The waterways of the North Country of New Hampshire and Vermont are a fisherman's heaven - some may say, the best New England has to offer. The numerous lakes, ponds, and rivers offer a challenge to the seasoned angler and excitement to the novice. From the Connecticut River that divides New Hampshire and Vermont, to the Connecticut Lakes in Pittsburg, the opportunities are vast. An outstanding variety of species of trout live in our waters, as well as landlocked salmon, bass and pike.
The Connecticut River itself holds native brook trout, rainbow trout, and large brown trout. Landlocked salmon make their way into the river during spring spawning runs of baitfish and during their fall spawn. The river has fly-fishing only regulations on five miles of river. Most of the river is open to lure and bait as well. Two tail-water dams provide cold river water for miles downstream making summer fishing on the Connecticut River excellent.
Remote ponds with good brook trout populations, some with 'fly-fishing only' regulations, dot the wilderness and are accessible by car using well-maintained logging roads. Diversity and abundance of quality fishing water make Pittsburg, and the Connecticut Lakes Region a favorite fishing destination.
Spring - Ice out in the spring of the year begins our fishing season. Typically, during the first week of May, ice will leave the lakes. Smelt and other baitfish spawn in the spring and it is their spawning that triggers the first of two landlocked salmon runs on the Connecticut River. Baitfish from the lakes enter the river with the salmon right behind them. Area ponds fish well for trout shortly after ice-out. By Memorial Day the trout fishing on the legendary Connecticut River is heating up! June sees the first of a long series of Caddis hatches. Fishing in June is very good throughout our region. The big lakes fish well trolling for large lake trout and landlocked salmon. Ponds, both fly fishing and open regulation are excellent spots for brook trout while the river fishes well for Rainbow, Brook and Brown Trout as well as young Landlocked Salmon.
Summer - We are blessed to have two, large tailwater dams on our river system. Water comes from the bottom of these dams, keeping our river water cool all summer long. What does this mean for fishing? It makes it great all summer long! Fishing below the First Connecticut Lake dam is 'fly fishing only' and is home to Rainbow, Brook and Brown Trout as well as young Landlocked Salmon.
Hatches of Caddis, Stoneflies and several Mayfly species keep the dry fly action happening all summer long. Below Lake Francis, it is open regulation fishing with the area's coldest river water. Murphy Dam's bottom release keeps river water cold for miles downstream. Fishing is good using lures and baits as well as caddis and mayfly patterns. The ponds and lakes are best fished in the early morning or just before dark when the water is the coolest.
Fall - Here in NH's North Country, fall comes early with leaves starting to change just after Labor Day. The change of seasons brings cooler water temps, blue-winged olive hatches, the salmon spawn and great fishing! Trolling on the big lakes is productive for large Lakers and Landlocked Salmon. Bait, lure, nymph and streamer fishing is good on the Connecticut River. Near the end of September, lake Salmon begin to enter the river for their fall spawn. Our big lakes close to fishing on September 30th but smaller bodies of water and streams and rivers remain open until October 15th. Some of the season's largest fish are caught in the fall.
While not much can be compared to the exhilaration of landing a trophy fish, don't forget that you'll be fishing in some of the most breathtaking landscapes in New England, with the chance of viewing some of our abundant wildlife in their natural habitat. You owe it to yourself to visit the North Country of New Hampshire. Wet a line and experience fishing as you've never experienced it before!