June is a great time to get out and fish, and Granite State anglers will find ample opportunities for trout, salmon, bass, and panfish. Insect hatches will really get going now that warmer weather is on the horizon. Trout anglers will have an extended season, especially in the southern part of the state, as stream and pond temperatures have remained cooler than normal. 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. Our next report goes out on or around June 21.
In Southeastern New Hampshire and the Merrimack Valley the cool weather is extending the trout stream fishing action. I helped stock a river in the Barnstead area last week and the water temperature was in the mid to upper 50s. Trout are most active and feeding when temperatures are in the 55-65 degree range. I got a good report from Webster Lake in Franklin where a few 14-16 inch rainbows were being caught on spoons and spinner baits. Most of the trout-stocked lakes have likely received their yearly complement of fish for the year in the region so it’s a good time to get out before it warms up.
Bass anglers are doing well on the many warm water lakes as the best nesting season progresses. Got a report of some nice fish being taken at Dubes Pond in Hooksett. Anglers may also want to give Brindle Pond in Barnstead a shot for trophy-sized largemouth bass and panfish.
On the Seacoast, Marine Biologist Becky Heuss mentioned some mackerel anglers were taking a few fish but the bite wasn’t too heavy yet. Flounder were being taken in Rye and Hampton Harbors near the stream inlets. Many “schoolie” stripers are in Great Bay and the river herring runs are still ongoing in the coastal rivers. Cool temperatures have slowed the season’s progression a little but a warm-up should bring better action.
In Southwestern New Hampshire, Randy at Morse Sporting Goods in Hillsboro reports the Contoocook River is finally waking up and anglers are reporting some steady action with both spinning and fly gear for trout; the trophy section being the hotspot. Small Blue Fox, gold, or copper spinners are the ticket for spin anglers, and Elk Hair Caddis seems to be the fly of choice right now. Power bait is also very effective in the areas of the river where bait is allowed. Area anglers are reporting some good spring crappie fishing as well on Half Moon Pond in Washington and Highland Lake in Washington and Stoddard. Small tube jigs like the Berkley Atomic jigs work well in both of these waterbodies for crappie.
In the Central and Lakes Regions, anglers fishing for landlocked salmon and lake trout should be prepared to fish varying depths this time of year. They may be near the surface in the morning feeding on midges and then head deeper as the day progresses. Fishing lead core lines 2 to 5 colors down will usually pick up some fish. This is a good time to check out some of the remote, hike-in ponds in the region for some good brook trout action. These ponds are stocked annually in mid-June with fingerling brook trout. Remote ponds in the region to explore include Lower Hall Pond and Guinea Pond in Sandwich, Wachipauka Pond in Warren, and Flat Mountain Pond in Livermore. The best way to fish these ponds is with a float tube and flies or small spinners. The stocking is scheduled for June 12 this year so give the chopper a “wave” if you happen to be on one of the remote ponds that day.
In the North Country, Fisheries Biologist Andy Schafermeyer reports that fishing in the upper third of the state is slowly picking up. Water temperatures everywhere are taking their sweet time rising above 50 degrees and the fish are starting to get anxious to eat. Small brooks are still the best destinations right now because the chilling effects of cool rain subside faster in smaller waterbodies than they do in the larger, flowing rivers. Lakes and ponds are also off to a slow start, but recent reports have been promising. Trout ponds have been open to fishing for over a month and are still fishing well. In some years, the action slows down in June, but not this year. Bass fishing has also started to produce and Andy had a great day catching smallmouth on Moore Reservoir last week. He was also told about monster largemouth biting at South Pond in Stark. Steve at North Country Anglers in North Conway reports area ponds are continuing to fish well in the Mount Washington Valley. Soft hackle wet flies and trout parr flies have been especially effective. He recommends a late-day fishing excursion to Saco Lake in Crawford Notch, one of our “fly fishing only” ponds. For spin anglers, Thorne Pond in Bartlett has yielded some nice catches of trout on Rooster Tails and Kastmasters. Rivers have begun to warm up and hatches are just around the corner. Anglers are anticipating the gray drake hatch (Siphlonurus mirus), the first big mayfly hatch on the Saco River.
In the Upper Valley area, Scott Biron reports that rivers and streams are now at more fishable levels. Anglers have reported success on the larger rivers such as the Connecticut and the Mascoma. On the Connecticut River, the word has been that the entire stretch of water in the Upper Valley was fishing well. The Mascoma River was generating equal success with anglers catching trout along the access sites in the Enfield area. The Sugar River has begun to produce as well.
On rivers and streams both caddisfly and mayfly hatches are starting. Don’t be afraid to swing a streamer, hungry trout will be happy to get a big meal if you offer it. Trout ponds continue to produce. Hopkins Pond in Andover was fishing very well for both brook and rainbow trout, with fly and bait anglers both having success. Other upper valley ponds to try would include Simmons Pond in Sutton, and Cole Pond in Enfield and Chapin Pond in Newport, both of which are fly-fish only ponds.
The warm water ponds are picking up too. Anglers are reporting small pickerel and plenty of panfish in Lake Massacecum, where Clouser minnows and soft baits are working well. Scott said he fly fished several evenings on the lake with a chartreuse Clouser and was catching 12″ pickerel on almost every cast. McDaniel Marsh WMA and Perkins Pond both were both yielding good results for bait anglers.
Anglers continue to catch salmon on both Lake Sunapee and Pleasant Lake. The water has remained cold longer this year, and although salmon have begun to move from the top of the water column, they are still present in the top third of the water so many anglers have not needed to use downriggers. Look for insect hatches to really get moving as we progress into June.
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