9/26/13: Winnisquam, Laconia
Conditions: sun & clouds, calm, 70s
Equipment: trolling gear – flyrod, downrigger rod, leadcore
Baits: Top Gun & DB Smelt spoons, streamers in orange and yellow
New Hampshire’s lake trout and salmon lakes close September 30, so this was my last trip of the year on Winnisquam. After work, I launched the boat at the nice public launch in back of Boulia-Gorrell Lumber in Laconia. It was as pretty an afternoon as one could want in September under the slanting rays of autumn sun. I ran all over the lake looking for fish staging off of structure, which they tend to do this time of year. Caught and released one lake trout that fell for a DB Smelt spoon at 25′. Sunset and
it’s afterglow left me speechless, as nature’s beauty reminded me that it’s not just fish I seek when I go fishing. I’ll miss Winnisquam… at least ’til it ices over. Then, the game begins anew.
9/22/13: Four waters in a day
Conditions: sun & clouds, calm, around 60-70
Equipment: ultrlight spinning tackle, flyrod
Baits: Mepps spinner, wet flies
On Sunday the 22nd, work had me all over the state, so I decided to make the best of it by checking access at a number of central NH spots.
I came off of Rte 93 at Exit 17 and hopped onto Hoit Road for the back way to Loudon. There’s a very beautiful, wild spot along the way – the Hoit Road Marsh. Undeveloped, and flanked by nice trails, the city of Concord maintains the area. It’s a spot for bass and pickerel, and I took some time to cast the ultralight setup, figuring it to be a good place to return with the kayak.
Next stop, just a couple miles further was a favorite haunt of mine: the Soucook River in Loudon. I stopped to cast at the head of the dam, around the corner from the firehouse, and immediately hooked and released a nice little brown trout – and then did the same with a spunky creek chub.
I had to stop by studios in Gilford, so I decided to take the very scenic way out of Loudon through Gilmanton: Rte 129 to Rte 107. You travel past some pretty farmland and a few ponds, passing along a ridge on 107 that features some very spectacular long views. Flanking 129, Rollins Pond is another undeveloped, fishy-looking spot, with access right next to the road for car-top boats. I took the time to make a few casts there, too.
The route I took eventually brought me to West Lebanon, where, after I completed a project there, I hit the Mascoma River with the fly rod. One afternoon, four waters, and a route that took me past many more, including the Merrimack, Newfound, Pemigewasset, Smith and Mascoma rivers, as well as lakes Opechee, Winnipesaukee, Wicwas and Mascoma, plus assorted ponds and marshes. Yeah. Plenty for other trips. Plenty.