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Fishing Reports - 2008

This is the archive of my 2008 fishing reports. Go to the bottom of the page for links to previous years' reports.

All current fishing reports are found at my new Fly Fish New England Blog  

October 31

Halloween was fishy, not spooky!  I finally had an opportunity to get out and fish and I had wanted to go for some broodstock, but the Pemi was too high to fish. Stan and I decided the most likely place to get some fish was the old reliable Swift River.  So did everybody and their brother!  We got out there around 9AM ad fished until 2PM.  Although there were quite a few people there, we had no problem finding fish.  The problem, as always at the Swift, was getting them to bite. We started above route 9 and fished there until noon and then fished below the (very crowded) hatchery pipe and near the USGS gage for a couple hours.  Stan did really well in the morning with glo-bugs (fancy name for an egg pattern) and rootbeer WB.  I landed one on a size 18 Shadan soft-hackle (SSH) and broke one off at the Y-pool on the strike with a size 20 white SH tied with red thread.  After noon I broke off two others, one a SSH and one on a size 24 BWO emerger.  There was a hatch of size 26 midges that had fish rising all over the pool in front of me, but I only fooled two in almost 2-hours of steady casting and changing flies.  I came home and tied up some more size 24 and 26 flies in various colors for the next time.

October 24

Email report from my buddy Ron:  "Fished the Pemi in Bristol by the bridge and at Profile Falls. Got none, saw no evidence of any. Talked with 6 or 7 guys during the day. One guy got a rainbow, but that was all."

October 23

Mark your calendars for November 11 and 13.  November 11 is the monthly TU meeting in Manchester, NH for Merrimack River Valley Chapter.  A couple fishery biologists will be reporting on their radio telemetry and DNA analysis of NH brookies.  Great stuff!  On November 13 my guiding partner Jim and I will be at the Central MASS TU chapter meeting in Worcester. We will give a presentation about "Fishing the Large rivers of NH." We will tell about our experiences fishing the Androscoggin, Connecticut, Pemigewasset, and Saco Rivers.

October 20

Jim took a couple who are new to the area fishing for the broodstock salmon.  They "rounded up all the usual suspects" but no salmon were in evidence.  They really get pounded and spread out. We are going to track them down before they head out to sea with the big Fall rains that are sure to be on their way.

Some of you know that I haven't been posting regulary, because my wife has been quite ill and I have been going toMGH in Boston every day for the last couple weeks. Thanks for the emails you have sent me. She is supposed to be home today or tomorrow.

October 11

My guiding partner Jim took a couple beginners out to the Nissitissit River in Pepperell to learn how to fly fish.  Two weeks ago the river was stocked, but it is now "leaf and needle" season.  Every cast requires a leaf and/or pine needles to be cleaned from your line - frustrating. The beginners had a good time and learned a lot; had a couple strikes; and will be back when there are fewer leaves on the water.

The Fall stocking has been completed, water levels are good, so get out and enjoy the Fall fishing while you can!

October 8

The broodstock Atlantic salmon are in the Pemi.  Today my client and I  got on the water around 7AM and had a fish on within a few casts. Water temp was 52F and the air about 70F - perfect! Best flies were the Moose River streamer, black ghost and white wooly bugger. Here is a picture of one of the smaller salmon.  We also ran into Chuckmeister and Scoop39, who took the picture of my client and me with the salmon - thanks Sean! I am going to be off the water for a couple weeks, but if you go fishing, send me an email and I'll post your report.

October 4-5

Both days we had beginners learning to fly fish in NH.  Both days we took them to the Contoocook River.  Both days our beginners caught fish.  Most were caught on big, dry caddis - Alder Fly patterns, in fact.  They are easy for beginners to see on the water and the fish love them. Most fish caught were browns with two rainbows.

September 29-30

The 19th Fall conference of the Bull Salmon Club (BSC) convened in Errol.  HQ was the NH Rivers Guide "Virtual Fishing Lodge."  The foliage was fantastic, the weather excellent and the fishing was good-to-excellent.  We mainly fished the FF-Only area across the road from the lodge, but also hit spots up and down the river -  the Overlook, Pump-house, etc.

