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Friday, November 21 2014 @ 02:41 PM EST
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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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An Updated Tying Flies at the Fair

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
The Sequel to Last Week’s Column
By Bill Thompson

     When I wrote last weeks column I was in a definite dark state of mind and had pretty much given up on my pond. In a complete turnaround, on a whim, I decided to give it one more try before the season end. I knew that it was going to be a good evening when I pulled into the parking lot. One of my old friends was walking up to greet me. We chatted while I got into my waders and rigged up my fly rod. He said that he come early in the afternoon in hopes of some dry fly activity. The surface action was not to be, but he had caught some trout on wet flies. I waded in and started to cast when another old friend walked up from fishing the far end of the pond. When I inquired as to his luck, he replied with enthusiasm that he had done rather well. Another good sign I thought and began to cast again. To the left of me another friend suddenly hooked up and just as suddenly lost the fish. Another good sign, at least there were fish in the area. I continued to cast away with no results. And then the fellow who I had met on the way in hooked up and promptly landed a very nice Brook trout. He held him up and we all admired him with twinges of jealousy in our hearts.

 

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Tying Flies at the Fair

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Tying Flies at the Fair
By Bill Thompson

    I must admit I have not been out on the water as much lately. Lots of other things seemed to have gotten in the way. This time of year you just about always can find me fishing one of the local trout ponds almost every evening. This year the pond just doesn’t have the same allure that it has always had in the past. There are several reasons that have led to this. Perhaps the foremost reason is that several years ago small mouth bass were illegally introduced into the pond and the trout fishing has been declining ever since. The introduction of bass into the northern reaches of New Hampshire and Maine has been a detriment to trout fishing for several decades now and it keeps getting worse.

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Cool Fishing Hot Books

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Cool Fishing and Hot New Books
By Bill Thompson

    After a summer of excellent water levels on the Saco the river has finally dropped to a more seasonable level. The month of September has been exceptionally dry. One fellow in the shop the other day said that the river was so slow that even the leaves were not moving. The Ellis has fared no better and to make things even worse Timmy’s Pool, behind the dam, has been drained at least three times.  Needless to say this has put a damper on the fishing. However, there is still some good fishing to be had.

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Early Fall

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Early Fall
By Bill Thompson

 

    


I am not sure how it got here so fast, but fall is here. It seems like only yesterday that we were getting up at dawn to go fish the pond on opening day. The swap maples were the first indication; they were turning red back in August. Back in June you could fish well past 10:00PM before it was dark, you’re done by 7:30 now. For the trout fisherman this is a positive thing even though it foretells the end.

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Pumkinseed & Pickerel

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Pumkinseed and Pickerel
By Bill Thompson

   


We are most fortunate to live in an area where there is always quality fishing to be found. It matters little what type of fishing you are looking for, warm water or cold water, you need not travel far. Janet and I have been concentrating on the warm water species for the last few weeks. This past week we explored Purity Lake in Madison.

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The Ossipee River

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Fishing the Ossipee
By Bill Thompson

   


Summer is winding down and there are a lot of signs that fall is just around the corner. The swamp maples already have a rosy glow to them and it gets dark now a lot earlier. There is still a lot of trout fishing left, but recently I have been fishing a lot more in anticipation of the coming winter. Janet and I have been fishing close to home as of late. As a result we have been taking a break from trout fishing and concentrating on warm water fish. Not long ago we revisited an old friend, the Ossipee River, in a quest for bass.

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