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.
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 miramichifishingreports.blogspot.com. 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.