Miramichi Atlantic Salmon Report



Guide Willy Bacso holds a 30-pound cock salmon from October of 2007

 

THE DATE OF THIS MIRAMICHI ATLANTIC SALMON REPORT IS: August 17, 2022.
CURRENT WATER LEVELS AND TEMP:    Water height on the Blackville gauge is .8 meters rising, and water temps this evening are 20.5C/69F.  A substantial rain is now underway, and it is expected that air temps will reach 30C this weekend.

Note Degrees in F = 1.8C + 32, Water height is in meters at gauge in Blackville.  Up to .7M considered low, .71M to .99M medium, 1M plus high.

1 (506) 857-6328
I hope that everyone will write this number down and enter it in their phone address book.
A DFO enforcement officer has assured me that this number can be called at any time to report illegal fishing activity, and action will be taken.

Crossing the border to Canada Getting across is not difficult at this time.  You have to have your ArrivCan app filled out.  I did this on my phone, and I am no technical wizard.  Just stick to it; it can be done easily enough.  The phone is good because the Application uses the phones camera to photo key information on your passport.  It takes this information along with what you key in for entry dates etc and the border agent will already have that when you arrive at the border and present your passport.  It works quite well.  Coming back into the US was a total piece of cake.  

FLY CHOICES:

Fly sizes of 8, 10 should do it for salmon, though levels are dropping and temps rising.  It is time for dry flies too.  Smaller flies are the  rule.

Mid-summer wet fly patterns include Black Ghosts, Same Thing Murray, Black Bear Green Butts etc, and most standard patterns will work.  Never overlook a Green Machine.  This is very much bomber time too.  A good starting point is always the natural deer hair bomber with white tail and wings, and with brown hackles.  

FISHING REPORT:

Dr. Jake Swan of Fredericton caught this lovely salmon recently in high water almost 20 miles up the Cains.

8/17/22 Water temps are below critical levels and the river is open to fishing.  Water temps are warm, though, and with more heat in the immediate forecast fishing is not great on the river in general.  Historically mid-August is the slowest time of the year on the Miramichi.

8/7/22 Temps for tomorrow and the next day are forecast to reach highs of only 18C/64F with rain throughout the period.  This will provide relief from the prolonged period of stress the salmon have been under.  There will be a raise of water, and some new fish should enter the river, though this is historically the slowest time of the season for new fish to enter.  It is possible that the warm water protocol can be lifted sometime later in the week.

8/5/22  Salmon fishing is essentially on hold on the Miramichi.  By sometime later next week that could change.

7/27/22 I was quite pleased to see the NWMiramichi drop below 20C/68F this morning.  That is reportedly a critical temp for the fish to really get a break.  The graph shows that average temps have cooled off a little over the past few days.  We are in a period of significant stress to salmon.  The warm weather is forecast to continue into early August.

7/25 Great trip to Nwfld.  It was good off and on back on the Miramichi while I was away too.  Of special note is that numbers of salmon have already been caught up the Cains beyond Shinnickburn this year.  That only happens every few years.  The trap numbers are also showing a very good year in progress for salmon and a decent one for grilse.  Check out my salmon blog for a more thorough report.  It is way too hot on the Miramichi for salmon fishing, and looks like it will remain that way into August.

7/17  I’m on my way to a camp in Nwfld.  I’ve been informed that a good run of grilse arrived in the MSW.  Unfortunately the weather has turned quite warm, and the lower river will probably offer very little fishing for a while.

7/14 I posted a new blog yesterday that you can find in the menu at the top of the home page.  Fishing has continued to be good though water is warming, and levels are still well above normal for the date.  Eddie Colford at BBSC says there are lots of fish, but getting them to take is not easy.  Next week’s forecast has no rain – though thunderstorms can come anytime – and temperatures will be in the very high 20s to 30C/mid 80sF and could very well cause DFO to close the cold-water pools later in the week.

7/11 I have returned from a month in NB, so my salmon reports will now be information from friends instead of personal experience.  I see that the moderately high water conditions continue.  Temps are good so far, but there are a few hot days coming up that will provide some overly warm water during some afternoons.  I’m headed for Nwfld on Saturday, and when I get back we can look at the 7/15 Miramichi returns data from DFO.  I think it will be good news.

7/9/22 A good run of fresh salmon and grilse is underway on this high but falling water.  Catches are always modest on these running fish, but the action is pretty good.
7/8/22 We went to the Cains yesterday to escape the dirty water and caught two nice teen-sized salmon.  Water dropped back 6 inches last night, and we will hope for fresh fish on the main river today.

7/7/22 The main SW got two inches in the headwaters, and the Cains got around one inch.  Meadow Brook showed 4 inches, but I’m sure it’s broken.  This is a complete reset on fishing.  We’ve not yet seen the river down to a good fishing height, and it will be at least another week plus before we do.  It’s great for the fish and I assume the upriver pools are full of fish.  Andy Dumaine caught our first Cains grilse yesterday.  We’ll head up there today looking for some cool water.
7/5/22 We landed a perfect 15 pound hen salmon last evening at Campbells on a #6 Thunder and Lightning.   Fish were seen off and on throughout the day, but this was the only strike.
7/4/22 Hooked but lost salmon yesterday and rolled another.  Fly was #6 John Olin.  Pic of recently release of 33 pounder at Black Brook.

7/3/2022 I’ve been in a terrible dry stretch.  We did see some fish yesterday including a few in  Campbells Pool, but no hookups.   Others like Black Brook, with its cold water pool, had a good week.  This included one of 33 pounds caught by a lady angler. Country Haven reported a lot of fish in the lower river.   They landed three yesterday morning.

