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Fly Fishing in New Hampshire - Prime Fly Fishing spots in New Hampshire

Prime Fly Fishing spots in New Hampshire

New Hampshire 

It’s not a surprise to most that New Hampshire has some great trout fishing. After all, they’re in that northeastern block where fly anglers know good trout fishing lives. Despite that, people still don’t give New Hampshire fishing the respect it deserves.

So, below check out some of the best places to fish in New Hampshire.


Upper Pemigewasset River 

Referred to by locals as The Pemi, this river is arguably the most beautiful and productive rivers in the state. It begins in the White Mountains then flows through the middle of the state where it picks up tributaries and grows in size before joining up with Winnipesauke River. 

Since the river beings in the national forest the water stays cold enough year-round to support trout and Atlantic salmon. 

The Pemi for years was polluted by a local paper mill. Thanks to cooperation with the New Hampshire fish and Wildlife Department regulations have been put back into place to help maintain this pristine waterway. 

In order to help restore the fish population, the fish and wildlife department stock the river with trout and salmon. Giving anglers the opportunity to catch wild brown trout, native brook trout, rainbow trout as well as Atlantic salmon.

The river can get crowded sometimes. That’s usually only around the roads though. If you’re willing to hike, then there’s a good chance you’ll get a shot at fishing untouched water that day. It’s in these spots that you’ll find the best fish too. The state record rainbow trout was caught in the Pemi. 

Ayers dam near the town of Bristol holds rainbow and brook trout. Below the dam is brown trout and salmon. 

Fly Selection 

  • Buggers
  • Zonkers
  • Sex Dungeon
  • Terrestrial
  • Hoppers
  • Midges
  • Scuds
  • Sowbugs


The Androscoggin River

The 178-mile-long river begins in northern New Hampshire before finding itself in Maine. The headwaters of the river are near Errol New Hampshire, where the Magalloway River and the Umbagog lake outlet meet. The river runs for 53 miles in New Hampshire and goes through the white mountains. 

There are only a handful of areas that can support trout and salmon. Eroll Dam to Bragg Bay is one of those areas. This spot can be fished either by wading or from a drift boat. However, fishing from a drift boat will be much more productive.

The Andro is a very large river that has some great hatches. This river is home to the rare Zebra Caddis, also known as the Alder fly. They provide some awesome dry fly opportunities when they’re hatching. 

There are plenty of fish in this river, but they tend to be very selective. Your generic fly patterns will produce slower days and you’re better off hand-picking flies based upon what is hatching that day. Checking with fly shops before heading out is a great way to be sure you’re going to have the exact right fly to throw. 

Route 16 runs along the Andro for 20 miles. This is huge section of river that close to the road, and it allows for ample opportunities for anglers to get out and fish. You’ll find good fishing also at Seven Islands Bridge, Andrscoggin State Park, and Nansen Wayside State Park.

Fly Selection 

  • BWO
  • Great Winged Olive Dunns
  • Sage Caddis
  • Blue Quills
  • Quill Gordon
  • Zebra Caddis
  • Yellow Stoneflies


Swift River 

The Swift is one of the best rivers in the state if you want to catch native brook trout. The 23-mile river begins in the White Mountains and flow down into the Saco River. The upper portion of the river is fast moving pocket water. Here you’ll find small pools, riffles, and some short runs. 

Stealth is the name of the game for this water. The fish are always looking to eat so as long as you can keep your shadow and fly line off the water the there’s a good chance, you’ll be catching a lot of fish.

As you move downriver, you’ll begin to see more brown and rainbow trout. In this section the river begins to widen up a bit. In this section you’ll want to put aside your 3-weight rod for your 5 weight. You’ll also be able to cast further in this section too.

It’s easy to access this river and there are plenty of areas to do so. The Kancamagus state highway runs parallel to the Swift. It begins right at its headwater and goes all the way to the town of Conway. 

South of town the river runs along the Passaconaway road. If you find yourself driving in this section you can stop at any picnic spot, pull off, or campground that you might pass. Double check any posted sings you might see.

Fly Selection 

  • Midges
  • Parachute Adams
  • Elk Hair Caddis
  • Pheasant Tail
  • San Juan Worm


Upper Connecticut River

The Upper Connecticut in New Hampshire is one of the most pristine rivers in the state. You can access it by the second Connecticut Lake. This area will allow you to catch some larger fish including salmon.  

The best access point is directly beneath the first Connecticut Lake. Below this dam you’ll see signs that indicate a fly-fishing area only section of the river.

The river is actually a freestone stream, but it fishes like a tailwater. Meaning that the fishing can be productive throughout the whole year. The best time is in May when the Salmon begin to run. 

This river can produce big brown trout as well as beautiful brook trout year-round. On top of that you can also pull in giant salmon.

Fly Selection 

  • Wooly Bugger
  • Gray Ghost
  • Black Caddis
  • Sulphur’s
  • Hoppers
  • Terrestrials



New Hampshire has some wonderful trout fishing, and no matter the weather outside there’s a good chance you’ll be able to get into some decent fish. So, check out any of the spots we mentioned above on your next New Hampshire fishing trip.

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