Northern New Hampshire Landlocked Salmon

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by SaltyCutt, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. SaltyCutt

    SaltyCutt Beach Bum

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    Steve, I have heard a lot about the LL's in Maine, but have never chased them. I'll have to add them to the list, I've read about 6 lb fish up there... I didn't see any fish of that size. I did however find a bigger fish that broke me off once the first afternoon, and then again the next morning... in the same slot of a tail out. Funny how it doesn't matter how many nice fish you net.... the obsession lies with the wicked strike, head shake, giant golden belly rolling in the middle of a boil, and then immediate slack line.... brain rattling... that was a huge fish... Huge.
     
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  2. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

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    Hi Steve,
    The name of the game for landlocked Atlantics in Maine was trolling streamers at ice out, especially in the big lakes. I did O.K. on the West Branch with streamers that mimic smelts, their major forage in rivers and lakes (see http://www.nesportsman.com/me/fish/Maine Smelt.shtml). Later in the summer, the landlocked Atlantics will feed on flies, especially caddis.

    During the two years that I lived in Maine, the main-stem Penobscot was open to fishing for searun Atlantics. Their numbers were abysmally low (and fishing was prohibited shortly after I moved to North Carolina) but there were folks who targeted them is a pretty traditional, organized fashion at well-known holes (an amazing contrast to the chaos that is Blue Creek...). While fishing a side channel of the Penobscot that forms the western edge of Old Town, I did manage to hook and release a 20" grilse, a small returning searun Atlantic, that took a black wooly bugger. I was actually targeting smallmouth, which are abundant (and introduced). It put up a great acrobatic fight, especially on a light flyrod, until I landed and released it.

    Yeah, the one that got away. That one fish can haunt you.

    Steve
     
  3. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    Landlocks are the reason I started flyfishing and because we swung for them they are likely the reason I live in the PNW.
    We fished for them in college. Right in town there was a large tributary to the 6th great lake. Fish came up in the spring chasing bait and warm water and in the fall on their spawning run. The fall run had bigger fish, but I did catch some nice spring fish too. The winter fished for post spawn males that would stay in the river until spring.
    The fall fish were 80% 20-23 inches 2.5-5 lbs. They varied from snake like to football shaped. The largest I saw caught was an honest 9 lb hen caught by a friend who has a 12 lb fish on his wall.
    We fished marabou streamers in white, olive, pink and yellow- size 2 and 4.
    These fish jump as much as their name suggests. My only regret is that in my 6 or so years that I fished for them I only tried to fish dries once, although they did like a waking hornberg in the spring. I wasn't trying to wake though.
    There were regulations in place on the river where you could not put lead on your leader or fish a weighted fly. It resulted in nearly everyone rotating through pools and general good angler interactions as everyone was fishing the same,except the few who drifted whole smelt. The oddest thing that I saw was a gentleman who said he caught them nearly daily in the fall on chug bug bass topwater lures. I am sure that you could skate them up on bombers but I didn't know anything about it until after I had moved.
    They are great fish. If I were forced to leave the PNW I'd move to where there are Atlantics, either ocean or landlocked.

    Sox win,
    cds
     
  4. SaltyCutt

    SaltyCutt Beach Bum

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    That is awesome, the guide said he's gotten them on dries when a decent hatch happens, but I didn't ask him about skating them up. Man, for the first time I may be willing to visit the in-laws twice a year!

    Papi with the GS... money.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk now Free
     
  5. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

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    Great night for the Sox!!!

    The late Ed Reif, who ran a fly shop and guide operation out of an extension off the back of his house in Bangor, developed a killer caddis fly that works really well in late summer (http://www.maineflyfish.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=1401) for landlocked searuns on the West Branch. You might not catch the bigger landlocks, but there will be rising fish.

    During that time, I skated up another grilse on a bomber during guided trip on the Margaree River in Nova Scotia. I didn't appreciate just how special that was at the time, but I have that fly over my fly tying desk. On that same trip, I watched another fisher sight fish a 5-6lb mature fish with an egg fly until it took.

    Steve
     
  6. Pat Lat

    Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

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    This was one my favorite report so far on this forum. Different, and full of very cool pics. I think the coolest part about your adventure is that it wasn't some big name, bucket list type place. Just went to visit the in-laws and got a chance to see a tucked away, badass little fishery.
     
  7. SaltyCutt

    SaltyCutt Beach Bum

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    Hahaha, thanks Pat, it was a great experience. It's awesome how many guys out here have experienced northern New England and its fish.
     
  8. ganglyangler

    ganglyangler Bird Dogs and Fly Rods

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    Man, those are cool looking fish... one more thing to add to the bucket list. Nice Job!
     
  9. Fishee

    Fishee Active Member

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    That looks like uber fun, did you catch them on dries? Man, get a 5 weight and i can do this all day.
     
  10. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    For the record, all my landlocked Salmon fishing occurred in NY state, not New England although the fish may have fattened up in New England water.

    Go Sox,
    cds
     
  11. Kyle Smith

    Kyle Smith DBA BozoKlown406

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    Fishing the Northeast is a blast. It amazes me how relatively uncrowded the vast majority of the streams out there are, considering there are something like 50 million people within reasonable driving distance. I have spent entire days fishing multiple sections of the famous Willowemoc Creek (2 hours from NYC) without seeing another angler.
     
  12. kmudgn

    kmudgn Active Member

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    I live in Southern NH and often make the drive up to the Pittsburg area ( 3 1/2 hrs) to fish the "trophy" waters of the state. Unfortunately, we have only 1 dam (Murphy) which is a tail water so most of the rivers and streams are impacted by summer temps. The fishing below Murphy (which is a CCC dam built in 1933) can be good all summer, but can also be very crowded. It may not seem like much to those who are used to big water, but the river below Murphy is only about 10-20 yards wide and had heavy vegetation up to the edge. In addition, the wading in many parts can be difficult. I have been there on some summer days when there have been many (too many) fishermen/women for me to feel comfortable. There are certain areas that get very heavy pressure and I avoid them at all costs. However, the fishing can be great. I target brook trout, but often take landlocks as well. The season is restrictive with most of the "designated" trout waters open from mid April to 10/15.
    There are also a large number of ponds in the area which fish well in May/June and late August to season's close. The ponds are best fished from a canoe or belly boat and can produce some great fish. The Androscoggin river on the Eastern border with Maine is a very productive fishery and many prefer it to the Pittsburg (CT River) area.
    I strongly urge those of you who might be in the New England area to take some time and give northern NH a try. I can really be a good time and there are a whole host of guides to show you the waters.
     
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  13. Kyle Smith

    Kyle Smith DBA BozoKlown406

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    Ever try the Deerfield?
     
  14. SaltyCutt

    SaltyCutt Beach Bum

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    The areas I was fishing were almost empty on Friday when I fished, but on the weekend they definitely had a ton of pressure. There was a guy in most of the runs I hiked into. The nice thing is that with all off the available water there was always a place to fish in solitude. I can't wait to explore more, including the Androscoggin. I'll also add Striper to the second half of the trip while I'm on the Cape. Until then, it's SRC, steelhead, salmon, trout, and Lingcod.....year-round fishing. I haven't even started exploring local lakes. Tough place to live huh?

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  15. mtskibum16

    mtskibum16 Active Member

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    I was thinking the same thing. Cool trip Steve, thanks for sharing! Let me know if you want to meet up to catch some chum sometime!