NH FISHING REPORT
For the fly anglers out there, two important insect hatches are occurring now in the Granite State. The “Hex” is a large, cream-and-brown mayfly that emerges from certain ponds and very slow moving rivers.
The name comes from its scientific name, Hexagenia limbata. Trout and bass both utilize this mayfly as a food source. Also, don’t forget about the “alderfly” hatch on the Androscoggin River (see below).
Merrimack River anglers and boaters should be aware of the lowering of the water level in the river above Amoskeag Dam due to construction work. By July 17, the water level will be approximately 6 feet below normal, and will remain at this level until July 28. On July 29, Eversource will begin raising the water level approximately four feet. The water level will then remain two feet below normal until October 13. The boat launch at Lambert Park in Hooksett may not be usable during the maximum drawdown period. Please pass along the word to other anglers.
In the North Country, the famed alderfly hatch on the Androscoggin River is happening now. This insect is actually a type of caddisfly known as the “zebra caddis” due to its coloration. NH Fish and Game Fisheries biologist Andy Schafermeyer was on the river recently, and said the hatch was so thick, he was pulling them out of his teeth on the ride home! It’s possible to achieve the New Hampshire “grand slam” of fishing by catching brook, brown, and rainbow trout, plus landlocked salmon, all on the same day up on the Andro. Try the section near the Seven Islands bridge or the fast water below the Errol Dam. Good fly patterns to use are the Deer Wing Alder, Tabou Caddis Emerger, and the Usual.
In the Lakes Region, lakers and landlocks are heading down, as the thermocline sets up in the big lakes. Got a report of a 12-pound laker taken recently in Lake Winnipesaukee while trolling spoons at the 30-foot depth. Trout anglers will want to head to rivers such as the Pemigewasset, Swift, Saco, Bearcamp, Mad, and Baker, as some of the last hatchery loads of the season are headed out to these streams. Water temperatures are still in the high 50s to low 60s, which should keep the trout active. We also recommend Russell Pond and Mirror Lake in Woodstock, Perch Pond (Campton), and of course Profile Lake and Echo Lake in Franconia Notch. Look for the large Hexagenia mayflies near these ponds.
In the Southwestern New Hampshire, Randy from Morse Sporting Goods in Hillsborough, says fly fisherman report good results using caddis flies on the surface of the Contoocook River. Most of the action has been in the trophy/artificial lure section. Fisherman are reporting fun-sized trout in the 12-14″ range. Also some decent browns are being caught in the slower sections of the river, north and south of the town of Hillsborough, using spinners or night crawlers. Still some great reports from Beards Brook catching rainbows, as well. Bass and white perch fishing has been good on Franklin Pierce Lake. Rubber Senko-style worms are working for largemouth in area ponds, while trolling small worms on a spinner setup is the ticket for white perch. The Elm Brook/Hopkinton Lake area in Hopkinton always gives up some sizable largemouth this time of year. Boat and kayak access is excellent there, with a nice public ramp and good parking. If you go during the week, you could have it mostly to yourself.
On the Seacoast, Hampton Harbor has been the hot spot for stripers lately. Some of our marine biologists have also been seeing basking sharks along the coast during their lobster survey work. The biologists report that lobsters are starting to molt in the rivers, and will soon progress to the coastal population.
- Trout stocking reports: posted in season at www.fishnh.com/fishing/trout-
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NH Fishing Report is brought to you by Scott Decker, program supervisor for NH Fish and Game Department’s Inland Fisheries Division. Send him your local fishing updates and photos at firstname.lastname@example.org.