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Water Clarity: Anything from Clear to Chocolate Milk

Water Temperatures: COLD-Ranging from 36-45

Hatches: Tiny Black Stones

Suggested Patterns: Squirmy Worms, Pat’s Rubber Legs, Kaufman Stones, MFGA Prince, Jig Buggers, Pheasant Tails (#12-14) Hare’s Ears (#12-14) Strolis Quil Body Jig (#12-14) Montana Prince Nymph-Black (#10-12), Complex Twist Buggers, Montana Mouthwash, Nutcracker #4 Black, Sex Dungeons

Not a ton has changed over the past week or so. The rain has definitely made things a little tricky but most days there’s still been fishable water somewhere. The tribs off of Champlain and Magog have been decent with lake run fish over the past week. They’re getting pressure but there’s plenty of fish around. The biggest thing now is dodging the high dirty water. The rain over the past few days has seemed to affect certain areas a lot more than others so if one piece of water is too high for you don’t be afraid to move around a little bit. 

We’ve still been focusing most of our time on the larger tribs of the big rivers, not running into a lot of fish, but getting some quality ones which isn’t a surprise for this time of the year. The majority of the fish landed have still been (for us) eating streamers. A variety of presentations have worked including dead drifting on a tight line nymphing set up to fishing them on a sink tip with a relatively aggressive retrieve. The fish seem to be a bit more aggressive on the warmer days when the water still has a little color. When dead drifitng streamers we’ve been opting to fish smaller, heavier flies, ideally one with a jig hook to allow us to ensure our flies are on the bottom or close to it without hanging up much. An unweighted worm or egg pattern tied 6″ above the streamer has picked up a handful of fish. When the water is cold we like running our dropper flies pretty close to our anchor fly. This will ensure that fly is down deep as well, which we’ve found has helped in cold water as not too many fish will be feeding mid column in cold temps. As the temps continue to warm up we’ll end up with that second fly anywhere from 18-26″ above our anchor fly.

The bigger rivers are still not really an option at this point, water levels are high and they’re still super cold. Some streams last night got hit with a good push of water while others didn’t. For example, the Mad went from 600cfs to 1500 cfs last night, and the dog, which is just over the hill went from roughly 275 last night to a whopping 400cfs. As mentioned above, if one body of water is too high it doesn’t hurt to go check out another stream!

The stillwater fishing has been relatively decent over the past week or so as well. The ice has seemed to have gone in most of the local bodies of water and from what we’ve seen the fish are getting active. The vast majority of the Northern Pike are going to be thinking about spawning anyday now, this often will create a lull in the pike activity. This lull will end and turn into a feeding festival as the post spawn fish get super aggressive. They tend to hang in the shallower water for several weeks after the spawn is over making them a great species to target for the month of May! 

Good luck to everyone getting out this weekend!

 

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!

River: Winooski

Water Temp: 40

Water Clarity: Muddy
Last Update: 4/15/22
USGS FI: 2040

River: Mad
Water Temp: 41
Water Clarity: Muddy-Should Clear Relatively Quick
Last Update: 4/15/22
USGS FI: 790

River: Lamoille
Water Temp:37
Water Clarity: Muddy
Last Update: 4/15/22
USGS FI: 1570