Hungry Fish Await: Cast A Line and Make a Fishing Memory in NH's Grand North
From hefty trout and landlocked salmon to feisty smallmouth bass, NH Grand highlights an array of fishing opportunities in incomparably spectacular settings
LANCASTER, NH – With this year's harsh winter presumably in the past, it is time to grab the tackle box and fishing rod and begin a quest to find big fish in beautiful surroundings in New Hampshire's Grand North. Fishing season is underway and New Hampshire Grand, the official visitor information source for the Great North Woods and the Northern White Mountains, invites anglers to grab a fishing license and head north in search of trout, salmon, bass, pike, perch and pickerel. For information on fishing seasons, visit www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing_seasons.htm
"Fishing is synonymous with New Hampshire and there is no better place to cast a line than in New Hampshire's Grand North. Whether targeting the stunningly beautiful native brook trout, leaping smallmouth bass, trophy-sized northern pike or the much-coveted landlocked Atlantic salmon, fishermen travel from all over the country to try their luck in the North Country's fantastic fishery," said Cathy Conway, of New Hampshire Grand. "From the Androscoggin River to the Connecticut River to Forest Lake, anglers will find plenty of hungry fish ready to bite—that is if they can take a break from enjoying the breathtaking scenery!"
Experienced anglers know the two-and-a-half mile stretch of the Connecticut River in Pittsburg, from First Connecticut Lake to Lake Francis claims some of the very best trout and salmon fishing in the northeast—that's why it is often referred to as "Trophy Stretch." For anglers targeting landlocked Atlantic salmon, First Connecticut Lake just below First Lake dam in Pittsburg, boasts excellent opportunities to hook the prized game fish. Landlocked salmon have two high points in the fishing season each year, in the middle of May peaking around Mother's Day and late September.
For fly fishermen, the dozens of ponds, streams and brooks from the Connecticut Lakes to the Connecticut River, including Moose Pond, Big Bog Brook, Terrill Pond, or Boundary Pond, provide fantastic opportunities. For fly and spin fishing, Middle Pond and Round Pond are great options.
Anglers can check in at the Cabins at Lopstick (www.cabinsatlopstick.com) or at the Tall Timber Lodge (www.talltimber.com) for expert advice and a comfortable resting place. Guests can take lessons at both establishments, both Certified Best of New Hampshire Grand businesses. Other great lodging options in Pittsburg include the Inn at Bear Tree (www.atbeartree.com), Powder Horn Lodge & Cabins (www.powderhorncabins.com), or Partridge Cabins (partridgecabins.com).
Many in-the-know anglers head for the Androscoggin River from Errol into Gorham, dreaming that it just might be their day to catch a big brook, brown or rainbow trout, hook a nice-sized salmon, or reel in a smallmouth bass. The river is a prime spot for fly fishing, whether anglers don waders or take out a drift boat. Spin casters can wade right in, too, or fish from shore. With plenty of pull-outs and places to park, there are dozens of excellent spots — and hungry fish!
The number one fishing destination on the Androscoggin is right below the Errol Dam. The experts at L. L. Cote in Errol (www.llcote.com) are ready to set fishermen up with all the equipment they need, and maybe let them in on a secret fishing spot or two. L.L. Cote also sells licenses.
The confluence of the John's River in Dalton with the Connecticut River is perhaps an overlooked fishing spot, particularly for anglers in search of the toothy northern pike. Put a boat in at the public boat access near the railroad bridge that connects New Hampshire and Vermont or cast a line from shore. Pike are also plentiful at Martin Meadow Pond, off Route 3 in Lancaster. The pond is also stocked with trout and has a good public boat access.
Anglers will find plenty of bass, perch and chain pickerel at Forest Lake in Dalton or Burns Pond in Whitefield, both off Route 116.
For a great fishing experience for the whole family, try out the Airport Marsh in Whitefield (take Colby Road off Route 3, and then turn onto Airport Road), which the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department stocks with trout. Kids will delight in catching trout, of course, but they will also enjoy watching planes take off and land at the nearby Mt. Washington Regional Airport.
A day of fishing can work up a serious appetite, so it is a good thing the Grand North features an array of delicious eateries, including the Certified Best of New Hampshire Murphy's Steakhouse at the Inn at Bear Tree, the award-winning Rainbow Grille at the Tall Timber Lodge, the Indian Stream Eatery in Pittsburg, Buck Rub Pizza Pub (www.buckrubpub.com) or the Back Lake Tavern. For a filling breakfast or lunch, pull up a chair at Dube's PittStop or the Happy Corners Café.
Anyone ages 16 or over, needs a fishing license in New Hampshire. Licenses can be purchased at many sporting goods stores and many of the region's inns and lodges that welcome sportsmen, as well as online at www.nhfishandgame.com. Fish and Game maintains a directory of licensed fishing guides who know the hot spots and can offer tips and techniques.