Fly fishers in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region can expect some good fishing, reports regional fisheries biologist Don Miller:
“This is the time of year that trout anglers anticipate with fervor. Due to the extensive rains we’ve experienced here in the Lakes Region, the “Hex” hatch has been delayed slightly this year, for whatever reason I trolled Lake Winnisquam at sunrise this past Sunday with my fishing buddy, daughter Holly, and was amazed at the amount of spent Hexagenia mayflies that littered the surface of the lake. Our big lake water temps are high for this time of year, mostly mid-70 degree range, although we measured 79 degrees this past Monday at Big Squam Lake. These large mayflies are a real great source of food for trout and salmon. Luckily, we don’t see the swarms of them, as some cities around the Great Lakes have endured, sometimes to the point of calling out snow plows to clear streets of them!
“Now is the time to hit trout ponds and fish till dark. Brook and rainbows go crazy when this hatch occurs. Any large dry fly, tied with a good amount of hackle, especially in cream or white color will do the job. Mayflies are a good indicator of the health of a pond or lake, as they require soft bottoms with a good supply of oxygen.
“Speaking of trout ponds, fellow biologist John Viar and I have been busy stocking some great, surplus brook trout into area ponds throughout the White Mountains and Lakes Region. Boat stocking is the only method to use on these fish, as water temps are above normal right now. Enjoy these fish, raised by our great team of fish culturist’s right here at New Hampton Hatchery.
“The summertime thermocline is well in place, and salmon anglers will find their favorite fish in this band of cold water, generally down 30-40 feet. I may sound like a broken record, but these salmon are growing at a rapid rate now, feeding on the abundant smelt found in most of our salmon lakes. Catch and release is problematic when we have surface temps in the range we see now, so be mindful of this fishery and the effects we may have on it.
“The amount of rainfall we have seen these past few weeks in the Lakes Region is staggering! Lake levels are way above normal, and the problem does not seem to be going away. There is a ton of debris in the lakes now, so be careful boating and keep those lines clean!”