Friday, August 30, 2013

Fly Fishing Lessons in New Hampshire: The Ammonoosuc River

Ammonoosuc River Facts

Location:  New Hampshire and Maine. Google Maps:
Fishing Season: April to October.  Please visit
Licensed Required: Yes, general fishing only.
Floating:  No. Walk-Wade. Wet-Wading in summer.
Entrance Fee:  No.
Camping: Yes.  Private and Public, throughout the Mt. Washington Valley.
Length: 55 Miles.
Origin: Lake of the Clouds, 6,288ft Mt. Washington.
Termination: Connecticut River.
Fly Rods: 1wt-4wt during mid/late summer. Perhaps, with high water, 5wt-6wt early spring.
Fly Lines:  90% Floating.  10% Sink.  
Flies:  Fish are not picky, but we only share this information with our FCFF clients.  

The falls, located off Old Cherry Mountain Rd = HUGE pool filed with stocked bows up to 20"

Ammonoosuc is an Abenaki word meaning, "small, narrow fishing place".  If you have swam or fished the Ammo, you quickly understand the Abenaki word/description was spot on.  If you have read history books on New Hampshire fishing or logging, you'll quickly realize the Ammonoosuc River, at one time, was a major fishing river; filled with large Brook Trout and seasonal spawning Atlantic Salmon. Today, the river has changed and is not what it was 200 hundred years ago.  But, if you looking to catch wild Brook Trout, stocked Brown-Rainbow Trout, and possibly landlocked Atlantic Salmon, then put the Ammo on your 'fish to do' list.

The reasons why you want to fish the Ammonoosuc River:
  • Fish:  Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, and landlocked Atlantic Salmon. 
  • Location:  A short drive from North Conway, NH. You don't want to walk/hike for hours/days. You want to drive, park and fish within a short distance of your car.
  • Experience:  Parts of the Ammo can get crowded with swimmers/tourist and worm-bobber anglers.  But, if you fish it during off season, or if you are willing to walk a bit, the fishing can be very good, year round.
  • Size: You want to fish a river that lends itself to short cast and delicate presentations. 
  • Structure:  You want a river loaded with rocks, boulders, and small picturesque pools. 
  • Scenery:  You want New England hardwoods, mountains, wild animals. 

When the water is low, I target fish with large dry flies and small dropper-nymphs.  It's the Angus beef cheeseburger with sweet potato fries combo that can't be resisted.

How to Fish the Ammonoosuc River


  • Throughout the year, find cold water (especially during the summer months).
  • Find fast moving water (FYI, rainbows love fast water). Fish the seam between fast and slow water.
  • Find pools and pockets that are at least 5ft deep = prime real estate for fish.
  • Find large rocks/boulders = wild brook trout love to hide-hide-hide = you have to put your fly as close to the rocks as possible. 
  • Move...keep moving!  When weather conditions are warm, water is low, you need to find fish located in cold, deep water. The further you fish away from the parking areas, the better the fishing is! 
  • Time your fishing before and after the holiday bathers/swimmers.  Fish above and below known swimming holes/fish pools.  

Brown Trout near Bethlehem, NH

Fishing the Ammonoosuc River with FCFF

At heart, we are DIY walk-hike-wade fisherman.  That being said, we encourage you to get outside; fish and explore on your own.  But, if you would like some assistance, guiding-lessons, etc., please feel free to contact us.

Final Word:

Enjoy! The Ammonoosuc River is a great mid-sized stream...filled with wild and stocked fish.

We hope you enjoyed reading this post.  If you have questions or comments, please feel free to do so. Many thanks and hope to see you next season in Patagonia.

Gone Fishing,


PS. Our business is 100% by referrals (word of mouth).  Please feel free to share this amongst friends. Also, you can follow our blog via email, Facebook or Google Connect.

More Pics from the Ammo

Ammo Bow, caught-released near Bethelhem, NH.
Ammo Brown Trout. Caught-Released near Bethlehem, NH

Large Ammo Brookie.  
Ton's of Stone Fly's on the Ammo
If you are willing to walk-hike, there are some VERY good pools on the Ammo!  This pool, a few miles from the road/parking, produced six trout good sized trout.

Some where on the amazing Ammonoosuc River.
To a beginner Fly Fisherman, is this good water = NO!  Why = lots of sun, very few rocks, no depth.