Saturday, June 8, 2019
We have finally settled into some dry weather and while flows are still above average, most rivers are in great shape. Water temps are well below average, although the warm weather is sure to change that in the short term. Right now, you really can't go wrong anywhere you fish. All rivers are nice and cool, full of water and freshly stocked fish. While many will note how the fishing is "heating up" in reality, the fishing and guiding lately has gotten much easier with the abundance of stockies in the rivers.
This is a great time of year to get out late and fish until dark. It's light enough to fish past 9:00 pm right now and you are likely to see some good spinner falls of sulphurs and brown drakes. Both of these events can bring all the fish in the river to the surface and provide some of the more productive top water fishing in our area.
Guiding today was steady fishing for 4 hrs. with most fish being caught on buggers and prince nymphs. We didn't see any other anglers on the water, nor did we see any surface action but, we were out during the sunny part of the day.
I haven't been bass fishing but I have been scoping some ponds and have seen many pan fish still on their beds. With this warm weather I assume the bass fishing will turn on for the fly anglers out there targeting them.
In short, now is a great time to get out and fish just about anywhere in V.T.
Friday, May 24, 2019
|A young angler learning the craft 5/24|
Here we are in late May and the fishing is still behind schedule. Memorial day weekend usually marks some of the best fishing of the year but this year, it is taking its time coming around. Constant rain and cool weather have been the norm and picking your windows to fish has been pivotal. Unfortunately, not everyone has that luxury and as a result many people I have talked with are still reporting slower than average fishing. I have yet to see a fish surface on a local river. Mostly because high flows and cold temps. There has been some bug activity each time I have been out but the fish don't seem to care to battle flows to eat them. So, subsurface flies and streamers are still a solid choice while flows remain high.
We really can't complain after the dry, hot summer we had last year and all it will take is one hot, dry week and rivers could spike with high temps in no time. So, be careful what you wish for! As far as hatches, Hendricksons around here were a wash but hopefully sulphers will make up for them. Sulpher spinner falls of late May/early June really are some of our best surface feeding of the year so be ready for that with some rusty spinners in a size #14.
Very few Lamoille county rivers have been stocked but that is changing by the day so keep an eye on the stocking schedule on vtfishandwildlife.com if you would like to keep busy playing the numbers game.
As far as flies, I am still in streamer mode with these high flows but weighed pt nymphs #12-14 should be producing better every day, as long as flows moderate. Adams parachutes #12-#14 would be my 1st choice for dry flies along with a #14 elk hair caddis.
Today a client asked when the best time to fish here was. I told him "normally right now". Things have been slow to get cranking but every day will be getting better so, get out and give it a shot.
Monday, May 13, 2019
|Wild brown caught 5/13|
Things are warming up very slowly. Above average rain and cold temps persist and continue to make the fishing rather challenging. I did my first trip of the season this weekend. We had 3/4 inches of rain and cold water temps to contend with. I set expectations low and unfortunately that is exactly where they stayed. We fished for 4 hrs and did not catch a fish. One angler was new to fly fishing and I took the opportunity to show him as much information as I could. Although I was able to find clean water for them, it was not to be. We did see come hendricksons coming off but there was no fish in sight.
The next day I ran out for an hour and was able to connect with a meat eater on a stream that was warmer, but brown the day before. Nevertheless, putting in your hours is the name of the game right now until things warm up and local rivers are stocked. As of this writing, no streams in Lamoille county have fresh stocked fish yet so, it is not about numbers but instead, looking for the one. This fish ate a heavy sculpin pattern. Deep and slow still seems to be the ticket while we continue these cold nights.
Steelhead options are good right now and fish are being caught daily. It is a short window so best get at it while the getting is good.
Later this week and into the weekend air temps will slowly climb toward 70 degrees and we should start to see a more steady bite and perhaps some surface feeding as well.
Sunday, April 28, 2019
The rain keeps coming this April and the rivers have yet to settle down for any period of time. Most local rivers have been unfishable but there are some clean water options if you look around and or willing to drive. Adding to that, with snowmelt and air temps in the 50's the rivers are still cold. We have moved some fish and some have been caught but, this usually entails many unseen hours being put in with not much to show for it. Heavy streamers and sink tips are still a good option as flows are still heavy for now and with more rain coming in the next week, I predict more of the same. The further south you go, the more forgivness you will find right. In fact, I got a report that hendrickson mayflies have been seen in the manchester area.
|Late April Brown|
Steelhead have entered the river systems and the most action I have seen is in the Lake Champlain tribs which are not still dealing with snowmelt. Flows in the NEK are still cranking but don't let that stop you. The best VT steelhead day I have ever had, the water was high flowing and dirty brown and I was sure I wouldn't catch a thing. The point is, you never know unless you go! Eggs and worms are a good option for the duration of the steehead run.
