I spent a few hours yesterday working my way up a stream in Langdon fishing for native brook trout and this spectacular setting got me thinking. A big part of the appeal of fishing for native trout is the places I need to go to find them. There are certain factors, regardless of location, that are important for native trout habitat. Things such as in-stream boulders and logs, shade, diverse water types containing riffles, runs and pools and of course cold, oxygenated water must be present. In the east, often this means hemlock ravines which create micro-climate. If you want relief on a brutally hot August day go to one of these places. At the location in Langdon the trees form a complete canopy over the river and steep, moss-covered ledges rise on each side of the stream. The dozen brook trout caught yesterday would be considered small by the standards of most people, but there's more to consider. First, the beauty of these fish is unparalleled, but beyond that, what native brook trout are does not end at the tips of their fins and tail. What they are extends to the swirling, mesmerizing water, the hemlocks who's massive roots jut out from the bank, the moss that blankets the rocks and the solitude this place provides. They are the complete package and this package brings me back again and again.
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.