N.H. Weekly Fishing Report -- July 23, 2009

This week, fisheries tech Christopher Perkins offers a tantalizing trout itinerary for those fishing in New Hampshire's North Country.

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Trout and About
By Christopher Perkins, Seasonal Fisheries Technician

The relentless rains of June have lifted, and it is finally time to load up the family, dust off the light tackle, and head into the Great North Woods of New Hampshire for cool water and fast fishing.

While heading toward the Kancamagus Highway this weekend, my family decided to break along the East Branch of the Pemigewassett River. While my children played along the bank, I carefully rigged a small plastic power bait jig and tossed it into a nearby shaded hole. To my surprise, it was instantly inhaled by a nice 12-inch rainbow trout! After carefully removing the hook (and giving a quick catch-and-release lesson to my daughter), we decided that it was time to move on to the next spot.

The Kancamagus Highway is stunning this time of year. The mountains are blanketed with soft shades of green and brown and all of its rivers and streams are filled with cool, crystal clear water. There are many stops along the way that get overlooked as productive brook trout fisheries. If you can get to these locations during the week when the crowds are at a minimum, you will reap the rewards.

The Otter Rocks rest area is located on the Hancock Branch and holds a surprising number of fish. It is 5 feet at it deepest point, and there are always numerous fish holding at the base near the highly oxygenated water flow. I caught and released 7 brook trout out of this pool before moving on after just an hour.

As you continue along the highway, the Swift River follows you to your left. The Swift River offers amazing fishing this time of year. You could easily spend all day zipping flies or throwing blue fox spinners (size 1 in gold is my weapon of choice) into all the holes at the lower falls area. I was fortunate to win a light tackle wrestling match with a 16-inch beauty. Yes, you heard me correctly, a 16-inch brook trout. The Swift is heavily stocked with sizeable brook trout every year, and this year there were many additional surplus fish added as well. Life is good in the North Country.

As fantastic summer fishing finally gets underway, it's difficult to imagine that hunting season is already around the corner. As fly fishermen and light tackle enthusiasts match wits with the Eastern brook trout, bowhunting enthusiasts are changing strings and sighting pins. Well, that's the New Hampshire outdoors for you. So much to do...so little time.

(Christopher Perkins of Alexandria, N.H. has been employed with Fish and Game for the past 2 years, assisting with the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture as a seasonal fisheries technician, and is a volunteer for the various anadromous fish restoration projects.)


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