Miramichi Atlantic Salmon Report


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

Campbells Pool Sept 8 2021

Guide Jason Curtis and angler Duncan Barnes

THE DATE OF THIS MIRAMICHI  SALMON REPORT IS: October 16, 2021   The 2021 Miramichi salmon season is now closed.  
CURRENT WATER LEVELS AND TEMP:    Water Level .86 falling  Temp.  15C/59F

Note Degrees in F = 1.8C + 32, Water height is in meters at gauge in Blackville.  Up to .7M considered low, .71M to .99, 1M plus high.
10/16/21 This is my last report for 2021.  Be sure go back to the home page and sign up to receive notice of updates to my blog which will resume when I get home. There will be a comprehensive update to of this fall’s fishing, and the past season in its entirety.  Thanks for reading.  Brad

10/14/21 water temp has been rising all week and is now 59F.   This fall will be remembered by me for mild temperatures and lots of black flies.  The little late run in the Miramichi continued yesterday.  We saw no fish, but I  caught a grilse,  and hooked but lost a salmon.  Fisherman at Campbells also rolled and pricked a salmon.  Thunderstorms rolling through now at 5:00 AM and we’re headed up to the Cains later hoping it will stir up the fish.  One more day to go for the season.

10/13/21 the temp gauge is now working again, and the water temp has actually warmed a little since some frosty days last week.  No rain still, and the Cains is get very low.   Lots of fish there but very difficult to catch.  There has been a small increase in the number of fish coming in to the Miramichi.  A few have been caught and we saw a few yesterday afternoon.  I hooked and lost a grilse on a number 4 black bear grn butt.   We have some warm cloudy weather with a few showers to end the season.   Heard that the salmon world lost the great fisherman, salmon entrepreneur, and conservationist Mike Crosby recently – a very sad surprise.

10/11/21 we fished the Cains yesterday and got a grilse near the camp.  It was 28F driving in.  The fish came to a shrimp fly, size 8.  It went in the wire box for MSA spawning.  Another pool had a few fish showing, but we could find nothing they would take.  Fished Campbells in the afternoon.  Conditions were good but I got and saw nothing.  Forecast is for essentially clear mild weather the rest of the week.

10/10/21 under sunny skies we felt lucky yesterday just to see a few salmon on the Cains and one on the Miramichi.  Water conditions on the SWM are terrific, there just aren’t any fish…. I finds myself thinking about the excellent June and July I missed, and looking forward to next season.

10/8/21 we picked up one grilse at Doctors Island yesterday, but otherwise things are just as they were a couple of days ago.   We need some rain to pick up the Cains water levels, but it doesn’t appear in the forecast.

10/6/21 Double whammy for salmon fishers.  The Cains has lots of salmon, but water is low, and we are in a period of bright sunny weather making them very difficult to catch.  The run in the main river is poor, and water levels are just getting down to good fishing levels.  Options aren’t good for fishermen.

10/4/21 I spent yesterday at Campbells and we only thought that we might have seen one or two moving fish.  It was quite disappointing after yesterday’s encouragement.  Others fishing the Cains found some action on smaller flies. The weather is now more like the fall that we expect.

10/3/21 Two on Cains yesterday and a fresh run of fish may be entering the river.  We got a grilse and rolled and touched a couple more. We saw quite a few jumping on their way upriver.  The weather has turned cold and suddenly it feels like fall, though the colors are not close to peak.  Cains fish took small Underttakers while Miramichi fish was on a #4 Copper Killer.

10/1/21  We fished the Cains exclusively yesterday, and found fish in residence and on the move.  Several were hooked, and we landed a massive hen.  Heard about fresh fish being seen on MSWM yesterday, and will try it today.  What a relief to get rid of the overly warm weather.  It now feels more like fall, Miramichi salmon weather.

9/29/21 3 striped bass caught yesterday Campbells home pool. Some luck on Cains, though as the salmon came to life.  Three were hooked and one nice cockfish approx 15 pounds landed.  A couple of rainy days coming up that should be good fishing.  Looking for a late run of fresh fish.  The reported run for most of September has been just a trickle.

9/29/21 the recent raise is dropping back and some of us fished the MSWM  last evening and some stayed up on the Cains.  No fish were caught, but we did see some fresh fish last evening on the main river.  We will be fishing some large fall flies there today. It’s time.

9/28/21 raises on both MSWM and Cains were less than anticipated and the rivers are now dropping again.  There was some movement of fish upriver on Cains yesterday, and we caught a salmon about 15 pounds on our uppermost pool.  Fishing should resume on the main river tomorrow.

9/27/21 we fished a couple of pools on the Cains yesterday with no results.  The fish were stale, but it was raining hard.  We got approximately 2 inches of rain and another large raise is in progress.  This will shut the main river down for a couple of days, and then the heart of the fall run should appear.

