Hard to believe that we are almost half way through May. Probably that's because we have had April weather the past few weeks. It was snowing here in Northern VT Monday and Tuesday. Water temps have remained cold, and that has kept the bugs and fish from really being too active. That will all change soon however.
Last week was green up day in VT and the family went out to one of my favorite stretches of the Winooski River to pick up trash. Unfortunately I left with extremely aggravated. I found 5 bags of deer carcasses, and picked up 15 bags of trash at one pull out. I was so angry I called the game warden to report it. I really hope that he catches the dirt bag who has been dumping trash and potentially jacking deer. At least we taught bailey about green up day.
As far as fishing, I got out on the lake, and we landed some bass and pike. First time out and it was nice to get some quality fish on the boat. Water temps were cold and it was important to retrieve the flies slowly. Trout fishing has been a bit of a grind this week due to the cool water temps but there are plenty of trout to be had. I got out for a little over an hour on a stream not necessarily known for its wild trout. Water temp was 46 in the warmest part of the day. I landed two chunky bows in some pretty fast pocket water. The fish were in the slack water behind mid stream rocks, right where you'd expect them. I didn't see any bugs what so ever.
As I said at the beginning of the post, the slow fishing will likely be a thing of the past, I'd say by the weekend. Today was warm and while I didn't get out I heard some reports of Hendrickson's, our first major mayfly hatch. The trend is for warming weather into next week, with a slug of rain on Sunday. This time of year we begin to have a ton of different bugs hatching. Your best bet is to pick up New England Hatch Guide, which will give you an idea of what is hatching and what flies to use to match the hatch. Ill try to go over some of the hatches in my next report when I have a bit more time. The good news is that Pheasant tails, size 12-18, and hares hears of the same size will cover most mayflies right now. I really like to fish soft hackles this time of year, mostly dead drifted. You'll also want some caddis larvae and stonefly imitations from size 6-16. This time of year fish can be keyed into a certain nymph or take just about anything. You'll also want to get your dry fly boxes out and have emerger, dun, and spinner patterns ready incase you find rising fish. Its still a great time to throw streamers anytime you are out.
Many streams have been or will be stocked very soon. The rain we have coming this weekend is a good thing if it raises the water levels much because it will spread out the stocked fish.
Smallmouth bass have been moving into our rivers in preparation for spawning. Any stream that runs into a bass lake may have some jumbo bass in it. The bass are fairly easy to catch when fishing rivers this time of year. Small streamers or large nymphs will take bass. You'll soon see them on their beds.
Drop me a line if you'd like to get out. I have the weekends beginning to fill up but have a few openings and plenty of availability during the week. Don't hesitate to give me a shout and we can hopefully find a time to get out.
Ben Wilcox Owner/Guide Maple Country Anglers