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Water Clarity: Muddy-Tea Colored

Water Temperatures: 40s-50s

Hatches: Black Stonesflies, Caddis, March Browns, Hendricksons, Eggs

Suggested Patterns:  Kaufman Stones #8-12, Girdle Bugs #6-10, Red Copper Johns #14-16, Egg Patterns, Sucker Spawn, San Juan Worms, Montana Mouthwash, Olive and White Wooly Buggers, Bunny Muddler-White, Complex Twist Buggers, Zonkers, Mongrel Meat-Olive, Headbanger Sculpin-Olive

Sorry for the lack of river reports lately, we’ve been super busy here at the shop and haven’t had as much down time as normal. The fishing has been alright for us lately, we’ve been catching some fish here and there, nothing super exciting to write home about but fish have been landed. That seems to be the general consensus for most of the customers, fish here and there with an occasional nice one in the mix, the water temps have still been relatively cool and up until today the levels had been rather low.

This rain we’re getting right now has brought up water levels pretty considerably on everything in the area. The Winooski and Lamoille are both over 3000 cfs and still on the rise. Most of the smaller tribs are still cranking pretty good as well. Some of the tribs that have higher elevation headwaters should be running clear enough to fish by tomorrow morning, they’ll definitely be full but will be doable. I’d be throwing some pretty good sized streamers this weekend with these higher flows. A sink tip leader, or Sink tip line will be advantageous and should get you an extra fish or two. When water temps are on the cusp of 50 degrees it seems like some fish will be aggressive and willing to chase a streamer while others may still be quite lethargic and not willing to chase. When the temps are in this range we like to make 2 “passes” through a pool. The first one-starting at the head of the run will be a quick pass, taking a cast or two, stripping the fly in and then taking another step down. The fly will usually be less than 3ft deep even with a sink tip during this approach. If there’s an aggressive fish this will be the presentation that fires them up into eating your fly. After this has been done, and you’ve fished the entire pool or run, we’ll go back up to the top where we started and re-work the pool much more thoroughly and be sure our fly is moving much slower and stays deep. This is our attempt to get the less active fish to eat our fly, sometimes we’ll downsize our flies before making this pass. Upstream mends and slower strips, or even just bouncing your fly as it drifts/swings downstream of you can often entice a strike. Some days you’ll notice that one of the methods works much better than the other, somedays it’ll be 50/50 and others you’ll get skunked and it won’t matter!! When streamer fishing, it’s good to get in the habit of staying out of the water, in high water fish may be laid up right against the bank, alternatively, they may also follow your fly right to the bank, if you’re standing in the water you’re way more likely to spook them. When possible, we try to start off about a rod length back on the bank. Some of the biggest trout we’ve landed in VT have eaten our flies within 12″ of the bank we’re standing on. 

For those getting out this weekend, focus on bodies of water like the Dog, the Mad, the Gihon and the North branch. These often will be running a little clearer than the larger rivers and the water levels will drop much quicker on these. I’d expect the conditions to be tough tomorrow, Sunday things could be great! Good luck out there this weekend!!

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River: Winooski

Water Temp:46
Water Clarity: Mud
Last Update: 4/30/21
USGS FI: 3430

River: Dog
Water Temp: 49
Water Clarity: Mud
Last Update: 4/30/21
USGS FI: 883

River: Lamoille
Water Temp: 47
Water Clarity: Mud
Last Update: 4/30/21
USGS FI: 3010