Thursday, January 31, 2013

2012 Wrap-up/2013 Preview

As you may have noticed, we have been having some strange weather the last couple years. I guess we are experiencing “The new normal.”  Last year we had a dry spring and summer – same this year.  Last year we had a late season hurricane.  Same this year.  Last year we had an early snow storm. Same this year.  Last year we had a warm, dry winter.  This year? (Maybe not so warm!)  I sometimes feel like I'm a farmer, always watching the weather; second-guessing the weatherman; worried that it will be too hot, too cold, too wet or too dry.  Having been fly fishing so long, I've learned to adjust, based on conditions.  We always hope that we can execute Plan A, but we are always plotting Plans B, C and D as contingencies.  Last year we had to implement Plan B more than once.  Over the years, we have also learned that sometimes Plan B or C can be as much or more fun than Plan A.  We have found that oftentimes trout ponds are not as severely impacted by aberrations in the weather as rivers are, making them a great “Plan B” resource.  We are fortunate that New England in general and New Hampshire in particular has some beautiful trout ponds.  These ponds are deep, clear and cold remnants of the last glaciation period. My guiding partner Jim and I haul our canoes into some ponds each summer to fish the evening rise. There is nothing like fishing to rising brook trout on a NH trout pond.  We plan to haul a boat we just purchased into a fly fishing pond that is a short hike-in from a logging road. We fished it a couple times in September and were amazed at how many darkly colored brook trout were willing to rise to our flies. Let’s hope they are as willing to be caught when we fish for them next June!

Both our June and September Androscoggin River All-inclusive Special Package trips were a lot of fun.  The Alder Fly hatch was a little early again in June. We fished over rising fish for the entire two weeks, although the last few days we really had to work hard, since the fish were full of the plentiful zebra caddis that they had been feeding on for over two weeks. The hexagenia hatch on the ponds, as well as the evening rise on the river, also provided some stellar fishing. Here is a link to the overview photo-album of the June 2012 Androscoggin Trip.
The September Androscoggin Trip was also a lot of fun.  When we arrived in mid-September the trees were all green with just a touch of color. When we left two weeks later the trees were ablaze with color marking full-foliage in The Great North Woods.  Here is the September 2012 trip photo album.
We are well underway with plans for our Northeast Fly Fishing School and Androscoggin River Trips.  Dates and information about the intermediate and beginner classes are posted on the website.  Information about the Androscoggin River trip with availability calendar is also found on the website. You will note that we are already booking spots for the June trip, and the  last two years we booked-up early, so pick your dates and let us know ASAP.  For regular guided trips, we have limited weekend availability through June, but plenty of open spots on weekdays.  If you are limited to weekends and want a trip this spring, contact us ASAP before all the spots get filled.
For the next couple months there are plenty of opportunities for you to expand your fly fishing horizons.  Jim is leading some free fly tying classes in Manchester and Hooksett, NH.  There are also a number of presentations that we have scheduled between now and the end of April. Complete list of events and dates.   Finally, Jim is the chairman of the 11th annual Fly Fish NH Show to be held March 2 and 3 at Pelham fish and Game Club. There are booths with fly shops, fishing guides, authors and other vendors; continuous seminars and demonstrations and other activities. This is a fun event that I can highly recommend to you.  Flyer with complete details.
If you are more into online than real world activities, check my YouTube Channel for fishing videos.  


  1. I'm looking forward to this season possibly more than any other. I explored more different waters last year and intend to do the same this season.
    Late last year, I purchase a wee little 5' 2 wt and intend to explore more sun -screened brooks to match the rod. Ponds as well. A friend and I stumbled across a gorgeous brook up Pittsburg way while chasing grouse that begs a visit. Another gem among so many.

  2. Every year I get busier teaching and guiding and it gets harder to find time to do some exploring. I guess I will have to schedule a block of time to explore. If you haven't tried it, take time to explore the two designated "Wild trout Streams" in Hollis. Also hit the headwaters of the Piscataquog River. I had the pleasure of helping Ken Sprankle electroshock the Hollis brooks. Ken developed the "NH wild trout protocol" which is the metric used to determine if a body of water is a candidate for "Wild Trout Stream" designation. Ken was a coldwater fishery biologist with NH Fish and Game and then took a job with the USFWS looking after the Atlantic salmon restoration program on the CT River.