Thursday, July 12, 2012

Early Everything

Whether you call it climate change, global warming, a natural cycle, a hot spell, a heat wave, or whatever, it is clear that the weather for almost a year has been turned on its head. The warm, dry winter continued the cycle into spring.  Our trip to the Androscoggin River the last two weeks of June had it all.  When we got there on  June 15 the Alder Fly hatch was in full bloom.  Water levels were good for both drifting and wading and the fish were on to the flies.  Not as good as last year, but still very good.  (A bad day of fishing during the Alder Fly hatch is better than a good day of fishing just about any time or place the rest of the year.) This trip we had clients from Quebec, Minnesota, NY State, along with the some regulars and new clients from New England. It was fun teaching clients to fly fish, how to skate a caddis and then how to fight and land a fish.
It was great having my friend Mike, who lives near Minneapolis, and his son Paul come fish with us for three days.  Here is a video of some of the highlights of their trip.
Then the heat-wave hit - upper 80s for a couple days and the river and the local ponds were cooked.  I made the mistake of doing a little rain-dance to cool things down and the rains came, the river level went up beyond safe wading, and we were scrambling to get our clients into fish.  We spent a few days fishing the Connecticut River, both the area from Colebrook to Columbia and the area in Pittsburg.  I ran into some guys from the Evening Sun Fly Shop in Pepperell - Hi Dean, Chris and David! We also spent a couple days fishing some of the headwater wild brook trout streams.
Matt and Andy, friends, regular clients and followers of this blog hit the tail-end of the Alder flies and the beginning of the heat wave. Here is a video of their trip.
The last week of the trip the conditions gradually improved, the water level and the temperature in the Androscoggin dropped and the Alder flies were still out.  More dry fly action with skating caddis and Stimulators right up to the end of the trip.   Here is a video of Greg landing a nice rainbow on a caddis larva.
Since getting back from Errol, I've been to the Sugar River in Newport.  Water is low and starting to warm up.  Still some fish on dries.  Then I took a couple of beginner Brits to the Swift River in central MASS.  We caught fish on sulphurs in mid-morning and on a variety of small nymphs in the afternoon. I'll probably make a couple more trips there in the next couple weeks.


  1. 3rd great year in a row. Hopefully will be looking for #4 next year. Thanks for Gerry, Jim and Barbara.


  2. Al,
    You and David know how to pick dates. You hit the peak of the hatch every time!

  3. Gerry,
    My friend Kevin and I were with you for a weekend last fall in Errol. This June we camped along the Androscoggin and had a great time during the Alder fly hatch, June 14-18. We caught quite a number of good size rainbow, I even caught my first brown, about 15 inches. The yellow stimulator was clearly the best fly for us. We saw Jim drift by us while wading and Kevin was able to chat with him for a few minutes. Thanks for introducing us to the wonders of the Alder fly hatch on the Androscoggin!

    Last week I caught a couple of nice brook trout (12-14 inces) on the Crooked River in Maine, not too far from North Conway.

    I look forward to catching Salmon this fall!

    Rob Dawson