Monday, July 24, 2017

Live Free and Dry

I went back to the same freestone from last weekend on Saturday. I decided to explore a different section I scouted on Google Maps. My plan was to park roadside and work up to a deep pool. I started the day fishing about a couple hundred yards downstream of where I parked. The stream in this section had ample pocket water with large boulders and trees providing good cover. I tied on a stimulator and went to work.
The fishing was very good. I caught around 30 trout; a mix of brookies, bows, and browns. The brookies and bows were a mix of stocked and wild fish while the browns were all stocked. Even the stockies in this stream had perfect fins and great colors for the most part, although one bow I caught was noticeably stunted.
I worked my way through stretches of pocket water and riffles. The only places I was finding fish were in shaded spots or deeper runs with fast water. I stuck with dries the entire trip although nymphs would have been probably worked better due to the difficult currents. The key was to keep as little fly line off the water as possible and fish almost tenkara style. When I finally got to the pool, I was disappointed to see that there was little current. Although it was at least 10 ft deep, I could see down to the bottom and didn't spot any fish. Contrary to how I stated it, I didn't just walk up to the pool, I took the necessary steps to methodically work my way upstream but still didn't get any hits. After catching a few more fish upstream, I walked back down to my car and went to lunch.

I stopped my the Swift River along the Kancamangus on my way back. As usual, the vacation crowd was out so I stopped at a couple empty pull offs. I only caught one stocked brookie on a dry and that was it for action. The section I caught the brookie was a nice gorge with deep pools. The second section I fished was shallow and unshaded, making it a very unideal section. In the future, I think I'll fish it early in the morning or closer to feeders or further upstream.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Small Stream Trifecta and Big Scare

I went out Saturday morning. My stream of choice was a tributary of the Androscoggin with a decent population of stocked and wild fish. The day started off really slow, as fish weren't really coming up for dries. I only got one bow on accident while my stimulator was skittering in the pocket below. The water temps had apparently fallen by about 3 ˚F due to the recent rains so that may have factored into the slow start. I switched over to nymphs and immediately caught fish in seemingly fish less pockets. Bows and browns were the norm early on but I got into a few native brookies upstream. Some of the bows and both browns were recently stocked fish. A good number of the bows were wild fish. They seemed to have much lighter coloration than their hatchery raised counterparts. Once the clouds cleared and the sun came out, I tied an EHC stimulator back on and caught a mix of brookies and bows before heading out.

The big scare of the day was when I knocked my phone into the river. It took me 2 hours to find it since it fell into some rapidly churning water. Ultimately, it ended up a couple feet downstream of where I dropped it and I avoided a huge scare. It cut my day short and limited the number of photos I could take but it could have been much worse.

On my way home, I stopped at the Ellis for a few minutes. I caught a decent number of brookies and missed some more. For the most part, they were on the smaller size but the river was smaller in this stretch. All on the EHC stimulator.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Fourth of July Weekend

      I got some free time yesterday after a busy weekend so I decided to try some new water. My stream of choice was the East Branch of the Saco. As usual, I stopped at North Country Angler for advice and flies and I was on my way. I worked my way up to the headwaters to search for some of the stream's many native brookies. The spot where I pulled over and fished looked perfect, with a series of cascading plunge pools. Unfortunately, the fishing started off really slow as several decent spots failed to produce. I attributed it to high water from the recent rain and sunlight but didn't see any fish spook at the same time. My luck began to change as I hooked and lost a decent fish behind a large rock in a swirling pocket.

      Eventually, as I worked my way up, I saw a decent fish jump in an undercut. A couple of careful casts later, I coaxed a stocked brookie into taking a pheasant tail nymph. Landing it was another matter as it fought as if it knew every snag and boulder. I even had to chase it downstream to bring it to hand!

      Soon after, I broke off my rig so I switched over to dries. Soon after, I brought some more stocked fish to hand. While it was rewarding to see them come up slowly and sip a properly presented dry, I was bummed to see the dearth of natives in this stretch. I picked up some more stocked fish before I finally got into natives. It was interesting to see the progression from stockies to natives. Fish were caught on both dries and nymphs. I fished nymphs in the faster, broken water and dries in the calmer stretches. Whenever one technique did not produce, another did. At one point, I even sight nymphed a fish that came up to look at my dry only to refuse it. I saw the fish wasn't spooked since it was actively nymphing in its feeding lie even after multiple subsequent drifts. As soon as I switched up to a nymph rig, I saw it shift, take, and it was on!
I landed both natives and stockies in this pool

    All said and done, I managed to catch a dozen trout: 5 stockies and 7 natives. It wasn't a numbers day by any means but it was fun to beat the tough conditions and catch some memorable fish. I feel that this river has great potential if they didn't stock over the natives but this horn has been tooted more than once without any real action taken. At least the drive through the Kancamangus highway was something else and my chicken salad didn't taste half bad either.

Somewhere in that valley, the Hancock branch of the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River trickles to life en route to Lincoln

1,000 Pageviews

      Yes, you read right, I finally reached 1,000 page views and I couldn't have done it without your help. I would like to express my gratitude to all my readers, you've all made this journey enjoyable. As a token of my appreciation, I'd like to send one of you guys a box of my favorite hand tied flies. If you're interested, send me an email by the 12th and I'll draw a name at random. As for the recent lack of posts, I've had a really busy week at work so I haven't been able to post as much but it doesn't mean that I haven't been fishing. On Thursday, I snuck off to the Souhegan for half an hour and yesterday, I went up north for some natives (I'll talk about that in another post). Here is a brown trout I caught Thursday:
      If you guys like the content on this page, tell your friends and family if fly fishing interests them. Without any advertisements or endorsements, the only way I can keep this page going is through word of mouth. Thanks again guys, from the bottom of my heart.