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Old 06-14-2005, 11:10 PM
rscimagery rscimagery is offline
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How to (fly) fish a New Hampshire Trout Pond

So call me a purist, but I grew up fishing on rivers and streams with some stocked fish but some natives too. I won't mention where I am from for fear of serious repurcussions (let's just say that my SECOND favorite team is the Yankees). The concept of trout ponds (cool water ponds where trout are stocked for angling fun) are foreign to me, and i bang my head coming up fish-less when there is no surface insect activity. Basically I am looking for tips on how to manuever these ponds and think like the fish within them. When a hatch is on and I match the dries, it is a great success for me. However, the other 95% of the time, I feel like the water is void of all life (except mosquitoes and black flies) - anyone have any trout pond fishing tips?

My best guess is a sinking line with nymphs dragged at or near the bottom is a good idea, but talking to old timers it seems no one really knows where the fish are (surface, subsurface, deep) and all of that depends on the month of year (where do the trout end up in Sept?).

Any info for a newbie pond fisherman would be much appreciated. I upgraded the float tube for a canoe because, well, the float tube concept seemed like a good one until I found myself wrangling a fish, a snag, heavy winds, and a pair of flippers simultaneously. Way too much for me!
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Old 06-15-2005, 03:30 PM
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capemike88 capemike88 is offline
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Size 10 Olive Wooly Buggers on like a type 3 sinking or another sinking line.

Good Luck,

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Old 06-15-2005, 04:37 PM
pushaw pushaw is offline
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I'm not much of a fan of the stocked trout ponds. But... dredging with wooly buggers (and other large fare that imitates local nymphs) can be productive. At least that's my experience. Stockies do seem to adore wooly buggers. If you're fishing more lakes with bigger fish and deeper water, you might try trolling with leadcore on your flyrod, with grey ghosts and other streamers. I've caught a lot of my biggest brookies and landlocks this way. The leadcore takes some of the fun out of it, but if you're going to resort to sinking lines and dredging buggers, the lead core isn't much of a stretch.

I usually fish the stocked ponds early in the season. As soon as the rivers are fishable, that's where I'm spending my days. I don't care if the fishing is better in the ponds, I love fishing rivers. Wild, native, wilderness ponds and lakes are a different ballgame, and I enjoy fishing those as well.

Last edited by pushaw; 06-15-2005 at 04:40 PM..
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Old 06-15-2005, 07:35 PM
benmed benmed is offline
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Location: Metro West Area
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Most ponds up here will have a good midge population. I often fish small larvae or pupa (or both) suspended below a strike indicator anywhere from 12-36 inches. Cast out and strip it in very slowly. If the fish are swirling under the surface try a small emerger. I would also second wooly buggers on the bottom.
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Old 06-20-2005, 01:08 PM
sparsehackle sparsehackle is offline
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Agreed for the chironomids. Also if it's a weedy pond a damsel fly nymph fished above the weeds ain't a bad choice.
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Old 06-22-2005, 09:03 AM
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NatickDave NatickDave is offline
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Great advice above, to which I would add: try a hopper (Dave's or otherwise) in the later summer. I have caught a number of rainbows that way on a NH pond or two. Plus, they are easy to cast, see, move around, and hook fish with.

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Old 06-23-2005, 01:25 PM
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teflon_jones teflon_jones is offline
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Olive or black woolly bugger, size 8 or 10, with a sink tip line.
My passion for catching fish is eclipsed only by the fish's passion not to be caught.
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Old 06-28-2005, 11:53 AM
MKDeceiver MKDeceiver is offline
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In NH, trout will move into the shallows, along shores to spawn. If your local pond has nice inflows, they will be there...They will feed violently on midges and also small baitfish up against the shore...

One of the best ways to fish for large Brown trout in the fall is to take a stripping basket, big streamers and wade a beach...

Canoe theory is inferior to float tube theory unless your in the coldest of waters...FWIW-I've had trout rise 1 foot from my float tube, but never 1 foot from a canoe. A canoe is also a pain to maneuver in the wind, much worse than float tube and you need to use an anchor, especially in fall when the fish will be concentrated in 1 spot on shore...In a float tube you can continously kick and maintain position even in the worst of winds...
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Old 06-30-2005, 11:33 AM
rscimagery rscimagery is offline
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A little ditty on Canoe thoery (with a sad ending)

MKDeceiver, you are so correct.

This past weekend I was putting some of this NH Pond knowledge to the test, at Big Bear Brook Pond in Errol. I was alone in the canoe with the very occasional rise in the deepest part of the pond. The wind was whipping up and my poor little Sportspal canoe was flying across the pond everywhere I didn't want it to be. I have a float tube but found it akin to strapping myself onto a cinder bock and tossing myself in the water - I don't like the whole experience. Thus the canoe. But I see your point. You'll see why.

I had zero strikes on a fly of any kind, but with 4 casts of my micro spin rod I brought in two trout on a spinner (agression behavior?) so I knew they were there and actively seeking something.
Suffice to say I kept those two fish for dinner becuase treble hooks are nasty and don;t promote safe catch and release - so once I knew they were really there I set for shore to ice down my dinner and get my other rod with sinking line.

So here I am with two rods in the canoe, dinner in the cooler, and a death wish to catch these fish I know are there with a fly. The challenge was killing me. Now I have been fishing for 25 years but that doesn't make me a wise person, nor did the sharp comments on how to behave on the water from my father and teachers ring true at this time, the thrill of conquest too strong.

So here I was, on a small pond, attempting to use the canoe like a drift boat - paddling up above the 'hot spot' and then casting any number of flies trying to figure out what the deal was with their selection habits. With two rods, a paddle, and some wind to deal with.

After a nice drift I saw yet another rise, this one quite substantial, so in a fisherman's panic I set my dry rod on the seat of the boat and began my paddle so that I could drift near the rise.

With The words of my father ringing true only after I set the rod on the canoe set unsecured, 'don't do anything dumb on the water' I caught what I thought was another rise out of the corner of my eye. However this rise had bright yellow fly line attached to it as I watched my St Croix legend Ultra with a terrific Teton reel slowly and tauntingly sink - the wind had taken it off the canoe and gently placed it in the water.

I know I should have dove in after it but that would have probably led to my losing both rods and left me floundering in a muddy pond. I knew I should have done somehting but instead I chose the pathetic route and just wanted to cry.

I left that pond having taken two of it's inhabitants, and that pond left me taking my trusty flyrod. Nature gives, and it takes. If anyone has diving equipment, you can have a nice rod, or a reward. You decide!

Fortunately I was near LL Cote where I replaced this Rod with a Temple Forks rod, LL Cote were great bailing me out once again. Though it certainly isn't my St. Croix, I am hoping that I learn to love it more, and appreciate it more, by remebering 'don't do anyhting dumb on the water' the next time I am hypnotized by the power of fish.

Last edited by rscimagery; 06-30-2005 at 11:36 AM..
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