7/1/2022 Some nice salmon and grilse are still being taken, but by and large the run has slowed to a trickle.  The first week in July is normally one of the greatest of the season, so we are hopeful for a spate of fresh fish. Water heights are good and getting better, and temperatures aren’t bad for the time of year.
6/28, 29 Slow last couple of days with the warm water.  Still seeing salmon moving upriver, but takers are hard to come by.  Fish are now starting to collect in col water pools.
6/27 Lots of salmon on the move yesterday  morning.  Fish are starting to hold better on some of the lies as the water drops. It is still at above average height. Looks like the hot weather is going to moderate over the next few days.
6/25 good run of fish continues despite hot day yesterday.   Good mix now of grilse showing up.  With water still a little high there are few holding fish.  Black Brook Salmon  Club  head  guide  Eddie  Colford and  angler with  a  nice  salmon.

6/24 what a difference in one day.  Lots of fish on the go. Landed our first grilse, hooked a big salmon that jumped off, and rolled several other fish.  Water warmed up considerably to 62F last evening.
6/23 yesterday was very quiet.  We are getting back to a more fishable height in the lower river, and the forecast doesn’t include any big rain in the near term.
6/22/2022 the June 15 trap numbers were published and the SW branch has had a good early push of fish.  Catching has been difficult because of constant high water.   It looks like that is changing.   We rolled one fish last evening on a green machine  and hooked another on a black ghost that came off on the jump.  This river is dropping and things are looking up.
6/20/2022 High water but salmon are moving through and some being caught like the 22 pounder being released by Andy Dumaine fishing at the Ted Williams White Birch Lodge on the SWM.

6/19/22  Some salmon were around yesterday.  We saw four during the morning at Campbells and caught one and lost one about 9 pounds in the evening.   Pete Howell fishing at Black Brook lost a big salmon after what he described as the second 6 foot jump. The water is back up a bit this evening and it is raining now.
6/16/22  Water has been consistently high, and fish have blown through to upriver destinations.   The water is coming down now, but more rain is forecast.

6/13/22 we briefly hooked a salmon last evening and saw two others, so are hoping for a fresh push of fish.

6/12/22 I rose two salmon last evening and another angler fishing nearby rolled one and saw two others jump.  These were all moving fish, and there were no hookups.  The fish came to chartreuse #2 flash chenille green machines.  The 11th was slow for us.

6/8/22 Country Haven caught a bright salmon yesterday, and others have been seen.  Time to get fishing.

6/5/22 Colin Gilks got another salmon on 5/30 and we heard of another angler catching a salmon and a grilse.  Catches remain good up on the Restigouche/Matapedia system which hopefully bode well for the M.

6/1/22 I have heard nothing in recent days, but that is largely because we have had a ton of rain over the north, and the SWM got up to 3 meters, spring fishing height.  The water is now down to 1.8 meters.  Temps are remaining quite cool.  The catch has been quite good so far in 2022 on the Matapedia with a flurry of good activity before the recent rain.  This included guide Peter Firth landing two over 30 pounds each in one day.

5/22/22 A 40″ bright salmon was caught on the SWM on 5/22 in the Blissfield area, so the season has begun.  It is always slow at this time of the year, but the rewards are astronomical if you hook a big bright fish.

Caught 5/22 by Miramichi Salmon Club guide Colin Gilks in Blissfield.

8 Comments

8 Comments on “Miramichi Atlantic Salmon Report

  1. Water water, maybe too much water but good to see bright silver summer fish running the Miramichi system, Brad.
    TLs Henry.

  2. Hi Brad
    Been fishing the Miramachi since I was 10
    With George Curtis of Blackbille who unfortunately passed
    Last year. He was the greatest fly caster I have ever known and one heck of a salmon fisherman. We used to hang with Ted Williams at his camp. Anyway, do they require a vaccination card to enter Canada? I read your posts regularly and was lucky to visit the fall before COVID hit. There weren’t many fish and I didn’t see any anglers but managed to hook a fish every day~
    Thanks for keeping us all informed on what’s happening up on the great Miramachi. Aloha fro
    Kauai! Rob Arita

    • Aloha… Rob, hopefully you’ll get up there this fall and have a great trip. I knew George, a very personable guy. Ted Williams camp is now owned by a gentlemen from Texas, and they do lease it to sports. Best fishes. Brad Burns

  3. 3 fish caught during a hurricane if anyone’s ever wondered whether its worth trying!

    • Great e-mail. There is an old saying about fishing in the rain, that the fish don’t mind, they are already wet. It is true enough. I’ve had great fishing in rain so heavy you couldn’t see more than halfway across the river. It only lasts so long, though. Once the river really starts to rise the fish just have moving on their minds, and they will bump and roll at the fly, but seldom really take it. My experience.

  4. A member of the Miramichi-Renous Club (about 1 mile above Quarryville Bridge) reported fresh fish coming in from tidewater to the Home Pool at 8PM last night (14th) so hope river continues to drop for you. Maine is supposed to get hammered with thunderstorms this evening.

    • Thanks Andy. We saw a lot of salmon in Blackville this afternoon. We rolled three but had no hookups. Hopefully this is the start of good things.

  5. I’ve caught large landlocked salmon (~30″) in upstate NY on a 5 weight with an OPST setup, which kind of steak up the rod, but it wasn’t really effective.

    If you’re fishing for sea-run salmon, get like a 7-8 weight.

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