We're into the second week of spring salmon fishing on the Miramichi and the sounds of the reels and roar of the engines are filling the air. And with excellent fishing in all the tributaries anglers are reeling them in by the boatloads.
Marcus Wilson here with his first salmon!! WTG Marcus!
Starting on the lower stretches of the river in Quarryville, fishermen were catching great numbers of fish. Local fisherwoman Cathy Léger landed a nice trout close to the 5-pound mark. Many other fish were hooked during the week.
Also on the lower stretches of the river, Country Haven Lodge camp owner Byron Coughlan said fishing was excellent. Fish were hitting better from the cast but a few were also being hooked while trolling. Most of the fish his guides saw were still near shore and he thought the fish were still sticking around as to when you see them jumping in the middle and working their way out of the river. Flies of choice were the Maggot Smelt and Alewife Matura pattern.
Up river further, at Vickers Salmon Pools, fishing was also very good as a few fishermen from Maine were catching their limit on some days. Guides were telling me they had hooked many fish on the Green Slime, Red Eagle, and Golden Eagle.
And also in the same area of the river, at Keenan's, local angler Donnie Keenan saw his four-year-old grandson Marcus Wilson landed his first ever salmon.
In an area near the mouth of the Cains River, I was hooking most of my fish on a Christmas Tree pattern and a Renous Special. Zachery Colford, Mike Levine and myself landed several salmon and many grilse during the last week and all the fish we landed were in very good shape and very silver in colour.
Many of our fish were taken on a cast close to shore. Mike landed two nice salmon - one at 42 inches and the other 37 inches. And even though we took many on the cast, a fair share were taken by trolling which is a big topic up and down the river from the Boiestown to Quarryville area.
In the Upper Blackville area, fishermen were hooking lots of fish and casting and trolling were the ways they hooked up. Larry Vanpeursen of Bangor, Me., hooked all of his fish by casting while my son Zachery and I fished with him on Saturday. Larry did hog the best fishing and hooked more fish on my flies.
Wilson's Sporting Camps fished the Cains this week and hooked a few on the lower stretch near Sabbies. Keith Wilson's youngest son Garret landed a nice salmon.
Allan McCormack in the Boiestown area was out with his kids and Sarah, 12, landed a couple and her brother Matthew landed two. Allan said the water was good and the fish all took in the fast water sections of the pool.
The North West Miramichi was also fishing very well as many fishermen were seeing great numbers of fish hooked. Kevin Gillespie and a few buddies limited out several days in a row using Renous Specials, Black Ghost and Golden Eagles.
Dale and Debbie Norton of the Upper Oxbow Lodge said fishing was great and their clients were having great success on the Little South West Miramichi River. Though the North West was a bit dirty, the Little South West was clear and fish were hitting their flies. Flies were Black Ghost and Golden Eagles.
The weather for the weekend looks not so bad for fishing but the conditions are a bit dirty with some grass and small sticks grabbing the fly. And with the rain and warmer temperatures and all the snow still in the woods along the Miramichi system I think we will have some high water yet.
While you're on the water this weekend keep an eye out for the bald eagles, ospreys, blue herons, ducks, geese and lots of other wildlife along the Miramichi River.
Now keep our fingers crossed for the weekend and all you anglers waiting for Friday to come, let's hope the fish gods will be with you and you catch one of those fish of a lifetime.
Until next week keep your lines tight and your reels screeching on the Miramichi.
* Rodney Colford is a third-generation salmon guide on the Miramichi River. He has been guiding fishermen for the past 28 years. His column appears every Thursday.