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The White Mountains of New Hampshire are a fisherman's paradise. But by fishing the folks here mean Fly Fishing. It's an art and craft and science which the original settlers from County Hampshire, England, brought with them and have perfected over 400 years since.

Certainly, there's classic saltwater fishing down along the New Hampshire coast, and traditional lake fishing on New Hampshire lakes, like Lake Winnipesaukee.

But the reason fisherman come from all over to fish here is Fly Fishing and the best Fly Fishing in New Hampshire is done in the Sacco River, shown in these photos. The Sacco River begins at Crawford Notch and flows southeasterly through Bartlett, North Conway, Conway and eventually on to the ocean through Maine. It's a shallow, sandy, gravelly river navigable only by canoes, kayaks, rafts, drift boats and inner tubes. But it's full of fish and can be fished either from shore or by wading.

The ideal fishing seasons on the Sacco are Spring and Fall, so if you're coming during Fall Foliage you're in luck.

Fly Fishing requires specialized equipment and a certain skill set. If you've never done any Fly Fishing, you'll want to hire a local guide who can teach you the fine art of casting, rent you the proper equipment and provide the appropriate flies for whichever week you're here.

Local guide services will provide half day or full day services. You'll also need a New Hampshire fishing license. As an out of stater, you can buy a visitor's license for either one day, three days or a week.

Your guide will also know where the fish are and will have his own favorite sections of the river.

If you've never been Fly Fishing it might be wise to consider finding someone back home to give you casting lessons so you can practice in your bsckyard before you arrive in New Hampshire. This will avoid your spending a whole day just practicing casting and allow you spend it fishing. We can recommend the following guides:

Hill Country Fly Fishing Guides
North Conway, NH 03860
(603) 835-3358 

Mason Thagouras
White Mountain Anglers

Tom Freedman

The center of fishing activity in the White Mountains is North Country Angling at 2988 White Mountain Highway in North Conway.

What you'll be fishing for are Brook, Brown and Rainbow Trout. This is dry fly fishing.

The favorite flies experienced fishermen have learned get best results here are the Pleasant Tail Nymph, CDC Caddis, Half Pint, Woolly Bugger and Clouser Minnow.

Most fly fishermen practice Catch and Release, but if you prefer to keep yours and fix them for dinner, there's a two fish per day limit per person.

If you like to consume what you catch, fishing the Upper Sacco (from Crawford Notch down to Bartlett) offers an added benefit. Since there is no logging, farming, manufacturing or even a town in the river's watershed, fish caught there are free of the dangerous chemicals found in fish caught elsewhere, even further down the Sacco.

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