Water Clarity: Clear
Water Temperatures: COLD-Ranging from 34-38
Suggested Patterns: Small Egg Patterns, San Juan Worms, Squirmy Worms, Montana Prince Nymphs (10-14) Red Copper Johns (#14-18) Pat’s Rubber Legs, Jig Buggers (#10-12) Marabou Muddlers-White, Wooly Buggers-White
We hope everyone’s been having a good winter! We also hope you’ve been able to take advantage of the new regs that took effect on January 1st of this year! More in depth reading can be done by going to: New Vermont Fishing Regs
The most noteworthy laws pertaining to fly anglers would be the opening to almost all rivers for year round catch and release with artificial lures and flies only. This is huge for lots of folks. Year round fishing in VT has always been limited to a few of the larger rivers that almost always are either frozen solid all winter or too high in the early spring/late winter to fish. But not there’s TONs of water to fish. A few bodies of water that remain closed outside of the regular trout season would include both the Dog River and the Clyde. There’s a handful more but those would be the most relevant in our area.
Additionally, the brook trout creel limit has been reduced from 12 down to 8. Great progress in protecting our favorite and most prized fish native to VT!
We’ve been able to get out a handful of times over the past few weeks on a couple bodies of water in the area. To our surprise we’ve landed fish on every outing so far. We’ve been focusing on the deeper pools that still have some current, mostly running nymphs and worm patterns super deep. On the cooler days a tightline nymphing technique has proven to be more hassle free mainly due to the ice. On the warmer days, that are typically windier we’ve been opting to use indicators. When you’re tight line nymphing because there’s no fly line going in and out of your guides the ice build up is much less significant than if you’re constantly feeding line out on a drift with a bobber, stripping line in and repeating.
With water temps ranging from 35-39 it’s definitely been important to get the flies down deeper. Some of the pools we’re fishing are 10+ ft deep which pose some challenges but they can be fished. Long leaders for both tightline nymphing and indicator fishing are a must. We’ve taken 9ft 3x leaders, added a tippet ring then added 4-5ft of 5x fluoro to allow us to get those deep drifts while indicator fishing. When tightline nymphing we’ve been running the SA Absolute Euro Leaders with 4-6ft of tippet off the end of the tippet ring giving us a leader of roughly 16-18ft.
All of the takes have been super subtle, which makes sense given the water temps. When indicator fishing the indicator hasn’t even been fully going under water, just a subtle pause, we’ve definitely set the hook on bottom a few times but it’s better to do that than not set the hook on a fish.
Over the next few weeks we should start seeing more and more water open up (physically) right now most are clogged up with ice but with the forecasted rain and warmer temps lots of stuff should start to open up. As they do, fish should start showing themselves. Focus on the deeper slower pools, on warmer days streamers stripped slowly or dead drifted may get the job done, and if not make sure you’ve got a nymphing rod! Be on the look out for redds, and make sure to avoid walking on them. As we approach the later part of feb and March also be on the look out for spawning rainbows, and avoid fishing to actively spawning fish!
Good luck to everyone getting out! Enjoy the warmer weather next week as we’re sure it won’t last forever!!
The Fly Rod Shop is Northern Vermont’s finest fly fishing guide service and fly fishing gear retailer. Visit our shop on Route 100 in Stowe, VT or shop our online store to find gear from Simms Fishing Products, Redington, Loon Products, Montana Fly Company, Lamson Waterworks, Winston, Sage, Rio, Scientific Angler, Thomas and Thomas and more!
Water Temp: 36
Water Clarity: Clear
Last Update: FISH BELOW BOLTON DAM-much less Ice
Water Temp: N/A
Water Clarity: Clear