Memorial Day weekend is the real start to fishing in the Mount Washington Valley. The weather is warm and consistent. Rivers are reaching the magic 54-degree temperature. Ponds are having consistent hatches. Bass are hitting the spawning beds. Pickerel are in constant search of their next meal.

There are so many choices for fishing here in the Mount Washington Valley that it is hard to choose which direction to go. In light of the spring we just had, with quarantine and staying safe, getting outdoors to wet a line and catch a fish is at the forefront of the angler’s mind.

The tug is the drug.

For trout fishermen, ponds got started at the end of April, fishing was with streamers and wet flies on sinking lines. But the fly angler lives and breathes for dry fly fishing. The visual sensory of a trout taking your fly off the water surface and then the tug of the line are the fly fisher’s nirvana.

Switching to top water fishing after a month of dredging the waters depths and following the local bug hatches bring smiles to the faces of the fly angler.

Spin-casting trout anglers have a variety of lures to pursue trout. The spin angler with an assortment of Rooster Tails, Al’s Goldfish, and Kastmaster lures will bring trout to hand.

Fishing them deep in the pocket water of streams or quick retrieving these lures just under the surface of ponds will bring hard strikes from trout and any other species that may be in the water.

For bass anglers, warming waters are leading to the bass getting ready to spawn. This brings very large bass into the shallows. We have seen bass in excess of 5 pounds caught in area lakes. Please remember that any bass caught at this time must be immediately released. This rule is in effect until June 15.

Other species will also be active at these times. Water conditions are only going to get more summer like and fish of all species will go into their summer slumber. Yellow perch, sunfish, catfish, crappie, white perch. The list is endless.

Regardless of the species that you pursue, get out and do it now.

Waterbodies to fish are varied. For the stream angler, the Saco River and the Ellis River top the list. The Saco River is 41 miles long. Other than the two and a half miles in North Conway that is fly fishing Only, this river is open to all anglers.

The Ellis River, the largest tributary to the Saco River, is over 20 miles of angling joy. The Ellis has a two mile stretch that is fly fishing only, from Jackson to Glen, but the remainder of the river is open to all anglers.

There are endless miles of small streams to fish here in the Mount Washington Valley. Each of these waters are precious. Get out and explore them. They hold many surprises.

Ponds to fish include Hatch, Long, Purity, Falls, Church, Ledge, Pequawket, Pea Porridge, Connor and Kiah.

Lakes to fish include Conway, Silver, White, Chocorua, Iona and Saco.

These waters will provide for a day of fishing enjoyment. If one is too crowded, choose another. There is plenty of space to social distance, get some sunshine, stick your feet in the water, and catch a fish.

There are so many choices, it could just drive you mad.

Tip of the Week

Black flies are now hatching and can be an irritant. White Mountain Insect Repellant is a great DEET free alternative to keep biting insects away. Check your local fishing shops and hardware stores for the product.

Steve Angers, a native of the Conway area, has been consumed by fishing since catching his first wild brook trout at the base of Champney Falls.

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