Monday, May 30, 2011

Miramichi Salmon and Trout on the Run

Miramichi fishing reports from the SW Miramichi river for May 30th. Salmon are on the run for the last few days and so are the sea trout. I fished the last couple days and saw a dozen or so salmon and hundreds of trout. The trout are very finicky and are reluctant to take. I tried several trout patterns and did not have very much luck in hooking the big trout. I did get a few from 10 to 16 inches today and yesterday but the ones I saw roll were 3 to 6 pounds and some were rolling right next to my boat!

As the word had got out about fish being in the river so did some anglers. Yesterday Chris Munn of Fredericton Outfitters and a few buddies landed some whoppers from
15 to 25 pounds.
This is Robert Glenright with a 25 pound plus beauty caught yesterday with Chris Munn of Fredericton Outfitters.

This is Rob Foster with a nice female salmon.

The North West is fishing very well too as anglers are seeing lots of silver salmon in the river. Chris Edmonds hooked a few and landed a few!
Water is still high on the NW but the fish are there!

This is Chris Edmonds with one of his fish he released alone. Notice the fish is still in the water just to get a photo of this beautiful salmon. Hard to get a nice photo alone so he did the best he could.

The Main SW is still very high on the lower stretches but I would think the upper stretches would be ideal! Water temperature the last couple days was in the mid 50's F. Back in a day or two with hopefully a picture of "my" salmon!!

Also here is a great blog that that Gary Tanner writes. Its very good so please take the time to read and look at the beautiful pictures.

Until next week keep your lines tight and your reels screeching on the Miramichi.
Tight Lines,

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fish should appear any day now!

Fishing on the Miramichi is still a bit slow and many of us are waiting for the sea run trout to appear any day now. Also the late May or early June salmon run should be in the river now and I would expect they are, just that the water is still high and they would be sailing right through pools and if you’re not patient enough to stay and fish for them you’re not going to get them very easy.

The North West Miramichi was very high on the weekend but with the high water it was very clear and very cold. There are rumours of a couple bright salmon being caught on the NW on the weekend. One was said to be 12 pounds and another 15 pounds.

I fished up around the Allison Pool on Sunday where last year the same date I landed my first salmon of the summer season, but not this year as the water was about 1 ½ higher than normal. I also noticed there were no fishermen fishing or camped at the pool. I did see a few anglers downstream at the McLaughlin pool fishing but no one at the Wayerton bridge pool.

Kevin Gillespie was fishing the NW this week and landed a few nice sea trout from 12 to 19 inches. He also said there was still a lot of spring salmon in the river and they had hooked a few. This could be the start of the sea runs coming in.

On the Main South West Miramichi there are a few sea trout being hooked but nothing in big numbers or size to speak of. A lot of anglers are picking up some brookies in the 8 to 12 inch range.

Down on the Lower stretch at Country Haven Lodge anglers were hooking the odd small trout and only seeing a few salmon. They said the fresh trout should be in anytime and so should the fresh salmon.

In the Doaktown area at the Ledges Inn head guide Derek Munn said things are slow on the river and the weather is wet and cold and is very good for the fish in this in between time of the season. Derek had not heard of any fresh salmon being caught on the river yet, but expects the next few days we will hear of one being hooked. Give Derek a call to catch a salmon or trout sometime.

A little further up at Wilson’s Sporting Camps Keith Wilson said sunshine at last and the water is up and staying cold. He was hoping the sunshine would warm the water up a bit and wake up the trout. He said there were still no sign of any sea trout up his way and it looks like early June should be the time to be on the water.

All in all not a bad report from some top notch fisherman on the river. It looks like this weekend could be a very good time to be on the water with some nice days yesterday today and Friday the rain should not be a bad factor in catching some trout or if your real lucky a silver salmon.

Don’t forget to give the fly shops a call or drop in for a fish report of their area of the river as their always on top of the river conditions and have the flies and gear for the river to suit your needs. Quarryville drop into George’s Fly Shop or in Blackville at Curtis Miramichi River Outfitters and in Miramichi drop into Miramichi City Surplus or in Doaktown at W.W.Doaks across from Tim’s and the Atlantic Salmon Museum. If you’re driving from Fredericton stop at Fredericton Outfitters and Anglers for your report on salmon, trout and bass in their area.

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 fisherman for the past 28 years. His column appears every Thursday.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Salmon fishing on the Miramichi is in the transition stages

Atlantic salmon fishing on the Miramichi is in the transition stages of the 2011 season as most anglers are switching there flies and lines over to summer tackle. And as the spring salmon are still in the system on the lower stretches of the river the upper stretches they are very spotty and seemed of moved on downstream. There are not many fishermen out on the water above the Blackville area but there are a few fishermen fishing and still hooking salmon down river by Quarryville.

