Summer has arrived in the North Country. Ask anyone around and they will say that it took a little longer than usual to get here this year. A cold and wet month of May was good for prolonging the salmon run, but it slowed the warming of the rivers as well. The Pittsburg Anglers association once again did a great job with stocking the Trophy Stretch in order to kick off the spring fishing, but the fish that were put in seemed to be a bi tricky to find at first. As May rolled into June the water temps still struggled to reach 55 degrees which was slowing the fishing a bit and the hatches as well.
I wrapped up teaching in the middle of June and was itching to move back to my summer home in Pittsburg. With the truck packed to the cap, I was off to continue a tradition of guiding and fishing in my favorite place in the world. I was guiding within a day of getting here and with two more bonus stockings from NH Fish and Game, the fishing was finally how it should be. Let me re-phrase that. The fishing was UNREAL! I can remember times over the years that the fishing has been great. I think that the fishing in our memories has a way of becoming even better each time that it is recalled, but there have been years that were outstanding. This year, so far, has been the best that I can remember. There are not only LOTS of fish in the river, but there are some absolute MONSTERS in there as well. Some people say, “oh, they are just stocked fish.” While this may be true of some of the huge brook trout caught lately, I don’t care who you are, fighting a 5-6 lb brook trout on a fly rod, in a beautiful river, is just plain fun!
|Ed with a nice Brookie|
|Look at the nice colors on that one!|
For others, the chase for wild or holdover fish is their game. I completely understand this as well. The cool part is that Pittsburg has a huge variety of stocked, holdover and wild fish! I had repeat guests who wanted to do a little more exploring, so we went a bit more out of the way to find some wild fish. The result was spectacular! We were hooking and landing Landlocked Salmon and Wild Brook Trout with no one else in sight.
Two guests were even lucky enough to break Fish Story Guide Service record fish within a week of each other! First up was Mark with a brook trout that was net measured at 19-20” and most certainly was pushing 5 lbs. It was caught on a black Feedinator in an area that had already been fished before we arrived that morning. We got lucky with this one as we were able to net it before it went down river into the rapids. What a great moment that was. Seeing the excitement and relief that the “fish of a lifetime” was in the net!
|"Fish of a Lifetime"|
Just a week later Winslow got in on the action. To be honest we were fishing in a very well known area and had been catching plenty of stocked fish. There was a mix of large brookies in this pool and I actually thought for sure it was another large one when he hooked this fish. Then I saw it leap! Instantly I knew we were into something special for this section of river. After three more drag screaming runs and great angling skill on Winslow’s part, we netted this monster rainbow. I was second guessing myself as to whether it was just a big rainbow that Fish and Game had thrown in, or if it was a really old holdover fish from years past. Once I got a good look it was pretty clear. The fish had two BAIT hooks stuck in its mouth! The only way that could have happened was if this fish had broken two different anglers off down at the lake and then traveled all the way up into the Trophy Stretch during the spring. A true holdover monster that measured 20” on the nose! What an old warrior this fish was!
The Hex Hatch on Back Lake has been a bit slow this year. Actually the hatching of the Hexes seems to be going just great, but the fish just don’t seem to be cueing in on them with reckless abandon like normal. That being said I did get out last night and landed 5 nice rainbows along with a handful of “Red Eyed Demons.” Hitting the Hex Hatch on Back Lake is one of my favorite traditions. It reminds me of fishing with friends and good times on the water. Knowing that around 9:30 we head back to camp for some good food and drinks while we unwind the fish stories of the day, puts my mind at ease. I hope to get back out again before the annual hatch is over.
Before I know it, summer will be ending and I will need to take care of business at home, but for the next couple months, I plan to make the best of what Pittsburg has to offer. If you would like to get up and learn about fly fishing in Pittsburg, please feel free to shoot me an email. I do still have some open dates through mid August that I would love to fill! I hope that this entry has ignited that fly fishing spark inside of you and that you will get out on a river and fish! As always, if you see me on the river come over and say hello! Thank you!