On The Water: Christmas Shopping List

With the fishing season over and equipment taken care of, I’ll wrap up another season with my annual Christmas shopping suggestions for the angler.  I’ve checked with my friends in the tackle shops and have an estimated price range for many items mentioned.

santafishermanThis column is the “clip and paste” on the fridge with certain items highlighted, as a sort of a hint.

With more and more ladies getting “on the water”, this might help the gentleman angler solve his Christmas shopping as well.

Check with W.W. Doak and Sons (365-7828) in the Doaktown area, Curtis Miramichi River Outfitting (843-2481) in Blackville, Herb’s Fly Shop (843-6354) in Blackville, Miramichi Hunting and Fishing (622-3071) in Miramichi and Trout Brook Fly Shop (622-0676) on the Northwest for more detailed prices.  A visit to Bryant Freeman’s Eskape Anglers (386-6269) on Wentworth Street in Riverview is always fun.

First the big items.  Maybe a new rod may be in order. These could run anywhere from $100 to $1000.  I like the Emery Streamside Rods.  They offer a very good product at a reasonable price range $125 to $200.  Streamside has a four-piece rod with its own case, which is ideal to carry on an ATV, walking a trail to a favourite pool, or packing to travel.  They also have a very nice Streamside Elite, my favourite rod, that is a 10-footer, priced between $125-150 and throws a very nice line. A nice 9-foot Streamside is the SS909 graphite with a five-year warranty.

Next look at waders.  Most anglers use chest waders.  Check with the above shops for their selections.  There are also the stocking-foot waders with the wading shoe, some with felt and studs, for both men and women, and neoprenes for colder wading.

Reels: Emery Streamside puts out a nice affordable Classic Cast Deluxe at $50 to $100, along with the LA 3000 Legacy models.  I like the large arbor for quick reeling.  This series will cost from $250-$300.

Other items:  Rain suits ($100), rain jackets ($35), rod cases where the reel stays attacked ($35-60), vests ($30-$100) (Emery has a beautiful new vest with detachable sleeves and more pockets than you can count in its Streamside wear, as well as an adjustable Lady’s vest, landing nets ($20-$50) (Try to get one that will not scratch the eyes of the fish), Bug Jackets ($25-$40), and Inflatable fishing vests with a pull cord to inflate immediately in case the water gets too deep unexpectedly or slips in fast water ($150), and a new fly line, and I recommend an Emery Streamside ($25-$40).  These are the big and very necessary items.

Now for the “also” category.  A new hat ($5-$20), polarized sunglasses ($15 -$25), pliers for removing the hook from the fish quickly and efficiently, not to mention protecting your own hands on from the fall hook bills (($10-$15), a new set of braces for the waders ($15), a good knife ($10-$20), or a really good one $60-70), tape measure preferable attachable to the vest ($5), thermometer and depth gauge (for the lake angler) ($10-$20) Fly boxes (plastic $10, aluminum $15-25), and a box with a dozen flies ($30).

Then there are the stocking stuffers.  These include retractable clippers ($5), landing gloves ($8-$10), Gink and Xink for making the flies float or sink ($5), dry fly spray ($5), scents ($ 5-$10), glasses holders ($3), hook sharpeners ($3), leather man micro tools ($30-$75), new felts for the waders

For the reader there are angling books such as Wayne Curtis’ “Fly Fishing The Miramichi” or “River Guides of the Miramichi” ‘In The Country” (which is being reviewed in the next ASF Salmon Journal), Long Ago And Far Away, and
Of Earthly and River Things: An Angler’s Memoir, David Adams Richards’ “Lines On The Water”, George Frederick Clarke’s “Song of The Reel” and “Six Salmon Rivers and Another”, Lee Wulff’s many books especially on dry fly fishing, Michael Brislain’s “Bugging The Atlantic Salmon”, “The Main Southwest Miramichi River” book of coloured maps marking pools and open water ($25.00), coffee table books such as Gary Anderson’s “Atlantic Salmon: Fact and Fantasy” or “The Atlantic Salmon and The Fly Fisherman”, Timothy Frew’s “Salmon: The Angler’s Guide”($30-$40), River Talk by Mike Crosby, James (JIM) Mariner’s TIGHT LINES MEAN BRIGHT FISH: THE LARRY’S GULCH STORY.

There are “The St. Mary’s and Other Waters” by Charles Widgery ($13.95), “Recollections” by Clayton Stanley Stewart, “Stillwater Fly Fishing” as well as several others by Paul C. Marriner, including his latest (and updated) Modern Atlantic Salmon Flies, “A Little Thing I Tied Myself” by Don MacLean ($19.95), “Rivers of Yesterday” by Mike Parker, and “Closing the Season” by Brad Burns.

There are also angling videos ($20-$40), fly patches to hold flies ($4), and line cleaners ($3-5).  Don’t forget a measuring tape.

For the builder and tyer there are the rod building kits ($100-$150), salmon fly tying kit ($100-150), scissors, ($12-$30), bobbins (steel $6-$10, ceramic $15-$20), vices ($15-$200), and any number of fly tying materials from feathers, hackle, deer hair, capes, threads, yarns, head cement in a variety of colours, flash, from $2 to whatever, and boxes of 100 hooks ($6- $10, and doubles a bit more).

Syd Matchett has a line of fishing gear called “Snobee” which features everything from clothing for angling to actual fishing equipment.  It’s worth a look.

For the trout and striped bass anglers there are the lures ($2-$5), spinners ($1-$2), reels ($15-$20) and rods ($40-$100) and maybe a new creel ($10-$20).

