Published Date Written by Bill ThompsonThis taking a day off thing has turned out to be very rewarding. Last Monday, I gave Janet a list of three trout ponds and told her to pick one. She chose Upper Hall Pond, up in Sandwich Notch. Neither one of us had fished up there in years.
I loaded our pontoon boats, the Rachel and the Pequod, into the back of my truck and headed up to the notch. The Sandwich Notch Road can be intimidating, as it is a steep climb over a narrow dirt tract. The road is closed during the winter and we were worried, that after last fall's hurricane, that it might be worse than normal. As it turned out the Forest Service had made some repairs and it was much better than I had anticipated.
We arrived at the put in place and were delighted to find that we had the place to ourselves. I unloaded the boats under the watchful eye of a lone loon. I asked him how the fishing was, but he chose to keep the answer a guarded secret. Can't say I blame him. All fishermen can be closed mouthed at times.
It was a little breezy and the only draw back to the day was that I had forgotten to bring the anchors. At times it took some to hold the boats in position in order to cast. I started fishing near the boat launch, where I had caught trout before, but this day they were not at home. I set out on a tour of the lake trolling as I went. After circumnavigating the lake, without as much as a touch, I looked up to see Janet hooked up. I rowed my way over to her and just as soon as I came near a trout whacked my Black Ghost. Needless to say she had found the trout.
Along the southern shore of the pond the trout were rising. I asked Janet what she was using and she told me that she had on a Stimulator. A Stimulator is a large attractor fly that resembles a stonefly or a large caddis. Now outside of a few black midges there was nothing in the way of insect life anywhere to be seen. For whatever reason these trout found the "Stemi" irresistible and had no trouble what so ever in eating them.
I tied on a Partridge and Orange soft hackle and started catching; one right after the other. The interesting thing was that they were taking flies off the surface. I searched through my boxes, but could not find one dry fly in the lot. At last I found one large Klinkhammer in the zippered compartment of the boat, left over from last year. I tied it on, but had little confidence that it would work. Much to my surprise, I couldn't put the thing on the water without getting a hit. The feeding frenzy went on until about 4 p.m. when it suddenly ended.
With the lull in the action we took a moment to enjoy our surroundings. Upper Hall Pond is one of New Hampshire's prettiest trout ponds and its remoteness only adds to its charm. The road in can be daunting, but just about any car or truck with some ground clearance will have no problem. I once followed a guy in a large Cadillac going up. The poor fellow finally pulled over after losing one of his mufflers. Be sure to add Upper Hall to your must fish list.
See you on the river.
Bill and Janet Thompson own North Country Angler in North Conway.