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

Fly Fishing New Hampshire: The Wild River

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

Wild River Facts

Location:  New Hampshire and Maine. Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/ZpamZ
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; Wild River, Cold River/AMC, Hastings Campground
Length: 17.2 Miles
Origin: No Ketchum Pond, Bean's Purchase.
Termination: Androscoggin River, Gilead Maine.
Fly Rods: 1wt-4wt.
Fly Lines:  Floating.  
Flies:  Fish are not picky, but we only share this information with our FCFF clients.  


Wild River Brook Trout

I have fished enough rivers in New Hampshire to know that the Wild River is one of the 'best of the best', in small river/stream classification (and experience).  After a statement like that, I am bound to have at least 50% of my readers agree, and the other 50%, disagree.  So, please allow me to qualify my statement with the following criteria:  
    
  • Fish:  You use light tackle and target wild brook trout (Salvelinu Fontinalis) and small, but aggressive rainbows.  
  • Location:  You want a short drive from North Conway NH, Gorham NH, and Bethel Maine.  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. 


Wild River Rainbow

History

The Wild River Wilderness area has a rich history, both for the state's of New Hampshire and Maine. As you can imagine tree's, railroads, and hunting-fishing have played major roles in the history of this area. Rather than butcher the facts, it's best for me to recommend books that I have read.


Note: I personally believe that all fisherman should read a few books about the logging history of New England. To do so, makes you realize how the woods-water-fish are connected.  Reading a few books would also make you understand and appreciate how special this part of the world once was, and hopefully will continue to be. Other good New England tree/logging books are Spiked Boots and Tall Tree's-Tough Men.  Both books briefly mention trout fishing in New England.

How to Fish the Wild 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 Wild 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~


Wild River Big Brookie

Do I fish the New Hampshire or Maine side of the Wild River?

Good news...the Wild River is considered a border access river.  This means by having a NH or ME fishing license, you can both sides of the state lines.  Personally, I have walked/fished for miles, on both sides. Overall, I have been very pleased with my fishing experiences, but you need to learn and understand where the fish hold.  For instance, on both sides you will experience long flat sections. These sections look very fishy and romantic, but they rarely hold fish.  Specifically, in warm weather and low water conditions, these sections will not produce any fish.  Closer to Gilead, Maine, as it joins the Androscoggin River, the river flattens significantly...early season, this junction produces larger fish (primarily stocked fish).

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! 


Wild River Big Brookie

Fishing the Wild 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 Wild River Wilderness area is a very special place...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.



Wild River Big Brookie = Big or small, there is noting like catching a wild fish!