February 28th, 2024

February 28th, 2024

It’s almost March but the conditions on the local rivers looks like early April! Sunday I spent the day tapping Maple Trees with friends and family but Monday and Tuesday I fished several locations. Only landed one trout but was mostly just hitting as many spots as possible to get photos and intel for this river report.

I fished the Otter Creek and 3 of it’s tributaries including the New Haven River,  Middlebury River and the Neshobe. For the most part everything was very low and clear with very little ice. I fished close to where rte 7 crosses all of those tributaries. If you head further up in the mountains you will encounter lots of ice and tougher fishing conditions. 

Yesterday was 65 degrees! That’s way above average and it was only 5 degrees just a few days ago. It was warm last night and 50 degrees today. With rain in the forecast tonight and lots of snow melting the entire state could be on a flood watch tomorrow and Friday.  

I was using a variety of flies the past few days but mostly stuck with a mini White Wolly Bugger and Golden Stones combination. I had a few quick little grabs but did manage to land a really nice Bow on the Golden Stone tied by Brian Zinger. 

Since the Otter Creek is ice free I decided to also hit a few Pike spots yesterday as well. In a normal winter this is not an option but again it feels and looks more like April. I choose a Black/ Purple single hooked fly and fished it really slow and deep in front of some drainage ditches that flow into the Otter. These areas are where Pike and many other fish species hang out and do go up the ditches looking for spawning opportunities. Also the water temperatures can be a few degrees warmer so they hang in theses spots looking for an easy meal. I didn’t see any followers or get any eats but the anticipation of a 40” fish crushing a fly always has me going back!
Looking ahead if we do get a small flood the next few days the fishing should be great as a soon as it drops. That will also help with getting rid of most of the ice up in the mountains. This could also get Steelhead on the move as well! 

If you are still ice fishing use extra caution with all of this warm weather! I did join some friends recently on the ice and had a blast. I tried jigging up Lake Trout with no success. They had caught a few that morning. One friend caught a nice Pike via a tip up while I was there which was exciting! 
Good luck and book a winter trip anytime! 
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