July 18th., 2020
I must apologize for not updating my fishing report since the later part of May. Since that report our "Stay at Home Order" was extended through mid-June. Because of that, many of my guiding trips were cancelled due to the need to "Self Quarantine" for 14 days for those arriving from out of state. Also many of my guests were staying in area Lodging and they and restaurants were closed as well. Lodging and restaurants began to open July 1st. (with restrictions) as further opening of the economy is continuing because here in Vermont our cases were on a downward trend. I must add that there are restrictions on where you are coming from that may require you to self-quarantine upon arrival. This is based on the infection rate of your community/county. Those areas of the country where there are surges of COVID-19 are asked to NOT TRAVEL HERE. The northeast states are for the most part allowed to travel here without restrictions. I began my guiding on July 1st., for the 2020 season.
So more on the fishing part of my report. While through early May the weather and conditions were cold and wet. Since then through mid-June, spring finally arrived and the weather was great.! The spring into summer could be characterized as very nice weather with little rain. What little rain we have received only kept the lawns green and did little to help area stream water levels. In reviewing water data (USGS gaging stations) in the areas 3 major waterheds, actual flows have been lower thab normal and now I am seeing water levels very very low for this time of year. We had several hot spells during this time as well and water temps. are higher than normal. Though I did not guide till July 1st., I did a significant amount of fishing/scouting myself which I rarely get to do! I found the fishing fair to good. This years stocking by both NY and VT was done quite early compared to years past Also in NY the number of Brown Trout stocked was down due to a problem at one of their hatcheries. Both of these facts facts leads me to believe there are less "stockies" to chase during the summer months. I am catching more 1 year old wild Brown trout on all the fisheries I target, that is a "very good sign" for the future.
Now that we are in the third week of July, I am fishing mostly mornings and as most activity/action is before the heat kicks in. The Tricos have started on the Batten Kill and it is just starting on the Mettawee. Other hatches include sporadic Blue Wing olives,a few Potamanthus Mayflies, and Glossoma caddis.
I will finish this report with the mention that it has been raining all morning which may actually have a positive effect on the fishing conditions.
Let me start by saying that Spring has been slow to come since my last report in April. At my home (1750 ft. elevation) I have had 4 snow events since mid-April, one was between 7-8 inches. As I write this report,finally things are turning around and normal spring weather is on our doorstep.
I have been fishing and scouting myself but have not been guiding because of the "Stay at Home Order" effective through the 15th. of May. The latest as of that date is Governor Scott has continued the "State of Emergency" and now has begun to loosen restrictions on opening businesses and outdoor activity. The new order is now "Safer at Home" and I must stress that the loosening is very little and occurring slowly. Some examples are retail stores are opening with restrictions and Lodging will open in a week with restrictions that directly affect many of my Guests. Lodging is available for VT residents only, anyone else must self Quarantine 14 days before they can stay at one of our Lodging offerings. Restaurants are still not open save for take-out. That may change in several weeks.
Because of these facts I am not taking any bookings or doing guided trips from anyone traveling here till June 15th., unless less restrictive recommendations are put forward. I will guide on a limited basis those who are residents or who have been here longer than 14 days and have self Quarantined.
As I mentioned in my April report I have formulated protocols to help us be safe in our activity. Here is a list of what I will implement during my guiding.
We will social distance of at least 6ft.
I will require my guests to have a face covering.
We will start our trip by washing our hands and periodically use hand sanitizer.
I will limit trip size to 2 anglers.
We will travel in separate vehicles.
I will be only doing 1/2 and 3/4 day trips.
I will not offering shore meals at this time.
Now I want to talk a little about our fishing conditions. In Vermont and nearby NY most rivers have been stocked (earlier than in years past). Water levels of area streams have been a little high to normal flows. The Hendrickson hatch was a resonably good one when weather conditions were favorable. Now I am seeing Light Cahills and a few Caddis are beginning to hatch.
I will report more later this week since I am scouting almost daily.
Dorset Hollow, April 18th.,2020
I stopped by the upper Mettawee on the way home checking area streams after the heavy rains of a few days ago. It felt so good to be out of the house and in a pair of waders. Our Trout season opened last weekend though I did not go out. I rarely fish on the opener, I'm usually at my winter retail job in the ski industry. Not this year due to the health emergency related to COVID-19.
At present in Vermont, we are in "A shelter at Home" order as well as other non-essential businesses being closed (my employer). Also it states that "resident or non-resident coming to Vermont, isolate/self quarantee themselves for 14 days". At this point our fishing season while open, is in essence for residents only.
