I spent last evening fishing the fly-fishing-only stretch of the South Branch of the Ashuelot River. The water rushing around rocks had its normal tea color caused by tannins leaching out of vegetation along the river. Large may flies appeared sporadically in the air over the river and on the surface. There were no rises but I couldn't resist tying an adams on and seeing what happens. Long, drag free drifts are rare on this stretch of the river, as water tumbles, churns and changes direction often. Rod tip high, getting as much line off the water as possible is best and at times drifts are only a few feet. At this particular spot, however, ten linear feet of drift was possible. I love a first cast rise! A splash and then a run revealed the golden flash of a nice brown trout, but as fast as it rose and hit it was gone, having spit the size 14 adams. I stuck with the dry as a worked up stream, making my way over algae-covered rocks. Cover is abundant on the south branch of the Ashuelot and down logs as well and this structure along with boulders provides great pocket water with a nice small pool, riffle and run profile. The next brown trout hit the adams and I managed to steer him to hand before it headed down a rushing pinch point in the stream. A gorgeous 12-inch fish admired and released. Another was caught on a small wooly bugger and at other points golden flashes appeared in the water as fish gave my fly a look. The evening finished by bringing two small but beautiful wild brook trout to hand. I would love to guide you on this river; just get in touch.
Mitch Harrison's parents gave him his first fly rod at age 12 and almost 40 years later he is still casting, teaching and learning. Another passion of Mitch's is bird watching. Mitch is a licensed NH guide and a science educator in Alstead, NH.