Fishing Reports

Late Fall Report

Late September/ October wrap up

We apologize for for the lack of reports this fall. From guiding almost every day through late October to a trip to Idaho we have been very busy. Late September and October provided some of the best fall fishing we have seen on the Androscoggin River. We saw more wild rainbows over 15" this fall than we have ever seen! A warmer than usual September and October kept hatches of BWO's and Isonychia mayflies consistent through late October. Things changed with two big rain storms at the end of the month. Lucky for me I was in Idaho enjoying ideal conditions on the South Fork of the Snake river! 

Typical October dry fly fish. 

Typical October dry fly fish. 

Androscoggin River Brown...a good one. 

Androscoggin River Brown...a good one. 

South Fork of the Snake River fishing with Teton Valley Lodge Guide Milan Krainchich. 

South Fork of the Snake River fishing with Teton Valley Lodge Guide Milan Krainchich. 

November Report

We have been out a couple times since returning from Idaho. We had a good streamer bite last Monday when temps were in the 60's with clouds and a light rain. Fishing has slowed a bit more recently as the coldest temps of the season are upon us. Fishing should improve next week as the fish acclimate to this colder weather. We are going to head out in search of some bigger browns next week and we'll let you know what we find. 

November Rainbow Trout

November Rainbow Trout

Arkansas Update

We still have dates available for our Arkansas trips this coming March of 2018. If you are interested in getting spring started early chasing trophy browns, rainbows and cutthroat please let us know asap as dates are filling fast. Guiding dates are from March 7- March 31st. This is prime time on the White and Norfork rivers! Last year was epic with 50-100 fish days and 18"-22" fish landed nearly every day. 

Arkansas Fine Spot Cutthroat. 

Arkansas Fine Spot Cutthroat. 

An Average Norfork River Rainbow. 

An Average Norfork River Rainbow. 

White River Brown Trout

White River Brown Trout

Early September Report

Overview:

We are in the thick of full on Autumn fishing! Water temps and levels are prime for float and wade fishing! We've been having some great days on the Saco, Andro and our wild brook trout waters. Dates are available from now through mid November. Now's the time to fish!

Andro:

We have been having some excellent floats on the Andro. With daytime highs in the 70's most days and lows in the 40's water temps have dropped into the sweet spot for trout metabolisms. We are seeing good bio drifts of nymphs starting at about 8am. From here some days have had consistent bites right through while other days there is a short mid-day lull. We should see good fishing for a while now with prime conditions in the forecast through at least the end of next week. Look for Isonychia, October caddis, Green caddis (Rhyacophilia), tan caddis, and golden stones to be of great importance through September.

Clay Emery of San Antonio TX landed this healthy wild rainbow right around noon at the end of a half day float.

Clay Emery of San Antonio TX landed this healthy wild rainbow right around noon at the end of a half day float.

Andrew Cook of Greenland NH hooked trout all day long including this wild bow that ate an Isonychia nymph at the tailout of a pool.

Andrew Cook of Greenland NH hooked trout all day long including this wild bow that ate an Isonychia nymph at the tailout of a pool.

Julie Lawton outfished her brother Brian but both had an epic day with over 60 trout to net and six doubles to net! Julie got the Grand slam!

Julie Lawton outfished her brother Brian but both had an epic day with over 60 trout to net and six doubles to net! Julie got the Grand slam!

Saco:

The Saco has fished very well so far this September. With recent rains were were able to float the river a couple times and had good streamer fishing. Fish have also keyed in on recent ant swarms and midge hatches. Fish small Griffiths gnats or cinnamon ants to get their attention. As waters cool you will want to focus on streamers more and dries less.

Client Mark Varveres with one of a many browns he caught while floating the Saco.

Client Mark Varveres with one of a many browns he caught while floating the Saco.

Brian Boyle with a decent Saco brown.

Brian Boyle with a decent Saco brown.

