I must start by apologizing for the lateness of getting out this report. Busy with trips and spring projects that took a lot of my time till recently. I do keep notes and a log so I can pull up information to help me with the report.
Our winter was characterized as a below average snow year and big swings in temperatures. For skiers there were some good days and a lot not so much. It looked like we were going to have an early spring and then April turned out much cooler than normal. I had snow at my house on April 9th and the 19th and flurries on the 22nd. Vermont's Trout Season opener was on April 9th. and NY was on April 1st. I did not fish on the openers due to winter work and water levels were high and water temps were cold. Overall water temps remained in the low to mid Forties approaching the upper forties as we got toward the end of April.
Our first major hatch of the season is the famous Hendrickson hatch which I fished myself when conditions permitted. A few days that I fished I had good activity swinging nymphs and soft hackles to rising fish. On May 1st after doing a stream side presentation on Swinging flies at the Battenkill fly fishing Festival, I ventured down to NY and fished the Kill in a big pool way down on the watershed. I just received a new trout 4 wt. Spey casting rod. This 11 ft rod could clearly throw 75-90 ft and as I swung the flies through the pool I connected with three wild fish, the largest at 16 inches. I could not have got to the fish with a cast unless I had this 2 handed rod to cover the water where the fish were feeding. Yea for my new Mission Two-Handed!!!
As I write for this report, my notes reflect that Hendricksons, and Bracycentrus Caddis (Olive size 12) were around till about the 12th. I am beginning to see Light Cahills and the last of the Hendrickson spinners. On my small water I did well with small Blue Quill Dry flies.
Most of April, Trout stocking in Vermont was focused on the Lake and pond fishing. The exception was the Walloomsac which they stocked on April 25th. That is early for that watershed. Water conditions were somewhat high and water temps were cold. I have been having a hard time finding the yearly stockies and the pressure in the Trophy stretch has been intense. In NY the management of trout fishing in rivers and streams has changed considerably. Last year was the first year of implementation. A lot of the watersheds I guide on now have a reduced harvest and size limit. Many of the sections are now classified as "Stocked Extended" and there are clear simple signs with the Regs posted. In addition the stocking is done by multiple smaller stockings every 2-3 weeks. So far my reaction is favorable and I feel the stocked fish won't be all caught out in a short period. For example the Kill in NY from the Vermont border downstream to Eagleville are classified as "Premier Wild". The regulation is catch and release, artificial lures and flies only. Open year around. I will report in the future how this new management affects the quality of the fishing.
That's all I have at this time, I will post my next fishing report in the first part of June.Tight Lines
This has been a very busy season for my guiding, with many new guests and the return of my regulars. Many who I have not seen since 2019! To all those I have been with streamside so far and those who will be with me in the future, thanks so much for the opportunity to share our fishing and provide guidance.
The weather has been quite changeable for the month. Short cold rainy periods followed by warmer and more humid weather, more like mid-July. We had a good soaking rain event on June 5th. Smaller rains on the 9th. and 15th. all helped maintain water levels and fishing definately was better right after those times when waters were dropping. Flows for the Walloomsac started the month in the 150 to 200 CFS range but slowly dropping to where it is now in the 80 -120 CFS range except higher after the rain events. Other watersheds like the Batten Kill, Hoosic and Otter Creek have had similiar conditions to what was noted about the Walloomsac.
The fishing overall has been good, especially for our stocked fisheries both in VT and NY. The last of the stocking was done the first week of June for both the states I target.
I have been using a wide variety of techniques from dead drift nymphing, wet fly swing and when there is surface activity dry fly fishing. For my small water we have been fishing the 2 rod game. One 3 wt. set up with a dry fly and the second rod set up for nymphing. By doing that, depending on the pool, you can choose the right rig for the water.Tight Lines
Stream stocking continues with the Hoosic River getting Browns on 5/21, the Sac getting a trophy stocking on the 24th and yearling stocking on the same date. Otter Creek was stocked in Wallingford the last week of the month. In NY, the state continued with its multiple, spread out stocking dates for the Batten Kill and the Mettawee river. It will be interesting to see if this results in more available fish as we get well into June and early July.
