Miramichi Black Salmon Fishing [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Miramichi Black Salmon Fishing

Bill Gass
04-26-2007, 06:44 PM
Black Salmon season is in full swing on the Miramichi, here are some of my pics from opening day.

Bill Gass
Oromocto, NB




beau purvis
04-27-2007, 10:16 AM
Sorry,but I just dont "get it"!Beau

Green Ghost
04-27-2007, 11:54 AM
Bill has shed his Cabin Fever by catching some Kelts. He was fortunate that on April 15th the lower river was free of Ice. On April 21st, 22nd and 23rd Warm weather (in the 70's) caused significant Snow Melt and the River Rose around 8 feet. The upriver Icebergs, trees, grass and anything near the bank came down river with the flood. That flow included a lot of Salmon released from their icy winter dwelling. This weekend and next week should provide an entertaining fishery nearly two weeks after the false opening day. I have traditionally settled my own cabin fever in this manner and did so despite the unsettled conditions. It is good for the local communities and outfitters to get a financial boost after the long winter. It is good for fisherman to get a pull back on the line (often many of them). That is why they call it fishing! Well worth the trip!:D

Mark Vegwert
04-27-2007, 12:59 PM
Forgive me if I am asking a stupid question, but haven't those fish been in fresh water for 6-10 months and not eating? As skinny as they are and after the rigors of spawning it would seem that the effort they expend when hooked in that state would be detrimental to the fish, perhaps to the point of expiring.

Are these fish able to withstand being hooked and released, perhaps several times and still have the energy to convert to saltwater mode and survive to return to spawn again? I know I wouldn't do that to a steelhead.

Not making judgements. Just curious.

04-27-2007, 02:22 PM
the salmon are eating on the way out, and are very healthy, mortality is very low for these kelts. Water temp is great and they revive easilty. Way more dangerous to fish for them in warm summer water.

Jim Y

Green Ghost
04-27-2007, 03:07 PM
I agree with TXraddoc. Many of these fish are not skinny at all, some of them came into the river in October. They revive extremely well in the cold water. Early on they can be a bit lethargic (perhaps due to low water temperatures). They get to eat smelts on the way to the ocean (at which point fly fishing becomes more difficult). They are not as explosive as summer fish. They are nonetheless a nice quarry and you need only to hook a 40 incher to test your gear as the current and the weight of the fish are a battle. :eek:

beau purvis
04-27-2007, 03:35 PM
Hey,Thats all well and good.But I still dont get it.Skinny fish on the way down that eat anything,Wooptydo.Thats a challenge!Take a picture of something waaaay below prime?I have caught them when pursuing fresh fish.Landed a bunch one day but only even gave mental thought to the 2-3 fresh ones.The kelts dont even get mentioned.Steelhead ,I do think [from what I have seen] are very much weakened on the down migration.Vulnerable to Eagles[witnessed that on a few ocassions]and seals.I can see it when your a kid or a "newbe",but even that shld only be good for once or twice.I just figure that anadramas fish have had a difficult battle to complete the spawn and I will let them rebuild and hope to meet up with them on the return to the river.Hopefully with longtail lice still attached to bodies that are positively out of proportion to their frame ,rather than vice versa!!Each to their own,but I will never "get it". Beau

P.S. I agree about the warm water in summer.No interest in doing that,no matter the size!

04-27-2007, 09:19 PM
Kelt fishing for me is a big no no, I dont call it sport and it should not be encouraged. I liken it to kicking Mike Tyson's ass when he is 70 and then bragging down the pub how you beat one of the greatest meanest fighters that ever lived when they are a shadow of their former glory. In my eyes a kelt is not a salmon its a weak skinny fish not a hard fighting solid fresh silver fish (the king of fish). If your happy to post pics of these fish on a public forum then thats up to you but I would be very embarrassed to say the least.:o

04-28-2007, 02:10 PM
I have never fished for kelts, although I have fished about 21 days a year for bright Atlantic salmon for the last 10 years strait, and have been going after bright salmon since I was a kid in Maine. I am not interested in going for kelts since for the time and effort to get there for me, I like going for the bright salmon and the sport of that game fish.

