We just finished a very busy week and a half on the water, with both Evan and I guiding, we were on the water nearly everyday. We fished for trout with a few Salmon trips thrown in. A lot of the trips were originally booked at float trips, but the continued drought meant we were wading.
Fishing varied from fairly good to really bad, depending on the timing of the fairly strong cold fronts that came through. What we saw was that trout fishing was very poor as the cold front passed and into the next day, but then improved as the weather warmed and calmed. Fish preferred larger nymphs one day and then small Pheasant tails the next and fishing two flies really helped by giving the fish a choice and letting them tell you what they wanted. I didn't see much for hatches with most days only sighting a few BWO's and Baetis, though one afternoon I saw BWO's in better numbers.
The trout fishing will probably be good mid week this week, as we have some very warm weather forecast and some scattered rain. By the end of the week, we are going to see some heavier rain (I hope) and then a major cool down. This will really slow the trout fishing down as we had into the final week of the general trout season. As always in the fall, you have a good chance of hooking a big fish however.
Salmon fishing remains poor as the low water has not brought a ton a salmon up stream. There are however fish in the rivers, and there was a few more the second salmon trip than the first. Unfortunately, with the low water, the fish are not evenly spread throughout the river and confined mostly the the deeper holes. Much of the river that typically fished very well for me is just too low to hold adult fish. We did however get some salmon on the line by tight line nymphing and being stealthy. I fished the river on my own to gauge fish numbers and landed a beauty of a female around 6 pounds. The highlight for sure though was with my client Alex. We spotted a nice fish at the tail out of a pool, slowly eased into position, made a great presentation, watched the fish eat, and eventually landed a nice male about 3 pounds. It was also sweet because Alex had lost a nice fish at the head of the same pool about 15 minutes earlier. If we get a good dose of rain things should be pretty good. I have a salmon trip saturday and expect to do get into fish, but it could be great if the rain brings up the river level.
Enjoy the rest of your fishing season's, and don't forget that some of the larger rivers and champlain tribs remain open year round. If we have a warm November and December you may have a few decent days on the water.
Ben Wilcox Owner/Guide Maple Country Anglers