Wild Brook Trout and a Birthday
Another story about the mountain rivers of New Hampshire on my 69th Birthday. Was a slight problem with this story!! I was to meet up with Bobby (Kype) at 9am and when he was not there at 9:30 I moved on to fish not knowing he was there about 5 minutes after I left. I feel real bad about this and hope to make it up to Bobby in the future, So here is the story for your enjoyment.
Wild Brook Trout and a Birthday
By: Lee Goldsmith
Lee's Fishing Page
July 26th is my birthday and I turned 69 and was going to make a day of it in the mountains. It was going to be a day that I would fish with Bobby Skowronski (Kype). He called on Monday night and wanted to meet at 9am at the Zealand Road. So I sleep in to 6:15am and had a bowl of cereal and I was off. On the road I figured it would take about 1 1/2 hours to get to the meeting location. I stopped to get a coffee and a couple of donuts and then made one pit stop along the way. I arrived early at 8:40am so I rigged up and got into my shorts and wading shoes. 9am came and no Bobby, so I figured I give him until 9:30 then if he was not there I would go on my own. This was my BAD. Had I waited another 15 minutes we would have met up. As it was we did not get together and that was not good, I really wanted to meet Bobby and will have to try again later in the year.
So I decided to fish the upper part of the Zealand river as I had last year and drove to the end of the Zealand Road and parked the car.
I then walked back down the road until I got to a place where I could get to the river above the Bethlehem reservoir. A short walk in and I was on the river. This was a little lower on the river to start from where I fished last year. I started to catch wild brook trout right off in the first few holes that I tried. The fish seemed a little smaller then last year but still beautiful fish non the less. I worked my way up stream and passed where a tributary entered the main stream. Here I did catch a nice fish that did not stay on the fly to long, was about a 6 to 7 inch wild brook trout. Moving steadily up stream I came to a water fall that I had not seen last year. I started fishing just above the falls last year so it was very nice to see how big the falls were.
Looking up river from where I started this day.
Over all the fishing was good, many fish, about 15 to 20 in all. Check out the fish in the slide show at the end of the story. The morning was drawing to an end and I needed to try another spot before the day was done. So I started out and got back to the car around 11:30am. The walk out is a real trek because of the dense spruce growth in this part of the mountains. It is thick and like dog hair at times. The terrain is also very rugged and will give you a good workout. At first I thought I mite try the Zealand River below the reservoir, but decided to move on to a river I have not fished in a couple of years, the Upper part of the Ammonoosuc River along the access road to the Cog Railroad.
Water Falls on the Zealand River
Upper part of the Ammonoosuc River
The ride over to the Ammonoosuc was not long, about 5 or 6 miles back on 302 to the access road to the Cog Railroad. I drove up the road past the back of the Mount Washington Hotel and up to where the road crosses the river just below the turn onto the Jefferson Notch Road. I planned to fish up river from here to where the river comes next to the Jefferson Notch Road. I parked and started by going down river about 50 yards below the bridge over the river. One beautiful pool is here and I wanted to fish this pool and then move up river.
At this pool I cast the Elk Hair Caddis and to my surprise and nice Rainbow took the fly and at the same time made one big jump across the pool. I was able to land this fish and tried to take a picture but was not successful as you can see. The fish move just as I pressed the shutter button on the camera and then he was gone as he fell back into the river. I was hoping to catch a few more of these Rainbows but that was the only Rainbow all day. I fished up from here and the river has changed a little since my last visit. The woods around the river have been hit with a lot of wind and there were trees down all over the place. The going was slow but productive, lots of wild Brook Trout. Not any real big fish but nice and very colorful. Almost every pool that should have a fish did as I moved up stream. Some of the pools had several fish in them and others had only one. That is that would rise to my offering. Some of the fish were suicidal, would rise until caught, others only would rise once and if not hooked that was it. Typical behavior for these wild fish.
Very shy Rainbow Trout
So I continued up river until I came to the Jefferson Notch Road. There I saw one other fly fisher and had a wonderful take with him. It was now around 3:45pm and I needed to go so this was my birthday presently to myself and it was a wonderful trip for me. I hope you all enjoy it and will contribute a story of your own soon.
Best Wild Brook Trout of the Day
Zealand River Slideshow
Ammonoosuc River Slideshow