Atlantic salmon fishing on the Miramichi is still going strong as huge runs of fish keep coming in from the ocean. All the tributaries of the Miramichi were reporting good runs of salmon and grilse. River conditions are perfect levels and some fish are now starting to hold up longer in the pool which makes the catching a bit easier at times.
The NW Miramichi got hit with a blow for anglers fishing to keep their catch of grilse. For the second season in a row the hook and release method comes into play. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans issued a variation order allowing only hook and release angling on the Northwest Miramichi and its tributaries for at least a portion of the 2011, 2012 and 2013 angling seasons. The department said the decision was made for conservation purposes based on science assessments and is effective as of noon on Wednesday, July 6.
Variation order 2011-056 is for mandatory live release for all of the angling season on the Little Southwest Miramichi and its tributaries upstream from Catamaran Brook, on the Northwest Miramichi upstream from Little River, and on both the north and south branches of the Sevogle upstream from and including Square Forks. In 2012 and beyond, these catch and release restrictions will be in effect for the entire season.
Mandatory live release will be required from noon on July 6 until July 31 on the Northwest Miramichi River from and including Little River downstream to Wayerton Bridge (Route 430). In 2012 and beyond, this catch and release restriction will be in effect from June 1 to July 31.
Salmon fishing on the Upper Stretches of the Main SW Miramichi River is extraordinary. All our pools are fishing very well. Here at the Ledges and Mountain Channel our pools are starting to hold some monster fish. Guide Derek Munn had Tyler and his father James Brown while both landed two fish over the 20 pound mark and several grilse, Tyler also landed a 2lb striped bass. Derek said it was the first time they saw a stripe bass this far up river. You can check out the pictures on our web site at LedgesInn.com. Guide Andrew Anthony also had very good fishing while one morning his clients hooked 12 salmon. Guide Lloyd Lyons was also on the ball as he and his clients were having very good results using the Mighty Quinn pattern tied by Ralph Goodwin of Minto. I was guiding a nice couple that dropped into Doaks Fly Shop in Doaktown on Tuesday and asked which fly was working. They gave them a fly called the Same Thing Murray and they both ended up getting their first ever salmon on the Miramichi.
In the Boistown area Allan McCormack of McCormack’s Tubing said their clients saw several salmon while tubing this week. They said the tubing is going very good now as the weather is helping very much.
Wilson’s Sporting Camps said fishing is also very good with great runs of salmon in all their pools. Guide Karl Wilson netted a 33 incher for his client that was fresh from the ocean.
O’Donnell’s Cottages in the Doaktown area had many canoe’s on the river the past week ranging from young kids to grandparents canoeing. So give them a call for a canoe trip on the Miramichi River.
Local anglers have been hooking up in public pools on the river. You can find your public pools on the Atlantic Salmon Museum maps which they have in Doaktown at the Museum. You can also get them at Curtis Miramichi River Outfitters and W.W.Doaks fly shop.
The lower stretches of the river at Country Haven Lodge said they had very good fishing the past week. Guide Gary Colford and his clients landed a few on Green Machines and Blue Charms.
Mountain Channel is starting to fish very well this week as the pool is a low water pool. So check it out and fish with legend guide of the river Wes Curtis and Brother Boyd whose father use to guide the famous Ted Williams.
Flies of choice for the past week were Green Machine with White Tails, Undertakers with Jungle Cock Cheeks, The Mighty Quinn, the same thing Murray, brown bombers, orange bombers, blue charms, and different color butterflies.
Tips of the week, are you the angler hooking and releasing on the Miramichi. If so pinch your barbs and help release your fish quicker. Use a soft mesh net which helps from hurting the fish when releasing them. And always make sure you hold your fish under the belly and by the tail with their head pointing up stream close to the water for that picture. I hope these tips help you out while catching perhaps that first Miramichi Atlantic Salmon.
Until next week keep your lines tight and your reels a 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.