Fishing NH’s Mad Beaver Pond

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Reed Liset photo

George Liset is pictured with a nice brookie.


    I was excited to head back north to some of the rivers that flow into Winnipesaukee after such a successful outing a few weeks before. I felt like I was finally figuring things out. Then the rains came. Two weeks of rain literally blew out the rivers. The rivers were running fast and high making wade fishing problematic. After a couple of days of sun, I met my son Reed on the river that is about half way between us.

    As we rigged our fly rods we talked strategy. We both started nymphing, thinking that any fish that was still in the river would be hugging the bottom or hiding in the undercuts close to the banks of the river. We fished a good section of the river with no bites. We decided to change our flies. Reed tied on a stimulator and I went with the dependable Wooly Bugger, but still no luck. Reed said that he might head home and get out his float tube and hit the pond down the road from his house.

     Ponds are a sure thing even after heavy rains. Later on that evening, Reed sends me some pictures of a couple of handsome Brookies he caught from his float tube. So I decided to head over to Mad Beaver Pond, (my name, not the actual name). It is interesting how Ponds and certain sections of rivers get their names.

    I started calling this pond Mad Beaver Pond when one day while I was fishing, a big old beaver snuck up on me and slapped its tail. It scared the daylights out of me. This beaver was stealth. Now it would be funny if he had only surprised me once. However, he has gotten me a couple of times over the years. So I started calling it Mad Beaver Pond to remind myself to look out for that critter.

Mad Beaver Pond is close to my heart. It is where I caught my first trout on a fly. It is also where Reed caught his first trout fly fishing. I remember the first time I brought Reed over to teach him how to cast. Reed picked up the casting pretty quickly. I then put on a fly and told him it took me about five or six visits to catch a trout and that patience was a virtue. On his second cast he pulled in a nice twelve inch Brookie. Reed gave me a look like I thought this would be hard.

    Mad Beaver Pond is relatively small. It is basically a spring that was dammed up for fishing. I could easily throw a rock from one end to the other. It is a quaint little pond that gets overlooked in favor of some of the bigger and more easily accessible ponds. It can be floated, but I have never seen anyone do it. It would almost be like floating in your bathtub, except the view is better and you don’t have to pay for the water.

    The pond is where I take my local friends that want to learn to fly fish. It is a beautiful spot that is filled with wildlife. I have seen herons, eagles, foxes, turkeys, fisher cats and of course, mad beavers. When the weather gets hot and the rivers are low, head to your nearest pond and enjoy the beauty and the fishing. New Hampshire Fish and Game has a list of stocked trout ponds and their accessibility. And just remember, you won’t find Mad Beaver Pond on the list.

 George Liset of Dover is an award-winning outdoor writer and avid fly fisherman who shares insights of his time on the water exploring New Hampshire streams and rivers as well of those around New England. George is a graduate of Wheaton College, Illinois, and the University of New Hampshire. His column Writing on the Fly has been honored by the New England Press Association and the New Hampshire Press Association.

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