If you saw my YouTube Channel you saw a couple videos of fishing for broodstock Atlantic salmon in the Pemigewasset River. These fish are excess to the breeding program to restore Atlantic salmon to the Merrimack River watershed and get stocked in April and October. They are not terribly difficult to catch if you know how and where to target them and have the right flies. (I guess that can be said of just about all fly fishing!) The trick is to cover enough a water with enough flies to determine where they are and what they want to eat on any given day. Some days they seem to want orange, others white, yellow, green or something else. You can't have weight incorporated into the fly or added to the leader, so plenty of mending is the order of the day, with a sink-tip line an added benefit. I'll be headed back up in a few days to find out what color fly they want and the whereabouts of their current location. Stay tuned.
In addition to the broodstock Atlantics, I was pleased to make the acquaintance of some beautiful Maine landlocked salmon and brook trout earlier this week. (See video.) We stayed at Maynard's in Rockwood. My fishing buddies (the BSC) have stayed here a number of times and this time we caught more larger fish than any previous trip. (At least some of us did :-) My buddy Jim brought his drift boat and one day we drift-fished the East Outlet and the next day we drifted the Kennebce River from The Evergreens Campground in Solon to North Anson. The Evergreens has campsites, cabins, a restaurant and offers a boat launch and shuttle service, which we took advantage of. On the East Outlet most fish were caught on streamers (Wood duck orange and Woods Special were most productive for us.) While on the Kennebec drift, I caught most fish skating a caddis dry. Since it was so late in the season, we didn't have to contend with a lot of other anglers, in fact, we were the only boat drifting the Kennebec in Solon. I had not fished this section of river before, and I was really impressed. In fact, in both sections of river the fish were very healthy looking. We didn't catch any small salmon, most were 16 to 18 inches and looked to weigh two pounds or more - a lot of fun on a 5 or 6 weight rod. In between all these salmon trips, I had a few beginner-lesson trips to the Squannacook, Nissitissit and Swift Rivers. All have received a fall stocking, so a lot of people caught their first trout on a fly this month.
This Tuesday night we will be speaking at the Squan-a-tissit TU chapter meeting in Pepperell, MA. The topic is "The New England Fly Box - Fly patterns and the hatches they match." No admission charge, all are welcome. Hope to see you there!