Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Miramichi's Tributaries - Beautiful Pools, Beautiful Places

At the Miramichi Salmon Association's "IceBreaker" fundraiser back in May, 2011, friends Allan Wilson, Stan Hunter, Vin Swayze and I went together to purchase a sightseeing trip hosted by donors Debbie and Dale Norton, owners of Upper Oxbow Outdoor Adventures on the banks of the Little Southwest Miramichi in Sillikers, New Brunswick.  On August 17, 2011, we took to the roads of Northeast New Brunswick with Dale to see spots on the Northwest, the Sevogle and the Little Southwest that even Vin, with nearly 70 years on the Miramichi, had not seen.

First stop on our way to look at some of the Northwest's finest crown reserve camps and pools was at Syd Matchett's Trout Brook Fly Shop.  Beautiful flies, incredibly well-equipped with fly tying materials.



Syd (plaid shirt) and Dale at the counter:




Stan, Allan and Vin (l. to r.) check out the vast fly selection:



Syd's Trout Brook Fly Shop is probably the most well-stocked small fly shop I've ever been in. 

Our first look at a Crown Reserve salmon camp was the Cruickshank Camp.  Beautiful looking water.  With my hip still in recovery phase, though, I didn't make the steep 62-step descent to the pool's edge.  Looked nice from high above though.


The best I could capture with the camera was the fast run between pools (Trust me, its a long way down to that water):



Next stop was the Square Fork Camp, where the north and the south branches of the Sevogle smash into each other (that's the only way to put it.  This is no gentle y-shaped meeting of river branches) to form the main Sevogle.  It's an incredible pool, with a privately-leased camp hard by it.  The branches and the main channel have really cut through some rock over the years!

 Where the branches meet (head-on):


The South Branch as it enters the pool:



         And the North Branch (I've got to get there some early July to watch salmon jump those falls!)


                                        A beautiful stretch of river farther up the North Branch:



Conservation efforts are never very hard to find near New Brunswick's salmon rivers:



Let it never be said the New Brunswick does not have long, straight dirt roads!



We made a quick stop along one of these roads when we spotted a young bull moose just off the road.  We backtracked quickly, but he was gone.   However, I learned of a custom among New Brunswick moose hunters - at least in this area - where, even though its crown land, hunters "mark" their territory for the coming season's hunt with homemade signs, hoping to keep the "other guys" out.  These fellows got it right; their sign is 10 yards from where the bull had been standing!



Clear cuts are easier to find than moose:




The Miramichi's watershed is a magnificent place.  My thanks to Debbie and Dale for their gracious hospitality, and especially to Dale for putting up with the four of us for an entire day!





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