Best Place to Catch Salmon in New Hampshire

Salmon has always been and will forever be one of the most sought-after fish. It’s remarkably tasty and offers a ton of health benefits.

If you live in New Hampshire, you’re in luck. The state is stocked with perfect Salmon fishing spots that are guaranteed to give you some Salmon if you know what you’re doing.

We’ll show you our top five fishing spots to catch salmon in New Hampshire that you can visit to catch some of those pink-fleshed fish. Let’s jump right into it.

1.   Merrymeeting River

Merrymeeting River is a 10-mile-long river that runs in the central region of New Hampshire. If you’ve seen your fair share of rivers, you’d notice how slow the Merrymeeting River is compared to other rivers.

The slow water stream makes it somewhat difficult to find reliable Salmon fishing spots, but it’s not impossible because the river is rich in Smelt fish, which is a great meal for the Atlantic Salmon that inhabits the Merrymeeting River.

To improve your chances of catching that Atlantic beauty, try to fish when the water tide is high. High levels of water often mean a high number of Smelt. More Smelt means More Salmon.

Getting that high tide is easy; just go fishing early around six or seven in the morning.

Merrymeeting River is rich in various types of fish, but if you want Salmon, visit in May or June. It’s when Salmon counts in the river are at their peak.

Despite being a great fishing spot, there are two things to keep in mind.

One, Fly-fishing is the only allowed method of fishing which is a bit harder for beginners but more effective than normal fishing for experienced anglers.

Two, you’re allowed to bag only two fish per day, so don’t go trigger-happy.

As for our recommended spots, route 140 below Alton Dam and Route 11 at Jones Field are great Salmon Fishing spots on Merrymeeting River.

catch salmon in New Hampshire

2.   Upper Androscoggin River

Androscoggin River is a 178-mile river that flows between Maine and New Hampshire.

New Hampshire’s Upper Androscoggin River stretches 53 miles through the White Mountains, its fishing season starts in January and ends in October.

You can find an abundance of Landlocked Salmon in the Upper Androscoggin River. If you didn’t get too lucky catching Salmon, you could still get some Brown, Brook, or Rainbow Trout.

Unlike the Merrymeeting River, fly-fishing and regular fishing are allowed in the Upper Androscoggin River. However, the area from Bragg Bay to the Eroll Dam is restricted to fly-fishing only.

We recommend Route 16 as our top fishing area as it runs 20 miles alongside the Androscoggin River. If you find it too busy or didn’t have enough luck catching some Salmon, we still have you covered.

Androscoggin Wayside State Park, Paul Bofinger Wayside State Park, and the Seven Islands Bridge are all great fishing spots for catching Salmon alongside the river.

The peak of both the Salmon and Trout populations in the Androscoggin River is between April and August. If you want the best chance to get some Salmon, that’s when you should go.

3.   The Swift River

Swift river in Autumn

New Hampshire’s Swift River is one of the finest fishing spots for Landlocked Salmon, Brown, and Rainbow Trout.

The Swift River is relatively short compared to most others, running 23 miles before terminating in the Saco River.

Any fishing spot on the Swift River will yield some good catches. If you want larger sizes of Landlocked Salmon, you’d have to go to the lower part of the river where fishes get bigger.

Keep in mind that you should switch to higher rod weights for the lower part of the Swift River. You’ll need to cast further and the Salmon is considerably stronger there.

We recommend State Highway 112 as our favorite fishing area. It runs alongside the Swift River until you reach Conway Town. The Swift River then continues to run alongside Passaconaway Road.

Most fishing areas along both highways are viable fishing spots. But there are some private areas. If you don’t want to be trespassing, then keep an eye out for the signs.

4.   Upper Connecticut River

The Connecticut River runs for an impressive 410 miles through Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. It even extends further North to the Canadian Border.

The Upper Connecticut River portion that runs through New Hampshire allows you to catch larger Salmon fish than you often get in most other parts of the state.

In the Upper Connecticut River, you can get some good luck catching Salmon all year long, but your best chances are in May when the Salmon population increases.

The Fish trophy section around the First Connecticut Dam is a great fishing spot for Landlocked Salmon.

Use the River Road North of Lake Francis Park to get to the Fish trophy section. Besides Salmon, you could also get your hands on some Brook Trout fish in that area.

While you’re at it, have a look at Tall Timber Lodge. People there can provide you with fantastic fly-fishing guides and they could help you catch that giant Salmon you’re looking for.

5.   Pleasant Lake

Catch salmon in New Hampshire at Pleasant Lake.

We couldn’t just end our list without mentioning Pleasant Lake. It’s where Mrs. Letty M. Clark managed to catch an 18 pounds and 8 ounces Landlocked Salmon.

At the time of writing this article, that catch remains the biggest Landlocked Salmon ever caught in New Hampshire.

Being a 602-acre lake in central New Hampshire, Pleasant lake is large enough to have one small island known as “Blueberry Island” in the middle of it.

If you go fishing in Pleasant Lake, make sure to include visiting that Island in your trip. It’s a favorite picnic spot.

Final Words on Where to Catch Salmon in New Hampshire

Merrymeeting River and Upper Connecticut River should have higher chances of getting you some Salmon than our other mentioned options. The problem, however, is that they’re often too crowded for the liking of some anglers.

Upper Androscoggin River, Swift River, and Pleasant Lake are good alternatives if you want a more relaxed fishing experience for some of the most enjoyable salmon fishing in America.

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