Landlocked Salmon Fishing
If You’re Looking for Landlocked Salmon, Fish Where the Fish Are!
With ice out and water temperatures beginning to rise, anglers eager to cast their flies for some great landlocked salmon would do well to look north to Pittsburg, the Granite State’s northernmost town.
Although tiny in population — just 869 year-round residents — Pittsburg is proud of its designation as the largest township in New England, and prouder still that it can boast of dozens of pristine rivers, streams and lakes, teeming with fish just waiting to be caught.
The early landlocked salmon season, from May 1 through Memorial Day, and generally peaking around Mother’s Day, draws anglers from around the world hoping to land a big one.
Landlocked salmon are not your typical salmon that migrate to the sea each year and return in the spring to their spawning grounds. The landlocked species stays year round in the Grand North’s lakes and rivers.
After their winter’s rest, the salmon are big and hungry, vigorous and vivacious, and are chasing after the smaller fish that run into the rivers. Anglers casting their lines into the water can expect to find some nice salmon this month, with many in the 20-24 inch range.
Early season fly fishing usually revolves around the smelt run and smelt fly patterns like the Grey Ghost are popular this time of year.
The best places to fish for salmon are at the river inlets like 1st Connecticut Lake inlet off Magalloway Road and Lake Francis inlet near the campground off River Road as these are where you’ll find the smelt runs.
Spring is also a wonderful time for trout fishing, and Brook, Rainbow and Brown trout can all be caught in these areas because they all feed on smelt.
Although landlocked salmon can be caught throughout the fishing season (April 1-October 15), and they inhabit the Connecticut River all season long, it’s the number of fish in the early season that congregate at these places that makes this time of year a great time to go fishing!
Planning a weekend or a week of fishing in Pittsburg? You’ll want to book accommodations at one of the many wonderful cabins, inns or lodges that the region is famous for, like the Certified Best of NH Grand Tall Timber Lodge, the Cabins at Lopstick, the Inn at Bear Tree, Powder Horn Lodge & Cabins, or Partridge Cabins.
Some of these, like the Cabins at Lopstick and Tall Timber Lodge can provide everything you’ll need to enhance your fishing adventure, from fishing poles, gear and boats to fly fishing lessons, guide services and tips on the best spots to cast your line.
Treats and Treasures sells fishing licenses and supplies, as well as live bait, and can help campers with supplies like bagged ice, campfire wood, and fire permits.
After working up a hearty appetite out on the water all day, you’ll want to relax, unwind and enjoy a good meal. Try the fine dining at Certified Best of NH Murphy’s Steakhouse or the award-winning Rainbow Grille at Tall Timber Lodge. For more casual fare pull into the Indian Stream Eatery for Mexican, Back Rub Pizza Pub for — you guessed it! — pizza, Back Lake Tavern with its cozy atmosphere, The Glen, or Tracy's Hill Side. Try Dube's Pitt Stop and Happy Corners Café for a satisfying breakfast or lunch.
NH Fish and Game maintains a listing of licensed fishing guides at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing_guides.htm, and you can also buy your fishing license online. Happy fishing!
Photos courtesy Tall Timber Lodge