Cape Breton Show: The Margaery River will offer world-famous salmon fishing

Margaery Valley, NS – A popular outdoor television series now filming in Cape Breton is expected to draw more visitors to the scenic island of Nova Scotia once an episode about salmon fishing on the Margaery River airs.

Crew with “The New Fly Fisher,” a fishing show in Ottawa, began filming in the Margaree Valley in mid-July. The show, which has been on the air since 2001, had previously visited the area during the salmon race in the fall of 2015. Primarily hosted by Colin McKeown and Bill Spicer, the long-running series can be seen on Fishing Network Worldwide, PBS and Sportsman Channel Canada. The show also has its own YouTube channel.

The new episode on Margaree will focus on dry fly fishing for Atlantic salmon as the bait floats on the surface of the water.

The show’s production team resides at Normaway Inn, which is just three kilometers from the approximate halfway point of the Margaery River, just as it did seven years ago when the show brought dozens of fishermen to the area.

David MacDonald, owner and operator, said he is optimistic the lightning will strike twice.

“Since they were here the first time, we have hosted hundreds of fishermen from all over the world who have seen us at the show and booked a trip to Cape Breton to fish for margarine,” said the longtime pub owner.

“It’s nice to see the river with healthy stocks and fishermen coming in to fish. It’s just great news that more people are coming to enjoy the world famous Margaree of course. There are so many great places to see in Margaree but many of them are hidden because the watersheds are so big.”

“And the great thing about hunters is that they tend to stay longer than the average guest and are more likely to come back.”

healthy river

MacDonald said the river became increasingly popular among fishermen in the early 1980s.

“When I got here in 1976, there were 120 angle fish that season, according to reports, and three years later that number had risen to more than 3,000,” he said.

“So the river has recovered very well for two reasons – a local association was formed and conservation efforts were made and the Atlantic Salmon Federation and the federal government bought commercial fishing licenses so we saw a huge increase in fishing. The Nova Scotia government made really good upgrades in the ’80s.”

MacDonald also noted that the Margaery River has about 20 perishable miles with about 30 recognized ponds. However, he added, changes in the river mean that fewer ponds are now being fished.

Commented on Cape Breton

Mark Melnick, producer of New Fly Fisher, said he was happy to be back at Cape Breton.

“It is one of the most accessible and affordable salmon fisheries in the world,” he said.

“The river is in good shape, the salmon running in the summer and it’s going to be a great show. The scenery of the highlands is stunning and the people are wonderfully warm and welcoming. Nova Scotia is a favorite destination for an international audience, and we look forward to Margaree’s show.”

Melnik noted that the show is also being broadcast outside North America in places such as Poland, Switzerland and France.

Terry Smith, chief executive of the Cape Breton Destination Association, acknowledged the importance of promoting niche markets such as sport fishing.

“It’s great – we’re always looking for exposure to markets like this and plan to do more promotion in the future,” Smith said.

“People have been to Margaree fishing for over 100 years and ‘The New Fly Fisher’ is a great way to help us get the word out about this wonderful experience we are having on the island.”

The exhibition is also supported by Nova Scotia’s Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Steve Craig.

“Anglers from all over the world know that if you want to catch Atlantic salmon, the Margaery River is a great place to go,” he said.

“Nova Scotia has built a reputation for offering some of the best and most accessible sport fishing experiences in the world and I am delighted to see The New Fly Fisher show that to its fans.”

quick Facts

• Sports fishing on the Margaery River is estimated to have an economic impact of more than $1 million annually on surrounding communities

• Fishing contributes more than $70 million annually to Nova Scotia’s economy.

• More than 79,000 fishing licenses were sold in Nova Scotia in 2021

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: