Brook Trout Fishing in New Hampshire’s White Mountains
Taking a trip to the White Mountains to fish is something Devin and I have done quite a few times over the past year. Once our home waters of Southern New Hampshire heated up for summer (limiting our access to safely catch trout), driving up to the Kancamagus highway on a whim to chase 5 inch native Brook Trout became a regular occurrence for us. No matter when we would arrive to the clear, cold, spring fed streams, there was one guarantee, fish would be caught. The Brook Trout found in these streams are not the type one would go throwing up on the wall and brag to their friends about. A big Trout in these waters is often considered a trophy at 10 inches. That being said, its never the size that matters; whether it's a 2 inch trout or an 8 inch trout, each one holds a unique beauty that makes you keep casting for more. The red dots that are encircled by light sky blue tones found on each Brook Trout encapsulates the true artistry that nature has to offer.
A hand sized brook trout caught in a White mountain's stream
The spring fed streams tucked away in the Whites are all one of a kind as are the fish found in them. Some streams have crystal clear gravel bottoms and large granite boulders where the trout may appear more tan. Other streams may have dark mossy bottoms and dense foliage covering them making the trout appear darkened, almost as if they've been brushed with charcoal.
Aidan casts into the pool beneath the log jammed stream
Many of the streams we have fished hold no name. They are found along trails, on the side of unmarked roads or deep in the woods. Getting to explore these watersheds, jumping from granite boulder to boulder, scurrying up and down logs instills a sense of excitement. A feeling that one gets as a child when everything is so new and thrilling. I must warn that fishing these mountain streams can lead you down the rabbit hole of exploration and pushing yourself to see what pools may be hiding around the next bend. I'll often find myself saying: "maybe that pool up there holds a creek monster, I'd better check it out." Before you know it you will have gone two miles up stream, the sun will be setting and the mosquitos will come out showing no mercy. But none of that seems to matter as the adventure into unfamiliar territory exposes the the beauty of the true wilderness, and makes you appreciate what is out there to be explored.
A "trophy" Brook Tout caught with a "stimulator fly" in a White Mountain's Brook
Next time you find yourself in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, don't forget to pack your rod, ideally a 2-4 weight and a hand full of "Stimulators" or something that imitates a caddis. The icy cold Brook Trout filled streams that weave throughout the region will leave you wanting to see what may be around that next bend and have you itching to get back.
Words by: Aidan Yoder
Images by: Devin Sawtelle