The Fall Rains Have Arrived – Will Salmon Start Moving?

The change of season was remarkably fast for our rivers. Tuesday for many in Atlantic salmon country was yet another day where the rivers were low, and the air temperatures almost summer-like. For humans it was a wonderful stretch of weather that took up much of September, turning the outdoors into a magical place.

Last week a magical time on the Cains River. Photo Nathan Wilbur/ASF

Last week a magical time on the Cains River. Photo Nathan Wilbur/ASF

The 144mm of rain in the Miramichi region has sent river levels far up.

The 144mm of rain in the Miramichi region has sent river levels far up.

Then Sept. 30 the clouds opened up and the deluge descended. Now it is the Atlantic salmon that will say it is a wonderful stretch of weather, and perhaps time to move a little upstream and be more active in general. In one day everything has changed.

 

 

 

New Brunswick

Miramichi –

Syd Matchett up the Northwest Miramichi was saying this morning:

“We had 144 mm rain registered at Miramichi, and the Northwest has had a major rise in level. Way back into the alders right now. There have been a lot of fish lying in Big Hole below me on the river, but they should be on the move now. And the river level should drop by the weekend. By Saturday the river may well be fishable.”

The Northwest Barrier in counting to Sept. 27, in the warm and dry period, has only seen a couple of grilse in the past week. There are now 228 grilse and 73 large salmon counted, compared with 147 grilse and 56 large salmon to the same date in last year’s exceptionally poor year.

ASF’s Nathan Wilbur points out:

Fishing has been so/so, so nothing really to update in that regard, except that we are getting a pile of rain now throughout NB, and that will set things up very, very nicely for the final two weeks of the season.

At the Dungarvon Barrier their have been an additional eight fish counted to Sept. 27. To that date the total is 167 grilse and 158 large salmon, making a total of 325. By comparison, the 2014 count to the same date was 81 grilse and 59 large salmon, totalling 140. Still below reasonable expectations. We will need to see what result the major rains have.

Late Sept. 2015 morning on the Cains River. Beautiful, misty and waiting for the autumn rains. Photo Nathan Wilbur/ASF

Late Sept. 2015 morning on the Cains River. Beautiful, misty and waiting for the autumn rains. Photo Nathan Wilbur/ASF

Brock Curtis of Blackville wrote on Wednesday:

Weather is a bit on the wet side here this morning. We have had some beautiful weather up to this point though. I asked an older angler from state-side how the fishing was on Sunday. His reply was “Couldn’t be better. I hooked and lost one this morning, had another almost hit my rod as it jumped so close to me. Need to pick up a few things here at the tackle shop and get back to the river. Absolutely beautiful out there with the fall colors.”

In general we had quite a few reports over the weekend from anglers who were hooking salmon. Also hearing of fresh fish being caught. Should be interesting to see what the fishing will be like today as the river raises and as it starts to drop in the next couple of days. Things are looking good so far with the fall fishing.

On Sept. 28 the Restigouche at the Rafting Grounds showed how starved it was of water. Photo Geoff Giffin/ASF

On Sept. 28 the Restigouche at the Rafting Grounds showed how starved it was of water. Photo Geoff Giffin/ASF

Restigouche Watershed

The Upsalquitch Barrier is reporting for the period up to Sept. 27 a count of 619 grilse and 164 large salmon, making a total of 783. The rivers in the north of New Brunswick, like those elsewhere, needed more rain.

Like the Miramichi, there was major rainfall in the systems, and the river levels rose considerably, and undoubtedly dropped the water temperatures.

The Jacquet River has also had the chronic low water issue this year. To Sept. 27 the fence has counted 59 grilse and 27 large salmon, totalling 86. In 2014 to the same date the numbers were 56 grilse and 59 large salmon, totalling 115.

Pabineau Falls on the Nepisiguit River was roaring on Friday morning, Oct. 2. Photo Geoff Giffin/ASF

Pabineau Falls on the Nepisiguit River was roaring on Friday morning, Oct. 2. Photo Geoff Giffin/ASF

Nova Scotia

Northumberland Strait Rivers

The muddy River Philip on Oct. 1. Although muddy, now there is something for the Atlantic salmon to swim in. Photo Lewis Hinks/ASF

The muddy River Philip on Oct. 1. Although muddy, now there is something for the Atlantic salmon to swim in. Photo Lewis Hinks/ASF

On Thursday morning the rise of water on the Middle River Pictou was noticeable, but not nearly as dramatic as it has been for the Miramichi and Restigouche. Nevertheless, it gives the salmon some decent depth, although the silt load has also increased.

Gerry Doucet, Director of the Antigonish Rivers Association said on Wednesday:

Summer weather continues in Nova Scotia with temperatures reaching the mid to high 20’s this past week. No rain fall has occurred.
Angling has been tough as the rivers have shrank and water levels are very low. Most salmon have slipped back into larger pools or the tidal areas.

At the time of this posting there is reason for anglers to be excited as a slow moving low pressure system will provide a good soaking to the Northumberland River. Rain is forecasted to be substantial and precipitation will last through the weekend. The long term forecast is calling for more wetness next week. Get your engines started.

Margaree

Greg Lovely writes mid-week:

We need rain. Apparently we are supposed to get a ton the next few days. The fish are still being hooked from time to time, but all down river, becausethe Northeast branch is very/very/very low. There are still new fish(bright) still trickling in, along with the darker fish that have been in the river for a long time. If we get the rain, I am sure the salmon will get stirred up again and the catching will improve.

On Thursday morning the river had not risen, but the weather radar below, with a marker for Margaree Forks, shows there should be a nice bump in water coming.

Rain underway on Thursday on the Margaree. Good fishing ahead.

Rain underway on Thursday on the Margaree. Good fishing ahead.

Alex Breckenridge of The Tying Scotsman said earlier in the week:

It’s been a quiet week not too many fishing apart from at the weekend. There were a few fish caught but levels very low now. Rain is forecast for Thursday so hopefully all will be well for the month of October.

Looks as if we have a good start today.

Newfoundland

Humber ASF’s Don Ivany noted that a friend fishing on the lower Humber a couple of days ago didn’t see a fish. Rather a low key end of the season it would appear.

Gander – Tolson Parsons notes:

Fished for last couple of days. A few fish around; hard to catch but beautiful warm days on the river and very few other anglers. Water very low. Some rain in forecast but may not be much for this area.

On Thursday it appeared Tolson was correct. The western part of the island has been blanketed by heavy rain clouds all the way to Hawke Bay and above, but the central and eastern regions, including the Gander, largely go without the bump in levels the rain would provide.

Quebec

We should have end of September statistics next week.

ASF's Charles Cusson overlooking the Causapscal River above the falls on Sept. 30, 2015. Photo Geoff Giffin/ASF

ASF’s Charles Cusson overlooking the Causapscal River above the falls on Sept. 30, 2015. Photo Geoff Giffin/ASF

Matane –

Check out the video taken in the Matane River this week. Click here

Dry fly on the Matane, Sept. 29, 2015. Photo Geoff Giffin/ASF

Dry fly on the Matane, Sept. 29, 2015. Photo Geoff Giffin/ASF

 

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