I took a trip to the Cocheco with good friends Lars and Tyler on Friday afternoon. The recent warm weather had us chomping at the bit to get out and, luckily, we found our opportunity.
March fishing by definition is fickle. Fish are still in their wintering lies, activity is slow, and bite windows are limited. Runoff is sometimes also a factor. Usually I only catch a few fish, if any, barring rare exceptions. As such, my expectations were quite low.
The first spot unfortunately confirmed my doubts. We tried a variety of flies and approaches without any sign of a fish. Never one to throw in the towel, I suggested another spot to try to break the spell. Luckily, my friends obliged and we walked further downstream.
Fortunately, our spot change paid off. About 20 minutes in, I felt a take and the telltale head shakes of a decent ‘bow. About halfway into the fight, however, I realized I had dropped my net onto the bank and couldn’t land the fish. Since Lars was re-rigging on the bank at the time, I asked him to grab it for me. I slowly crept towards the bank, desperate to keep it on. Somehow, I synchronously caught the net in my left hand and moments later landed the fish.
After landing my fish, I yielded my spot to Tyler and gave Lars some pointers on tightlining. Not long after, Tyler hooked a monster fish while nymphing, and it unfortunately broke him off. A short while later, Lars hooked one on a swung streamer.
Sadly, it got dark soon after the bite materialized, and we had to call it. All said and done, it was a fun few hours on the water, and I’m looking forward to this coming spring. Currently, I’m in Pittsburg, NH, targeting big browns with my friend Mickey Cunliffe. Wish me luck.