9/2/14 - Well we made it to the otherside. It's a bit ironic that we are having some of the warmest weather of the last three weeks or so now that we are in September. but doesn't that seem to be the case over the last few years? TI could probably write a long book about my feelings towards September fishing here in Vermont. Apparently I am not the only one who feels this way, you may have seen Phil monahan of Orvis, 20 Days of September Campaign. So it appears that many people are well aware and excited about the coming weeks here in Vermont. Unfortunately it looks as if we will be waiting a few more days until we really get fired up on the trout fishing on the big water. the recent warm spell has warmed the tter and other larger Vt big water back into the 70's. Luckily the end seems to be in sight mid weekend. Then some nice and cool nights in the 40's will get the rivers right where we want them also a shot of rain here and there will help, which it looks as if today will bring some as well.
So what is so special about the coming weeks of September? as I am sure that many of you have already noticed that the days are shortening considerably. the longer nights not only give us the opportunity for the water to cool more, but its a big sign to the bugs and fish that the winter is coming. That will get them thinking FOOD. It's time to put on weight and for our local brown trout it's time to think about getting ready to spawn. The hard winters of Vermont are like a prolonged starvation period for our river trout and other fish. September begins a 3-4 month opportunity to start eating with a bit more aggression. Combine the fishes desire to begin eating more with the availability of some decent sized food options, it makes for some good fishing.
Another great advantage is having the water on the big systems low. After a very high water Spring that made wading difficult, we will have some of the most accessible fishing conditions of the year. This comes with its challenges too. The lower water and a full summer of fishing the fish will be a bit more aware of there surroundings. I would suggest considering approach and fly placement. You will also want take tippet size and even fluoro into account. It could mean the difference of 1 fish in a riffle or 4.
Bug activity will be impressive and diverse for the weeks. The Isonychia is a top choice, both in nymph and adult form. The impression of the Iso will stay with the fish into October, even after the heaviest of hatches have ended. Another sleeper has been the large amount of Golden Stoneflies still around. I usually see far less of them at this point but they are still nymphs around in large numbers. Soon the Baetis will begin showing up in numbers, and can be found hatching heavily on some of the nastier autumn days. It will be paired with the Northern Casemaker Caddis. This large and orange in color caddis is sizable. Its Pupa is a prime source of food for trout locally. There are several other species of Caddis hatching right now including large White, Small Black and Tan caddis in a few sizes.
I always find it impressive with the amount of large insects available to the trout this time of the year, how well I do with very small nymphs. If you were too look at my rig right now for autumn fishing the Otter Tribs, you would see two flies no bigger than #16, but some as small as a #22 and 6X Fluorocarbon. I might beef it up just a bit on the Otter. It's like harnessing my tailwater fishing days again. While swinging princes, zugs and other Iso imitations can be deadly, I enjoy the intricate, almost surgical precision of fishing the small bugs in shallow fast water. While it certainly doesn't work for everybody, its a great way to pick up fish in water that most walk over. Further, the dry fly can be very effective. I remember GMA Guide Alex MacDonald picking up multiple impressive fish on a Iso dry imitation last year.
The Pike fishing has been hit and miss on the Otter. The lower water levels have made for challenging fishing. It seems that the fish are leary at this point, which may be the result of them seeing the most pressure from fly anglers this year. Lots of lazy follows right now. Very few hard takes. But that being said, the conditions will change with some rain and a cool down. The Pike are very much the same as trout, that when the water cools the desire to eat goes up in the autumn. It's going t be difficult knowing how to split your time as the fishing is sure to be hot all around in the coming weeks.
I think you'll be finding some impressive fishing once we get by this warm spell. It looks like we have some cool nights hitting this weekend. Until then some good fishing can be found on the New haven and Middlebury up in the pocket water. The Brookies will be getting feisty as they prep for their spawn soon. All in all the best fishing of the year is just around the corner. Get your
"A" game ready, your fly boxes filled, and your desire for some of the most beautiful scenery in New England ready because Autumn is almost here! Good Luck and Have Fun!
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|River||Water Temp||Water Clarity||Last Update||Hatches|
|Otter Creek||66-70||Just Off, Typical Otter||Aug 29 2014 - 12:03pm||Isonychia, Caddis, Baetis, Tricos & Midge (Flying Ants)|
|Otter Creek||66-70||Just Off, Typical Otter||Aug 21 2014 - 12:34pm||Isonychia, Caddis, Baetis, & Midge|
|White River||60-66||Clear||Aug 21 2014 - 12:30pm||Caddis, Baetis, Flying Ants, Midge|
|New Haven River||61-66||Clear||Aug 21 2014 - 12:30pm||Caddis, Baetis, Flying Ants, Midge, Small Green Stones|
|Middlebury River||61-65||Clear||Aug 21 2014 - 12:29pm||Caddis, Baetis, Flying Ants, Midge, Small Green Stones|
Detailed Fishing Reports
The Otter has returned to a very wadeable level after last weeks rain. the last few cool evenings have brought the water temp back down, though it may not last into next week. The isonychias have begun hatching and the fish are also very willing to chase around the nymph imitations. This is a great time to work larger dries to the Drake eating fish. Good dry fly fishing can be few and far between around here for larger fish, this is a good time to try and pick off some larger fish on the Creek on top.
The Creek is currently below 70 degrees. But please continue to temp it, it will swing above 70 on warm days. The Iso hatch has begun, but is not yet heavy. It's a good time and water level to be fishing the Otter in the coming days.