Published Date Written by Bill ThompsonTrying to find a word to describe the fishing this past week without using a cliché is a little bit like looking for the preverbal hen's tooth. The two words that come to mind immediately are: epic and awesome. The fishing has been epic and, yes, awesome too.
The reason for all this is that a number of factors came together all at the same time. First off the rivers have been generously stocked by New Hampshire Fish and Game and, in the case of the Saco, by Saco Valley Anglers as well. Second, despite my worries that the mayfly hatches may be off because of last year's hurricane, the Gray Drakes have been coming off in mass. Last Saturday evening, I experienced a virtual blizzard of Drakes while walking through the woods on my way up to the Corn Field Pool. That night's spinner fall was astronomical resulting in a feeding frenzy for the trout. The weather helped too. Even the damp evening we experienced on Friday resulted in a great fishing night.
Friday evening, I guided a husband and wife team and despite a soggy evening we did exceptionally well. Both, husband and wife were a delight to be with. On Saturday, I guided two brothers and, again, they were lots of fun to fish with. I know a lot of guides and when we are together we sometime swap "guide from hell" stories. I must be lucky because with very few exceptions the people I guide are wonderful.
Sunday night was "guides night off" and Janet and I went fishing. Forgetting that it was a holiday we were shocked when we pulled into one of our favorite pools only to find five cars in the parking lot. We pulled out and went to another location and had the place to ourselves. There are a lot of rivers in our valley and it is not that hard to find a spot where you can be alone. It sometimes amazes me that so many fishermen will crowd one spot when there is just as good fishing down the road. Considering that our second choice is very well know and less than a mile from where we first went, we were very surprised to find it empty. The fishing could not have been better. We both caught and released several beautiful trout.
Monday evening, Janet and I headed north to the Androscoggin River. We closed the shop early thinking that we would grab lunch at Ursula's in Milan. We were both lusting for her famous bratwurst and a piece of her fabulous pie. Unfortunately she was closed. Plan B was to head in to Errol and get a sub at the Errol Country Store. There subs are fresh and made to order. Plan B worked out fine. We ate our lunch at the Errol Dam and watched for rising trout. Summer was with us and enjoyed the chance to run around a little and take a swim. There didn't seem to be a lot of fish working so we gathered up our wet dog and headed back down river. Just before Pontook we saw the one and only moose of the trip.
At Pontook we geared up and fished below the dam for a couple of hours. Like the night before we had a fine evening catching trout on flies. And like the previous evening had the place pretty much to ourselves. We both caught several nice fish before calling it a night and heading home. It was the perfect ending to the long weekend.
See you on the river.
Bill and Janet Thompson own North Country Angler in North Conway.