Ellis:

While the Ellis has been slow for stocked fish this year there have been some good numbers of wild brook trout moving into even the lower river. I fished a short stretch the other day and managed five nice wild brookies from 6-8 inches in the FFO stretch. Fish orange stimulators to mimic October caddis on the surface. Birds nest nymphs and stonefly nymphs will work subsurface.

Mountain streams:

Our mountain streams continue to fish well for brookies, rainbows and browns. You have about two more weeks of good fishing with October caddis, ants and small streamers all working well. As waters cool in Late September Early October these fish will head to spawn move to bigger water. This is when you will want to head to bigger water as well.

Hayley Lewis with a small stream brook trout.

Hayley Lewis with a small stream brook trout.

Wild Brook Trout water:

Our wild brook trout streams are off the beaten path spring feed fisheries that we try to keep to ourselves. That being said they are fishing very well right now as brook trout are pre spawn and aggressively striking streamers! If you would like to experience some high quality native brook trout fishing please let us know!

Paul Shinsky was having a blast catching good sized wild brook trout.

Paul Shinsky was having a blast catching good sized wild brook trout.

Former owner of North Country Angler Bill Thompson setting the hook on a wild brook trout.

Former owner of North Country Angler Bill Thompson setting the hook on a wild brook trout.

Those are the hands of Jordan Hill with an impressive small stream native.

Those are the hands of Jordan Hill with an impressive small stream native.

Arkansas 2018:

We are now booking dates for Arkansas 2018. We will be guiding on the White and Norfork rivers in Cotter Arkansas from March 5th through March 31st 2018. Please give us a call or email if you would like to book!

Dick Peterson with an impressive monster he landed on 5X in Arkansas spring 2017.

Dick Peterson with an impressive monster he landed on 5X in Arkansas spring 2017.

Summary:

With the days getting shorter but temps still warm now is a great time to get out and fish. We consider September and early October our favorite fishing of the year as crowds are small, fish are hungry, temps are comfortable, and the scenery is breathtaking. We have dates available for September and October so please let us know asap if you would like to book.

 

Mid-August report and Arkansas update

Overview:

Fishing has held on through the dog days of summer this season! Fall is in the air and we are already seeing Fall hatches begin on our local rivers! Now is the time to plan your Autumn fishing getaway!

Saco:

The Saco has fished very well throughout the summer. Fish are still being taken on large terrestrial patterns like hoppers and beetles. Black ants have been productive but any day now the Cinnamon ants will arrive and provide some of the best dry fly fishing of the season. Early morning and cloudy days are seeing BWO hatches. Fish in the more popular pools are becoming well educated so be sure to have your "A" game on. Often hooking one fish in a given spot will spook the other fish in the area and require you to move on or give the pool a good rest. While rare, a good summer thunderstorm can raise water levels and lower visibility enough to get the big trout active and feeding during daylight hours. Our good friend Brian Boyle was able to land this beauty the other day while fishing with the Author. Bright streamers are key to get these big fish to bite!

Angler Brian Boyle with 23" of Saco brown. As always released to fight another day!

Angler Brian Boyle with 23" of Saco brown. As always released to fight another day!

Saco Rainbows are typically Camera shy...got this guy just in time! August 14th.

Saco Rainbows are typically Camera shy...got this guy just in time! August 14th.

Saco river brown trout release. Always fun to watch them go!

Saco river brown trout release. Always fun to watch them go!

Andro:

The andro has been hit or miss depending on when you hit it. Yesterday I had the good fortune of fishing with our newest guide in training Will Schmitt. Will worked on his rowing skills and was kind enough to put me on a large salmon and a few spunky rainbows and browns. It was good to see fish throughout the float and I was able to dial in on a few more hot spots for future trips. We had a sporadic Isonychia hatch throughout the day. This mayfly will be important from now until early October when BWO's will become even more important. With hot weather over the next two days the Andro will not be your best bet. BUT...a cold front will reach the region by Wednesday and it looks like we enter a cool, "Fallish" pattern from Thursday through Sunday. This should spur more Isonychia hatches and possibly some October caddis will show up. If we get a hot humid day after this cool front be prepared for that flying ant hatch I mentioned earlier. The key on the Andro is that the water temps are cool enough to bring fish to the surface when the ants drop. Otherwise you will have plenty of bass and fallfish to play with on top.

