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Further north from The Saco river, through the White Mountain National park, I came upon a village where I would make my lodging. Behind the hotel, a cut of the river flowed past high and mighty. I took a couple casts, but the current seemed so fast here, ripping the whole way down with few features. 

 

I set off the next morning on my first honest attempt, pulled into an old picnic area up river, but was unimpressed with the water, and the land was marshy. Something one should know about the mighty Androscoggin, there are many, many dams and hydroelectric facilities in both ME and NH. Sometimes three dams or more in a short stretch of river. One can only imagine the power of the river, and the strong runs of fishes, in a time before all the dams. 

 

Further upriver from the stagnant picnic area I found a little park near a dam. Being a weekday in September, no one was here, but out on the rocks near the dam overflows there was evidence of fishing waste. The shore was conducive to ratting, however with the terrain of awkward and obtuse boulders unique to New Hampshire. A bit downstream I found a small brook that opened into a shallow flat of the main river. Here I would catch two brook trout, which made the day, and probably made me into more of a trout angler. I would try more downstream, but not much to show until the walk back where I caught some small smallmouth.

 

Later that day I went back to the edge of town where I saw a parking lot for a hiking trailhead. It already seemed late in the day and I didn't know how long I would last. It was a stretch unobstructed by dams, and the current was ripping fast. I was rather surprised to catch a micro smallmouth right away, enough to tell me that there are fish in this intimidating current.

 

I crossed, lost a fish that looked like a herring, interesting, and then started getting some scrappy smallmouth. I decided to venture downstream from here. The September sun in the north country casted a dark shadow over the woods. A solitary tent stood in the thickets, quiet, dark. The bush was thick and the bank was steep. I found a good spot to cast, and I was getting smallies almost every cast, including a very big fallfish that was to crazy to get a picture of. I think it was the current- these fish were wired. 

 

The next spot I came upon was like an old-school, backwoods bonanza. There was a big hydroplant on a small tributary, setting up a long isolated pool that at its end connected to the main river with it's furious current. Near this point the current was forming a whirlpool, and the action was fast and furious. They would let the bait get up near the bank- then decide to smash it. Smallmouth, with a fallfish and a big river pickerel that jumped off mixed in. Dozens of smallmouth, they were not giant but big enough for good sport. This was with a spinner, now it was getting dark and I wanted to try a topwater to maybe draw a big bite. I put a popper on, and the action was silent. Not a bite. This was curious and despite the epic action, left me thinking. As a stranger out in the dark backwoods, I had to get back to the trail and out of there.

 

On a cloudy morning with a distant hurricane swirling, I set off to meet my buddy to fish a lake in Maine, where we had great success a time before. The lake is a water supply, and half the lake is closed off by a line of spaced out buoys. You wouldn't believe this. The first time we were there, when we caught a near 4lb sm, 4 and 5 lb LM, and lost a couple big sm, we had unknowingly drifted into the forbidden zone. ALL the big bites were in the forbidden zone. So this day, if we were going to break the law, we would be knowingly breaking the law, which felt different morally. So we stayed on the legal side of the pond, and I caught about 20 dinks on a spinner. My comrade who uses big baits blanked. It's like all the big fish in the lake are positioned in the forbidden zone, and they don't see lures. I knew the first time we were there it just seemed too good. They were untouched lake bass.

 

On the way back to my lodging, I stopped by a park near a swampy place, where I hoped to have easy luck for some chain pickerel. On a few casts I ended up pulling a real nice largemouth. I drove off into the low sunset, along the dark waters of the mighty Androscoggin, an uncharted stretch where many mysteries might swim.

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IMG_20230915_150251.jpg

IMG_20230914_103530.jpg

IMG_20230915_184131.jpg

IMG_20230914_175210 (1).jpg

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3 hours ago, MassBass said:

Further north from The Saco river, through the White Mountain National park, I came upon a village where I would make my lodging. Behind the hotel, a cut of the river flowed past high and mighty. I took a couple casts, but the current seemed so fast here, ripping the whole way down with few features. 

 

I set off the next morning on my first honest attempt, pulled into an old picnic area up river, but was unimpressed with the water, and the land was marshy. Something one should know about the mighty Androscoggin, there are many, many dams and hydroelectric facilities in both ME and NH. Sometimes three dams or more in a short stretch of river. One can only imagine the power of the river, and the strong runs of fishes, in a time before all the dams. 

 

Further upriver from the stagnant picnic area I found a little park near a dam. Being a weekday in September, no one was here, but out on the rocks near the dam overflows there was evidence of fishing waste. The shore was conducive to ratting, however with the terrain of awkward and obtuse boulders unique to New Hampshire. A bit downstream I found a small brook that opened into a shallow flat of the main river. Here I would catch two brook trout, which made the day, and probably made me into more of a trout angler. I would try more downstream, but not much to show until the walk back where I caught some small smallmouth.

 

Later that day I went back to the edge of town where I saw a parking lot for a hiking trailhead. It already seemed late in the day and I didn't know how long I would last. It was a stretch unobstructed by dams, and the current was ripping fast. I was rather surprised to catch a micro smallmouth right away, enough to tell me that there are fish in this intimidating current.

 

I crossed, lost a fish that looked like a herring, interesting, and then started getting some scrappy smallmouth. I decided to venture downstream from here. The September sun in the north country casted a dark shadow over the woods. A solitary tent stood in the thickets, quiet, dark. The bush was thick and the bank was steep. I found a good spot to cast, and I was getting smallies almost every cast, including a very big fallfish that was to crazy to get a picture of. I think it was the current- these fish were wired. 

 

The next spot I came upon was like an old-school, backwoods bonanza. There was a big hydroplant on a small tributary, setting up a long isolated pool that at its end connected to the main river with it's furious current. Near this point the current was forming a whirlpool, and the action was fast and furious. They would let the bait get up near the bank- then decide to smash it. Smallmouth, with a fallfish and a big river pickerel that jumped off mixed in. Dozens of smallmouth, they were not giant but big enough for good sport. This was with a spinner, now it was getting dark and I wanted to try a topwater to maybe draw a big bite. I put a popper on, and the action was silent. Not a bite. This was curious and despite the epic action, left me thinking. As a stranger out in the dark backwoods, I had to get back to the trail and out of there.

 

On a cloudy morning with a distant hurricane swirling, I set off to meet my buddy to fish a lake in Maine, where we had great success a time before. The lake is a water supply, and half the lake is closed off by a line of spaced out buoys. You wouldn't believe this. The first time we were there, when we caught a near 4lb sm, 4 and 5 lb LM, and lost a couple big sm, we had unknowingly drifted into the forbidden zone. ALL the big bites were in the forbidden zone. So this day, if we were going to break the law, we would be knowingly breaking the law, which felt different morally. So we stayed on the legal side of the pond, and I caught about 20 dinks on a spinner. My comrade who uses big baits blanked. It's like all the big fish in the lake are positioned in the forbidden zone, and they don't see lures. I knew the first time we were there it just seemed too good. They were untouched lake bass.

 

On the way back to my lodging, I stopped by a park near a swampy place, where I hoped to have easy luck for some chain pickerel. On a few casts I ended up pulling a real nice largemouth. I drove off into the low sunset, along the dark waters of the mighty Androscoggin, an uncharted stretch where many mysteries might swim.

IMG_20230914_190759.jpg

IMG_20230914_172645.jpg

IMG_20230914_190704_1.jpg

IMG_20230915_150251.jpg

IMG_20230914_103530.jpg

IMG_20230915_184131.jpg

IMG_20230914_175210 (1).jpg

 

Thanks for taking us with you!

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