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Water Clarity: Clear-Chocolate Milk

Water Temperatures: Upper 30s, might find some spots in low 40s

Hatches: Black Stoneflies, Eggs

Suggested Patterns: Streamers! Belly Scratcher Minnows, Bunny Muddlers (Olive and White) Wooly Buggers (Black or White) Complex Twist Buggers (Black, White, Olive) Montana Mouthwash (White, Black, Olive) Trina’s Bugger (Beeotch) Black Stoneflies (#4-10) Copper Johns (#12) Montana Prince-Black (#10-12) San Juan Worms-Pink, Egg Patterns

It’s finally here! Everyone’s been starting to get that itch to get out and opening weekend is coming right up on us! It’s going to be a little tough out there, but I think almost everyone getting out there already knows that. Opening weekend of trout season in Vermont is a lot less about catching fish for most, and a lot more about just getting out on the water with a couple buddies and having a good time. It’s tradition.

Having said that, fish will be caught this weekend. It’s now looking like we may not get hit with rain but that could change three more times between now and Saturday. Saturday’s looking like it’s going to be pretty warm out, the weather might actually be enjoyable. With warmer temps in the forecast we’re going to be seeing some higher flows on a lot of the rivers near our area due to snow run off. It probably won’t get too bad until the afternoon on Saturday but the low temp Friday night is going to be in the upper 40s which won’t slow the snow run off too much. Getting further west in the state would be a good idea for opening day. The champlain valley has a lot less snow then the central part of the state and I think that’s going to be beneficial to the anglers that take note and try to get away from the snow. Leave the snow and you’ll find slightly lower flows and less run off. Run off will probably be an issue just about anywhere but anything west of the green mtn spine should be affected much less.

Fly selection early in the season typically isn’t all that crucial. Bringing a streamer rod and a nymph rod is always a good idea, fish both set ups and be sure to work your flies very thoroughly. With the cooler water, a lot of the fish are going to be glued to the bottom and will lack aggression. Fish your flies slow and deep in the deeper, slower pieces of water. On the nymph rod some sort of bobber rig with additional weight (if necessary, which will probably be necessary) with a couple of different flies. We always like to use one more natural fly IE Black Stone Fly with a more brightly colored steelhead like fly behind it such as a San Juan or an Egg. Some days both flies will take equal amounts of fish, other days one out preforms the other drastically. As far as streamers goes, use heavier flies with a sink tip leader or line and be sure to move the flies slow. Regardless of if you’re nymphing or streamer fishing be sure to stay out of the water and don’t overlook small current breaks right along the bank. Often in higher flows fish can be right on the bank, also when streamer fishing, be sure to fish your fly right to the waters edge. In the cooler water fish are less likely to chase a fly right to the bank but it happens. And if you pull your fly out a rods length away from the bank you may be pulling a fly out from in front of a 24″ brown.

Good luck to everyone getting out this weekend. If we get out we’ll be sure to give you an update. Be safe and have fun!!

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:
Water Clarity: Mud
Last Update: 04-10-2019
USGS FI: 1950 @ Montpelier

River: Dog
Water Temp:
Water Clarity: Dirty
Last Update: 04-10-2019
USGS FI: 519 @ Falls

River: Lamoille
Water Temp:
Water Clarity: Mud
Last Update: 04-10-2019
USGS FI: 1760 @ Johnson