9/26/21 the very anemic fall run of salmon continues against a backdrop of almost hot weather.  With few exceptions the only salmon catches are being made in up river pools with resident fish.  I caught two 25 inch range stripers in Campbells Pool yesterday.  The pool has been full of feeding parr.  What a shame that DFO hasn’t allowed the taking of all stripers caught above the head of tide.

9/24/21 saw more salmon on MSW yesterday, but no hookups.  Cains gave us a grilse with sea lice and fish are starting to stack up in what is becoming lowish water.

9/23/21 Grilse yesterday on a brown bomber on Cains, plus touched and rolled a couple. Saw four on MSW around eleven AM, but nothing in the afternoon and none on the line. Water at a nice level now.

9/22/21 We are seeing a few fish on the Cains and hooking an occasional fish, and very few on the main river.  It has been warm and sunny, and the river has continued to drop and will go below 1 M today.  We are in need of a new run of fish.  DFO posted the trap numbers through September 15, and they continue better than 2018,2019, but are not as good as they appeared back in July.  Grilse are better than salmon.  We are seeing lots of parr.

9/21/21 Another nice salmon on the Cains yesterday on a Same Thing Murray #6, but seeing very few new fish on the SWM.  Hoping the new moon tides will bring in some fish.

9/20/21 Got a nice salmon in Cains yesterday morning, and saw a few fresh fish trickle up the main river during the day. Overall fishing quite slow as we wait for the river to be low enough for fish to hold up.

9/19/21 Cloudy with late day thunderstorms and warm.  The river which has been too high for a week and a half with back to back raises is finally getting back into shape.  We had a small run of fresh fish yesterday morning, but failed to hook up.   We did roll two, one a large salmon, and it bumped the fly then continued upriver.

9/18/21 Yesterday was crystal clear meaning warm in the afternoon after a  cool start.  Fishing remains slow with few new fish coming yesterday and equally few holding anywhere.  We went 20 miles up the Cains and caught a grilse, but it is just too early for that run.  River is dropping and no real rain in forecast so looking for more fresh fish to arrive especially with full moot tides coming up.

9/17/21 the thunderstorms of Wed raised the river about 9 inches and muddied it up a bit ruining yesterday.  Nonetheless salmon were running the river in Blackville yesterday afternoon.  It has been dropping since midnight and fishing will resume today.

9/16/21 fresh run salmon were fairly abundant for a while yesterday afternoon.  We caught a nice salmon in Cains, and rolled three in SWM.  Thunderstorms drove from the water and deposited approx a half inch of unnecessary rain.  We need the river to drop another foot plus to get to a good holding level.

9/15 water allows careful wading now.  Fresh fish just starting to show in the main river.  We lost two in different Cains pools yesterday., and saw more.  Flies are coming down in size, and plan to try bombers today in Cains.

9/14 Another day with no fish.  We did see a couple on the lower Cains but suspect that most of what is there C are fish that held there during the last raise.  We are waiting for some new fish and they are overdue.

9/13 The raise topped out at just over 3 meters and  has now dropped back to under 2.  We fished both the Cains and SW yesterday but never saw a fish. Eddie Colford of the BBSClub said yesterday that the “fresh lads will be right along” we’re sure hoping he is right.
9/11/21 3 inches of rain SW Miramichi headquarters yesterday and 2 on Cains.  Big, dirty raise starting to top out.  It will be a whole new ball game when this clears up.  We should see the the real start of the fall run.  Fishing should start again on Sunday morning.

9/8/21 Fishing and weather have been quite good.  Water has stayed high encouraging upstream movement, so not a lot holding in the lower river, but some, and some takers.  We have caught salmon on most recent sessions.  More rain is expected on Thursday and Friday.


Fly sizes of 4 and 6 should do it.  Fall flies like Ally’s shrimp and regular wet flies like black bear series will all work.  Bombers could be back in favor now if you find some  holding fish.


2021 Fishing reports

August 14 There is no salmon fishing right now is the simplest and most accurate statement.  Today is the peak of the hot spell and it will end with showers and thundershowers, and temperatures are forecast to gradually cool over the next 10 days.  The low on Sunday night if forecast to be 10C, and undoubtedly will go lower than that in many locations.  The days are still warm, though, and it will be at least mid-week and probably longer before the cold water pools are re-opened.  Water levels in the SWM are still good, but are dropping – a normal condition for mid to late August.  Hopefully the table is being well set for the fall season.  It looks like it right now.

August 13 Salmon fishing in New Brunswick is closed beginning today in all the cold water pools along the Miramichi.  Full details are listed in the link above.  The ban on fishing will not be lifted until minimum temperatures are lower than 20C for two consecutive days.  While fishing is allowed in areas away from these pools there is no realistic chance of getting an Atlantic salmon to take a fly in these water temperatures.  This is a good time to leave the fish alone.

