Friday, August 20, 2010

A few locals hooking up

August is taking its toll on fisherman through out New Brunswick who fish for Atlantic salmon. Over the past week the Miramichi river has slowed down considerably due to no rain leaving rivers low and anglers wondering when the conditions are going to change for the good. With not much rain in the forecast until the weekend, anglers will have to keep there fingers crossed and hope the expected rain to hit the headwaters will and increase the height and keep the temperatures low. Ideal temperatures are 55 to 65 F for fall fishing. The last week temperatures were 68 to 76 F depending on the area of the river fished.

A few lucky fly fisherman over the past week managed to hook up. Ian Fortune fishing near the mouth of Bartholomew landed 2 grilse and 2 salmon using brown bombers with split wings. Damir Sahic of Fredericton landed a grilse at Pool 66 on his third cast using an Undertaker number 10 single hook. Rob Strange of Fredericton also fishing Pool 66 the next day landed two 15 lb plus salmon using a Green Butt Bear Hair on a number 10 double hook. He lost another one on the same fly. Allie Keenan and his two brothers each hooked a fish at the mouth of Keenan brook.
Guides at Black Brook Salmon Club said conditions were good in the mornings with a couple fish each day this week but warmed up in the afternoons and evenings. Flies of choice were bear hairs, undertakers and bombers.

Curtis Miramichi River Outfitters said things were slow with reports of a few fish hooked down river at Mountain Channel which is a low water pool.

Wilson's Sporting Camps on the Upper Miramichi said water height is down making some pools impossible to fish. The deeper holding pools still had some good numbers of fish that were looking at the dry flies. They were still getting a few fish on small wet flies and stripping to speed the fly up as it swung across the current.

With conditions not as we would like to see them for August fishing. It should start to improve in the next couple weeks as the nights are getting colder and more and more rumors of Jack Frost in the air. September always has lots of rain for us and along with cold frosty nights you should see some good fishing in the weeks to come. And if your new to the sport or wanting to know a peak time to catch your first Atlantic salmon, check with fly shops, guides, outfitters or even a fish reporter like me to find one for you.

Let me know of that fish of your dreams caught on the Beautiful Miramichi. So keep your rods high and your reels screeching until next week have tight lines.

* Rodney Colford is a third generation salmon-fishing guide on the Miramichi River and has been guiding fishermen ranging from greenhorns to some of the finest flyfishermen in the world for 27 years. His fishing reports appear every Thursday in the Times & Transcript.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

August salmon fishing conditions improving

Fly fishing conditions on the Main South West Miramichi over the past week was awesome depending on the stretches you fished. With a few showers and cool nights air temperatures dropped to 8C over the weekend. Which made the fishing very good as the river temperatures got down into the low 60's and up to mid 70's on warmer afternoons.

Certain pools on the river are holding fish and when the temperatures drop, the fish move around through out the pools. This making the fishing very active and great for the dry fly fisherman as you can get a fish too roll several times for the fly. Anglers near the mouth of Cains River had great
fishing too as many limit out from Friday to Tuesday morning until the heat wave hit us.

Laura Colford, 10-year-old daughter of Times & Transcript
columnist Rodney Colford, caught her first fish of the 2010 season, weighing in at 15 pounds.

I had a good friend Mike Levine from New Jersey fishing with me as he landed 4 grilse and 2 salmon all on bombers I tied. My daughter Laura age 10 hooked and landed her first of the season
weighing 15lbs. I managed to land 4 grilse and release them all on dry flies over the week. Maurice Mallet hooked 4 and landed a grilse. Troy Adams lost a salmon on a dry fly and rolled a few more as Troy and his wife Marilyne got away for the weekend to the Miramichi. Donnie Keenan landed a grilse on one of my Whiskers Monday afternoon.

Black Brook Salmon Club was also having a good weekend on through to Tuesday as many members and guest had 1, 2 and even 4 fish per day. Head guide Gayden Curtis said most fish were taken on brown bombers, green machines and small black flies and some fish had sea lice.

Wilson's Sporting Camps on the Upper Stretches said they are putting the bomber fishermen on notice . The conditions are ideal for good bomber fishing , the water is at a normal August level and still a good flow in most pools. We are seeing a lot of fish down low in the pools as well as a few still moving through. Flies of the day were the bombers.

Curtis Miramichi River Outfitters were getting reports of a few fish being hooked. Fisherman were hooking a few at Corn Bar in Blackville as Ian Fortune was one to limit out on Monday. Curin Baker of England lost a salmon as well. Bombers were the fly of choice for the day.

Chris Edmond's reported fishing Sunday on the NW at the Chimney Pool. They got into a few fish on Alley Shrimps, GP and Silver rat. He also said the river was low but very good temperatures which helped in hooking up. He also saw a deer crossing the river and a small bear following very close behind the deer. I also had a couple guys in from Woodstock that were fishing the crown water on the NW and they said water was low and warm but did see a few fish, but had no takers.

I had reports from some fisherman fishing on the Cain's River. Pools like Salmon Brook, and the Brophy Pool have fish holding. James Trenholm said they were on the Cains and the water was very warm. They saw some fish but none were taking on there trip.

The middle of August is now closely approaching the river and so far it has been a very good season minus a couple hot weeks we had in July. Lets hope with a little luck we can have a great start to a Fall season and catch some massive salmon up and down the river and tributaries. And with some rain in the forecast next week and below seasonal temperatures the rest of August we may just get some good fishing.

