Labor Day Weekend
Happy Labor Day. I don't know why half of the pics uploaded sideways, and I don't know how to change it. I wish things were a little cooler so that we had more trout stream options for the holiday. We've been confined to the coolest few rivers and streams in the area, though I did get into a few more areas in the last few days thanks to a couple cooler days and nights, and though the remainder of the weekend will be very warm and keep most things above 70, we are now in September and it will be cooling off.
Trips for myself and guide Andy have been pretty good in the last few weeks for both trout and bass. We've had a lot of kids out which has been a blast. The dry fly fishing has been good with more fish being taken on dries then on nymphs, though we have had a couple trips that have been a bit slower. I had a mornning trip recently where the clients didn't want to get up early as I suggested and fishing was good from about 8-9 and then shut down completely. Most evening trips have been good. The big downside has been the fishing pressure has been higher that we are accustomed to, though not terrible, thanks to the few options around. I did get up north with a father and son on a wild trout steam and we landed a brookie, brown and rainbow up there. Most all fish were on dries, and things were spooky unless it was a faster riffle. I had scouted that area the day before and got fish on nymphs and not dries, so goes to show you that you need to be ready for everything. I also got out on a mid sized river real quick today to assess how the fish fared through the summer. The water was 67 degrees when I fished though I'd say it definitely over 70 by afternoon and will stay there. It got pretty warm throughout the summer, and I only got one wild rainbow. I was with my dad and dog and we really fished very fast just to see what was around, but in the spring in the same place fishing properly, I could catch 20-30 fish of all three species here, so I'm concerned there was a fish kill here but maybe they migrated to cooler areas and springs and haven't spread back out. Either way when it cools off I don't think Ill be guiding here. I'll be trying to scout more areas once we cool back down to asses how more of the fish fared, but I'm thinking ill be guiding higher in the watersheds than usual.
Fish have been taking a wide variety of food off of the surface, in order of productivity its been size 12-18 caddis, size 12-18 mayfly emergers size 16-20, mayflies size 14-18, followed by stoneflies and terrestrials. I've seen a good amount of mayflies, sulphurs, light cahills, blue wing olives, and small baetis out there, caddis of all sizes, large golden stones, small brown stones, and a good number of lime sallies. Iso's will be hatching now on the bigger rivers but we will probably miss this fantastic hatch thanks to water temps. This swimming mayfly crawls onto rocks and hatches like a stonefly into a grayish size 12-16 dun.
As I mentioned earlier there have been an increased number of fishermen on the few waters cool enough. Its still not like fishing in more popular destinations where there are people everywhere, but for VT we have seen more people than we are accustomed to. My guide Andy had a terrible experience with a fellow fly fisherman who broke just about every rule of etiquette we go by on the water. Unfortunately this guy was not new to fly fishing and really was just being a dink. Andy had selected a place to bring his father and son clients where there were no other cars or fishermen and as they began walking down this guy pulled up and asked if he was going to fish. Andy tells him yes and that his two clients were going to work up stream about 400 yards. The guys says mind if I hole hop with you guys and Andy says it would be appreciated if he gave them space to to learn to fish. He replies Im going to hole hop anyway, however instead he high holes them and begins fishing about 20 yards away. After a bit he comes down and begins talking to Andy while he is trying to give instruction and stands right next to him for a while and would not leave depsite being asked more than once to give them some space so he could work with his clients. To make matters worse, Andy got hooked in the nose by the son while tying on a fly for the father and the guy is still there right next to him! Luckily the client was a dentist and worked out the hook. Once the hook was out the guy who wouldn't leave asks what Andy tied on his clients lines, and then tells him that the flies are too big and will never work and then heads off upstream. Andy has much more patience than I. I'd have gotten pretty angry with the guy, if not before getting my nose pierced then after. As for the trip, the guys found some solitude and had way over 25 eats on the dry fly after that guy had already fished the water, so I'd say he had the right flies on!
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Ben Wilcox Owner/Guide Maple Country Anglers