September 23-27

The foliage around Errol, NH is at its most spectacular right now!  Mostly fishing the Androscoggin River FFO section right in Errol, I guided people on the 24, 26 and 27. The other days I fished on my own.  This section is loaded with fish - rainbows, brookies, salmon, and browns.   Rarest and largest were the browns. Lots of insects were hatching from mid-morning throughout the day - dark caddis, large stone flies, tiny BWO, and some mayflies that could have been Isonychia, but I couldn't capture one to confirm that. One group of clients were beginner fly fishers and within an hour they had learned to rig their gear, cast overhead and roll-cast, mend, set hook, play fish, land and release fish.  Cool! The rest of the time was spent refining techniques, learning how to indicator-nymph, fish a streamer, etc. and catch more fish. Talk about quick learners! We literally lost track of how many fish were landed. The rain held off and the water temp was a perfect 60F. I will be up there the next three days and file another report later this week.  Here is a shot of Steve with an Androscoggin River brook trout..

September 19-20

Friday and Saturday were both spent on the Sugar River in Newport, NH.  Friday the flow level was about 180 CFS and the water temp was about 56F.  It was pretty cold until about 10AM, then we started to see some insect activity, which increased as the day went on. Richard fished dries all day.  Sometimes we hung a dropper off the dry, but all the fish hit the dry.  Successful flies ranged from small (size 14) Stimulators to small parachute Adams. Most were rainbows, but a really nice, very dark brown was caught, too.  The brown and the largest rainbow were measured at almost 14 inches.  All the fish were healthy.  The brown and the largest rainbow could have held over from last year. 

Saturday I guided a German businessman who tacked a day of fly fishing onto his trip to Boston. Same sunny conditions as Friday, but water level was lower (about 140 CFS) and warmer (59F.)  The same flies were successful and there may have been slightly more insect activity, with some larger mayflies (probably Isonychia) flying around, along with tan caddis and blue-winged olives. Here is his first American trout.

September 11

Part 1. Stan, Jim and I got over 120 brook trout in a few hours on a brook in the WMNF near Mount Washington. Now, get up off the floor and get that look of disbelief off your face!  In the spirit of full disclosure, we were doing a wild brook trout survey with Mark Prout, fishery biologist for the White Mountain National Forest and two of his associates, Amanda and Rebecca. We helped net the fish after they were stunned by electroshock. This is part of Mark's efforts to inventory wild fish in the national forest. Data will also be provided to NH Fish and Game and the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture (EBTJV) to fill in the blanks of where the current populations of wild brook trout exist. Last year members of our TU chapter (Merrimack River Valley Chapter) helped Mark electroshock the Lost River and the year before, the Gale River.

Part 2. After leaving Mark, Amanda and Rebecca, we decided to fish the Ammonoosuc River near Bethlehem.  The sun was off the water, which made wading precarious in the boulder-strewn section we fished.  Three nice rainbows fell for the parachute hopper I was using.  There were some caddis and mayflies in the air, but no rises other than to my hopper pattern.  We then stopped by Profile Lake for the last 30 minutes before dark.  8-inch brookies were actively rising and I got 4 or 5 on a small sulpher dry.  Jim had luck on a hopper and Stan got some on an Adams.  Overall, it was a very tiring, satisfying and successful day.

September 5

Stan and I took a chance on the erratic flows on the Deerfield River. Bad choice!  The river was running about 900CFS when we got there at 7:30AM.  In spite of that, a couple nice rainbows and a nice brown came to hand. They must be drawing down the reservoir in anticipation of the impending storm. The water temp was warm - 64F, so the reservoir must be getting pretty low anyway.  The rainbow I caught bit a large, beadhead, wire-wrapped rootbeer woolly- bugger and the brown took the small white soft-hackle dropper.  Both were beautiful fish and put up a good fight, making good use of the heavy current. I think Stan got his rainbow on a soft-hackle. We ran into one of our students from our fly fishing classes, who came down just as we were releasing the brown.  I hope they did ok.  The Deerfield River is a tough river to fish, even for an experienced angler with good conditions.

 

September 3

Jim, Dick, the other Jim and I hiked a couple miles straight uphill in theWhite Mountains to fish for 8-inch brookies.  Plenty of fish were caught and it was a beautiful day on a fantastic pond. Water as clear as a swimming pool.  Surface temp was 62F when we got there and 66F when we left.  One of the tiny tributaries was a frigid 41F.  Yes, I checked my digital thermometer 3 times and that was the incredible reading!

