Monday, July 26, 2010

Pemigewasset River mid-Summer adventure

Had a blast yesterday on the Pemigewasset River in the Woodstock/Thornton area. Two really nice people (Hi Kirk and Zeba!) wanted to learn to fly fish in New Hampshire and the Pemi was the place.  Water temp was 68F, a little warm, but still fishable.  The rain showers a few days ago charged-up the river and I hope the cooler nights we have been having will keep the water temperatures in the 60s.  We found a few fish willing to whack a dry fly and a couple others willing to gobble a woolly-bugger.  Skating a stimulator seemed to be the flavor of the day, so we obliged.  One of the areas we fished was the "Exit 31 Project" completed last Fall by the Pemigewasset TU chapter.  This area of the river had been a long extremely shallow riffle caused by an in-stream gravel operation.  There was no holding water, pools or runs and no way for woody debris to accumulate to provide forage for aquatic insects.  TU raised grant money to fund the project that involved dredging the channel, installing some weirs to create pools and runs, and doing some plantings of willows that will help stabilize the banks and provide riparian cover.  The fish seem to like it and I think it will evolve into some great habitat.  Here is a video of the trip.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Androscoggin River Trip - end of June

Well, I finally got around to uploading, compiling, editing and publishing some of the pictures and videos of our two weeks on the Androscoggin River.  The Alder Fly hatch was almost two weeks earlier than the usual emergence, so many of our clients saw only the very end of the hatch.  The water level in the river was great and at a perfect temperature and the fish were really active.  As the trip went on the fish became more and more selective, but we were able to fool a lot of fish.  We mostly caught brook trout, but also got quite a few salmon and some rainbows, too.  Here is a video of Rob (a frequent visitor here) and his dad Joe catching some fish and having a great time.
Brothers David and Alan (frequent visitors/participants in this blog) also spent some time with us on their way to Grant's Kennebago Camps. Here is a picture of Alan with a really nice alligator-jaw landlocked salmon he caught on an Alder Fly pattern. They also had a great time fishing the hex hatch, but no pictures from that evening excursion have surfaced. 
You often hear/read about the Alder Fly hatch on the Androscoggin, and it is hard to describe what it is like, unless you are there at the beginning of the peak emergence.  Here is a video I took on the first day I guided the Androscoggin on this trip (June 18.) It shows the mats of spent caddis floating in an eddy. 
This is probably 5+ days into the hatch and the fish have gorged themselves. A couple days earlier the fish would literally be hurtling out of the water, eating zebra caddis, but now tens of thousands of flies are available for them to eat at their leisure.  Surprisingly, most of the rises on naturals and our flies was to ovipositing (egg-laying) females as they danced on the water.  No way for me to tell for sure, but my theory is that the females with eggs taste better to the fish than the spent flies that are dead on the water.  Anybody want to volunteer to eat them and let me know which taste better?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

New Fly Fishing Expose' now available

Yes, I tried to keep it under wraps, but wouldn't you know it - My guiding partner Jim Norton just published a book titled "Granite Lines." He portrays it as over 20 years of articles he has written in the Manchester Union Leader and other rags, but in reality it is over 20 years of secret fishing information about trips we have taken together (and some he took on his own). It is available in local stores like the Evening Sun Fly Shop in Pepperell, MA and on-line, as well. Complete information about the book and where to buy it is found on our website. After you read the book, see me and I will fill in all the juicy details that couldn't be put into print.
I think it is pretty good, but I might be a little biased.  Maybe some of you folks that already read it can comment?