I made a trip up to the Southwest Miramichi this weekend, not really expecting to catch anything except maybe some trout. I just wanted to spend some time in camp. I got a call from Jason Curtis the day before I left relaying that one of the neighbors said he had seen a salmon roll, and that he was certain is was a bright fish. Bright salmon, though, are a scarce May commodity on the Southwest Miramichi, and Wayne Curtis who grew up overlooking and fishing Campbell’s Pool said he didn’t remember ever seeing one caught there in May.
My trip started out by watching a big salmon leap from the water on Friday morning right in the heart of the pool. Lloyd Curtis and I found within the next hour that there were several salmon holding – in spite of relatively high water – in the lower end of Campbell’s side of the pool. Unfortunately we found this out by having salmon roll for the fly, but not touching it. We worked these fish from both sides, with every possible fly, line type, casting angle etc. but never had a touch even though some of the fish repeatedly made big wakes and visibly followed the fly for 20 feet.
On Saturday my luck changed, perhaps for the worse. The number of fish seemed to be down a bit, but we found a couple on the Keenan side too. We had three separate fish bump the fly, but not once did we feel a solid take. This seemed like really strange behavior for early, bright fish, but….
Sunday began with a little raise of water. We fished down the Campbell side and rolled a fish at the top. It never came back for another look. We theorized this was a moving fish. The hot area at the bottom of the pool was now vacant. Over on the Keenan side we fished down through some of the better high water lies without a touch, but in the exact spot where a big, broad-backed salmon had tapped my fly on Saturday we found that either another fish had moved in, or yesterday’s resident was still there – raising water and all. The fish looked at a #2 Silver Rat but did not take it. Jason Curtis and I discussed strategy, and after waiting for a couple of minutes we made the same cast and got a solid take.
Here is Jason holding what we estimated to be an 18 pound salmon. We thought the length to be only about 33 inches, but the fish was as deep and fat as a small tuna. She was hooked in the upper lip, and the fly fell into the net when we lifted her for the picture. A great start to the season, may it continue! Brad
Congratulations Brad and Jason-
What a beauty . I fished this evening ( May 29th ) and saw one salmon jump here in the Home Pool . There was a big Rocky Brooker landed in Ludlow this morning .
Tight Lines , Keith