Miramichi Atlantic Salmon Report


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

CURRENT WATER LEVELS AND TEMP:    Water height on the SWM is unknown as gauge is broken, but it is probably around 1.4M and dropping.   Water temp today on the SWM is 12C/54F.

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.

Now is the time for big red and orange fall streamer patterns like the October Killer or the Mickey Finn.  Most other large salmon flies of all descriptions will also work.  Big marabou or slime flies are particularly effective in slow water.  Sink tips can make a difference too.


2023 Season!    

9/26 Fishing is really tough in most of the watershed. I’ve spent the last two mornings at Campbells without seeing a fish.  We really need a fresh run to provide some fish for the lower river.  Everyone’s fear is that they already went up in the repetitive raises of water that characterized this summer.  We’ll see.
9/25 the current forecast is for a week of sunny weather.  That will continue to bring water down to good fish levels on the main river but makes for tough catching conditions. I’m going to fish the main river today and am looking forward to seeing what is going on there.  It was slow for us on the Cains yesterday in the same pools that showed us a number of fish the day before.


9/24 we fished three pools well up on the Cains yesterday and hooked fish in all of them.  We landed two salmon and a grilse.  We also fished the main river in the morning and saw two salmon there.  Hopefully that will improve as water reaches normal fishing levels in the next couple of days.
9/23 we fished the Cains yesterday but will also try the main river this morning.   Country Haven caught a salmon and rolled a couple near Shinnickburn.  We saw a couple of jumpers and had one roll.  The water was high and fast but improving rapidly.  The cloudless skies were no help either.
9-22 Cool, fall day in Blackville today with a scattered frost.  The river is clear and dropping.   Country Haven angler Andrew Moy caught this lovely fish on the Cains on Wednesday morning    A few fresh salmon were seen on the SW Miramichi yesterday but no hookups.  We’ll be 20 miles up on the Cains today.

9/19 The river rose to 4.5 meters and dropped to 4 before the gauge stopped working yesterday afternoon.  There is rain again today over the Miramichi but does not look to be heavy and will only slow the drop in water levels.  We should be fishing the high water pools by Thursday or Friday and looking for a fresh run of fish.  Up river areas clear up first.  Big flies and sink tips will be the preferred tackle.

9/17 Hurricane Lee dumped in excess of 90mm of rain over the Cains and middle Miramichi valley but considerably less further west.  A large raise is in progress and fishing is essentially out of the question for the next day or two.

9/16 Hurricane Lee is working through the Province today with high winds and heavy rain.  The Fire Weather sight is down so how much rain has fallen and where is not available.  Certainly a very large raise of water is expected and salmon fishing is more or less out until the water starts to receded, probably mid-week or so.

9/14 Hurricane Lee is going to add to our high water and will likely knock us out for most of the next week.  We have been seeing salmon running both the Cains and Miramichi.

9/13 It seems that with the cooling water salmon have been moving in the Cains the last couple of days.  I hooked three today and had a couple of pulls, but those were the fruits of a very long day.   Rain from the hurricane will put everything on hold.

9/12 The water graph looks like a roller coaster, but always too high to be ideal.  Up until today it has also been too warm.  We did have reports last evening of fresh fish entering the main river which had been very quiet in 70F water.  Pools higher up on the Cains that produced well in late August seem to be without fish.  It would normally be too early for them anyway.  It is the craziest water year ever.

Laura Shelton caught this salmon on a black bomber at the  BBSC home pool last evening.


9/9 we have been stuck in a very warm and moist weather pattern.  Nearly all the action has been focused on the cold water pools with some resident salmon.  The heat is forecast to break tonight.
Dawson Hovey caught this salmon on the Cains fishing a small blue bomber.

Alex Colford holds a 24-pound hen salmon caught at Black Brook by Steve Howell son of long-time Black Brookers Pete and Dolly Howell

9/5 This morning we are .95 meter in water height.  That is very fishable but higher than normal.  Water temp is 20.5C/69F this morning and will not vary much from this for the next few days as our mini heat wave is drawing to an end amidst cloudy and finally rainy weather.  Reports from the river are quite good.  Conditions have fish gathering in the cool water pools and water heights are low enough to make them fishable.  It’s time to get up to the Miramichi and go salmon fishing.  Some more appropriate fall temps begin next week, the second week in September.  That is the traditional beginning of the fall run.  I’m headed up tomorrow and reports will be from Blackville for the rest of the season.

