Termination: Joins the Saco River, then flows to the Atlantic Ocean.
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:
- I am targeting wild fish only. In the middle and lower sections, you will catch stocked rainbows and brown trout.
- I try my best to get far away from human influence/pressure.
- 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.|
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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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!|
|Time for Dinner|