With all the rain the past two weeks it has kept the rivers very high and fishing very difficult to get to certain pools and lies you would normally fish wading, is the rain ever going to stop and give us a chance at the sea run trout. The sea trout should be along anytime now and let’s hope we get a crack at them before they sail through.

For those of you that are looking to get into some Fly tying or Spey casting check out Fredericton Outfitters and Anglers. June 3rd to 5th 2011 for their Spey Casting clinic with Rick Worrell of G.Loomis.

Curtis Miramichi River Outfitters are also putting on their 2nd Spey casting clinic on July 16th and 17th 2011. Dennis Grant of Atlantic Fly Fishing School will be on hand with his wife Valerie and Steve Smith. Give the fly shop a call to reserve your spot.

Why not drop into W.W.Doak & Sons for up to date fishing reports for the area and some of the finest quality fishing gear on the river. They are located in Doaktown, on Route 8 in the heart of the Miramichi river valley, right across the street from Tim Horton’s. Their just an hour from Fredericton, 50 minutes from Miramichi City, 100 minutes from Moncton and 2 hours from Saint John. Their open all year long, as well as all summer statutory holidays but remember we're always closed on Sunday.

Keith Wilson of Wilsons Sporting camps said there are still a few anglers around and a few fish but most have moved downstream from the area they fish. Keith said some anglers are catching a few trout and expects the sea run trout should be soon in the system.

Dereck Munn of The Ledges Inn said the season is coming to an end but the water was still at a good height and lots of fish. He had a few guest in on the weekend that caught fish from the 30-36 inch range. He said they were a lot of fish jumping and looks like they are moving downstream but with the amount of fish still showing on the upper area of Doaktown it should be still good for another week yet. Flies were various patterns such as Marabous and Rabbit Strips and black had been working best. There were also no reports of fresh salmon or sea trout.

Country Haven Lodge said anglers have been landing some great fish 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. After last weekend's rise in water levels the water has since been dropping and the fishing kept 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.

Also the Atlantic Salmon Museum in Doaktown is hosting two Ladies Fishing Retreats. Their first one is on June 17th to 20th and the second is on September 10th to 13th. This is a great chance for all the women that can’t go with their husbands because they can’t fish, or your husband saying I wish you could fish so we can fish together. So check out this amazing retreat for the women to learn to fish and meet some new friends. Also get your River Guide to all the public water on the Main South West Miramichi. You can also pick up a copy of Salmon Country: NB’s Great Angling Rivers by Doug Underhill, Andre Gallant and Jacques Heroux.

Well it looks like the rain is going to stay with us again next week so let’s enjoy the couple days of sunshine and get out on the water. I will be back next week with your report on the Miramichi River and let you know how I made out fishing the North West Miramichi.

I would like to thank all the people helping me out with the fishing information and making the report possible. And if I forgot you this week or have not contacted you for your reports on certain sections of the river and tributaries please give me a shout anytime and I will get your report in the next week. You can see some photos of the weeks fishing on my blog at And if you want your pictures added please send them along.

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.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

May12th 2011

Salmon fishing on the Miramichi the past week has been very tough with heavy rains and cold temperatures it really put a halt to the catching. With such a high rise in water fishing was a wash out for a couple days after the weekend. Many people had been rescuing boats as the high water put them a sail or sunken them with so much rain. There were trees and debris floating from shore to shore as some anglers was trying to fish in places along the river.

And just when things started to improve a little, we are hit again with another storm with heavy rain. There are still signs of salmon in the river so with a bit of luck and a drop in water we should start hooking some fish again on the weekend.

Some fisherman are hooking a few trout in the 12 to 21 inch range but said they are not fresh trout yet. Meaning they are trout that had spawned and been in the river all winter. The fresh trout should soon be coming in as there have been reports of smelts in the river. Some anglers say the fresh trout follow the smelts in and feed on them. There are also striped bass being hooked in the Tide water’s by the Enclosure and the NW. There are also a few fiddle heads up and with the fiddle heads we should start to hear of the Gaspereau Nets having luck getting some Gaspereau. And before we know it, and just like clockwork those shiny silver football shaped fish we call the Rocky Brook Run here on the Miramichi (Atlantic salmon) will be in chasing your green machines. Shad will be in the river about the 10th of June in full like most years and are always fun to hook. I will keep you updated on all of these runs as they come in the next couple weeks.

