Thursday, September 29, 2011

An Autumn Week on the Miramichi

Finally - after missing the best July on the river in years and a quick trip up in August that was mostly sightseeing and casting practice - our September trip to the Miramichi was here.  We arrived on 9/18 to beautiful weather and plenty of water in the river.

We're fishing out of Bullock's Lodge, formerly known as Tuckaway Cabins, in Boiestown, New Brunswick.  Booting up the first morning, Bridget, Linda and myself:

Fly selection was a no-brainer for me the first morning out.  Back in July, I  sent a batch of my new fly, the Celtic Beauty up to Renate Bullock, guide extraordinaire and a principal in Bullock's Lodge.  As I've noted before, its first morning out of the fly box, 3 anglers hooked 14 fish with it.  Now its my turn!

The lovely and talented Celtic Beauty:

I cast my way down through Home Pool, and when I got to the end of the pool, at a spot variously called Dreyer's Point (by Bill D.) or Tanner's Point (by yours truly), I got a massive grab and, as they say, it was "game on!"  Dan Bullock came quickly with the net...this was a good fish.

This was a very big fish.  He wasn't a leaper, but when he boiled on the surface, it was easy to see he was a force to be reckoned with.  Finally, taping at 37 inches, if you check your salmometer, you'll find that he's a twenty pounder!

During my rest from the big fight, Bridget hooked up with a feisty grilse:

Dan Bullock doing the guiding/netting chores:

Success!  First fish of the week for Bridget:

Linda Warren, the FAR better half of fly tyer and good friend Bob Warren, hooked up Monday morning, too, with a nice male grilse.  She was fishing Bob's Golden Pheasant Spey fly:

It was a beautiful morning on the Miramichi with good friends swinging through the pool together:

Tuesday morning and I'm still fishing my Celtic Beauty at, if memory serves (and it usually doesn't), Elbow Pool.   It was another gorgeous day, still plenty of water in the river, water temp 50 degrees first thing in the morning.   Suddenly, a great pull and we're off and running with another big fish. 

My, uh, fish-playing technique has been variously described as either odd, unusual, or ridiculous:

However, it does get the job done.  A fine 12 pound hen:

Not to be outdone, Bob got into a nice fish, too:

But wait, it's my turn again!  Nice male grilse:

At this point, the days start to run together for me.  I've never been any good at keeping a daily journal, so photos tell the story, regardless of the exact day and time. 

I believe it was Wednesday, though, the Bridget landed another grilse, with a big assist from Bob:

I believe it was also Wednesday that Linda trumped us all with this 22 pounder with great friend and guide Vin Swayze at the net:

Bob's Golden Pheasant Spey does it again!

Bob Warren's Golden Pheasant Spey, waiting to get back in the game:

Thursday, good friends Wally Murray, Renate, Bridget and I:

head down to Camp Pool:

My very good friend, excellent fly tyer and wonderful guide, Renate Bullock:

Walt Scheffler and a couple of his friends were in camp fishing as well.  And occasionally, Walt actually gets out of his riverside easy chair and lands a fish! (on a Celtic Beauty, of course)

Bridget hooked and landed a couple nice brook trout:

Fly-wise, I ended up landing a 20 and a 10 pounder, plus a grilse, on the Celtic Beauty.  I hooked and landed a 12 pound hen on the Golden Pheasant Spey.  I also fished, and had a hook-up and several grabs, on a McCormack's Shrimp.  Don't forget you can click on these pics and enlarge them, click again and they'll fill your screen:

We hooked several more fish than I've shown, and had a great week on one of the treasures of this planet.

Many of the photos in this post are courtesy Renate Bullock and I thank her dearly for supplying them.

A fellow name of Brendan from County Waterford, Ireland, recently sent me this thought:

The great thing about about salmon fishing is its a great leveller, young or old, prince or pauper, the salmon doesn't care and when you are in the water you get totally immersed everything else just fades into the background until you get that jolt...
then there is the fishing hut and meeting guys that are passionate about their sport; enthusiasm rubs off and you end up spending half of your allotted fishing time chatting. You are right - life with salmon fishing is good.



  1. Awesome Atlantic trip report!! By the looks of the images your timing was spot on. Good on you guys.

  2. Hey Gary,

    Where's Peter in these photos? I can't beleive he's miss an oportunity like this! ;)

    I spoke with Bob earlier in the week. Sounds and looks like you guys had a great week!

    Mark W

  3. Mark, for sure, it was a great week! Why, we even left McCloskey's store with at least one bottle of scotch on their shelf!

  4. Great photos Gary. Hope I can hook up sometime this year with you.