9/3 Water heights are now down to a very fishable 1.15M and with no rain in sight until the end of the week we should see heights down in .8 region which would be the lowest so far this season.  That would be great as it would not encourage the beginning of the fall run to just run up the river.  Hopefully the lower water will give us a normal fall with fish holding in the lower river pools.  We have four warm to hot days starting today, but the effect should not be enough to really hurt anything.

9/1 Raise topped out last night and is dropping.  Water is a cool 15C/59F.  Almost a full week of warm, sunny weather coming up.  The river may see its lowest levels of the summer by next Friday.  We’ll be putting away the big streamers and opening up the bombers and small wets.  I’m looking forward to it.
8/31 Yesterday’s rain was about one inch over both the Cains and SW Miramichi headwaters.  Water will raise but should not be too great.  It should start dropping again tomorrow.  Beginning on Friday we have an extended period of sunny and relatively dry weather.  It will be quite warm for a few days then cooling back to normal towards the middle of next week.  That could set the table well for fall fishing.  Some excellent fish were taken during this late August period.  Here is photo of another big hen from the Cains.

Jeremy Vickers of Country Haven holds a fresh hen salmon from 15 miles up the Cains.


8/29 The raise from a few days ago is dropping out now and fishing reports from the SWMiramichi and Cains are good – high water and all.  Country Haven and The Ledges in Doaktown both sent me pictures of lovely late summer salmon.  Hopefully this will continue into the fall.  I also had a report from a friend who caught 3 grilse and a salmon on a tributary of the NW Miramichi.  Rain is forecast for tomorrow but then an extended period of dry warmish weather is forecast.  Hopefully this will get our water levels down and the rivers into good shape for the fall season.

A lovely fall hen salmon from the Cains sent in by The Ledges.

8/26 Bantalor got almost two inches of rain from the last system, Clearwater got around one.  The SW Miramichi is back at 1.7M and

Donnie Keenan holds a nice, fresh-looking salmon taken in mid-August on the SWM in Blackville.

rising rapidly though it should top out today.  This has been the story of 2023.

8/21 Amazingly yesterday’s little raise leveled off for a minute then rose another 8 inches to 1.5 meters.  Oh well, sunny, dry, cool weather is forecast for the next few days.  They are talking about patchy frost.  Bring it on.

8/20 The water height leveled off after a tiny bump at 1.3M but will drop over the cool, sunny, dry weather forecast for much of this week.  Conditions for mid August are quite good.  I hear some decent reports of fresh salmon and grilse, and the trap numbers for August 1-15 weren’t too bad.. While current temperatures aren’t bad some much cooler weather is forecast a few days from now. It is around now that we start making the occasional pass with a smallish Ally’s shrimp.

8/15 The river river remains very high from frequent shower and thunderstorms.  Will it ever stop!  Things need three or four days now to settle down.  I recently talked with one very good angler who hooked 6 fish on public pools on the Renous, Cains and several pools on the SWMiramichi before the raise.  Not bad!

8/10 Fishing had been decent until the recent heavy rains which have again brought the SWM up by over a meter.  That raise is topping out now, and the SWM above the Cains should be fishable in a day or two.  The Cains saw over two inches of water and it will be a few days before the lower river starts to settle down.  There is a prolonged period of reasonable temperatures and weather forecast for the next two weeks, and the lower river can begin holding some fish for the fall fishing.  Here is a photo of a nice salmon with sea lice recently taken in SW Miramichi.  This is your typical 2 multi sea winter, virgin spawner that comprises a very large percentage of the salmon – as opposed to grilse – run.  It is this segment of fish, both salmon and grilse, that are being so severely effected by the out-of-whack striped bass population.


8/1 After closure of the cold water pools due to warm water protocol recent cool evenings have caused DFO to reopen fishing.  There are good numbers of salmon in the cold water pools according to Black Brook and Country Haven reports seeing new fish moving up the river.
7/16 salmon fishing is closed and the poachers are out.  Country Haven’s guides found a net this morning at Salmon Brook on the Cains.  Calls to the authorities were going unanswered this morning.  Thank god for the relatively high water.
7/14 due to warm water protocol the DFO has closed 29 named “cold water” salmon pools on the Miramichi system to all salmon fishing until further notice.  Temperatures are up and down this coming week and there is rain forecast.  I think it is likely that the river will reopen later in the week.  The Miramichi Salmon Association will have any news on this available the minute that it is available.  They broadcast the information to their members – you should be a member of the MSA – and they post it to their website.  It is a little unusual for the river to close in this strong height of water, but it is an important conservation move.

