There are times when the season aligns with a long weekend to provide the perfect weekend. This weekend was one such weekend.
The days were bright, warm, and calm, followed by bracing, dark nights. The foliage was a stunning mosaic of reds, yellows, and stubborn greens. When I woke Saturday, I looked out at Cannon, Lafayette, and Washington and saw, above this mosaic, a band of white tracing the high elevation snowline. It was a sign of winter, and a confirmation that we better enjoy the weekend. That, I’m happy to say, we did.
When my cousin and I headed out to go fishing, we stopped first at Schilling Beer Co, a truly great brewery in Littleton, NH, which happens to be owned by some fly fishermen. We ordered two tasting flights and settled in, only to be discovered by my wife and my cousin’s dad. Never, I think, will our declaration of “we’re going fishing” be accepted without a raised eyebrow and a wink.
From the window and deck of Schilling, I scoped out the Ammonoosuc River, a beautiful little freestone river that runs from the Western slope of Mount Washington and whose name means “little fishing place.” It’s a river that looks remarkably fishy, before and after the pale ale. One refueled, we headed back out into the sun, the water now warmer and the fish, I hoped, more willing.
After showing my cousin how to cast — he was remarkably good — I fished some water I had been eyeing on every visit to a relative’s house in the Whites. We fished a pond, as well as a small but beautiful freestone river. I found some remarkable water tucked behind some river bends, saw some small fish moving, and even saw a few bugs. But the water was cold and surprisingly deep in places. My dry flies — I had left my large streamers at home — simply weren’t doing it.
In the late afternoon, the surface of the lake alive with hatching bugs and rising fish. With the colors behind it, reflected in the calm surface, it was a stunning sight.
Check out the photos from the day below.