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Water Clarity: Clear to Muddy

Water Temperatures: High 30s to low 40s

Hatches: Stoneflies, Eggs

Suggested Patterns: Black Montana Prince Nymphs (#10-14) Hare’s Ears (#12-14) Black Kaufman Stoneflies (#6-12) Girdle Bugs (#6-10) San Juan Worms-Pink, Otters Milking Eggs, Squirminators, Black or White Wooly Buggers, Zonkers in Black, Complex Twist Buggers in Olive or Black, Bunny Muddlers #4 or #8 in Brown, Olive or White, Sex Dungeons etc…

The wait is finally over! Trout season here in VT opens up tomorrow and we’re as excited as everyone else is! Looks like the weather forecast and conditions could not be anymore classic for opening day of VT. Snow on the ground in most places, high cold water and cold air temps!

A few things to keep in mind this weekend. First and foremost it’d be a good idea to stay off the bigger rivers, both the Winooski and Lamoille are ripping and pretty much unfishable. I’d be looking for any of the tribs of the main rivers larger than a brook trout stream that are fishable. These are the ones you’re gonna find bigger fish in that may be willing to play. Most of the big fish we catch in the spring are on these mid sized tribs. A lot of them hold more large fish than most people realize, you just need to fish them in the right conditions. Sink tips and larger flies will definitely be a good way to move some fish in the higher flows. If you find any clearer water a nymph rig with a big stone fly and a worm, egg or smaller nymph pattern would be another effective way to get fish. As far as rigging goes, on the streamer rig use a sink tip leader or sink tip line. Run a short piece of heavy mono-we tend to shy away from trout tippet and run more rugged materials like Maxima Ultragreen in 12-15lb size. Usually no more than 36″ of tippet should be added to one of these leaders. That will give you better depth control between your fly and leader. We also like to tie our flies with a non-slip mono loop to allow the fly to swim a little better. When it comes to nymphing you’ve got a few options. Euro Nymphing can be effective, it doesn’t allow you to carry your drifts as far as an indicator would but it allows you to control those shorter drifts much better and gives you better depth control. Alternatively, if you’re trying to cover water a Raven float or other float/indicator will get the job done. Regardless of the nymphing rig you’re using I’d be sure to make sure you’ve got some flies that have a little bit more weight than normally, or add additional weight to your leader. Don’t spend too much time tying different flies on. Stick with a few patterns and keep your flies in the WATER. All too often people spend too much time changing flies when it’s not the fly that needs to be changed. Think depth and location more than anything. Fish can hold in some funky spots early and in high water so it’s important to be thorough. With the colder temps fish may not always move far, especially for nymphs so adjusting your depth often to ensure you’re down near the bottom is important. Good luck to everyone getting out this weekend. Remember to keep your distance which luckily when fly fishing you should never be that close to someone else… We’ll try to give everyone an update once we get out on the water!!

 

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

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River: Dog
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River: Lamoille
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