Thursday, October 27, 2011

What happened to fall?

It seems like we went directly from summer to the edge of winter. The local rivers are still fishing really well.  I was on the Nissitissit River quite a few times over the last few weeks and the month of October was a lot of fun.  The late foliage and late leaf-fall means that the fishing has been good and the catching has also been good.  Find the pocket water and you will find the fish.  The Isinglass fished well, too, but not so much the Lamprey, which is usually one of the best for late-season fishing.  The Wiswall dam area is closed off, due to work on the dam and abutters posting their land.  This meant that area could not be stocked.
Tuesday I stopped in Riverton, CT to check out the Farmington River.  Water temp was 60F, but it was windy and the water was loaded with leaves.  I only fished about a half hour in a couple different places and caught mostly leaves.  It was supposed to rain yesterday, so Stan and I cancelled our plans to fish there, but once again the weather man screwed-up.  The weather next week looks pretty reasonable, so maybe the Swift River will be worth the drive.   Lots of choices, so let's hope winter holds off a little longer.
BTW, thanks to the Boston TU chapter for hosting our presentation Monday night.  We had a great turn-out, lots of questions and lots of interest from the members.  Thanks!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Salmon and Rainbow on the Pemi

Today I took some time away from guiding and treated myself to a couple hours fishing. Saturday I had guided on the Squannacook and Nissitissit Rivers and found a few fish in the slightly high water. Then Monday and Tuesday it was off to the Isinglass and Cocheco Rivers for some SE NH rainbows (and a brook trout!)  My client is from Australia, near Perth, and attended a conference in Ottawa.  He loved the foliage, the river and the fish. The trip for today was rescheduled for a couple weeks to let the water settle down and because it was forecasted to be mostly rainy.  Well, the water was at a wadable level and 54F (perfect!)  I only fished one spot in Bristol and found a salmon and a surprisingly large rainbow trout.  The salmon took the Black Ghost streamer and the rainbow fell for the Mickey Finn. Take a look at the rainbow.

Tomorrow we pick up a couple grand-kids (and a grand-dog) in CT, while my oldest daughter and her husband visit Colorado for a week. I hope to be able to sneak away next week for a day of fishing on the Farmington River - stay tuned.
Also, my guiding partner Jim and I will be the featured presenters at the Boston TU meeting next Monday evening at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, MA. Info and directions at:Greater Boston TU We will be doing our Fly Fishing in NH presentation that covers just about the entire state of NH. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Autumn splendor

Last week we had our Autumn all-inclusive Sporting Lodge trip  to  the Androscoggin River in and around Errol, NH.  Nine days in a row with maximum capacity every day have Jim and I ready to take a break.  Jim and Duchess (his English setter) are waiting out the rain to go bird hunting.  I am busy booking trips for tomorrow, Friday, Sunday and next week!  The Androscoggin was running high and warm - 2,710CFS, versus a normal 1,500CFS and 64F to 68F versus 55F to 60F normally.  Either because of the real hot summer, or the high water from Irene and other unnamed storms, the fish were spread out.  Also due to high water, I couldn't get to all my good wading spots.  That being said, we still had a great time and some pretty good fishing. Everybody got some fish and a few (that means you Kevin and George) got a lot of fish and some real nice ones, too! Here is Susan from Pepperell with the largest trout she has caught on a fly, a beautiful 14-inch rainbow caught on a soft-hackle as a dropper behind a Stimulator.  She landed a 12-inch rainbow about 10-minutes later - nice job Susan!  Earlier in the trip, Kevin and Mike got into some nice fish, including this nice brookie that Mike is holding in the photo above. As usual, we had quite a few beginners and novices
with us and it was gratifying to see the progression in their skill.  There were quite a few "first fish on a fly; first on a dry fly; first brookie" so the excitement level was always high.  Fun for the clients and fun for Jim and I. We had a few clients that are experienced and have fished out west and around the world.  They enjoyed the beautiful river, foliage and NH fish.  Here is Shawn having a great time with a NH brook trout.
We caught a lot of fish using soft-hackle droppers off the bend of dries or streamers.  Others took the dry or streamer.  On the boat, Jim also had quite a few on nymph rigs with indicators. I took dozens of pictures that I will send to the clients, but these should give the flavor of the river, the fish and the foliage.
The MA rivers are receiving their fall stocking this week and the SE NH rivers will get their fall load of trout on Oct 15 and 16.  They should also be putting in the broodstock Atlantic salmon soon.  NH Fish and Game biologist Matt Carpenter said that since returns of sea-run fish was so good this year, there would probably be extra fish stocked.  I can't wait to get one of them on and hear the drag singing!  Tight lines!