After my successful day off on the Androscoggin late last October right before my birthday, I decided to make it a tradition. This year was no exception. Since I’ve always wanted to fish this river from a drift boat, I booked a trip with Nate Hill from North Country Angler fly shop well in advance.
My original plan for last weekend was to wade-fish some favorite spots with my dad on Saturday and float the river on Sunday. However, unforeseen circumstances and commitments got in the way, and I could only fish on Sunday. To make matters worse, a cold front came through late Saturday night and brought wintry conditions along with it.
As expected, the fishing started off slow. Nate had me throw streamers early on to tempt some active fish. However, we soon switched over to nymphing once we realized the fish weren’t willing to move much. For the most part, the going was pretty slow. Like typical late fall fishing, the fish would only bite during a specific window and shut down indefinitely until the next one.
About an hour into our trip, we hit one such window. I lost my first couple fish while trying to get the hang of fishing out of a drift boat. I soon got my act together, however, and landed a number of wild ‘bows (including one around 18″) and a surprised landlocked salmon. The good fishing continued until around lunchtime, when the wind and snow started kicking up.
After that, it slowed way down. All I had to show for the next couple hours were a couple of fallfish. Eventually, the wind and snow got to us, and we headed for the nearest side channel.
I’ve had varying degrees of success in this particular side channel. It’s feast or famine. That day, it seemed like famine. We swung and stripped streamers through every single likely spot with only one bump to show for it. Before we left, Nate handed me the nymphing rod. About three casts in, my indicator shot upstream, and I tied into a good one. After a strong downstream run, I admired a beautiful 12″ wild ‘bow.
After releasing that fish, we hit another brief window and landed a couple more fish before we called it quits. All said and done, this was a birthday to remember. Despite the less than stellar weather that day, the fishing and company were memorable.
If you want to learn the rivers of the Mount Washington Valley and the Great North Woods, consider hiring Nate Hill during your next trip. Whether it’s small native brookies, trophy wild browns, or landlocked salmon, Nate will put you on fish. He has the know-how and the skills to make your day on the water one to remember.