Fishing Season: Late March through mid-October

Saco River - NH

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


North Country Angler's Tip of the Week

Fish streamers on sink tip lines. Higher, cooler water has fish on the move. Don't forget to fish the Ellis River, the Saco River's largest tributary.

Directions open in app

Map of Saco River

Water Flow Data

Tidal Conditions

5-Day Outlook as of 9/22/21

Transition to streamers is beginning. Use sink tip lines while awaiting hatches. River flows are excellent. Fish will be on the move!

Techniques & Tips as of 9/22/21

Ant hatches in a variety of colors and sizes in the evening. BWO's as well. Don't be afraid the throw a big streamer in deeper waters.

Current Conditions as of 9/22/21

Transition to streamers is beginning. Use sink tip lines while awaiting hatches. River flows are excellent. Fish will be on the move!

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):
Travis Para Ant standard 12-14
Blue Winged Olive natural 16-22
Flash Beetle asst 12-16
Quick Sight Foam Ant tan 14-18
Humungous black or white 10
Pheasant Tail Nymphs natural 16-24
CDC Caddis standard/purple/pink 12-16
Franke Shiner standard 8-12
Special Klink Duo natural 12-16
Little Brook Trout Bucktail standard 6-10

Travis Para Ant

The parachute Para Ant makes prospecting easier too.

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


Some Yellow Sallies and Caddis have been seen on the river. Be on the look out for more consistent hatches

Best Time to Fish:

most comfortable time of day

Best Stretch:

Bartlett to Conway

Best Access:

First Bridge Park - River Street in Bartlett