Atlantic Salmon Fly Fishing on the Miramichi River
Old River Lodge –New Brunswick, East Canada

 

 

The Salmon Fishing on the Miramichi

The Miramichi is a graceful, ladylike river. Although it has the appearance of a medium to large river it is the Salmon fishing equivalent of the genteel chalk-streams of Southern England. Smooth-flowing clear waters but with a subtle variety of individually distinctive pools, all of which have excellent access and the sort of firm-bottomed gravel river beds that would serve to reassure even the most uncertain of waders. If the Miramichi River is idyllic, the Salmon fishing is anything but! A river that is historically renowned for its huge runs of Salmon has over the last two seasons had even the oldest veterans of the river talking about the simply astonishing numbers of fish. These have started in late May and continued almost unabated until mid September.

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Salmon Fishing at Miramichi River Salmon Fishing at Miramichi River

The Miramichi River, Tributaries and Environment

There are few rivers on earth, if any, that can boast such populous runs of Atlantic Salmon as that of the Miramichi; it is unquestionably one of the world’s great Salmon resources. A day on the Miramichi, at almost any stage of the fishing season, is usually all that it takes to convert any passionate fly-fisherman to not just the potential but the reality of truly spectacular fly fishing. The Southwest Miramichi is the main stem of the river off which there are over 2 dozen significant tributaries, most of which are superb Atlantic Salmon rivers in their own right. In turn hundreds of streams, brooks and fingers of water augment these tributaries to the Miramichi. In total the Miramichi drains a watershed of some 60,000 square kms with over 1,000 kms of spawning habitat. Contained within this vast watershed is every type of water that can be considered beneficial to the development of the Atlantic Salmon. In ecological terms the Miramichi is nothing short of a gigantic salmon incubator!

Salmon Runs, Conservation & Ecology of the Miramichi

The Miramichi river system is the largest producer of Atlantic Salmon in North America. Recent runs over the last decade have ranged from 40,000-160,000 Atlantic Salmon. Accurate comparative results are difficult to ascertain however the rod returns from the Miramichi are probably similar in quantity to that of all the combined rivers in Iceland, which as all keen anglers know is a veritable mecca for salmon fishermen. The exceptional runs of late may be attributed to two principal factors, the first being the ASF orchestrated campaign resulting in the successful buy-out of all of Canada’s commercial Atlantic Salmon fishermen and more recently the collaboration between the ASF and the NASF to suspend Greenland’s commercial Salmon fishery. A third reason that may have further improved the strength of the salmon runs may be on account of the closure of two wood pulp factories on the lower Miramichi. Regardless of the contributing factors the net result is a river that currently has an astonishingly healthy run of Atlantic Salmon.

Blissfield Sporting Camps Salmon Pools & Fishing

For those unfamiliar with fishing on the Miramichi there are a wide range of outfitters up and down the river offering an ‘assortment’ of fishing packages ranging from public access ‘crown’ water to privately owned pools, some of which may be proprietary to the outfitter in question and some of which may be leased. Numbers of rods on pools can vary dramatically, but the privacy and exclusivity that European Salmon anglers might be accustomed to is far from guaranteed.

Blissfield Sporting Camps has adopted a position and ethos that is unique to any outfitter or lodge operator on the Miramichi and is encapsulated in the lodge statement of intent.

Spey-casting champion Scott Mackenzie
Spey-casting champion Scott Mackenzie enjoying the early morning sun on the Miramichi
  1. Rod numbers on any given pool will be strictly limited.
  2. The fishing will be on private water that will be exclusive to Blissfield lodge.
  3. Blissfield Sporting Camps owns or hold leases on water that can be considered amongst the very best available Salmon Pools on the Miramichi.
  4. Anglers will fish in rotation the widest range of water available to the lodge to ensure diversity of fishing and scenery.

It is not possible at this stage to provide catch returns for recent seasons as the fishery has been in the development phase. Pools have been acquired and the lodge unoccupied whilst it has been redeveloped and constructed. Having viewed and fished the water on offer we at WhereWiseMenFish can vouch for the bold assertions made by the lodge and look forward to seeing Blissfield grow into what we believe will become ‘The Lodge’ to fish at on the Miramichi.

The Old River Lodge Accommodation

Blissfield Lodge is due to open at the start of the peak Salmon run in June 2012. The main lodge is situated on the grounds of the ‘Old River Lodge’ that, alongside the newly constructed cedar guest chalets, overlook the Miramichi. The three new large and exceptionally spacious guest cabins will accommodate 6 anglers in individual rooms with large double or king-size beds, each chalet having a large co-joined ‘great’ room with a river-view porch. Fitted out to the highest standards, all the rooms have individual ensuite bathrooms and each chalet an individual drying room. These luxury guest cabins will offer a level of accommodation that seeks to ensure that guests experience a degree of comfort which is both unparalleled on the Miramichi and in line with the very high quality salmon fishing water which is available to the lodge.

