Sunday, June 28, 2015

New England Fly Fishing Lessons: Exeter River, New Hampshire

Fly Fishing Lessons: $5 per Hour!

We believe, in order to get more people into the sport of fly fishing, you deserve the very best instruction, at the lowest price possible.  This is why we offer lessons based on a donation only fee system.  In other words, if you have a well paying job, do the right thing by paying the suggested minimum donations.  If money is tight, make a donation that works for you and your family.  It's that simple.

Beginner Casting Class Donation Rates

  • (1) Angler: suggested minimum donation is $20.00 per hour
  • (2-3) Anglers: suggested minimum donation is $10.00 per hour, per person
  • (4-6) Anglers: suggested minimum donation is $5.00 per hour, per person
  • Minimum Course Time: 2 hours
  • Age: Under 12 years old, must be accompanied by an adult  
  • Monday- Sunday

You can read more about our lessons and guiding programs at

If you like to fish with light tackle, and if your not a trout snob, the Exeter River will keep you entertained.

Exeter 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:  Only recommended in slow water areas. 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: 40.5 Miles.
Origin: Chester, NH.
Termination: Squamscott River, downtown Exeter.
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 Exeter River is a 40.5-mile (65.2 km)-long[1] river located in Rockingham County in southeastern New Hampshire, theUnited States.  It rises in the town of Chester, 12 miles (19 km) southeast of Manchester. It follows a winding course east and northeast to Exeter, where it becomes the Squamscott River, a tidal river leading north to Great Bay. There are falls and small dams at Exeter and several other villages along the river. Its drainage basin encompasses an area of 126 square miles (330 km2). The upper 33.3 miles (53.6 km) of the river, from its headwaters to its confluence with Great Brook in Exeter, were designated into the NH Rivers Management and Protection Program in August 1995. Information provided by

Why Fish the Exeter River
  • Native Species:  American Eel, Lamprey Eel, Bull Head, Chain Pickerel, Chub, Suckers, Pumpkin Seed/Sun Fish, Yellow Perch, Golden Shiner, Black Nose Dace. Hundreds of years ago, the Exeter River sustained Atlantic Salmon runs.
  • Non-Native Species:  Small and large Mouth Bass.
  • Stocked Fish: The NH Fish & Game stocks in the spring only. Rainbow and Brown Trout, and Brook Trout. 
  • Location:  A short drive from all points in southern NH and Boston, MA. 
  • Experience:  Minutes from historic downtown Exeter, the river (stream) is far from blue ribbon designation.  Known as a family river, it's a great little river if you want to squeeze in a few minutes of fishing on your lunch break or before the morning meeting at the office.
  • Size: due to the size of the river, this is strictly walk-n-wade fishing.
  • Structure and Depth:  Varies greatly.
  • Scenery:  You are never far from a house and the road. 

How to Fish the Exeter River

Option A: This is not our home water.  We fish it quite a bit because it is a quick drive from home.  If you would like to work with us, we would probably ask you to fish the Cocheco River (our home water).

Option B:  DIY (Do it Yourself).  If you plan to fish the Exeter River on your own, your best bet is:
  • Work you way down from Pickpocket Dam to the Route 111 bridge. When flow is optimal, typically in the winter and spring, you'll find small, traditional pools and brief runs.
  • Downstream from the Route 111 bridge, once again when water flow is optimal, offers a stretch of water known to hold stocked trout. Parking is available on Juniper Ridge (west of bridge) or on Powder Mill Rd (east of the bridge).  There are no signs for parking but pull-offs are obvious and well traveled paths are easy to find.  

NOTE: To prevent soil erosion and habitat loss, please park in the parking lots; And, please carry in/out all garbage.  Thank You!

Special Rules and Three Rivers Stocking Association (TRSA, is a Non-Profit)

If it were not for the stocking efforts of the NH Fish & Game and TRSA, this river would not hold ANY trout.  As a result of the tremendous effort by TRSA and it's legion of supporters, you can now enjoy some great trout fishing.  To protect the stocking efforts by TRSA, NH Fish & Game has implemented special rules. From October 16th, until the 4th Saturday in April, you must use a single hook, and practice catch-n-release methods. Personally, I encourage you to do two things:

  1. If you fish this river, please consider making a donation to TRSA. More info at
  2. Catch and Release 24/7, 365.  Allow other anglers, within your community, to enjoy this resource.   

Final Word:

Enjoy! The Exeter River is a small family type river (stream) that offers both warm and cold water fishing. Thanks for reading.  We hope you enjoyed reading this post.

Gone Fishing,