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Sunday, April 19 2015 @ 06:50 PM EDT
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Ice Out Fishing

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
 Ice Out Fishing 
 
by Bill Thompson

 

   

Alto bay
Alto bay
I don’t think I will take the snow tires off the truck right away, but I think that the worst of the winter is behind us. The last few days of warm weather has got me thinking about fishing for real. Yesterday I went out in front of the shop to cast for the first time since last fall. Casting a fly line on the lawn in the spring is a little like digging out your baseball glove for the first time and playing catch. I didn’t last long as the shoulder gave out pretty quick, but it was gratifying that I still remembered how to cast. 

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End of an Era

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
End of an Era

by Bill Thompson

 

 

 

Jim outside his shop.
Jim outside his shop.
 New Hampshire is losing another landmark and a part of its angling history. At the end of May the Opechee Trading Post will be closing its doors for the last time. The current owner Jim Makris has reluctantly come to the conclusion that the time has come to call it quits. A few months ago Jim had some major surgery and although the outcome was positive he decided it might be time to spend some time with his family and go fishing. Fly shop owners rarely get much time to fish on their own.

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Opening Day and FF3T

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Opening Day and The FF3T

by Bill Thompson  

 

 

Wolfeboro Docks Opening Day April 1st
Wolfeboro Docks Opening Day April 1st
 In case you missed it April 1st was the opening day of fishing on New Hampshire’s big lakes for salmon and trout. If you missed it you are excused. Lack of open water kept most anglers home, although there were those diehards who, after a long winter, could not stay away. Good fishing on the lakes may be a week or two away, but it is hard not get out and cast a line.  Longer days and some rain and wind will take the ice out quickly and the trout pond season is only twenty-two days away, so better days are in sight. 

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State Fly Anyone?

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
State Fly Anyone?

by Bill Thompson

 

 


A few weeks back I was at the New Hampshire Fly Fishing Show.  Casting for Recovery had the booth next to ours and I had the pleasure of meeting two ladies from Vermont that were on the CFR staff. In the course of conversation one of them mentioned that the State of Vermont had just passed a law recognizing the Governor Aiken as the Official State Trout Fly. 

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Tying the Maynard's Marvel

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Tying the Maynard's Marvel
by Bill Thompson

  



I never have and I never will consider myself to be a commercial fly tier. I love to tie flies and tie all year, but to set down and tie several dozen of the same fly has never been my thing. My hat is off to those dedicated professional tiers who turn out hundreds of dozens of flies each year. I met a tier in a shop in Canada a few years back who told me she had tied three thousand Bombers the previous year. I can’t begin to imagine the dedication it took to tie those flies; and the Bomber is no easy fly to tie.

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Shows and Casting Clinics

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Shows and Casting Clinics
By Bill Thompson

    Attending fishing shows may be hazardous to your health. Having spent the last weekend in the company of hundreds of like-minded fly fishermen and given the chance to fondle all kinds of new rods and reels has left me in a deep state of depression. I now have a burning desire to fish and the ponds and rivers are still in deep freeze. Someone needs to have a serious talk with Elsa about the benefits of spring. One of the questions I was asked most at the show was: “When to you think the ice will be out on the Saco. At the moment my best bet is July.

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On the Road

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
On the Road This Week
By Bill Thompson

 

    The North Country Angler takes to the road this weekend. Nate Hill and I will be in Pelham, New Hampshire at the 13th Annual Fly Fish New Hampshire Show. This year Nate will be giving a presentation on Fly Fishing in the White Mountains and I will be doing a fly tying demonstration. Needless to say we will have a booth where we will be selling all kinds of fly fishing stuff; including some very attractively priced “show specials”. Janet and Summer will be manning the fort at the shop and for those who attend the “Liars and Tyers” tying sessions, there will be tying. 

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New Hampshire Rivers Under Attack Part Two

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
New Hampshire Rivers 
Under Attack Part 2
By Bill Thompson

 

 

   

View from the Errol Dam the intake would be on the right 1700 feet down river
View from the Errol Dam the intake would be on the right 1700 feet down river
The Androscoggin River is also under attack. In case you haven’t heard The Balsams Resort in Dixville Notch is planning a major makeover and in the process “quadruple” the size of the ski area. The Balsams is one of New Hampshire’s most beautiful and historic grand hotels. I can remember as a teenager going to bed on election eve listing to the ballot count, The First in the Nation, from Dixville Notch; the voting took place in the hotel. Sadly the Balsams Hotel has been shut down for some time. The two newest owners, Dan Dagasse and Dan Herbert have planned to renovate and add a new addition to the existing hotel. Recently the two partners took on Les Otten as a third partner in the venture. Valley residents will remember Les from the now defunct American Ski Company. If nothing else Les is more; he thinks BIG. The plan to quadruple the ski area seems to have come from Les. As most every skier knows ski areas require water to make snow. The new company has applied for a permit from the state to draw 2.9 million cubic feet of water from the Androscoggin River daily (on an intermittent basis) from November to March 15th for snow making. 

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Assault on Our Rivers

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Assault on Our Rivers Part One
By Bill Thompson

    Every time I catch a wild Brook Trout I have to stop and marvel at how this miraculous creature, who has been with us since the retreat of the last ice age, has managed to survive. The Brook Trout and the other trout that have been introduced to the waters of New Hampshire, despite a concerted assault by mankind, continue to find enough suitable water to continue their existence. 

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Up Coming Events

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Up Coming Events
By Bill Thompson

   

Last year's booth in Pelham
Last year's booth in Pelham
Hard to believe that spring is anywhere in site, however it is not that far off and the New Hampshire Fly Fishing Show is less than three weeks away. The NHFFS is in Pelham March 7th and 8th. We have been doing this show for 12 years now and it is always a lot of fun. This year Nate Hill, the head guide for the North Country Angler, will be giving a presentation on fly fishing in the White Mountains. There will be a lot of other presentations as well and the nice thing about this show is that it is all New Hampshire.

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