What can I say? The fishing over the past week has been phenomenal. From big rainbows and browns in the Saco to obese brook trout in the Ellis and explosive wild brook trout on the smaller streams. Over the past seven days I've guided on: the Ellis in four different locations. The Ammo in four different locations. The Saco in countless locations. Multiple mountain streams and wild brook trout waters...And I haven't even been on the Andro due to high water.
As for the fishing we've been getting many big brook trout out of the Ellis fishing muddler minnows, yellow sallies, and dry dropper combos consisting of parachute Adams and pheasant tail nymphs. On the Saco we've done well with big streamers, yellow sallies, gray drakes and even beetles. On the Ammo cdc caddis, X caddis, yellow sallies, muddlers and buggers were the ticket. On the wild brook trout waters beetles and ants did the trick along with CDC caddis.
Last week I floated the Saco with Bill and Janet Thompson, owners of North Country Angler. The streamer bite was on big time and we landed many rainbows, brookies and browns on the big flies. The Saco is proving to be an exceptional river to float from the raft. This fact was reiterated on my guided trip the next day through the same stretch. It was interesting to see the fish attacking from different lies and spots on the river only one day later. The water had dropped nearly a foot and the fish had moved around quite a bit.
Last Friday I guided John Flanders and his son Jake, both were avid saltwater fishermen from Florida but neither had ever fly fished before. Well they both caught multiple brook trout on the fly and I think they will be looking for some saltwater fly gear soon. Friday afternoon I guided Mike Meller who specifically requested "Off Grid" fishing. Mike was interested in finding some wild trout waters off the beaten path so I took him to a few of my favorite wild brook trout streams I always love guiding for these fish as they fight hard for their size and have been here in NH since the last Ice age. Mike fully appreciated this fishing and was impressed that there were fish in every hole on the river. When you have good habitat and wild fish that don't get kept, this is what you find.
I also guided a few wade trips on the Saco. Last nights trip was especially memorable as I had a 20+ inch brown grab a streamer as I demonstrated proper streamer technique. The fish slammed the fly right as it touched water and I yanked it out of the giants mouth in an attempt at getting my client, Mike Lewis into the fish...of course any holdover/ wild brown like that is too smart to be fooled twice in one evening. In retrospect maybe I should have just hooked the fish... Then again hopefully one of my future clients can be on the receiving end of that "postponement."
Luckily Mike made up for the lost fish by landing two football rainbows before the night was over. Today I guided two half day trips and both were very productive. I spent the morning with long time Client Megan Carter and her friends Sam and Rachel. All caught many brook trout and Sam and Rachel were quick learners to say the least.
This afternoon I guided brothers Matt and Jon Baran. These guys were Striper fishermen but had never thrown streamers to trout. I think both will be purchasing sink tip lines in the near future. They both landed big browns and Matt also got a large rainbow.
So what's in the future? The Alders have just started on the Andro and should be the ticket over the next week from Pontook dam to Errol. On the lower river look for more golden stones, black caddis, and smattering of other mayflies and grey caddis. With the high water on the andro look for slow side eddies where fish will be pushed to the edges Floating the andro will not be productive until flows drop but when they do we can expect solid fishing well into July! On the Saco the rains will keep the streamer bite on with gray drake mayflies and yellow sallies making an appearance when we get warmer days. The Ellis should continue to fish well with muddlers, buggers, cahills, yellow sallies as well as beetles and ants as we come into true summer.
All in all it is shaping up to be one heck of a season. If you didn't get a chance to book this June be sure to book for July as the fishing is promising to be fine!