Connecticut River Fishing Report: 8/31
It’s changing around here … you can just feel it. That transition from summertime to fall is happening here in northern New Hampshire, and that means fall fishing on the Connecticut River. Perhaps the most beautiful part of the year, and a great time to cast on the river for colorful brookies and browns, and don’t forget about our acrobatic rainbows and salmon too. It’s here.
We had our “Guides’s Drift” the other day on the lower river, and we had a great time fishing together again – it doesn’t happen very often where everyone can get together, since most fishing guides are pretty darn busy at this time of year. We had two drift boats plying the water, and we employed a diverse array of fishing techniques.
While Cindy and Jon were mostly dry fly fishing with a smattering of nymphs thrown in, Mickey exclusively threw junk in the hopes of getting a big brown to take a chance. In our boat, Angus threw dries and a few streamers now and then, but also cast his classic “Red & Black” in those sections of the river with numbers of rising fish. Much like Mickey, Dave and I mostly threw big streamers for big fish, but we also couldn’t resist switching to cast some dries when fish were feeding on the surface.
While the big brown or rainbow never materialized for us, we did get in to a lot of fish on the drift – several different minuscule BWO patterns were working on some of the risers, at least until they got wind of our plans. Nearly each type of streamer (and color) got “follows” from the trout – we would see them behind, below, and seemingly swimming around our streamers right up to the boat, but very few made the commitment to bite. That’s streamer fishing, but at least we had the visual confirmation that we were in the “ballpark” with our offerings.
The dry fly fishing was really challenging – small tippets, small flies, and very delicate presentations were required that day, and small BWO patterns will probably be the order of the day on the drifts for the remainder of the season. 18’s, 20’s and 22’s should be in your box if you’re fishing down there in the coming month or so.
Meanwhile, on the upper Connecticut River, the flow has dropped some in the “No Kill” section, but this weekend’s rain could bring that flow back up, and with it some salmon as well.
The Trophy Stretch remains at about 150 CFS, and you might want to bring some small BWO and even midge patterns right now – the trout and salmon have seen everything here and continue to get a decent amount of pressure, so a stealthier approach might be better.
The fishing below Murphy is hot and cold, as it usually is – the fish are there, but they alone will decide when they want to feed, so bring plenty of patience with you if you’re fishing down there.
Happy Labor Day weekend everybody – hope you’re able to wet a line to enjoy it this weekend!