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Saturday, December 20 2014 @ 11:00 PM EST
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Winter Fishing

Valley Angler

The Joys of Winter Fishing

 

    Invariably someone “from away” will ask me, “what do you do up here in the winter”? I even had a lady ask me once if the town of North Conway closed down in the winter.  Apparently she had never heard of skiing.  I always answer with, “We go fishing of course”, and they usually say, “Oh, of course you go ice fishing”. Then I have to explain that real hard core anglers go fly fishing. 

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Exotic Locations

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Exotic Locations
By Bill Thompson

    I have been writing this column for over twelve years. Back when I first started I figured that it might be good for a couple of years and then I would run out of ideas. Let’s face it the column is about fishing and fishing is a fairly simple pastime. In reality nothing could be further from the truth and if you are a fisherman you know why. There are those times, however, that when I set down to write I haven’t a clue what I am going to say. I never know where the inspiration for a column will come from. Most of my ideas come from an actual fishing experience; sometimes a day or two before I write the article. A lot of ideas come from reading articles in fishing magazines or on the many fishing message boards and blogs on the Internet and there are times I just want to promote some event or cause. This morning was one of those days where I was staring at a blank computer page and then the UPS driver showed up at the door with the new Gray’s Sporting Journal and I had an aha moment.

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Christmas Gifts for Good Girls & Boys

Valley Angler

 

 

 

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Change is Good

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Change is Good
By Bill Thompson

    By and large us “Old Yankees” are slow to embrace change. When it comes to fly fishing we are especially slow to embrace new ideas and it is a wonder that any of us are using graphite fly rods. Not long ago I was talking to one of our sales reps about this phenomenon. He had asked me why I did not stock any European nymph rods? I told him that I had tried and that my customers had showed very little enthusiasm for the idea. The few I had sold were sold on my web site and they were purchased by customers from Pennsylvania. He admitted to the fact that he had little luck in selling these rods anywhere in Northern New England. Spey casting and Tenkara, two other forms of fly fishing have also been met with only limited success in New England.

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Thoughts on Guiding

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Thoughts on Guiding

By Bill Thompson

 

    Being a fly fishing guide requires one to wear a lot of different hats. Aside from having to know where the fish are and what fly to use a guide must be a patient teacher, a good story teller, a good listener, a psychiatrist and some times a “father confessor”. Above all the guide must adhere to the adage that, “what happens on the river must stay on the river”. If the sport tells his friend that he caught a twenty inch fish the guide is required by all the “covenants of angling” to swear that it is true.

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New and Old Books

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
New and Old Fly Fishing Books
By Bill Thompson

   


There was a time when fly fishing books were a big seller in our shop. Unfortunately the Internet put an end that. Today the floor space we give to books is less than three feet in the back of the shop. You may have noticed that book shops in general are disappearing from the landscape. This is not to say that there no market for fishing books, in fact there are dozens of new titles that come out every year. A quick sample of three current fly fishing magazines I came up with 12 new books that were reviewed. 

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Old rods

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Old Rods

By Bill Thompson

 

     Every so often someone will bring an old bamboo fly rod by the shop for me to look at. Most of the time they want to know how much the thing is worth and once in a great while I end up buying it. These occasions are rare for two reasons; most of the time the rod is junk and then there are those times when the rod is worth a whole lot more than I could afford to pay for it. 

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Travels with Charlie

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Travels with Charlie
By Bill Thompson

   


The year would not have been complete without one more drift on the Androscoggin. My friend Nate Hill had been showing me pictures of the big trout he had been catching on the Andro for a couple of weeks and I jumped at the chance when he finally asked me to join for one last trip before the cold weather set in. Nate said that he had already asked Charlie Lowe to join us. With the addition of Charlie the trip would be far more interesting and with the added bonus of leaning from one of the old masters of the river.

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Time to Tie Some Flies

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Time to Tie Some Flies
By Bill Thompson

   


 With trout season over the time has come to tie some flies. This Saturday will be the first meeting of the North Country Angler’s “Liars and Tyers” group. I have already rearranged the shop to make room for the tying tables. If I am feeling ambitious this afternoon I will go out to the shed and get out the tables and bring them into the shop. If you like to tie flies or have thought about tying flies please come and join us. We meet every Saturday morning from 9:30 AM to noon and as the name suggests we do tie flies, but mostly we just shoot the bull and tell fishing stories.

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Epic End to the Season

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Epic Ending to Last Day of Trout Season
By Bill Thompson

 

    For some time now Janet and I have been closing the shop and taking every Wednesday off. In a rare twist of fate our day off happened to coincide with the closing of the trout season. The planets must have been aligned because the weather cooperated as well and it was a lovely fall day; not to cold and partly sunny. 

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