My client and I had a great day on the water this morning. Fishing from 5:30 AM to 2 PM we had action all day long save the first 45 minutes of the day. He really got the full experience today as we landed Brown, Rainbow and Brook Trout on dries, nymphs, and streamers. We ended up landing 8 trout out of around 25 opportunities. Throughout the day, our hook up rate went way up as we got the "trout set" dialed in.
We fished a smaller sized stream that was running at 59 degrees in the AM and 62 degrees at midday. As the front moved in on us the fishing only picked up. Most fish were on dries, large attractor patterns, small elk hair caddis, and small grey parachute adams were getting the attention of the fish. As for nymphs, a soft hackle hares ear in size 16 was the only fly that the fish wanted. We also took our biggest fish of the day, a 15" wild rainbow on an olive wooly bugger. Unfortunately the fish jumped right out of the net before we could get the hero shot! There were very few rising fish, but they were more than willing to come up to eat. Most fish eating on top were on the smaller side, though we did briefly have a very nice rainbow on the line that ate our foam stonefly. I fished this stretch of stream earlier in the season and it was not holding nearly as many fish. Clearly the cool water drew fish upriver to escape the heat.
I didn't see a ton of bugs in the air, small grey and tan caddis around size 18, a few light cahills, very small baetis, and some very small brown stones were all that I saw or captured.
The difficult part of mid summer trout fishing is finding cool water. As I have mentioned in pervious posts, I do not fish to trout in water 70 degrees or higher. With the warm weather we have had including some readings in the 90's yesterday there is a ton of water that is too hot. I temped the lower Huntington River this morning at 4 AM while on the way to meet my client and it was at 70 degrees. It is important to find higher elevation and high gradient streams to find cool water.
I also included a pic from a drift boat trip last week on the Winooski, when temps were still running at 65 degrees in the am. I had two beginners on the boat and we landed four fall fish and lost three trout at the net along with a few other misses. I imagine it will be the last trout drift boat trip for a little while, though we have another cool down on the way next week I doubt the big rivers will cool enough to fish. The fishing should get better as we get into next week. We have a nice cool down coming with unsettled wet weather which should bring water levels up and temps down. This will open up more streams for trout fishing and I expect all but the large rivers will be fishing pretty well by then, but please don't forget to take temps when you are on water.
This is also a good time to get out and chase Bass, Pike and Pickerel. I run the drift boat or do wade trips for warm water species.
Ben Wilcox Owner/Guide Maple Country Anglers