Tip of the week when tying an Improved Clinch Knot please make sure to tighten the knot before clipping the remaining leader. If you hook a salmon with a loose knot that is cut short it may tighten with the fish and untie before you can say fish on. So tighten it good and leave it a bit longer when using a dry fly, wet flies too if you use a clinch knot. Let me know of that fish of your dreams caught on the Beautiful Miramichi. So keep your rods high and your reels screeching until next week have tight lines.

* Rodney Colford is a third generation salmon-fishing guide on the Miramichi River and has been guiding fishermen ranging from greenhorns to some of the finest flyfishermen in the world for 27 years. His fishing reports appear every Thursday in the Times & Transcript.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Grilse numbers are huge on the Miramichi

Fishing on the Miramichi over the past week was very good for most anglers up and down the river. Different days we saw fish jumping as we were traveling from pool to pool by boat. And although there was a late decision on closing certain parts of the river to help salmon up and down the system survive the warm water conditions, things worked out very well for most anglers with there decision they made. The weather for the next couple weeks seems to below seasonal temperatures and a couple days rain. If we keep our fingers crossed and temperatures stay low the cold water brooks and pools will stay open.
On the lower stretches of the river from Quarryville to Howard anglers were catching fresh fish with sea lice. Most anglers were having better luck in early mornings when temps were in the lower 60's through to lunch time. The warmer afternoons did get the river back up to some high levels near 78 to 80 F. Before the water dropped off fisherman were hooking up almost every time down through a pool near the mouth of Cains River area. Green machine in the faster water seemed to be the fly. And in the slower pools almost any dry fly was getting there attention. Fisherman in this stretch of the river that hooked up were Glen Keenan, Donnie Keenan, Raymond Clowater, Dwayne Hollier, Alex, Johnny, Jonathan, Donald, Danny, Merle, Pat, Rick and my son Zachery Colford and myself.

I fished last Tuesday with Norman Perreault and son Nick. They both landed a grilse each by 10:30 am.

I fished this last week on the lower section of the Miramichi around the mouth of Cains river. Bob Rebmann and his good fishing buddy John Baird and myself were fishing. As the first day started things were not looking very good as the water was very dirty. We fished for a couple hours before calling it a day and wait for things to improve. The next morning brought some hope as anglers near the mouth of cains river at pool 66 were into fish on almost every cast. Fisherman on the Islands at the mouth of cains were hooking and rolling fresh sea run grilse with sea lice on them. We were fishing up from the mouth as Bob hooked his first salmon and lost it after a few seconds. I told Bob he would hook up again, and when we get the first one it would not be so hard after that. And it wasn't to hard as he hooked into another one which he
landed. We ended up with 5 fish for the day. The next day we also got into a couple fish, and many other locals hooked and landed fish.

At the end of the week the guys from Tennessee Bob Redmond and Author John Baird hooked 19 fish and only two was a salmon with the rest being grilse, most with sea lice. In front of the camp at the Hogan Pool we were hooking a few fish. Joel Kitchen landed four on a number eight blue charm before telling me I think your fly is falling apart that I got from you. I laughed as I told him there not guaranteed for life, but I will replace the wing just because you took your green machine off and hooked four fish on a different fly pattern. I would think after the four fish hooked, that fly paid for it self for sure as we laughed.

Country Haven had a couple very good days as they limit out on Saturday and Sunday and all pools were fishing very well. Dry flies and green machine seem to be the most popular pattern.

Derek Munn of the Ledges Inn was also into fish on all of there pools. Anglers were reporting seeing several fish in the air almost every time you look down river. They also had a couple 20 pound fish but for the most of the fish they were grilse reported being caught.
Keith Wilson on the Upper Stretches at Wilsons Sporting camps were also hooking several grilse. Most of the fish were taking small black flies and green machines, but for the dry fly enthusiast almost any pattern did the work. Keith also said the water was getting up into the mid 70's so they were hooking most in the mornings.

Fisherman on the Renous were also hooking fish and saw several good sign of fish jumping and rolling. Ronnie Steeve's and his brother Dale and Dale Gildert all hooked up last week. There were great reports of fish in Quarryville at the moth of Renous.

Cains River had reports of fish all the way up to Moore's Pool near Shinnick Burn. Salmon Brook, Cold Brook and the Brophy Pool all had fish in them. Anglers were hooking some on dries and wets. Tyler Coughlan hooked a few on dries at the Brophy Pool and more on the Miramichi.

The river reopening came into effect on Saturday, and includes salmon pools located at the confluences of: Gray Rapids Brook and the Southwest Miramichi River, Salmon Brook and the Cains River, Butty's Brook and the Renous River, Morse Brook and the Southwest Miramichi River, Black Brook and the Southwest Miramichi River, Donnelly Brook and the Southwest Miramichi River, Betts Mills Brook and the Southwest Miramichi River, Porcupine Brook and the Southwest Miramichi River, as well as the Southwest Miramichi River surrounding the pump house.

On the maligned Northwest Miramichi River a policy of hook and release recreational angling remains in place on much of the river system, which recorded startlingly low spawning requirements in 2009.

For another week of fishing on the Miramichi lets hope next will be as good as the last. Once again until next week keep your rods up and your reels screeching.

Rodney Colford