August 29

I stayed over at Jim's camp and  he was kind enough to wake me at 5:00AM when he was getting ready for his drift boat trip on the lower Androscoggin. After getting coffied-up I swung by the Saco River bridge to verify that the brookies are still doing  their non-stop sipping - they are!   But I didn't bother suiting up there. I went over Crawford Notch, and on the way checked out some spots on the Saco River up towards Route 302. If anybody has some experience fishing that area, let me know. <email Gerry> It looks nice, but I had other areas to check out, so I didn't fish it. The Gale River was running a little bony, but the Ammonoosuc looked good.  The Pemigewasset River in Woodstock was low, but still held some fish. Once again, the size 20 black parachute may fly did the trick.  All the rivers are a little lower than they were last week, but the water temp is about 60F, which is perfect.  All the fish I caught in the last couple days were in the faster water. September should be a great month for fishing!

 

August 28

It was a good day to go on a scouting trip. I wanted to check out some old and new spots to see how they are fishing, now that the water levels have gone back to normal (low) levels. I joined my buddies Jim and Dick for a couple hours on the Ellis River.  Not much doing in the usual pools, but when I hiked upstream a quarter mile I started finding the fish. I got three rainbows and a beautiful wild or holdover brook trout in the fast runs in the pocket water. Caught them on cinnmon ants, black ants and black parachute mayfly patterns, all size 20. Then I moved down to the Saco River.  The area below the bridge still has quite a few fish, but not as many as on past trips.  Once again, the tiny flies worked their magic.  Many, many 10-12 inch brook trout fell victim.

August 23

Today was a great day to be on the water in New England!  At first I was concerned that the bright sun would put the fish down, but no way!  My client  today hadn't caught a trout on a fly in 30 years, and had only fly fished a couple times.  We fished the Pemigewasset River and he finished the day with a big smile on his face.

 

He caught some nice rainbows on small parachute Adams, yellow Humpy, some large caddis dries, and a white beadhead softhackle.  He landed about half of those he fooled - a respectable average for a rusty fisherman! And all except one were caught on dries. Rising fish all day long - it really doesn't get any better than that!!!

August 20

I finally got a chance to check some of the local streams for holdovers, now that the water levels are getting back to a fishable level.  I spent a couple hours each on the Sugar and Contoocook Rivers.  Both were at a good level, a little warm (67F) but very fishable.  On the Sugar River I fooled a couple rainbows, bringing one to hand. I was using a small hopper and a flying ant dropper.  Both took the hopper.  I saw a few stone fly husks on the rocks, so they may have taken the hopper for a stone fly. In the late afternoon I hit the Contoocook in West Henniker. Not many insects around at first, but as the sun sank in the west, some sulphers and small yellow stoneflies (Little Yellow Sallies?) were flying around laying eggs.  There were a few small rises, but not a lot of activity. I finally got a nice brown on a sulpher dry.  All the fish I caught were hooked in the faster water (more oxygen?)  So, the fish are still there, but you really have to work for them.

August 7

My buddy Jim and made the pilgrimage to the Swift - still the only game in town. The flow was up to about 220CFS and the temp was 62F.  There are still plenty of fish to be found, but getting harder to catch, unless you were in just the right spot.  We got a few below the hatchery pipe and fooled a couple in the run above the old crib/roll dam, but didn't hook-up.  We were dodging thunder-boomers all afternoon.  When this rain finally stops, if ever, the fishing up north should be fantastic.

August 1

Stan and I were going to scout some locations in the White Mountains, but the rain yesterday messed up that plan.  Instead, we made the trek to old reliable - Swift River in central Mass. We usually hit the same old spots: hatchery pipe, Y-pool, bubbler arm, hemlocks, cable pool, etc.  This time we decided to hit some of the less-frequented spots: Cady Lane area, goose pen, and the area above and below the old crib roll dam.  We found plenty of fish in the Cady Lane area.  We then worked our way up river.  Stan spotted for me while I hooked a nice rainbow.We caught fish on red copper John, blue quill foam-back emerger, and size 20 parachute mayflies (black and olive.) Water temp was 64F in the morning and 67F in the PM. Not too crowded,but not as many fish seen, especially in the afternoon.  I almost forgot, I also caught a tiny wild brook trout and a tiny wild rainbow.

July 29

This time it was a father and son from Alabama wanting to sample the NH fly fishing fare.  Today it was the Pemigewasset River in the Woodstock/Lincoln/Thornton area. The recent rains had the water temp at 58F - perfect!  We fooled about a dozen rainbows - mostly on dries - and landed about half of them. Another beautiful day on the water.

