Its been an awfully nice stretch of weather lately, and the fishing has been very good as a result. We still have had relatively cool weather and river temps even on the big rivers have been holding in the upper 50's to mid 60's which is where our local trout tend to be the most active. We have not had to worry about water temps topping 70 yet but that will come on the big rivers so please make sure you are taking temps every time you fish. The past couple of days have been a bit warmer than I prefer, but we have a strong cold front on the way and it will cool right back down.
The trout have been spread everywhere throughout the rivers from pools to shallow fast riffles. The fishing has actually been pretty easy due to the fact that fish have almost preferred moving and swung flies lately meaning that art of getting a dead drift is not as important nor has getting your fly to the bottom. In fact on a recent float we fished a dry dropper with the nymph suspended about 3' below and were catching fish on the dry and nymph, but when we got the nymph on or near the bottom we would not get any eats. This tells me that the fish are looking up to feed and I have found that in pools they have been suspended rather than on the bottom. On smaller streams with brown trout I've seen them on the bank, in the shade, near structure in skinny water. Some evenings have provided good dry fly fishing on both mayflies and caddis, and we have even caught fish on big foam stoneflies.
The flows have finally come down to perfect levels on the big rivers, while smaller streams are clear and require a bit of stealth. All have been fishing well however. I stopped for a few minutes on a small stream and fish a caddis dry with a #18 lightly weighted nymph dropped 20" off the back and caught lots of fish on both the dry and nymph. The dry dropper shined in the small skinny water, thanks to the lightly weighted nymph it did not hang up even in very shallow water and gave the fish a choice of dryfly or nymph. I'd say 60-70% ate the nymph.
I finally got the boat out in preparation for the Ditch Pickle Classic bass fly fishing tournament next weekend. I've only spent about an hour bass fishing but we were able to get three nice smallmouth in the net. The lake is high and the bass we found were near shore and in groups. Lets hope for good weather and calm winds, and not boat troubles for the tournament. I'll post a lake champlain bass report after the tournament wraps up.
Have fun out there and take advantage of the great early summer weather.
Ben Wilcox Owner/Guide Maple Country Anglers