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Friday, May 27 2016 @ 02:03 PM EDT
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Get Away Spots

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Get Away Spots
by Bill Thompson

    The fishing, in the Valley, has finally started to heat up. Considering snow flurries locally and a couple of inches of snow on the ground up in Pittsburg “heating up” may be an overstatement. The warm weather in April set us up for disappointment in May. However, all of the right signs are in place; buds on the trees are the size of a mouse’s ear, fiddleheads and swamp cabbage in the damp places, and the fishing has been fair to good depending on who you talk to. 

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Learn to Fish

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Learn to Fish
by Bill Thompson  
 

 

 


The fishing season is in full swing now and there are a lot of upcoming events of interest to anglers of all ages. I say “of all ages” because there are several events aimed at young fishermen. On May 7th Saco Valley Anglers TU will be holding a “Kid’s Only” Fishing Day at Cranmore Mountain. This event is part of New Hampshire Fish and Game “Let’s Go Fishing” program; both NH F&G and Saco Valley Anglers pitch in to stock the snow making pond with hundreds of catchable trout for eager young fishermen to cast to. The Let’s Go Fishing program is geared to teach aspiring anglers how to go about catching a fish and there will be instructors on hand to do just that. Rods and reels will be available for those that need them and there will be a supply of worms as well. If you have a youngster who is interested in fly fishing there will be instruction and gear also. This is the third year that Saco Valley Anglers has held this event and it has grown in size every year. Come join us for a fun, free day of fishing and free you kids from the shackles of the Internet. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

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Early Morning Opening Day

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Early Morning Opening Day
by Bill Thompson 

 You could not have planned a finer morning even if you had tried. When I left the house at 4:30 the thermometer read 55 degrees; the warmest opening day of trout season that I can remember. When I arrived at the pond I was the only one there; just as I had planned it. The moon, Saturday morning, was nearly full and shining brightly through the trees. Off in the distance I could hear a flock of roosting turkeys that were just waking up. Before rigging up I walked to the edge of the pond and took a few moments just to take it all in. I had a camera with me and I thought about trying to capture the moment, but I knew that it would be impossible and it was much better to just try to remember the way it was. I finally remembered why I came here and walked back to the truck and put on my waders.

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Why We Have an Opening Day

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Why There is an Opening Day
by Bill Thompson

   

Today is the day, the fourth Saturday of April, the beginning of trout season. I know the rivers have been open to trout fishing since the first of January. However, for those of us old enough to remember, the fourth Saturday in April, is the traditional opening day and the day when most of us start fishing in earnest. If you are lucky you may even remember as a youngster getting up in the dark one April morning and going fishing on opening day with Dad or maybe Grandpop. . It is a good bet that not only was it dark it was darn cold as well and there might even be some snow or sleet thrown in for good measure. 

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Opening Day Flies

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Opening Day Flies
by Bill Thompson


   


What fly to use for that all important first cast on opening day is a question that many fly anglers give great thought to. Some are bound by tradition and have used the same pattern that their fathers or maybe their grandfathers showed them on some long ago opening day. Others are more apt to relay on science or an attempt to guess at what might be hatching. Hatching mayflies on opening day in New Hampshire would be a rare event indeed given that the fourth Saturday in April is most often colder than the first day in January and is often accompanied by snow and sleet. 

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Local Knowledge

Valley Angler

 Valley Angler
Local Knowledge
by Bill Thompson

 

 


Spring orders have started to arrive at the shop. Yesterday I finished putting out an order of streamer flies tied by Ken Grimes. Ken is a native New Hampshirerite, who lives in Columbia. I like to tell my customers that I import flies from Columbia; Columbia, New Hampshire that is. Once in a while someone gets it. Ken started tying flies commercially when he was in high school. Later on, when he got married his wife Mary joined in and tied too. Ken told me that he thought she had the record for tying the most Gray Ghosts in New Hampshire. The Gray Ghost was her specialty. 

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Another Opening Day

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Another Opening Day
by Bill Thompson

  

 Another Opening Day is just around the corner. April 1st marks the opening day for salmon season on the “big lakes”. There certainly will be no problem with ice out this year. All of the lakes and ponds that I drive by daily are already ice free. With the early ice out we should see early smelt runs and the tributaries on Lake Winnipesaukee should turn on early. I would not be surprised to find that the Rainbows were already moving into these streams.

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Fly Shop For Sale

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Fly Shop For Sale
by Bill Thompson

 

 


 It is official; The North Country Angler is on the market. After a lot of soul searching Janet and I have decided to sell our shop. As of this April we will have owned the shop for fourteen years. To be sure we have had some ups and downs, but I don’t think there anything in this world that would make us trade those years for something else. I know I will have a very hard time leaving.

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IS IT SPRING YET?

Valley Angler

Valley Agler
Is It Spring Yet?
By Bill Thompson 

    The unusual warm weather has prompted numerous phone calls at the shop inquiring as to how the fishing is on the Saco. Unfortunately our answers have not been very positive. Surprisingly few fishermen get the connection between warm temperatures plus melting snow equals high water. Last week the warm weather and the rain made for some very high water on the Saco; very close to flood. Of course, even with warm air temperatures the water temps remain quite cold. There are no doubt some big trout in the Saco; however their enthusiasm to take a fly is quite low.
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Show Season and Trout Unlimited

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Show Season and Trout Unlimited
by Bill Thompson  

 

 The shop will be on the road this Saturday at the Merrimack River Trout Unlimited New Hampshire Fly Fishing Show. We have been doing this show for 14 years. In the past I have always refereed to this show as “The Pelham Show” due to a change in venue I will have to change the name to the “Manchester Show”. Another change this year is that it will be held for only one day. For those of you who in the past had a hard time finding the Pelham Fish & Game Club the new location should make life a lot easier. The new location is the Executive Court Banquet Facility on South Mammonth Road. 

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