From the Blog

Big raise should give some relief to Cains River trout

The Cains River Crown reserve Sea-run trout deserve a break and we are hopeing this raise of water will do just that . The high water should scatter the fish around and get them out of harms way ( anglers ). The problem with good fishing reports on sections of river like this is that too many inexperienced , or greedy people hit the river resulting in over fishing and the trout being the losers . I found a beauitiful 20 plus inch trout dead recently and probably as a result of poor handling and release techniques . All anglers should take extra caution when fishing this prestine and delicate resource . Don’t let the excitement of these big trout cloud your judgement by over fishing the pool , you should hook a few fish then rest the pool several hours or move to another pool . There are many good pools along the river so don’t focus on one or two “easy- to- get- to” pools and line up with your friends and fish the poor trout literally to death . Unlike salmon , the trout are actually feeding , so they will take over and over and this of course results in a deadly toll on the fish population. For guys like myself that have seen this river go from good to bad in the late 70’s and now back to healthy again fear that too many anglers with too little experience will do great harm to this delicate run of trout . I urge new anglers to the river to get educated for the sake of the trout , you need to know when enough is enough . And for the experienced but overly agressive angler , use some common sense , give the trout a break now and then . If more dead trout start showing up , DNR will takes steps to eliminate the problem by restricting access , then we all lose .


  1. I haunt the Cains quite regularly and too many times I run across anglers fishing these large trout without a proper net. You can not play these fish for 15 or 20 minites in the warm water of the Cains then run them up on the beach to release them and think they will surive after you let them go. We have a world class fishery here and can maintain if we use a little common sence. Thanks

  2. Jordan Hallett says

    Good post, Keith. I think sometimes people overhandle fish in order to get pictures, or just because they are excited. I don’t know if you have ever used a cradle net, but I own one, and they are great for releasing fish. While they take some getting used to if you are trying to net a fish on your own, I like them because the fish can lay flat in the net and just fin along while you unhook it; instead if getting rolled up and thrashing in a conventional net. Mine is very large (I think they were originally designed for muskies and large pike), and works fabulously on big salmon. However there are now smaller ones designed specifically for trout (I saw Italo Labignan using one in Labrodor for brookies on TV). I’ll have to try and pick on up sometime soon.
    On a seperate note, the salmon definitely seem to be on the move with the slight raise in water. I was on the North Renous yesterday, and while I went fishless(suprise), my buddy lost a salmon and landed a grilse at Springbrook (which is quite a ways upriver). The next month should be fun!!

  3. Norm DeMerchant says

    Bravo and well said. It’s to bad that the people that you want to reach will never read this. It is important for all of us, who believe in conservation, to speak to everyone, that like to fish, and explain this very concept. I wish “common sense” was a little more common. Keith, keep up the great work!

  4. Geoff Giffin says

    Excellent post, Keith. Your thoughts on resting the pools are appreciated. Glad to hear that the river got a recharge with a bit of a raise (and probably a slight drop in temperature).

    I like the idea of the cradle net posted by Jordan Hallett and will look into getting one.

    Keeping the fight as short as possible and then performing a gentle, attentive release will go a long way toward ensuring these beautiful fish remain healthy.

  5. Barry Bransfield says

    Hi Keith…as an avid angler I have been reading your river reports…Thanks for the updates and your efforts required to do so…I know writing these reports are one of many tasks that you perform running your successful outfitting operation.
    My teen aged son and I had some great success while fishing the Main Southwest in early June when the Sea Trout run was on.My son lived in Calgary for a year(2005) and fished the Bow,the Elbow and several of the other “Blue Ribbon” streams….While there,(and for me while visiting and fishing there)we witnessed very few anglers “taking” fish….We always practised catch and release for the most part… but after witnessing the positive outcome(huge trout populations) of this fairly routine way of life for Western Anglers we can only hope it becomes a way of life for Atlantic Canadians.
    We also witnessed the same exclusive catch and release in Maine while there earlier this year fishing their “Public Water” for land locked salmon/brook trout and could not believe the courtesy extended by fellow anglers in terms of sharing what was working and the pools…
    As my son says when people ask why he rarely keeps a fish he says,” If people don’t stop taking fish from our rivers there will be none left for my kids when I have a family”…..
    Sometimes all of us can take a lesson from a teenaged boy…..

  6. Tom Benjamin says

    Great posting, Keith.
    I think the key is “respect”. We need to respect the fish and the environment that these trout inhabit. Anyone fishing this run needs to follow the regulations for barbless hooks, and use gentle release techniques to be sure we minimize the stress on these wonderful fish. And, if we bring someone new along, we should be careful to educate them on how to quickly land and release fish. Proper nets are essential. If you don’t have a cradle net like Jordan suggested (anyone know where to get one?), make sure you use a knotless mesh net, and minimize handling. Wet hands and a wet net will help to avoid damage. I’d rather not get a photo than risk killing a trout.
    I was upset to hear that even one trout had been killed. We all need to remember that this run may only consist of a few hundred fish, so the loss of even one trout is significant. And, I agree, if anglers do not respect the run, our access will be limited, or taken away entirely. Resting the pools is essential. These are migrating fish, often tired after the long run upstream. They need time to feed and re-condition, so that they can spawn succesfully. A trout weakened by clumsy handling or a long fight will be susceptible to predators or disease, even if released alive. This is too precious and delicate a resource for us anglers to treat without the utmost respect. I’d encourage everyone to take a break, and just enjoy the sight of a large trout rising to feed. The rest will be good for both you and the trout.
    Thanks, Keith, for the posting. Hope to see you on the river soon.

  7. Jordan Hallett says

    Hey Keith, just reading some comments to your catch and release post on Cains River brookies, and a couple people mentioned the cradle net that I use. I ordered it about 5 years ago through the Lebaron mail-order catalogue. As I said, it’s great on large fish, but I’d really like to find a smaller one for trout and grilse. I haven’t got the Lebaron catalogue the last couple of years, so I don’t know if they sell the smaller sized ones yet. If I can figure out how to send an attatchement with this, I’ll send along a picture or two as well. Tight lines, guys!


  8. Jordan Hallett says

    To reply to Tom Benjamin’s post, I bought my cradle through the Lebaron mail-order catalogue about 5 years ago or so. I haven’t received the catalogue in the last couple of years, so I don’t know if they still have them for sure, or if they sell the smaller versions now. I am hoping Keith can post one or two of the pictures I sent him so you can see what it looks like. Good luck and tight lines, everybody.


    P.S. It doesn’t appear my last reply went through, but if it did I apologize for repeating myself.

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