The foliage is at peak and the colors are far better than average, however the trout fishing has been as difficult as I have seen for this time of year with fish going long stretches of the day not willing to eat a fly. Thankfully being on the water this time of year offers more than just beautiful trout. The water is historically low and the trout have been hunkered down hiding under rocks leaving an angler wondering if the river has any fish in it. Not to say trout aren't being caught, but we have found ourselves on the river at times where no matter what we do the fish will have none of it. We have gotten into trout on a variety of rivers both large and small with nymphing being most productive, but there have been fish willing to eat a dry fly. Up stream Euro Nymphing has been the best tactic for me. Fish have been in pools and pocket water, but I think deep pools have been the most productive. I have been sneaking to the tailout of the pool and kneeling or sitting down casting as far up into the pool as possible and watching my sighter for the slightest tightening. This has worked to coax a few fish out of deeper water. I've explored some new waters both here and down south and have continued to find some pockets of stocked fish that survived the summer, in addition to some wild trout.
We are forecast to get some significant rain this week, but one rain event will really not help our river levels or bring up the water table much, we need a wet period with frequent rain to really help. If we do get a bump in water levels then the fish will likely feed and let their guard down.
I'd like to congratulate Guide Andy Masenas on taking second place at the Otter Creek Classic last weekend. Andy and I had a tough day Saturday but Andy put himself into third place on after day one. We fished some new water and got some wild and stocked browns and rainbows in the morning, then we chased ghosts on new water that was so low I don't think a trout was within a mile of us, and finally returned and got a few more where we started the day. Andy was able to fish well enough Sunday to jump into second place by technically nymphing a small spooky wild trout stream and then catching fish on dry flies out of a large pool to end his Sunday on a high note. He deserved a good result especially after having me slow him down Saturday. I had been looking forward to this tournament all summer, usually it is opening weekend of trout season and I cannot get there to fish. I ended up getting quite Ill on Friday night from a nasty cold the kids brought home earlier in the week, I almost bailed on Saturday and probably should have but ended up having one of the most miserable days on the water I have ever had. I decided midway through the day I'd not be fishing Sunday because I was functioning at such a low level and my wife was sick taking care of sick kids. I didn't submit my scores and DQ'd myself, turns out I would have had enough to be in 4th place but I had no desire to be out on the water, which is crazy because tournament fishing is one of my favorite things. I'm pretty bummed how it turned out but don't regret not fishing Sunday. Andy's great result really made my miserable weekend better. He is one of the best fishermen I know, and having competed against some of the best in the world, he is among some the best out there.
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Ben Wilcox Owner/Guide Maple Country Anglers