Sunday, August 14, 2016

Late Summer is Here...

Hey Everyone!
     I have been putting most of the quick updates on the Fish Story Guide Service Facebook Page lately, but I figured it wouldn't be a bad thing to put some recent outings here as well! 
     I have been guiding more than ever this summer and with a wedding in the near future it is actually fairly important for me to do so.  I booked as many trips as I physically had time for this summer and even had to send a few "sports" to friends.  The trips that we were able to get out on were fantastic though.  I would venture to say that this may have been the most consistent fishing from May - August that I can ever remember in Pittsburg.  There were lots of worries early with low water levels but most everyone assumed that the rain would come at some point.  Unfortunately, the rain did not come at all and the flows in the Trophy Stretch were at 125 cfs for almost the entire summer.  Fortunately, they did not go any lower and the water temp stayed under 70 which was the most important thing. 
    I thoroughly enjoyed guiding all of my "sports" this summer and remember specific highlights of each trip. 
*Getting a chance to teach my fiancé was certainly a highlight and I look forward to watching her enjoy being on the water for years to come. 

*I got my brother out and that was a long time coming.  We had talked about it for years and finally accomplished the goal. 

*I was able to get my future father in law in the river and he had a successful day as well. 

*Hopper fishing with multiple sets of "sports" was just action packed and very enjoyable. 

*Getting into lots of nice LL Salmon even under low water conditions was a pleasant surprise.

*Fishing with friends on my "home" water was just the icing on the cake.

     The best flies for us lately are as follows:

- Patrick's Pink and Red San Juans
- Patrick's BWO Emerger
- Patrick's Feedinators in all three colors
- Patrick's Egg Patterns
- Hoppers
- Emerginators
- Caddis Dry
- Sulfur Dry

     Another key point is using light tippet.  4X and 5X are not pulling nearly as many fish this time of year.  I am on 6X most days. 

Mike gets it done!

That's my girl! :)

First time fly fishing!

Dark Brookie

Great people!

Fly fishing is "easy"

Rain can't stop us!

Nice leaper in the mix!

     I will be returning back to "the fake real world" in a couple of weeks and I will miss all that guiding the summer in Pittsburg gives to me.  The refreshed mindset.  The time with family and friends.  The days on the river that I wish would never end.  But as with all things, if it were fantastic all the time, it would lose its allure.  Like the seasons, we move in a circle and some stops are more enjoyable than others along the way. 

      I hope to see you all on the river!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

"Buster Wants to Fish!"

     Ok so maybe it wasn't as comical as that scene from "A River Runs Through It", but when my brother finally asked me to take him out fly fishing, the thought did pass through my mind. 

     I have been waiting patiently for the day when my brother actually had the time to get out on the water with me.  We have had many adventures over the years together, but we just never seemed to line up our schedules for a real fly fishing trip.  Well a few weeks ago it happened.  Lance was able to get up to Pittsburg and I did not have a guide trip, so we went for it!  After gearing up at the camp and making sure that he did indeed have a fishing license, (which we had to reprint at Treats and Treasures), we were off to the river! 
     The situation was classic.  The anticipation of all the fish I would be able to help him catch was finally coming into sight!  You see, I have been telling him for years how he would be catching fish after fish and how my clients have been having great days lately.  In my head it was going to be easy.  I guess that was my first mistake.  I should have known better, as teaching a family member is always one of the trickiest things to do. 
     Now I don't want you to get the wrong idea.  He caught fish.  It just took us a bit longer to make it happen than I had initially thought it might.  We started off in the "Bear Pool" which had been producing quite well as of late, and after an hour of fishing had only one fish on that came unbuttoned before we could get it to net.  It was certainly not the fisherman's fault either.  His hook sets were quick and strong, his presentation was dang near flawless, but the fish were being fish.  Subtle takes and short strikes were the theme of the day.  We couldn't just have one of those afternoons where the fish were just slamming the flies to make it easy?!  Nope.  But that is fishing. 
     We kept moving down river and finally got into a couple of runs where the fish were doing their normal feeding and what a difference.  Lance was hooking up and we were landing fish!  Now I do remember his first fish that he landed and I do remember the big battle with a monster that got away.  But most of all I remember the things in between.  I remember how I was looking forward to that day.  I remember how we hiked through the woods from pool to pool and how we talked about fly fishing and life in general.  I remember thinking we should do this more often.  I remember the feeling that not everyone gets to share an afternoon on the water with their brother doing their favorite pastime and how lucky we were to have had that opportunity. 
     The day came to a close and we headed back to the camp for some food and drinks.  All I am left with now is that fond memory and the anticipation of the next time that we can venture back into the river as brothers.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Pittsburg Magic...