7/13   The moderately warm, wet weather continues on the  Miramichi.  The catch is good considering the high-water conditions.  I heard of one group of 8 recently at a well-known lodge that had 28 salmon in the high water.  That sounds quite good considering conditions.  There are now quite a fish spreading up into the Cains.  Ken Cogswell from Frederiction who roams the upper Cains as a hobby reports that the upper river is loaded with salmon parr.  I’ll be gone to Nwfld for the next two weeks so salmon reports will be less regular.  I’m looking forward to the 7/15 trap numbers to get a better indication of the strength of the summer run.  

7/11 Wet weather and normal temperatures will prevail for the next week.  This is great weather for the salmon, but high water will continue to make fishing challenging.
7/8 Water reached 70F yesterday for the first time.  It has been hot and muggy but high water has buffered the temperature.  The short of it is that I rolled, pricked and hooked but lost 6 salmon and grilse yesterday with none in the net.  Yesterday a fairly impressive school of salmon went through that was reminiscent of years ago.  Today is forecast as overcast, and last night’s thunderstorms will have cooled the river down somewhat.  We’re hopeful for this last day in camp for me until September.
7/7 Water reached 1.9M yesterday then started to drop around noon. A decent number of salmon were moving through in the evening and I managed to get one on a #4 Preacher.
7/6 Thunderstorms all over NB yesterday produced enough rain to again elevate water levels.  We saw and rolled a few fish yesterday, but the apparent number coming is much lighter than previous to this last raise.  We haven’t caught a striper in a while here at Campbells, but there are plenty downriver.  Bill Utley got one by Doctors Island yesterday that was estimated at 40”.   You can imagine the small fish that bass needs to eat every day.
7/5 Faced with yet another raise of water we struck out yesterday.  We all rolled fish in the morning, but there were no solid hookups. When we tried repeat casts the fish were gone upstream.    The water is dropping fast now, but is still very high.  It is forecast to get a lot warmer from tomorrow through Saturday but then cooler temps return.

7/4 we had two salmon again yesterday and saw fish all day long.  Both were about 11 pounds and were caught on wet flies.  It rained over southern portions of the Miramichi,  and the river rose overnight to 1.6 meters, but has topped off.        7/3 We got two salmon yesterday.  One of about 11 pounds on a #4 Same thing Murray and the other 15 pounds on a green bomber with orange wing.  Now it is raining and it will be the end of the week before we get back to mid level fishing heights.  People have been sending me fish pics. Everyone is enjoying good action and there are tons of parr feeding all around the edges. For the moment life is good.

7/2 We got a grilse yesterday on #4 Same Thing Murray.  Water is starting to get down to better fishing levels and and some fish are starting to hold.

Photo from Eddy Colford BBSC

7/1. The run of both salmon and grilse the last few days appears to be the best late June run we have seen in some years.  Because of the high water this hasn’t translated into high catches.  Andy Dumaine and I rolled several salmon and grilse each yesterday, but could not get one on the line.  The pool next door produced 3 salmon and a grilse for the Keenan family.  This included a 17 pounder on a dry for a young boy who is a terrific caster.
6/30 we got a grilse yesterday, but we also saw a very good amount of fish moving off and on all day.  We rolled and touched several others without a solid hookup.  An apparently decent run is being somewhat wasted by persistent high water.
6/29 Andy Dumaine caught a nice hen salmon last evening and we rolled two others.  This is despite the constant high water that motivates the fish to run up the river.  We saw at least a dozen and a half salmon surface during the day.

6/28 No salmon for us yesterday though we did see a fair number and we watched Jason Curtis land one in a high water pool just upriver.  We are just stuck in this pattern of too much of a good thing.  Yesterday afternoon Juniper got 20 mm and the Cains 9.  This means the river will fall slowly if at all over the next 24 hours.
6/27 Yesterday was a total washout.  The river topped out at just over 1.8 meters at 10:00 AM but didn’t really start to drop for another 12 plus hours.  It should be clear enough and we’ll start fishing this morning.  We’ll be back to big flies.

