Fly Fishing New Hampshire: The Swift River

Swift River FactsLocation:  New Hampshire. Google Maps:  http://goo.gl/maps/MvEeHFishing Season: April to October.  Please visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Licensed Required: Yes, general fishing only.Floating:  No. W…

Swift River Facts

Location:  New Hampshire. Google Maps:  http://goo.gl/maps/MvEeH
Fishing Season: April to October.  Please visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/
Licensed Required: Yes, general fishing only.
Floating:  No. Walk-Wade. Wet-Wading in summer.
Entrance Fee:  No.
Camping: Yes.  Private and Public, throughout the Mt. Washington Valley.
Length: +/- 25.6 Miles.
Origin:  Kancamagus Pass, near Livermore, NH.
Termination:  Saco Rver.  Saco then flows to the Atlantic Ocean.
Fly Rods: 1wt-4wt during mid/late summer. Perhaps, with high water, 5wt-6wt early spring.
Fly Lines:  90% Floating.  10% Sink.  
Flies:  Fish are not picky, but we only share this information with our FCFF clients.  



Late August = You must find deep cold water, with lots of structure and flow!

The Swift River is located in the White Mountain National Forest and runs along side one of the most scenic and traveled roads, the Kancamagus Highway.  In the upper reaches of the Swift, you can expect to find wild Brook Trout.  In the middle and lower sections you'll find stocked Rainbows and Brown Trout (you can also expect to find lots of people).

Due to heavy pressure from tourist, swimmers, worm-bobber fisherman, I selectively fish this river and despite what many books say about this river, it is not on the top of my list.  But, from time to time, I will stop at certain locations and wet the line.  Why?  Did you see the below photo yet?

The reasons why you want to fish the Swift River:
    
  • Fish:  Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout.
  • Location:  A short drive from North Conway, NH. You don't want to walk/hike for hours/days. You want to drive, park and fish within a short distance of your car.
  • Experience:  Parts of the Swift can get very crowded with swimmers/tourist and worm-bobber anglers.  But, if you fish it during off season, with the right water flow conditions, the fishing can be good.
  • Size: You want to fish a river that lends itself to short cast and delicate presentations. 
  • Structure:  You want a river loaded with rocks, boulders, and small picturesque pools. 
  • Scenery:  You want New England hardwoods, mountains, wild animals. 


I can't emphasize enough the need to fish cold deep water!


How to Fish the Swift River

Option A:  If you are too busy and don't have time to plan/research, etc., FCFF would be happy to guide you.

Option B:  DIY (Do it Yourself).  If you plan to fish the Swift River on your own, a helpful resource is a book called Field Guide to Trout Streams of New Hampshire. http://www.fieldguidesnh.com/troutstream.html  This book doesn't offer specific angling tips, but it does provide exact locations where you can pull off, park and fish. Also, on each page, you'll find topographical maps in the book.  I find the combination of this book and the NH Atlas & Gazetteer, works best for me. http://shop.delorme.com/OA_HTML/DELibeCCtdItemDetail.jsp?item=234&section=10096&forge_prod=77XHuVfO0mR45isN3pAjnmLQ:S&forge_prod_pses=forge_prod%3D77XHuVfO0mR45isN3pAjnmLQ%253AS~


Tips: 

  • Throughout the year, find cold water (especially during the summer months).
  • Find fast moving water (FYI, rainbows love fast water). Fish the seam between fast and slow water.
  • Find pools and pockets that are at least 5ft deep = prime real estate for fish.
  • Find large rocks/boulders = wild brook trout love to hide-hide-hide = you have to put your fly as close to the rocks as possible. 
  • Move...keep moving!  When weather conditions are warm, water is low, you need to find fish located in cold, deep water. The further you fish away from the parking areas, the better the fishing is! 
  • Time your fishing before and after the holiday bathers/swimmers.  Fish above and below known swimming holes/fish pools.  

Caught on a sunny mid-day.  To catch a beauty like this, you need to understand what set-up to use. 