Hello Everyone!

     I have been in Pittsburg for over two weeks now and I can already feel the frustrations of living "down below" slowly leaving my soul.  My thoughts are clear, my energy is revived and my way of life is back to who I truly am.  I have been extremely fortunate to have found a fiancé who has the same love of the outdoors that I do and have recently gotten her to join me on the river.  She is a quick learner and very simply, a natural fly fisherman.  You can tell a lot about a person by how they handle themselves on a river and she does not disappoint me in any way.

     I was actually able to get my father out of his beloved "Trophy Stretch" and he was rewarded for it!  We went a bit farther south and got into some larger fish rather than numbers of fish.  First up was a nice 17" fat brown to tie my father's personal record brown trout.  This would have been plenty of fun for the morning but he was not finished yet.  One hour from the remarkable first trout, my father hooked a much larger beast.  After a great battle he now had his new personal best brown trout measured at 20" and pushing 5 lbs for sure.  Needless to say I think that he may be spending a bit more time away from The Trophy Stretch in the near future. 

     I am in "full guiding mode" at the moment as well.  We had the annual Trout Unlimited Kid's Fly Fishing Camp about a week ago and it went very smoothly.  I was the assistant director of the camp for the first two years it was held and now I am able to just be a counselor and guide for the kids.  Next years camp will be the 10th annual!  This camp is something I hold very dear to my heart and will be a part of it in some way for the rest of my life.
     I was able to have some of my good friends up to camp during last week as well.  We were able to share many good laughs, good drinks and good meals which always seem to make time fly faster than you would want.  These times are replaced by great memories though, which will stay with us forever.  We also got out on the river one evening and it was one of the best nights I have ever had!  After watching patiently for a caddis hatch to materialize for over an hour, the bugs were enticing enough for some large fish to start feeding on the surface.  I positioned myself carefully and waited for the larger fish to get comfortable with his meal.  After many large swirls, I cast out my size 16 "Murphy Caddis", (pattern created by my buddy Jake), and watched it drift.  The whole time I was hoping that when I tied the fly the night before, that it would look good enough to fool a large, smart fish.  Well, on the first cast the fly was thrashed hard by a very large fish.  I set the hook hard, but carefully, knowing that my 6x tippet would not handle excessive abuse.  After a long battle, filled with leaps and powerful runs down river, we had corralled the beast into the net.  Without the help of my friend Jake, the end result may have been utter disappointment rather than pure elation and I am very thankful for his help.  What we found in the net was my largest brown trout caught on a dry fly, on 6x tippet of my entire life!  It measured 22" and was estimated at 7+ lbs.   Pittsburg Magic is alive and well this summer!
      This is just the beginning of what is shaping up to be a great summer in Pittsburg!  
                     I hope this update finds you happy and full of fish stories!
* If you would like to get up and experience some Pittsburg fly fishing, I do still have some open dates.  Please email me for my full availability and I will be sure to get back to you as soon as possible!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Striper Fishing!

     I used to love getting out and fishing for Stripers.  Over the years I have slowly lost the free time that it takes for me to get to the salt and in recent years I have not been able to get out at all.  Well, I made a deal with myself this year.  I would at least get out and cast a fly for Stripers once, no matter what it took.  My first effort was a trip down to my old stomping grounds of Plum Island in May.  I rigged up my 7wt fly rod and reel with a sinking intermediate fly line and grabbed my 7 year old hand tied saltwater flies and headed for the Merrimack River.  I planned it out so that I would be fishing the last 3 hours of a dropping tide on the river side of Plum Island.  From my days of really getting into Stripers I had remembered that this was usually when the fishing was best.   I hopped in and immediately started to hook lots of "little", yet very strong and fun Striped Bass.  I enjoyed a hand full of fish up to 16 inches over a few hours and I was happy. 
     Next up I got lucky and mixed a "date night" with some Striper fishing in NH.  My fiancé was in the mood for some seafood and I just love Brown's restaurant in Seabrook, so we ate and then I fished.  I hit the river directly behind Brown's and planned for it to be incoming tide and the fishing was great!  I think I landed close to double digits with a couple of fish pushing the 20" mark.  This was right before dusk with a wonderful sunset to boot. 
     So not only did I get out twice, but I actually was able to land fish each time!  I figured this would be about it for my Striper fishing for the year, but then I made a quick call to Zak Robinson.  I met Zak at the NH Fly fishing booth this winter and we agreed it might be fun to "swap" trips if we ever had the chance.  So he happened to have a few free hours and so did I am we made it happen!  I met Zak over at Pierce Island and was able to enjoy some great fishing on his boat.  Zak showed me how it was done as I have never cast to Stripers from a boat before.  We zipped around the river looking for breaking fish and when we did, we cruised up to the edge of the pod and I double hauled a fly into the mix.  BAM!  The fish were on it!  This was just a visually exciting way to cover ground and catch some nice fish.  I was so pumped to be able to get out and give this type of fishing a shot and I can certainly recommend Zak's service to anyone out there! 
     I am not sure that I will get back out for Stripers again this year as it is time to head to Pittsburg for my summer of guiding, but the next time I get the itch I will look back on these trips and just GO!


