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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few weekends back, myself and two friends decided we would make a run to the Miramichi for two days of fishing. We knew the water was warm so our chances of great success were not good. We called to book the place where we normally stay and the owner confirmed what we already knew, lots of fish around but nothing moving. We decided that cold beer and spending a few days in God's country would easily make up for the lack of fish. To make a long story short we stopped at a public stretch of water on the way down river and decided to take a look before reaching our destination. We were pleased to see seven or eight others out trying their luck. We fished through the pools with no luck until we reached the end of the stretch were a gentleman had just hooked a salmon and lost it. We decided to give it a try, a few fish were hooked and a nice grilse landed within the small group in the area, not one was foul hooked. DFO officers arrived on the bank and requested information and licenses of four men. They were consequently charged with "jigging salmon" and their gear was confiscated. I can assure you that no-one in this pool was jigging salmon while we were there. Two of the men charged were my friends and I can personally guarantee that they did nothing wrong. Quite confused, they asked what they had done wrong, we were told that they had complaints of someone jigging fish the previous day and that they had to get someone. They each had on #8 size flys, not having ever jigged a salmon I am not an expert but I assume this would not be the choice of tackle. I know that DFO has a job to do and I support them 100%. They claimed they watched from across the river and saw definitive jerking motions. There was a small concentration of fish in this area and on occasion we could see them in the water. If the DFO didn't want anyone fishing in this area they should have posted it, as they now have. They said the biggest problems were that occasionally someone would point out where they saw fish and also this "jigging motion" was enough for a charge. These men are now facing big fines, loss of gear and loss of fishing privileges. These fish were taking, as I mentioned not one was foul hooked, I do have some video of one of the fish and it clearly shows the line protruding from the salmons mouth on a leap. Any salmon that were hooked were quickly broke off.
Now I can only vouch for my friends, but I can tell you that neither of these gentleman would ever have the desire or nerve to attempt what they have been charged with. One is a member of an organization dedicated to preserving salmon in our rivers and has spent many hours of his time helping this cause. Neither of them have ever even used a tag and rarely even keep a trout.
I know anyone could say these things and I am sure that it has all been heard before, so I won't go on about their characters as I cannot prove it other than by giving my word. They will be entitled to their day in court and plan to take full advantage of the opportunity to clear their name.
I guess I am just a little frustrated by the whole situation, my friends and I look forward to a few trips to this beautiful river each summer and fall, but now I am not sure if I will be able to convince them to return. They still don't know what they did wrong and are basically scared to be wrongfully charged again. We plan on cancelling our crown water for later in the summer. Anyone who has spent some time on crown water cannot tell me honestly that they have never been able to see the fish laying in a pool at one time or another and deliberately drifted their fly past them sometimes for countless casts. From what we have learned that is illegal.
Now I know there are those among us who feel that the river should be left alone in situations like this, but I can tell you that there were lots of rods on the river everywhere we had stopped. We asked lots of questions and decided that we would give it a try as we had a little rain and the water temp was dropping.
Does anyone have any "real" advice that I may pass along to my friends that may be helpful in their fight?
 

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That's a really unfortunate story. Probably not much chance of being able to reach the other people on the river that day that could back up your story?
Witnesses would be good but Freddy's advice is probably the best route since the charges are pretty serious are they not? Get a lawyer to fight it.
It's too bad you had your trip and future trips ruined by what would seem to be some lazy and unprofessional wardens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We all exchanged names and inforamtion that day before we left the river. Like I said I didnt know the other gentlemen, but I would gladly swear under oath that I saw them do nothing wrong either. It has been really hard on these guys because as time goes on all people remember is that they were charged with this act, and the details will be lost from the story. We have gathered some very good character references from different people in several salmon organizations and also a former DFO officer recently retired, who was actually invited to come along on our trips. I still feel confident that they will come out of this ok, but it has cast a dark cloud over the one great love we all share, personally I would be lost wihout being able to sneak away with my fly rod weither it be waters big or small. I want to stress that I apreciate the job these officers do, we need them to protect the waters for our future. They have a tuff job to do, and I am sure they have heard everything under the sun. They are currently looking into the situation and have been very accomidating in hearing us out. It does look however that it will need to be dealt with in court.
 

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Makes me want to puke!!!!

They let the natives net all the time and then they charge someone with this.

DFO sucks!!!!!
 

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You're right. The longer time goes on, the more details will be forgotten. I'd suggest calling those other people and having everyone involved write down their account of the events so that when the time comes to go to court, they can use it as a refresher.
PS - good job on exchanging information! I would think that having strangers be able to attest to the events would be extememly helpful. Best of luck!
 

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Similar situation happened to me.. 99% sure it won't go to court.. The same thing happened to me and a freind we couldn't figure out what the hell DFO was talking about we where both using a dry floating fly... There where 6 of us fishing on the same stretch,it was almost like they randomly selected two from the bunch...Pretty hard to jig fish when your hook was on the surface of the water but regardless. As soon as the judge reviewed the case all charges got dropped and he ordered DFO to return are gear. In my opinion somebody was jigging fish that they couldn't catch and they are trying to save face by laying charges on someone anyone...

