Jason Smith: 603-271-2501
Jane Vachon: 603-271-3211
June 20, 2013
Trout Take Flight – to New Hampshire's Remote Ponds
A helicopter delivers trout to a remote pond in New Hampshire. MEDIA: for hi-res photo, click on image above.
CONCORD, N.H. – As fishing season continues, a great way to get away from the crowds is to seek refuge at a remote trout pond trout, where you'll find some of the state’s best fishing. A rule of thumb is when the blacks flies approach “unbearable” levels, it’s time to grab your Deet, float tube, a light-weight fly rod and rubber boots and pack a lunch for a day on a remote pond. Brook trout that have spent all winter under the ice become voracious as the first insects start to hatch and surface activity with small nymphs can be frenetic.
Every year, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department contracts a helicopter to stock remote ponds from Sunapee to Pittsburg. During this one-day event, which this year took place on June 20, 2013, some 48 remote ponds are stocked with brook trout fingerlings from New Hampton Hatchery, according to Fish and Game Department’s Chief of Inland Fisheries Jason Smith. Fish stocked last June should have reached 5-6 inches in most areas, with 2-year-olds reaching 12 inches or better. In fact, just last week after a White Mountain turkey hunt, an old neighbor of Smith's revealed some stories and photos from a recent trip to one of these remote ponds showing brook trout approaching 18 inches! A similar source rumored to have caught one in excess of 3 pounds. Smith received no visual evidence, but it was convincing enough for him to want to go and investigate for himself.
The stocking of remote ponds in the backcountry of New Hampshire provides a unique opportunity for those anglers seeking a true wilderness experience. Serene, remote ponds not only produce beautiful brook trout with high catch rates, but also give the outdoor enthusiast a chance to view wildlife, hike, camp, or simply find solitude. Many of these remote ponds are located off popular hiking trails (ensure a safe hike by following the recommendations at hikesafe.com). Anglers generally can backpack a float tube and waders, or simply wade from shore. Also, early spring water temperatures can still be fairly cool, so Smith recommends insulated waders if you have them. They are a little bit heavier, but well worth it to keep warm in the cool water.
A few of these remote ponds are designated as “fly fishing only,” so be sure to check the regulations prior to your trip. For the list of remote ponds that are stocked, check the Fish and Game website at fishnh.com/Fishing/trout_remote.htm.
Aerial trout stocking is made possible through fishing license sales, with support from the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire. To contribute to this effort, visit nhwildlifefoundation.org; designate your donation for aerial trout stocking.
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