Sunday, December 17, 2017

It's about time...

It is about time.  Time that I update everyone with how the late summer and fall season went up in Pittsburg.  But it is also "always about time."  How much time we have to do the things we love to do and how much time it takes to accomplish the things that allow us to do it!  Confused yet?  That pretty much sums up the whirlwind of everything that happened this fall for me.  The plan was to have a normal and relaxing fall and make some big life decisions come next spring.  Life had other things in mind and my wife and I decided now was the time to sell our house in Raymond and move a bit farther north to Loudon N.H.  All of this took place right in the middle of the best fall fishing season and some sacrifices were made in order to accomplish the goal. The best way to describe my fall was organized chaos.  I had all the plans in place, but I needed to execute the plans at exactly the right time.  Ah, there it is again.  TIME.  Even with all of the craziness, I still did have enough of it, to get out on the water and have a blast with a mix of new and repeat guests. 

Lets rewind a bit to July and August:

I could go on and on and tell you all of the stories from each of these fish, but they say a picture is worth a thousand words!    What I will tell you is that I had some of the most enjoyable trips of my guiding career this summer.  Not because of the fish that were caught but because of the people I was able to share the time on the water with. 

Once I headed back to my teaching job in late August, as I mentioned earlier, time on the water became a bit tricky to find.  That didn't stop us from fitting in a few last minute trips to see what September and October in Pittsburg had up its sleeve this year. 

The fall colors of a brook trout and spectacular leaping ability of a salmon are what the autumn season in Pittsburg means to me.  It is the reason I always get on the water no matter what is happening in my life.  I would feel a void in my soul if I didn't. 

I was able to get back on the water a few times during late October and November as well. 

Yes, those last few fish were not from N.H.  They were caught out in New York on the Salmon River.  They were just too pretty not to share though!

Overall things have finally started to settle down in my life.  I am hoping that 2018 will bring more wonderful guests to the rivers and streams that I love to share so much.  The time to start thinking about booking 2018 trips is now.  Each year I have repeat clients who jump on prime fishing dates and get their trips in the books.  If you are interested in hearing what I have to offer as a guide and what our trips entail, please feel free to email me anytime!  I would love to chat with you and create a plan that helps you fulfill a fly fishing trip that you have always wanted!

Keep in touch, happy holidays and hears to a happy new year!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Best Fishing I Can Remember...

     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! 
Holdover Monster!

     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!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

New Beginnings ...

     Here we are folks.  The beginning of a new fishing season is upon us.  It is difficult to describe all of the feelings I have when thinking about the upcoming year of fishing.  I am so excited to get out on the water with repeat clients and meet new ones.  The relationships you forge with someone during hours of time spent on the rivers is something unique.  It is not all just about catching fish.  It is so much more than that.  It is about sharing a passion and letting someone else get a glimpse of what it is that truly makes you tick.  "Welcome to my world," is a phrase that often comes out of my mouth during first trips with new clients.  This is not a sarcastic phrase, this is a sincere welcome to them and a hope that they will be able to appreciate and fully experience the sport of fly fishing.
     I have been in Pittsburg for a few days and just going out to my "home" water and visiting familiar pools, puts my busy mind at ease.  I have quite a few things going on in my life at the moment, the most important of which is my wedding at the end of May.  The stress of getting the plans just right can loom large on your mind after a while, but time spent on a beautiful river can help me melt the stress and look at life on a larger scale.  What really means the most in life to you?  I can't say that fly fishing matters most to me because it doesn't.  My soon to be wife and hopefully family will continue to be the most important thing as time rolls on.  But fly fishing will always be there for me when I need to decompress from a long stretch of work or think about how to get through a difficult time.  It is a constant that is dependable no matter what outside influences try to change it.  The woods, lakes, streams and rivers are not what make my life, they are what help me be a better man, husband and eventually father someday.  For this I will be forever grateful. 
     So what about the fishing?  Well everything is very high up here right now.  Snowmelt, rainfall, river levels, you name it.  I have been scouting all of the usual early season areas and we are right on track for a great spring.  I started guiding a few weeks ago and right off the bat we were catching fish in the southern and middle parts of the state. 
Silver Leaper

Having fun!

Young Blood gets it done!

Beautiful Bow

     The Pittsburg area is just about where I thought it should be for this time of year.  The ice went out on Lake Francis and Back Lake on April 28th and I am guessing 1st Lake will be out by the 30th.  With that comes the opportunity to get into some spring salmon.  As of right now our flows are 800 out of 2nd Lake Dam, 400 out of 1st and over 1000cfs out of Murphy.  That is high all around, but early season I would rather have it high.  Hopefully this will bode well for the rest of the spring and summer.  I wanted to feel the tug, so I headed out in the canoe and paddled some ponds.  I was actually able to sight fish for brook trout with high sunshine overhead.  It was a fun little trip with a bunch of fish to net. 

      I hope this update finds you happy and ready to start the new season if you haven't already!  If you are interested in setting up a trip in Pittsburg for June, July or August, please feel free to let me know.  Dates are filling fast this season, so don't wait!  Thank you as always!

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