And while were winding down the spring salmon fishing there are still some reports of salmon in the Upper Stretches around Boistown. Allan McCormack of Bloomfield said his son Mathew hit a few fish on Monday and saw several fish jumping in the middle parts of the river.

We also lost a long time fishing guide, fisherman and scalar from the Bloomfield area Dick Fowler 79 this week, he was only one of a few Gaspereau netters left on the upper stretches of the river and will be sadly missed by many.

A little down river at Wilson’s Sporting Camps manager Keith Wilson said fishing had slowed and expected that most fish had moved down river. He said the water was still very high on Tuesday and there were a few fishermen fishing but with the Nor-ester we are in the midst of it should pick up again on the weekend. He also said if you’re the diehard angler you would pick up a few if you stay patient. Sink tip lines with darker flies such as a grey ghost or a nine three pattern will work best.

And down near the Doaktown area while the water is high and dirty stop by the Atlantic Salmon Museum and catch up on some history of the Miramichi. There always on hand to help, and with the gift shop you can find something nice like the Miramichi River map to show all the public waters on the Main South West Miramichi River to fish, a must have in your vest to catch your trophy salmon.

Also in Doaktown Valerie O’Donnell’s of O’Donnell’s Cottages said fishing had slowed for her and she only had a couple fishermen in on the weekend. She was hoping for the water to drop for the canoe runs she does on the river in late May. Valerie said she has lots of Canoes, Kayaks and Tubes on hand.

Here by the Mouth of Cains River fishing had slowed considerably since the weekend. I did manage to get out and hook a few before the rise of water. I took a good friend Tony Lloyd out fishing with me and he hooked a grilse and salmon trolling using a Christmas tree pattern on Friday. I went out again later in the evening and hooked a nice 38 incher and a grilse on the same pattern. There have been a few fishermen hooking a few fish as the water drops and clears at times but the river is still very high on this stretch of the river. And with this high water don’t forget to be safe and wear your life vest rather than throw them in the boat.

Down river in the Village of Blackville the water is very high and dirty. Not many fishermen fishing due to the high and dirty water. Local shop owner Brock Curtis of Curtis Miramichi River Outfitters said there were a few anglers around and some still catching a few but things were slowing down and hoped the rain would slow down a bit too to get some anglers out again.

Country Haven Lodge owner Byron Coughlan said fishing was good on Tuesday as guide Kenny Vickers had landed 9 fish in the boat. Byron expected the fishing to be good for the next week or a bit longer once the water drops. He said there was lots of fish jumping and many of his clients were getting hits but the fish were hitting short.

On the North West Miramichi fishing is still holding steady as a few fishermen were hooking some salmon. Kevin Gillespie told me one of his friends had hooked 12 on Monday. They were also seeing some stripers down by the Sunny Corner bridge area. Chris Edmunds fished this week and landed a few small trout and a few perch. Both anglers said there were still lots of salmon in the river and with the river rising from day to day made it hard to hook them.

I would like to thank all the people helping me out with the fishing information and making the report possible. And if I forgot you this week or have not contacted you for your reports on certain sections of the river and tributaries please give me a shout anytime and I will get your report in the next week. You can see some photos of the weeks fishing on my blog at And if you want your pictures added please send them along.

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.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Spring salmon fishing continues to thrive

Spring Salmon fishing on the Miramichi is going very strong for the 3rd week of the season. Fisherman on the upper and lower stretches of the South West Miramichi River are saying conditions are very good and the river is very clear with fish hitting there flies.

Laura gently removing the hook from the grilse to release it.

My daughter Laura Colford (11) with her first of the season.

Over the weekend conditions were not very good as the river raised and got very dirty and fish were almost impossible to hook. But as the water dropped the fish started taking again and jumping more.

On the lower stretches in Quarryville George Routledge of Georges Fly Shop said most anglers were hooking there fish below the bridge. He said the smelts were in for a few days and fishermen were catching a few trout.

Laura with a nice grilse and 1 of four she landed. Mike Levine landed close to his limit fishing with Laura.

Laura showing off her Valentine Reel!

Fishermen Brad Ronco was fishing on the Main Southwest below the Renous on Saturday and said fishing was next to impossible due to the amount of grass and other debris in the water. On the other hand on Thursday and Friday, he hooked 18 and landed his limit. The largest being 2 salmon in the 32-33 inch range. Great fun inspite of Saturday!

