Fly Fish New England
Fishing Reports - 2005
This is a running report of what is going on in New England in the way of fly fishing. If you have something for me to add, just drop an email.
December 5 and 6
Went on a trip to the Salmon River in Altmar, New York. My first time there, and it was an interesting experience. We fished the lower FF area, Schoolhouse Pool and Trestle Pool. Landed 3 "small" browns about 5 pounds each and lost 2 nice steelhead. One threw the hook on the second jump and the other broke off when my reel froze tight on a run. Jim landed a nice steelhead and a couple browns and broke off a couple steelhead. Most fish were caught on white spawn patterns, which look like a cluster of white egss. Also caught one on a purple and green stone-fly nymph and one on a green caddis larva. As you can see from the picture below, it was a snowny couple days. Probably snowed a total of 20+ inches while we were there.
Don't expect any more updates this year. With the high water for the last couple months, fishing continues to be tough. If I do get out in the next few weeks, I'll post some results, but don't expect anything sooner than next March. (But then again, I might surpirse you.) I hope Santa brings you everything on your Christmas list. Until next year, adios.
If you want to see some video of the Alder Fly Hatch on the Androscoggin River, go to the .Gallery
Between floods, work and family events, this Fall has been a fishing bust. I hope to get out on the Pemi at least a couple times before the snow flies.
Another early start in the fog and rain - lots and lots and lots of rain. Did a drive-by viewing of the Pemi in Franklin and Bristol - a raging torrent that almost qualifies as a flood. The Newfound R. was also high, but pretty clear. Thank God for ponds. Sky Pond yielded a whole bunch of strikes and over a dozen beautiful brookies.
Rolled out of bed at 0'dark:30 and headed up to Bristol for some early morning Pemigewasset River salmon. Suited up in thedark and then hit the path just as the sky was starting to glow. By 7:00am I had caught a salmon and a few other hearty souls joined me on the river. The sun burned off the fog and by 9:00, the sky was bright and it was time to move on. Tally for the morning was three salmon and a real nice rainbow. Here are a couple pictures.
The warm water has really wreaked havoc with the fish. Fished the Pemi twice in Woodstock and didn't get even a nibble. Water temp was in the high 60s. Also fished Upper Hall Pond a couple times and only got one 12-inch brookie to show for it. Very sparse surface activity - water temp close to 70.
Hopefully these cooler nights will bring down the water temp and get the fish onto their fall feeding pattern. Let me know if you have found any willing fish.
Still recovering from the Montana trip and looking for the water to cool down. I fished the Contoocook on August 7 in the evening, but only got one small bass. A few caddis and mayfly spinners were in the air, but no rises.
We had a terrific trip to Montana. While the water in New England was low and warm, Montana was still in reasonably good shape. We caught mostly browns in the 14-18 inch size range. A few rainbows of that size and some slightly smaller cutthroat trout, especially in the headwater meadow streams. Hoppers were just starting to be a factor. Most fish were caught on small PMD emergers, size 18-20 parachute Adams, and micro-mayfly nymphs size 20-22. See the pictures in the gallery Montana Trip.
The annual fishing/camping trip to Mollidgewock State Campground in Errol for the Alder Fly hatch was another rousing success. Every June the Merrimack River Valley chapter makes their annual pilgrimage to the Great North Woods of NH. The Alder Flies emerged while we were there and we caught lots of brook trout, a few rainbows and even a few brown trout, along with scores of small salmon. Here is a picture of the NH Rivers Guide drift boat landing a fish right in the campround.
Also, the hexagenia hatch has begun and quite a few large wild brook trout were caught on a Wild Trout pond in Errol.
After dinner I drove out to the Millers River in Erving and Wendall Depot, MA. In my favorite secret pool (don't even think of asking where!) I got about a dozen browns and rainbows on dry flies between 7:30 and 9:00pm. There was a real nice hatch of sulphurs around 8:00pm. Anticipating that hatch, I had tied up a number of beadhead softhackles, emergers and dries and caught fish on all of them.
The Pemigewasset below Bristol was the destination. We put in the Rangeley Lakes boat and motored upriver to the mouth of the Smith River. Jim got a nice brook trout. We didn't see any broodstock salmon or other fish.
Fished the So. Branch of the Piscataquog in the Delayed Harvest Zone. First time fished it around 7:30am and got a couple nice rainbows. Then in the afternoon, fished it again with no strikes and no fish seen.
