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Saturday, October 20 2018 @ 02:32 AM EDT

Rocky Branch Revisited

Hi All

Just a short story of Brian Duffel and I fishing the Wildcat and the Rocky Branch Rivers.

Rocky Branch and its new look

Rocky Branch Revisited

By: Lee Goldsmith
Site Administrator

The day started with very nice weather.  Picked up Brian around 7:30am and we were off to the north country.  Made a stop at the Eaton Country Store for coffee and some water and ice.  After this stop we proceeded to North Conway and the North Country Angler's for a few more Elk Hair Caddis Flies.  Had to wait about 5 minute for Bill to show up and open the store.  I picked up three new Elk Caddis flies and Bill said you must be going to the Wildcat River, and I said yes we are.  It has been fishing good now for around two or three weeks.


Up to the river we went and got into our shorts and sneakers (Fishing attire for this time of year).  Parked across from the Ski Lodge and fished a favorite pool of mine in the Wildcat River.  It did not disappoint, we caught around 3 to 4 fish and the first fish was really large for this river. 

First and best Fish of the Day
After we finished with this pool I said lets go up and fish around Melloon Road, next bridge up on the river.  So off we went and we walked down river a short distance, about 6 to 8 good pools down river, and started to fish back to the bridge.  I would have to say that the fishing was spectacular, many fish in each good pool with most being stocked Brook Trout and a few wild fish mixed in.
Brian with a very nice stocked Brookie.
  Brian and I would take turns with the 6'6" glass rod that Bill Franke had made for me about two years ago.  Those stocked Brook Trout would have that rod bent over double and were a hand full to land sometimes.  But we managed about 12 to 15 good takes and had a ball.  We then walked back to the car, it was now 11:30am and we eat lunch, Ham Salad sandwiches and ice cold water.

Low and behold who drives up as we finish our lunch but Bill Franke and one of his grandsons.  It has been a long time since I last saw Bill and it was great to see him again.  Bill was fishing with his grandson and this is charming, Bill had made a fishing pole out of Striped Maple for his grandson to use.  They also had some success farther down river from us.  We had a long talk about things, Bill selling the business of his and how it came about.  Bill looked good and I asked about his health and he kind of sluffed it off.  So I did not pursue it anymore.  Bill had said that he and the grandson fished Rocky Branch earlier with no luck.  So they were off and we had to make a decision where to fish next.

We decided to go to the Rocky Branch because I wanted to show Brian what the damage was like on the river.  Brian had fished it several times with me and wanted to see the damage.  So off to Jericho road we went and got there at about 12:30pm.  We drove as far as you could and parked and started to walk the road that had washed out so bad in the fall storm Irene.

Rocky Branch Wild Brook Trout
  Most of the damage at the start of the road had been repaired and we did not see damage for about a mile and a half walk in.  Then Brian could see the Power Of Water.  We looked at the bridge that was almost washed away and then said we need to fish back a ways to see if the fish were still in the river.

We started at a good looking pool but nothing was there that wanted my Elkhair Caddis.  Moving along we finally encountered a fish and it was a good sized wild Brook Trout.  It was really evident that the river has had some dramatic changes.  The rivers course has moved a lot but there are some great looking pools and the fishing was extremely good.  We fished about three tenths of a mile of river and had at least 12 to 15 fish and most were 6 inches or better and most over 7 inches.  I was impressed with the fishing, and will surely fish that river many more times this year.

After the walk out back to the car we called it a day of fishing and headed home.  On the way we did stop to see Bill again at his house and tell him how well the Rocky Branch had fished.  The river is beat up but the fish are there, the character has changed but in some areas it is better.  Thats it folks and I hope you liked my little tale of fishing for a day.

Slide show below of all pictures.


Wildcat and Rocky Branch Pictures


by LeeGoldsmith

After my service time (4 years active) I went to collage and obtained a Masters degree in Forestry from UNH but never really worked as a forester other then to process data from other foresters using a program to calculate volume of standing timber. From there I became a self taught programmer in FORTRAN and have worked as a programmer for a manufacturing company then got into tech support now working as a test engineer for a small company that does contract work for Hewlett Packard. Lee's Fishing Page has grown from a simple site hosted by my internet provider to being hosted now by TotalChoiceHosting and being built with Geeklog and its many plugins. LFP is now on glFusion and I believe will be for the rest of time. I hope everyone likes the site and will contribute to it.
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Dave V

Monday, July 09 2012 @ 11:03 AM EDT

 Lee thanks for posting the story. Nice to see old friends hooking up on the stream.  I am really glad you got to fish some of the hurricane ravaged areas and to find the fish have survived.  Amazing how mother nature restores herself.  Looking forward to more reports coming from that area.

Eat Sleep Fly Fish


Tuesday, July 10 2012 @ 12:26 AM EDT

 A nice story Lee.  Thanks for the read!


It is awesome that the ravaged river is coming back strong.  

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