Hot or wet weather isn't keeping anglers' lines dry
By NANCY BEAN FOSTER
Union Leader Correspondent | July 15. 2013 6:45PM
Amanda Chop of Manchester fly fishes for rainbow trout in the Piscataquog River in Goffstown. Fishing, especially for cold-water species like trout, slows down in the mid-summer heat, and this week's high temperatures won't be helping matters. (.NANCY BEAN FOSTER PHOTO)
There's been no shortage of rain in New Hampshire in recent weeks, alternating with the kind of heavy, thick heat one would expect to experience in the Mississippi Delta, not New England. But the weather itself hasn't kept fishermen indoors, said Alan Nute, owner of AJ's Bait and Tackle in Meredith.
Lightning, however, should, said Janet Thompson, owner of North Country Angler in North Conway.
"You don't want to get caught in the water during a thunderstorm with a fishing rod in your hand," said Thompson. "And don't hide under a tree with a fly rod or you'll become a lightning rod."
Fishing big rivers when the water is running high and fast can be a waste of a perfectly good morning, said Nute, but you can strike it rich in the smaller streams and tributaries.
And besides, the fish go into survival mode, said Johnson.
But all the rain has made for good news for those who like fishing in rivers. In normal years, the smaller streams that feed the rivers have stopped running by now, but this year the rain has kept them full.
Warm ponds, cold fish
For folks who like to fish from the shores of a lake or a pond, the high water and warm temperatures are also creating some difficulties.
"The water's too high, and it's too warm, so the fish have gone deep," Achorn said. "I'm just getting skunked everywhere I go. All we're catching is sunfish.
"When the water's warm like this, you need a boat to get to the deeper water," he said. "That's where the fish are."
"They prefer 55 to 60 degree water, though the brown trout can handle a bit warmer," he said. "But they won't survive if it gets much warmer."
However, in the cool of the evening, when the mayflies are out, trout and salmon may be happy to head to the surface to feed, said Regional Fisheries Biologist Don Miller in a recent fishing report.
On the Seacoast, it's a great year for striped bass, said George Taylor of Taylor's Trading Post in Madbury, but again the rivers aren't offering the best yields.
"I think there's too much fresh water in the rivers and the stripers don't like that," said Taylor. "But out on (Great Bay), the stripers are biting big time. Everybody seems to be doing well."