Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Catching up

Last Wednesday I got back from our week in Errol on the Androscoggin River and didn't get to catch my breath before guiding on Friday, Saturday and Monday on the Contocook and Pemigewasset Rivers. I just now finished downloading some of the pictures and forwarding them to clients. If you want to see some beautiful foliage and beautiful fish, check out the flash files. Every day we were there, the fishing got better and better. On the last day there were fish rising to gray mayflies (Isonychia?) black caddis, pumpkin caddis and who-knows-what-else. The water was cooling down from the low 60s to the mid-50s and the fish loved it. We saw a lot more leaf-peepers than we did fishermen. Only on Saturday September 26 did we see many other anglers. One thing that surprised me was that we didn't see any moose - weird, since we saw at least 2 or 3 every day in June. We saw eagles, fox and grouse, but no moose. Did I mention that the brook trout were resplendent in their spawning colors and that the foliage was spectacular?
I took a father and son fishing for the broodstock salmon on Monday. Fantastic foliage on the Pemigewasset River in Bristol, but the salmon were a disappointment. We caught a 14" rainbow that was as big as the salmon we caught. Also caught a few small browns in Franklin, which was an added bonus. Hopefully my trips on this weekend will produce bigger fish.
Anybody been fishing the Squannacook or Nissitissit Rivers? They have been recently stocked and should be fishing well.


  1. Gerry,
    I was on the Pemi in Bristol on Saturday. We bagged 3 salmon and I lost at least another dozen hits - all salmon. I did bag a couple of rainbows in some of the pools scouting for salmon, but if you want- contact me directly- slackereric@netscape.net and I will tell you where I was when I found them. We did not get another salmon hit in any other spots, but they were stacked in one of the pools. I lost a really nice one about 2 feet away from me and my buddy landed a nice 3 lb salmon.

    I owe you for the call earlier this year about woodstock... :)


  2. I have hit the Squannacook twice in the last two weeks. Once was today. Maybe it is me but I find this river very challenging. I find much of the water very slow and meandering and I am not sure how to fish it. I have had success in quicker water areas where water moves into the pool. A few weeks ago I got two nice brown this way. Today I caught a nice rainbow in this type of water pretty much by accident as I wasn't watching my fly at the end of the drift and when I picked it up to cast a fish was on. (I did see two brown spawing today too...couldn't interupt them with a fly)

    So I have success in this type of water the problem seem to be the squannacook doesn't have much of this. Any tips Gerry. coltrane_ma_1974@yahoo.com if it is easier.

  3. Mike, I agree - I always look for the faster water. It infuses oxygen, brings food and the riffled surface gives the fish cover. If you explore the river, you will find plenty of spots like that on the Squannacook: the Bertozzi WMA in W. Groton; behind Shepherds just below Townsend Harbor; below the route 13 bridge across from Dunkin'; behind the feed exchange; below the stone bridge (route 123?) and a few spots in between. It is probably not a coincidence that these are also likely stocking points. (Get the Mass TU book to find these and many other spots.)

  4. Thanks for the reply Gerry. I had my success in the Bertozzi area in the area of the swimming hole. But even in this area I find just a few stretches of "good" water. I won't give up on this place yet.


  5. Gerry,
    The brood have moved...
    I picked up 1 at the Crescent St bridge... right under the bridge, but didn't see anything else being caught. The water was at least 2 feet higher than last week so I couldn't make it out to the pools I was in last week.

    My guess is they are down to Franklin or working their way to Concord already.

    I did have a nice run in with some whitewater canoe'rs who thought it was ok to paddle up between me and my line and not say anything like "sorry" or "my bad"... He is lucky I am a nice guy... His defense- he said he had right of way because it is a popular play hole... He is going to get his butt kicked if he does that to the wrong guys up there...

  6. Here is my kayaker-tangles-with-fly-fisher story:
    A few years ago we (the Bull Salmon Club-my buddies and I) were on a fishing trip to the W. Branch of the Penobscot fishing for landlocked salmon. There is one particular falls that stretches all the way across the river - Nesowdenahunk Falls. This is a big white water rafting and kayaking river in addition to fishing. At the falls there is a granite ledge that gives one angler a place to stand and fish at one little spot on the side of the falls. This is the only spot to fish near the falls. One afternon my buddy Dick Davidson was fishing from that ledge and a guy in a kayak paddles over the falls and proceeds to play in the fast water and eddy where Dick is fishing. Dick says, "hey can't you see I'm fihsing here? You have the whole river and I only have this one spot!" The guy yells, "Tough! This is a free river and I'll paddle wherever the hell I want to!" Dick considers the situation for about 2 seconds and digs down into his vest and pulls out the largest Clouser streamer he can find - ties it on - and proceeds to bounce a couple casts off the guy's kayak. The guy yells, "Hey stop that! Don't you see me kayaking here?" Dick yells,"Tough! This is a free river and I'll cast wherever the hell I want to!" End of story.

  7. LOL...
    I know the falls you speak of... I almost bought the farm there- I was rafting and got tossed from the boat. I ended up in the hydraulic off that falls- I finally popped up 47 seconds later with a cut on my head and lungs full of foam. (we timed it on the video...) I paddle too and it just urks me running into jerks like this.

    People are so rude and inconsiderate nowadays. Even trolling in NY this year on Lake Ontario- it was combat trolling... People crossing lines, cutting off others for no reason. It's just getting ridiculous.