We have had quite a start to the NH spring season here in the White Mountains. With a heavy snowpack and frequent rains we spent much of May hunting big brown trout on the Saco river. It was the first time in the past few years that we have had consistently high enough water to allow us to float the river every day. This time on the water gave us a deeper understanding of how these mythical fish behave from day to day. We are looking forward to studying these fish even more as we should have high flows through much of June.
Brian Boyle with a fine specimine...his biggest brown trout to date!
When not chasing big brown trout we have been doing well fishing our trout ponds and wild brook trout waters. On colder days baby brook trout patterns and herron flies have taken a good number of fish while red quill emergers and midge patterns have done the trick on warmer days.
Last week we were finally able to get on the Androscoggin river. While flows have been high they dropped enough on Monday May 22nd to allow us to float a few different sections last week. We did well on most days fishing pheasant tail nymphs, grey baitfish patterns, as well as bright worm and egg patterns. We were happy to see a good number of healthy wild rainbows in the lower river as well as brookies, salmon, and holdover/ wild rainbows in the upper river. Since Friday flows have jumped back up to 4,000 cfs in Errol. While this is a bit high, fishing should be productive in slower waters where fish will concentrate to avoid the heavy flow.
So what is to come? With a cool spring fishing on our bigger rivers should hold strong through at least mid-July. While cold days may put hatches a bit off of their usual schedule expect mayfly, caddis, and yellow sally hatches on any days that reach above 70 degrees. The Androscoggin river may be hit or miss if flows rise higher but if flows stabilize or drop we should be in for some exceptional fishing. The Saco looks to fish well once water temps rise a bit more. Right now the big brown trout are still a good target if you are willing to put in long hours to land a trophy. Fish drop offs and boulder fields with mid to large streamers on a full sink or sink tip line to give yourself the beset shot at one of these beasts. With cold temps the ponds will continue to fish well through at least mid-June. We have a good shot at seeing big trout rise to some of our better pond mayfly and caddis hatches this year as surface temps will be friendly to rising fish even on our bigger lakes. Smaller streams like the Ellis will be the slowest to turn on this year as snowmelt and high flows will keep fish metabolisms lower. These streams should fish very well late June through July. We are still booking a few dates in June with Tom, Steve and Mason. Our July schedule has more openings available and should be on your radar if you are looking for some good summer dry fly fishing! Please give us a call asap to book as we are getting many inquiries daily.