3/28/16 Fishing Report S&B

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Report Originally from Stream & Brook

Looking ahead its going to be a cold weekend as the 2016 Trout Season starts! In the 20’s with possible snow for Saturday! A bunch of Stream and Brook guides will be fishing in the 8th annual Otter Creek Classic hosted by our friends at the Middlebury Mountaineer! The OCC is an catch and release tourney that raises money for the New Haven River Anglers. I hear there are a few tickets left for the Fly Fishing Film Tour on Friday night in Middlebury. If Interested call or stop by the Mountaineer.

Recent rained swelled the Otter but it has been dropping fast. All of it’s tribs look ideal for this weekend but we are predicted to get up to 3/4 of an inch of rain of Friday. This along with below freezing temps could make opening day tricky!

Hot flies in the past have been the Golden Stone, Green Caddis, PT Nymph, San Juan Worm, various Wolly Buggers, Muddy Buddies, and other Sculpin patterns. In high cold water fish different combos of flies till you happen to get them in front of hungry fish. I prefer to use a big streamer and drop off a nymph. Some folks use a heavy nymph and drop a worm pattern and dredge the deeper pools. Whatever you fish make sure you fish them with confidence! It only takes one nice fish in the net to warm you up and keep you going for a few more hours!

Lake Champlain tribs have been producing some very nice Steelhead! Both in VT and NY. Various Leech Patterns, Eggs, small streamers and Black Stones should be in your box if your searching for some Chrome. My buddy Ralph has been doing very well with some of the flies listed above and the pic is of him releasing one recently.

I have been chasing Pike without much luck till today! Pictured below is my first one this season. It smacked a 6″ fly tied by Pat Cohen of rusuperfly.com. The fly is called the Slop Mop and this one was in Rainbow Trout. I had a client out for Pike on Sunday and he had a few hits but none landed. Ethan who is 13 was from Jackson Hole so he has awesome Trout fishing back home but wanted to try for something new. Towards the end of our trip his fly got snagged right at our feet. As he was doing some line slaps to free it up a big old Pike came in and tried attacking it! It didn’t get the hook and swam away but it was pretty exciting! As the bait fish are still very small and the water temps are still cold try small flies and bring them in very slow. Small meaning in the 4-8″ range not the beastly 8-15″ inch flies I wish be chucking mid summer.

Good luck and stay warm! -BC

3/26/16 Fishing Report MMVT

Report Originally from Middlebury Mountaineer

Well. Welcome back to the on again and off again spring here in Vermont. From conditions late last week that featured active bugs and fish to today's winter-like feel. Despite that things are really gearing up at the shop for the Fly Fishing Flim Tour and the Otter Creek Classic #8. There are still a few tickets left for the Film Tour. Call the shop if you haven't gotten a ticket yet. Also as a friendly reminder, if you are signed up for the classic please have all the necessary paperwork taken care of before Friday if possible, especially your 2016 VT fishing license. It will make the meeting run smoothly and we can all have more time to hang out and enjoy the excitement that opening day has to offer.
I was able to get out a bit during the warm spell, mainly in NY and much to my surprise on opening day! There were many more anglers out than any other time during the winter. After I found some water to myself, I found active fish, even a decent rainbow doing a couple leaps for me! The cooler weather this week will have an impact on fish activity, but a push of water near the end of the week will probably have them feeding again.
The Lake Champlain tribs seem to be putting out some fish still, but again a bunch of anglers are there targeting those lake fish. Look for some of the pressure to subside after opening day, as that much more water is going to be open after Saturday.
I would suggest to keep fly selections fairly simple right now, with streamers and bigger nymphs as some of the go to flies. Don't be afraid to change it up a bit however. I had some good success nymphing recently with smaller streamers as opposed to a big stonefly.

Good luck to everyone competing in the classic. Hope to see you out there,

DK

3/5/16 Fishing Report MMVT

March is here. It also sure seems to be coming in with Spring on it's heels. A cool few days are about to give way to the year's warmest weather. Looking at several of the biggest variables in forecasting the beginning of the season, we are looking at about as optimal fishing conditions as really possible in the coming weeks. With no snow to really run off in the valley, the warm air temps will start to warm the water quickly. The warmer weather this week should be quite a catalyst. Knowing that these conditions don't start until usually after a standard snow pack run off we are looking at being pretty much a month ahead of schedule. In 2012 we had a similar year, which resulted in the best fishing conditions on Opening Day and the best numbers the OCC8 ever put up. It also resulted in some of the best fishing I have had in VT in March. So there is lots to look forward to. If you have been waiting for the Spring to get here to start fishing, it's here. I

The challenge for the next few days and over this weekend will be the rain and snow melt we got last week. The Otter is up and cranking well over 2K. With the last few nights being single digits, the water is quite cold. and the fish will be lethargic. That doesn't mean they wont be eating. We have been catching fish all winter long, and even some of the coldest days seem to be producing. With the water up on the Otter it will be difficult to find fish, they will likely be deep after the cold weather, but some may push to the edge and even some may migrate to feeding lies with the extra food being pushed around. The cold water temps will keep them moving slow and likely sporadically feeding at best. By Tuesday we should start seeing some substantial bumps in water temps, hopefully breaking into the low forties, which will wake up the fish for sure. Wednesday looks even warmer, so it should make for some solid fishing mid week and leading into a warm weekend next week.

We have already seen the Small Black Winter Stones hatching. Further, I have seen two pretty sizable midge hatches, and even a rising fish to those midges. Down in southern VT I was privy to a Baetis hatch as well. We can expect the small Brown Stone to show up very soon. This is a pretty solid hatch on the Otter for a few days and given the water temps the fish should be willing to focus in the nymphs and maybe, if your lucky, look up for them. The Taenioptrygidae is real right of Spring. When they start popping we know that fish are starting to wake up. I have caught some of my best fish of the year while nymphing during the influx of these bugs. They have a very slender profile, so consider flies like the MT Prince, BH Soft Hackles, Sloan Stone, and variations of the Pheasant Tail. When the water drops and clears a bit, the Caddis larvae, Baetis and Midge nymphs are idea choices as well. While hatch matching can be a great tactic, the early season favorites will still be viable and productive options. Stonefly nymphs, Streamers, and the ol' San Juan are pretty choice stand byes for the coming month or two.

It's extremely exciting to be looking at an entire season in front of us. Lots of potential new places to find, old haunts to visit and best yet good friends to reconnect with. I hope to see you all on the water soon and that the OCC8 continues on the great tradition you ALL have made it. Here's to the beginning of another great season! Good Luck and Have Fun! Jesse

3/17/16 Fishing Report

We are T-Minus 3 weeks away from the opening of Trout Season in Vermont, and with the current river conditions, you should be tremendously excited! The lack of snow, while sad for those who are alpine-inclined, means that opening weekend will yield very fishable waters without the usual chocolate milk consistency we've become accustomed to over the past several seasons. The Otter should be extremely navigable, and the unseasonably warm weather will make those bugs POP!