Fishing the Swift River with FCFF

At heart, we are DIY walk-hike-wade fisherman.  That being said, we encourage you to get outside; fish and explore on your own.  But, if you would like some assistance, guiding-lessons, etc., please feel free to contact us.

Final Word:

The Swift River, typically after spring stocking, fishes well and then slows down as the water level drops and daily temps rise.  As a result of this annual cycle, you must understand where to find fish that have survived the seasonal attacks from worm-bobber fisherman.  Unfortunately, many of the prime trout habitat is also the most popular swimming holes and picnic areas.  But, as you can see from my photos, there are a selective few spots where trout will hold.  

We hope you enjoyed reading this post.  If you have questions or comments, please feel free to do so. Many thanks and hope to see you next season in Patagonia.

Gone Fishing,

Mark


PS. Our business is 100% by referrals (word of mouth).  Please feel free to share this amongst friends. Also, you can follow our blog via email, Facebook or Google Connect.

More Pics from the Swift




Fly Fishing New Hampshire: The Ammonoosuc River

Ammonoosuc River FactsLocation:  New Hampshire and Maine. Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/0kqWdFishing Season: April to October.  Please visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Licensed Required: Yes, general fishing only.Floating:&nb…

Ammonoosuc River Facts

Location:  New Hampshire and Maine. Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/0kqWd
Fishing Season: April to October.  Please visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/
Licensed Required: Yes, general fishing only.
Floating:  No. Walk-Wade. Wet-Wading in summer.
Entrance Fee:  No.
Camping: Yes.  Private and Public, throughout the Mt. Washington Valley.
Length: 55 Miles.
Origin: Lake of the Clouds, 6,288ft Mt. Washington.
Termination: Connecticut River.
Fly Rods: 1wt-4wt during mid/late summer. Perhaps, with high water, 5wt-6wt early spring.
Fly Lines:  90% Floating.  10% Sink.  
Flies:  Fish are not picky, but we only share this information with our FCFF clients.  


The falls, located off Old Cherry Mountain Rd = HUGE pool filed with stocked bows up to 20"


Ammonoosuc is an Abenaki word meaning, "small, narrow fishing place".  If you have swam or fished the Ammo, you quickly understand the Abenaki word/description was spot on.  If you have read history books on New Hampshire fishing or logging, you'll quickly realize the Ammonoosuc River, at one time, was a major fishing river; filled with large Brook Trout and seasonal spawning Atlantic Salmon. Today, the river has changed and is not what it was 200 hundred years ago.  But, if you looking to catch wild Brook Trout, stocked Brown-Rainbow Trout, and possibly landlocked Atlantic Salmon, then put the Ammo on your 'fish to do' list.

The reasons why you want to fish the Ammonoosuc River:
    
  • Fish:  Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, and landlocked Atlantic Salmon. 
  • Location:  A short drive from North Conway, NH. You don't want to walk/hike for hours/days. You want to drive, park and fish within a short distance of your car.
  • Experience:  Parts of the Ammo can get crowded with swimmers/tourist and worm-bobber anglers.  But, if you fish it during off season, or if you are willing to walk a bit, the fishing can be very good, year round.
  • Size: You want to fish a river that lends itself to short cast and delicate presentations. 
  • Structure:  You want a river loaded with rocks, boulders, and small picturesque pools. 
  • Scenery:  You want New England hardwoods, mountains, wild animals. 


When the water is low, I target fish with large dry flies and small dropper-nymphs.  It's the Angus beef cheeseburger with sweet potato fries combo that can't be resisted.

How to Fish the Ammonoosuc River

Option A:  If you are too busy and don't have time to plan/research, etc., FCFF would be happy to guide you.

