New Hampshire
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Fishing in New Hampshire      Back to Traditions

"What sport doth yield a more pleasant content and less hurt or charge than angling with a hook?" wrote Captain John Smith in 1624, after visiting New England.

Youngsters enjoy fishing at many of the summer camps in New Hampshire.

Youngsters enjoy fishing at many of the summer camps in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire has 1,300 lakes or ponds, about 40 rivers that run through it for a total of nearly 42,000 miles, and 18 miles of Atlantic Ocean seacoast. From fly-fishing in streams and rivers, to deep-sea fishing in the ocean, to ice fishing on Winnipesaukee and other lakes, fishing is a passion for residents and visitors alike. The catch includes salmon, tongue, black bass, and several species of trout.

Fishing in fresh water rivers and lakes is done mostly for recreation, while fishing in the ocean is often done as an occupation. A great deal of mystery surrounds the notion of being "a good fishermen." The truth is usually found in a mixture of factors-skill with the equipment, knowledge of fish behavior and where the good fishing spots are, an understanding of how the seasons and weather affect fish and their habitats, and of course a measure of good luck. New Hampshire has a variety of guide services run by individuals who know their way around the waterways of the state. Much of the fishing is "catch & release," which helps keep the fish stock up for everyone to enjoy.

A number of traditional crafts relate to fishing. These include boat and canoe-building, fish net making, fly tying (making a type of fishing lure from feathers, fur, and other materials), and making rods and reels. Some craftsman, like fly tiers Ellis Hatch, Mark Favorite, and Jim Warner, have become legends in the fishing world, making flies with great names like "The Muddler Minnow" and "The Winnipesaukee Smelt."

For more information on recreational hunting & fishing in New Hampshire, visit the:

State of NH Department of Fish & Game website. New Hampshire Guide Services
Fish displayed on board at an ice fishing tournament at Lake Winnipesaukee

Fish displayed on board at an ice fishing tournament at Lake Winnipesaukee

A streamer fly has its hook hidden under the feathers.  This type of fly is designed to catch the eye of a fish, not imitate a particular bug.

A streamer fly has its hook hidden under the feathers. This type of fly is designed to catch the eye of a fish, not imitate a particular bug.

Photo credits
Top: Photographer - Lynn Martin Graton
Bottom: Photographer - Matt Pouliott