Saturday, October 4, 2014

Fly Fishing Southern New Hampshire: The Cocheco River

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Cocheco River Facts

Location:  New Hampshire. Google Maps:
Fishing Season: April to October.  Please visit
Special Rules: Yes.  From October 16th, until the 4th Saturday in April, this is a single hook, catch-n-release fishery.
Licensed Required: Yes, general fishing only.
Floating:  Yes. Walk-Wade. Wet-Wading in summer.
Entrance Fee:  No; however, anglers should strongly consider donating to Three Rivers Stocking Association. For information
Camping: No.
Length: 38.3 Miles.
Origin: Northern Stafford County.
Termination: Piscataqua River, or for some, downtown Dover, NH. 
Fly Rods: 1wt-4wt during mid/late summer. Perhaps, with high water, 5wt early spring.
Fly Lines:  99.9% Floating.
Flies:  Fish are not picky, but we only share this information with our FCFF clients.  

The Cochecho River or Cocheco River is a tributary of the Piscataqua River, 38.3 miles (61.6 km) long,[1] in the U.S. state of New Hampshire. It rises in northern Strafford County and runs southeastward, through the town of Farmington and the cities of Rochesterand Dover, where it provides hydroelectric power. Below the center of Dover, the river is tidal and joins the Salmon Falls River at the Maine border to form the Piscataqua.
Cochecho is an Abenaki word believed to mean "rapid foaming water", referring to the river's falls in today's downtown Dover. Settlers adopted the name for the entire river. It is believed that the shift from Cochecho to Cocheco can be traced to a clerical error at the 1827 incorporation of the defunct Cocheco Manufacturing Company.[2] The spelling "Cocheco" was adopted as the official name of the river in a 1911 decision by the United States Board on Geographic Names. The river has also been known as the Dover River.[3]
Significant tributaries include the Ela River, the Mad River, and the Isinglass River.  
Information provided by

Why Fish the Cocheco River
  • Native Species:  American Eel, Chub, Suckers, Pumpkin Seed/Sun Fish, Perch, Golden Shiner, Alewives. Hundreds of years ago, the Cocheco sustained Atlantic Salmon runs.
  • Non-Native Species:  Small Mouth Bass.  In the slow water, I have caught 1-2lbs smallies!
  • Stocked Fish: Rainbow and Brown Trout, and Brook Trout. 
  • Location:  A short drive from all points in southern NH and Boston, MA. 
  • Experience:  There are parts of the Cocheco River that will make you feel as though you are in a different world.  In other words, within minutes of downtown Dover, you may see deer, turkey, beaver, otter, osprey,  ducks, geese, bald eagle's, and heron's.
  • Size: long and wide enough to do some great walk-n-wade fishing; and fish from a kayak or canoe.  In the early stages of spring, the rocky falls may offer class (4) rapids!
  • Structure and Depth:  Varies greatly.
  • Scenery:  If you want New England hardwoods, but don't have time to drive four hours north. 

How to Fish the Cocheco River

Please visit:

Final Word:

Enjoy! The Cocheco River is a great mid-sized river that offers both warm and cold water fishing.
Thanks for reading.  We hope you enjoyed reading this post.

Gone Fishing,