If this were a normal year, I would usually start my guiding around the 1st of May, depending on stream conditions and the timing of the spring. As I write this, our spring is definately late this year. Water temps. are in the low Forties, and flows till recently were low. Now water levels are starting to move toward normal flows for the later part of April.
SO WHAT ARE THE PROSPECTS FOR THE GUIDING FOR THE EARLY SEASON?
At present, I am planning on not doing any guiding till at least May 15th.. At that time, I am hopeful that less restrictive protocals are in place and it is reasonably safe to do our activity. I will require "Social Distancing". In addition,I will be formulating a plan to include what I will allow for group size, logistics of driving to spots, requirements of sanitizing equipment, and the use of face coverings. I will be formulating these details and posting these policies on my Fish Report very soon. If there is extension of the order beyond May 15th., I will react accordingly to what is safe for my guests and myself.
We got snow the other morning, further delaying the warmth of spring. I will be scouting and fishing starting this week and keep you up to date on what I find in the next Fish Report.
Tight Lines and be safe.
September 5th., 2019
The really hot weather and temperatures of mid-late July did not return in August but water levels remain lower than normal for this time of year. We have had some rain events mainly as thunderstorms that affected some watersheds and less so for others. Rain events on the 16th.,19th-20th. and 22nd. significantly raised water levels on the Walloomsac and on the Batten Kill but pretty much missed the Mettawee watershed. The Mettawee has been in the 25 to 40 CFS range, well below medain flows only going up to around 100 CFS after 1 rain event. The Wallomsac however got some heavy rain events on the 19th. and 22nd-23rd. which raised flows to over 500 CFS and 1000 CFS respectfully but they quickly dropped back to the 50-60 CFS range, again well below median. Water temps however have been very good during this period and the fish are definately not heat stressed due to high water temperatures.
In August our best hatches are in the mornings with Tricos and some Blue Wing olives sporadically appearing in morning hours from 7:00 a.m. and shutting off by around 11:00 a.m.. Toward mid August I started seeing Isonychia nymph cases on the rocks at waters edge so this larger Mayfly is hatching right on schedule. Common name is Slate Wing Mahogony Dun. It is a fairly large mayfly (12-14) for this time of year. Fishing Duns or swinging nymphs in fast waterruns has been effective. There are fair numbers of Glossoma Caddis (tans or cream) and have been effective as a searching pattern. As I write this on the 5th., I am starting to fish afternoon and evenings as mornings are getting cool and the premier hatch (Tricos) start to wane in its cycle.
Remember to fish longer and finer leaders and be sure to move slowly in the low water to not spook these wary fish given the conditions.
August 4th., 2019
Summer heat kicked in since my last report of early July. Heat indexes approaching 100' F were seen around the 20th of July till around 23rd. when thunderstorms broke the heat temporarily. Area watersheds received significant amounts of precipitation on the 23rd. (Walloomsac 930 CFS, Batten Kill 870 CFS.). Interesting enough the Mettawee missed the thunderstorms and remained around 100CFS. Since then, very little precipitation has fallen and area streams and now below median levels for this time of year. River temperatures were getting warm (low 70's) during the heat of the day but cooler nights recently have changed highs to the upper 60"s.
This time of year we are in a transition of hatches from evenings to early mornings. I often consider it a time of little bug activity. There are very sporadic Caddis, BWO's in the morning and now we have the start of our Trico hatch. Saw my first spinner swarms on the Walloomsac on the 25th. Now the Kill and Mettawee are starting to see significant numbers.
Because of the lower clear water I am fishing mostly dries even when there is no rising activity. I am fishing longer and finer leaders to 6x flouro. sometimes pushing 14-16 ft. ! I am doing very little nymphing with indicators unless it is in heavy flows. Wet fly swing is still working if you use 1 fly (soft hackle), wet but not weighted.
Thats all I have at this time. Will keep you abreast of how our conditions are doing as we go through August.
July 8th., 2019, Dorset,VT
Since my last report in June our fishing continues to be good with many options in most of the watersheds I target. Water levels are still very good with periodic rains keeping the levels at or above median flows for a specific date. This allows me to fish everything from small water to our bigger rivers in the area. All area streams that are stocked have been completed by mid-June and those watersheds have significant angling pressure. The Walloomsac in Bennington has gotten quite crowded as I have noted in my last report, that hasn't changed as we get into mid-JULY.
