Pittsburg, NH: The Quest for Big Browns

I’m trying to focus on quality rather than quantity up here at The ‘Burg.

As I’ve written, Jamie and I are up here for a blog writers’ outing. I headed up a day early and am grateful that my family and work schedules worked out.

I’ve been fishing new water up here, as I have gotten comfortable with some of the glamour spots, with this being my 14th trip over 10-ish years. My mission: I want to land a decent brown.

So, I hit a bunch of fruitless spots but did find some gems. Early on, I found quite a few rainbows with the dry-dropper method on my Euro rod and rig. The fish loved the Egan Corn-Fed Caddis. There really is something special about CDC!

Then, I hit gold.

A very good-sized brown trout took a nymph, leapt three times…and dropped. That was pretty frustrating. The fish was above me, low side pressure was doing its thing, and, suddenly, the fish was gone.

Well, you cannot win them all!

I decided to keep working that seam. Amazingly, on the next cast, I had another take. Divine intervention. I felt weight and some significant head shakes. And, yes, I became pretty nervous.

I kept the fish above me and angled the fly rod so that it bent at the butt section. I wanted to tire the fish quickly and minimize any snafus. The longer a fight goes, the more time that bad luck can happen.

I slowly stepped towards the bank to pull the fish to calm water. That really helped, and I started to breath more easily.

Eventually, this fish slid into the net.

Honestly, I never want to take for granted fly fishing or such a fish. These trout are truly beautiful. This one taped at 17″ and had a girth of 11″.

I found out later from Tom Caron, one of the Tall Timber owners, that they find redds at this part of the river. He also observed that the browns stocked this year have been 10″ to 12″.

So, is the above fish wild? Not sure. The dorsal fin looked stunted. A holdover? Who knows.

Either way, I’m happy.


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