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Hunter’s Corner: Bob Washburn is talkin’ fishing



For the Monitor
Saturday, June 24, 2017

If you are a cold-water angler or a warm-water angler, your fishing opportunities are at peak conditions.

A friend of mine is a catch-and-release angler. He caught and released an 18-inch rainbow trout using a nightcrawler recently. The son of another friend of mine, also using a nightcrawler, caught a trophy-sized brown trout on the flowage coming out of Murphy’s Dam in Pittsburg.

My son let me in on his latest hot spot on the Lamprey River. The Lamprey has good flowage, which equates to good oxygenation. There are a series of pools that Robb has caught two brook trout and one rainbow.

My favorite fly to use this time of year is a black ant and a bumblebee. Drop either under an extended tree limb and you are in for some fast action. When we are trolling, I prefer the Micky Finn or a Black/Nose Dace. Hardware will work but you have to match lure color to weather conditions; dark colors on overcast days and bright colors on sunny days.

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This past Friday, Robb had the day off so we decided to hit Pleasant Lake. The cloud cover gave us a break from what could have been a challenging day, since we didn’t have the Bimini on the boat. It started out on an off note when the fitting on my main tank gave way. Fortunately, we were minutes away from MacCallum’s Boathouse. The service tech pointed out what went wrong and told me I needed to replace the tank. They had one in stock and he equipped it with brass fittings and we were ready to go. He really saved our bacon.

We were finally on water and ready for action. We were printing large fish between 25 and 40 feet. We were trolling flies with down riggers set at 25 feet and seven colors of lead core. I was first one to get a hookup. And from the way it was fighting, we both figured it was a rainbow.

We eventually boated the trout and it turned out to be a brown trout, 16 inches, long and chunky. The coloration was incredible. Once the trout was cleaned, we realized we had been using the wrong fly. Based on what the trout was feeding on, a black woolly burger would have been the best choice. Robb did have a hookup but the fish spit the hook. It was a good morning to be fishing.

If you are a bass angler, the bass are in post-spawn mode and are hungry right now. Robb and I watched two anglers catch and release three largemouth bass fishing under docks on Northwood Lake.

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HB 428 is now law. What it does is allow hunters 68 years of age and older holding an archery license to use a crossbow as an alternative to traditional bow and arrow during the archery deer season without obtaining an additional permit. This is a good addition for seniors. A friend of mine hunts with a crossbow and took a doe last year with it. I may have to look into this. Any time additional value is added for license holders without additional cost, it is a good thing.

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I briefly mentioned the Wild Goose Boat Access Site recently. Go to Fish and Game’s website a view a computer-generated illustration of the access site. I am totally psyched and can’t wait for its completion.

Let me share with you some of the history of this site. In 1990, the Land Conservation Investment Program purchased the 133-acre tract on Lake Sunapee in Newberry at a foreclosure auction for about $603,600. Included in the parcel was a 3.3-acre lakefront site, which was given to Fish and Game to develop into the primary public boat access to the sixth biggest lake in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire’s Public Water Access Advisory Board voted unanimously in 2004 to move forward on developing the site as a full public access facility.

New Hampshire’s waters are owned by the public. Fish and Game’s legal authority and responsibility is to provide access for all people to all “great ponds” (lakes and ponds 10 acres or larger in area). Fish and Game is building the Wild Goose access site to serve the public and to fulfill the responsibility to be inclusive of everyone.

An environmental assessment was published May 16. The traffic pattern for the site was approved by NHDOT. The only missing piece of the puzzle is finding the money to complete the project.

(Bob Washburn can be reached at hunterscorner@aol.com.)