Saturday, April 13, 2019

April 2019

2018 brown trout

Welcome to the 2019 trout season here in Vermont.  We had a very long snowy winter and as a result we should see a great deal of run off to contend with. As of today, there is still 111 inches of snow at the Mt. Mansfield stake.  That is a good thing, as we need that snow melt to keep our rivers full and cold into the hot summer months.  South of rt.2 and towards Burlington there is considerably less snow and many more viable fishing options can be found. Info below pertains to fishing north of Rt.2 and in the spine of the greens.

 If you are fishing early season, keep your presentation slow and low.  Weighted flies and sinking lines will increase you odds greatly.  While you will see some insect activity, personally I prefer streamers and eggs until May.  Trout will surely eat nymphs but you must present them directly in front of the fish, as fish will not travel far in these water temps for smaller morsels.  Targeting steel head and pike is a great early season option due to the fact that resident trout seem slower to wake up from winter doldrums.  As far as water, try to target smaller, cleaner watersheds that do not drain a ton of water. While trout can be sluggish this time of year, some of the biggest trout of the season can be caught in April.  It is all a matter of putting in your hours.  Don't expect to catch 12 in a day but putting in your time can yield some of the larger trout the VT has to offer.  Larger dark streamers and sucker spawn will cover fly selection for a great many situations. I don't carry dries with me in April as it is rare to see surface feeding this month.  Good luck out there and I will report back on conditions as the season gets rolling.

Don't forget to check out the Ditch Pickle Classic happening this year on June 22-23 if you would like to have a great time fishing with friends on Lake Champlain.  Also, if you know a young angler looking to try fly fishing or progress their skills, check out Green Mtn. Fly Fishing Camps .

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   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

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Mid April

Lamoille River opening weekend 2018

The season is underway and so far it has been a wet, cold & raw start.  Despite that, there are fish being caught so if you brave the cold, you might get rewarded.  The cold weather has definitely kept some rivers clean with decent visibility.  There is still a lot of snow in the mountains (80 in. on Mansfield) so at this rate, runoff will take awhile.
Streamers and eggs are most of what I throw in April but stone fly nymphs and pink/red worm also will get attention.  As we get into May, I will start throwing more nymphs and soft hackles.
Speaking of May, if you would like to fish some prime dates in late May, please email us at and we would be happy to get you out on the water.

Green Mtn. Fly Fishing camps are back for our 6th season and while our sleep away camps are full we do have spots available in our day camps in August.  If you are interested please check the site at

The Ditch Pickle Classic returns to Lake Champlain this June 23rd & 24th!  This fly fishing tourney that we host with friends is going on its 8th year and we couldn't be more happy to keep the train rolling and do it again.  Please check for all the info and to register your team.

As fishing picks up, so will reports.  Good luck out there!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

January update

Hello and Happy New Year to you all.  Thanks to everyone who booked with us in 2017.  It was a great year of fishing with plenty of rainfall and cooler than average water temps which led to happy trout and happy anglers.  

 In December we had some tech issues with our website but as you can see, everything is back up and running. So, if you would like to order flies,  gmt goods, contact us to book a trip, or want to read about fishing in our area you can leaf through the pages listed to the left and above on our home page.  I will be refining these pages here and there as the season approaches in April.

As I write this in early January, we have been in a deep freeze and fishing is non existent here in the mountains. Rivers are iced over and options are few.  This could all change as warmer weather sets in and we get our typical January thaw.  Most waterfalls or dams should have some kind of open water below them, just be safe and consult the VT fishing regulations to find water that is "legally" open to fishing.  Trout season this year begins on April 14th, that is about as late as we ever open given that trout season always begins on the 2nd Saturday in April. We can't wait and are looking forward to sharing the water with you in 2018!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Late May report

We are over a month into the trout season and so far so good.  Steelhead season gave up some nice fish and as of now, we have been getting rain when we need it.  Hendricksons have hatched and are now waning giving way to sulphers.  While the henricksons were plentiful there was very little surface activity to speak of. I have yet to catch a fish on a dry fly this year and in general, the dry fly bite has been slow to pick up but, that should change over the coming days.  We had some trips out this week and while 2 were successful, one was very slow.  The slow trip took place on the Winooski on a weekend and I was blown away by the fishing pressure. Throw in groups of paddlers out and about and it makes for an interesting experience.
GMT client this week from a trip with
guide Dalton Harben
Looking ahead we have pretty good fishing weather in the immediate future.  Air temps in the 60's and low 70's are keeping the rivers nice and cool.  Even though you can fish throughout day we are about to enter that time of year where morning and evening fishing are the time to be out.  The sun rides high on these long days and the trout are more likely to play when light is low or its overcast. Not to mention hatches will be most common in the p.m.
For flies we have been using streamers as they seem to be turning the most fish.  I have caught some on #12 pheasant tails as well.  Prince nymphs and copper johns are also reliable for the rest of the summer. Throw some hares ears in olive and natural in your box as well and you should be all set as far as nymphing.  Expect to see #14 sulphers, #10 march browns, #14 tan caddis and #10 brown drakes over the next couple weeks.  Speaking of drakes, memorial day marks the time of year when large drake mayflies start hatching in our coldwater ponds.  Grey, Brown, Yellow drakes and Hex mayflies will all start making an appearance in the weeks
to come.
Rivers have been stocked for the most part and fish have been spread throughout the waterways.  VT fish and wildlife made an interesting switch this year and stocked 2700 brook trout in the Lamoille in Hardwick to Wolcott.  This seems like less than ideal brook trout habitat and I wonder if it was a decision based on science or a financial one.  I trust our biologists know more than me but I will say that the rainbows thrived upstream last year so I can't the rational here.  Well that's about it. Don't forget the ditch pickle classic tourney takes place on Lake Champlain this June 24th-25th.  Save the date and come join the fun.

Saturday, April 8, 2017


                                                                      Egg Patterns

Happy 2017 trout season to all the anglers out there.  As any Veteran VT angler would tell you, the start of the season is often a hurry up and wait approach.  Nevertheless, there are always opportunities for those willing to brave the elements and the high/cold water.  Steelhead, pike, and browns are often your best bet early in the season.  If you're targeting resident trout, finding a thawed beaver pond can pay off as well.  Also, when fishing rivers, try to pick your watershed accordingly.  You do not want to be fishing drainages that funnel tons of snowmelt this time of year.  Look for lower elevation areas that don't drain the spine of the greens, which are loaded with snow still.  We continue to have a decent snowpack (112 in. on Mt. Mansfield as of today) unlike last year and that is going take awhile to dissipate. 

This time of year I personally only throw 2 types of flies for trout - eggs and streamers.  You will see little stoneflies on the warm days and common sense will tell you to tie one on but in my experience I have had very little luck with that approach.  It is a tough sell to ask a trout to move through cold heavy water to eat a #16-#18 stonefly.  It seems like too much effort for too little reward but a protein filled egg or meaty streamer....that's another story.  Don't get me wrong, fish definitely will eat early stones in front of them but I myself have not had much luck "matching the hatch" in Early April.

That's my two cents for April fishing.  Use weighted heads or split shot and slow down your drifts and retrieves whenever possible.  Stay safe while wading this month and when you snag up (which you should be) use common sense when wading out to save your fly or just don't attempt it.  The same goes for crossing rivers on warm days when flows can increase quickly from the sun.  Good luck out there and enjoy all the fishing options VT has to offer.