Monday, August 10, 2009

The rains left and the fish remain

The rivers are in great shape! They have settled down to near-normal flows and haven't warmed up yet. Although we are getting a spell of hot weather, hopefully the cool nights will help keep the water at a good temperature. Last Thursday the Sugar River was running about 500CFS, which was a little high, but very wadable. The water temp was 68F and my clients picked up a couple fish - a brown and a rainbow - on a half-day trip. They went back to California with a very good impression of NH fly fishing opportunities. Often we take for granted the resources available to us. It is good to get a reality check now and then to help us remember how lucky we are.
Friday was the day to work on a TU project. I donned swiming mask to place some temperature data loggers in the Piscataquog River in New Boston, NH. Just about every place a device we saw some trout. That was really surprising and encouraging, since that river really warms up most years. Well, we will see exactly how warm and cold it gets, so we can ploan some restoration projects to improve the trout habitat. It's great to have streams nearby, like the Piscataquog and Souhegan, where we'll be placing some temperature data loggers next week.
On Saturday my partner Jim and I took a pair of father-sons from Peru to learn how to fly fish in the Pemigewasset River near Lincoln. One young man caught a rainbow trout on his first cast ever. Nothing short of amazing. He caught another one a little while later, and then a couple more after lunch. Same flies, same river, but the others couldn't seem to fool any fish. I don't think there are any trout in Peru, but if there are, these guys are ready for action. Yesterday it was a father, son and daughter who wanted to learn how to fly fish. The Contoocook River in Henniker has been at near-flood levels for over a month, and is just now getting to a fishable level - 550CFS on Sunday. Since these rivers haven't been fishable, it is like having private water to fish. Well, the Professor's pool had rising fish and we fooled some of them. A few were non-trout natives (fallfish) but there were 4 or 5 rainbows and a smallmouth bass willing to take a Stimulator, hornberg or elk hair caddis. With a little bit of luck, the Contoocook and Sugar Rivers will hold fish well into the extended season. Oh yeah, in case you didn't know, these rivers now stay open until November 30, rather than closing October 15, as in the past. I wonder if there are still fish holding in the Newfound River? The surface of the lake must be warming, so that could be the end of good fishing there for the year. Thursday and Monday I have some more beginners in the que ready to learn the magic of the slender wand. Might take a ride to see how the Ellis and Saco are fishing. Got to be ready with some fresh water and fresh fish for the new fly fishers.

1 comment:

  1. Gerry,
    There are still fish in Newfound River. I picked up 2 bows downstream from the dam last night. I missed 3-4 more and picked up a smallmouth also. I saw another guy pick up one at the dam. The water is definitely too warm though. Mid 70's last night would be my guess (forgot the infrared thermo at the house). The flow is down to a trickle through the dam. <150cfs.... I figured I owed you one after the woodstock call last week. Everything was on a hare's ear.