Home | Guide Service | Different Trips | The Two Rivers | About the Owner
What to Bring| Reservations & Current Rates | Current News| Related Links| Photo Album
2017 Wrap up
The 2017 season began with heavier than normal rainfall resulting in higher water levels and ended with one of the dryest falls and lower water levels in recent times. Despite this fluctuation in weather/water levels fishing remained excellent throughout the year. With an abundance of food, both surface and sub-surface, throughout the majority of 2017 the fish remained fat and healthy. We caught at least four different age classes of both brown and rainbow trout which is fantastic to see. The fall was an extremely dry one but the past two weeks have more than compensated with better than eight to ten inches of rain. If the Farmer's Almanac predictions run true the upcoming winter should provide an excellent snow pack.
New regulations that were put into effect below Murphy dam last winter promises to find more big fish in the river downstream from that point than in the past. Both browns and rainbows, measured in pounds not inches, have traditionally been harvested on a regular basis by spin fishermen during the winter months when their metabolism is low and are more easily landed. These fish are now protected by special catch and release regs until the 4th Saturday in April when we revert back to the 5 fish limit. All of us (guides & fisherman alike) have longed for similar regulations for many years but had no success convincing the Fish & Game commisioners until both the fisheries biologist and campowners in Pittsburg showed strong support for these changes. Kudos go to Tom Carron, co-owner of Tall Timbers lodge, Rod at Lopstick Lodge, and Dianne Timmins, Region I fisheries biologist, for helping these changes come to fruition. What a fishery it would be if these regs were extended through out the season ! Nonetheless it is a step in the right direction and we at Osprey Fishing Adventures applaud the move.
All fish caught on the Connecticut thus far and throughout the 2017 were, and are, strong and in great shape which bodes well for a good growth and survival rate in the 2018 season. We should start to reap some rewards from the special regs and fishery management on the upper Connecticut put in place during the winters of 2015-2016. Brood stock previously taken from the river during winter months when they are more susceptible to being caught are now protected with single barbless hook/ catch and release only from October 15th to the fourth Saturday in April. Good news for the entire upper stretch with more fish measured in pounds instead of inches. Kudos to Dianne Timmins Region I fisheries biologist.
One thing that I would like to relay to readers of this page is a tool that I have found to be fantastic in releasing fish unharmed to swim and propagate. I have been using the 'Ketchum release' tool, marketed by several dealers inclunding Orvis and Cabelas, for the past several years and am constantly amazed at how simple something can be and yet work so well in the release of fish while at the same time minimizing stress associated with handling the fish. It comes in two sizes with the larger size going over beads and streamers with no ill effects on the flys. I have even used the smaller one with small parachute drys resulting in no damage to either the hackles or post. As the old commercial use to say, "try it.. you'll like it".
With the winter of 2018 nearly in the record books what it's long term affects will be can only be speculation at this point. A cool early winter produced thick ice jams along the upper Connecticut and Androscoggin Rivers and their tributaries. How these ice jams free themselves affects all the inhabitants of either river when they are freed up to float/grind down the river channel. A historically warmer than normal February helped to ease the fear of flooding due to these jams but large quantities of ice still clings to the river banks at the time of this writing. How this ice frees itself will determine if the negative impacts of ice scour on both trout and invertebrate eggs/young of year will survive. The deeper water will have less impact then the riffles and shallower water and consequently the organisms that live there. The channel itself will be radically different than in previous years due to the affects of the ice which has broken up and that which remains today. As it melts and breaks up to move down the river channel some will grind along the river bottom (ice scour) while that which remains anchored will rearrange the location of overhanging trees, riffles and the channel itself. Whether these changes are good or bad will be determined only by the passing of time. Keep your fingers crossed.
Still yet to find the eagle nest Chris Martin, Audobon biologist, is sure to be in our area. In a recent float watched an immature female and a mature male fishing the same area giving conniptions no doubt to the Ospreys which nest in an adjacent area. Thus far neither seems to be negatively affecting the other. When the water drops and the young ospreys fledge that may change. The Osprey population has rebounded incredibly with numerous nests here in the Great North Woods bordering both rivers. The Eagles likewise have had an increbible recovery with nesting pairs throughout the upper watershed. Occasionally I wonder what kind of affect this has had on the fishery and more specifically fish density in any given section but then I remind myself that there is nothing wrong with this picture because as a famous naturalist once said only the fittest will survive to past their traits on to the next generation leading to a healthier population as a whole.
Another thing I wanted to pass on to our guests (and visitors to the site) is that you now have the opportunity to purchase your fishing license any hour of the day by clicking on the NHF&G link below. After connecting to the page scroll down the bottom of the screen to purchase your license. If this helps in getting you more time on the river and less spent waiting at the counter for the licensing agent to fill it out for you then it has served its purpose. All you will need is a driver's or previous license and a printer to print out the copy to carry with you on the river. After you receive the e-mail confirmation don't delete it as you can reprint another copy at no charge if the first one is lost. Simply click on this link and get started: nhfishandgame.com
last updated 3/13/18
Copyright © 2018, Osprey Fishing Adventures