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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-17-2008, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Margaree River?

Hey Gang:

Starting to do some research about Atlantic Salmon fishing in Canada... Does anyone fish the margaree?

Basically, I am curious how to time the runs... is there a "numbers" time vs. a "big fish" time?

I am a total rookie in this area, but looking to learn!


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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-17-2008, 03:29 PM
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Hello Slint,

I will start by confessing I have never fished the Margaree. That having been said, all of my friends that do fish the river say it is a Fall river -- more precisely, a late Sept. through Oct. river.

The Margaree is supposed to be a beautiful river, but I am wondering why you have been thinking about it as opposed to the Miramichi and the Cains (where the fishing has been getting better and better during most of the past seasons -- 2007 excepted) in NB, or the rivers of the Gaspe' in Quebec.

Remember the old adage that wherever you choose to go, the fishing will always be great, but the catching may present a problem.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-17-2008, 03:56 PM
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I fished the Margaree in Late july this year. It was just after some good rains and there were lots of bright fish coming into the river. They were mostly grilse, but it was still really fun.

The river is really beautiful and fun to fish.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-17-2008, 10:16 PM
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Lovely river, really. I fished it in October many years ago, it was my very first Salmon fishing trip. It's very accessible, easy to wade (medium water height) and the pools are pretty straightforward. I would recommend finding a place to stay that's a bit lower down, I stayed upriver towards the upper section and I found most of the fishable pools to be in the lower 15 miles or so.

There is an October run of larger fish heading up the lower tributary (forks) and there were plenty of fish around. For some strange reason I didn't catch anything ;-) But it was a wonderful place in general and would go again if I could get the time in the fall again.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-18-2008, 12:11 PM
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Margaree River

Hi ,
We fish the Margaree River area each October . Fish usually start arriving in July and more fish come in the fall . I can give you names of some guides I know . The fall is nice because you can fish other rivers in the area like the Middle and Baddeck Rivers. The area is beautiful and the people a very friendly . All the water is public and you do not need a guide . The fisherman in a pool are very good about rotating through . Some pools can be busy but the conversations can be fun . If I can help let me know. Jeff
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-12-2008, 05:00 PM
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Margaree Forks

Hi Slint,

My father and I did a trip to the Margaree about 8 years ago in the first week of September. As always, weather is the key. There was a heat wave for the first 3 or 4 days we were there, and the fishing was quite slow. There were plenty of fish in the river - at one of the pools we counted 30...30 stacked, unmovable, uninterested fish ranging from grilse size to large hens. On our 2nd last night there, a tropical storm ( had just been downgraded from a Hurricane by the time it hit Nova Scotia ) blew through the area. By the time dawn broke the river was rising but not yet blown, and I braved the wind and rain, and hit the river. My father thought I was nuts ( which perhaps I was ) - but it paid off. I caught my one - and only - Margaree salmon that morning - a large, fiesty hen that almost wripped the rod out of my hands and jumped about two dozen times. A few minutes after landing and releasing mine with assistance from another gentleman, he got into another large fish which I ended up tailing for him about half a mile downstream. The two of us were the only ones out there at the time ( although we were half blown to shreds by the wind ). Won't forget that day.
Anyway, I would recommend the Margaree. The scenery is fantastic, and the people are very friendly and helpful. There are guides for those who wish to use them, but the river is public ( tag system - grilse only to be kept ) and self-guiding is fine. There are benches at most pools, and rotation etiquette is enforced ( and enjoyed - lots of laughs ). We stayed at the Margaree Lodge which was not pricey and quite convenient. There is a spectacular view of the river from the restaurant at the lodge, and the food was pretty reasonable in price and quality. There is also brook trout fishing up in the highlands, and rainbow fishing close by in the Bras D'Or lakes ( where we went a few times and landed over a dozen on dries, although we're convinced they were fish farm escapees ). Definitely worth a trip.


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-21-2008, 09:56 AM
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Margaree river


It's a beautiful body of water and the fall environment adds to the experience. As Jeff mentioned, the people are very friendly. I'm on the Margaree all season, it's been my second home for the last 15 years. A first run might appear in mid-June, they are small in numbers but accumulate through the summer. The fish usually move into the few remaining deeper pools / pockets, the exception being high water. The early Salmon tend to be more aggressive than the fall fish. Also, the more productive pools will get crowded but if you're willing to explore lesser pools, you'll be rewarded with solitude and (possibly) fish.

For summer runs, it's most productive from the Etheridge pool down. Late summer, Fahey pool down and for a remote fall fishing experience try the Big Intervale pools. Additional fall fishing opportunities are the Middle and Baddeck rivers, which are nearby. An early season June adventure is the Cheticamp river but it's an ambitious hike to the pools.

At one time, fall fishing was exceptional but it's become very inconsistent. While local opinions vary, I find the overall numbers dwindling and that fall fishing has become....well, overrated. The past few years I've avoided Oct fishing because the fish are dark and easily stressed. But this is my personal preference. It's likely you will see fish stacked up in certain pools and ignoring everything you toss.......welcome to Atlantic Salmon fishing.

With or without Salmon on the end of my line I enjoy the experience of the Margaree, the valley and it's people. I would be happy to supply you with the names / numbers of guides, lodging or other information. One final thought, if you have time, phone and ask (local guide) about the water and fishing conditions, they can change weekly. As in > you should have been here last week.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-21-2008, 01:26 PM
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Question Nova Scotia - Rods & Lines?

I am going to be in NS in August for business and a visit with family. What rod weights/lengths and lines are appropriate for the Margaree and other rivers in the area? (Can I get by with a 7 weight - 7133 and scandi lines?)

"Let us cross the river and rest under the shade of the trees" T.J. Jackson
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 08:10 AM
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When I was on thye Margaree in late July, I fished an 11' 8 switch and it seemed great. I did find that some of the runs were so narrow i was glad I wasn't fishing a much longer rod. That said if you have the 7133 that I have, the burk, it would be perfect for the Margaree. One thing I would do with the Scandi head(specifically if it is an Airflo 500grn) is to go down to a 4-6' polyleader and have 6-8' of mono on the end, it fishes nicer on the smaller runs.

I didn't take a one hander and there were a few times that I wished I had, especially for fishing bombers up stream.

I am the Mighty Northern Night...In my Folktale Form -Ted Hughes
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