A little further up at Miramichi Renous Club Cindy Underhill said fisherman were doing well and out of 5 fishermen on Tuesday they landed 25 fish. Boyd Underhill and the lady he was guiding landed 7 on Tuesday out of the 25 landed. One fish at the club was 40 inches, and they were seeing some trout around and most being hooked in the fast water. Flies of choice were Blue Smelts but the fish seemed to take just about anything they threw at them Boyd Said.

This is Charlie Foster from Lowell, MA-US.

Country Haven Lodge said fishing was good up until the weekend and picked up again on Monday. A few fishermen limited out on Monday and a few were catching some big fish. Guides Kenny and Jeremy Vickers were hooking a few big trout in the 2 to 5 pound range but would not tell their secret pool where they hooked them. Also a fisherman from Maine named Oscar who has been coming to the Miramichi since 1963 at different sporting camps and now at Country Haven for 7 years landed 6 salmon on Tuesday. Flies were Grey Ghost and Maggot Smelt for the lodge.

Up near Keenan’s settlement Alley Keenan and his granddaughter Reese hooked her first Salmon.

Alley told her to throw it back and she threw it right back in the boat he said. They also hooked a few more fish and saw many.

Up near the Mouth of Cain’s River area we were still hooking several fish and seeing many jumping all over the river both near shore and in the middle. I was hooking most of my big fish in the middle of the river and the grilse were hitting close to shore. The biggest I had was 41 inches and a few others 37 and 39 inchers. Flies I was using was a Christmas tree number 3/0.

Last week I landed a 42 incher and she had some eggs coming out of her vent. Mark Hambrook of the Miramichi Salmon Association said that this is normal. When salmon spawn, they don't get rid of all their eggs. Usually a few dozen remain and they eventually shrink into what looks like a dried-out kernel of corn.

When we spawn large salmon in the fall, we can tell if it spawned before because there is always "corn" in with the eggs. In the spring of the year, if you squeeze the belly of a female salmon, you will generally get a few old eggs out the vent. In the picture, the eggs are over ripe and near ready to rupture at which time the liquid will be absorbed into the body and the shell remains and becomes "corn". Thanks Mark for the great information.

In the Doaktown area at O’Donnell’s Cottages Valerie O’Donnell said fishing was still very good and water was still going down and very clear. Some of her guest hooked fish on Monday and Tuesday on a few different flies like an Orange Marabou, Black Ghost and Mickey Finn and were using sink tip lines.

Wilsons Sporting Camps above Doaktown said the bigger salmon are jumping this week. And they are seeing them on the heavy water edges and taking most on a cast with heavy sink lines. The water was down to a nice level on Tuesday and cleared up very well, darker fly patterns were the answer for them.

On the North West Miramichi local guide and fisherman Kevin Gillespie said there were no smelts as of Wednesday and still a lot of salmon in the river. There were also some big trout being hooked in the 19 to 21 inch range but were not fresh trout. The river was clear and there were a few fish jumping and rolling.

Local fly shops on the Miramichi River are also getting lots of fishermen in telling there fishing lies and fish stories. Which we all love hearing about, so when your into the shops please let them know about your catch.

On the North West Miramichi River, drop into Trout Brook Fly Shop and talk to Sydney Matchett about the fishing. On the Renous and Quarryville stretch of the Main South West Miramichi River George is always around at Georges Fly Shop. In Miramichi city area check out Miramichi Fishing and Hunting Supplies and Jim is always there to help you out. Miramichi City Surplus on the old highway just above the enclosure has a great supply of fly fishing gear available.

This is Tony Lloyd with a nice salmon on the Miramichi.

Curtis Miramichi River Outfitters in Blackville said fishing is pretty good this week and to drop in anytime for a say and to check out their gear. Herb Barry just out past the Blackville Irving has lots of flies on hand and always can tell you where the fish are. Jerry Doak of W.W.Doaks in Doaktown has all the fishing gear and supplies too and also loves to hear about the fishing.

If you’re coming from Fredericton don’t forget about Chris Munn of Fredericton Outfitters and Anglers where they have a good selection of fly fishing supplies on hand. One place I always stop at when in Moncton is Lyon’s General Store where there is so much to see from hunting to fishing. They have a good selection of flies on hand too from local tiers.

Tip of the week: I expect fishing to stay pretty good unless the river rises up further than the last time. Fish close to the shore or alters in the dirty water and near the mouths of brooks, you will pick up a few, we always do. There should be soon reports of strippers being hooked and with the start of trout season on the 1st of May and the water warming up we should start to see them take a fly.

I hope this helps with your next week of fishing on the Miramichi River and tributaries and that you have a great day on the water. Please email your comments, pictures and your reports to me anytime if you like at

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 fisherman for the past 28 years. His column appears every Thursday.