John Viar, 603-744-5470
Don Miller, 603-744-5470
Jane Vachon, 603-271-5619
April 14, 2010
Designated Trout and Fly-Fishing-Only Ponds Open April 24, 2010
CONCORD, N.H. -- Fishing in New Hampshire's designated trout ponds and fly-fishing-only ponds opens this year on April 24 (the fourth Saturday in April), offering anglers the chance to experience exciting fishing in some of the Granite State's most scenic surroundings. These ponds are managed specifically for trout, and fishing is allowed through October 15.
"These trout ponds are often the best waters in a given area for a variety of reasons," said New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Fisheries Biologist Don Miller. "Excellent habitat, low species competition and the fact that these ponds are closed to ice-fishing allow these waters to be managed for the trout fishing enthusiast." Ponds managed for trout may be stocked with one or more species, including brook, rainbow and/or brown trout, with age classes ranging from "yearlings" (8-12 inches), 2-year olds (12-15 inches), and 3+ year olds (measured in lbs.!).
"Trout are prized by anglers because they can be a challenge to catch, and fishing for them is one of the traditional rites of spring," Miller said. "Whether your passion is a multi-colored brook trout, a leaping rainbow or the determined fight of a brown, there's a New Hampshire trout pond within reasonable driving distance for you."
Hot Hole Pond and Clough Pond in Loudon, French Pond in Henniker, Mount William Pond in Weare, Dublin Lake in Dublin, Lucas Pond (tiger trout) in Northwood, and Barbadoes Pond in Madbury are a few of the generously stocked early season hotspots where opening day trout are taken. It gets no better than this for taking the youngsters along with a simple "garden hackle" (worm) under a bobber, or floating PowerBait fished just off the bottom.
As the ice recedes from the more northerly locales and higher altitudes, some of the most popular ponds in the Lakes Region, White Mountains, and North Country become accessible, such as Echo Lake in Franconia, Russell Pond in Woodstock, Conner Pond and Duncan Lake in Ossipee, White Lake in Tamworth, Perch Pond in Campton, Saltmarsh Pond in Gilford, Spectacle Pond in Groton, Back Lake in Pittsburg, Fish Pond in Columbia and Little Diamond Pond in Stewartstown.
For those looking for a true wilderness experience, check out one of the approximately 50 remote trout ponds Fish and Game annually stocks with fingerling brook trout via helicopter (listed at www.fishnh.com/Fishing/trout_remote.htm). Flat Mountain Pond in Sandwich, Cole Pond in Enfield (fly fishing only), Butterfield Pond in Wilmot, Peaked Hill Pond in Thornton, Black Pond and Lonesome Lake in Lincoln are just a sampling of these delightful ponds, where fingerling brook trout often grow to 8-10 inches by their second growing season, and it's not unusual to pull in brookies 15 inches or longer. Trophy remote-pond brook trout three or more years old, some in excess of 17-18 inches, are available.
Archery Pond in Allenstown (with a wheelchair-accessible casting platform) and Stonehouse Pond in Barrington are two popular fly-fishing-only ponds that are typically ice-free and well stocked for the opener. If you travel over to Antrim and fish Willard Pond, you will be treated to a “north country experience,” forested, undeveloped shorelines and the “triple treat” of fly-fishing, brook, rainbow and tiger trout. Following the receding "glacier" north, Upper Hall Pond in Sandwich, Sky Pond in New Hampton, Profile Lake in Franconia, White Lake in Ossipee and Coon Brook Bog in Pittsburg all offer excellent opportunities to "match the hatch" throughout spring and early summer.
Many trout ponds received a surplus stocking of older-aged fish last fall, these trout will really surprise you with their size and beauty!
For a list of trout ponds and fly-fishing-only ponds in New Hampshire, as well as a description of special rules that apply to certain ponds, consult the 2010 New Hampshire Freshwater Fishing Digest, available online at www.fishnh.com or from any Fish and Game license agent when you buy your license.
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