August 10  I fished two days before coming back from NB.  There were lots of fish in areas with a brook, and in the mornings I saw some fresh fish moving up the river.  The fishing was tough with marginal water temps, and it will be definitely be too hot for good fishing the next few days.  I got a salmon of about 17/18 pounds on a bomber the morning of the 10th, lost another, and rolled several.  I fished for almost 2 hours without a look, and then all the action came at once – and then it stopped…

August 7 Country Haven posted some nice pictures of fresh looking salmon from the Cains and the lower SWM yesterday.  The barrier reports came in yesterday for the NWM and Dungarvon.  In both cases they are up substantially over last year.

August 5 Jason Curtis and his wife canoed from Wilson’s down to Doaktown recently and said that they saw good numbers of salmon holding in every pool along the way.  That’s the way it should be.  Let’s hope that it continues.

August 2 I am gathering reports for an upcoming blog update, and everyone reports that the fishing has been uniformly very good.  It doesn’t sound to me as if grilse are as dominant in  the catch the last couple of weeks as they were.  I’m beginning to see fish in the catch that are no longer silver bright.

July 31 Several members of clan Curtis made a trip up the Cains yesterday and had good fishing plus saw a lot of fish moving up the river in the rain.  The strong run of fish and good fishing continues.  Jeff Curtis reported seeing a good number of parr around his dock in Blackville this summer.

July 27 US anglers like me are starting to think that we may actually have good fishing conditions when we cross into Canada after August 9.  Augusts in the last couple of seasons have been largely dry with low water, but the trend right now is definitely different than that.  This coming week is persistently below normal in high temps and at the same time right on normal in terms of forecast lows.  It looks good if it will hold.

July 24 last night Jason Curtis hooked 5 salmon including a monster on a huge green machine.  He is fishing with the flies we usually use in early June.  The run of fish is simply excellent.

July 23 The constant moderately high water has been too much of a good thing when it comes down to actual salmon fishing.  The higher water levels have kept salmon moving up the rivers, and angling success has been good, but not as good as if water was a little lower and more fish were pooled up.

July 22 Nothing much new to report.  Fishing was good up through yesterday, but will be tougher until this raise settles down and drains off a bit.  The federal government of Canada is opening the border to US citizens with vaccinations on August 9 and for other countries on September 7.

July 18 Water is dropping and warming a little.  The pools are beginning to hold some fish.  The trap numbers were excellent when updated three days ago.  Things are great for July on the Miramichi.

July 16 Fishing is excellent up and down the Miramichi.  In most pools the fish are not sticking around for long since the flow  water is so good for reaching pools near their spawning grounds.  Not all the fish are in a hurry though.  Yesterday Jason Curtis caught a salmon in Blackville that had been tagged two weeks earlier at Millerton.

July 14 yesterday Jason Curtis fished for 15 minutes at Campbell’s after some work around the camp.  He picked a good spot based on water height and landed two grilse plus lost another in 15 minutes.  I’m sure that kind of activity is available all over the river system.

July 12 – I heard from some folks who were out yesterday, but found the water just a bit too high to fish. One person ran a boat way up into the Bartholomew and saw salmon jumping up there.  Everyone is reporting that this is just an epic year for Miramichi salmon.  The whole week is going to be moderate in temperatures with showers forecast almost every day.  This should be a fabulous week for the fish.

July 11 – the fishing starting on perhaps as early as this evening and running for a few days should be very good.  Statistically this is the best time of the summer, and we have a river full of cool water.  The 15 day forecast has a mixture of weather including some modest rain later in the week, and temperatures are expected to be about normal.  The high water level will help buffer out the sunny days.

July 8 – the very good run of fish continues.  The traps at Dungarvon had excellent numbers last week and both are well ahead of last year.  The Dungarvon trap is up about 80% with salmon numbers almost double while the NW barrier way up in grilse.  That will probably change as the SWM grilse run comes later than the NW.  Word from Millerton and Cassillis is for “huge numbers” to have recently entered the traps.  Definitely time to be on the water.

July 4 – these are the best conditions for this time of the season that we have seen in many years.  Much of yesterday the air  temperatures were in the vicinity of 10C/50F.  The number of fish in the system is terrific.  It is time to get out on the water if you are ever going to.  It is reported that a lot of fish are already headed up the Cains.

July 1 – the heat wave just broke with plenty of rain.  Catches on the river except for the last hot day have been excellent with one of the best runs in years underway.  There is a better report on my blog which you can reach through the top line menu bar.

June 27, 2021 lots of fish  are in the system.  By reports the best start to the season in years.  Conditions after this small heat wave look very good.

June 25 Fishing has been quite good recently on the SW Miramichi.  The recent raise of water saw a good run of both salmon and grilse headed up the river.  It’s time to get out there and do some fishing.

Tyler Coughlan, guide at Country Haven, with sport and fresh grilse from the SWM. The grilse run is strong for June.


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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