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Friday, August 28 2015 @ 10:40 AM EDT
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For the Birds

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
For the Birds

by Bill Thompson 

 

 

 

Cliff Swallow
Cliff Swallow
 Salt water anglers are always looking for birds; birds that are working that is. Any time you see large flocks of sea gulls hovering over the water it is a good indication that there are concentrations of bait fish just under the surface. And when there are large concentrations of bait fish it is a pretty good guess that there will be larger fish feeding on them.

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What is the Price of a Fishing License Worth?

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
What is the Price of a Fishing License Worth?
by Bill Thompson
  

 

 

 You may have heard that New Hampshire Fish and Game is proposing to raise the price of hunting and fishing licenses. It is no secret that the department is facing a major shortfall in funding. The last time that the price of a fishing license went up was back in 2003. In the span of the last twelve years there have not been a lot of things that have decreased in price. In all honesty the time has come for a hike in the price of a license. 

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Head to the Hills

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Head for the Hills

by Bill Thompson  


   


Lately there have been more boats on the Saco than showed up off the beaches of Normandy on D Day. Fishermen often refer to theses invasions as “the aluminum hatch or a “bikini hatch”. Recently I warned a fellow about these hatches and he said: “Oh we refer to these as “Cheerios” on our river”. Of course it is possible to avoid the frustration of having a small flotilla pass through while you are attempting to cast to a rising trout; that no doubt bolted at the first sight of a brightly colored plastic boat. Our advice fish early and late, trout are much more likely to be feeding in the early morning or late evening just before dark.

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The Uniform

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
The Uniform

by Bill Thompson 

 


 If you are more than the casual angler then you know that there is an appropriate uniform required in order to look the part. There was a time when men would not venture onto a trout stream without a jacket and tie. I have a wonderful picture of a gentleman angler taken at the Eagle Mountain House, probably sometime in the 1930’s. He is wearing waders, or hipsters, a jacket and tie, a felt hat and he is smoking a pipe. The pipe was very much part of the angling culture and lasted well into the 1970’s before smoking became politically incorrect. This fellow also has a large wicker creel slung over his shoulder, which again speaks to the time. 

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A Day at the Museum

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
A Day at the Museum
by Bill Thompson   

 

 



The annual Rick Davidson/Bill Thompson road trip has once again entered the history books, with an add twist this time. Fishing was still an important part of the trip, however this year we added a trip to the Rangeley Outdoor Sporting Heritage Museum. We have been wanting to visit the museum for some time now and with Rick ailing from as shoulder injury we decided to make it the highlight of the trip and ease up on the fishing.

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Dog Days

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Dog Days
by Bill Thompson
  

 

 


Over the last few days we have been experiencing temperatures in the 80’s. Perhaps the dog days of summer have arrived; it is after all mid-July. We were blessed with a rainy June which served to keep the Saco’s water levels high and the temperatures low. At present the water levels are getting low, however the temps are still quite low for the time of year and anglers are still having good fishing. 

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Six Minutes of Fame

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Six Minutes of Fame

by Bill Thompson  

 

 


  Fishing guides are a hard working lot and rarely get the recognition that they deserve. Guides put in long hours at the oars, untangling clients leaders and replacing lost flies and listing to stories of the big fish they caught in Montana last summer, with the hope that at the end of the day they catch a few trout and show their appreciation with a good tip. This past week Nate Hill, head guide at the North Country Angler, got his shot at the elusive 15 minutes of fame; in this case 6 minutes. WMUR Chronical News Magazine came to town to do a feature on Nate. 

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Another Day on the Saco

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Another Day on the Saco
by Bill Thompson   

 

   


Last week was Janet’s birthday and we made it a week-long celebration. One of the best presents was a day long drift trip on the Saco. As luck would have it, for Janet and I, Nate had a trip canceled at the last minute and as a result invited Janet to spend a day on the Saco; I came along for the ride. A couple of weeks ago I had made the trip with Nate and Janet had wanted to do it ever since. 

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Alone Time

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Alone Time
by Bill Thompson

   

   

Alone on the
Alone on the "Glide"
Fly fishing is a rare sport that one can participate in without the aid of others. Although fishing friends can be enjoyable, there are those times when it is preferable to be alone on the river. The quietness of an evening on a stream can be therapeutic and help restore a few of the frazzled nerves lost in the course of our daily lives. It was, after all, the master himself, Izaak Walton who said: “Study to be quiet”.

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Floating the Saco

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Drift Fishing the Saco
by Bill Thompson  
 

 

 

   


If you hear someone say they’re going to float the Saco River the first thing that comes to mind is that a canoe or maybe a large plastic tube will be the means of transportation.  For the most part the Saco is the almost perfect river to wade and using a boat is unnecessary, but in high water wading can be a dangerous proposition. After the heavy rain of last week the Saco was no place for a wading angler. However, at the same time the high water created the perfect serrano for a drift boat. As luck would have it my friend Nate Hill has an inflatable drift boat and last week he called and asked if I wanted to join him and Steve Haney for an afternoon drift on the Saco. It didn’t take me long to answer in the affirmative.  

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