is almost always a fresh fish who just arrived in on the tide and mostly still on # 8 and 10 summer patterns. With the water rising today and much debris floating from a rain upriver on Thursday, Chris Muller of Toronto still managed to landed his first Atlantic Salmon this morning. Most fishermen on the river who fished had good fishing today with salmon now starting to take the fall patterns.
Week three Ending Oct 7
With the water starting to level and clear, fishermen had some great fishing on Monday and Tuesday and with the rise of water, fishing also picked up on the Cains River. Fishermen are having most luck on Allies Shrimp and GP'S. Yesterday we had some more beginners' luck as Edward Hinson of North Carolina landed his first ever Atlantic Salmon while fishing with his friends Don Carrol and Dudley Humphrey who both both lost very large salmon after stripping their lines into the backing. Dudley hooked his on a #10 M1.
This morning Ian Parker of Scotland had 6 hookups and landed 2 on a Ally Shrimp on a pool on the Cains River and with more beginners luck, Vito Bonaiuto of Middletown Ct. landed a 20lb+ within his first hour of atlantic salmon fishing on one of our pools on the Main Miramichi - using a GP. With all the fall colors and the great fishing on the Cains river we will be doing some of our Day adventures trips on the Cains River until the end of the season.
Week four Ending Oct 12th
With fishing season winding down there are still lots of fish moving up river daily with most fishermen catching very large salmon at Country Haven. Ian Parker had good fishing on the last week again this year, using only his own Ally Shrimp pattern. Ian had 16 takes, landing 8 (5 grisle and 3 salmon). One salmon weighed in at 22 lbs and two at 30lbs each while fishing 6 pools on the Main Southwest and one on the Cains River. After three trips to Country Haven and fishing using only the Alley Shrimp, our guides have named him the "Alley Cat"!
Week five Ending October 15th
The final day of the fishing season has once again seen a very beautiful day throughout the Miramichi Valley With one of our best runs in years. With all the fish in the river there were still times when they were not taking as well as expected but they were still very entertaining. Anglers could always go to the river with a reasonable expectation of success. The future looks very bright for the Atlantic Salmon on the Miramichi. The last of our many fishing guests have headed back home this morning, bringing an end to another great season at Country Haven.
With the season over, now comes the "what do I do now" feeling - somewhat like when the children have finally all gone and left the old homestead for good. While sipping a coffee on the verandah of the Main Lodge, as in previous years, I took the time to reflect back on the memories of the past six months. I began thinking that fishing must be the greatest leveller of people in the world. Hundreds of fisherman from around the world and different walks of life come to fish our river each year- from the stockbroker we had from New York City, to the Doctor from England, the politician from Ottawa or 13 year old Josh Pill from Boston who returns each year with his Mom. The river has a way of bringing everyone to a balance in life where they appreciate their surroundings of nature and meeting old and new friends.
I have many great memories of the people that visit us yearly however the ones that seem to stand out in my mind from this past season are of Bosco and Adam Chan of Michigan, and the great father and son relationship they displayed while fishing each day. It brought back some great memories from the past with my own father and our good times we had enjoyed throughout the years. Or why Nicole Justus, also from Michigan, would drive her father, who was visiting her from Germany, all the way from Michigan to the Miramichi because he had always dreamed of catching an Atlantic Salmon.
In October I also had the pleasure of welcoming Phil Auclair, a great flyfisherman from New Hampshire, into our lodge for the first time. It was 22 years ago while sitting on a rock at White Rapids that Phil suggested I should start my own outfitting business. So thanks to Phil and guests, they have once again reminded me how lucky we are to live along the Miramichi River where memories are made and dreams can be fullfilled.
Thank you all for a great season
YEAR 2001 RIVER REPORT
Friday, April 27th 2001, was the start of our salmon fishing at Country Haven and we started out with a Bang! Our sports enjoyed landing 27 salmon and grilse, with Paul Carlton of Affordable Adventures of N.H., landing 12 - One over 44 inches.
Saturday was just as good if not better, with 3 salmon over 40 inches. Pete Curato of Augusta Maine had the most luck, landing 10.
Sunday's fishing was also excellent with lots of salmon and grilse being taken. That evening, 7 year old Tyler caught and released a 38 inch salmon. He is hooked again for another season.
Throughout last week, fishing was up and down with some days really great! Saturday May 5 was slow, but we did catch 6 salmon, with 13 year old Jonathan Donaher of Martintown, Ont. hooking and landing his first ever Atlantic Salmon. He lost one last year but no way was he going to lose one this year!
