Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Androscoggin River Alder-mania

The trip up north to the Androscoggin River in Errol, NH and the 13-Mile Woods wilderness area was fantastic. Our Androscoggin Special Package was booked full for 14 days straight. We had 17 beginners out of 27 anglers and all of them caught fish. One got a fish on his second cast with a fly and another took all of two days, but finally landed a (measured) 18-inch landlocked salmon. (See the picture)
We were really lucky dodging rain and high water. The first week we were there the river flow was low and we only had some occasional drizzle. All of our clients were relieved to find that the heaviest rain fell south of the White Mountains. During the second week we got a little more rain and they released more water from the dam, but we were still able to find quite a few fish. Jim drifted the CT River one day and had his best day this year with client Jerry D. who hooked into a lot of fish there and when I took him to a couple hot spots on the Androscoggin. We had a lot of father-son and husband-wife teams on the trip, which was a lot of fun for us and for them. Obviously, fly fishing is a life-long sport and it is satisfying to know that many of the people we taught on this trip will be fly fishing long after Jim and I are no longer around.
We target this trip for the Alder Fly hatch and this year we hit it good. I was able to get clients into fish on zebra caddis patterns starting around June 22 and continuing through July 3 when we left. Although there were huge swarms of Alder flies, the fish were not really turned on to them. Rarely did we see a fish rise to a natural, although we caught loads of fish on caddis dries. For those that haven't experienced the hatch, here is a video that will give you an idea of what it is all about.

In addition to Alder flies, there were plenty of golden stone flies, and Little yellow Sallies around also. In the evening we fished the hex hatch and our clients caught some beautiful brook trout This one was landed by good friend and client Dick Peterson. Here is a link to more pictures and videos of the trip. That is it for the June 2009 Andro-Adventure, and we are already planning the September trip. We will be offering the same Special Package the last week of September. Last year the September trip was spectacular, with crisp weather, peak foliage and lots of willing fish. Let me know if you want more info.

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