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Saturday, July 20 2019 @ 06:26 AM EDT

March: The Month of Agony

March: The Month of Agoiny
By: Bill Thompson

If you are a fisherman beware the Ides of March. This is a month that can be a cause of great agony for anglers. We have weathered a long winter without complaint, but now there is a hint of spring in the air.

By now you have attended at least a couple of fishing shows, and they have only served to increase the longing to be on the water again. If you ice fish, it is probably time to think about hauling your bob house off the ice before it is too late.

If you tie flies you, by now, have amassed a huge collection of flies all neatly stored away in your fly boxes. You have gone through all the spring catalogs. You may even have sprung for a new rod or reel and now you are itching to feel the tug.

Alas spring can be cruel. You can count on at least one more snow or ice storm. The lakes and ponds are still covered in ice. Every day, you look for any change as you drive by one. In some years, a few warm days will cause some sections to open up giving cause for celebration. The next few days will bring in a blast of arctic air and those open areas will freeze back up.

By mid-month, last year, my favorite pond was already free of ice. This year it is still frozen solid. This past weekend, I was on the coast and there is no snow on the ground, but now I am looking out my back window and there is still plenty of snow in the woods. It is a good bet that it is not going to melt anytime soon. There is some good news. I ran into a friend, who keeps an eye on these things, and he reports that there are a few fish moving in the tributaries of the big lake already. When we had a short warm spell, I did consider trying the outlet of Ossipee Lake. My hopes were dashed when I discovered that water was being released from the lake and the river was blown out.

For those willing to make the trip, the Connecticut River in Pittsburg has started to turn on. My good friend, Mason Thagouras, recently landed a monster brown trout in the river. Fishing the Connecticut this time of year can be challenging. At the same time, it may yield the biggest trout of your life.

There is still a lot of snow up there and wading this time of year is always dangerous. And speaking of Mason, I would like to offer my congratulations to him for getting his New Hampshire guides license.

This coming year, Mason will be guiding out of the North Country Angler along with Nate Hill. And speaking of Nate, he is off to Arkansas to guide on the White River for the next few weeks.

If you are really desperate and looking for a place to wet a line where it is warm and the trout are big, give Nate a call and book a trip on the White.

See you on the river.

by Mountain Angler

Bill Thompson was the former owner of the North Country Angler in North Conway New Hampshire. He still writes this column for the Conway Daily Sun.
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