We woke up at the cold lakeside with goals of catching salmon and exploring the northern reaches of New Hampshire. We ran into another young (surprisingly) person who also sought salmon. He said they had been running nearby last week, but they were few and far between now—especially since the flow from the dam had been reduced. Joe fished the river in that spot nonetheless, while I wandered the woods along the shore discovering beautiful purple trilliums and an increasingly warm sun.

Purple Trillium , Trillium erectum
Purple Trillium , Trillium erectum

We attempted to visit Fourth Connecticut Lake, but were scared away by the “last turnaround before border” sign—which turned out to be the parking lot for the trail we later discovered (stay tuned for Day 4). After another turnaround upon not finding the road we wanted to explore, we settled on Round Pond where we canoed, fished, watched loons, and appreciated the tiny deciduous needles of hackmatack growing back after a long winter.

Larix laricina growing new needles next to an abandoned shed
Larix laricina growing new needles next to an abandoned shed

Nevertheless, our moods were low as we drove back to our campsite from Round Pond. We had not felt prepared enough for truly appreciating the potential of this place—both the unexpectedly freezing temperatures and the unknown fishing spots—and were disheartened by the lack of wild native fish, natural waterbodies, and quiet secluded spots like we had found so easily in Wyoming the previous year. The fallen robin’s egg we saw near our campsite upon our return seemed to reflect our fallen moods.

Robin Egg

Ever persistent, however, Joe caught a wild, native sucker later that afternoon.  After dinner, he headed out again, committed despite the dropping temperatures and increasing blackflies, and returned with a big smile on his face. He had caught and released not one, but two, of the elusive salmon. Catching two species of wild, native fish certainly has its mood-boosting qualities.

Joe with a wild, native sucker

Missed Day One? See it here.

Days 3-4 will be posted in the coming weeks!