July 28

A father and daughter from Dallas, TX were visiting mom's old school chums and decided a day of NH fly fishing would be fun. The sun and moon and stars were in alignment. The daughter caught nice brooktrout on three of her first four casts!  And she had never been fly fishing before.  Incredible! They caught more fish in an hour than most people catch in a weekend or more at this time of year.  They caught them all  morning on nymphs and all afternoon on dries. I don't expect to see many more days like this - EVER! Water temp on the Ellis was 60F and 61F on the Saco.

July 23

This time it was an inexperienced son and a very experienced mother who wanted to learn the local waters of NE Massachusetts.  We spent the day doing the grand tour of the Nissitissit and Squannacook Rivers and tribs.  The water was warm and only one strike all day, but "mission  accomplished" in that locating pools and runs that hold fish in the spring and fall was our objective.

July 18-19

A father wanted to learn to fly fish along with his 10-year-old son.   We started on the Pemi in Woodstock. A couple fish were rising during casting instruction, but quickly got spooked. There were plenty of fish in the river and the water was cool.  Saturday we moved to North Conway and the Ellis and Saco Rivers. Plenty of fish around, but also a huge flotilla of kayaks, canoes, inner tubes and rubber duckies were afloat. In spite of the swimmers and floaters, we got into some fish.  Brookies and browns fell victim to wooly worms, egg patterns, ant patterns. 

July 10-11

Took clients to fish the Sugar, Contoocook, Newfound, Pemigewasset rivers and a couple ponds. I knew most of the rivers would be too warm to fish, but the main objective Thursday was to give a tour (and put on a lot of miles) for a fly angler new to the area. We fooled a few fish, but didn't land any in the rivers.  Just as well, since the water was so warm. I was kind of surprised they even struck, based on the sunny conditions and warm water. The ponds still have the hex hatch, but the hatch on all the ponds has slowed down. The hatch is starting to come out later and much fewer fish are coming up for the flies. Part of that is surely due to the surface temp warming up and partly because they have been bombarded by fly anglers every night for a couple weeks!  The upper reaches of the Pemi is still cool (61F) and benefited from a visit by the stocking truck within the last week.  My clients all got their first NH brook trout ever (on a dry fly) on the river, before getting some on the ponds at twilight.  Look for cool water and find the fish!

July 8

Since the local streams have warmed up considerably, Stan and I decided to give the Swift River a try. Good choice!  We each got a half-dozen or so nice fish. The water level was good and the temp was 60F - ideal for trout.  Some were taken on a small red copper John fished as a dropper and I got quite a few on a brown/yellow hot-spot nymph.  I also got a couple on a size 18 CDC sulpher emerger.

July 6

Stan and I hit the hex hatch pretty good in Franconia Notch.  My soft-hackle emerger accounted for a huge quantity of little brookies. My hex Usual dry also fooled some just before dark.

July 2

My brother flew in from St.Louis for a little vacation and I took him to the Contoocook for the evening rise.  He got a wild native (fallfish) and a nice rainbow and I got a brown and a rainbow. A few sulphers came off at dark and the fish were on them  Nothing much happened until about 8:30PM.

June 19-29

Just got back from Errol, where we ran our first annual "Virtual Fishing Lodge" on the Androscoggin River. We had a total of 14 clients and in spite of the flooded river conditions and intermittent rain everybody caught fish and had fun. We had one day on the Androscoggin River where the flow levels were good for wading and the Alder flies had just emerged.  Excellent dry fly fishing to rising fish!  We were also able to fish the Diamond River system and a number of ponds. The hex hatch came on strong and provided good top-water pond action.  Other rivers fished included the Connecticut, Ellis and Saco Rivers.  The CT was high, but the others fished good. Local rivers in southern NH are now at pretty good fishable levels, so give them a try!

June 9-17

Boy have I been busy fishing!  Tough job, but etc. Here is a quick synopsis: Ellis and Saco Rivers in North Conway and Jackson have been fishing great. The water temp has ranged from 57F to 62F, ideal temperatures. Red quills, Little yellow Sallies, some Mirrus and sulphers, along with a variety of caddis has kept the fish looking up.  Peabody River also fishing well on caddis and BWO.  Androscoggin and Diamond Rivers are still extrememely high. Some early hexagenia are starting to show up on the ponds.  The Alder Fly hatch is out in full force on the Newfound River, but warm water has done a job on the trout.  Some HUGE smallmouth are cruising the dam pool.  Pemi in Franklin and Bristol has been fishing well.  A few salmon were sighted, but mostly rainbows and smallmouth are biting.  The Contoocook and Sugar Rivers are at all-time lows for mid-June. Find some fish elsewhere until September when the water cools off.

