The Middlebury River starts high in the Green Mountains in the town of Hancock, VT. The river drains 63 square miles of the watershed and almost half of that is in the Green Mountain National Forest. Nearly 90% of that of the water in GMNF is forested. Its higher elevation characteristics are cold, small streams with forest canopies, cascading freestone pools and riffles. The upper sections of the Middlebury River are considered to be of Vermont's finest brook trout fisheries. The South and Middle branches meet in the mountain town of Ripton. The three major branches and their many tributaries offer the small-water fly angler days of fishing opportunities. The river continues east from Ripton, and begins its dramatic descent through the Middlebury Gorge. The high walls and difficult access can make the gorge a dangerous place, we suggest a guide for people interested in this precarious section. The North Branch of the Middlebury River joins the main stem about halfway between Ripton and East Middlebury. When the water meets Route 125 at Sand Hill Bridge in East Middlebury, its gradient lessens, and hosts a stretch of beautiful medium sized pocket water. This is a great stretch for rainbow trout that range from 8-14 inches on average. Near the Route 7 bridge the river again changes from a freestone stream to slower, meandering waterbody. The gravel and/or sandy bottom, cutbanks, and log jams make for a good mix of Brown and Rainbow Trout. The access along this section is good. Its final lengths begin to slow further and is a mixed fishery prior to its confluence with Otter Creek. Including the Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike and Fallfish species, as well as trout. The Middlebury River is about 4 miles south of the Middlebury Mountaineer, and host many options for anglers. For information regarding a guided trip on the Middlebury River please go to our guiding page below.