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.


  1. I have some great mid afternoon dry fly action on both the Nissitissit and the Squannacook. If the hatch is strong enough, the browns are coming out in force. Low waters are causing fish to gather in pools where they can and they are being taken in large numbers and not released. I hope fish and game makes thier presence felt this spring to curb the number of people taking 10 or more at a time. I always hate to see that!

  2. I agree, but not likely to happen (Wardens too few in number and spread thin.) Good Friday I was walking in to the Bertozzi WMA and stopped to say hi to spin fisher walking out. I asked how he did and he said, "Nothing. I got my limit last Sunday." Hm-m-m-m? If two or three guys got their limit, that might explain the royal skunking. I stopped by below Townsend Harbor Friday and saw only a couple rises. Also saw a couple bait anglers hauling out some fish. The normal higher water levels of spring let the fish spread out and have hope of escaping the worm and the PB drifting past them. I guess I would say, catch them while you can, because they are disappearing rapidly.

  3. Man it's tough all over. My small streams are holding there own for now but several inches of rain are needed.

  4. I hit the picataquog on saturday in a spot that I usually do pretty well in. There was nothing.
    I didn't see a single rise or any activity at all. I talked to a bait chucker and he got skunked too.

    The water in this spot was at least 18-24" lower than normal. I was able to cross with no problems. But I checked all the deep pools, riffles, etc... Zilch.

    The water is dangerously low right now.
    Without rain, this year is not going to be a banner year for the trout fisherman out there.


  5. Epic Hendrickson fishing on the Hous this year...

  6. Eric and Brk Trt, definitely a need for rain. I am hoping for two days of slow soaking rain. My fear is that we get a nor'easter that dumps 10 inches in 6 hours and blows everything out for a month. Like Foxboro Bill says, "It is what it is."