Also, RIGHT NOW copy this email address   Stephen.G.Perry@wildlife.nh.gov and send an email to Stephen Perry, NH Fish and Game Department, Chief of Inland Fisheries and tell him that you support extending the season on the Sugar and Contocook Rivers to November 30.  Even if (especially if) you live out of state, send that email now!  Tell your friends, your neighbor and anybody who will help out on this effort.

I am off to guide/fish the Androscoggin, Dead Diamond and CT Rivers for the next 10 days.  Check back then for an update.  Tight lines!

June 6

The Newfound River was the destination.  Cold, drizzly weather, and a few trout to be seen. The water was 57F, ideal temperature.  Not many insects, but the caddis have to be ready to bust out.  The hot weather of the weekend surely had an affect. Water will be warming up soon, so get them while you can!

May 31-June 3

All the rivers in northern MA and southern and central NH are at historical low levels.  Water temps are pushing 70F and we are going to see plenty of dead fish if we don't get rain soon.  This includes the Millers, Souhegan, Piscataquog, Sugar, Contoocook and Newfound, Rivers, all of which I have fished in the last few days. Let's  hope the showers forecasted bring some relief.  The rivers up north are running at good levels, mainly due to the huge snow-pack of this past winter.  Fishing should hold up well into July on the Connecticut and Androscoggin Rivers.

Once again the spring broodstock Atlantic salmon program is a big dud.  Widely publicized, but poorly implemented stocking during the week of May 12 turned out to be a lot of smoke with few sparks. 

May 28

Another afternoon on the Contoocook River and a nice brown and a couple small bass to show for it.  Water temp is up to 67F.  Still plenty of insects are around, including Little yellow Sallies, small dark caddis and Hendrickson spinners.

May 27

The Contoocook River was the destination.  The water level is low and warming to 65F.  Tough fishing, but late afternoon/early evening paid off with fish rising to Hendrickson spinners.  My client Ish got two beautiful brook trout and a nice rainbow on dry flies.

 

 

May 20-23

The Bull Salmon Club held our spring-08 conference at the Wilderness Inn, Wilmington, NY and fished the Ausable River.  We were targeting the Hendrickson hatch.  Our timing was good, but the weather was terrible.  Stan got there on Monday and the high was 39F and it snowed!  We had wind, rain, overcast every day.  Whenever the sun popped out the mayflies began to hatch. Finally on Thursday afternoon the pent-up demand overcame the weather and the bugs sailed down the river through the wind and rain and the fish were gulping them.  My best fish day was Wednesday when I hooked about 10 fish. The two best flies were my Hendrickson softhackle and size 18 emerald green beadhead caddis pupa.  Below are pictures of me with a nice Ausable River brown trout and my buddy Randy with snow-capped Whiteface mountain in the distance.

May 18

Fished the Contoocook River today, one of the few fairly reliable rivers in the area.  Flow was less than 600CFS and water temp was 60F - perfect conditions. My clients worked hard and finally we found some rising fish in the Contoocook River.  They landed three nice rainbows before the sprinkles blew in.  Two took a light Hendrickson dry and the other an emerger.

May 16

The water levels and temps on the Sugar River and Contoocook Rivers are great. Not many insects hatching in the cool morning on theSugar, but the bottom is littered with cased caddis and every rock is crawling with mayfly nymphs.  Any day now the hatches are sure to erupt. The Hendrickson hatch is going full-swing on the Contoocook River.  We fished the Professor's pool in the afternoon and there we lots of mayflies and rising fish.

May 15

This weekend we are guiding two anglers from CT and NJ who want to sample some of NH's fine trout streams.  Since the broodstock Atlantic salmon were announced to be stocked this week, Jim and I scouted the Pemigewasset in Franklin and Bristol and the Newfound River in Bristol.  (We never take clients to fish a  stream without first verifying water levels and presence of fish.)  The fish had not been stocked as of 1:00 PM. I did catch a good sized smallmouth, but no salmon.  They were sparse in the Newfound River, too. 

