Peaks to Creeks: New Hampshire’s White Mountains

In the springtime, the White Mountains of New Hampshire begin to thaw out. The snow melts, everything begins to grow green, and the fishing begins. Hikers flock to the mountains for fantastic views, and anglers flood the streams to catch and release native and stocked brook trout, rainbow trout, and brown trout. Some, choose to mix in both.

No matter what mountain you choose, there is a river nearby to wet your lines. This is my favorite time of year. Franconia Ridge rises above the early parts of the Pemigewasset River, the famous Kancamagus highway is surrounded by mountains, and meanders with the gorgeous Swift River, the Saco river begins in Crawford Notch, and endless other streams and rivers flow through the valleys of the Whites.

The hiking is a perfect workout, the summits offer incredible 360-degree views, and the day is ended with tight lines and a quick ride home (relatively).

Descending the mountains you see where the water begins flowing into the larger rivers down below. From small springs, water leaks and converges with other springs and the flow increases rapidly down the mountain.

They eventually get large enough to create gorgeous waterfalls.

Fatigue sets in as you make your way down the mountain, but the water gets larger, and excitement grows as you plan where to fish, what flies to tie on, and maybe even to test out some new Postfly flies.

At the car, hiking boots are replaced with wading boots or flip-flops. During high water times, the river is fast and murky, but as the water slows down, the rivers become extremely clear. Walking along the Saco, you can often spot trout to target, while other smaller streams are almost guaranteed to hold brook trout behind every rock.

Then eventually you are on the water, setting the hook, and landing a brook trout.

This is why I love New Hampshire and the outdoors. You can mix and match your passions to make the most out of every weekend.

Max DesMarais is the creator of Hiking & Fishing, a website resource for those looking to get into the outdoors. Max is an avid outdoorsman, that loves to share his experiences in the wilderness.

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