As for the hatches, the trend of low bug numbers continues as I have observed since way back in May. All the traditional may fly and caddis species are hatching now more or less on schedule while earlier in the season they were 1-2 weeks late. I am finally seeing good number of Caddis cases on rocks and substrate. The tan/cream Caddis (Glossoma) should be a good hatch as there are a lot of cases i am seeing. That will start anytime soon through August. I have not seen any Tricos yet thugh that hatch should be starting in the next week or so.
Thats all I have at this time, will keep you up to date with another report the beginning of August.
June 19th., 2019 Mettawee River
Took an hour to fish a small water target on the way home after today's trip. It sure felt good to cast a fly and just fish for myself. I caught several beautiful 1-2 yr. old Browns and a 1 year old Brookie. It was so nice just to fish. Conditions have improved as water levles, river temps., and other factors have led to much better fishing overall.
Water levels for the 5 watersheds I target have still been averaging 1 to 1 and 1/2 times normal median flows for a particular date. This is much better than in May. Example: The Walloomsac median flows should be in the 150-200 CFS range and flows are averaging 200-350 CFS when water drops down after rain events. Speaking of rain events, for the Waloomsac, high water of 3000 CFS, 1000 CFS , and 900 CFS occured during the period of this report. Water temps are excellent, 55'F - 62'F for all area streams.
Insect activity is very interesting. Overall I am not seeing much for hatches where ever I fish. In small water, dry fly activity has been very good but again I m not seeing much for bugs.. This is not to say there are no bugs, just that the hatches are not only late, the densities are down as well. Don't worry, wild trout won't starve. I must qualify my observation in that I often am not guiding for the evening/dark fishing time, so I don't have an idea of what activity is like in that time frame.
Area stream stocking in NY and VT are in full swing and finishing up as I write this report. This is the period of the season where I will target stocked fisheries especially if I have beginners and low skilled intermediates. Yes at first, stocked trout are easy to catch, but you still have to present the fly properly regardless of the technique. The rewards are just easier to come by. There has been a lot of pressure especially on all sections of the Walloomsac. In the trophy trout section there are fishermen parking on a particularly good pool for 4- 5 hrs, never moving. This is not good and being respectful of the other anglers. Fish a pool for a while, catch a few fish and then move on. For the stocked fish I have been sucessful with dead drift nymphing or fishing wet fly swing after a dead drift presentation. When fish are rising, I have done well with dry flies.
For wild trout fisheries I have been focusing on small water targets and they are fishing good to excellent ! I have not fished the mainstem of the Batten Kill (all wild trout) because of the high water conditions which makes wading and fishing tough.As for the Mettawee in VT, I am just starting to target and yes I am finding some fish.
And lastly, I want to comment on what has happened physically to some of the area waters that I have observed this spring. The effects of the spring floods in March and April have resulted in some habitat to change. Pools and holding areas have moved, partially filled in, or are just plain gone! This is even seen on some of my small water target streams as well. I even have 5-6 spots I like to fish with big trees right in the pool having toppled over during 1 of the floods. It does make it interesting. Its like I am learning new water! Oh well..
May 29th., 2019
Since my last report, we have had rain and cooler than normal weather for the rest of May. Only now as I write this, has the weather warmed and water conditions are begining to improve on our area streams. Water levels are still above median levels but depending on the date, one or several streams are quite fishable. Water temperatures are very good now, in the mid Fifties. Small water targets are fishing just o.k.. Hatches appear to be light and hatch times, appear to be several weeks late. Stocking continues but again, later than usual.
So how has the fishing been? To be perfectly honest, it has been tough overall with sporadic good days. However in the last several days there has been a very good turn around. The conditions of higher than normal flows, colder than normal Temps, and 2 floods back in March and April have all contributed to what we are experiencing fishing wise. There are some good aspects to the conditions. Higher and cooler water conditions will , when we get into the summer, stretch out the fishing and that's good. With stocking, the trout will spread out more with the higher flows and hopefully reduce harvest.
Will Keep you posted.
May 10th., 2019
Spring has been hard to come to in southern Vermont since my last report near the season opener. We had significant snowmelt and rain on the 15th. of April and most area streams went above flood stage. Rain events on the 21st., 28th.,and May 4th. all raised waters but as I write this report water levels are getting slightly above normal for this time of year. It has been very grey and colder than normal spring weather, my feeling we are a week or 2 behind normal. We even had some snow on higher elevation mountains.
Have been guiding for about a week and fished the Walloomsac River and a few small water targets that had excellent water conditions. Did OK on the Sac, fishing the trophy stretch which was stocked on the 1st.. It appeared the fish were spread out because they were stocked in higher water conditions. As for stocking, it should be going on now in both NY and VT.. In NY, The Kill and the Mettawee were stocked this week, again under higher water conditions. Water temps. are approaching 50'S..
