Fall on the Androscoggin

This post is a long time coming. With my hectic schedule this past week, I found no time to run this post until today.

I fished the Androscoggin last weekend with Matt and Pete. It was windy and clear, not a cloud in the sky. A beautiful fall day elsewhere, but so much brightness is far from ideal for this river (a prior outing here). As such, the fishing was tough. Stealth was needed to avoid throwing shadows on the fish.

After two hours at a productive spot, we only had a few bumps to show. It was far from what we hoped, but with the sunny conditions, I reasoned that the fish would be in the faster water towards the middle of the river.

Remembering a lesson about fishing waters hit by relatively few anglers (post here), I waded out very carefully. Around my fifth drift, my indicator disappeared, and I tied into a nice bow.

A few casts later, my line tightened up and I pulled out a small wild bow. The action stayed fairly steady over the next couple hours. All of us either caught or hooked fish at this spot.

Overall, there was no secret fly. The expected Isonychia hatch never occurred, and there were a few random Midge, Mayfly, and Caddis hatches popping. As such, it was tough to narrow down fly selection, and I had to rotate patterns.

Later on, we decided to move to another spot where I’ve had success. The action slowed down greatly here.

Matt caught couple rainbows, a brookie, and a large fallfish. Between showing Pete a couple of spots and discovering (or feeling) a fairly significant leak in my waders, I only pulled in a baby smallmouth.

Leaky waders aside, it felt great to get back up north during the fall. I addressed the leaks since this trip and I fished with Geoff Klane this past weekend without incident.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Fall is my favorite time to fish the North Country. I can’t wait to go back on my birthday weekend.


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9 thoughts on “Fall on the Androscoggin

    1. This time of year, the dam companies usually run a little lower than in the spring. They released around 1700 when I fished, which is about average. Believe it or not, it was even lower last year!

  1. For someone who has never fished it can you give me an idea of where to start on the river and if there is a local shop?

    1. The river in New Hampshire has an upper and lower section. The upper is above the town of Berlin and is only open until October 15. The lower is below town and is open year round. As far as spots, route 16 parallels the entire river so there is plenty of access. Good places to start are the stretch below pontook dam and at any pulloff between Gorham and the Maine border. For more specific details, I would visit North Country Angler in Conway or Dan’s Fly Shop in Gorham.

  2. Sounds like a great outing, Ashu. Fall is my favorite season to fish as well.

    Question if I may. I have heard and read that rainbows don’t reproduce in this part of the country. Seems like your catching wild rainbows proves that wrong. Any thoughts on that?

    Best, Sam

    1. I think it has everything to do with water chemistry. Most New England rivers and streams are too acidic to support rainbow trout. However, a few like the Andro, Kennebec, Connecticut, Deerfield, and the White do support bows. Part of the reason may be due to agricultural or industrial activity as they have greatly altered the pH of those rivers.

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