Comprehensive Guide to Trout Fishing in New Hampshire

Comprehensive Guide to Trout Fishing in New Hampshire

Fishing is a beloved pastime in the United States, and New Hampshire is no exception. With its diverse range of habitats and species, the state offers a unique fishing experience, particularly for trout enthusiasts. This article will provide a comprehensive guide to trout fishing in New Hampshire, focusing on the best locations, fishing seasons, size limits, and, most importantly, the fishing license requirements.

Best Trout Fishing Locations in New Hampshire

New Hampshire is home to a variety of trout habitats, including stocked ponds and wild streams. Here are some of the best locations for trout fishing in the state:

  1. Androscoggin River: This river hosts brown, brook, and rainbow trout. The best fishing spots are near the Maine border, where trout hide in the cool waters during the summer. There are also fly-fishing-only sections for those who prefer this type of gear.
  2. Pemigewasset River: Running through Franconia Notch State Park, this river has excellent wading spots for fly fishing. The best time for trout fishing is in late May and early June.
  3. Contoocook River: Located west of Concord, this river provides a great habitat for trout with its deep, cold waters. It’s perfect for fly fishing, but be prepared with a good-quality pair of hip waders as the water gets deep quickly.
  4. Saco River: This river is a great spot for catching stocked brook, brown, or rainbow trout. The best time for trout fishing is in the spring, especially for brown trout, when the river is high after heavy rains.
  5. Sugar River: A tributary of the Connecticut River, the Sugar River houses rainbow, brown, and brook trout. The fly-fishing-only areas near the town of Newport are particularly popular.

New Hampshire Trout Size Limit

In New Hampshire, the size limit for trout varies depending on the type of water body. For managed trout lakes, landed lake trout must be at least 15 inches in length, and rainbow, brown, and brook trout and their hybrids must be at least 18 inches in length to keep. For wild trout ponds, there is no minimum length limit for any of the trout species.

Comprehensive Guide to Trout Fishing in New Hampshire

New Hampshire Trout Fishing Season

The trout fishing season in New Hampshire extends from January 1 to September 30. From January to March 31, trout are only allowed to be fished through the ice. Ice fishing for trout is prohibited from April 1 through September. Certain designated trout ponds are only open for trout fishing from the end of April through mid-October.

New Hampshire Fishing License

Anyone over the age of fifteen is required to possess a New Hampshire fishing license when fishing in state waters, both for residents and non-residents. Licenses can be purchased from the New Hampshire Fish and Game’s website or in person at one of their office locations.


Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice, New Hampshire offers a unique trout fishing experience. From the diverse habitats of the Androscoggin River to the stocked ponds of the Saco River, there’s a fishing spot for everyone. Remember, a valid fishing license is required for anyone over the age of fifteen. So, grab your fishing gear, purchase your license, and get ready for an unforgettable fishing adventure in New Hampshire.

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