I did receive my new Stealth fishing raft from FLYCRAFT. It is assembled and ready to go, possible shake down cruise next week. Will keep you updated as we go through May.
APRIL 18TH., 2019
The Vermont trout season opened on Saturday April 13th.. with warm and sunny weather. Those that fished found waters high and cold from snow melt, especially the Batten Kill. Rain events on the 7th and a major rain/snow melt event on the 14th.,sent all our area streams to flood stage or above. The Mettawee rose 2 Ft. above flood stage, the Kill over 3 Ft., and the Walloomsac just to flood stage. Water levels today as i write this report are all still too high and cold to be successful. Temps are still in the high 30's to low 40's. Our weather is getting warmer, and if we get a break on the rain events we should start to see fishing conditions next week favorable for the first time this season.
I will be starting my scouting in the next day or so focusing on walking my small water targets and seeing how the winter has changed things. i haven't even wet a line yet given the conditions.
DRIFT BOAT SOLD !
My Hyde 16.5 FT Drift Boat was sold recently, its new home to a family living in northern NH. With proceeds from the sale, I purchased a 2 man Drift Boat raft from FLYCRAFT. It is 12.5 Ft. long by under 4 ft.. It weighs 98 Lbs without gear and does not need to be used with a trailer. It offers me and 1 other angler the ability to fish sections of streams/rivers that are not easily accessible due to a lack of boat launches, etc.. I will use it as a vehicle to cover water, getting out to fish the likely spots. This will benefit my older clients that find it hard to move down banks or long walks from the truck.
More on how this new addition to my offerings makes out as I scout and fish out of my new STEALTH raft from FLYCRAFT.
DRIFT BOAT FOR SALE.
I will be selling my 16 1/2 Ft Hi-side fiberglass drift boat. The boat was extensively used in Michigan and limited use on the upper Connecticut River, and some smaller ponds in lakes/ponds in our area. I also used it on the Batten Kill but access/launch areas are primitive and result in logistic problems due to the weight/size of boat.
The boat is totally outifited and in good shape. The boat was purchased new in 2004. It has both a rear anchor and front anchor mount system. Also it has a motor mount and I do have a 6 hp. long shaft Nisson 2 stroke motor that is an option to purchase. The newly refurbished trailer has 2 new tires.
Any interest please e-mail me and we can discuss details and what I am asking for a price.
APRIL 2ND., PRESEASON REPORT
Finally winter is beginning to lesson its grip. Overall a cooler than normal winter with some wide swings in temperature that produced very cold and snowy weather then big warmups with rain. Several of those events resulted in flooding events. The areas mountain snowpack was good and now we are seeing snow run-off from the spine of the Greens. The Taconics snow pack is all but gone and the valley locations around Manchester are all snow free, but the ground is still frozen in many areas Stream temperatures are still in the upper 30's and I have seen no fly activuty of yet, not even the first of the midge hatches.
I will keep you posted on water conditions as we get closer to the season opener on Saturday April 13th.
OCTOBER 5TH., 2018
I wanted to give you an update of my report since the last river report of September 9th. Low and warm water conditions continued till mid-month when we finally got some rain events. 2 small rain events (Sept.8th. and 12th.) had virtuually no effect on flows. We did get a nice rain event on the 16th. that raised all our area streams and when levels stabilized flows were more normal for this time of year. Other events on the 26th. and October 1st. helped as well. Hatches were the typical fall variety of May Fly species including Isonychia (size 12) and the last of the Tricos (size 24) earlier in September. Blue Wing Olives (Baetis) (size 20) and some White flies (size 10-12) for the rest of the month. Caddis species areound are our October Caddis (size 12)and fall Cream/Ginger (size 14-16). Hatches were sporadic all month which has been the pattern of all year.
Fishing was clearly after the rain events. With better flows I revisited small water that due to the very low water conditions in summer I had not targeted since late June. They fished quite well, with some very good dry fly action when water levels were optimum. Water temps are now back into the low to mid-fifties, that is excellent and the fish are more active.
I will be going on my annual Atlantic Salmon trip to Nova Scotia around mid-month. I always look forward to that special week in a beautiful spot on Cape Breton Island. I will keep you posted after my return on the 25th.