Fishing picked up Monday afternoon, May 7 with all sports catching fish. Tuesday and Wednesday, was the best fishing we have had in a week, the water was at an excellent level, quite clear and we were catching most of our fish on smaller hooks casting from shore. Magnus Thornson, owner of Gray Ghost Inn in Vermont, landing 1 over 40 inches on Tuesday and 2 over 40 inches on Wednesday.
Our most productive fly this spring has been the Renous River Special.
Our summer fishing season at Country Haven officially started on Monday June 18th, and after 6 days of fishing on 11 of the Main Southwest Miramichi River pools, from Upper Blackville to Quarryville, 3 pools on the Renous River and one on the Dungarvon, and with many of them being some of the best pools on the Miramichi, we saw salmon, rolled salmon, watched as they broke leaders and sniped flies. We even had one fisherman from Massachusetts hook and lose a grilse on the very first cast of his first fishing trip to Miramichi. Each night we would return to the verandah of the lodge and watch as large salmon would swim past on their journey upriver. We would then look forward to the next day of fishing. We enjoyed 6 days of fishing with guests from Massachusetts, Michigan, Scotland,and New Zealand. We landed a very large salmon today on a Shady Lady at the White Rapids. We also saw lots of grilse jump on our canoe trip from Country Haven to Quarryville with 3 of them being in Ted Williams pool as we sailed past. We hope this is the start of our grilse run. Our most productive flies this week were the Shady Lady and the Blue Charms.
Week two - July 1st The water throughout the week has been very warm and clear with our guests from Ireland, New York and Dallas Texas fishing a number of pools on the main Miramichi and Renous. We enjoyed watching our guest from Ireland this week and another from Scotland last week casting with their spay rods.
Much needed rain was received yesterday and today seems to be helping. It did cool the water temperature a great deal. We did a canoeing trip from Country Haven to Quarryville today but we weren't fishing. The fishermen at the mouth of Renous had hooked and landed 10 by 3 pm. Mostly on Green Machines and Green Butt Brown Hair. We are looking forward to our next guests who come to fish on Tuesday!
Week Three - July 8th We have seen a great improvement in water temperatures and with the cooler weather that is predicted for this upcoming week, things are looking as good and we are seeing many fish moving. This week our guests from NY, MONTREAL, ONTARIO AND ITALY experienced good fishing in the mornings. We also did three fishing and canoeing trips from Country Haven to Quarryville this week, where the fishermen at Quarryville were experiencing great fishing as well. They hooked 20 grilse and salmon on Wednesday, 17 on Thursday and 20 on Friday. They also landed 6 at Doctors' Island near Blackville on Friday. The water level is still good for fishing some pools on the Renous. The best hook this week has been the Rusty Rat.
Week four - July 15th
This week has been one of the best weeks so far. Tuesday the 10th was one of the best days we have seen in a while. Lots of fish, 10 salmon and grilse hooked in one pool alone. We have hooked fish every day this week except for two. Best flies this week Green Butt, Bear Hair and the Bumblebee with Red Butt. The water level is staying good but has turned a little warmer today. At 7 pm it was 69 degrees Fahrenheit.
Week five - July 23d
Fishing for the first part of the week from Monday through Thursday was great with most sports catching fish . We also had some beginners' luck again this week with Mike Marr from Providence, Rhode Island on Wednesday landing a large salmon at Doctor's Island after a 20 minute fight on his first morning of salmon fishing on the Miramichi. We also had Robert Morris from Washington DC land two on Thursday, his first morning of salmon fishing. Best fly this week was green but bear hair.
Week Eight - August 13
The great news this week is the latest number of fish observed at the Main Southwest Miramichi trapnet in Millerton from May 27th to July 31. The trapnet accounts for 10% of the fish that enter our branch of the Miramichi River therefore approximate numbers are 4,340 salmon this year compared to 1,290 last year and 1,670 in 1999. and 12,180 grilse this year compared to 7,100 last year and 5,280 in 1999. On our canoeing trips this past week, the pools have been full of fish. Water is still extremely low but okay for canoeing from the mouth of Cains to Quarryville.
Week Ten - August 24th
This past week the water came up three inches. We are also having some cooler nights. On Wednesday we had some good fishing, landing them on a green Bomber with orange hackle and on Shady Lady wet flies, and a number of others on dryflies. Thursday and Friday with the cooler temperatures the fish were moving well and we had another good day of fishing on Friday with green and white bombers. Today it rained all day and this afternoon Joel Kessler from Sharon Mass. hooked a salmon on a Ally's shrimp, one we traditionally use in the fall. Tonight the water is starting to rise so we are looking foward to fishing with our guests from Boston and Toronto tomorrow. We will be doing a fishing and canoeing combo from the Lodge to Quarryville.