Happy Memorial Day. Spent a couple hours after dinner fishing the Squannacook River in Townsend, MA. Water was a little high, but 60 degress and very fishable. A few mayfly spinners buzzing around and a sparse sulpher hatch came off about 6:30-7:00pm. No rises. I did get four nice rainbows, all on streamers. Three on my signature fly: the Black Ghost Clouser. The other was on a beadhead woolly bugger - olive with chartreuse hackle.
Upper Hall Pond was the destination today. We got there late: about 8:00am. We saw quite a few sporadic rises all over the pond. Using a size 18 parachute adams, I brought about 6 fish to hand. All were beautiful brookies. I think they were the Kennebago strain brookies with very day backs, vivid spots and bright orange bellies. We got chased off the pond around 11:00am by thunder and lightning. The road from Sandwich is reported to be in very rough shape. From I-93 through Campton, the road wasn't so bad, but the entrance road to the pond had quite a few very deep ruts and washouts.
Fished the Squannacook river in Groton. Hooked into a couple nice rainbows, but didn't land them. Saw a few rises, but got strikes on nymphs. Then the rains came and I have been getting other work done and tying flies. Had three trips cancelled this week due to the rain and high river levels.
Fished the Newfound River and didn't see a fish. Then we went to the Smith River and proceeded to get about 30 brook trout. There was a sporadic Hendrickson hatch and a few small yellow stone flies buzzing around. One fly, a size 16 yellow elkhair hairs ear, accounted for about 12 fish. There was nothing left of it but about 4 strands of hair and some thread. Finally, I tied on a different fly and retired the beat-up one. Most fish were brook trout, with a few rainbows.
The Bull Salmon Club fished the Farmington River in New Hartford and Riverton CT. What a trip! You can see some pictures in the gallery. We all got quite a few fish. My sense is that every day I caught between 12 and 20 fish. Most were in a concentrated period of time - 10 or 11 at the Church pool during the spinner fall at Dusk - even more at the Ovation pool spinner fall Friday night. Quite a few in the Beaver pool during the Hendrickson hatch on Thursday. Not so many (probably 2 or 3) on the other afternoons. Almost all the fish I caught were on dry flies to specific rising fish. My buddy Mack got a lot on size 20 PT nymphs. Ron got a lot on dries and a variety of flies. We saw mostly mayflies - only a few caddis. Also a few stoneflies. I caught mostly browns. Also I was surprised at how many salmon we caught. Most salmon were 8-10 inches, with a few almost 12 inches. The browns and rainbows probably averaged 11 or 12 inches, with a few larger or smaller. Almost all the fish were healthy and fought like crazy. Here is a picture of a 19+" brown caught on a rusty spinner size 16.
Covered a lot of water the last two days. Fished Sky Pond and got a few brook trout on dry flies. Fished Willard pond and got some strikes, but no hook-ups. Fished the Contoocook River in West Henniker for a while and although we saw some Hendricksons hatching, we saw only a couple rises and no fish caught. We went to the Newfound River and got a couple nice fish on nymphs.
Well the new season has finally begun! With the late snows of March and heavy rains of early April, the season kind of limped along until this week. Then everything started to pop. Many of the rivers saw fishable levels return. Water temps got up to about 50 degrees on many streams and the stocking trucks rolled again. Other than educating some hatchery stockers in the Squannacook and Nissitisset Rivers in Townsend and Pepperell, MA, I only made one foray onto southern NH streams this week. Then, April 21 Jim and I took the boat out onto Lake Winnepesauke for the first time of the year. Here is one of the salmon that fell victime to a trolled streamer. We hooked into quite a few, getting about half of them all the way to the boat. Most effective flies were Moose River streamer and Purple Smelt. We put in at Ellacoya State Park and fished the about a mile and a half up the western shore and about a half mile to the east of the put-in point. The water temp was 40 and the air was 85. On the news that night I saw that ice-out was at 11:30am while we were there. We didn't see any ice, just some snow banked up against the north side of some of the cottages. I hear that the DHZ on the Piscataquog and Souhegan Rivers have been fishing pretty good. Remember: Single hook fly or artificial and release all fish unharmed until June 15 on these waters. And don't be afraid to remind any other anglers you see fishing the Delayed Harvest Zones. If you have a report and/or pictures you want to post, just email me.
Here is the 2004 report, in case you are interested: 2004 Fishing Report