Good to be Back Fishing Again!
Bill and Janet Thompson

A quick trip to Florida last week kept Janet and I off the water for a few days. Fortunately we had Nate to take care of the shop in our absence, for which we are truly thankful. However, it didn’t take us long to get back into the swing of things once we got home.



Sunday evening Janet and I made a quick trip up to the Androscoggin for a couple of hours of fishing below Pontook Dam. Naturally we stopped for supper at Ursula’s Snack Stand. The bratwurst was excellent as usual; however the coconut cream pie was superb. One of these days some fancy restaurant reviewer from Boston is going to discover Ursula’s and you are going to need a reservation to get anywhere near the place. Just remember you heard it here first.

If you think I am writing this just to be funny you would be wrong. Just as I was writing the last paragraph I got a phone call from a man in Honolulu inquiring about the local fishing. He mentioned fishing the Androscoggin and than he asked how to find Ursula’s.

The fishing turned out to be quit good in contrast to our last two outings on the Androscoggin. The water temperature was considerably lower than the last time we fished there. Janet caught a couple of nice trout and lost a very big bass. Nate, who had been guiding on the river that day, joined us for a while. He happened to witness Janet’s success and commented to her: “You really do out fish Bill all the time, don’t you”. Thanks Nate, for the record I was doing quite well myself. I caught one very nice Brown trout as well as a couple of smaller salmon. I also managed a couple of nice bass, not big, but they fought hard and gave a good account of themselves. You have to give these river bass their do, as they fight like tigers and go airborne almost the moment they are hooked.

On Monday morning Nate and I shared a guide together. The trip was for a family group consisting of Mom, Dad and their three sons. They were new to the sport and we spent the first part of the morning learning to cast. Once on the water almost everyone hooked up or missed a trout or two. We had our chances; however no one was able to bring a trout to net. This is often the case with new fly fishers. One of the hardest things to learn or teach is line control. Despite this all had a good time and they enjoyed being on the river. I think that the best part of this experience was seeing a family enjoying each other’s company and having fun together. One of the boys is attending the University of Colorado; I am hoping that we haven’t contributed to his downfall and him becoming a trout bum.

On the way to the airport the other morning Janet asked if I had remembered to bring a book to read on the flight. Needless to say I had forgotten to pack one. A sure sign of getting older, however in my defense, at four in the morning it is easy to forget something and as long as it isn’t your boarding pass your probably in pretty good shape. At the airport I stopped by the newsstand and picked up a copy of John Irving’s Last Night in Twisted River. The book had been recommended to me last spring by my good friend Rick Davidson and I had been meaning to get down to White Birch Books all summer and pick up a copy.

I would guess by now everyone in the Valley and the Great North Woods has already read the book, but if for some reason you have not it is a pretty good read. The first three chapters are centered in the fictional town of Twisted River located somewhere in the vicinity of Dummer Pond and Pontook Dam, on the Androscoggin, in 1954. The two main characters are watching a log drive when one of the young drivers falls in and disappears beneath the mass of logs racing down stream. One of the drivers makes an attempt to rescue the young man, but is unsuccessful and breaks his own wrist in the process.

These first few chapters about the log drives and life along the Androscoggin are what drew me to the book and are the most interesting to me. However, the story draws you in and it is a hard book to put down. Much of the book is devoted to Irving’s views on writing and the writing process and there is also quite a bit about cooking. As I have a passing interest with writing I found this to be interesting, however, the cooking part, although interesting, could probably have been shortened. If you have not read it I highly recommend that you pick up a copy, I think that you will enjoy it.

See you on the river.
North Country Angler
2888 White Mountain Highway
PO Box 1901
North Conway, New Hampshire 03860

GPS Coordinates: N44 03.445 W71 08.175

Phone: 603-356-6000
fax: 603-356-6000