I hope everyone reading this is able to take advantage of the good fishing Vermont has to offer at the moment. You can't go wrong whether you hit a big river, small stream, lake or pond. We will have to watch what river levels do over night, and too much rain in one area could dictate where you fish Saturday, but everything should be in play for Sunday and Monday.
We have had a rollercoaster of weather as usual lately. Big rivers hit 70 degrees plus two weekends ago for an afternoon or two. Thats the earliest I can remember that happening. Only a few days later I was cancelling float trips and fishing small streams in high, cold water. This past week has put up big numbers of fish for clients and myself. River temps and flows have been ideal and the bugs are coming off. Trout have responded by eating heavily all day long. We have been catching them in all water types this week from shallow riffles to slow deep pools and flats. Most of the fish have been in the deepest water in or just below a riffle. Not a lot of stocked fish in the skinnier heavier stuff but that's where you're more likely to find a wild fish.
Fly selection has certainly mattered this week. For instance on my Tuesday guide trip the fish were all over a size 12 CDC PT with reddish collar, but when I fished back through the same water in the afternoon the bulk of the fish wanted a size 18-20 perdigone. Conversely, Yesteday's float caught fish all morning on a natural sized 16 PT but large stones and attractor flies in the afternoon. I have begun to see more risers during the day and we had a few nice dry fly eats under bright sun in the middle of the day this week. I've seen trout trying to grab large March Browns off of the surface.
Going into the weekend and beyond, please have your stream thermometers handy on the rivers and move up the watershed if its above 70.
On the lakes Bass are spawning and some have already spawned. We have seen largemouth on their beds and caught a few nice ones in 3-7 feet of water that were chasing baitfish.
We have some availability mid week, evenings and weekends in the next month.
I will be getting my ankle and foot reconstructed on June 27 thanks to years of soccer injuries, and will be on crutches for 6 weeks. I'm hoping to be back on the water for September. I will have guides available all summer long so don't worry!
May 10 in Northern VT can be hit or miss. This year the day started out slow thanks to a cold night and was on fire by the afternoon. The next few weeks should be really good here, especially if we get back to seasonal air temps.
Our river trout here are really responsive to water temps. In the spring the trout do not bite well at all until the water gets into the mid 50's. Prior to this past weekend, the rivers were very hit or miss though some quality fish were caught. This morning began with a guided trip that was a grind to dig up some fish holding in deep water. The water temp was 52 degrees. Nymphs and small streamers got the eats, and there was not much for insect activity. My client had to leave shortly after noon and after a long lunch I got back on the water on my own in the same place we ended the guide trip. By then, clearly the hendrickson nymphs had begun their drift and fish were eating throughout the water column. Interestingly enough the profile of the fly seemed most important this afternoon. Dark and bushy was best, though all colors of fly tied with a hackle, or bushy dubbing worked. Slim profile perdigones of the same color and size got almost no eats however. I was able to get fish on long range dry- double dropper rigs in big water including a nice sized wild brown, but most came tightline nymphing the deepest holes or troughs amongst the riffles (though fish were eating mid water column as well as on the bottom). Most trout preferred dead drifted flies, though a few came on the swing. More and more will follow suit as the water continues to warm and the trout see more and more bugs. I did not see any fish rise today, though I saw a nice spinner fall yesterday and I'm sure somewhere out there a nice fish was eating spinners before dark.
Hatches include Hendricksons and Quill Gordons, a few baetis, brown stoneflies, sized 18 dark caddis, and there are a ton of huge cased caddis on the stones right now.
Stillwater trout fishing was good back in April when I was out and will continue to be a great option especially if river conditions take a down turn. I have not gotten out after bass, pike or other warm water fish as of yet.
I am nearly booked for the next few weeks, but may be able to work in a few more trips. My guides have some weekend availability and evening availability over the next two weeks as well. Give me a shout to coordinate a time on the water.
Ben Wilcox Owner/Guide Maple Country Anglers