6/26 what I missed yesterday was looking at the Fireweather website.  The site has been functioning sporadically during all of 2023, and hadn’t updated since 6/16.  But it worked yesterday and showed 41mm of rain in Juniper. The river was rising and dirty yesterday and is more so this morning.  Rain on the Cains was only 10mm, and that will mean that the raise will be nowhere near as large as it could have been.  I think that by this time tomorrow the river will be falling and beginning to clear up, but my timing could be optimistic.
I had hoped for a good day yesterday, but it didn’t pan out.  We did see a very few salmon, but none were near our flies.  We continue to catch a small number of stripers every fishing session.  It is the most bass that we have seen above tide water this late in the season.  I can see them chasing parr in the shallows.  It is absolutely infuriating that DFO has rejected requests to allow these bass to be removed when angled.  There is no question that DFO is  knowingly managing the Miramichi as a striped bass river and to hell with the salmon.  This has to change.
6/25  Today ends  our  string  of  hot  and  cloudless days   It’s raining now,  and I’m confident and I’m confident we’ll have some good fishing.  We have been seeing more fish every day, and today I got a fat, hen grilse on a #6 John Olin.

Mark Hambrook, recently retired MSA president, poses with one of two 9 pound class salmon taken on a recent trip to a lodge upriver from Boiestown.

6/24. Skunked, but lots of action.  For the first time this season I had a group of salmon holding right in front of me.  I found them at 11:30 AM and worked on them for the next hour before I gave up.  Fish rose to 4 different wet flies on numerous occasions and several of them actually touched the fly without getting hooked.  I chalk it all up to increasing water temps and brilliant sunshine.  It sure was fun though.  I immediately wished I had some dry flies, but I still had nothing but wet flies in my vest.  I went right back after lunch, but they had moved on.
This early heat wave finally breaks today and a long stretch of cool wet weather arrives.   Should be good.
6/23 No salmon again for us yesterday, though I did briefly hook one.  The cloudless skies and high 80F+ temperatures aren’t helping.  Thank god the end of that s in sight.
6/22 Finally we are again running in to some fish.  Tim Politis rolled a good one twice and we saw three others.  The water is coming down to a good level.  Steve Anderson emailed me this picture of a salmon caught at Black Brook last evening.

6/20 The raise has dropped 16 inches and the water is cold and clear.  We should start to see the resumption of the June salmon run.  The June 15 totals of 8 a salmon on the SW and 7 on the NW salmon has posted.  These numbers are behind last year but very much in the normal range for this early date.  A much warmer trend is now forecast.

6/19 Recent rains have brought the river up 2 feet last night and it is dirty.  It appears to be peaking now and will start down this afternoon.   The run has been slow the last couple of days, but will hopefully pick up as the river settles down. The picture below is of a salmon recently taken by a Country Haven angler.

6/18 Yesterday was a strange day.   Some strong thunderstorms hit parts of the Cains and gave the lower river a quick, dirty raise of 6 inches.  By late afternoon the water cleared and the river dropped 6 inches.  Amazing.  We saw just one salmon all day and caught none.  It rained last night, and is raining today.   We don’t need the water, but we will get a substantial raise anyway.  I’m afraid fishing is going to be really tough for a couple of days.  Hopefully when the raise backs off we will see a stronger run.
6/17 yesterday was a little uneventful with only a couple of salmon seen in the evening.  Johnny Keenan did get a nice salmon at Anderson’s Pt in the morning.  Country Haven had pictures of another fish from Upper Blackville on Facebook.  We need a little lower water, but with rain forecast tonight and tomorrow it isn’t likely for a while yet.

6/16 we got this fine example of a Miramichi June salmon that guide Darrell Warren is holding yesterday morning at Campbell’s.  The fly was a #2 Silver Rat.   It was also the most action I’ve had as I rolled another several times and had a couple porpoise within my casting arc.  After that we had a little bump from recent rain and there was no action except for a couple of the far too present striped bass.  Bruce at Doaks told one of my arriving guests that people are catching a few salmon but the action is sporadic.

6/15 more salmon were caught in Upper Blackville yesterday.  We saw a number of fish at Campbells yesterday and one good one was hooked and lost on a #6 green machine.  As the water has dropped and warmed up lots of small stripers have moved back in.  I caught a dozen yesterday.
6/14 yesterday CHaven anglers caught a salmon in upper Blackville and in the evening I saw three in Campbells Pool.  I expected a strike any second, but no joy.  Water height and conditions are now excellent.

6/13 No salmon for us yesterday, but we did see 2 roll.  The water is now getting down to a nice fishable level.

