Sunday, October 18, 2009

Where's the action?

After my day off fishing the Farmington River with Stan, I got back to work on Friday and Saturday. These are the last two trips I have booked. Both groups wanted to fish for the broodstock Atlantic salmon in the Pemigewasset River. If you have been following these reports, you know that salmon have been hard to get this fall. In fact, the few people I have run into on the river all ask me where the salmon are and say that nobody has been catching them. Well, they are scarce and tough to hook-up even if you do find some, but it is not impossible. I had a couple young men contact me from Virginia wanting some fly fishing instruction and a chance to catch a salmon. Casting in the wind is difficult even for experienced fly fishers, much less beginners. They were motivated and worked hard and we did find some salmon. Then on Saturday I took a couple experienced anglers who had never fished for salmon. Last year I took Ish out to the Contoocook River for a lesson and we fished the Hendrickson hatch and got some nice trout on dries. He has been reading these fishing reports and wanted to take his friend Rob for some salmon as a birthday gift. They had originally booked the trip for Sunday (today), but when I saw the weather forecast, I suggested that we go on Saturday, which turned out to be a great day (which today obviously is not!) In addition to fishing, the other objective was to learn the river for future fishing on their own. We hit all the usual places and a few unusual ones throughout the day. Rob got the first fish in the big pool on Coolidge Woods road in Bristol. Then after eating lunch, we moved down-river a ways and Ish kicked it up a notch with a nice brown trout and some very feisty salmon. We had the entire river to ourselves. We saw one other angler getting into his truck and that was it. Nobody but us on miles of river in Bristol, although there were quite a few fishing below Franklin Falls dam when we stopped by there to finish the day. Here is a link to Ish and Rob's pictures: <salmon pictures> Be sure to check out the video at the bottom of the page to see a serious bend in Ish's 6wt rod.
Don't forget that the Contoocook and Sugar Rivers are now open until November 30. There have been quite a few caddis and tiny BWO hatching on the Contoocook in the afternoon and plenty of browns rising to them. Also the NH seacoast rivers will soon be stocked and should fish well after next weekend. In Massachusetts, many of the rivers were stocked a couple weeks ago and are fishing well, including the Squannacook and Nissitissit Rivers. The weather should warm up in a few days, so take an afternoon off from work and hunt some fish before the fall rains come.


  1. Nice-
    I guess the salmon are still in the pemi.
    How was the water level? I didn't get a chance to get out this weekend at all... Too many projects around the house. But I may have to get out again.

    When I was up there a week ago in the coolidge woods section- the water levels were too high to get to the spot where I found the salmon stacked up. I bagged one under the bridge, but that was the only rise I saw up there all day. Considering before this fall I have never gone after brood stock and in 2 trips I have 3 fish- I shouldn't complain...

  2. Eric, We got one fish and a couple short strikes in the big pool on Coolidge Woods Road. The rest were downriver. The flow level was good. We could get way out into the river.