Anglers will be in their element when they add some time for fishing to their
vacation plans in this state. Distinct landscapes, including mountain streams,
deep freshwater lakes, secluded
ponds, and meandering rivers all set the stage for fishing in New Hampshire.
Novices and those who want an insider's look on New Hampshire fishing can book
the services of a local outfitters and experts who lead excursions into some
of the best spots for fish. In addition, anglers can charter a boat or rent
their own to head out into some of the bigger bodies of water.
The best time for fishing in New Hampshire depends on the location and varies according to the species, too. January 1 to October 15 is the best time to fish for brook and rainbow trout in the rivers and streams, while the season for wild trout in streams drops off around Labor Day. Bass fishing is best in May and June. Fly fishing in New Hampshire is best in any season when ice is not an issue.
When winter has settled in, it's time for ice fishing in New Hampshire. Lake Winnipesaukee draws a crowd of winter anglers, who catch perch, lake trout, rainbow trout, and pickerels in abundance. Other lakes throughout the state draw the heartiest of anglers and host fishing tournaments in the early weeks of the year, when the ice is the thickest.
Another important detail for New Hampshire fishing is the license. Anglers over the age of 16 need to obtain a New Hampshire fishing license before heading out to the lakes, ponds, and rivers. The New Hampshire Fish & Game Department has outposts at several sporting goods stores and other retail locations throughout the state, where licenses can be purchased. They're also available online or by mail, and a small part of the fee goes to protect wildlife habitat.
NH Fish & Game oversees a number of hatcheries and visitor centers, where programs and exhibits detail the diverse wildlife beneath the waters. At their headquarters in Concord, visitors can explore the Discovery Room, a window on the great outdoors of the Granite State, complete with authentic landscapes and a life-size moose.
Many of the state parks are excellent choices for fishing in New Hampshire. In these protected parks, bodies of water are home to wild and stocked fish, as well as an array of visiting amenities, including sites for camping, trails for hiking, and open spaces for outdoor recreation.
Along Newfound Lake in Bristol, Wellington State Park provides access to one of the deepest and clearest lakes around. Those planning on doing some New Hampshire fishing appreciate the boat launches and access to lake trout, smallmouth bass, and yellow perch. Profile Lake in the White Mountains Region is a favorite for fly fishing in New Hampshire. Located in Franconia Notch State Park, at the headwaters of the Pemigewasset River, this lake is only open for fly-fishing.
Anglers also have the opportunity to fish for Atlantic salmon in certain locations. Franklin Falls Dam, another choice location for salmon fly fishing in New Hampshire, as are other sites along the Merrimack and Lower Pemigewasset Rivers. The catch-and-release season runs Oct. 31 to March 31. The rest of the year, anglers have a limit of one a day and five fish per season.
In the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee region, early spring is an excellent time for flying fishing in New Hampshire. Just after the ice has broken up, salmon come into the bay at Georges Mills. Fly fishers also flock to the Sugar River in this region that borders Vermont.