6/12 The SW Miramichi is down to  under 1.5M, a fishable height in many pools.  Yesterday my only catch was a shad.  I got an email from Country Haven the night before that there was a fair bit of salmon activity on the SW Miramichi on Saturday.  At this height of cold water most of the salmon are probably just blowing through the lower river..

6/8 Water is now rising slowly at 2.05 meters.  We are in a period of cool, unsettled weather.  It will be the middle of next week before we see any real change.  We’re not going to complain about either the cool weather or the rain.  That should set us up well for June salmon fishing, though conditions at the moment of high, cold water are not good for fishing. Bright salmon have been caught in the NW, and they are in the SW too.  One angler reportedly hooked 6 salmon in one day on the NW.  The first week’s report was posted for the Dungarvon barrier.  The trap didn’t start fishing until June, but a grilse and 3 salmon were caught.  This is the time of year when persistence and patience are the recipe.  Big flies like #2 size are the recipe.  A sink tip might also help. This week of cold rain could be hard on the recently spawned striped bass eggs.

5/29 Jeff Curtis landed the first bright salmon that we have heard of for 2023.  It was a beautifully shaped fish of about 10 pounds and was caught on the NW.  Others were also caught over the weekend.  The rivers are at a good height.  The weather is fluctuating between cooler than normal, than much hotter than normal, than the pattern repeats.  It looks like after the next heat wave on Thursday or so the temps drop back and will stay that way for an extended period.  These early fish go to those who put their time in.

5/26 We’re still looking for word of that first Miramichi bright salmon.  I am hearing that they are now beginning to enter the rivers.  Anglers are mostly busy with striped bass.  The head of tide on both branches of the Miramichi are full of bass.  Hopefully the cool temps and recent raises of water have helped save a lot of smolts by making them harder for the bass to pick off.

5/20 I’m just back from a few days of Cains River brook trout fishing at Mahoney Brook.  I had some good periods when the action was fairly fast, but mostly it was very cold, and I worked hard to scratch out one or two here and there.  Oliver wooly bugger was probably my most productive fly.  I did see a few mayflies and caddis hatching, and at one point near Muzzerol Brook I saw a school of smolts feeding on them.  There seemed to be quite a few smolts on the move.  The water is low for this time of year, and the table is perfectly set for the first bright fish to be caught.  There is over an inch of rain now forecast for tonight and tomorrow.  That will help bring them in.

5/15 The spring salmon fishing season is over for another season.  There are still a few in the system, but attention has now turned to striped bass which are thick in the lower reaches of both branches.  We are probably a week or so away from someone catching the first bright Miramichi salmon.  I see that the first fish have already been caught on the Gaspe.  Sea run brook trout are making their way up the river now, and I am headed for the Cains tomorrow to do some trout fishing.  I’ll be a little early for sea runs, but you can never tell.  The river is now down to under 1.5 meters and could be described as a bit low for this time of the season.

5/10 Kelt and trout fishing is slowing up a bit according to reports but is still decent, and there are fish still being caught for many miles upriver, so we have a way to go before all the kelts are out of the river.    As the water warms stripers are moving into the river and the trout are moving upriver towards their summer haunts.  There is no big rain in sight and the water is now down to 1.75M.  At this rate we will be down to 1.5M by early next week.  That is what I think of as the top end of good bright salmon fishing water height.  Kelt and trout anglers should try switching their flies down in size to early bright salmon flies and sizes.  A #2 Black Ghost for example or Silver Rat.  The kelts and trout will take those, but there is definitely a chance of hooking an early run bright fish too.

5/8 Kelts and brook trout are still being caught, but things are changing.  The kelts are thinning out and heading back to sea, and the best brook trout bite in recent years has slowed down.  The trout which were centered down near Quarryville are beginning their migration up the river.  Decent catches are still being made, though, and the weather is certainly easier to deal with then three weeks ago.

5/4 Later on 5/2 the river reached 4.2M but has since dropped to 2.8M.  With no real rain in sight the river likely to get down to well under 2 meters and begin setting the stage for the first bright fish and the upriver run of searun brookies.  These things are still a ways off, though, and there should be some decent action on spring salmon this week and next.  The traditional end of the spring season is May 15.  The brook trout numbers in both the SW and NW branches is surprisingly good.  Let’s hope that it means a decent upriver run over the next few weeks.