Hatches now are where I am seeing March Browns, Light Cahills and several Caddis species. The few evenings I have guided and scouted, I am seeing some fair to good spinner falls and Caddis hatching toward the evening.
I have been focusing on my stocked targets to take advantage of the easier fish with my beginner clients. Small water targets for wild fish have been fishing quite well and that is where I am having my best dry fly action. One of my target streams that had a catastrophic flood 7 years ago. It decimated a considerable stretch of the stream resulting in a complete lack of habitat. I have been checking it every year since and I only found significant bugs 2 years ago and I finally caught a few fish this spring. 7 years into recovery! I will not guide on it for another year to allow it to continue to recover. Big floods or long droughts are never a good thing for wild trout.
The fishing has definately improved so if you have sme time you should take advantage of the prime time.Tight Lines
Area stream stocking began the last week of April for Trophy stretches on the Walloomsac and Otter Creek. Brookies were stocked on the Walloomsac the first week in May. For the Trophy stretch on the Black, stockings were msde on may 4th and the 11th. Stocking in the NY watersheds I target started in late April and are continuing through May and June. NY has a new Management plan for trout rivers and streams that started April 1st. of this year. Trout waters will be clasified into 5 categories depending on a variety of biological considerations, how and where trout will be stocked, and terminal gear regulations for each category. In addition all trout waters (Rivers and Streams) will be open for catch and release fishing with flies and lures after the close of the regular season. It is interesting and appears to have taken into account all the various angler user groups in the development. Make sure when you purchase your NY fishing license you get a new Regulation book.
Hatches have improved with Hendrickson's, Blue Quills, and Brachycentrus early this year due to that warm weather way back in the early part of April. Many times these hatches were occuring during the high water events when I was not guiding.
Will report later in the month as to how the season is progressing. I have been very busy starting the beginning of the month and it looks like there is a lot of interest in booking trips. This is more than likely a pent up demand once vaccinations are putting a dent into the pandemic!
Be safe and get vaccinated if you have not already done so!
Just when you thought we were going to have an early spring, mother nature gave us another snowstorm and as I write this every thing is white this morning. What started out in late March as warmer and drier than normal, for over 2 weeks we had some beautiful spring weather. In starting my scouting for the season in early April I was recording stream temperature creeping up to the 50 degree mark in the warmest part of the day. Water levels were low once the snowpack finished melting off by the end of March/first of April.
Our Vermont season opened on April 10th. I did not go out opening day due to my still working at my winter employment. Have been out scouting and fishing though. The warm weather has changed with swings in temps. and 2 snowstorms so far this month! Water levels as of today are a little high from the recent rain/snowstorms with the Walloomsac at 200 CFS, the Batten Kill at 900 CFS. and the Mettawee in NY at around 350 CFS.
My hatches have not really gottten going though I expect that will change very soon. I am seeing midges, and the start of the small Blue Quills. Projected warm weather next week is when I think we will see much more bug life.
I will keep you posted.
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.
I will report more later this week since I am scouting almost daily.
Tight Lines, Peter Basta
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.
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.Tight Lines
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.
That's all I have at this time. Will keep you abreast of how our conditions are doing as we go through August.Tight Lines
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.
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..
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 ok. 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.
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. Tight Lines
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.
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.
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.
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 activity 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.Tight Lines
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.Tight Lines
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 liesabove 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!
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.Tight Lines, Peter
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 again begin to spread out from the loww water pols and habitat they have been in.
Will keep you posted.Tight Lines, Peter
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 ok, 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 minutes 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.
That's all I have at this time—pray for some nice rain and a break from this heat wave we are having.Tight Lines, Peter
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 ok 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.
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.Tight Lines, Peter
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.Tight Lines, Peter
The Vermont season opened last Saturday with weather and conditions more like mid-March and not mid-April. The Green Mountains 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!!Tight Lines, Peter
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 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 9-10 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. Tight Lines, Peter
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 streamTight Lines, Peter
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.