May 12

Anthony moved to New Hampshire a year ago. An avid fly fisherman, he wanted to learn some of the rivers in the area. Today we fished the Sugar River and the Contoocook River.  The flow level in both rivers is just getting to a fishable level. The water temp was in the high fifties. We saw more insect life on the Contoocook, but the Sugar is just days away from prime fishing. The Sugar River yielded one nice rainbow and the Contoocook River produced a number of browns.  The Hendrickson hatch has begun and all the fish were caught on top using my parachute emerger pattern.

 

May 11

Last year Dan and Jan took my Learn to Fly Fish class. Today I took Dan on a tour of local waters, and helped with some casting and fishing techniques. We hit the Souhegan River in a couple spots in Milford and Greenville. After talking to Todd, the local CO, about poachers, and showing him our licenses, we moved up to the Piscataquog River in New Boston. Here is a picture of Dan with his first NH trout, a nice rainbow that was tempted by a size 12 softhackle, fished wetfly style.

After a streamside lunch, we fished the Contoocook River in West Henniker.  There were some caddis bouncing around on the water and then the Hendricksons started coming off. Dan fooled some of them with emergers, but we couldn't bring them to net.

All the rivers were at a good flow level.  The Contoocook water temp was 60F - perfect!

We covered some territory; learned some new fishing techniques; and fooled some fish. All-in-all a pretty good day! Now we need to get Jan out on the water!

 

 

May 10

Today I gave an extended, on-the-water fly fishing lesson to Jeff on the Squannacook River. It was loaded with nice browns and rainbows.  Whenever Jeff got the technique right, he was rewarded with a fish.  Wet fly swing, stripping streamers, dry fly and indicator nymphing all produced fish.  Here is Jeff's first trout on a fly.

I messed up and let his first rainbow get away or there would be a picture of that fish here, too. Thanks to Jamie for making it possible! Happy V-day Jeff!

The water level was good and when the sun came out a few caddis started hatching. The Nissitissit and Squannacook were recently stocked with some really nice fish. Get out there and fish!

May 9

Today I was scheduled to guide father/son beginners, who I gave a casting lesson about two weeks ago. Too bad they cancelled because of the rainy forecast.  We only got a couple sprinkles and I scouted some new pools and sampled some of the freshly stocked browns in Pepperell.  They would have had a good time catching 2-pound browns!  While scoping out a popular pool, I saw Chip land a nice fish - his first brown!

May 8

One of the guys I gave a fly casting lesson a little over a week ago booked a full-day trip to sharpen his skills.  I took Jim to the Piscataquog River in New Boston, NH.  It was a fantastic day - one of the best of the year, so far.  We mostly fished the Delayed Harvest Zone of the Mighty P. It took a while, and plenty of technique practice,  but in between practicing backhand-upstream-reach-roll-casts, Jim caught some nice rainbows. Water temp was 56F and the flow was good. Here is Jim with one of the fish that took a beadhead pheasant-tail nymph.

May 5

Took Parker, a repeat client and a great guy (as are all my clients!), to the Farmington River for the Hendrickson hatch. In the morning we fished the Boneyard with hardly a strike to show for it. We ran into my buddy Stan and he must have brought good fishing luck. In the afternoon we staked out a prime spot in Ovation pool and nailed plenty of nice browns on emergers and dries.  What a great time, fishing to big, rising fish!  This was a great warm-up for my trip to the Adirondacks (Ausable River) in a couple weeks for the Hendrickson hatch.

May 4

My guiding partner Jim and I took seven beginners who had attended an international executive program at Harvard Business School.  They were all new to fly fishing and they (and we) had a ball, in spite of the intermittent drizzle.  A few Squannacook River fish were hooked and a few of those were even landed! Our students from Mexico, Australia, Canada, Dubai, Baltimore, Tokyo and other exotic locations had a great time learning how to fly fish.

April 29-30

Scouted the Millers in Erving, Wendell Depot and the Bearsden section.  Water was a little high.  Caught one rainbow in Erving.  It was pre-brown-stocking in the upper C&R area. (Good excuse for not catching anything!)

April 27

Guided on the Squannacook and Nissitissit.  A little crowded and the fish have been pounded.  Caught a couple decent rainbows.

April 24-25

I was giving some fly fishing lessons on the Quinapoxet and Stillwater Rivers.  We mainly did some casting practice, but water levels were good and a couple fish were caught.