5/2 After some rain yesterday the river is up to 3.3 Meters and rising.  It should clear up a bit over the next couple of days and then a long period of quite warm, sunny weather is forecast.  The river should drop quite a bit in height and make fishing conditions very pleasant.  It is likely that more of the salmon action will now move closer to tidewater.  The catch has been very good, and a bonus in the lower river has been some excellent catches of sea run brook trout.  Country Haven reported some approaching 20 inches.

4/26  The water is at 2.7 M, a good spring fishing height.  I just returned from a  trip to Blackville, and the catch has been quite good.  Predictably after last years statistics there are more salmon than grilse in the mix. 

4/20 The water on the SWM dropped over 2 feet and is clearing up.  The catch is good according to Eddie Colford who guided his angler to this nice salmon today.

4/19 The SWM river rose to 4.5 meters and made a top.  Darrell was at the camp working on the water for my trip up on Friday.  He said he looked out the window and the saw a huge patch of grass floating down the river.  The banks are cleaning off.  This isn’t great for fishing, but it will clear quickly and fishing should pick right up.

4/17 The catch was good today.  Check out my Miramichi Salmon Blog on this website for a full report.

4/15 Day 1 of the season is behind us.  The water was quite muddy and still rising today, and the bite was very slow.  Country Haven reported 3 salmon landed.  Picture from Country Haven’s website looks up at Doctor’s Island, and shows that as of yesterday there was still some ice coming down the river.

The water rose all week going from a low of 1.5 meters up to 3.2.  That is a 1.7 meter raise, or nearly 6 feet, and it did it without any rain, just snow melt.

Slightly above average temps with a couple of showery days are forecast for the coming week.  Water should raise a bit more before its done.  When the raise stops and clears up fishing should be at peak.

Meanwhile the height of the springer fishing is approaching in Scotland.  Helmsdale ghillie John Young sent in this photo of a lovely 19 pounder.




















2022 reports are still shown below.  

Colles Stowell with a bright, fall, Miramichi salmon  

10/15 Rain fell during the last day of the season, and there was a strong movement of fish up the Cains River.  A small late run of bright salmon also materialized in the main river.
10/13 I’ve been home since Sunday, but I’m heading back up to NB in a few minutes to fish the last two days.  I’m especially excited to fish Saturday after what I hope will be a rainy Friday night.  The SWM is now at .63 meters, and that may be as low as it gets until next July.  This is not forecast to be a big rain, but in the NE nothing really dries out after October, so we are not likely to see these levels again for a while.  I believe there is a lot of movement yet to take place in the Cains as the majority of the fish are still holding up in the lower 7 or 8 miles of river.  New arrivals from downriver haven’t been very numerous, but some are being caught regularly with sea lice.  There could be a good run of fish upriver after the rain, though at the same time they may be hard to catch.  We’ll just have to see.

10/11, 12 There is both some good and not so good news to the current report.  Water is low in the Cains and the fish are waiting for a raise.  The catch is slow, but not non-existent.  There are reports of new life on the main river with a few being caught and numbers of fish jumping at Quarryville.  Rain is coming for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and that could provide for some good fishing on the last three days as fish leave their lies and move closer to their spawning grounds.

10/8. It showered off and on last night but there was almost no measurable volume.  Still I’m hoping it will move a few fish upriver and liven up some of the stale ones. Eric Wade visited Campbells yesterday.  He is famous outfitter Charlie Wade’s grandson.  We had a great chat about his childhood memories from visiting his grandfather’s camps. .
10/7 We have a great low water fishing level in the Miramichi, but there are few to no fish coming.   Water levels on the Cains are very low limiting the number of productive pools and making salmon very hard to catch.  Just one of those years.

10/5. Salmon are stretched out in the Cains from Salmon Brook on up, but with poor water conditions they are terribly stale and hard to catch. There is no rain forecast until the last three days of the season; that could be very interesting.   The main river below the Cains is practically devoid of fish.  Hopefully the full moon will bring in a little final push.