If other people get enjoyment from the kelts and there is no real harm demonstated, why be negative about it. Many of the New Brunswick outfitters get a significant amount of business from this and keeps them afloat for the bright salmon fishery.

I also spin fish for bass, catfish, and other species. Some fly-fishermen look down their noses at spin fishermen in general, I don't do that. Live and let live...

Tight Lines,

Jim Y

PS next up for me is a week on the Restigouche in June, should be prime!!

04-28-2007, 07:21 PM
Nothing wrong with fishing for the fresh fish and catching a few kelts by accident, but to target the kelts on purpose is not sport and the outfitters / guides should not be justifying this to boost their earnings. Anyone found to be targeting kelts on my local river would be thrown off the water and black listed, its as simple as that. We try to be as sporting as possible and to be consevation minded for both the returning fish and those going back to sea.

04-28-2007, 08:10 PM
Jim -

Please tell me about that salmon in your profile picture!


beau purvis
04-28-2007, 11:33 PM
What kind of site would this be if everyone kept there mouth shut when they saw a chance to let someone know there is another opinion or to see another side to something.I would not say that is Looking down their nose.I say it is trying to be helpfull!!!I see these forum's as a chance to give something back to the sport by helping others up the curve of both technique and conservation,if they desire to evolve!If you believe a fishery would be better off if certain practices were not done you have to try to pull others to your side.Otherwise we would all still be killing fish.We would not be asking that dams be removed.Everyone would still be using bait!If anything we are where we are because our sport did not have enough people that cared about or worked for anything other than where and how to catch more fish.Beau

04-29-2007, 06:35 PM
Beau,, and others.
The alternative is to remove the fly only spring fishery and open it up to Live bait and 6" 3-trebled Rapalas!!! You do the math on this! While your opinions are valid,, the alternative to a spring kelt fishery on a single fly is a horror show to say the least. Having a fishery in the first place is in itself a sound conservation practice.
Salmon Chaser

beau purvis
04-29-2007, 08:09 PM
Given that alternative there is no choice,obviously!At least the fish arent edible and therefore dont get killed like they do on the the way upriver!You know,Ive been around a long time.Spent a lot of time on creeks and rivers watching salmon and Steelhead struggle to replace themselves.I have realized that they have been mismanaged for about 40 some yrs of my 62 yrs.How depressing is that?To see the future and see nothing smart or preventative happening!Everything that we were always assured of ;would not hurt the runs,would improve or replace the natives with supper fish,was a crock!It just amazes me how frozen and old school some brains are.But you are right if that is the choice.The lodge owners would probably be able to get Kharlovka prices and be able to skip spring if they would have been more concerned about good fisheries management yrs ago.But even if they had been there are the other guys.The customers .The loggers. The dams for industry and power.The apple growers,etc, who were successful along with industry in replacing one of the worlds wonders of protien generation with dams that favored carbs and industry on the Columbia system.Politicians are great arent they?The guys that dont give a damn and want to eat salmon and say to hell with the next generation.There is also a special breed that is very good at fishing and are total pigs with no respect of the fish.Pull up em into the rocks and almost beat them up before release.They would not release any if not for regs.I released fish in the 60's.Just another notch on their gun.And then there is always the scum of the earth poacher!I have waited forty yrs for old school to become new school! It is happening too slowly!!Beau

04-29-2007, 08:18 PM
I'm with you Beau

No need to harras spawned fish until they come back recooperated

no sport in it

my two and a half cents

Willie Gunn
04-30-2007, 02:45 AM
Is it normal to catch "cock" kelts?
Has this fish actually spawned or is it a rawner?

