June is without a doubt the most productive time of year for fishing the Granite State. Water temperatures have not reached summertime levels yet, and some cool nights can keep the fish active during the day. Insect hatches are progressing well, which are of great interest to the fish. With a week left in the mandatory catch-and-release season for bass (May 15-June 15), now is a good time for hot surface action using popping flies or surface plugs. Trout stocking appears to be winding down in Southern New Hampshire, but is still going strong in the North Country. As always, check the stocking report to see where we’ve stocked trout the previous week. Don’t forget to send me your reports by dropping me a line at email@example.com. Thanks to those of you who sent me something. Next report goes out on or around June 22.
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In the North Country, it’s a good time to get out on a favorite trout stream or pond. Water temperatures have warmed to the point that insect hatches are really getting going. Fish and Game Biologist Andy Schafermeyer recommends fishing at several ponds in the Nash Stream State Forest. These include Little Bog Pond, Whitcomb Pond, and Lower Trio Pond. The road to access these ponds is now open. Little Bog, which is stocked with yearling fish, can be reached by conventional vehicle. Whitcomb and Lower Trio, helicopter-stocked with fingerling brookies, are only accessible over a rough 4-wheel drive road. Check out Nash Stream while you’re there and wander up some of the tributaries for some wild brook trout action.
Steve at North Country Angler in North Conway reports that the Saco River fly fishing-only section has begun to see hatches of Gray Drakes and Mirus mayflies, which brings the fish to the surface at nightfall. Ponds continue to fish well with sinking lines and streamers as the fish move to cooler waters. Stocking trucks have been rolling through the Mount Washington Valley, so fishing conditions have been changing daily. Many nice rainbow trout have been reported from Chocorua Lake and Silver Lake (Madison) taking dry flies in the evening. Watching rise patterns and casting ahead of the next rise with a mayfly imitation will lead to success.
In the Central Region, it’s a good time of the year to visit a remote hike-in trout pond, as water temperatures should have warmed enough now to stimulate feeding activity. These ponds are stocked annually with brook trout fingerlings by helicopter, and the fish are virtually wild and very colorful. Some suggested ponds in the region include Wachipauka Pond (Warren), Sawyer Pond (Livermore), Flat Mountain Pond (Waterville Valley), and Cole Pond (Enfield). Packing in a “float tube” is the best way to fish these ponds, and using flies or small spinners and spoons are the ticket to success. Salmon on the big lakes are moving around and can be found virtually anywhere depending on the time of day between their spring haunts and summertime depths. Recently, I received a report that bass anglers were doing well on Squam using popping flies, swimbaits, and Senkos. Fishing the “rock piles” were accounting for many of the fish. Pine River Pond (Ossipee) and Balch Pond (Wakefield) were also producing some largemouth and crappies that were hitting well using Texas-rigged worms or swimbaits.
In the Upper Valley Region, the warm water ponds are really becoming active. Anglers report bass being caught at Perkins Pond in Sunapee, Lake Massacecum in Bradford, and Russell Pond in Sutton. Clouser Minnow flies and soft baits are working well. Crystal Lake in Enfield is producing sizable rainbow trout. Anglers trolling flies on the lake have not been disappointed when using red and white bucktail flies with a silver body. Sugar River fishing has also been strong and anglers have reported taking fish mostly on caddis nymph patterns, but also several anglers said they had hook ups on dry flies, both caddis and mayfly patterns. See which flies are hatching on the stream and select one that matches it from your fly box and you might become a lucky angler who’s caught a large fish. Lake Sunapee is still producing salmon on Grey Ghosts and on the Purple Smelt Pattern.
In Southwestern New Hampshire, Randy at Morse’s Sporting Goods in Hillsborough reports that trout fishing has been hot on Beards Brook with some very nice-sized rainbows being caught by fly anglers using elk hair caddis. Water levels are good and with the recent rainfall bugs are hatching along both the Contoocook River and Beards Brook. Fly fishing action should heat up!
Local bass anglers are catching both large and smallmouth bass on soft plastic baits. Water temperatures are warming up quickly so the bass will start getting more active in area ponds. Franklin Pierce Lake and Hopkinton Lake (a.k.a., Elm Brook Pool or Hopkinton-Everett Flood Control Area) are worth fishing, both with good boat access.
In Southeastern NH/Merrimack Valley, I received a report that the Isinglass River was giving up some 8-12 inch brookies to a fly angler fishing an elk hair caddis pattern. Some mayfly hatches have also been observed. Stream flows in the region are below normal for this time of year so access to the deeper sections is a little easier now. Also check out the Cocheco River below Watson Dam in Dover, or the Lamprey River below Wiswall dam in Durham for trout. View the Hatch Chart for Eastern Trout-stream Insects, a general guide to Eastern U.S. fly hatches at: howtoflyfish.orvis.com/choosing-equipment/equipment-articles/471-eastern-hatch-chart.
Warmwater fishing opportunities abound in the region and good reports of bass and panfish are coming in. Bellamy Reservoir and Pawtuckaway Lake are always good choices for largemouth bass and crappies. For some trophy bluegills, try fishing Brindle Pond up in Barnstead. Bluegills and other panfish are easy to catch, and a batch of fillets makes a nice meal at the end of the day. They are also a good way to introduce a youngster to the sport. A worm and bobber rig is all that is needed. For some real fun, try your hand at fly casting with panfish surface poppers. The fish aren’t finicky like trout can be, and it’s a good way to get into the sport of flyfishing.
On the Seacoast, Marine Biologist Becky Heuss reports the striped bass are trickling in and the fishing should improve as the weather and water temperatures warm. The Hampton Harbor Tackle shop reported a 28″ keeper taken from the beach last weekend. Someone also caught a tautog from shore down by the Hampton/Seabrook Bridge.
Fly fishers are doing all right further up in the rivers. An excellent spot for fly fishing for schoolies is the Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion site in Portsmouth, where you can also launch a kayak to fish the back channel. Tinker mackerel are being caught off-shore and there is some word that the mackerel have moved in-shore to some extent as well.
Good places to fish for those are the Great Island Common in New Castle and the Portsmouth/New Castle bridge on Route 1B. These are also prime shore spots for striper fishing. People are still doing well with haddock, but not quite as well as they were in early spring. Flounder are being caught in Rye Harbor, with less success in Hampton Harbor, but Hampton was hot last year, so it may be worth the effort of poking around the lower reaches of the inlets (Hampton River/ Blackwater River).
Don’t miss Becky’s article in the July/August issue of NH Wildlife Journal magazine, where she writes about the Atlantic mackerel, which offers exciting action for coastal anglers. Subscribe at nhfishandgame.myshopify.com before June 20 to receive July’s issue.
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