September 26th., 2018
Clyde River, Newport, VT
I just pulled off I-91 in Lyndonville, VT after fishing all day on the Clyde River in northern Vermont. As I wait for my pizza i thought I would make some notes of my day and I bask in the glow of a great fishing day. The Clyde is a small steep gradient river, a tributary to Lake Memphremagog in north central VT near the Canadian border. It has a diverse fishery population from many warm water species to cold water species namely Rainbows and Landlocked Atlantic Salmon.The lake has excellent forage for the trout and Salmon and the fish can reach impressive sizes while in the lake. In the fall the Landlocked Salmon move into the Clyde for their spawning run. It is a late September, well into October event dependent on water conditions, temperature, and decreasing photoperiod All are favorable for migratiion. My close friend Alan Erdossy, one of my Margaree fishing companions, had been wanting me to come to the Clyde and experience this exciting fishery. We took a chance after watching the radar in northern VT and determining they were getting rain. Alan fished the afternoon of the 25th. and i joined him at dusk to fish the following morning. The evening report was no fished hooked but a few were showing in the pool. that It is important because it is one of the first holding lies above the lake. Because very few fish had entered to date there was virtually no fishing pressure as well.
In the morning the water level had rose only slightly as we began fishing. Alan took the tail of the pool, and I the top where a rapid entered into the head and mid portion of the pool. I was fishing a pair of wet flies, a Hare's Ear nymph with a trailer of a soft hackle about 18 " below the lead fly. The first Salmon took at the hinge point where the rig went from a dead drift to a swing. A nice 3 to 3 1/2 lb. female, silver and bright fresh from Lake. Alan hooked several and I had the luck of hooking 3 and landing 2 for the day. Timing was everything... also just plain luck!!! It was a nice get away and a possible offering to my guests in the future. I will keep you posted!
September 9th., 2018
Just got back from our yearly vacation to the Jersey Shore. Excellent beach weather and quite hot for the week following Labor Day. Since my last report rain events have lessened in intensitity and long times between events. Water levels have dropped to more late summer flows with the Walloomsac at about 100 CFS, the Kill at 100-200 CFS and the Mettawee at 40-60 CFS. I have been both fishing in mornngs and afternoons /evenings, especially as we get towards mid month. i will report later in the month as we get into our prime fall fishing time.
August 20th., 2018
Since my last report the wetter conditions have prevaled. Though the temperatres have been quite hot between rain events, showers, thunderstorms, and soaking rains have kept water conditions good to excellent. With proper timing I was able to fish some small water targets that I have not been on since June. Rain events on the 4th., 5th., and 10th all helped raised the levels on all of our area streams to median flows or above for this time of year!
Morning hatches of Tricos on the upper Kill and the Mettawee are getting going in full swing. On the Walloomsac there is not much of a ( Trico)hatch lately, quite sporadic. This has been the case since 2012, the year of Tropical Storm Irene. Just saw my first Isonychia nymph cases on the rocks so that has started. Hatches for me have been sporadic, so on larger watersheds its a mix of wet fly swing and some morning dry fly action.
Thats all I have at this time and will file a report some time in early September.
July 30th, 2018
Since the 23rd of this month our weather pattern has changed and we are getting showers, actual rain events and cooler weather. Rain events on the 19th.,24th., 27th. and the 29th. have raised all area streams way above median flows and are now settling down to slightly above median levels. Water temps. have dropped as well and is helping alleviate the stress the fish were having earlier in the month.
Today I had the chance to fish myself and I sampled a small water target that finally had good flow to fish. It fished very well and I sure enjoyed the time just fishing. I caught 4 year classes the largest a 14 " Brown trout.
Tricos are on for both the Vt. side of the Batten Kill and Mettawee river. Fish are just beginning to respond with some spinner falls happening. now. I am seeing some Caddis and a few very small BWO'S while morning fishing.
With the improved water levels and temps., hope the fish once agian begin to spread out from the loww water pols and habitat they have been in.
Will keep you posted.
July 7th. Walloomsac River, VT
Finished an evening trip on the Sac today and though it was hot and sunny when we started, once we got near dusk, the bugs started and the fish reponded.! Though I was targeting stocked fish, they have had lots of pressure, and are beginning to get sophisticated and the presentation needs to be correct.
Since my last report our streams continued to get lower due to the beautiful bluebird weather we have been having and very little rain. Stream flows are averaging 40-60 % of median flows for this time of year. The rain events we have had on the 24th.,28th. and July 7th. raised levels near median flows only to return to the low conditions. Water temps have been o.k., but I am only fishing mornings and keeping my stream thermometer handy. Small water targets except for the Roaring Branch have been unfishable due to low water. I am finding the stocked trout fishing in NY is still holding up though the numbers of fish still around are a lot less than earlier in June. The heat wave we are starting to have will shut that down save for early mornings or the 45 minute around dusk for the evening fishing.
