Fishing on the Margaree
The history of fishing in Margaree is rich and storied. The Margaree River is the liquid backbone of the whole area, as close to an angler’s paradise as you will find in Nova Scotia; you can fish its pools all day, find good spots to relax and share good times with friends after the sun goes down. If you’re looking for a great river fishing experience, we certainly have what you are looking for.
The Margaree is blessed with several species of fish, which either inhabit the river or return from the surrounding oceans each year to the Margaree to spawn. A commercial Gaspereau, (Alewives), fishery still exists, and Speckled (Brook), and Brown trout and more recently, Striped Bass are found in abundance.
However, it’s as a Salmon River that the Margaree has become world famous! Indeed, it is the only river in the province that maintains “Conservation levels” for returning salmon. Added to that, Nova Scotia Rivers have full public access and hiring a fishing guide is not mandatory for salmon fishing. This is NOT the norm in most jurisdictions, where “private waters” exist and you must hire a guide to access fishing areas.
That being said, it IS advisable for the UNINITIATED to hire a guide who is familiar with the pools and how to access them and, given the water conditions, where Salmon likely will be holding. Guides can also explain the River Etiquette…something else the Margaree system is noted for.
Salmon season is from June 1st to October 31st
Depending on water levels and weather conditions, there can be good angling opportunities throughout the whole season. In reality, there are two larger runs: a summer run in June-early September, (excellent DRY FLY FISHING)...and a Fall run from mid September- end October that is mostly larger salmon. The average size salmon is 8 – 12 lbs. (3.6 to 5.5 kg), however there are salmon in the river reaching upwards to 30 to 40 lbs. (18 kg)! Fall fishing, in Margaree, amidst the fall colours is spectacular, not to mention the opportunity to take in, of an evening, the Celtic Colours International Festival events that are taking place in the area the week following Thanksgiving!
It should also be noted that on the NE Margaree, during the Salmon Season, ONLY fly-fishing with single barbless hooks is allowed on the main river, AND that all salmon fishing is Catch & Release ONLY.
River Guides: There are plenty of experienced Guides in the Margaree area who can give you instruction on basics or, for the advanced sportsmen, tips on the best pools and local flies. Guides can be found by checking the Margaree Salmon Association web site, www.margareesalmon.ca OR at https://novascotia.ca/fish/sportfishing/sportfishing-guides/.
Fly Shops/Equipment: There are a number of shops in Margaree catering to anglers: all can provide guides and equipment: Big Intervale Fishing Lodge, Riverview Lodge, The Normaway Inn,The Tying Scotsman.
Trout Fishing/U-fish: For those who are looking for an afternoon’s fish, try your luck at Old Miller Trout Farm U-Fish, at Margaree Forks. This is a licensed operation, which stocks its ponds with Speckled and Rainbow trout. You don’t need a license or any experience to reel in a beautiful fish for dinner! Bring your own equipment or just bring yourself – limited fishing equipment is available for rental. Catch and keep only, and pay by the kilogram (or pound).
Margaree Salmon Association: For an excellent, up-to-date source of other fishing information, go to the MSA site. www.margareesalmon.ca You can access their Facebook page there as well, for more up-to-date info during the season.