March 17 2016

Fly Fishing the Upper Connecticut River – Pittsburg, NH


Michael Mathias

​In the Great North Woods, in the State of New Hampshire, about 15 miles south of the Canadian border, lies one of the Northeast’s finest fishing destinations.

In and around the small Town of Pittsburg, the mighty Connecticut River runs through the landscape, weaving its way to Long Island Sound-some 407 miles to the south.

My wife and I started going to Pittsburg about 11 years ago, at first for only a few days, then for a week, and now for 2 weeks.


We typically head north for the last 2 weeks of September, just as the foliage begins to turn, and by the time we leave the mountains are alive with fall color.

Landlock Salmon are just returning to the river from the lakes, which makes for an added bonus, along with the excellent fishing for Rainbows, Brookies and Browns.


During our first 3 years we stayed at The Glen and Lopstick lodges. 

At the Glen meals and rooms are provided.

The Glen at Bear Tree Lodge

At Lopstick accommodations consist of neat log cabins with a kitchen where you do your own cooking.

A cabin at the Lopstick Lodge

If you are looking for a true get away, then Lopstick is the place to go, as there is no internet or T.V. reception.

Since we bought our motor home, we now stay at one of the only full service campgrounds in the area called Mountainview

The campground is located up a steep hill with magnificent views of the mountains.

The Connecticut River

​The Connecticut River begins about 750 feet from the Canadian border at Fourth Connecticut Lake, which is a very small lake of about 1.8 acres in area, that you can walk around in about 30 minutes or less.

Fourth Connecticut Lake

This lake is located at an elevation of 2,670 feet above sea level, and has a very small outlet with a stream that finds its way one half of a mile south to Third Connecticut Lake.

Right at the border crossing there is a narrow trail which climbs up to the lake and criss crosses the border as you go higher.

As I recall we did the hike in about 1.5 hours, while following fresh moose tracks up the trail. We lunched near the lake before heading back to the road.

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  • Great report Michael, We have been going to Lopstick fly fishing for the past 10 years,
    Highly recommend a driftboat trip with Lopstick Head Guide Bill Bernhart.

  • Hey John,
    I have never been up there during the winter, but in talking to the owner of the campground where we stay, she says that it varies from year to year. There is a large dependence on snowmobiling there in the winter. This year for instance, I talked to her in January and she said they had not had much snow so business was way down. Last year when all the snow was down here there only had a moderate amount. Sub zero temperatures can also occur there, again depending on the weather patterns, and there locations in the mountainous terrain. In the month of September it is not unusual the have 30* mornings, but the temperature moderates as the morning sun warms things up.

  • Great timing Mike, I’ve always wanted to travel to the Pittsburg, NH area. Our Outdoor Writer’s Assn safari is up there this year in mid June, but unfortunately the timing conflicts with my other commitments. This is an area I’d love to hear more about and travel to some time soon.

    I’m curious what the winters are like up there…


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