River Report: December 14th, 2017
River conditions around the area have been good. Levels are where they should be, the little precipitation we’ve received has come in the form of snow and we haven’t had any brutal cold or abnormal warmth. That is all about to change with some arctic air coming in mid week and 6+ inches of snow slated for the Green Mountains starting tomorrow morning.
Fishing has been good recently as well. Anglers who have been putting forth the effort to chase trout have done well. Many of the trout are in their winter lies by now. Due to the metabolism of being cold blooded, they are not eating as voraciously as they do during the warmer months. However, they still need to eat. They won’t move far for their food, and they’re generally looking for something easy and substantial when they do. So, most of fish that have been bending rods these days have be caught on streamers and larger nymphs. 3 to 4 inch white and olive woolly bugger, #8 gold and black stonefly nymphs and #10 flashback Hare’s ears have been productive.
Another species to target this time year are Lake Champlain Lake Trout. They have moved into areas with large rocks with depths of 10 to 30 ft. to spawn. If; you know the right person, you have the right gear and you can keep warm while casting a 8 or 9 wt with full sink fly line in harsh conditions, chasing these bad boys can be productive. I got out with Zack Grizwald to do just that yesterday. He has the gear and knowledge, and he sure can chuck some line. Making casts of 40 to 50 feet was key where we fished. It wasn’t easy as we were faced with sustained west winds in the 20 to 25mph range. He was able to do it enough times to put 3 fish in the net, and I was not able to very often.
As we move towards Christmas and the New Year, rivers will be icing over in some locations and banks will be snow covered as the long range forecast is for cold and snow. Remember to be extra careful if you go. Things can go bad if you are not prepared. Just trying to access the river can be difficult There will always be water to fish during the winter. It’s an adventure and with fresh snow, it’s breathtaking.
Don’t forget to ask santa for a gift certificate to have a guide show you some great places to fish this winter. You can also play Santa by surprising your favorite fly fisher with a gift cert. We have gift certificates for full/half day guided trips, one or two day private schools, casting and fly tying lessons. Some of the rates for these activities will be increaseing on February 1st, so you have plenty of time to get in on 2017 prices.