Merrimack River Report [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Merrimack River Report

07-20-2006, 05:26 PM
Went to Salsbury today for some fishing. at 6 am Joppa was dead nothing was happening. 8am hight tide. We did the drift thing from the mouth up river to the end of the South Jetty. Cought many schoolies on a deciever. Schoolies were piled up near the light on the north jetty. I think the biggest fish I landed was 20" I did catch a lot of them.

When the tide went out fly fishing was not productive for me. at least with what I was using. Chunks of herring on gear pulled up some 26- 27 1/2 inchers. No keepers. We fished 'till 1:30 Pm just about dead low tide & called it quits.

When we were headin back to the boat launch people were in the flats cacthing small schoolies. I did not see a keeper all day on any of the boats. Schoolies were abundant & the rule of tha day. I think I was the only one with a fly rod

We also hooked a few blues, Landed one the rest broke off

We are heading for the Cape on Sunday & taking the Rip Ryder out to Monomy on Monday. Capt Keith, Look for two lost NH boys in your parking lot Monday & point us in the right direction please :biggrin:

Unless the weather keeps us home that is

07-20-2006, 07:01 PM
Hey if we do the Rip Trip you might consider joining the gang... oh never mind I see you meant Monday

07-21-2006, 11:02 PM
Thanks for the post. I'm finding the same thing all along the Maine shore - small fish and not many larger fish. I'm not sure what the reasons are, but I've done lots of sight fishing over the years and this year seems very slow. I can only hope that the conditions improve and this isn't an indication that the fishery has really crashed. According to good sources here in Maine, the Piscataqua O2 levels are so low they are close to what the Chesapeake Bay was before the fishery crashed. I'm not a gloom and doomer so don't get me wrong, but I think that the fly fisherman see the curve before the bait chuckers do. If there is a decline, you feel it fly fishing before you do if your throwing a live mackeral. I posted a similar thread about a week ago and of the 100 readers only Juro responded. Possibly that is because the guys fishing Monomoy, RI and CT shores are just not seeing a decline in the larger fish? I hope that is the case.

07-22-2006, 07:30 PM
My friends & I think the heavy rains we have had all sping have kept a larger volume of fresh water & dirt flowing into the Portsmith & Newbury Port areas. Causing the fish to stay away. I do not know if the baitfish are heading up river to spawn or not. Or if the stripers are following them. This is wild speculation on our part. But what other reason can there be except the change in weather? Who knows, Mother Nature can be a fickle old gal.

07-23-2006, 09:45 PM
I think your on to something - there was an article in todays Portsmouth Herald that said the same thing. Also, have you noticed that there are much less lobster traps in area, from York to Rye? I'm pretty certain that this area is normally very rich and yields thousands of pounds of small lobster and they contribute to the striper diet. While the mackeral and pollack numbers went up and down, the lobster were there to support the fishery during the slower late Luly - August until the migration and bigger bait brought larger fish. But this year the fresh water was too much. I was told that the Shaftmaster boats monitor salinity and they needed to shut pumps off outside the shoals in order to not kill the loads that were coming in for weeks after the floods. Can you imagine the amount of fresh water that was running off that they would have to do that even six - seven miles out?

07-25-2006, 03:35 PM

Due to the poor weather on the days I had to fish I have not been out anywhere to notice if there are more or less lobster traps out or not. Water Water everywhere not an once to fish in....