Closing the Season recounts an Atlantic salmon fisherman’s love affair with the world-famous Miramichi River and with the Cains, one of its most appealing autumn-run tributaries. Brad Burns, a well-known striped bass fly fisherman and author of the L.L. Bean Fly Fishing for Striped Bass Handbook, first visited the Miramichi in 2002 and was quickly seduced by the challenge and the tradition of salmon fishing in this renowned New Brunswick river that is easily accessible but still unspoiled.
Along the way you’ll meet some of the salmon fishers who helped make it all happen-people like baseball great Ted Williams, Hungarian freedom-fighter and guide Willy Bacso, and pioneering Miramichi outfitter Charlie Wade. You’ll also learn about the near death of salmon sport on the Miramichi due to out-of-control commercial fishing and the re-emergence of the river as “big fish” water after conservationists were successful in pulling out the nets.
A large portion of Closing the Season is devoted to the Cains, a small wild river with big salmon that arrive in the upriver camp pools towards the tail end of the season in late September and October. The author’s daily journal of the last five weeks of the fishing year lets the reader share with Burns and his fishing friends the thrill of angling for salmon on their spawning passage upstream while enjoying the abundant resident and migratory wildlife and the changing look and feel of this pristine place as the fall foliage peaks and wanes and the Cains settles in for the long, cold, Canadian winter.
Closing the Season offers more than 125 photos and illustrations and carefully researched historical maps and documents. But Closing the Season is most of all a celebration of the joys of fall salmon fishing in a great Canadian watershed that boasts the largest run of Atlantic salmon in North America.