As for hatches, very little is happening save for some Caddis and the odd Blue wing Olive in the mornings. Have not been fishing evenings so I could not tell you whats been going on there.
Thats all I have at this time..Pray for some noce rain and a break from this heat wave we are having.
June 18th, 2018
Well into our prime time fishing months for this season. Our weather from the last report has been blue bird days, cool evenings, and only little rain events on the 2nd. and 6th.. While many of my guests have loved the weather, our streams have reflected this with abnormaly low levels. For example, the Walloomsac has been flowing between 125 and 60 CFS which is well below the median flows of 200-150 CFS. Even though the rain on the 2nd.. and 6th., brought water levels up, they quickly dropped back to the low levels.
Fishing in my stocked and mixed waters has been fairly good though overall the stocking in both NY and Vermont has been later than usual. This is not a bad thing and hopefully will spread out the fishing well into July. For my strictly wild trout fisheries, the low water has prevented me from fishing small water. The Kill and the Mettawee are fishing o.k. when I have targeted them.
The hatches have been sporadic, but plenty of Caddis, March Browns are all but done and I am starting to see small Sulfers, and a Blue Wing Olive species that appears in mid-June.
As I am writing this I am remembering todays guide with a very good friend and long time client. He had a banner day on the Trophy Stretch of the Sac. He even caught a couple using a two handed 6 weight Spey rod.! It was a good day.
Tight lines and see you on the stream.
May 28th, 2018
Yes spring has arrived and now its quite summer like as I write this report. We went from cold/cool to some really nice weather for the rest of the month.
Water levels were quite high back in the first week in May and then steadily dropped till the 20th of the month where a rain event on the 21st raised water levels a bit to again slowly fall to where they are as of today. For example, on 5th of May the Batten Kill was at 2000 CFS and now it has dropped to only 450 CFS, fairly low. The same trend appears for the Mettawee and the Walloomsac as well.
For hatches, we are into the Light Cahills, March Browns and several species of Caddis. Evening spinner falls with appropriate weather have been good I hear on the Batten Kill. Small water had been fishing good till the low water of late. Its been a mixed bag as for the wild trout and even for the stockies. Both NY and VT are stocking later due to the late start of spring. They are catching up if you look at the reports.
Thats all I have for now. Its prime time so get out to your local haunts.
May 8th, 2018 Mettawee River
Finally spring is beginning to make an appearance and we can feel the heat of the sun. Since my last report we finally started to get our snow melt around the 22nd of April. All area streams rose to near bankfull for almost 10 days due to snow melt and some cold rain events. For example, the Walloomsac which was running at a good level (250-350CFS) rose to 1000-1500 CFS which made it unfishable. The same was true for the Batten Kill, Mettawee, and Otter Creek.
Because of the late spring, our first hatches of the season started later than usual. In addition some of those hatches finally did occur but under high water conditions, so in many places they were unfishable. I just started to do trips this week fishing small water because many of the main-stem sections of my target rivers were still too high to fish. Yesterday we actually had some hatches in the afternoon and had our first trout come to a dry fly. Water temps. were finally in the upper forties/low fifties so things are just getting going. The weather this week is for warm and sunny and that will help to improve things as well
As for the watersheds that are stocked, they are stocking with earnest now, but mostly doing the ponds and lakes. The trophy section of the Wallomsac was stocked on April 27th under high water conditions so that should help spread the fish out from the stock points. Later this week water levels there should finally be low enough to successfully fish the "Sac"
Will keep you posted as we go forward in May.
April 18th., 2018
The Vermont season opened last Saturday with weather and conditions more like mid-March and not mid-April. The Green Mtns. still have 1-2 feet of natural snow and our temperatures are in the mid-20's at night to day time highs in the upper thirties. Water levels are slightly high but the stream temps. are still only around 40 F'. Brrrr !
I have started to do some scouting, especially in small water to see how the winter has changed the sections or beats I target. I am concerned about Flower Brook especially after the flash flood that did so much damage in earlly July of last year.
Will keep you posted on conditions as we get towards the end of the month. The rest of this week cold and snow flurries Yea !!
September 24th, Dorset,VT
The week away on the Jersey shore was great! Good weather and a well needed rest. While Pauline and I had nice weather at the beach, back in VT that week was very cool and 2-3 days of wind and rain made it seem like early fall. Rain events on September 4th. and the 6th.-7th., raised water levels to the 300-400 CFS for the Walloomsac (as an example) and since then have slowly dropped to what we have now in the 70-80 CFS range which is normal for this time of year. I am focusing my guiding on the Walloomsac/Hoosic drainage and the Batten Kill both in VT and NY. The Mettawee has been too low to effectively fish and I will wait to later in the fall when water levels improve. Water temps. in all area streams are in the upper 50's to low 60's which is excellent.