Week Eleven - Sept 3d
This past week was a week where every fisherman that likes fishing salmon on dryflies and bombers should have been on our stretch of the Miramichi, as the rain we received early in the week and the cool nights brought the water temp down to the low 60's. The pools were full of salmon and they were more active then we had seen in weeks. We hooked fish each day this week, sometimes bringing up salmon a dozen times before hooking them which added to the excitement when they were finally hooked. Our most productive flies this week were White and Orange Bombers and Green and White Bombers. We received a lot more rain Saturday night. The water rose at least a foot. Fishermen at the mouth of Renous have been averaging about 15 fish per day today and yesterday. With the number of fish already in the river and the large amount of fish in the Bay we are looking forward to some great fall fishing.
Week Twelve - Sep 12th
This past week has seen some excellent fishing with the higher water and good temperatures for the first part of the week, there were lots of fish caught. More large salmon then grilse. The fishermen at the mouth of Renous in Quarryville caught 20 on Thursday and 12 on Friday. On Monday, Markus Laid of California landed a 40 inch salmon caught on a white bomber and counted 14 bald eagles on a canoeing and fishing trip from the lodge to Quarryville. Like we say each week, the river has lots of fish in it and we still have over a month of fishing till the 15th of October.
Week Thirteen - Sep 19th
This past week was one where we haven't spent a lot of time on the river but there are still lots of fish with a few being hooked on Bombers. The water is back down to where it was a few weeks ago but the cool nights are keeping the temperature good. We are hoping to get some rain so our guests can have some traditionally good fall salmon fishing.
Week Fourteen - Sep 24th All we can say for this past week is fish, fish and more fish! The river has lots of fish with new ones moving in each day - some of them being very large salmon. Our best luck this past week has been on Bombers Green Body Orange White Hackle. Today the water rose about 3 inches and it seemed to make for more catches. Most of our luck today came on a small wet fly called the M1 Bomber, a fly tied by Dave Goulet of Classic and Custom Flyshop of New Hartford Connecticut. Dave and three friends have been having some great luck with it over the past week. We will be trying it more over the next few days. They are calling for more rain on Wednesday. We think it will be just what the doctor ordered for some fantastic fall fishing.
Week Fifteen - Oct 1st
On Tuesday the rain came, the water started rising and the fish started moving. On Wednesday it was common to see over 100 fish jumping while moving through the pools. It stoped raining on Thursday and overall the water had came up 2 and 1/2 feet, and it was just what we needed. We have been having some great fishing from the time the water started falling. We are catching some very big salmon. Some of them being fresh Cains River Salmon. Ian Parker from Scotland landed 2 over 15 lbs sunday afternoon, on an Ally's Shrimp. His friend landed 2 on a #4 Green Machine in one of our private pools, and the open water pools have been averaging about 6 or 7 fish per day as well. On Saturday morning we fished the Renous River and spoke with a fellow who had great fishing there on Friday. The best flies have been Green Machine, General Practitioner, and Ally's Shrimp.
Week Sixteen - Oct 8th
This past week has been another good week for fishing on the Miramichi with most people catching fresh fish daily. The water is dropping again and is almost back to where it was before last week's rain. The good water temperature is making for great fishing in our low water pools. Mike Marr from Rhode Island returned this week for 3 days and landed plenty of salmon, with 1 over 20 lbs and 2 over 15 lbs, all on a #6 green machine with a white tail. The Ally's Shrimp and a #6 Red Abbey also worked well. The water is getting very low again on the Renous but the fishermen at the mouth of Renous have been having some good fishing over the past week, so if we get another bout of rain we should also have some good fishing on the Renous River. At this time of year with all the fall colours, I can't think of any place that I would rather be fishing.
Week Seventeen - Oct 16th
This past week being the last week of the fishing season has seen another excellent week of fishing. The last of our fishing guests left on Thursday morning, all happy with their three days of fishing. Their flies of choice were the Ally Shrimp, General Practioner and Green Machine, and while talking with some local fishermen on the weekend, we all agreed that with one of the driest summers in recorded history, we still had some pretty good fishing this season.
- Farion Coughlan, of Gray Rapids Lodge said that a party of 3 had landed 9 salmon and grilse in an open water pool in one day last week.
- Winston Coughlan, landed at least one salmon eight days in a row on a #8 Preacher while only fishing an hour in the morning or evening.
- Erin Crawford of Miramichi Tackle and Wears said there were a good number of fish being caught and that she had landed a 15 lb salmon on a General Practioner on Friday, and Peter Randal said he had never seen any more fish in the 10 years since moving to the Miramichi.
