Hi there - Jim Corrigan here - just back from 5 days on the Main SW Miramichi. We got a few fish around Doaktown early in the trip (Sept. 22-23), but were blown off the river by the last hurricane through the east.
Through Sept. 26-27, we had 24 hours of steady-hard rain. Miramichi residents were saying that the river was running near-above spring levels. I'd never seen the Main SW like this - it was an intimidating display of power from a river that normally seems to be 'friendly' to the angler in summer/fall fishing. I heard that some of the guides that were canoeing sports had trouble on the 27th. One canoe spilled near the shore, putting a guide and two sports into the drink. Another guide broke a pole with two sports in the canoe. They went on a speedy half-mile race down the river until the guide could work to the shore. Everybody got back to camp safely, and, on that same day, other anglers in their camp caught two salmon by throwing a big double out into the maelstrom.
We went over to the Cains on the afternoon of the 27th, but it was out of its banks. Both rivers had some fairly formidable debris blasting down on the flow. We came off the water early on the 27th, and I spent the balance of the day taking a few snapshots of the deluge.
The big positive on this trip was that my fishing partner caught her first (2) atlantic salmon!!! This was her NINTH trip to the Miramichi! She started as somebody that had never held a fly rod. Through hard work at her game, she has become a very proficient angler. Still, she was plagued by tough water on trips, fish inexplicably getting off the hook, and the legion of mild disasters that can dog an angler for shorter or longer times. In two days, she hooked three fish and brought two to the net. The spell has been broken! She was high rod on the trip. I rose some fish and touched a few, but did not get a good hookup on the trip. This didn't bother me a bit! I've had my odd good day on the river on other trips. It may have been better to be there when my friend's diligence was rewarded than to catch fish myself (both would have been nice though
Good luck to all anglers on the Miramichi system for the rest of the season. Bring some large flies - my guide says the Main will run big for most of the balance of the season. My guide also felt that the fall run had not come through Doaktown. He said that we were fishing over summer run salmon that had been delayed until the water had risen in early September.