I truly apologize for the lack of reports. I know many of you look to these for guidance before heading out fishing. We have had a very busy spring guiding season, combined with a trip to the Truckee River in CA, and everything else involved with keeping this guiding business going, and I haven't had time to write a report last month.
The roller coaster that characterized spring is continuing into summer. We had a heat wave to start this week and now will have a prolonged stretch of cool and wet weather. Thankfully things seem to be trending wetter which is so very needed up here, though the rivers have been so low you cannot tell from the flows that its been raining recently. We need this wet weather to continue. The fishing should bee good over the July 4 weekend.
One the days that it is cooler, and subsequently the river temps drop, the fishing has been pretty good. We have had a few nice windows to get onto the big rivers, and we have capitalized on those with good fishing and quality fish. The small and mid sized streams have been ok, but running cooler. (most rivers are not fishable after days of 90's). The water is so low that they can really be tough on some days, but the next might fish very well. If you can get out after a rain then go for it, because you might have a stellar day.
Hatches the entire year have been strong, as strong as I have ever seen. There have been lots of caddis, sulfurs and cahills, among many other mayflies, and tons of stoneflies out there, though terrestrials have been the best for me as far as dry flies go lately. The dry fly fishing has been decent, I think due to the lower flows. I have been playing around with a 18-20' dry fly leader that really gives a nice delicate presentation to spooky trout.
There have been too many highlights to cover all the specific scenarios we have encountered, but the one that struck me recently was just how resilient our wild trout are. We have seen good numbers of wild fish most everywhere we have gone save a few stretches on the big rivers where the habitat is degraded due to poor farming practices. Guide Andy was taking two beginner anglers out for Bass and Fallfish on the lower stretch of the Winooski River recently. I had guided this stretch two weeks prior during a heat wave and temped it at 81. The day Andy was there the temps had dropped into the mid 60's. To his complete surprise, his client landed a 17-18" wild brown on a pink hopper and then a 13-14" wild rainbow on the same fly. We honestly didn't think wild trout could survive down this low on the river. It was quite a shock but amazing to see how there trout are able to live in conditions that biologist would tell you are not survivable.
lastly, my teammate Mike Woulf and I are finally Ditch Pickle Classic champions, having won the team division on Lake Champlain last weekend. I was also the individual tournament champion and won $1140 for catching the biggest bass of the tournament, which Mike and I split. We have been trying to win this tourney for years with lots of 2nd and 3rd place finishes.
I have some openings this summer. Please reach out if you'd like to fish!
Ben Wilcox Owner/Guide Maple Country Anglers