N.H. Weekly Fishing Report -- June 25, 2009
This week, the rain hasn't kept Fish and Game's resident fishing maniac Mark Beauchesne from getting in some panfishing and bass fishing. The weather forecast looks fantastic for the next few days -- hope you all get a chance to get out and take a buddy fishing!
FISH STOCKING: Fish stocking is wrapping up for the season. Check the stocking page (click here) for last week's stocking sites.
Purchase your fishing license online (click here!) or from any Fish and Game license agent. Kids under 16 fish free in N.H.!
GOT TEENS? Thanks to generous benefactors, the cost of the NH Natural Leaders Program, an environmental leadership program that includes a two-week residential camp this summer, is now just $500 (including room and board) for New Hampshire resident youth between the ages of 13-17. The summer camp, based out of Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, N.H., runs July 19 - August 1, 2009. CLICK HERE for info and application.
Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for.
I'm Fiiiiishing in the Raaaaaain......
That silver lining is there, you just have to endure some rain to find it. Like the rest of you, the long stretch of rain has limited my outings. But, I still got out enough to keep from getting the shakes. The shakes happen when I go more than five days without fishing.
Lucky for me, I invested in a new set of rain gear. The new suit is fabulous. I can't name brands or manufacturers, but I can tell you it's made from Tyvek.
Over the past month I've been fishing from my kayak more than ever. The gear I bring on the kayak is what I would call simple: I have two spinning rods loaded with 4- pound test braid and my 3-weight fly rod. I have a small, flat tackle box for my plastic grubs and jigs. A smaller box is used for my flies. In that box are dry flies, tiny cork poppers, streamers and some beadhead flies.
I've also getting really good at spotting fish. Flat, calm, rainy days provide the best opportunity for "sight fishing" bluegills. I still wear my hat and polarized sunglasses, even on rainy days. This helps cut the glare on the water. In low-light conditions like we've enjoyed over the past two weeks, the bluegills become very comfortable. Instead of hiding in the vegetation, they go on the hunt for insects and newly hatched fish of all kinds.
Sight fishing these schools takes some stealth and accurate casting. What does a school look like? Well, you need to take notice of the water surface. When things are really good and the fish are on the hunt, you will notice what is called a "push," a kind of wake created by a school moving near the surface. The term push is used by saltwater flats anglers. With a push, the fish are moving fairly fast; when you see one, try casting well ahead of the school.
When the fish are "finning" on the surface, you can bet they are feeding on insects. Typically what I look for is a group of fins on the surface. Fishing a fly is recommended here. A small nymph or emerger will be quickly eaten; or small soft plastic grubs on the lightest jighead you can find. I like to "swim" the jig slowly at the surface while occasionally adding a pause along the way.
Bluegills are not the only panfish that will work the surface like this. Black crappies are notorious for feeding this way. I fact, I noticed the crappies exhibiting this behavior before I noticed the bluegills.
Between raindrops, friends and I have been working over the largemouth bass. The spawn is long over, and these fish are into their summer patterns. A soft plastic crayfish imitation fished in the stumps on Hopkinton-Everett Reservoir (AKA Stump Field) has been producing high-quality fish.
Now that the vegetation is up on our ponds, I have been working this crayfish and wacky worms in and along the weed lines. The smallmouth bass are also in full summer pattern, with a few fish still hanging around their redds (nests). Memorable smallmouth fishing happened for me in the middle of the month -- I found the big ones! While others were working the shallow spawning flats, I fished in 10-15 foot depths. The key was finding a concentration of large boulders. These hungry fish were no match for spinner bait. The jig and grub was just as hot. We managed a few fish with the Super Fluke, worked slow, giving the bait time to sink deeper. A light twitch of the rod tip as we retrieved the bait produce the most strikes.
I'll be straight with you -- I have not been trout fishing since May. But, my good friend Angus tells me the he's having the best season ever. Angus tells me there are still plenty of salmon in the upper Connecticut River. The flows have been ideal to keep the salmon around, he tells me. Now, something big happens in the next few weeks that no one should miss: the "hex" hatch is just around the corner and so is the alderfly hatch on the Androscoggin River. The hex happens on ponds and slower moving rivers. This monster mayfly brings up the big ones. The alderfly provides a huge bounty for the fish on the "Andro."
With sunny skies ahead of us and water temps that have stayed pretty cool, the fishing over the next three weeks will be at its peak. You have no choice, go fishing.
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