Option B:  DIY (Do it Yourself).  If you plan to fish the Ammonoosuc River on your own, a helpful resource is a book called Field Guide to Trout Streams of New Hampshire. http://www.fieldguidesnh.com/troutstream.html  This book doesn't offer specific angling tips, but it does provide exact locations where you can pull off, park and fish. Also, on each page, you'll find topographical maps in the book.  I find the combination of this book and the NH Atlas & Gazetteer, works best for me. http://shop.delorme.com/OA_HTML/DELibeCCtdItemDetail.jsp?item=234&section=10096&forge_prod=77XHuVfO0mR45isN3pAjnmLQ:S&forge_prod_pses=forge_prod%3D77XHuVfO0mR45isN3pAjnmLQ%253AS~


Tips: 

  • Throughout the year, find cold water (especially during the summer months).
  • Find fast moving water (FYI, rainbows love fast water). Fish the seam between fast and slow water.
  • Find pools and pockets that are at least 5ft deep = prime real estate for fish.
  • Find large rocks/boulders = wild brook trout love to hide-hide-hide = you have to put your fly as close to the rocks as possible. 
  • Move...keep moving!  When weather conditions are warm, water is low, you need to find fish located in cold, deep water. The further you fish away from the parking areas, the better the fishing is! 
  • Time your fishing before and after the holiday bathers/swimmers.  Fish above and below known swimming holes/fish pools.  

Brown Trout near Bethlehem, NH


Fishing the Ammonoosuc River with FCFF

At heart, we are DIY walk-hike-wade fisherman.  That being said, we encourage you to get outside; fish and explore on your own.  But, if you would like some assistance, guiding-lessons, etc., please feel free to contact us.

Final Word:

Enjoy! The Ammonoosuc River is a great mid-sized stream...filled with wild and stocked fish.

We hope you enjoyed reading this post.  If you have questions or comments, please feel free to do so. Many thanks and hope to see you next season in Patagonia.

Gone Fishing,

Mark


PS. Our business is 100% by referrals (word of mouth).  Please feel free to share this amongst friends. Also, you can follow our blog via email, Facebook or Google Connect.

More Pics from the Ammo


Ammo Bow, caught-released near Bethelhem, NH.
Ammo Brown Trout. Caught-Released near Bethlehem, NH

Large Ammo Brookie.  
Ton's of Stone Fly's on the Ammo
If you are willing to walk-hike, there are some VERY good pools on the Ammo!  This pool, a few miles from the road/parking, produced six trout good sized trout.

Some where on the amazing Ammonoosuc River.
To a beginner Fly Fisherman, is this good water = NO!  Why = lots of sun, very few rocks, no depth.  

Fly Fishing New Hampshire: The Ellis River

Ellis River FactsLocation:  New Hampshire. Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/gkxygFishing Season: April to October.  Please visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Licensed Required: Yes, general fishing only.Floating:  No. Walk-Wa…

Ellis River Facts

Location:  New Hampshire. Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/gkxyg
Fishing Season: April to October.  Please visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/
Licensed Required: Yes, general fishing only.
Floating:  No. Walk-Wade. Wet-Wading in summer.
Entrance Fee:  No.
Camping: Yes. Both public and private, the Mt. Washington Valley (lots of options)
Length: 16.7 Miles
Origin: 6,288ft Mt. Washington
Termination: Joins the Saco River, then flows to the Atlantic Ocean.
Fly Rods: 1wt-4wt
Fly Lines:  Floating.  
Flies:  Fish are not picky, but we only share this information with our FCFF clients.



A short walk from the 64ft Glen Ellis Falls = Prime Brook Trout Territory 


I am no expert, but I have read enough books that tell me that wild brook trout, in order to reproduce and thrive, need clean cold water.  Sadly, these days, clean cold water is starting to sound like an oxymoron.  But, believe it not, just a short drive from the busy streets of North Conway, New Hampshire; you can access the Ellis River and experience some of the best wild brook trout fishing in all of New Hampshire.  In fact, there are parts of the Ellis River, that I would gladly spend the rest of my life...fishing, day-dreaming, relaxing, eating, and napping (the key ingredients of a great day of fishing).

