What makes one angler consistently more successful than another? Why does that one buddy always seem to catch the most at the end of a day of fishing? Maybe he is good at telling fish tales but probably his technique, knowledge, approach, or decision making on the water are superior. More easily believed, why do the same people finish at the top in competitive fly fishing? I've asked myself and other fishermen much better than me the same questions. I can tell you one thing unequivocally, it’s not luck. I’ve put together 10 tips for upping your trout game. I could write entire articles on each one, and you’ll probably see some of those down the road.
I wanted to take a moment to talk about trophy trout in Northern VT's rivers, and my concern with VT's "trophy" trout program. Here in Northern VT we are lucky to have wild populations of Brook, Brown, and Rainbow trout, with rainbows being most plentiful. Pictured is a Wild Trophy Brown Trout.
I headed down to Central Pennsylvania at the end of April to fish the Team USA regional. I was super excited because I had not touched a fly rod since last October, and Central PA is becoming one of my favorite places to fish. Obviously, I was feeling a bit rusty and knowing most other competitors fish year round, I headed down with Stackmend teammate and fellow Vermonter Matt Stedina very early three days ahead of the comp the get some practice in. The Comp was slated to be on Big Fishing Creek, Spring Creek, KIshaloquoas Creek (probably not spelled correctly) and Little Pine Lake. We had only fished Spring Creek so we wanted to learn these other rivers as well.
I Just got back from a vacation in Wyoming and Idaho with my family. Part of the reason we headed out on our trip to Jackson Hole, was to fish in the Team USA Regional Comp over in Idaho. which was the last three days of my vacation. It was also pretty warm out there with seemingly everywhere around the country seeing above average temps. Water temps were fishable in most places, though warmer than normal out there. I got a little fishing in with the family prior to the comp and the highlight was definitely a nice 17" brown from the green river with my three year old in the backpack. I didn't have my net so there was no pic but it was a good memory.
I competed in the Fly Fishing Team USA Regional Comp over in Lake Placid, NY, a week and a half ago. To say fishing over there was difficult was an understatement. Despite the tough conditions I had a great time fishing with my Stackmend Teammates Jesse Haller and Matt Stedina and we managed a gold medal as a team. Matt took 2nd overall and I managed 6th while Jesse got 12th. We all caught the same amount of fish throughout the comp however. A staggering 3 fish each! The comp venues were the Ausable River, Lake Colby North and South, and a bank session on Whey Pond. Going into this comp ranked 4th in Fly Fishing Team USA standings, I was hoping to continue that momentum, luckily after two bad sessions to start the comp, I was able to stay focused salvage a good result by winning the last two sessions.
I fished in the 2018 Fly Fishing Team USA Northeast Regional Tournament in PA this past weekend. The comp was a little different from most in that it was an all lake comp. We fished both Lake Perez and Canoe Creek Lake. Things went very well for our team taking silver and for me personally with a 3rd place.
I had the great pleasure to travel to State College, PA to compete in my first ever Team USA Regional Competition this past week. I headed down to PA a few days early to learn the fishery and have an idea of what to expect when the tournament started. What I found was an incredible wild trout fishery that rivals any I've found out west. Along with great fishing was a very dedicated group of anglers and fly shops that supported it. In particular, TCO Fly Shop was a great resource for me in learning the fishery, and a top notch shop and guide service. One thing to expect if you head down is that you won't necessarily find a lot of solitude on the rivers. Fishing pressure is high in this area, but I found everyone to be kind and courteous on the water.
I've decided to add an articles page to the site as a resource for anglers looking to learn as much as they can. I'm going to go through the old fishing reports and add articles I've written throughout the years first, and then start adding pieces as I go along. I'll start with comp write ups as they have tons of valuable tactics and lessons learned on the water. Keep checking back for more articles in the next week or two.