A subscription to, FlyFusion (based in Clagary) ($24.95 or “The Canadian Fly Fisher” ($18) (613) 966-8017 are also excellent choices.

Now for the angler who has everything, try a salmon fly broach pin with a classic pattern.  These are good for hats, vests, or Jacket/shirt for both the male and female angler.

There are memberships in the Atlantic Salmon Federation which gives several glossy coloured magazines a year with excellent stories, not to mention that you are helping salmon conservation, memberships in one of the local salmon associations such as The Miramichi Salmon Association, The NB Guides Association, the N.B. Wildlife Federation which has been in existence since 1924, the Moncton Fish & Game Club, the Dieppe Fly-Tyers, the New Brunswick Salmon Council or other clubs in your area.

The Atlantic Salmon Museum in Doaktown has memberships ($25 or cheaper if one belongs to a local association) which includes visiting rights to the museum and its Hall of Fame as well as eight newsletters throughout the year which give the news and counts from the rivers.

You might consider pampering yourself, your spouse or both by booking a vacation on the river at a salmon club or lodge such as Ledges Inn (Doaktown), Country Haven, Wilson’s, Ponds, Upper Oxbow Outdoor Adventures, Red Rock Lodge, or any numbers of others.  A day to a week might be out of this world in your own back yard.  We book elsewhere, so why not at home!

Some of the fly tyers such as Dewey Gillespie, Jack Kitchen, or Jacques Heroux, will make up beautifully framed and mounted classic salmon flies, which are very classy in any room or office.  As well, many of the angling shops mentioned above will put together Christmas Fly packages for you.  They make a nice gift.

I hope this makes your Christmas shopping a little easier.  I would like to thank all you have helped make this column the fun it has been.  Until next season, plan to be “on the water”, and don’t forget to attend the annual 2017 Dieppe Fly Fishing Forum at the Coliseum, Moncton (usually a Saturday and Sunday at the very end of March and start of April) 2009.  Check out the program at www.flyfishingforum.ca (and then click on either the English or French “Welcome/Bienvenue)   It is a great way to get into the mood for getting back “on the water.”


At Cassilis Trapnet the salmon count was the second best since 1998, while the grilse was below average, but better than 2012 and 2014.

At Millerton trapnet the salmon count was average, while the grilse count was below average, but better than 2014 and 2014.

Don’t forget to make your opinions known regarding salmon and striped bass regarding the Miramichi system by filling out the TWO surveys found at the DFO Gulf Region website, and then going to recreational fisheries.  Make yourself heard!

Cumulative counts to date of Salmon as of October 31

Cumulative counts to date of Grilse as of October 31

Don’t forget to show your support for our sponsors, because without them, this column would not be possible.  

Deals 4 U and Northumberland Coop


Doug Underhill
438 McKinnon Road
Miramichi, NB, Canada, E1V 6G2

A SPECIAL THANKS to all who made contributions last season.

Thought for the Week: “The great charm of fly-fishing is that we are always learning”… Theodore Gordon Fishing Quotes


Hi All

Saturday was a great day on the Miramichi with the federal and provincial governments making the funding announcement for the CAST programs. The MSA is a major partner in CAST with our Chairman, Brian Moore, sitting as President of the CAST board. The hatchery here in South Esk is undergoing major renovations and a new state-of-the-art building is being constructed to hold the adult salmon we will be raising and eventually releasing into the Northwest and Little Southwest Miramichi Rivers where they were taken from as smolt.

Our field crews will also play a major part in the research work that will take place as part of CAST over the next 5 – 7 years. For more information check out this video at https://vimeo.com/183873400 and the CAST website at http://castforsalmon.com/ .

Also two news stories came out on the weekend:



For more details on projects there are videos available on the Thermal Imaging project which will identify cold water habitats and the ARIS Sonar Camera which will be used to estimate the number of salmon in the river.

We will have more information on our Facebook page and website as the project continues. We are all very excited!

Yours in Conservation,

Atlantic Salmon Federation News for Mon., Nov. 7, 2016

CAST Receives $4.7M for Wild Salmon Restoration
CAST, a partnership that includes ASF is focused at this time on restoring the salmon populations in the Miramichi, with results that can help rivers elsewhere

ASF to Remove Dam in China, ME
ASF is very involved in improving fish passage in Maine’s salmon rivers, and this is yet one more example of improvements that will help restore not just salmon but also other native migratory fish.

What are ASF Researchers Doing After the Field Season?
ASF Biologist Graham Chafe writes about one model used to analyze and synthesize the data being collected through ASF’s fieldwork.

CPAC Examines the East Coast Aquaculture Industry
Holly Doan provides an in-depth look at aquaculture, and ASF’s Jonathan Carr is one of the individuals interviewed. Includes an excellent interview with DFO Minister Dominic LeBlanc.

Farmed Salmon Impacts on Wild Salmon
ASF’s Steve Sutton writes a letter to the editor of The Telegram on the issue of farmed salmon impacts on wild salmon runs in Newfoundland.

Liming Watershed a Major Project in Nova Scotia
A helicopter-assisted liming of a river watershed in Nova Scotia is a new and major experimental approach to battling the impacts of acid rain. The project involves ASF’s regional council, NSSA.

Three Convicted for Poaching, Netting Wild Salmon in Newfoundland
One person was sentenced to 65 days in jail, and the seizure of boats, motors and other gear was considerable. Read more.

Anyone wishing to report suspicious fishing activity anonymously is asked to contact the nearest Fisheries and Oceans Canada office or to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Want to receive the Miramichi Fishing Report by email?  Click here to subscribe now!

Until next week

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Giv'er Saint John
2281 King George Hwy
Miramichi NB, E1N 3A6

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