Last Saturday Evening – A Great Time for Miramichi Salmon and Salmon Anglers

Sir Michael Wigan of Borrobol Estate on the Helmsdale River, Scotland

Fishing Friends – we weren’t far from capacity at the Portland Country Club, as supporters of Miramichi salmon conservation met to raise funds for the MSA.  In addition to fund-raising activities, attendees both in person and virtual listened to Sir Michael Wigan, owner of the Borrobol Estate on the Helmsdale River in Scotland, talk about the successful management of salmon on their river.  Those in attendance were interested to learn how the Helmsdale River Board assessed the parr counts in the river through electrofishing, and then angled broodstock and incubated eggs in their hatchery over the winter.  The resulting fry are stocked the next spring in river locations where the parr counts had been found to be subnormal.  Instead of constantly declining catches, these techniques, widely used by rivers throughout the

MSA supporters enjoy the food at the Portland Country Club

Northern Highland’s of Scotland, have kept catches very consistent for decades.  Other rivers without the hatchery supplementation have declined as Scotland is faced with the same difficult ocean environment that faces North American Atlantic salmon.

A typical early March springer on the River Naver, Scotland.

On a brighter note, Michael also reported that Scottish anglers had already caught the first springer, or early run Atlantic of the 2024 season.  He didn’t say on which river, though, but it was very likely one of the Helmsdale’s neighboring northern rivers like the Naver or Brora.


Every day is now a few minutes longer, and in a little over 60 days anglers will head to the Miramichi to fish for spring salmon, and in a month after that we can start to anticipate the arrival of bright fish, home from feeding off Greenland.

Last year was a tough one in much of Atlantic Canada, with most rivers in the southern half of the range experiencing weaker than expected runs.  Hopefully 2024 will be a bounce back year.

Many of the items in the MSA Online Auction are designed to enhance your salmon fishing experience.  We have fishing trips to the Miramichi as well as Maine, fishing equipment including reels, rods, lines, any number of fly collections, casting lessons, clothing and some great artwork to keep the fire burning.

Salmon on at the Landing, Serpentine River, Newfld

Just for a second, before you look through all the auction bargains, you might want to check this out. The Serpentine River in Newfoundland is a terrific salmon fishing venue.  In late June they have a run of big salmon.  The river is large then, and there is some walking and rugged wading involved, but if you want to swing a fly for some big fish in a wilderness setting, this is a great opportunity at a modest price.  My friend Paul Rogers who runs Newfound Outfitters had a cancellation, and he has three rods available for the week of June 23rd – 28th.  As always, I have no financial stake of any kind in this.  I’m just passing it on for the benefit of all parties.

Now, have a look at this link!  We have gone through all the items and in many cases lowered the opening bids and buy it now prices on items that have yet to achieve an opening bid.  This includes trips to three of the top lodges on the Miramichi River.  Time to get bidding, the auction closes at 6:00 PM this coming Sunday the 11th.

We have also added several new items to the auction.  Here is a little rundown on some exceptional opportunities:

Ted Williams White Birch Lodge, three days of guided fishing, opening bid has been reduced to just $1,600.  This is a terrific home pool, you stay in Ted’s private lodge, eat great home-cooked food, and some terrific dates are available.

Big Salmon On the Cains – painting by Luther Hall has an opening bid of just $600.  A smaller and less ooh and ahhed over painting by Luther sold last Saturday for $1,200 after some hot bidding.

Day of guided spring salmon for two anglers with Salar Haven Guides Donnie Colford and Delbert Sullivan.  We’ve brought the opening bid down to $350 to get the action going.  That’s $175 each for a guide with a boat, and these men know the river.

A striper trip on Casco Bay with Captain David Eaton.  I know David, and he has been at it a long time.  This will be a great trip for someone.  This item is new to the auction with a starting bid of just $250.

Country Haven Lodge has in addition to excellent June fishing, access to some of the Cains River’s best pools.  Opening bid has been reduced to $1,900 to get the action underway.

Reels by Cheeky and VanStaal, both top-shelf products with new opening bids of under $200 each.

Several bamboo rods in salmon sizes, all with prices researched on the internet and then reduced considerably today to get a strike.

Sutter Salmon Lodge, owners of some of the finest pools in the Boiestown to Doaktown stretch of easy wading, braided gravel channels.  Opening bid is just $1,700.  Great opportunity for a classic salmon adventure.

Thunderhead Large Submersible Duffel, available all over the internet for no less than $395.  Opening bid just $225!!!

Two Sci Anglers top end fly lines reduced to an opening bid of $125 for both.

There is more too.  Many items that have current bids are far below actual market value. 

Don’t forget the raffles!  4 Great Items, your choice of any Sage Rod, Reddington Zipper Waders, choice of Rio Fly line, a lovely painting of Doctor’s Island by Luther Hall.   As of 2/5/24 only 1 of the 4 items has sold enough tickets to cover the wholesale price we paid for it.  Everyone can use a new rod, new zippered waders, a new fly line, why not pick up a few raffle tickets and try your luck?

Colin Gilk’s impressive May, Miramichi springer from a couple of years back. I’ve never seen a finer example. The great game will begin again before too long.




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