Within a couple weeks things should settle down and we will be seeing some bugs and some surface activity but for now it looks like early season tactics are the way to go.
In the meantime, don't forget we are hosting the Ditch Pickle Classic once again on Lake Champlain this June 22-23 and it's never to early to register your team. You can find all the details you need at http://www.fishthepickle.com.
Also, for all the aspiring young anglers ages 11-15 we are also hosting sleep away camps at Seyon Lodge this summer. There are a few spots left and you can find all the info you need at https://vtfishcamp.com.
That's about it for now. Good luck on the water and never hesiate to reach out for a guided trip with GMT or for general local fishing information.
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Wednesday, September 5, 2018
|Client caught Lamoille Brown 8/18/18|
Well, it has been a while since I have updated the conditions page. That is mostly because conditions haven't changed in months! We just wrapped up a historically hot summer with July being the hottest July on record and it looks like August will be no different once the numbers are crunched. After 20+ years of fishing this area I have never seen such hot dry weather last so long. As a result, I can count on one hand the amount of times I trout fished/guided trout this summer. There were a couple windows where temps allowed it but flows have been so low it was hard to get excited about flogging the poor trout to death. So, most of my summer was spent bass fishing. Even the bass this summer started getting a lil moody about the conditions and were not as likely to be chasing flies around in the low, clear, hot water.
It's not all doom and gloom though. The trout are still there and temps are looking to return to fall averages this week. We still have very low flows so light long leaders are recommended until we get some increase in water levels. Fishing areas of higher gradient will also be a good idea.
Sept/Oct should see hatches of isonychia's and bwo's along with a scattering of terestrials. Typically you will see Bwo's on cooler days and Iso's on warmer days. As temps cool off we will return to mid day fishing for the best results. Last year we had some very warm weather in late Sept. that had river temps spike so keep an eye out in case that happens again but otherwise, get out there and enjoy the fall fishing!
Sunday, June 10, 2018
|Vermont steelhead from May|
Well spring has come and gone and now we are on the brink of the summer dog days. So far the air temps have really been comfortable, keeping the water cool and the trout have been happy about that. I expect that to change as we head into the long hot days ahead. The one thing we could use is some prolonged rainfall events. This spring seemed to go from wet/runoff right to dry conditions. Right now all area rivers are running well below average. What does this mean? Spooky trout and warmer water, for the most part. Water temps have been fine due to unseasonably cold air but the water levels and clarity on local tributaries makes for some tough fishing on small water right now. With such low water a couple days in the 80's is all it will take to spike water temps up fast. The past couple of weeks I have been all about targeting larger water.
So, if your heading out on the water, keep water temps in mind and try to avoid the crystal clear low water that we have now because it gives trout the advantage.
For flies, right now we have brown drakes and some sulphers around, as well as some caddis. As we head into mid/late June, expect to see some light chills and the Hex flies show up. After that, mayfly hatches kinda take a back seat for awhile (with the expection of a couple localized hatches). Terrestrials and stoneflies are great producers in the summer month and definitely get more attention from myself and the fishes. Good flies over the coming months would be para adams #12-16, elk hair caddis #14-18, PT nymph's #12-18, prince nymph's #12-14, Hex flies #6-8, Stimulators #8-14, various streamers, and terrestrial patterns. Fly selection is very very basic around here and don't let anyone tell you different. There are many flies that will work at any given time and the above list should handle most rivers and situations you will encounter in all of northern Vermont.
Well that's about it for conditions, lets hope for some wet wether. Remember, if you know a young angler who would like to learn more about fly fishing we still have spots in our day camps available. You can check them out here
https://vtfishcamp.com. Also, if you have not registered for our fly fishing tournament on Lake Champlain, time is running out!!! Come join the fun for a weekend of fish and lies on June 23rd-24th for the 8th annual Ditch Pickle Classic. You can check it out and register here at fishthepickle.com