Upper Merrimack Riddle - Fly Fishing Forum
Warmwater flyfishing Bass, pike and even muskies in your backyard

Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 07-28-2003, 02:16 PM
Lefty's Avatar
Lefty Lefty is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: North Shore, Ma.
Posts: 1,850
Upper Merrimack Riddle

With the salt slow I decided to take my son and a neighbors boy out warmwater fishing. I had the idea to try something new. I had heard (that's always trouble) about great bass fishing in ther upper Merrimack. For us Mass. folks, that usually means anywhere above the Essex dam in LAwrence. So I sniffed out a nice little launch in Chelmsford and slid the boat in without the butt plug. After bailing out the 20 gallons of water we were off. Right away I was awe struck at the beauty of the river between Lowell and the N.H. state line. Clean water, much wildlife, and incredible bass cover. Almost every inch of miles of shoreline dotted with submerged boulders and sunken trees. The long and the short of it: couldn't buy a fish. Had many strikes by smaller fish. But I threw everything at them for flies (except clousers, doh!). The boys were spinning with topwater and rubber worms, bass assasins. Nada. What gives? Everything was perferct for a monumental bassin evening.Any local wisdom? Wind was SW, beautfiful summer eve. ???

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Old 07-28-2003, 02:40 PM
Dble Haul's Avatar
Dble Haul Dble Haul is offline
Fly chucker
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: New England
Posts: 3,674
When this happens, there's usually one or two things going on.

First, this time of year the sizable bass can be very nocturnal. You may have been hitting them right on the head with your flies and they just weren't active, or you were hitting cover that they would be using after dark and just weren't there yet.

Second, and more common, when every inch of the shore looks like it should hold fish because of the cover you're seeing, it's time to actually ignore the cover. What's that saying...90% of the fish are in 10% of the water? If everything looks great, then there's still going to be a lot of water that looks like it should hold fish but actually doesn't. That's when you forget about the cover and start looking at changes in depth and bottom contour. The biggest concentrations of fish will be at great cover that accompanies these changes.

One more thought...if the water levels have been dropping in the river, that can put the fish off for a while too. I'm not sure what the prevailing conditions were in that vein, but it's another potential candidate. I experienced it a short while ago on a usually reliable area of the CT River.

Whatever the reasons, it sounds like a nice stretch of river. Hope you get out there again with better results.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-28-2003, 07:46 PM
Quentin's Avatar
Quentin Quentin is offline
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Berkshire County, MA
Posts: 1,520
. . . and sometimes they just aint bitin'! :hehe:

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-29-2003, 08:24 AM
Lefty's Avatar
Lefty Lefty is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: North Shore, Ma.
Posts: 1,850
Thanks DBL. Good points to consider. Q, I'll fix you at the Boneclave.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-29-2003, 09:32 AM
John Desjardins John Desjardins is offline
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Central MA
Posts: 1,839
Terry, maybe the fish moved to NH for lower taxes, or cheap booze!

Actually, with the rivers running higher than average this year I think that the fish are more dispersed than usual for this time of year. The last 2 years had low water that concentrated the fish in a comparatively few spots. It makes for a heck of a contrast on one of the tributaries of the mack I fish regularly.
John Desjardins
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Fly Fishing Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
Home Waters
Your home waters
Current Favorite Fly
If you only had one... (change anytime)


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Riddle of the day... juro Pacific Northwest Sea Run Forum 7 01-12-2005 12:17 AM
Merrimack Mumblings Sprocket Stripers and Coastal Gamefish 0 05-31-2002 08:45 AM
5/14 Merrimack update doug Stripers and Coastal Gamefish 2 05-15-2001 03:51 PM
Merrimack Norm M Stripers and Coastal Gamefish 1 05-01-2001 09:36 AM
Merrimack/PI 4/11 Norm M Stripers and Coastal Gamefish 1 04-11-2001 11:18 AM

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:40 PM.

vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright Flyfishingforum.com (All Rights Reserved)