April 22

In anticpation of guide trips I have booked, I scouted quite a few MA rivers today. My buddy Ron wanted to see some of the MA rivers I  fish, so he rode shotgun on the trip. We did a drive-by of the Nissitissit at the Prescott St bridge and only saw a couple trout. Then we went to the Bertozzi WMA in Groton to check out the Squannacook. Both pools I fished yielded a small rainbow. (They must have been hungry, since I only cast twice into each pool and got a fish in each!)  We then went out to the Quinapoxet River at the Wachusetts Res. We didn't fish much, but saw no evidence of fish in any of the "old reliable" spots. We ran into Dave, a former client and an expert fisherman. He had only been fishing a few minutes, but had not seen anything either. Here is a picture of Ron deftly mending line on the Quinnie.

We jumped over to the Stillwater and Ron got a hit on a small Prince nymph. No other fish seen there.  We then went back to a couple different spots on the Squannacook and caught some fish at one pool. (Two rainbows and a brookie) There were quite a few bait anglers at one place, but we didn't see them get anything. We then walked into the Columbo WMA in Pepperell and fished the Nissitissit River for a few minutes. I got one fish.  Overall findings: All water levels were great! By far the most insect activity was on the Squannacook River.  Loads of mayflies, caddis and stone flies. The mayflies looked like dark Hendrickson spinners waiting for the females to make their appearance. We did not see any rises, except for a fallfish on the Squannacook. All the fish I caught were on a small olive beadhead woolly bugger.  All probably recent stockers. I broke off a good fish on the strike.  It took the green copper john nymph on the dropper. We didn't stay more than 10 minutes at any spot we looked at, but that was long enough to tell if there were any fish there.

April 17

The Squannacook river was stocked- probably  yesterday. I caught 5 rainbows in about an hour of poking around the Bertozzi Conservation area in Groton. The fish were generally smaller than those stocked in the last couple years. Better get out there and fish for them, because they'll be gone soon. About a half hour after I released the fish I caught, a guy with a spinning rod caught four trout in the same pool and took them out on a stringer. I am sure this is being repeated today and this weekend. Lots of small stoneflies, caddis and mayflies were buzzing around, but I saw no rises. As I moved up and down the river, I didn't see many fish mingling around, so I suspect this first stocking was a little sparse.

The NH rivers are still a little too high for good fishing. The Piscataquog River in New Boston should be at a good level, although I have no word yet that it has been stocked.

April 12

They finally stocked the Nissitissit River in  Pepperell - 1,000 rainbows.  Plenty of fish stacked up at the Prescott St. bridge.  Fish a small woolly bugger or heron-fly with a small soft hackle dropper slow and deep. Any day now the Squannacook should get some stockers.  The water in NH is still too high and cold to stock.  The recent stocking of the Sugar River in Newport was probably a waste of fish.  The river is almost at flood stage. Within a week or so our choice of rivers should greatly expand as the run-off recedes in most areas, except up north, where the tremendous snow-pack continues to melt.

April 6

Here is a video of brown from the Farmington River caught by Stan.

April 1

Local man wins big fishing tournament! See story

March 18

Stan and I took a drive out to the Swift River in MA.  We got there about 11AM and caught quite a few fish, despite the 35F water temperature. We found some fish in the Y-pool and the lower end of the Bubbler arm. Stan got some nice rainbows on small red beadhead nymphs and I got a nice one on (see picture) top using a greased-up size 20 red Shadan soft-hackle (SSH) in the surface film.

It is so cool to see the "body language" of the fish as they spot the food; swim over to it; slowly sip it and then take off when they feel the tug of the hook. Not too many people around all day.  Dave Able (hi Dave) was leaving as we arrived.  He told us he had picked up a few nice rainbows. After a couple hours in the FFO section, we went down and fished below the hatchery pipe. I caught quite a few rainbows, mostly smaller ones around 9 inches.  Most on size 22 midge emergers on top, but a number also fell victim to the EJG Special, fished on top. The fish (at least some of them) are still there, in spite of the hook-and-cook regulations now in effect. Have a GREAT SEASON! See you on the water.

Be sure to look at past year fish logs. I look back at them to see when the hatches started, what they  were biting and where the good spots were in past years.

Fish log 2007

Fish log 2006

Fish log 2005

Fish log 2004

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