Monday, April 23, 2012

Rain at last! The trout are "breathing easy" for a while

The welcome rain of yesterday and today takes a bit of the pressure off our trouty friends.  This weekend we had the April session of the Northeast Fly Fishing School and the on-the-river fishing lesson portion of the school got a little damp yesterday afternoon - but it didn't dampen the spirits of our students. Here is a link to the class pictures.
(FYI we still have a few spots open in the May 5-6 class in Hollis with on-stream instruction on the Squannacook River and the Intermediate Class on the Contoocook River.)

Also on Friday I took out a couple who recently retired and plan to travel and fly fish along the way.  They are related to a close friend of my son David.  They had a great time and Sue even caught a brown trout on a dry fly - the first fish she ever caught! Here is a video of the remarkable event.

 Earlier in the week I took my friend and client George to fish the Pemigewasset in Bristol and Franklin.  The week before we had fished the Farmington River over the VERY early Hendrickson hatch and caught some real slabs of rainbows and browns on dry flies.  This time he caught two of the most beautiful rainbow trout I have seen in New Hampshire and a couple broodstock salmon.  The rainbows were measured at 17 and 18 inches respectively. Here is George releasing one of the rainbows.

These rainbows were thick bodied with beautiful spotted fins and fought like salmon.  I am certain the mild winter was a major factor in their condition.
     In between those two trips, I took a couple airline pilots laying over in Manchester for a day of fly fishing.  One was a beginner and had never caught a fish on a fly. We took care of that!  We spent the day on the Contoocook River and the first half of the day was spent working on casting technique, looking at bugs, etc,  After lunch we saw some rising fish and both caught NH brooktrout on dry flies and soft hackles. Here is Mike with his first trout on a fly.

His buddy TJ also got a couple nice NH brookies on a fly.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Drought update

Wow, we are now getting payback for the warm dry winter.  Rivers are incredibly low.  Fish have been stocked just about everywhere, but because of limited holding water, they have been decimated.  In the last week I have extensively scouted the Farmington, Squannacook, Nissitissit, Souhegan, Sugar, and Contoocook Rivers.  I have been in contact with my network for the Millers, Pemigewasset, Saco and Winnipesaukee Rivers.  The best fishing has been on the Farmington - no surprise there.  It is a tailwater and even though running low, it is large enough for fish to have some refuge.  Also, the Hendrickson hatch is about a month early and if you can fish it on a calm, sunny afternoon, you will be rewarded with some good dry fly action, as occurred this past Tuesday.  On Wednesday, it was cloudier and breezy, so the hatch was a lot weaker and fewer fish were actively feeding.
We have all heard it before - its all about habitat.  When we don't have runoff from snowpack and spring rains, the suitable habitat shrinks, the fish are more vulnerable to predators (including us!) and fishing experience diminishes.  The bright side is that historically, things average out.  Dry summer, wet winter - dry spring, wet summer, etc.  Let's hope that when the pendulum swings the other way, it isn't too severe.  I remember 2009 summer when we had a dry spring and floods from mid-May until mid-July.  Luckily, I spent a lot of that time on the upper Androscoggin which was not affected as much as the southern tier of New England rivers. Also, did a lot of trout pond fishing, which isn't affected nearly as much as the rivers.
Let me know how you have found things on your local rivers and streams.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Secret spots revealed

My partner Jim and I have spent years pouring over topo maps and Delorme Gazeteers; following unmarked logging roads; hiking into remote brooks and streams; and privately enjoying the benefits of our hard work.  We have found some great spots to fish.  Places where fish rarely, if ever, see a fly, lure or worm. Many of these places are not far from popular access points, but have been overlooked by the casual angler.  Other spots are far from the crowds and would never be found, unless you studied the maps, followed lots of dead-end trails and got lucky.
We have not previously shared these spots with friends, clients or close family members.  Prior to now, we have agreed to not even talk about these spots in our presentations or classes.  Never before have these locations been seen in print.  Most have never even been hinted at in private conversations.  But we believe the time is now for all to be revealed.

We had considered shopping these contents to publishers and magazine editors to see what kind of offers we can receive. We have even been in discussions about hosting a reality TV show, where we would visit a new secret spot in each episode, bringing along some lucky angler, who would experience the  most fantastic fishing of their life.  All of that sounded good, but rather than go through all of that; becoming famous and having to put up with autographs, paparazzi, fly fishing groupies, etc, we decided to cut to the chase and put it all out here for your information.
We have included maps; photos, directions and descriptions of the fishing to be found in each spot.  We hope that each time we go to one of our favorite spots, we will find a few of you there enjoying the great fishing.  Feel free to tell your friends, spread the word at your local fly shop and post a few of the better spots on your favorite spot-burning online forum.
Tight lines, and I hope to see you on the water soon!

Click here for all the juicy details!