Thursday, May 19, 2016

A Birthday in Pittsburg is the Only Way to Go!

     I just turned 32 years old and I was in Pittsburg when it happened.  I was in my favorite place in the world with two of my favorite people (fiancé and father), catching my favorite fish (Salmon), on one of my favorite stretches of river.  If there was ever a better birthday gift I can not think of it!  Here are a couple of pictures, but be sure to check out the new Facebook page for videos and updates as well!  I still have some spots available for June, July and August in Pittsburg, but they are filling in fast!  Let me know if you want to get out in the Great North Woods!

20.5" and old! Also it was 70 degrees and sunny

18" and on the skinny side

The next day it was 37 and starting to snow!  The fish were biting well though!  I was able to land double digits with four fish over 20". 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Last "Local" Trip of the Spring

     Well I have wrapped up my spring southern NH trips and you know what that means!  Its is all Pittsburg from here on out!  The local areas did not fizzle out on us though, in fact it was some of the best action I have seen in a long time!  I had a great day with Carl who hooked into double digit numbers of fish that were just large and feisty!  I have not seen vicious strikes on nymphs the way we did in a long time!  One minute the line was dead drifting and the next it was 20 feet across the river!  Either that, or it was flying through the air attached to a big fish!  We hit many different areas and spots that are usually good in early April, but have continued to hang on into early May due to the cooler temps we have been seeing lately.  If I had to guess it will not last very much longer though as water flows have been dropping quickly and when the flow goes, so do the fish! 

Carl with his nice 17" Colored up bow!

19" and leapt more like a salmon!
Our go to flies for the trip:

Black Feedinator
Red Feedinator
Pink San Juan Worm
Egg Patterns

Pretty simple stuff.

My Pittsburg dates are getting booked extremely fast this year, so if you have been hoping to get out in June, July or August, let me know soon!  We are very close to the beginning of guiding in Pittsburg and I for one can not wait to get out there!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Pittsburg Update!

Hello Everyone!
     I spent the second half of my April vacation scouting how things were going in Pittsburg.  Lets just say that it was a blast!  I caught my first salmon from the 1st Lake Inlet on April 26th and it was a nice big fat 18 incher.  The air temp was 38 degrees and it had been snowing in the morning.  Water temps were hovering right around the 40 degree mark on the first day.  I spent most of my time each day hitting the inlets of the lakes including the Lake Francis Inlet, but also hit below Murphy as well.  I would have to say that the fishing each day was different.  There was no real steady stream of salmon coming in, but I was picking up 3-4 per day along with a hand full of rainbows as well.  The great news is that every fish I hooked and landed was as healthy as can be!  They were fat, shiny, crisp and fighting hard!  I hit a nice BWO hatch at the Francis Inlet and landed 14 fish in a few hours on one occasion as well.  That is about as good as it gets with water temps in the low 40's. 
      The lake flows are all super low, but with rain in the forecast we should be seeing an increase soon.  This should only increase the amount of salmon and lake run fish for us over the next couple of weeks.  I kept taking water temps and it topped out at 46 degrees in the 1st Lake Inlet on a sunny warm afternoon.  My largest salmon of the trip was caught on my last morning and was 20", leapt 3 times and capped off my trip perfectly! 
     I am extremely excited to get back up and start taking clients out as we move into late spring and early summer.  I am booking faster than I ever have at this point in a season, but still have dates open for Pittsburg in June, July and August if you get ahold of me soon! 

