Friday, May 25, 2012

Time flies when you're having fun (on the water!)

Wow, May has been like a blur.  Ideal weather and water conditions gave way to rain and high flows and then back to ideal. Between the Northeast Fly Fishing School, guided trips, "scouting" trips and volunteer days, I have been on the water 18 days during the last three weeks.
Early in May we had a Beginner and Intermediate class.  We held the on-stream nymph/streamer/dry lesson on the Squannacook, Nissitissit and Souhegan Rivers.  All the rivers fished pretty good with many students fooling one or more trout.

Then in mid-May I had a father and two grown sons travel from PA to fish with me.  Of course this was in the middle of the rainy/high water spell.  In previous years the Hendrickson hatch was in full glory on the Contoocook River, so I had them stay in Henniker.  THIS year the river was too high to fish the entire four days they were here.  The first afternoon we fished the Squannacook River in the Bertozzi WMA. They landed some trout and had a good start to the trip.

Then we fished the Sugar River FFO area on a drizzly Tuesday.  They each caught fish in tough conditions.
The Sugar fishes pretty good at 800CFS and below.  I checked my RIVERFLOWS app on the Android when I picked them up at the Henniker House where they were staying.  The river seemed higher than that, but who am I to argue with the USGS gages.  On the ride home I checked the graphs again - 930CFS!  They must have started releasing water from Lake Sunapee as we traveled to the river.  Bummer!  At least they were able to catch a few fish and see a beautiful (high) river.  Then Wednesday we headed to the DHZ on the Piscataquog River.  Bingo! The river was full of fish.  They landed many fish, mostly on woolly-buggers, but some on soft-hackle droppers off the bend of the streamers.   They had so much fun, they opted to return on Thursday morning before they drove back to PA.
The next day I took my friend/client George to the Sugar River.  The level had dropped, but was still a little high.  George had three or four nice fish on, but we couldn't get them to the net.  Then later in the afternoon we found a pod of browns that were willing to whack a dry fly. I must have netted 8 or 10 before we reeled-up and headed down the trail to the car.
Then this past weekend we held another Beginner Class.  This was our first class that we had the classroom portion at Morse Sporting Goods and the on-stream portion on the Contoocook River.  Fortunately, the river flow was right, the weather was excellent and the class learned a lot, had fun, and caught a few fish. I think the high water moved the fish around a lot, which should bode well for helping to hold them over and stay away from the hook-n-cook crowd. If we get a little rain every few days, we should enjoy good conditions right into July.
Too optimistic?
I hope not!
See you on the water.
PS Still a couple openings in our June 9-10 class in Henniker and on the Andro trip.