The Author with a healthy Andro Salmon caught August 19th.

The Author with a healthy Andro Salmon caught August 19th.

A bright Andro Rainbow taken on an Isonychia pattern August 19th.

A bright Andro Rainbow taken on an Isonychia pattern August 19th.

Ellis:

The Ellis has been fishing well in the Upper River for wild brook trout. Fishing flashy dries like hippie stompers and Stimulators is effective. When the fishing slows drop a nymph off the back of one of these buoyant dries.

Small Streams:

Our small streams continue to fish well but even here fish are becoming more educated. Head further into the woods to seek less pressured fish. Flying ants have been very productive as have red hippie stompers and red humpies (red seems to be important). If fish are not taking dead drifted dries a small muddler minnow or baby brook trout pattern stripped through drop offs and undercut boulders can produce well. Fishing a dropper such as a red copper john is a good idea when fish are even less willing.

A wild brook trout stream is a great place to introduce people to fly fishing!

A wild brook trout stream is a great place to introduce people to fly fishing!

Arkansas Update:

We have set dates for our Arkansas 2018 trips. Dates for booking are March fifth through April 30th. Please give us a call if you want in on this phenomenal tailwater fishing! If you haven't heard we had an epic 2017 in the Ozarks with many 50+ fish days and countless rainbows, browns and Cuts from 18-22". This was definitely the best trout fishing I have personally ever seen! Let us know ASAP if you are interested in booking!

HCG Client Dick Peterson with Arkansas Gold.  Spring 2017.

HCG Client Dick Peterson with Arkansas Gold.  Spring 2017.

The Author with an average Arkansas brown.

The Author with an average Arkansas brown.

Summary:

After a serious drought last season it has been a pleasure to see our rivers in good shape this August. It was impressive to see the size of some of the brown trout that survived last seasons drought and it is good to see that many fish stocked earlier this spring are still alive and well in much of the Saco. We are happy to see the wild rainbows in the andro doing well as always with some very big fish seen by our anglers this season. All in all it is shaping up to be an exceptional fall to fish in the White Mountains of NH. We still have dates available for this September and October but they are going fast so be sure to book soon!

 

 

Mid Summer Report

We have had a record setting season thus far. The Saco river has been fishing very well as of late as have our smaller streams. The Andro has been okay with the best fishing early in the day. Look for the Andro to improve as waters cool heading towards September.

Saco:

The Saco has fished very well as of late. Early morning through about mid afternoon has offered consistent dry fly fishing. Early in the day BWO's and swung nymphs have done the trick. As the sun comes up it seems the dry fly bite actually improves as ants, beetles and hoppers are on the move and offer irresistible protein for Saco trout. Evenings offer a good bite on stoneflies and ants right at dark but this window can be small on hot days.

Hailey Lewis with her first Saco Brown trout

Hailey Lewis with her first Saco Brown trout

Ryan Mahan with a dry fly eating Rainbow

Ryan Mahan with a dry fly eating Rainbow

Andro:

We floated the andro almost every day last week. Results were mixed depending on conditions. Cloudy cool weather gave us some dry fly opportunities and nymphing was deadly early in the day. Bright sun and heat made for some slow hours later in the day. We are trying to stay off the Andro until temps drop over the next week or so. We feel the Saco is colder and we would rather not stress out the Andro fish that we know will be more than willing to bite once waters cool. This cooling process usually begins by mid-August and the Andro should be fishing well again by at least early September. Since the start of my beginning this report we hit the andro again on Tuesday August 8th. We had a good Isonychia hatch with fish taking both nymphs and dries. We landed fish to 13" and lost two over 15 inches with one in the high teens to low 20's. Fall is right around the corner!

A fine Andro bow that came on an Isonychia nymph.

