As it has preserved its look and feel like a traditional residential Boston-area New England town, Ashland offers a unique perspective for anglers who want to fish and are familiar with the New England region but are looking for something different. To those who frequent Boston and Worcester, Ashland is deemed the ideal halfway between the two cities. The town, located in Middlesex County, has steadily developed over the years, graduating from its status as a rural borough.
Because it is a small town and rail lines have been present since recent centuries, traveling around Ashland is easy. The MetroWest area, despite going into urbanization, has conserved areas of untouched land which contributes to the town’s unique city-like yet nature-ridden scenes. Ashland is home to several state parks, forests, reservoirs as well as beach areas. Places like that make Ashland able to offer activities such as fishing, hiking, picnicking, biking, swimming, boating, and cross-country skiing. Anglers would find Ashland a good place to target freshwater fish species as its landlocked bodies of water are abundant with game.
Though it is a small town, Ashland offers a variety of fishing opportunities, especially for anglers targeting freshwater species. The town is primarily known for great trout and bass fishing as the former is annually stocked in local fishing waters. Most fishing spots in Ashland offer a peaceful and casual environment to fish as most are also used for recreational purposes as well.
If you are looking for the most popular place to fish in Ashland, go visit Ashland State Park where you will find the Ashland Reservoir. Its undeveloped shores and scarce aquatic vegetation make it a relaxing place to fish for species like trout (brown, rainbow, and tiger), largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, black crappie, yellow perch, pumpkinseed, bluegill, brown bullhead, and golden shiner. To hook those species, you can execute simple fishing methods like using live bait, spinning, and fly fishing. The reservoir has a gravel boat ramp where trailers and boats can park and launch from. It also has a beach area where boats can also be launched from and where you can practice surf casting as well. The Ashland Reservoir preserves a layer of cold, oxygenated water even during warm seasons which makes it abundant in fish, especially trout, all year round.
Another great spot for bass fishing is in Sudbury River, which is just to the north of Ashland. You can catch species like largemouth bass, northern pike, bluegill, chain pickerel, common carp, black crappie, yellow perch, white catfish, and channel catfish. You can launch your boat from ramps situated by Myrtle Street and High Street but you can also opt to go by foot and fish by the river banks. Fly fishing is commonly done in the river and during the winter, ice fishing can be practiced as well. A part of Hopkinton Reservoir’s waters within Ashland are home to species like largemouth and smallmouth bass, yellow perch, salmon, white perch, pumpkinseed, bluegill, and brown trout as well. Anglers like to use kayaks there and often lure fish in using live bait or wet flies.
The farmers market is popular in the MetroWest and has been running every Saturday morning since 2012. You can peruse stalls and buy fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, bread, desserts, and crafts. If you just want to wander around you can also fuel up with ready-to-eat food and coffee, with live entertainment and even children’s activities available there as well.
If you’re looking for a day full of fun, visit Ashland in September and catch when the town holds Ashland Day on the third Saturday. Booths, carnival rides, fundraising events, and delicious food are offered from morning to late afternoon at Stone Park. You can also enjoy the fireworks display launched from Hopkinton State Park dam during the festivities.