Much has changed since my last report. Daytime temps have fluctuated between sixty and eighty degrees and the bugs and fish have been responding. Earlier this month I got out on some landlocked salmon water and was able to land a few fish on midges, both dries and nymphs. The most memorable fish was a fourteen inch salmon that slurped a size 20 midge from the surface right after I gave it some quick twitches. Good friend Milan Krainchich and I then sight fished to holding fish using micro nymphs. We were able to land a few more nice fish to 18". The day after that we shifted our focus to exploration. We had some water that we thought would fish well from the boat in early spring with big streamers, in fact we had planned this day months in advanced. The plan was to fish only big streamers. We wanted to focus on large holdover/ wild browns that we hoped would be on the prowl after a long winter.
The first few miles of fishing was slow but then we pulled up to a deep pool. I had Milan stop the boat well before we reached the pool and cast my streamer down and across, letting it swing in the current. As I turned to give Milan a lecture on how we should proceed to fish the pool my rod was nearly pulled from my hands. My seven weight bent into a C, I palmed the reel as the fish burned line. When he flashed I could have sworn it was a rainbow but upon closer inspection it was a silvery brown. The fish taped at just over 21 " and was as silver bright as a fresh salmon. As is customary Milan and I decided to switch positions in the boat. On his second cast Milan had a fish slam his fly, but missed it. Moments later another hit came, this one stayed on. It was even bigger than the first fish. This second brown of the day measured just shy of 24" and had the girth of a glutton.
As I'd fished the first few miles, I let Milan continue to fish as I rowed. I said if he got a second fish it would be my turn again. Moments later he was tight. This fish was smaller than the others, around 13", but also surprisingly clean looking.
Through the rest of the day we had a few more missed fish but no more to the boat. Of course we were already content with the day.
Over the past few weeks I've been guiding on wild brook trout streams and lake tributaries for holdover rainbows and salmon. The lake tributaries are slowing down now. Before they did we caught some large rainbows and lost many more salmon and rainbows on emerging Caddis and small streamers. The wild brook trout fishing has been phenomenal with many fish taken on mayfly dries and emergers. Last weekend a size 10 herron fly was the ticket to take a few larger 10-12 inch wild brook trout that nearly broke us off by charging into the brush. These are some of my favorite fish to guide over as they are both native and wild.
Yesterday I floated the Saco with some good friends. The water was low in the upper stretch that we floated, and we had to drag the boat through the shallows, but we managed some nice rainbows on streamers. The grey drakes were beginning to pop sporadically, and I think that our spinner falls will come at least a week early this year. It is clear that the fishing on the Saco, Ellis and Andro is just about to explode.
In other news, on June first I will be filming with Cindy Cupp-Jones of WMUR for an episode of NH Chronicle. We will be floating the Andro looking to capture some leaping rainbows on film. I'll be sure to let you all know of the air date. Wish us luck!