As I write this we have had a string of beautiful bluebird days since 12th. No rain and only 1 or 2 days of cloud. I believe because of the bright days the fall hatches have been only so-so. In mornings, there are a few spots where Trico spinner falls are happening, but the timing is much later in the morning, say 9-100 a.m.. I am shifting my guiding to afternoons now and toward the evening looking for spinner falls as well as fresh hatching Duns. Fall Caddis, small Caddis and Blue Wing Olives are what I am seeing for bugs.
I will keep you posted to conditions as we go toward the end of the month.
September 5th, Long Beach Island NJ
Its been a very busy guiding season and now as I write this I am taking a much needed break on the Jersey shore with my wife Pauline. I guided till the 3rd. of September. For the second half of August conditions continued to be overall good with well placed rain events to keep water levels toward optimum and river temps. excellent for this time of year. The hatches overall have been fair to good depending on the watershed and the particular bug hatch.
Rain events on the 19th. and 23rd. added to flows to keep levels at or near median flows. Using the Walloomsac as an example, river flows topped out at 600 CFS during the rain on the 19th to lower to 80 CFS on the 22nd. A small rain event on the 23rd., raised levels to 200 CFS only to return below 60 as the month ended and into the first days of September. Thes flows are some of the best we have had in several years. Both the Batten Kill and Mettawee had the rain events, their flows should similiar increases and drops though flow rates are differnt due to watershed size. River temps have been excellent throughout this period. All in the low 60's or even the high fifties on some mornings. Thats very good and shows in the way the fish are acting once hooked up.
On another subject relating to flows I have been scouting and fishing the Mettawee below the junction of Flower Brook where back in July there was a flash flood in the Flower Brook watershed. I have not inspected Flower Brook. Downstream on the main-stem I am happy to report that the fish are there in OK numbers, water is clear (except after rain events) and the bug hatches are fair especially the Tricos. I will take time this month to inspect Flower brook to document the damage there.
Hatches continue with Tricos and small Caddis in the morning. Some Blue Wing Olives during the day and I amd now seeing Isonychias in good numbers on the Batten Kill and the Mettawee. We should be seeing flying ants as I write this but I won't know until I return next week.
September and October should be excellent fishing and I have some prime times open during both of those months. Hope to hear from you or see you out there on the stream
August 12th., 2017
Its finally Trico time with the bugs showing up in good nmbers on the Batten Kill, and the Mettawee. Even the Walloomsac is seeing some spinners and Duns. This bug is still recovering from the ravages Of Irene and post Irene on the "Sac".
Since mid-July conditions still have continued to be good with above normal water levels and excellent water temps. This has been a better year than the last several.Water levels remained above median flows on all area watersheds till we got in the later part of July when we went ito a dry spell with virtually no rain. Water levles are now slightly below normal now but still in very good shape. What is more impressive is that river temps. have remained cooler than normal all season long, again good for the fish and good fo the fishing. Flows today are as follows: Batten Kill 200 CFS, the Walloomsac 80 CFS and the Mettawee 60 CFS.. Hatches are as I said in the opening statement, Tricos and the following small Blue Wing Olives (18's-20's) small Caddis 16's and I saw my first Isonychia on the NY side of the Mettawee today. Hatches are of course sporadic through the day.
I am now getting some good dry fly fishing, the wild and stocked fish are wary and selective already. It seem there is more pressure, especially on the Walloomsac this summer, less so on the Batten Kill and the Mettawee. Canoe/Kyak traffic has been very large on weekends and not bad on weekdays. Ican't wait till after Labor Day when I can spend a lot of time on the Kill,Sptember/early October is a very good time to fish the Kill.
Got to go and get ready for tomorrows trip.
July 10th, 2017, Walloomsac River,VT.
What a month it has been since my last report of mid June. We continued to get periodic rain and cool weather which has kept water temps. cooler than normal and above normal median flows for later June into July. Overall this has been a very good thing! Higher flows make for less spooky fish. For stocked fish, it allows them to spread throughout the river giving us areas to fish away from stock points. When the bigger waters like the Batten Kill or Walloomsac were too high, I targeted small water if I had the angler skill. Small water still is fishing well as of mid July due to the water levels.
