Excellent Practice Location - Fly Fishing Forum
Classic Atlantic Salmon No pursuit rivals salmon rivers, flies & legacy

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Old 04-14-2003, 09:18 AM
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juro juro is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Steelhead country|striper coast|bonefish belt
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Excellent Practice Location

Just wanted to mention for those in the NE US that there is an excellent location for practicing spey fishing in Bristol, NH on the Pemmigewasset River, headwaters for the Merrimac where most go today for this purpose. The Pemi is 200' across right now in some spots, in summer it should be about 175-185' in the same spots, probably averaging 150 for most of the Coolidge Woods stretch. Because it's a huge tailwater river with flows coming out of the bottom of the upper Pemi dam, the water temps stay cool all year and it provides good habitat for the brood atlantics used for the restoration programs in the area as well as trout and smallmouth bass. Although the shoreline is typically New Englandish in terms of lack of sprawling gravel moraines >sigh< the water is crisp, bright and the pronounced boulder gardens plentiful. It's an ideal river for doing a float with a short stretch or long stretch option. The river is uninhabited for the most part and I watched a golden eagle overhead yesterday while my fly made a swing into a sweet outside bend seam.

Although it's hardly a "classic" atlantic salmon river it would be if not for the dams and demise of the original salmo salar runs that were rumored to be legendary in the river system at one time. It's not "real" salmon fishing but 40 minutes from White River Junct. Vermont, 90 minutes from Boston, cheap lodging, decent places to eat, etc - make it a nice place to stay in the swing of things between each trip to the salmo meccas of the north. I practice spey casting in frog ponds so this is a nice step up, and there's nothing wrong with the possibility of a big tug when I'm practicing even if they are far from native salmon of the north and across the atlantic.

Flows are a bit high right now but as the season progresses into spring and summer it should prove to be a haven for New Englander's wanting to get a day trip of quality spey casting and a sense of being removed from the urban world that is hard to find in these proportions this close to home.

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