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Saturday, September 20 2014 @ 09:59 AM EDT
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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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Finding the Rapid Part II

Valley Angler

The Quest to Find the Rapid
Part Two
By Bill Thompson

  


  Nobody likes to get beat and for weeks after Rick Davidson and I had failed to find our way into the Rapid River the agony of defeat gnawed away at us. I purchased a new Maine DeLorme Gazetter and threw out the old one. I brought new batteries for my GPS. Both of us spent time searching Google Earth and other online map sites. And finally Rick called and a date was set to return to Maine and this time we would find and fish the Rapid.

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The Common Man's Fly Reel

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
The Common Man’s Fly Reel

By Bill Thompson

 

    It is safe to say that I am a collector of things. I have been doing it since my earliest years and have never stopped and probably never will. Not long after I began to fly fish I discovered the wealth of angling literature and soon was collecting fly fishing books. I still dabble with this obsession, but my enthusiasm has slowed down in the last few years. I am guessing, but I probably have well over two hundred books on the subject. I love them and continue to refer to them all the time.

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Finding Solitude

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Finding Solitude
By Bill Thompson

  


  This time of year I spend a lot of my fishing time on the smaller streams. As much as I love the Saco it is not easy finding any peace and quiet on the river in August. We are fortunate to have several smaller streams in the Valley, where it is possible to take refuge from the madding crowd. Fortunately these places are largely over looked by those looking to party in the outdoors rather than to enjoy them for their natural beauty. These places are too small to launch kayaks or plastic tubes and in some cases require one to walk a few hundred yards. I must admit, I cringe when I see a car parked anywhere near one of my favorite places.

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Saco Still Gets No Respect

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Still No Respect for the Saco
By Bill Thompson

   


Spoiler alert, what follows is my annual rant about the condition of the Saco River. I know that you have heard it all before: the river is going to hell in a hand basket, too many people, too many cheap plastic boats, too much trash and a total disregard for one of the Valley’s most beautiful places. On the whole things are pretty much the same as always. I have no way of knowing for sure, but it seems like the traffic on the river may be down a little this year. We have had a few more rainy days and some high water that has kept some people away. However, it is not hard to find the usual abandoned campfire rings and litter at the more popular locations.

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Summer Pickerel Fishing

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Pickerel Make for Good Summer Fishing

By Bill Thompson

  


  August already? Where has the summer gone? Fishermen generally associate August with the “dog days” of summer and many hang up their rods until the cooler days of September arrive. So far this year we have been fortunate to have had plenty of cool days and rainy days interspaced to keep our rivers full of cool water. In addition we were treated to a late stocking that has provided excellent fishing to date. This morning, as I set writing this column, we are having another set of thunder storms moving through the Valley that will no doubt keep the streak going for some time. However, how long this will last is anybody’s guess. There are those who for some reason think that I am some kind of oracle and have a direct link to the fish gods and can predict what the fishing will be like months in advance. I always am amused when I get a phone call, or Email, asking how the fishing will be on the week that they will be visiting the Valley three months from now.

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Lost in the Maine Woods

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Lost Again in the Maine Woods
By Bill Thompson

    It happened again this year, just like it has for at least decades, Rick Davidson and I made our annual fishing excursion once again. I can always tell when school lets out; almost like clock-work Rick will call and a date will be set for the annual event.

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Summer Fishing Prediction

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Summer Fishing Prediction
By Bill Thompson

  


  It was nice of Mother Nature to provide some needed rain last week. OK, it might have been a little too much, it might have been better if it had been spread out a little. The Saco River hit 13,000 cubic feet per second last Thursday and was the color of chocolate pudding; not the best conditions for fishing. The good news was that the river was back down to a reasonable level allowing good fishing for the weekend. 

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First Road Trip

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
First Road Trip
By Bill Thompson

    So far this season Janet and I have been sticking close to home and up until last week we had not ventured out of the Valley to fish. High water had kept us from heading up to the Androscoggin, but tales of big salmon below the Pontook Dam enticed us to find out for ourselves. 

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