Many of us are eagerly awaiting Saturday morning, the opening day of VT's rout season. I know a lot of fly fishermen have already been out taking advantage of the mild spring weather and good river flows on some of the open waters, but for the rest of us it starts this weekend. Owning a large maple sugaring operation means my trout season usually starts the second week of the season once the sugaring season is over, but it looks like I may be able to get out for a little while saturday due to the forecasted cold weather.
Things look better than most opening days this year, and for one reason, river flows. They are currently at very fishable levels, even the big rivers. Driving along the Winooski today I noted great clarity for the time of the year and very fishable flows, smaller rivers are clear and look great. We just need to keep our fingers crossed that the rain forecast for Thursday is light in nature, the current forecast calls for 1/4 to 1/2 inch of rain. While many opening days are largely symbolic, because of high dirty water due to snowmelt from our mountains, this year we have almost no snow and are not seeing much of any runoff because of it.
Unfortunately the weather has trended cold this week and for the weekend meaning the water temps are going to be very chilly and the fish pretty lethargic. First and foremost be safe when wading the rivers and wear a wading belt. As for the fish, streamers fished deep and slow, as well as nymphs properly presented on the bottom will be the ticket. You really need to make sure your flies are getting deep and down to the bottom or you are mostly wasting your time.
Good luck to everyone who is competing in the Otter Creek Classic this weekend. I say compete, but really this tournament is about getting outside, meeting up with your old fishing buddies, and drinking a few beers. To be honest what more could you ask for in a spring weekend. My wife and I have signed up, though I am not sure if I will get more than a couple hours on the river. I really just hope to make the BBQ on sunday! I sign up every year and usually don't get to fish because of sugaring but I know that my enrollment fee is being used for the good of our rivers and trout. If you have not signed up I highly encourage you to do so by contacting the Middlebury Mountaineer.
Ben Wilcox Owner/Guide Maple Country Anglers