04-30-2007, 06:49 AM
In my experiences it is yes and no. About 90% no if i were to do the math on it. Most of the kelts we hook are Hens and are mixed with a smattering of males. A nice exception was on April 17 with an amazing cock fish of 44" and falling into the low 20's(lbs). This is the first male kelt over 15lbs that i have ever seen, let alone hooked. My experience with determining if a fish is a baggot or rawner is nil so i don't know if i could tell if a fish had deposited milt during spawning or not. What are the signss of a spring fish? Certainly willie you must hook a few kelts during the springer season?? Do unspawned salmon simply "seep" their cargo until finally gone or does the body claim it somehow?
Beau, I didn't mean to target you in any way or call you out,, as i know exactly where you are coming from and beleive me,, I feel your frustration on alot of mismanaged fisheries as i lobster, crab, chase tuna as well as fish many bait species. DFO and Gov't have dropped the ball almost everytime they attempt to run with it:mad:
Sadly enough, there is still a retention on grilse in the spring and their are those who tag them and i find this a bit of a disgrace. Anyone who has held a hungry 2.5lb grilse in his hand in the spring and seen how thin they can be should have his ass kicked for even thinking of killing it. And taste?? Taste would be non-existant.
There is alot of data available on the miramichi system and the spring fishery in particular. There has been a kelt-fishery for a long time and the river is thriving and i see this as a "sign" that the fish are suffering less mortality from this fishery than the other rivers that are left open to bait, lure,live bait and also the unknowing/uncaring hordes who hammer kelts with these types of baits as well as terrible handling practices and also the dozens and maybe hundreds of kelts that are rushed to the trunk when hooked.
You can certainly pick your side of the fence to stand on but when it comes down to it, a kelt fishery is just a win/win situation. There is the extra revenue generated,, and I'll bet more young salmon fishers join the ranks due to kelts than fighting heat and mosquitoes and long days of summer fishing. Their is also the presence of, i hate to say better,, but perhaps more knowledgable and ethical anglers who care about the fish first. And yes it was said here somewhere that it is more harmful to the fish to angle for them in the heat of the summer.
Danny Ripley is a friend of mine from Amherst N.S. Danny owns Rip-Tide tackle and he is in the process of conducting studies on angled kelts in the River Philip in the hopes of bringing in a kelt fishery for that system. The Philip is another fine salmon stream that gets raped every April 15 from any form of tackle that can be brought to the river ang the gong-show that follows is sad to watch. Many, many river groups will be following dannys progress on this one. (Danny and Robert Anderson were featured in the last ASJ for their work on the Philip and two of the main tribs).
Sorry to rant a bit guys,, but i honestly believe that the kelt fishery has a light impact on the fish and i KNOW it is far better that the alternative.
Salmon Chaser

Green Ghost
04-30-2007, 07:15 PM
Sorry Beau, Nice post salmon Chaser. Try Barbless hooks and a single hook fishery. Try the way it used to be - Spinning gear and a fish every cast (many murdered). I don't eat them either and there are some who actually tag them legally. The fishery is there, it is bountiful, and I for one have no problem utilizing the resource. See the results of Change In New Brunswick? NO Kill Salmon, C&R WORKS. Thousands of Large Fish results> By the way,- I disagree with Fishing Spawning fish Late in the season in Quebec. :mad: :mad: There the numbers are far lower than the Mighty Miramichi.:cool:

05-01-2007, 11:52 AM
I fished the Kharlovka and East Litza rivers on the Kola Pen. the first week of June in 2006 and ended up catching 18 kelts that week. The water temp was under 5 C the first few days and few fresh fish were landed in camp. IT was extremely cold and raw, very high water. I only landed 4 bright fish that week ( average size 11 Kg or around 22-25 pounds).The kelts were released fine, relax about kelts everybody.

I was asked about my picture. The picture shown of me is taken from the second week of June 2006 on the Kola river. I tied a fly at lunch called a "Snelda" which is an icelandic tube fly. I made some minor changes to the pattern and within 20 minutes of the fly being tied, I landed this 13Kg salmon. The rod was custom made for me by a guy named Gayland Hatchey from Veazie, Maine ( I hope it is ok to mention this family friend). All 16 fresh salmon that week I landed were taken on flies tied in country ( average wt 10 Kg or about 21 pounds largest was 16.5 kg around 35 pounds). I did also land one kelt that week, 105 cm, better than 40 inches, and it was of course released with no harm done.

Tight Lines,

Jim Y

beau purvis
05-01-2007, 01:45 PM
Green Ghost,If you read my last post you would know that given the choices I agree that a season of single hook fly is a good thing.For some people.
Numbers.Pictures.Even for kelts?Still dont!Beau