94 Degrees here today in Northern VT, breaking the record for the warmest day ever recorded in May. Not the records I want to be setting! It's pretty wild that my last report includes a picture of my drift boat covered in 2" of snow. I will be laying off of the trout until the back half of the weekend when we have highs forecast in the upper 50's. I can guarantee that the big rivers are topping 70 degrees this week and possibly some smaller sized streams as well. You will want to have your stream thermometer with you and please, if you are catch and release fishing, move to cooler water if you temp 69 or higher. We got about a week of very good trout fishing and I expect it to be great after the weather cools back down.
I have also included a link to a new quick you tube video that I created about Euro Nymphing tight to structure. I decided to make this little video after having a productive morning catching rainbows, but noticing that most all of them were tucked directly under or behind rocks instead of more traditional lies in the slower steady current downstream of boulders. Check it out for some more detailed tips and to see some footage of hooking fish in the soft water tight to mid stream boulders.
As you can see from the pictures above, clients and myself have caught a large variety of fish recently with a ton of different methods. Trout have been taking dries, nymphs, small streamers and soft hackles. Let the fish decide what they want to eat and go with it, but keep in mind it can change rapidly. Many times nymphing will be the best bet but this is not always the case and if you are not prepared to adapt you may find your self having a frustrating day. I had a beautiful evening on the big water swinging soft hackles in a wide riffle. Fish were chasing caddis and I was seeing them jump into the air for both the real thing and my green soft hackles swung just under the surface. If I am going to be fishing with only one rod, Ill usually opt for a euro nymphing rod with a 10 or 15 pound leader that I can nymph, dry dropper, swing wet flies and streamers and even throw a dry, but if I am headed down to the river for the evening hatch, then a 4 wt with floating line is what I have been opting for. Most times out I am bringing both with me however.
Our early hatches are over and we have been seeing March Browns, Sulphurs, Cahills, Yellow sallies, and lots of caddis both tan and dark, Its changing fast out there so be prepared for everything really.
On the Bass and Pike front things have been good. Fish are in shallow bays related to structure, but you can find fish everywhere right now. I've spotted some bass on beds. The best part is that quality bass have been eating top water flies pretty readily. There is not much more fun than that to me. It will be interesting what the record breaking heat wave will do to the bite and spawning stages of the bass. Water temps obviously rose rapidly the last few days. I'll be back on the boat soon to find out.
Ben Wilcox Owner/Guide Maple Country Anglers