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Water Clarity: Muddy-Clear

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

Hope everyone’s been able to get out on the water recently! Things have still been hit or miss for most. The bigger rivers have been running pretty high this week, they are fishable at the moment but they’re definitely still moving. If you’re going to be on the Winooski or Lamoille I’d make sure you’ve got split shot or sink tips with you. With the high flows and cooler water temps the fish are going to be tight to the bottom in the slower, deeper spots. Not the easiest spot to catch fish with a fly but doable. The Winooski did get stocked over the course of this past week so there should be a few more fish to play with. More importantly than that, we just need to see a 4-6 degree water temp warm up. If the temps were in the upper 50s there’d be a different tail to tell at the moment. 

The most success has been coming from the small to mid-sized pieces of water. Spencer was actually able to get a few brook trout on dries today which was a nice surprise!  The majority of the fish being caught are still on streamers and nymphs. In lower flows, try dead drifting smaller streamers and nymphs, and in higher water, stick to slightly larger streamers, if the waters a touch off color we like to throw white or olive, if it’s on the muddier side we typically will fish black. Some steelhead have still been getting caught over the past few days up in the NEK, with the recent rains and cooler temps I’m sure that’s slowed the fish’s return to the laker. So if you’re still trying to land a Steelhead, it’s not too late!! There should also be some Landlocked Salmon lingering around in a few tributaries as well chowing on spawning baitfish and anything else floating past them. 

From a stillwater front, the smallmouth bass fishing has been pretty decent over the past few days, the fish have moved up out of the deeper wintering water and are putting the pre-spawn feed bag on. This can often be very short lived but it can provide the best smallmouth fishing of the entire year! Once the bass get on their beds you can still catch them but you’ve gotta put your offering right on top of the fish. We’ve also been able to do some pike fishing here and there, they’re all post spawn as well and starting to feed pretty heavily. The higher flows on some of the rivers have thwarted some opportunities but there’s still plenty out there. As the pike get wrapped up with spawning the bigger females will often move off the spawning grounds and get on the edge of a nearby drop off to feed. They will usually stick around in 4-10ft of water for most of May before heading to their summer spots. Which makes now, the best time to target them with a fly.

Good luck to everyone getting out, hopefully you’re all getting into some fish!! If not, don’t give up, conditions will improve a lot over the next 2 weeks!! 

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, Buff, Lamson Waterworks, Sage, Rio, Scientific Angler and more!

River: Winooski

Water Temp: 51
Water Clarity: Stained
Last Update: 5/8/21
USGS FI: 885

River: Dog
Water Temp: 50
Water Clarity: Clear
Last Update: 5/8/21
USGS FI: 170

River: Lamoille
Water Temp: 52
Water Clarity: Tea Colored
Last Update: 5/8/21
USGS FI: 635