Pittsburg GO TO flies for me this trip:

Putt's Favorite
Patrick's BWO Emerger
Red/Olive Feedinators
Pink San Juan Worm
Egg Patterns
Gray Ghost

Feel free to email me with any questions anytime!

My First Pittsburg Salmon of the year!

Francis Inlet Salmon

We even took the canoe for a spin to shake off the rust!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Fishing Everywhere!

Hi Everyone!
     Over the last couple of weeks we have been fishing everywhere!  Just about every area that I guide during the early season has been explored and some areas fished better than others.  I can say that the Three Rivers area has been hit or miss.  We did fairly well on two out of the three and the one that produced the best was still tricky to dial in on.  Their were rising fish, most certainly coming to the top to take midges, and we were still getting the cold shoulder.  We did manage a few strikes on the smallest emergers that I had in my box, but I actually dialed in on them with completely outlandish flies.  SO another lesson learned.  Even when you know what the hatch is and what they are supposed to be eating, try other patterns that are completely the opposite and you may get some nice fish!  Got to love trout fishing! 
     I was able to get back out with John and his two sons for the first time in a couple of years and the boys are now at a great age to soak in the lessons learned on a river.  It was a slower day fish wise, but we were able to land a few and learn a lot about reading the water and nymphing techniques.  I always enjoy watching father/son bonding time and it was another memory I know this family will look back on over the years.
    Next, I was able to get out with a great guy named Carl.  We had been trying to fish together for a while and finally the schedules fit.  He was brand new to fly fishing and wanted to test it out before investing in his own gear.  Needless to say I was hoping that his first experience was going to be a great one and the fish helped us to make it just that.  I look forward to getting back out on the water with him in the future and continue to build on his newly learned skills. 
     Lastly, I guided a wonderful gentleman named Bill.  He has been fly fishing for years and was hoping to explore some new water and hook some fish along the way.  We were able to do both and eventually wound up dialing in on one stretch of river that produced multiple fish.  It was a pleasure spending a day on the water with him.
     The flows in our local areas have been dropping dramatically over the past week and unless we have some big rains, we could be getting into some tough fishing in the southern part of the state soon.  That being said, I am gearing up for Pittsburg!  I will be doing a lot of scouting over the next couple of weeks and hope to start the season off right with some salmon in the very near future! 
     I just looked in my schedule book and was amazed at how the summer booking is filling so fast this year.  I have been in talks with many folks about getting in the books and I hope to be able to accommodate all that have been interested.  If you know of a date that you would like to get up to Pittsburg for the summer please let me know soon!  If you would like to know my availability, shoot me an email and I will send you all of my open spaces!  This is shaping up to be an epic summer in Pittsburg and I want to share it with as many great people as I can!

Thank you again!

Father and Sons



Nice Brown Bill!

Rainbow in the mix!

Nice and Dark!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Time to FISH!

Hello Everyone!

     We have been all over the place lately and the fishing is as good as I have seen for this early in the season!  I have been to most of my early season areas and have caught fish at each one.  That is not the norm for this time of year.  I would expect to hook a half dozen fish per day when the fishing is just starting to come around, but 20+ hookup days are what we have been doing lately.  Spring fishing on warm days are some of the most fulfilling outings regardless of the amount of fish hooked and with the success lately I pretty much feel spoiled.  As I am writing this I am looking out the window at 50 mph, snow blown, wind gusts, but I know it will not last and we will be back on the water soon.  I am very excited for the next couple of weeks of fishing! 
     I do have a couple of open slots if you are thinking about getting on the water before the spring action is over.  If you would like to know what I have open for the Lakes Region area, let me know soon!  Once May rolls around it will be Pittsburg time!

Thank you for stopping by and as always feel free to shoot me an email with any questions!

21" Bow

Chris Gets it done!

Clean Bow

Saturday, March 26, 2016

It's Already Happening!

Hi Everyone!

