Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fly Fishing for Wild Trout in the White Mountains

BLOG WARNING: This fly fishing journey does not contain any kayak fishing but does involve fast moving waters with rocks and boulders.

Nathan Hill & Marian with a Wild Brook Trout
Every year Marian and I get a great opportunity to spend two weeks in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Marian and her siblings share a cabin near Center Conway on Conway Lake that their father inherited from his Aunt Rose. She was an American landscape architect. Rose Greely was born in Washington, DC. She was the daughter of Adolphus Greely and his wife, Henrietta H.C. Nesmith.   The cabin dates back to 1930ish when she purchased lumber from an old barn. The lumber then was transported across Conway Lake during the winter. The cabin is still as rustic as it was back then with very few improvements. Currently the only heat source of the central fireplace in the great room and air conditioning is also provided by Mother Nature and the open windows.
Saltwater Flies at the North Country Angler
We reserve the last week of August and the first week of September to avoid the worse of the summer heat here in Charleston, SC. Also this time of year the smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and pickerel on Conway Lake start getting hungry to fatten up for the winter. Besides fishing the lake, we take a half day trip fly fishing with Hill Country Guide Service operated by New Hampshire licensed guide Nathan Hill.
According to Nate’s biography he started the fishing at the age of seven in the White Mountain region. He did not start fly fishing till he was eleven years old when he got a fly rod from Santa. During his younger years he worked on his fly fishing skills on the Ellis and Saco Rivers. One summer towards the end of his college years he landed an internship with the Federation of Fly Fishers in Montana.
Wild Rainbow Trout
This internship allowed Nate to fine tune his casting, tying, and fishing skills. Besides these skills the internship allowed him a learning experience on how to instruct others. After the internship he decided to stay in New Hampshire and teach English in the Mount Washing Valley. He also worked on obtaining his guide’s license and spent five summers guiding on the Ellis, Saco and Androscoggin rivers. The past two years Nate has given up his teaching career to go into the guiding business full time. All of Nate’s trips are 100 percent focused on catch and release to provide the thrill of the stalk, the cast, the rise, the hook set,  the battle, and the release.
Peabody River
According the Nate, we will be casting the flying ant fly has the trout are concentrating on this bug that are falling into the mountain streams and rivers. We met at the North Country Angler, “The Biggest Little Fly Shop in New Hampshire” located in North Conway. This is a great little shop. You never know what you will find in the shop.
Marian’s fly fishing setup consist of the Temple Fork Outfitters (TFO) 5 wt 9’ 4 piece Lefty Kreh Professional Series II with a Ross Fly Reel model Flyrise 2 spooled with Scientific Anglers weight forward floating line.  Marian really enjoys fly fishing. She finds fly fishing relaxing and closer to angling then fishing with the spinning rod.
Brook Trout
My setup for freshwater fly fishing in New Hampshire is a 6 wt 9’ 4 piece TFO Lefty Kreh Pro Special with the same Ross Reel as Marian. It is spooled with Scientific Anglers Mastery Series weight forward floating line. Both setups are ideal for fishing for trout in New England. While these setups are ideal for trout and landlocked salmon you might will what to consider a 7 weight for casting heavier flies for bass or maybe even for the larger flies that might over power a 5 or 6 weight rod.
Androscoggin River
Marian and I rode with Nate in his vehicle to head to the first destination of the Peabody River near Gorham, New Hampshire. The Peabody is a tributary of the Androscoggin River. Species we will be targeting will be the wild native brook trout and the wild rainbow trout.  Marian started out at a small pool on the Peabody and managed to catch a nice wild brook trout. For myself I hiked up the river to a different pool. In this pool I managed to catch several wild brookies and a small wild rainbow. After a couple of hours it was time to travel to Gorham and the Androscoggin River for the evening rise.
Smallmouth Bass
The Androscoggin River is significantly bigger than the Peabody River. In my opinion the Peabody is more like a creek in size. We were going to hit the rise just below the dam in Gorham. The Androscoggin offers the angler a grand slam of brook trout, brown trout, rainbows, landlocked salmon, smallmouth bass and fallfish.  The section that we were fishing was posted with a sign identifying this section as catch and release only. While we were fly fishing from the bank of the Androscoggin the trout were rising and teasing us by coming to the surface where our flying ant imitation was not. I managed to hook a couple of fallfish. The fallfish is listed as a game fish and belongs to the chub family.
Marian managed to catch a small smallmouth bass. Then she had something that almost doubled over her rod but lost the mystery fish. Here I will add an uff da for her. As darkness came upon us Nate decided that we needed to start out hike back to his car through the woods.



 
If you are interested in fly fishing the White Mountains in New Hampshire I would encourage you to contact Nathan Hill of Hill Country Guide Service. He offers full and half day trips to the Elllis River, Androscoggin River, and Saco River Trips. He also can offer mountain stream trips if you desire to leave the crowds behind. Also if you would love to pursuit the wild brook trout he will guide you to areas that are unstocked. Besides hiking and wading trips, Nate also provides float trips down the Androscoggin. These float trips are considered an all day trip. If you are interested in a trip with Nate check out his web site at http://www.whitemountainflyfishing.com/ or like his Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hill-Country-Guide-Service/551349434944851.

3 comments:

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  2. Just read your article. Good one. I liked it. Keep going. you are a best writer your site is very useful and informative thanks for sharing! Known as the "kayak fisherman's issue," how would you oar and fish while on a kayak? With just two hands, how would you hold your angling pole bar and move your kayak? best fishing reel.

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  3. Here is the great family fly fishing. Awesome job keep it up.

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