Fishing Season: Late March through mid-October

Saco River - NH

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


North Country Angler's Tip of the Week

Hatches have begun. Use soft hackles then dries as fish change focus. Ellis river hatches are ahead of main stem.

Directions open in app

Map of Saco River

Water Flow Data

5-Day Outlook as of 6/2/24

River is at seasonal levels. Fish most comfortable time of day for best results.

Techniques & Tips as of 6/2/24

Tightline nymphing early. Soft hackles and dries later in day

Local Species Available Late March through mid-October

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    and Rainbow Trout

North Country Angler's Recommended Fly Patterns

"Must-have" fly fishing patterns in descending order of importance:

Name: Colors: Size(s):
Bead Head Crystal Soft Hackle standard 12-16
Spotlight Caddis Emerger olive 12-16
Orvis CJ Nymph asst 12-18
Elk Wing Caddis natural 4-10
Moodah Poodah light/dark 4-10
MOP Flies various 10
Dark Hendrickson asst 10-14
Sedgehammer standard 10-16
Biathlete white 4
Humungous white/black 10

Bead Head Crystal Soft Hackle

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North Country Angler's Recommended Gear

Description: About Saco River

The Saco River emanates from Saco lake in Crawford Notch. From there it flows southeast through the towns of Bartlett, North Conway and Conway before flowing southeast into Fryeburg ME. The river is a freestone mountain stream from Crawford Notch through North Conway. Below there the river slows with sandy stretches and log jams. Throughout it's NH course the river is crystal clear providing excellent dry fly fishing throughout the spring, summer and fall months. Known for it's gray drake spinner falls in the month of June, the Saco also fish's well throughout the summer months with terrestrials. When flows bump up the Saco becomes a streamer junkies dream. Fish will often chase baitfish before committing, so be sure to give an erratic retrieve. While the river gets stockings of brook, brown, and rainbow trout, it is also known for producing exceptionally large brown trout. Fish over twenty inches are not uncommon and fish over two feet are seen every year. Flows on the Saco can vary greatly and it is not uncommon to see the river go from 300 to 3,000 cfs after a rainstorm. When flows are below 1,000 cfs the river can be easily wade fished. When flows are above 1,000 cfs the river is best fished from a raft. The river falls just as fast as it rises. If you want to hit a good float day be sure to do so within a few days of a solid rain, or during spring runoff.

Nearest Airport:

Portland ME


Caddis Red Quills Stoneflies

Best Time to Fish:

most comfortable time of day

Best Stretch:

Bartlett to Conway

Best Access:

First Bridge Park - River Street in Bartlett