Sunday, October 31, 2010

More salmon!

My last post said I was going with Stan to fish the Swift River - wrong!  Thursday night a new client called about going salmon fishing.  George is an experience salt water angler, and does some freshwater fly fishing, but very little in New England.  He saw my broodstock Atlantic salmon video on my guiding website and thought that it would be fun. I recommended against it, since the water was a little high from the rain we had last Tuesday/Wednesday.  But George really wanted to try it, so I agreed to take him to the Pemi, and depending on the water level, possibly go to the Lamprey or Cocheco Rivers in the afternoon.  We started out below the Ayers Island dam in Bristol.  It was a little high (about 2300CFS, while I prefer 2,000 or less.)  We got one salmon there on a hair-wing Black Ghost streamer.  It was his first salmon, and we were both glad not to be skunked.  After a little while we moved down river to the Coolidge Woods Road section.  The wading was a bit tough and we weren't able to get to some of my favorite spots, but after many casts and many fly changes, we saw a small salmon jump.  George cast his fly in that direction and almost immediately he hooked a good fish.

It turned out to be the biggest salmon I have seen in at least 3 years.  I estimate 25+ inches and 6 pounds or so. Welcome to fly fishing in NH!  (Just don't expect this result every time!) We fished a little longer and then at lunch we discussed options.  Since the water was too high to enable us to fish some of my best spots and it was totally unfishable in Franklin (they were releasing about 5,500CFS) we decided to hit one of the rivers in SE NH that have been stocked since the first of October.  We only had time to fish one river, so we went to the Lamprey River.  We proceeded to hook into about a dozen trout on a variety of nymph patterns - caddis larva, small Zug bugs, copper john, soft hackles, etc.  It turned out to be a great day with both quantity and quality of fish exceeding expectations. A day to remember when the snow is flying and our thoughts turn to the fly tying table and fishing next season.
This week I might try the Swift, the SE NH rivers or maybe somewhere else. Stay tuned !

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fishy October

Since my last update, I have hit the water in quite a few places and have a couple more trips planned.  Fished the Pemi a couple times - once with a few salmon to show for it, and once with a couple salmon hooked and one nice rainbow landed - at Bristol and Franklin.  Also fished the Lamprey and Cocheco again, with a few average rainbows and browns and one really fat 17+ inch rainbow.  Also fished the Swift below the route 9 bridge and at the hatchery pipe.
Got a nice rainbow on a size 20 parachute Adams in the pool below the route 9 bridge and a whole bunch of rainbows and one brown at the pipe - mostly on Shadan softhackles, but also on white sparkle egg clusters, caddis larva and one hit-and-quick-release on the parachute Adams.
I plan to hit the local rivers (Squannacook and Nissitissit) this afternoon and the Swift tomorrow with Stan.
Also, here is a video I recently put up on Youtube from an early October trip on the Androscoggin River and CT rivers. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

SE NH trout

Today Dick and I fished the Lamprey and Cocheco Rivers.  They were stocked with small rainbows and browns a couple weeks ago by the NH Fish and Game dept and yesterday by a private stocking group - Three Rivers Stocking Association.  We had the Lamprey at Packer Falls to ourselves and some 14-16-inch rainbows and a couple smaller 'bows and browns were given a little exercise.  We then went to Wiswall Dam on the Lamprey River and each got a couple smaller rainbows.  Hundreds of really big rainbows were recently stocked, but they must still be digesting hatchery pellets, since we only got smaller fish there.  We then went to the Cocheco River at Watson Dam and got a couple more feisty rainbows.  Great day to be out. Next weekend the Isinglass River is scheduled to be stocked, making this once again one of the few places for late-season fishing in southern NH and handy to the greater Boston fly anglers. If you fish there, be sure to send a check or online donation to Three Rivers, so they can continue their stocking activities.
Also, I saw a strange bird at the Cocheco River. I swear it was a snowy egret! Take a look and tell me what you think!  It looked like it was shivering and it was definitely not an albino heron. I think it was a Florida bird that had a hankerin' for trout!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Many choices (In MASS)

Since the last report I've fished the Pemigewasset in Woodstock. Swift River in a couple different spots, Squannacook, Nissitissit and Millers Rivers.  All rivers in MASS have a lot of fish.  NH doesn't seem to get with the program.  Water temps are perfect, flows are decent and people are anxious to get out and enjoy the nice fall weather.  I heard there are some fish in the Lamprey now, but it would be nice if the Piscataquog, Souhegan, Contoocook, Sugar and Pemigewasset Rivers were topped off with a few fish.  It seems that the hatchery trucks rolled up to Errol and Pittsburg every week all summer with nothing left for the rest of NH when the waters cooled.  Enough whining - get your MASS license and enjoy the good fishing there.  I highly recommend the book that MASS TU published that gives info about virtually every trout pond, stream and river in the state.  Stop in at Evening Sun fly shop in Pepperell to pick up your copy.  Since MASS has no closed season, it is useful for finding where to fish in the early spring, fall, mid-summer and even mid-winter.  (Hint: the Swift River fits all those categories, but so do a number of others.) I plan to hit the Pemi tomorrow to sample the broodstock salmon fishing. 
Oh yeah, last night at the TU meeting in Manchester there was a real good presentation about renting an RV and fishing/touring around Alaska on your own.  Lots of info about costs, locations, fishing, and planning the logistics. In November we will have a similar topic about Wyoming.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Better late than . . .

Thanks for your concern (a couple of you called and emailed to make sure I could still fog a mirror!) But no worries, I was either too busy or too lazy (go with the latter.)  Summer got to be pretty boring.  I had a lot of beginners out (that part was exciting) but the only place that had enough water flowing to float a strike-indicator was the Pemi around Woodstock/Lincoln.  Every time we fished it, fewer fish wanted to play the game, so it became pretty much an exercise in casting, mending, etc. without a lot of fish-landing practice.  Then we opened the house in Errol for our fall trip and all hell broke loose.  Fish everywhere!  Not copious quantities, but enough to keep things interesting, and some fish with some real girth!  That river is so fertile that you can't pick up a rock in the FF-only section without having caddis larva and stoneflies crawling over your hands. That is why the fish are so fat, and it also bodes well for the Alder fly hatch next June!  There was not a lot of dry fly action, although we did see a couple October caddis and quite a few Isonychias and we did get a few on Stimulators and Adams dries. When I get around to it, I'll be putting up a webpage with picutres, but these will have to do for now.


Oh, BTW, Mass Wildlife stocked last week, and you can't throw a rock into the Swift, Squannacook or Nissitissit Rivers without hitting a 12+ inch rainbow.  Other rivers are also stocked, but these are the ones I can personally attest to.