GEORGE LISET, Writing on the Fly
I was planning to take a drive up to the Big Lake to do some fishing with my son.
Spring fishing can be interesting because of the weather so I was trying to figure out what fly rods to bring up. I had been using my all-purpose 9 foot, 6 weight rod most of the winter. That allowed me to do some nymphing a s well as cast some big streamers.
Knowing that I might be hitting some smaller streams, I headed up to my closet to go through my collection of rods to find a 3- or 4-weight for smaller fish.
When I started looking through my collection, I realized that I might have to do some spring cleaning before I could find the fly rod I wanted. Over the winter I had hit some fly shops, indoor flea markets and some antique shops and added to my collection. I am not one to pass up a good deal, or a nice fly rod and reel.
I finally found the fly rods I wanted. Now I had to go through my reels and dig out the ones I needed and check them out. After I added some leader and tippet material, I was ready to head out to fish.
It was a beautiful day as I headed up to one of the rivers that flowed into Lake Winnipesaukee. Rumor had it that there were still some salmon in the rivers and that there were also some trout to be had. We hadn’t had much spring weather which I was thinking would make for some great fishing. The water should be cold and the water levels should be near normal, just the way the trout like it.
I had just arrived as my son Reed pulled up. We rigged our gear and took the walk to the river. On the way down, we talked about what we might use for flies.
We decided to wait until we got to the river before we would decide. As we approached the river, we hung back a little to see if anything was rising. There didn’t seem to be any activity so we both tied on a Bead Head Nymph with a dropper fly. I tied on another nymph and he tied on an egg imitation.
I was just settling in and had made about four casts when I got into a 6-inch perch, then another and another. Small pan fish are fun, especially on smaller 2-3 weight fly rods. I was using my 6-weight rod since I was hoping to get into a few trout. The heavier fly rod takes some of the fun out of catching smaller fish, but not all of it.
A few minutes later I hear “I got one!” coming from up the river. I get out of the river and take a brisk walk up to see Reed land a nice 14” Rainbow. The trout had taken his egg dropper. The egg patterns work really well in the spring and fall when the fish are spawning.
We spent the next hour and a half dredging the river with nymphs without any luck. Reed took out his stream thermometer to see what the water temperature was. It read 62 degrees. We looked at each other and wondered when the water had enough time to warm up. That started to explain the perch and lack of trout.
Perch love the warm water and the trout like it cold. So, with the few minutes we had left, we decided to switch our flies. I went with a smelt imitation streamer and Reed went with a Griffiths Gnat. We both got a few bites but couldn’t catch another fish.
As we walked back to the truck we talked about our upcoming trip to Pittsburg in another month. We were hoping to get together before then, but as usual, a lot depends upon the Spring weather.
A writer from Dover, George Liset writes about all things Fly Fishing. George has worked as a lobsterman, lifeguard, wrangler, boat captain, fishing instructor, and has traveled in most of the lower 48 states. Upon graduation from Wheaton College, Illinois, George began his teaching career and currently teaches in Dover and has coached Track and Field most recently at UNH. Liset has been published nationally and internationally in the area of track and field and coaching.