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
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.
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.