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Atlantic Salmon Fishing in New Hampshire

Sorry, but the program was discontinued by USFW. No more big salmon in the Merrimack River:(

Atlantic Salmon are one of the most sought-after fish with a fly rod. Often referred to as the "fish of a thousand casts" Atlantic Salmon fishing is often thought of as out of reach of the ordinary angler. Trips to Atlantic Canada or Europe, rod fees on private water, and expensive licenses cause most anglers to only dream of fishing for these noble fish. No longer. The State of New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has implemented a program of stocking brood stock Atlantic Salmon that range from four to over twelve pounds. For the cost of a fishing license and a ten dollar salmon stamp, anyone can test their skill with these great fish. Watch Jim and Gerry get a double hook-up and land a 10-pounder.

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Best locations to Fly Fish for Brood Stock Atlantic Salmon

Prime locations for fishing for brood stock Atlantic Salmon in New Hampshire include Merrimack/Litchfield, Hooksett, Concord, Franklin and our favorite spot, Bristol. We recommend a 7 or 8-weight nine-foot fly rod with both a floating and sinking or sinking-tip fly line. Flies to use include muddlers in various sizes and colors, especially white maribou. The Green highlander salmon fly, white woolly-bugger and a local favorite, the Sewall's Falls Fancy are all popular and occasionally successful fly patterns for brood stock Atlantic Salmon. Large dry flies, such as Stimulators are sometimes effective.

Here are Gerry's fishing reports for Atlantic salmon in New Hampshire.

Holding water in New Hampshire Rivers

Atlantic Salmon are very strong fish and don't hold in many of the typical places you will find trout. The like really fast, well-oxygenated water. Fish the seams in rapids and pocket water. Often you will see salmon rolling, or even jumping out of the water. Note the type of water where these fish are holding and fish those spots and similar spots. Also vary your retrieve. Start with a dead-drift, then move to a slow retrieve and then finish by stripping the fly quickly and pumping your rod tip. At various times of day and various cloud-cover and weather conditions fish will hold in different areas, rapids, runs, tail-out or head of pool. Be observant and try to learn the pattern of the fish for that particular day. Click here for the river access map for Atlantic salmon in New Hampshire.

Less than 90 minutes from Boston, you can experience Atlantic Salmon fishing for yourself.

Check the NH Fish and Game page about the broodstock Atlantic salmon program.

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