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North Country Angling: It’s time for a fall season for trout | Fishing


We had a very gentle fall in terms of weather. We are still waiting for the first deadly frosts. We just had the first snowflakes on the Kanc. Mount Washington struggles to stay white.

Our climate is changing. We can debate the causes, whether it’s artificial or natural cycles, but the fall has gradually warmed up over the past 50 years.

It’s not a distant memory of spending Columbus Day weekend fishing the Connecticut River in Pittsburg and spending more time removing ice from fly rod guides than casting a fly. .

There were many years when Labor Day marked the end of the fishing regulations of the General Law. If we wanted to continue fishing, it was fly fishing only. The fly fishing season only ended on October 15th. It was an opportunity to let the trout, brook trout and brown trout spawn undisturbed. The end of the fishing season also coincided with the start of the big game hunting season. Conservation officers should focus on poachers, not poachers.

Conservation Officer Carl Carlson enjoyed doing the fall seeding in Pittsburg and looking after the fly fishermen. “Fewer poachers,” he said.

But rest assured, on October 15, die-hard fishermen had had enough. It was too cold and too complicated to continue fishing. The ponds almost always had ice around the edges at this time.

Fast forward to today. On October 15, the pond water temperatures were still in the high range of 60 degrees. There were no autumn rains to cool the ponds and uplift the rivers. Fishermen fished in shirt sleeves on the last day of trout season. It was reminiscent of past August, not October.

While Fish and Game no longer has funding to store trout in the fall, outside of highly pressured ice fishing waters, the demand for continued trout fishing exists. You don’t need to look any further than the Seacoast area. A private group, Three Rivers Stocking Association, has struck a deal with Fish and Game where fishing remains open.

Fish and Game has implemented barbless fishing with release and artificial lures only on the Cocheco, Isingglass and Lamprey rivers. In return, the Three Rivers Stocking Association purchases trout from the Sumner Brook Hatchery in Ossipee and places these fish in the rivers.

If any of you have traveled to the coast to fish these rivers, you know their popularity. You will have difficulty on a Saturday or a Sunday to find a place to park your car, let alone a body of water to fish.

It’s a very successful program, and the Three Rivers Stocking Association receives thousands of dollars in donations each year.

New Hampshire has a history with an extended artificial lure season. There is evidence that the demand for an extended trout season is viable. Is it time to extend this type of program to all of the state’s stocked trout waters?

The recent Fish and Game Hatchery Advisory Committee recently looked at this issue. In view of the increased demand for trout fishing opportunities, the Committee recommended that the Service de la Pêche et du Game study the establishment of a season for the capture and release of artificial lures in the sea. ‘fall. Eligibility to participate would require the purchase of a Fall Trout Stamp. The revenue from the trout stamps would be used to supply the state’s most popular waters.

It sounds like an idea whose time has come.

If you enjoy fishing for open water trout in the winter, consider donating to the Three River Stocking Association.

Every dollar donated is spent on stocking trout in the three rivers. You can donate at threeriversstocking.com.

Steve Angers, originally from the Conway area, is the author of the book “Fly Fishing New Hampshire’s Secret Waters” and operates the North Country Angler.


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