Fly Fishing and Hiking New Hampshire’s “Kanc”

My wife and I made a last minute trip up to the Whites to celebrate our 6 year anniversary. We stuffed the Outback full of gear and headed North on 93 wanting to take advantage of the Summer brookie fishing on the Swift River. If the fishing wasn’t so hot, we were going to tick off some routes from the AMC White Mountain Guide.

A Subaru Trunk Full

This was our first fly fishing trip since moving to Boston from North Carolina and we were super stoked to hit the water. Before getting on the river we drove into North Conway and stopped in at the North Country Angler for some river and fly beta. They were super helpful and we ended up picking up a decent stonefly nymph selection and purchased a yearly parking pass for the whites. We headed South out of N. Conway and hung a right on New Hampshire Route 12 the Kancamangus Highway. After about 3 miles on the “Kanc” we pulled over to fish a section of the Swift that looked enticing.

Double Trouble on the Swift

The water was that Appalachian summer refreshing perfection so we fished it without waiters, both of us casting both dry fly and nymph patterns. Unfortunately, these Summer trout were not hungry or our casting skills were way out of practice and ater a few hours of empty-handed casting, we decided to hit the trails for an afternoon hike. We headed back to our car, dewatered on the side of the Kanc and hopped in the car with the plan to kill an hour while the temperatures cooled off, hoping for a late day hatch.

We ended up hopping on the Boulder Loop Trailhead (Pg 241 AMC WM Guide) which is a quick 2.6-mile loop with around 950ft of elevation gain starting just West of the WMNF Covered Bridge Campground. We parked along the river across the street of the street from the trailhead.

The hike climbs quickly getting you some nice views after limited trail time. The day we hiked was one of the first real humid summer days.  That had felt great on the water, but swampy in the dence woods. We welcomed the rocky overlooks which provided a nice breezy respite to the muggy bug factory woods.

We jokingly asked ourselves where were all these flies when we were fishing earlier…we may not have caught any firsh but we sure caught a lot of bug bites

Nevertheless, the bug sanctuary had us hiking at a solid pace and we finished the loop in about 45 minutes. We only met one other party on the trail, they informed us of a black bear they saw a quarter earlier but we werent so lucky to meet the friendly beast.


When we got back from the hike and we started debated hitting the river again for an afternoon fishing session, but we packed up the car and made our way to Tuckerman Brewing.  We were not the only ones in there for some refreshing brews post a long day outside, we happened to be there the same day as the Mount Washington Road Race.


Since this was our anniversary weekend we skipped the tent and luxed out at the North Conway Residence Inn which was a luxurious alternative to the normal backpacking camping amenities.

Side note: While in North Conway be sure to hit up The Local Grocer  for organic snacks, meals, and coffee. Jess and I stocked up here for lunch and went HAM on some organic salsa and hummus.

For dinner, we hit up the White Mountain Cider Co where we split a bottle of red and were able to find pescetarian / vegetarian alternatives for dinner. It may have been our starving stomachs talking, but we both said it was one of the better meals we had eaten,  I got the seared scallops with a side butternut squash soup and Jess had the seasonal risotto. We promised to return soon to the Kanc for another round of fishing, hiking and good eats.

– Happy Wildernessing!

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