As far as my family and I are concerned, our season lasted until Sunday the 14th when my 7 year old and 4 year old sons suggested we go fishing. With one of the most perfect fall days at 66F and with me feeling a little guilty for not taking them fishing since early summer, I thought it was a good idea. So the three of us went down to Mother's pool, the pool I grew up fishing as a kid and where I caught my first trout and Atlantic Salmon. As we were walking down the steps we could see salmon rolling and jumping all over the place as it was a perfectly calm day. I let the boys tell me what flies to put on their lines as both have been collecting flies since they went with me to Curtis' outfitter's in Blackville and owner Brock Curtis gave them each a fly. On this day, Tyler, the oldest, chose a General Practioner and Tyson decided on a Brown Bomber. Placing Tyler in the hotspot for a wetfly and Tyson on a big rock where he could have a chance with a dryfly, we all fished for about 40 minutes and I had rolled a couple and lost a salmon but by this time Tyson had fallen off the rock and got wet so we headed back home for a change of clothes - all the while Tyler complaining about all the salmon he could have caught if his brother had stayed at home.
After supper I decided to head back down to Mother's to try a few more casts. I started casting over the rocks where I knew there would be fish waiting. Within a few casts I felt a tightening of my line then one good jump from a Cains River salmon and it was gone. All the while I could still see salmon jumping and rolling as I sized up my fly to see if it was still okay and stepped back out where I was before. I could hear whooping from the fishermen in the next pool up river so I knew they had also hooked into fish.
After fishing for another few minutes I decided to do my traditional 7 last casts to close out the season. And it was then my General Practioner attempted another salmon that decided he had better things to do on his way up river then spend time with me. So after a 30 minute fight and a sore arm we parted ways as I released a 40 inch Cains River hook bill so he could finish his journey upriver. I walked back up over the hill and sat on the picnic table that overlooks the river where I had spent many evenings as a kid. As I sat there I realized I had never seen more fish in this pool than I had seen in the past few weeks. It made me a little sad to see the fishing season coming to an end and how much I wished that every fishermen we had throughout the summer could be here now. I began thinking of the good times and the friends we made throughout the season, like in April when my 7 year old had hooked into a 38" salmon, and May when 11 yr old Johnathan Donaher caught his first Atlantic salmon after persuading his Dad to drive from Ottawa for one day of fishing, as he had lost a fish last year. Or when Conor Killeen, a fisherman from Ireland helped save a local girl from drowning as she was swimming near the spot he was fishing, and in July when Ray Dittrich Jr. of Dallas Texas, spent a week with us, with his father Ray Sr. whom he had brought fishing for his 78th birthday. Ray Sr. had fished the Miramichi many times throughout his lifetime but not for the past 13 years, so with all his stories and Miramichi flies he just had to see the Miramichi river one more time. Or in August, when a family from St. Petersburg, Russia stayed a week at a housekeeping cottage, and when I went to see if they needed anything-they were all in the river swimming, all they keep saying was "we need nothing, we have miles of clean water, fresh air, our freedom and we love Canada". Then I started thinking of my good friend Odd Lied from Manhattan New York, and how this time last year he was casting his long line from his spay rod over this same pool and how he would love to be here this evening. But due to the circumstances in New York City he was unable to visit this year.
I thought of New York and Afghanistan and what things could be like this time next year and just how lucky we are to live along the Miramichi River. As the sun set behind the trees I could hear the splash of another salmon as it was making its way up river. I realized that it wasn't just a good year for fishing, it was another GREAT year for fishing on the Miramichi.
Some numbers for you: Adult returns of grilse and salmon to the Miramichi River this year were, small salmon (grilse) 28,200, Large salmon 20,600. Total for the year 48,800. This total does not include the count for the other tributaries that are located below these two rivers in the Miramichi river system.
We offer an all inclusive package, including accommodations, meals, equipment (if necessary), experienced guides and fishing license. Transportation to/from airports is available if needed.
We are looking forward to bringing you further up-to-date river reports from the Main Southwest Miramichi and Renous Rivers as the season develops.
With our almost daily canoeing /fishing trips from Blackville to Quarryville throughout the fishing season, we will be the first to see some of the fresh runs of salmon as they make their way up the Miramichi.
From your FRIENDS on the MIRAMICHI!
While staying at Country Haven we also offer salt water and deep sea fishing on the Bays of Fundy and Chaleur, and smallmouth bass fishing in Southern New Brunswick. You can "do it all"!
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Country Haven where you come as strangers and leave as friends