A very few salmon and grilse are being caught in the lower SW Miramichi and doubtless in some of the larger holding pools early and late in the day. Under low light a few salmon are entering the river each day as nature calls them to their spawning areas. That is about it, though, as the body of fish await a raise in water that seems completely unattainable this year. We really have had almost no rain since bright fish started entering the river in early June. I’m sure that sometime between now and November that there will be a substantial rain event, but at this point it isn’t in the forecast. The day and a half of light rain forecast for around Wed. has now been canceled and we will have sun and clouds instead.
Water temperature this morning is 17.5C/63F. The water level is at .42 meters and holding for now. Read that seasonably warm and extraordinarily low. This is more or less as low as we have ever seen the river.
We are back to small flies and bombers. Orange and red flies like the Chief Needabah, Ally’s Shrimp, or Mickey Finn streamer are in order for freshly arriving fish on the Miramichi, and these might work too on the Cains, though probably best in sizes starting with a #6 on the top end and quickly going down . This is also a good time for the classic Miramichi black flies such as the black bears. I personally like the green butt version best, but there is probably little difference green or red. If you present to a fish that doesn’t take try dropping down to a #8 or #10.
On the Miramichi or the Cains, whenever you’re in doubt, a green machine is never a bad choice. I personally love a tail on mine, whether it is krystal flash – probably my favorite – or a fairly sparse bucktail of about half the length of the fly body. Actually that is just the length that looks good to me, and that has worked. Shorter or longer tails may work as well or better in the right water conditions. I think the magic of the green machine is the life-like action of the palmer-wound hackle as the fly swims through the water.
For a more full report on my last trip to the Miramichi see my Blog.