A fine Andro bow that came on an Isonychia nymph.

Ellis:

The Ellis has been slow in the lower reaches with most stocked fish concentrated in the deeper pools. The upper river and even the upper fly only sections are actually seeing some decent wild brook trout enter the system. This may be due in part to the states reduction in stocking this stretch. We hope to see more wild brook trout over time but we hope the state will move to improve the regulations if they decide to eliminate stocking.

Small Streams:

Our smaller streams are fishing well right now. We have seen good numbers of both wild brook trout and wild rainbows on different streams. Fish have been taken on a variety of patterns depending on weather and time of day. Black Flying ants in a size 14 worked for me yesterday. Red and green hippie stompers, stoneflies, and yellow sallies have all taken fish on top. Prince and stonefly nymphs have been go to droppers and a small baby brook trout streamer has worked well to coax bigger wild brook trout.

Double on the dry!

Double on the dry!

If you are looking to book with us for this coming September and October please contact us ASAP as dates are going fast. We are looking forward to a productive August and fall!

Also if you are looking to book a trip for Arkansas this spring we will be planning to guide on the White and Norfork Rivers from March 5th Through March 30th. See our reports from last March to get an idea what happens down south!

Tight Lines,

Nate

July report

It has been way too long since we've posted a report. We have been busy on the water keeping our clients on fish. Funny to say the fishing on the Saco and Ellis rivers is much better right now than it was in mid-June. The Androscoggin also continues to fish very well.

Saco:

The Saco has truly turned on over the past few weeks. We had some very successful floats in late June and Early July with a lot of surface activity and some ridiculous streamer bites. Right now the terrestrial season is underway. We had a great trip with our Client Tory Cardinal on Wednesday morning fishing a red hippie stomper. Tory landed three solid browns and a rainbow and missed a few more good fish. The Saco should continue to fish well through July with ants and beetles becoming even more important. Slower pools will get an early morning black caddis hatch as well. Please be sure to release your fish and handle lightly. Our rivers could use some better regulations but we are happy that most anglers choose to catch and release.

Ate the Hippie Stomper

Ate the Hippie Stomper

Ate Big!

Ate Big!

Terrestrial eater.

Terrestrial eater.

One of many doubles we saw over the past few weeks. Fish ate gray drake emergers.

One of many doubles we saw over the past few weeks. Fish ate gray drake emergers.

Ellis and smaller streams:

The smaller streams are fishing very well right now. I've done well with the red hippie stomper and other mid sized attractor patterns. If you aren't getting surface bites don't be afraid to drop a nymph off the back. We have had some higher flows on small streams as of late. In this case fish streamers like baby brook trout, muddler minnows, herron flies, and zoo cougars.

Androscoggin River:

I was on the Andro yesterday and was happy to see fish rising throughout the float. With cooler temps the black caddis hatch was on fire. This is a tricky hatch to fish as the dark flies hatch in dark water on dark days. If you can't get fish on top fish subsurface with a light colored nymph in orange or yellow size 18-20. Along with black caddis there was also a good Isonychia hatch and BWO hatch yesterday. In this case I typically fish the bigger Isonychia. An adams dry or purple haze works well to imitate this bug. I will also fish a size 12 PT nymph as a dropper to up my chances. This fishing will continue as long as the cooler temps and clouds are around. On the warmer days, switch to bigger and smaller bugs. Midges, or stoneflies, and dragonfly nymphs work well. We have hooked many big fish on dragonfly nymphs this season.

Netting an Androscoggin River brook Trout.

Netting an Androscoggin River brook Trout.

Wild bow taken on a dragonfly nymph.

Wild bow taken on a dragonfly nymph.

Right now we are booking dates for late July and August as well as September and October. Late July and August are filling fast so please let us know asap if you want to enjoy some of this excellent summer fishing. We'll try to keep you posted more often for the rest of the season. If you haven't heard from us in a while it is probably because we are very busy getting our clients into fish!

Tight Lines,

Nate

 

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