12/6/13 - I hope some of you got the chance to get out during the warm spell we had over the week. there were certainly fish on the move. The water temps spiked a little bit and with the rains last weekend we got a nice shuffle.
The Otter continues to supply the most action for us. Although the action is not steady now, the opportunities have been there. With the weather sure to turn for the much colder soon, we will find it more difficult to find fish. I have been trying to chase the fish as they transition into their winter holding water, taking note of where I have found fish each time. While I have still been able to find fish in riffle, by far, most of the fish have moved to the quiet water off seam. They are clearly feeling the cold water temps and are lethargic. You pretty much need to put it on the nose of the fish that are holding that way. If you do find some fish in the riffle, they are there trying to eat so presentation doesn't need to be exactly in the feeding lane, but the closer the better. Fish are still eating dead drift nymphs. I have found far less action on the natural selection like baetis and midge that were working two weeks ago, and more interest in the stonefly nymphs and brighter attractor patterns. The streamer still seems to be a very effective pattern, even moving fish a few feet for the take. The retrieve should be slower and deep. Or a dead drift will work too.
As expected the rain did finally give us a few more opportunities at the Lake Champlain migratory fish. We had t work hard yesterday but we did find a few. I also came up with a few small resident fish as well. The rain last night and today will surely help the cause. With the tribs being under the annual average flow right now the fish are in the best holding water and not really found in the riffles. Look for the deeper water and work it well. The Golden Biot Stonefly nymph was the most effective fly, while Princes and and small attractors pulled a few interest smaller fish.
There still seems to be some Pike action. We spent a few hours Wednesday morning higher on the watershed with little action, the lower portion of the river seems to be producing some fish at the usual haunts, one particular location notorious for Pike has been the hot spot where all of the noted action has been taking place. Similar locations have also turned some fish, including a few nice trout.
The 1/2" of rain we got in the last 24 hours will certainly make things a bit more difficult for the next few days and colder weather is close behind. Streamers will be the weapon of choice for the coming days, and fish will either go deep or tuck to the shore. When the river returns to a better level we will be able to reassess where the fish will move as winters grip starts to tighten. Since there isn't much snow, take an opportunity to get out and do some fishing.
The Great Lakes tribs have also be fishing pretty well, the increased flows have kept fresh fish coming into the rivers and those who have returned from trips reported solid fishing for the most part. If you find yourself with some free time this winter a trip to one of these fisheries is usually worth your time.
We have decided to keep out fly fishing equipment front and center this year throughout the winter so if you need any gear or supplies feel free to stop on by. If you are looking for some suggestions on where to get out and what to use, we are here to help. Remember that the new "Sportsman's Bill" will come into effect January 1st, so we will have even more water available to us for off-season fishing soon.
Again thank you for a great season! Much more ahead. And dont forget about the 6th Annual Otter Creek Classic and the Fly Fishing Film Tour coming April 11th through the 13th.
Good Luck and Have Fun!
Need a guide? Just because regular season is over doesn't mean that we don't have plenty of productive water to fish and if you're looking to spend sometime on VT's waters, let us show you around. Whether you want to learn some new water, take a VT driftboat trip, work on your nymphing technique, or try chasing some new species with a fly rod, like Bass or Pike. GMA guides are ready to help you.
Middlebury Mountaineer's FULL SERVICE fly shop can help you with all of your fly fishing needs. We have gear from Simms Fishing Products, Patagonia, Sage, Nautilus, Temple Fork Outfitters, Fishpond, RIO, Loon Products, Cliff Outdoors, Umpqua, Montana Fly Company,
|River||Water Temp||Water Clarity||Last Update||Hatches|
|Otter Creek||37-40||Off Color||Dec 6 2013 - 9:35am||Midge|
|Lake Champlain Tributaries||N/A||Clear||Dec 6 2013 - 9:35am||Midge|
|Lewis Creek||38||Clear||Nov 22 2013 - 10:17am||Midge|
|Otter Creek||40||Just Off - typical Otter||Nov 22 2013 - 10:12am||Baetis & Midge|
|NY||40||Good, 500cfs on 11/16||Nov 16 2013 - 11:26am||Midges & Baetis|
Detailed Fishing Reports
(Photo: Jesse Haller fishes at Pulp Mill, photo by Wesley Butler)
The Otter was looking pretty good over the week, with the levels dropping below 1000 for the first time in a week. However the rain last night has dirty the water, though not completely blown out,...yet. Fish were relatively lazy on the Otter this week, with just a few fish hooked over the last few days. Though we did manage a few. Fish seem to be willing to chase streamers and with the water coming up that may be a good option, maybe even break out the switch or spey to cover as much water as possible.
(Photo: Wesley Butler with a tributary fish)
Lewis was starting to form ice yesterday. It will be a long way until it freezes up, but it was the first place I saw ice this year, even very small amounts of anchor ice. Water was low, and the fishing was technical. I saw one LL, but no Chrome. Wade carefully the fish are spooky.
The Otter came up a bit with the rain from earlier in the week, and with some more precipitation coming we may see it rise or stay steadily at this level for a bit. The fish have been in the winter holding water for me most of the time, with an occasional fish coming from a feeding lane during the warmer part of the day.
We have spent several days over on the Salmon between most of the sho staff and guides in the last week or so. The fishing was pretty solid, great at times ok at others. Lots of fish to the net. We fished mostly patterns from the shop and had lots of luck on them, its nice to take stuff over that very few people are fishing. We are very happy to help make suggestions to you on your way over. Wespent most of the time on Upper river areas, but we did get good intel from DSR on Thursday. Its a great time to be over there.