Blissfield Lodge three new guest chalets
Architectural Impression of the three new guest chalets currently under construction

Blissfield -The ‘Old River Lodge’

This is the heart of the camp and where guests come together to eat and socialise at the start and end of each day. The ‘old’ lodge is being fully refurbished to provide guests with not just an outstanding area to relax but also to ensure that the integrity and deep-rooted sense of history and purpose is maintained for the present and future generations.

Miramichi Guides & River Transport

Individual guides, dedicated to the lodge, will guide each pair of anglers. The team will consist of some of the most experienced and dedicated guides on the river, both old and young, ensuring that an accommodating balance of energetic youth and mature wisdom is struck. All guides will hold a class 1 guiding license. Each day anglers will be assigned a different stretch of water that will be accessed using either traditional wooden canoes or a 4WD vehicle.

Salmon Fishing at Miramichi River

Best Times to Go

The season on the Miramichi runs from 15 April until 15 October. The early season fishing is predominantly made up with the huge numbers of Salmon making their way back out to sea, with the early runs of silver fish entering the river in earnest from mid May onwards. The prime months on the Miramichi are over June and July, when the river will be at its peak. Lower water conditions in August can result in slower fishing, but the runs of fresh Salmon typically continue into mid September when the conditions will be cooler. From mid September to mid October there is nothing more resplendent than the foliage colours of Eastern Canada, a myriad of reds and yellows making this period a magical time to fish and visit.

Autumn at Miramichi River

Travel to Eastern Canada & The Old River Lodge Lodge

Travel to the lodge is easy requiring two flights and a short drive. From Europe there are any number of international flights to Montreal or Halifax (from London approx 7 hrs) and from there guests should take a domestic flight to Fredericton (approx 1 hr). On arrival at Fredericton you will be collected by lodge staff and driven to the lodge (approx 1 1/2hrs).

Availability and Pricing

Season: The season runs from 15 March until 15 October
Rate: On application
Package Includes:
  • Seven (x7) nights
  • Six (x6) days fly-fishing
  • Price includes accommodation
  • Includes transportation from Fredericton Airport
  • All meals and house wines/beers
Note: Price does not include gratuities. Lodge capacity is 10 guests.

If you would like to know more about the trip, please contact us and we will provide you with more details. For availabilities, prices, pre trip information, booking form etc. please contact:
Justin Maxwell-Stuart with a Sea Trout from the Rio Gallegos River Justin Maxwell-Stuart

Mobile: +44 (0)7711 519 857
Fax: +44 (0)20 7352 0942
E-mail: justin@wherewisemenfish.com
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Online Enquiries
 

Background reading for your trip:


Salmon Country: New Brunswick’s Great Angling Rivers

Our Comments:

"In a stunning combination of superb colour images and lively personal essays, Salmon Country takes us on an excursion along New Brunswick’s famous salmon rivers. Marrying the essays of Doug Underhill and the photographs of André Gallant, Salmon Country explores the people, the rivers, the traditions, history, and mythology of this sport of sports. And there’s drama around every bend in the river. Underhill tells of becoming one with the river, of treading deep pools, of wading shallow rapids and gravely shoals in search of the king of fish."

US customers: Buy at Amazon.com

UK customers: Buy at Amazon UK

"A Celebration of Salmon Rivers: The World's Finest Atlantic Salmon Rivers (Hardcover)" by Norty Atlantic Salmon Fund

Our Comments:

"A Celebration of Salmon Rivers was written and produced with the express purpose of helping raise funds for the North Atlantic Salmon Federation (NASF). The book is about the famous Atlantic Salmon and the even more famous rivers they inhabit. It does not pretend to be a Salmon fishermans bible however it has some wonderful pictures of many of the best known Atlantic Salmon rivers with accompanying articles, many by famous names who are associated or connected with the various rivers covered in the book."

US customers: Buy at Amazon.com

UK customers: Buy at Amazon UK

 


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If you would prefer to speak to us directly regarding a trip to Eastern Canada, please contact us at the following:

United Kingdom Office:
Justin Maxwell-Stuart
Mobile: +44 (0)7711 519 857
Fax: +44 (0)20 7352 0942
justin@wherewisemenfish.com

United States Office:

US Country Code: +1
Telephone: 646 797 2945
info@wherewisemenfish.com

 

Or alternatively email us via our Booking Enquiries Form to request more information.

 
Online Enquiries
 

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