10/4. Fishing the Miramichi in Blackville yesterday we never saw a fish.  Some are sneaking through though as I had a good take at Doctors Island and then passing the same spot a half hour later it happened again.   Maybe the same fish, and maybe there were more there.  I worked the spot hard with no other action.
10/3 Black Brook landed fresh salmon yesterday, some with sea lice, and they saw a fair number of fish.  We fished some good Cains water both up river and near the mouth.  We hardly saw a fish.   We are having a string of very cold mornings.
10/2. In spite of the fact that we caught two fresh grilse on the Miramichi in Blackville yesterday morning, the run has slowed up quite a bit.  We’re going to try further up the Cains today.
10/1 we fished the big slow pool yesterday, and it produced nothing, but we did see that a lot of dour salmon and grilse are holding there.  We’ll be fishing the main river today.  The lowering water levels are getting much more attractive for our pools.
9/30 The main river was quiet for us yesterday with no fish caught and few seen.  The Cains was quiet too, but I did find a good slow pool that yielded two grilse.  These were all dour, dark fish biding their time In deep, slow water.  A long cast, unmended round-house swing, with a red and orange marabou streamer.
9/29 Yesterday was a good day as we landed three nice hen salmon.  Ally’s Shrimp and October killer were the flies.  We saw a few more too, but the ones we caught never showed. We are now in for a stretch of cool dry weather that could us back in low water conditions.   I welcome the lower water, but not the bright sun.

9/28 we saw a few fish on the main river yesterday and rolled one, but it was quiet.  In the morning we fished pools in the lower Cains and saw nothing.
9/27 one of my guests caught two very bright salmon yesterday in Blackville.  Both were henfish 15 and 11 pounds.  I lost one in the same pool and that was my 7th hookup in a row that has got off.  Both fish came to a #4 Ally’s shrimp.  My hookup was on a #4 Black Ghost. From the forecast  we can expect the river to come down slowly at a moderate fishing height this week.

9/26 we were disappointed on the Cains yesterday, but caught our first salmon since the big rain on the main river. We saw several others too.  Here’s hoping the relatively good fall run is back underway. The fish was caught on an old fall streamer pattern called a Herb Johnson Special.
9/25 yesterday we felt the effects of hurricane winds from Fiona.  It was all but completely unfishable. The river is dropping and clearing nicely, and we’ll hope for the run to resume.  There should now be dispersed further up the Cains.  Big orange flies will be the norm now.
9/24 yesterday was a loss with very high dirty water.  Dropping now but high wind from Hurricane.  Fishing should resume this afternoon.
9/23 Big rain yesterday and the river is rising very fast.  Water was rising all day yesterday.  I hooked and lost two salmon and rolled others fishing a #2 October Killer streamer.  The fish were just  snapping at the fly as opposed to coming up off an established lie.  This raise will clear out all the col water holding pools with residual summer fish.  After the raise should be the start of the best upper Cains fishing.

9/22 This looks to me to be the best fall run in some years.  They haven’t been holding well though, and catching them isn’t easy.   Still I’m seeing a lot  of good salmon that will be joining the summer run on the spawning grounds next month.  Lots of rain in the forecast, but no blowout storms.

9/21 we got a half or so of rain over the Miramichi headwaters yesterday, and more over the Cains.  This should perk up the fall run on the main river and start the migration up the Cains.  This is always an exciting time on the river.
9/20 We got just one grilse yesterday, but had brief hookups to several more fish.  A modest but consistent run of fresh fish – seemingly far better than last fall – are entering the river.  Weather has been bright and sunny, but a period of rainy weather has arrived.

9/19 Got two lovely grilse in the. main river yesterday, but also saw a ton.  With rain coming it is time to be on the river.
9/18 Eddie Colford of Black Brook said they would show up now that the cold was coming.  He was talking about the Miramichi fall run.  We saw quite a few fish at Campbells last night.  It may be time for the October Killer.
9/17 good morning yesterday on the Cains.  Saw a good number of fish on the main river in pm but no hookups.  Tremendous wind.  Temps and water height are perfect.  Caught fish on #12 chenille green machine, and #2 marabou streamers.
9/16 Another day, another cockfish or two…from the Cains.  BBSClub caught a sea liced grilse yesterday, but at Campbells we saw no fish.  It blew  a hurricane and we fished in whitecaps so could have been some showing that we missed.

9/15. Caught a nice cockfish of about 15 pounds yesterday on a purple slime on the Cains and briefly connected with another.  We’ll hope the raise of water from recent rain and cooler temps will bring in some new fish.

9/14 saw a few fish yesterday on the SWM but no takers.  Fished Brophy on Cains.  Lots of stale fish. Raining now with half inch forecast.  That would help.

