Fall began yesterday, but Summer is holding in for another week. Actually we are going to see some of the warmest temps of the year. Trout fishing is going to be poor, and it had not been good the previous week. Water temps are high, 68-72+ on the big rivers and the levels are low. Honestly, the best bet it to wait until next week to fish for trout, or head into the smaller streams to find cold water. Those small streams are very low right now and spooky so you need to take on a hunters mentality if you are fishing smaller and mid sized streams. It can be challenging, but rewarding.
I took this weekend off from guiding long ago as I had some other commitments and have been guiding a lot this month. I am really glad I did since the conditions are poor. We are actually going to see the worst week of trout fishing we've seen the whole summer. The clients I have coming in earlier on next for float trips will be going for bass instead of trout, though I am looking forward to a change to bass after chasing trout all spring and summer.
The fishing this past week had been tough as well. Warm days with bright sun and mild over night temps are to blame. I had a full day float that I had to change to a half day thursday as the temps were 67 to start and rose to 70 when we got off the water at midday. The fishing was slow and even fall fish were reluctant to eat. We got a few trout including a decent wild brown and a brookie in the main stem of a big river which is rare.
I would recommend staying off all big rivers until it cools down, especially the Winooski below waterbury and the little river below the dam. After stopping to take a temp on the little, which always runs cold from the bottom release dam, I was shocked to find that the water was 72 Wednesday night. I went up to the dam to find that water was spilling over the top and they were doing construction on the dam. I emailed VT Fish and Wildlife and got a response the next day. The turbine is being replaced in the dam to allow a wider range of generating flows in order to more naturally maintain a "run of river" flow instead of the huge releases we see now. This will be complete by April 2018 hopefully. In the short term its not good for our trout in the Little River or the Winooski below. That cool water helped cool the entire lower Winooski. Our wild trout are going to have a tough time in this warm spell. Especially the ones who reside in the Little itself as they are not used to warm water temps at all. Hopefully not too much damage is done and the fish will be better off in the future once the turbine is replaced and the water is once again cold.
Good luck out there and please use your stream thermometers this week.
Ben Wilcox Owner/Guide Maple Country Anglers