     This year has already started off with a bang!  The Fly Fishing Show was awesome and I was able to share stories and ideas with a great group of people!  I am always amazed by how many people have the same passion for the outdoors as I do!
     I have been getting out on the rivers lately as well!  The fish are already waking up from a mild winter chill and are starting to feed on a consistent basis.  I have had hookups on every outing.  We are still in the "low and slow" stage as far as what technique has been working for me, but with no snow left, the water temps should be on the rise soon.  This means the fish will start to move a bit more for a meal and in turn the fishing should only get better! 
     I have been able to fish with some friends lately as well and seeing the joy on their faces when they hook up immediately brings me back to last fall and how I was hoping it would be a short winter.  Well the wish was granted and we are into early fish and high hopes for a great long season!
     I have a couple of weekend dates open in the next two weeks if anyone is interested in trying for some early season fish in the lakes region.  The fishing can be hit or miss, but if we hit it just right it can be unbelievable!  The only way to find out is to get out and try it!  Let me know if you would like one of those last couple of slots to start the season off!  If you are thinking long term, Pittsburg trips are already filling.  I have more days booked than any other year at this point already and know there are a few more regulars who will be booking soon!  So don't wait too long and miss out!

Thank you all again for your support and I will leave you with a few fish from early this season!

First Bow!

Quite a team!

They are large this year!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Show!

Hey Everyone!
     I just wanted to put out a big THANK YOU to everyone who stopped by the booth at the show yesterday!  The turnout was amazing!  It was so cool to chat with old friends and make some new ones as well!  Quite a few bookings were made and space for the summer is starting to fill quickly.  If you were on the edge of getting your name in the books, let me know as soon as you can.  Yesterday was the spark that ignites the fire for a great season of fishing and guiding ahead!  Hope to hear from you soon!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Fly Fishing New Hampshire Show!

Hi Everyone!
     Tom Jutras and I will be back in a booth together this Saturday at the New Hampshire Fly Fishing Show in Manchester NH!  I will be running my "Show Deal" once again as well.  If you book a trip at the show, take $25.00 off your trip!  I will also have some Feedinators available as well!  Looking forward to seeing everyone and talking some fishing!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Favorite Pictures from 2015!

     So, here we are.  After a nice January thaw, we are back into wet heavy snow.  The fisherman in me says, "Good, it will replenish the rivers", the runner in me says, "CRAP!"  I was just getting used to the idea of running in shorts and a t-shirt in January.  We had a snow day from school and these little things certainly help as far as being able to catch up on my chores.  I have been meaning to get to a little 2015 recap of sorts, but I kind of like the idea of sharing my favorite pictures instead.  Here we go!


This was one of the hardest fighting early season rainbows that I can remember! It was also a great way to start off the season and scouting for guiding.

This was Ed with his first ever Salmon on a fly rod!  He hooked this fish in the first five minutes of our trip and played it like an expert.  I didn't even have time to tell him to bow the rod when the fish was doing cartwheels! 

My father with a nice Salmon in the Connecticut River in May.  It was one of the first Salmon caught during the "spring run" that season. 

This was my first Pittsburg Salmon of the 2015 season.  They always stick in your mind I think due to the anticipation of a full season yet to come!


This was Ron with his largest Pittsburg Brookie.  This fish was just a slob and was a blast to hook.  I was able to spot the fish lying at the end of a run and Ron made the perfect drift in order to fool him. 

This is Kevin with a completely wild Brook Trout from over in Maine.  Kev and I like to explore and decided to check out some of the historic fly fishing areas that day.  It was 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM of dirt roads, fish, rivers, history and wildlife.  I will remember the fun in trying to find all of these locations!

This is Mark with his first ever dry fly Brookie!  After a couple of days of wading the river, we thought it might be fun to switch it up and hit some back woods ponds for rising trout.  This was just a perfect morning with rising fish and calm waters until the very end!

I will never forget this Salmon!  Joe hooked this beast in the trophy section of the Connecticut in mid summer.  The fish was literally holding in about 2 feet of whitewater and exploded down the river when it was hooked.  I ran down the middle of the rapids to get behind it and scare it back up to where Joe was when he initially hooked it.  I must have run almost 75 meters down the middle of the river to catch up to it!  I can not believe it stayed hooked!

"The WOLF PACK!"  These two guys were just plain and simply fun to guide!  We had more adventures in those few days than some people have on the water in a season!  Never a complaint, never too tired to continue on and always willing to learn a trick or two, it was a blast to have them on the river!

"Uncle Mike" with his famous brown trout.  Always a favorite time with family and friends!


Kevin with one of his big steelhead from the Salmon River in NY.  This is an annual trip that we go on every Thanksgiving and we plan to keep going on for the rest of our lives!  Way too many fun stories over the years!

My largest steelhead of the fall.  Also from the Salmon River in NY. 

My last Pittsburg Salmon of the 2015 season.  You know the story on this one....