Keep us posted. But I would bet my next pay check that this doesn't go much further then a preliminary hearing.

Good Luck..
 

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just another slap in the face to the fly fisherman IMO. How about start nailing the real poachers and natives instead of the good guys
get a lawyer / get all the witnesses you can to back up your story....and hopefully it will be dropped.
does DFO have video evidence? or just going by what they heard or seen
 

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I heard about this incident from a guy close to one of the guys involved in this little piece of dirt and he assures me nobody was doing anything wrong.This is not the first incident of this nature I have heard of.Sometimes its DNR,other times it's DFO.It just proves one thing to me--there are bad apples in every bunch,including the enforcers.We need these guys to combat the REAL bad guys,not the good guys who love the fish and the sport.This kind of thing makes me sick and there should be some type of legal ramifications for any officer laying false charges,IMO.Get a lawyer ,for sure and good luck!
 

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It seems to be happening more and more lately, too. I'm unsure of what is going on these days, but DFO/DNR/Rangers, seem to enjoy giving people hassles.

People who, follow the law and just enjoy catching fish, enjoying our beautiful outdoors. I had a Ranger hassle me all of last season. He would stop in, wherever I was fishing, 2-3 times per day and ask me for my license, what i have caught, etc... I mean, he knew i had my license, knew i was using legal bait, legal gear, etc.. as he had spoke to me earlier in the day, and the day before that, and that, etc... yet, he felt the need to hassle me every day, for an entire week (at 3 different lakes), 2-3 times per day.

No idea why, but, he wanted to nab me for something. He also pulled in one day, to the lake, blocking my neighbors car (who was fishing with me, and just about to leave), bumping his bumper, in an attempt to stop him from leaving! It was ludacris. Things are getting out of hand these days. I just want, as I am sure you all do, to fish and relax, in peace.

Good luck man, I wish you and the others the best. It's 1-2 officers, versus 6 or so of you. (DFO/DNR), usually get more credit in Court, but, 6 strangers are likely not lying for each other either. I hope you beat this, all of you.
 

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a sad situation. with so many real problems on the water, dnr/dfo being idiots wasting time on people obeying the rules is very frustrating. hopefully most are actualy doing the job properly.
25 years ago, when i had a moose license i was stopped 9 times in 3 days - nuts!! even one of the wardens had enough (always in groups of 3-7 wardens?! what the?!!!) he got po-ed at his boss for hassleing me - they got into it heavy. the last time i had a legal and tagged moose on the back of a truck, and we were stopping by my broken down car to collect my cased gun from the locked trunk to go home, and 7 wardens came out of the bush! now, the car had been broken down for 9 hours at that stage, and all of them sat their and watched it - what a waste. and then they decided to check my gun - again, crazy since it was sitting under their noses, they knew it because i had to get it out of the trunk to show them. they hardly even looked at my tagged moose.

i have been hearing good things about dfo wardens lately, very bad things about dnr wardens lately. now i'm po'ed it was dfo that did this to you guys.
hopefully this will be dismissed and the wardens censored. i watched a judge give a warden **ll for something like this - he told the warden that if he ever came to him with something this wrong again he would charge him with contempt of court for wasting his time on purpose. i hope they are all reading this one!
 

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this reminds me of a similar story from the states.

a lady fisherman was fly fishing, having no luck fishing top water with dry flies and a game warden came over and gave her a ticket for jigging fish. she looked at him amazed and asked what he was basing the charge on, since she clearly hadn't even hooked a fish, let alone jigged one. his reply was that she had the equipment for it, so she could be charged.
now very upset, she pulled out her cell phone and called the police. when they answered she said she was charging the game warden with rape. the warden goes crazy, telling her to hang up, the cop's on line are wondering if the crime is still going on. the warden starts telling her she's crazy, he didn't rape her.

she replied the he had the equipment, so by his rules he could be charged...!
 

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I would have gotten out the old video camera on the cell and recorded that ****. If DFO tried something like that with my fishing party they better have more than two officers. Such horseshit
 

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Hey just wondering how things worked out for your friends Martiner. Did it go to court? It's stories like this that disgust me, and I bet a few of us would kick in a bit financially to help with the legal costs...
Derek
 

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Hey to all,

I was one of the ones charge in this incident. Glad to say that this week finally the charges were dropped. It has been a wild 5 weeks waiting to hear. Knowing how serious these charges are is enough to give you a few sleepless nights. It would be terrible not being able to fish or hunt for five years!!! Just glad to have this behind me now although it was hard not having my good fly gear by my side....oh well got it back now! Thanks for all the support gents.

Best regards,
CA
 

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it's really good to here it finaly worked out right compleatangler. it was getting to the stage that i was wondering why i bother with a license. i have just gotten back into salmon fishing (fly fishing of any kind is difficult for me - bad arms), i was thinking maybe i'd just go for stripers from the bay of fundy.
again, good to here, and i hope the wardens that wasted everbodies time and money see's this too, or even better, their bosses!
 

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Do we know the names of the Wardens involved? It would be good information to have for those of us who may encounter them in the future.
 
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