Rain evens on June 17th.,21st.,and 25th, and July 1st-2nd. all contributed to the above normal levels. On July 1st., localized severe thunderstorms cause flash flooding on 2 of my target watersheds. Flower Brook, a tributary to the Mettawee, and the Walloomsac in Bennington. Surprisingly, the flood on the Walloomsac did little damage and fishing continues to be excellent for mostly stocked yeerlings. In the case of the Mettawee, time will tell the impact of the flood on bug life and habitat. When Flower Brook flooded it scoured the stream bed and opened up clay deposits which turn the water a cement gray and reduce visability to almost nothing. It is beginning to clear now as I write this. I will keep you posted as the summer progresses.
I have shifted to morning for the fishing time and our hatches are now in that transition time. That of evenings to mornings. Its our "in between time" though there are still bugs around. Small Caddis, Blue Wing Olives, and off course midges. Mid-day things are shutting down.
Overall this spring the fishing has been on average much better than in the last 2 years. Better conditions produce better fishing. All indications this season should continue to be a good one.
June 16th, 2017, small water in the rain.
Had a day off today and all it did was shower and rain till the afternoon. This was a good excuse to knock out office and paper work that was getting away from me..Water levels have been excellent, this rain will just freshen it up. When I went out this afternoon to scout, one of my local waters had risen a little and had a slight mud stain but still quite clear. This should be a good time to nymph and see who was out for the feed. And they were, quite eager to get the fly!! Mostly Browns, 3 year classes, mostly 1 year olds though. I only sampled and many times not striking and letting them drop it, less spooky in near future. It felt so good to do some fishing myself.
Since my last report in May we have continued to have conditions of cool weather and above normal precipitation. Our water levels today are excellent, but some days we had to be creative to find fishable water. Rain events on May 27th, 30th.,June 7th., and today have contributed to higher than normal waters. All in all very good conditions if you were mobile enough to fish small upland streams which would drop and clear quickly. Don't get me wrong I would rather have these conditions than the low waters of the last 2 years. This year on our stocked streams the fish spread out after stocking and had less pressure due to certain days conditions were unfishable. Also see less predators out and about again due to water conditions. River temps are excellent as well for mid June.
We are getting fish either nymphing dead drift of where the water type is appropriate, wet fly swing. In small water we are mostly fishing drys unless water is up from a rain event. Bug hatches are March Browns, 2 species of Caddis, some Sulfers, and Blue Wing Olives in size 18. I have rarely guided till dark so I don't have a handle on spinner falls. Have a number of 1/2 day morning trips in the next 2 weeks, so I will go scout in the evening.
Thats all I have for now, be sure to get out, fishing is good right now!!
May 21st., 2017
In just a short time from my last report a lot has happened as for fishing conditions and action. Rain events on the 5th.,8th., and 15th. raised water levels on many streams to unfishable levels for a day or two after the rains. All the watersheds I fish on are expierencing above normal levels for this time of year, It is a good thing though, allowing our stocked fish to spread out and not allow their natural predators easy prey.
Stocking continues on both Veremont and NY streams. As of this date the Black has received 3 stocking and the Trophy stretch of the Walloomsac has gotten both its scheduled stockings. They have stocked both the Batten Kill and the Mettawee in NY.
Bug hatches are beginning to come on strong as well. Light Cahills, several species of Caddis and Yellow Sally stoneflies. Most hatches have been inafternoons, especially on the cloudy and warmer days. Water temps. are now in the upper 50's and that is a great thing. Because of the higher than normal flows, my small water targets are really coming on with very cooperative wild fish. Here is where we have had some good dry fly action.
More on this report to come after todays fishing
May 4th, 2017
Since my last report fishing continued to improve as water levels and temps were favorable to bug hatches. On this date most area streams are getting to normal early May levels unlike last year at this time when we had mid-summer low water levels. River stocking both in NY and VT are just getting going, a liitle behind schedule due to the higher water flows and cooler river temps.
My small stream targets have been high and cold and till just recently were fishing poor due to these conditions. Now stream temps are approaching 50'F and I excpect an improvement therre. We are just about done with Hendricksons and Blue Quills. I saw my first Caddis flies today and we should start to see Light Cahills (May fly) and our Yellow Sally stoneflies.
April 4th, 2017
The New York fishing season opened on April 1st and Vermont's trout opener is Saturday the 8th. It will be an interesting opener with our temperatures below average for the beginning of April and the surrounding Mountains have just started their snow melt!!!! There is still a lot of snow above 1750 ft. elevation and the ski areas have plenty of base to get them to their season end in the next few weeks. I took some temperatures of area streams and most are still in th