Londonderry is a small and quaint town in Windham County, named after a New Hampshire town which was in turn named after a Northern Ireland city. It is situated in southern Vermont, with West River, a Connecticut River tributary, flowing through the entire town.
Before it was settled by Westerners and incorporated as a town in the 1700s, the town and the areas surrounding it, known as Vermont Piedmont, served as hunting grounds and as a path for the Abenakis toward their villages in northern Champlain. Several areas in the town have been studied by archeologists, though the findings were inconclusive, pointing only to the Abenakis as having traveled through the area.
The town was originally chartered in 1770 with the name Kent, though this original chartered town included the area now known as Windham on the east. Ten years later, Londonderry came into its own township and earned its new name.
Today, Londonderry may not be on your radar unless you’re a skiing enthusiast who has the Magic Mountain Ski Area on your winter destination list. Magic Mountain is something of an institution in Londonderry, with an illustrious history dating back to the 1960s. It faced several challenges in the 90s, before finally reopening in 2016 under the ownership of a ski group led by a local Magic Mountain enthusiast.
Apart from being the home to Magic Mountain, Londonderry is also a lush fishing destination, with lakes and West River tributaries flowing through it. The entire town provides a picturesque backdrop, allowing anglers of all levels to enjoy a peaceful fishing experience that’s quintessentially New England.
Londonderry fishing is just as peaceful, scenic, and quaint as the town itself. Here you can either relax while casting a line or challenge yourself with fly fishing or targeting trophy fish without worrying about crowds.
One of the best places to start your angling journey in Londonderry is the Lowell Lake State Park, home to the 102-acre Lowell Lake. Originally known as the Great Pond, Lowell Lake has always been a quiet recreational area for many Londonderry locals who have fished and swum in the lake for years. The state park named after the lake was established after the state was gifted the southern shore of the lake in the 1970s. The park has lately expanded to include the northern shoreline.
The lake itself boasts clean waters that hold largemouth bass, chain pickerel, pumpkinseed sunfish, yellow perch, northern pike, black bass, and bullhead. The state’s fishing department is still in the process of studying what other fish species may thrive in the lake, so anglers can expect to find more diversity in its waters in the years to come. The lake has long been a favorite among locals who love the area for its peaceful atmosphere. To maintain this atmosphere, no motorized boats are allowed on the lake. Anglers can launch their canoe in the lake, but most anglers do find contentment fishing from its shores.
Gale Meadows Pond, found in the 707-acre Gale Meadows Wildlife Management Area, is a man-made pond that likewise offers productive fishing. The pond itself is surrounded by forested wetlands, tiny meadows, and rolling terrain, much of which is a habitat for deer and other wildlife. There are two ways to access the pond: one is via Winhall Hollow Road and the other is via a boat launch on Haven Hill Road, found at the easternmost point of the waterbody. The pond has an undeveloped shoreline and is home to fish species such as yellow perch, largemouth bass, bluegill, chain pickerel, and brown bullhead. You can use your motorized boat in the body of water, provided you don’t exceed 5 miles per hour.
Fishing in Londonderry and the areas surrounding the town will not be complete without fishing the West River. Head to Jamaica State Park, one of the most popular state parks in the region that you can easily access from Londonderry. The park itself is at the West River bend and is a favorite among anglers because of its unique combo of fast ripples and slow-running waters. Some of the fish species you can find in the river include rainbow trout, brown trout, and smallmouth bass. The park offers plenty of river access so it’s a great area to hike around and fish.
Another way to fish West River is by camping and hiking at the Winhall Brook Camping area in the village of South Londonderry. This beloved camping ground offers more than a hundred campsites and is fully equipped for the modern camper. Apart from that, the Green Mountains campground provides anglers access to both West River and Winhall Brook, as well as Ball Mountain Lake. It has several shore fishing access and boat launches amid stunning heavily wooded forests that support diverse wildlife. Here you can enjoy fishing for brook trout, rainbow trout, and brown trout while spotting bald eagles, owls, white-tailed deer, and even black bears out in the beautiful wild.
The top 10 fish species to target in Londonderry, VT include largemouth bass, brook trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, yellow perch, chain pickerel, brown bullhead, pumpkinseed sunfish, smallmouth bass, and bluegill.