9/13 big news is for cooler temps and rain starting this afternoon.  They are now forecasting a half inch which could really kick things into gear.
9/12 first signs and news of fall run fish this morning.  Several came up in the heart of Campbells pool, and had good reports from downriver.  Weather turns toward cooler tomorrow.  Bring it on!
9/11 water height is now firmly in low water territory.   Pooled up fish are very stale, and so far there is just a trickle of new fish entering the river.  The only good news is that it is not as warm as forecast, and that the degree of heat forecast for the next couple of days has moderated.   We could sure use a half inch of rain.
9/10 we caught a large grilse on a  tiny bomber yesterday morning and rolled a couple.   Lots of fish showing in some pools.  We did see a few new fish at dawn and dusk on the main river.  We are in a stretch of warm sunny weather not forecast to end until Tuesday.

9/9. Certain stretches of the Miramichi and Cains are holding large numbers of salmon.  These fish are stale and difficult to catch, though Andy Dumaine hooked 5 yesterday on the Cains using trout sized white dry flies from fish that wouldn’t touch a wet fly.   We have 5 sunny days coming up with hot daytime temps.  Boo hiss.  Very few fresh fish are entering the river right now.
9/8 arrived in Canada yesterday.   Caught nothing last night but did see a few salmon.  Water was only 68F last evening with bright sun all day.  It is  7C/46F this morning and we are heading to the Cains.

9/6/22 There is no really hot weather and no rain in the next week’s forecast.  In two or three days we will be below .7 meters on the Blackville gauge and in what I consider to the high end of low water conditions.  This is a good place to be in for this time of the season as it slows down the fall run so that we can have a crack at them as they work more slowly upriver.

9/4/22 Getting good reports of sea liced fish from Black Brook.  MSA Labor Day trip winner from last winter’s auction is at Campbells and reported catching a grilse, losing a salmon, and seeing good numbers of fish on the Cains.  Looks like a decent start to the fall season is underway.

9/3/ 22  The river came up to 1.1M in recent rains. That was an approx 1 foot raise.  It is down to 1 meter and dropping.  Fishing activity is just starting to pick up and there have been some good catches reported.  The water is cooling down nicely and we can use some larger flies.  Try the orange fall patterns too.

8/31 At noon today it is raining over the Miramichi as a large cold front comes through.   This front is sweeping the summer air away and relaxing it with air that will get progressively cooler and drier over the next few days.  Welcome to the beginning of autumn!

8/30 This is the time of the year when salmon stacked in cold water pools are normally waking up from warm, low-water conditions.  We have had, though, good water flows all summer, and many fish are well distributed up the rivers.  This is also the time that historically has had the lowest number of new salmon entering the river.   On

Historically the fall run begins to come in at the end of the first week in September, and picks up steam every week through the first week in October.  That is the statistical average, but it changes dramatically every year depending on a variety of factors including weather.  The hope for 2022 is that the prolonged period of warm weather this summer discouraged salmon from entering – after a very good start to the season – and that the fall run will really make up for it.  We don’t have long to wait and see.  Starting on 9/6 I’ll be in camp for the rest of the Miramichi season, and my reports will be from the perspective of “waders on the river bottom” during that time.

8/26/22 Fishing is essentially non-existent right now with the cold-water pools closed and the river hovering around 70F+ most of the time.  Water temps have been cooling off a little, and that trend should continue for the next couple of days.  It is possible that DFO will open the cold-water pools to fishing soon.  In any case a marked cooling looks to begin mid next week as we move towards fall.                                                                   

8/24/22 The bump in water to 1.3 meters in Blackville came and went in about 6 days.  This is largely because the rain fell south of the Miramichi and the raise came via the smaller Cains watershed.  The cold water pools are again closed to fishing, a situation that is supposed to be reviewed on Thursday.  Temps are forecast to be up and down with some cool overnights but warm days forecast.  The trend towards fall weather is very modest at this time.

8/22/22  Wayne O’Donnel of Rocky Brook says that their cold water pools have a decent but not huge number of holding fish, and that fishing is good but not great…  Catches around the lower Miramichi and Cains have been okay too with Black Brook and Country Haven reporting some notable cockfish being caught.  The trend over the coming week is for temps to get even cooler with some mornings in the 40s F by week end.  It should be a decent Labor Day weekend on the river.

8/20/22 Fish on the move says Eddie at Black Brook.   Some nice fish have been caught in recent days.

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.


12 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.

  6. Hello Brad,
    My name is David Lodge. I am a friend of John Buck, Rip and Peter etc.
    Would love to be added to your wonderful newsletter
    Kind regards,

  7. Brad: Thanks for your daily reports, makes my day, every day!!

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