Well it has been some time since we've written a fishing report. Honestly it has been hard to find time with the amount of guiding we've been doing. We've put over 50 trips on the books over the past 30 days. In that time we've seen some great fishing. In fact this year has been the year for big fish. With more fish over 18" than we've seen in the past and our biggest client caught fish to date. Our regular client Charlie Houghton landed this behemoth 28" rainbow trout on an Alder fly on June 17th.
A fish like this would be amazing to catch on any fly and Charlie was able to get her on a dry fly. While fish like these don't usually eat small bugs and even more rarely take dry flies a prime hatch can bring them up. Prior to this trip the Alderflies had not arrived. However I'd been finding big fish eating alder fly nymphs a few days prior and with a warm front coming through I predicted that the 17th would be the day. Armed with a variety of Alder patterns we headed north. As we launched the boat the trees were coated in Alder flies. During the first half of the day the rises were sporadic and we honestly only landed one 16 inch salmon. Then after lunch the wind picked up and the fish zoned in. In two hours we landed a dozen fish from 14-20" With his arm getting sore from fighting so many large trout Charlie said we should probably head out. But there was one more pool I wanted to explore before rowing to the take out. As we dropped downstream I slid the anchor out and watched for rises in the slack water of an eddy. I saw some splashy rises...and then I saw the head....then dorsal...then tail of this fish. Not only was she feeding on top, she was gorging. Making rises every few seconds. Charlie made a good cast and I swore I saw the fish eat his fly, but when he struck there was nothing there. Fearing he might have missed the fish I told him to cast again. This time I got a good bead on the fly and watched the fish swallow it. Charlie got a solid downstream hookset and the fish rumbled to life, shooting first upstream then moving downstream and burrowing deep. We managed to pull her up and then she shot around the boat looping the line around the stern. I dove into the back, flicking the line off and Charlie expertly side pressured the fish under the boat and back into the eddy. For what seemed an eternity we worked to pry the fish off the bottom, every time I went to stab with the net she would dive and I would pull away. Finally I got the net under her...but my fish-pond nomad could barely hold her girth and she nearly flopped out. We agreed I'd hold the fish and Charlie would shoot. Hoping we could get a couple of good shots without dropping or hurting the fish. We are happy to say she swam away to be caught another day.
Along with this fish we have seen many other large trout caught on dries, nymphs and streamers. Here are a few.
Along with these big fish we've caught good numbers of trout as well. Of course there have been some slower moments but the key to fishing out of the boat is to stay positive and know that if the fish aren't biting in the moment...they will at some point. I can't tell you how important timing is...especially when chasing these bigger fish. Large trout don't feed all the time but if you are patient and focused you will be ready for when they are.
So June was one for the record books and July is looking good as well. With a cold front hitting us today water temps should drop and fish should become even more active. On the hotter days we've been impressed to see trout rising to dragon fly and damselfly dries and nymphs. A large Chernobyl ant works well to trick fish on the dries and buggers swung and stripped work for the nymphs. With this cold front look to see more mayfly activity with Isonychia and bwo's both a possibility. On the Saco fish will be on the streamer bite if and when we get a bump in flows. Bob's better baitfish, zoo cougars and Drunk and Disorderlies will all take fish. At lower flows we are now into terrestrial season on the Saco, ants, beetles, hoppers, crainflies etc, will all be important from now through early September. If you are looking to experience more of fly fishing in the white mountains we have dates available from now through November. Do be sure to book soon as we are getting calls daily.