Before moving forward, I must admit I have not fished the Ellis thoroughly enough to explain in detail the middle and lower sections.  Why?  I tend to fish as far up stream as possible.  This does two things for me:


  1. I am targeting wild fish only.  In the middle and lower sections, you will catch stocked rainbows and brown trout.
  2. I try my best to get far away from human influence/pressure. 
  3. The upper section of the Ellis River is heavily shaded = key ingredient for prime wild brook trout habitat!  The middle and lower sections are wider = less shade = warmer water.


Upper Ellis Brook Trout.  We always try to take pictures of fish in or near the water...never on land.  


Here's what to expect and why you want to fish the Ellis River:
    
  • Fish:  In the upper reaches of the Ellis, you'll find plenty of wild Brook Trout (Salvelinu Fontinalis).  In the lower sections, especially in the fly fishing section only, you may catch brook trout, rainbow trout and brown trout.  
  • Location:  You want a short drive from North Conway, NH; and Gorham, NH.  You don't want to walk/hike for hours/days. You want to drive, park and fish within a short distance of your car.
  • Experience:  You want to get away from the crowds and catch wild brook trout.
  • Size: You want to fish a river that lends itself to short cast and delicate presentations. 
  • Structure:  You want a river loaded with rocks, boulders, and small picturesque pools. 
  • Scenery:  You want New England hardwoods, mountains, wild animals. 


If your willing to walk/hike, big dreamy pools await. 


How to Fish the Ellis River

Option A:  If you are too busy and don't have time to plan/research, etc., FCFF would be happy to guide you.

Option B:  DIY (Do it Yourself).  If you plan to fish the Ellis River on your own, a helpful resource is a book called Field Guide to Trout Streams of New Hampshire. http://www.fieldguidesnh.com/troutstream.html  This book doesn't offer specific angling tips, but it does provide exact locations where you can pull off, park and fish. Also, on each page, you'll find topographical maps in the book.  I find the combination of this book and the NH Atlas & Gazetteer, works best for me. http://shop.delorme.com/OA_HTML/DELibeCCtdItemDetail.jsp?item=234&section=10096&forge_prod=77XHuVfO0mR45isN3pAjnmLQ:S&forge_prod_pses=forge_prod%3D77XHuVfO0mR45isN3pAjnmLQ%253AS~


Tips:  

  • Year round, finding cold water in the upper reaches should not be a problem. Combine this cold water with depth and structure = Brook Trout! 
  • Find pools and pockets that are at least 5ft deep = prime real estate for brookie.
  • Find large rocks/boulders = wild brook trout love to hide-hide-hide = you have to put your fly as close to the rocks as possible. 
  • You'll catch more fish in the shaded areas.
  • Move...keep moving!  When weather conditions are warm, water is low, you need to find fish located in cold, deep water. The further you fish away from the parking areas, the better the fishing is! 


Nymphing small pools and pockets
Ellis River Big Brookie +/- 10"


Fishing the Ellis River with FCFF

At heart, we are DIY walk-hike-wade fisherman.  That being said, we encourage you to get outside; fish and explore on your own.  But, if you would like some assistance, guiding-lessons, etc., please feel free to contact us.

Final Word:

Enjoy! The Ellis River is a good little river...filled with beautiful wild brook trout.

We hope you enjoyed reading this post.  If you have questions or comments, please feel free to do so. Many thanks and hope to see you next season in Patagonia.

Gone Fishing,

Mark


PS. Our business is 100% by referrals (word of mouth).  Please feel free to share this amongst friends. Also, you can follow our blog via email, Facebook or Google Connect.

More Pics of the Ellis River


If you willing to walk, the upper section of the Ellis has dozens of deep pools filled with Brook Trout

My type of rest area!

Cold Water + Shade + Depth + Structure = Brook Trout


Without Tree's = We can't keep it together.

Wow...does not get much better than this pool (Shade-Depth-Structure-Cold Water)

The biggest beaver's I have ever seen!

Beaver Den

Time for Dinner