Stream flows throughout the state are extremely low on most of the medium to smaller rivers and streams which allows easier angler access to some of the deeper pools. Insect hatches are producing dry fly fishing opportunities for fly anglers. It’s also a good time to venture into the mountains and fish the back-country streams and ponds. The calendar says its summer and it won’t be long before the “dog days” are here, so get out and enjoy the fishing now. Most stocking has been completed in southern New Hampshire, but the North Country is still getting some fish. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks to those of you who sent me something. Next report goes out on or around July 6.
In the North Country, Fish and Game Fisheries Biologist Andy Schafermeyer says anglers should be getting ready to fish the Androscoggin River “alderfly” hatch. He’s heard that a few of these caddisflies are starting to show. Soon, great clouds of these bugs will be dancing on the river enticing trout and anglers alike. He also mentioned that the “hex hatch” – a large, cream-colored mayfly known as the Giant Mayfly (Hexagenia limbata) – should also be happening very soon on area ponds. Andy suggests fishing Munn Pond, Little Greenough Pond, and Mirror Lake during this hatch. A report from Tall Timber Lodge in Pittsburg says the hex hatch has started on Back Lake. Several rainbows in the 15-16” range were being taken as well as a bigger brown trout on fly imitations of the insect. Bass were hitting the flies, too. Recommended fly patterns include the Hex Usual, Foam Hex, and even a Wooduck Heron fly. Warm, humid days and evenings are usually better for this fly hatch versus cool cloudy days.
In the Central Region, the remote trout ponds were stocked this past week by helicopter, providing some future catchable-size fish for anglers. As mentioned in the last report, it’s a good time of year to hike-in to these remote ponds for both the scenery and the fishing. Try exploring the “thin blue lines” using a topo map and you might encounter a secret beaver pond on one of the mountain streams in the area. Fishing the “big lakes” for salmon and trout is producing some nice fish. Thermoclines are starting to set up for the summer, and the fish are starting to head deeper. It’s possible though, due to some recent cool nights, to find fish near the surface in the early mornings feeding on aquatic insects.
In the Upper Valley Region, almost all of the warm water ponds are producing fish. The smallmouth bass have slowed a bit, and anglers need to work hard to catch them in lakes and ponds. The largemouth bass have been active, and anglers report catching them on top water bait.
Water is low in the streams and rivers, and you need to find deeper pools and go low to catch trout. Trout were rising early in the morning for surface dry flies at Wendell Marsh Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The water was not deep but it was cold. The Chester and Lebanon WMAs are fishing well on the Connecticut River. The trout ponds are still active with fish moving and feeding at all times of the day. Anglers should be ready for an evening Hexagenia mayfly hatch any day now.
In Southwestern New Hampshire, Fish and Game Regional Fisheries Biologist Jason Carrier has been sampling some coldwater streams lately and finding wild brook trout in several tributaries to the Connecticut River. He recommended Otter Brook and Nubanusit Brook for stream fishing. The stocked trout are there and don’t survive too well through the heat of summer, so it’s best to harvest a few now before it warms up. Jason is also planning to evaluate several lakes that have a winter “slot limit” regulation for bass. The lakes include Clement Pond (Hopkinton), Grassy Pond (Rindge), Gregg Lake (Antrim), and Warren Lake (Alstead). The regulations were put in place back in 2010 and are designed to increase the numbers of bass between 15-20 inches. Volunteer anglers are needed to assist with the study, so if you can help out, give Jason a call at the Keene Fish and Game office at (603) 352-9669.
Randy over at Morse Sporting Goods in Hillsborough reports that with the dry, warm weather, the local trout fishing has slowed down a bit. Bass fishing however is heating up. Franklin Pierce Lake in Hillsborough has been good. Suggested plastic baits that have been working are 5″ Senko worms in baby bass color, 7″ Powerworms in cherryseed color, and Zoom Brush Hogs in black grape. Try working these baits on weed edges and along sunken logs.
In Southeastern New Hampshire/Merrimack Valley, John at Wildlife Sport Outfitters in Manchester says the bass fishing, especially at night, is phenomenal right now. He has received a number of reports of 4+ pound smallies being taken and even a 9+ pound largemouth from area bass lakes. Lures such as the Whopper Plopper, Spro Rat, and Jitterbugs have been accounting for many fish. Top bassing spots in the region include Pawtuckaway Lake, Massabesic Lake, Northwood Lake, and Bellamy Reservoir. Stream fishing for trout is pretty challenging right now as flows are much below normal. He recommends trolling deep for trout in some of the stocked lakes and ponds. Fishing for carp in the Merrimack can be a good option this time of year. Concentrate on sandy areas and pre-bait with corn, then try using a “hair-rig” to catch them (google “hair rig for carp”). Carp can be found from the Massachusetts border up through the Concord area where you might find fish over 30 pounds.
On the Seacoast, marine biologist Becky Heuss reports she has heard of some big stripers being taken outside of the harbors. Mackerel fishing has been hit-or-miss lately. She also said biologists have been seeing good numbers of Atlantic herring showing up in seine surveys conducted within Great Bay.
- Trout stocking reports: posted in season at www.fishnh.com/fishing/trout-stocking.html.
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