I served as President of the New Hampshire Guides' Association from 2007 to 2009; have been a member in the US Power Squadrons since 2002 and have earned the rank of "P" - and I am a member of the FFF Guides Association. I am certified in SOLO Wilderness First Aid and Red Cross CPR.
After many years of guiding anglers on NH waters in all forms of fishing, I now limit my guide service to fly fishing. I have dispensed with the ice gear, the heavy tackle, spinning gear and downriggers, now focusing exclusively on fly fishing rivers & streams, lakes & ponds.
For river wade trips I service Central and Northern NH and am most familiar with the Pemigewasset River in Bristol, then south to Franklin to the confluence with the Winnipesaukee River where it becomes the Merrimack River - then south to Sewalls Falls in Concord. Southward again on the Merrimack in Manchester near the airport. In North/Central NH, the Ammonoosuc River in Bretton Woods. Of course for trolling I have thorough knowledge of the Big Lakes in the NH Lakes Region.
Many fly anglers prefer using their own rod, but if you need to borrow one I have plenty of various sizes and weights to choose from that I can loan you for the day. I always use and lend Winston Fly Rods! Otherwise, I can supply all the other gear you might need except waders. In summer we wet wade so waders aren't needed, but I can loan you wading shoes. I tie most of my own flies and will provide you with all you'll need free of charge.
You MUST have a valid NH Fishing license BEFORE we begin. I cannot sell you one and I cannot take you without one - it's the law, no exceptions. They can be bought ahead of time on-line at the NH Fish & Game website. Click the NH Fish & Game logo below to go to the website for license purchase.
If you are new to fly fishing I strongly suggest you take a half day lesson on fly rod casting before your trip. Learning to cast a fly rod isn't hard, but it does take a little practice to get the hang of it - it's nothing like a spinning rod. I have an associate guide I work with who is an FFF Certified Fly Casting instructor. Drop me a line and I can put you in touch with him to arrange a lesson. You will enjoy the experience so much more if you have at least basic casting ability. Not necessary if we are trolling.
Springtime offers varied trout species depending on water body - Rainbows, Browns and Brookies are all possible. Summertime is more a bass outing with predominately river Smallmouth Bass. Whatever your preference - Stillwater or moving, Dry Flies, Streamers or Nymphs I can put you on a spot. Typically, I guide on what would be considered "Big Water". Large wide rivers with plenty of casting room and a diverse selection of fish. There are a few small streams with native Brook Trout I can take you if you like.
What is fly trolling you ask...Trolling with fly rods is a traditional New England/Atlantic Canadian method of fishing. Since the early 1800's, this is the original way it was done 100+ years before they ever invented downriggers or the spinning rod. This highly effective method is limited to springtime from a little after ice-out to about Memorial Day (early to mid May is best) but can still be good even through mid June up north in Pittsburg. Species sought are Landlocked Salmon, Lake Trout, Rainbows, Brookies and Browns depending on water body. There is no casting involved so anyone can do this. Its a great way to be introduced into the sport of fly fishing. Beginners are very welcome!
Pemigewasset, Merrimack or Ammonoosuc Rivers and/or other small streams
For 1 or 2 Anglers
I can take a third person if you are all experienced anglers. There is no extra charge for a 3rd, but understand that I'll be spread pretty thin so time normally spent with two anglers will each be cut in half.
If you have a large group I can get one or more of my guide buddies to help me. Typically we split groups up based on experience, but call me and we can discuss options. Most of my guide colleagues have full schedules so try to plan well in advance - as in months, not weeks ahead. The chances of putting a large party together at the last minute are slim.
Trolling flies on Lakes for cold water species - limited to springtime.
I can take up to 3 anglers. 1, 2 or 3 people - same rate. I can squeeze on a 4th, but its tight. Children must be old or large enough to fit into an adult sized life preserver. They need not wear it, but they must be able to fit. Sorry, I cannot take very young children.
I have been guiding on NH waters for many years, and have a wealth of experience to share, but now I’m entering the twilight of my guiding days. I’m not ready to call it quits quite yet, but at the same time I may not be the guide you are looking for. In the spirit of full disclosure, now that I’m older I can’t run up and down rivers as fast I used to, nor am I willing to wake up at O’ Dark Thirty so I can get my boat and/or gear ready for a trip beginning at first light. I no longer do full day guided trips, and limit myself to only half day outings. I will help you select the right fly for the conditions, and will teach you how to tie it on if you don’t already know how – but even with the help of my drug store readers, my eyes aren't as sharp as they used to be - so if we are wading you will have to tie on your own flies, tippet or leader (the business end of a 5X leader is practically invisible to me now). These days my value as a guide is more in what I know than what I do. There are plenty of young buck guides in NH that will hustle and sweat for their clients like I used to back in the day. You can visit the NH Guides Association website (see link below) for a list of other quality guides.
The North Star (aka Polaris) has for centuries been a key directional guide point for finding one's way for explorers, mariners, navigators, guides and anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors or at sea. The name North Star was chosen so that we can "show you the way". I never keep secrets from my clients and am happy to share knowledge, techniques and tips to further your experience long after we have parted ways.
Finding the North Star is actually pretty easy! The main constellations to learn are Ursa Major (Big Dipper) and Cassiopeia. The Big Dipper and Cassiopeia are opposite one another and rotate counterclockwise around the North Star. You are probably already familiar with the Big Dipper, a seven star constellation in the shape of a dipper (duh). Cassiopeia is shaped like a squashed letter "W", or an "M" depending on which way you are looking at it. Neither of these constellations ever sets and are always visible on a clear night, all night and they are best used together to pinpoint the North Star. The two stars forming the outer lip of the dipper use as pointer stars as they directly line up with the North Star. Mentally draw a line from the Big Dipper's outer bottom star to its outer top star. Extend this line about five times the distance between the Dipper's two pointer stars and you will find the North Star along this line (see diagram). Just so you know, many mistakenly believe the North Star to be a very bright star but its not - its about a medium brilliance star in the night sky which is why its often overlooked - but not if you know where to look, which you do now!