When we reached the center of the pond we saw an elderly couple, man and wife, anchored in a cove, worm-fishing. They were pulling in small horned pout, but had taken no trout.
Vic killed three 11-inch rainbows in a row on a wet March Brown. I tied on another Professor, but could not borrow a hit. Vic boated another rainbow.
As I cast my Professor out, Vic made an observation. "I think you're going down too deep. Your line sinks much faster than mine. Just let it go under about three feet."
I humbly took his advice and was rewarded by a sharp strike. Seconds later, a foot-long rainbow erupted into water skyward. He jumped twice more before I slid him, exhausted, over the water to the net.
There was a hiatus of an hour from about 10:30 to 11:30, when we worked hard with nymphs but to no avail. At the end of that hour Vic hooked and released four small brook trout on the red-bodied Careless Coachman, and I took and kept a slightly larger one on a back-swimmer nymph.
At noon the elderly couple departed empty-handed. During the remainder of the day four more fishermen, all of whom were throwing flies, came and went. They took no fish. I should note that this was more traffic than we usually encounter on a remote pond.
We went ashore at noon for tea, and grilled four of our largest rainbows. In the early part of the afternoon we were unable to find a fish. Shortly before 3, rises became more numerous—insects of various sizes, including dragonflies, were hatching—and I switched to a dry line. I had just accomplished this when Vic boated two nice rainbows in five minutes, down deep on a back swimmer. That was too much for me and I went back to a sinking line. For about an hour we had strikes on almost every other cast, always down deep. We kept a few of the larger fish; then, not wanting to overdo a good thing, went ashore, cleaned our fish and left for home.
The golden time for northern New England fly-fishermen comes in the fall. New Hampshire has a fly-fishing-only season for trout that extends from the day after Labor Day until mid-October. (Efforts are currently being made to have this season extended, as it once was in certain areas, to include the entire month.) The hills burn with the colors of autumn during those few precious weeks, the air is clear and cool, rafts of fallen multicolored leaves build up around the edges of the ponds and lakes, and for a little while the trout, perhaps anticipating the silent cold of approaching winter, feed with pleasing recklessness.
Although trout are often not very choosy in the fall, there are times when they seem to feed exclusively on tiny insects, and it is important at such a time to have some very small flies on hand. Size of the fly is most critical, pattern less important. A small gray midge on a No. 22 hook, attached to a 12-or 14-foot leader, will usually be all you need.
Not many years will pass before most of these remote ponds are lost to civilization. Already the land around some of them has been purchased by individuals interested in developing campsites and house lots. Logging roads and foot trails are being bulldozed so that ordinary cars can reach the ponds, and once the roads are completed it is only a few years before a remote pond loses its beauty.