In Vermont, we are lucky to have many streams and rivers open to fishing year round. If you want to fish this winter, You have to have a 2024 year license. You have use artificial lures and you have to release back to the water your catch. You have to understand, this not spring, summer or fall fishing. It’s going to be cold which brings a whole set of new challenges.
If you are new to winter fishing, it’s probably best to get out with someone who has been doing it for years. Many of Stream and Brook guides fish right through the winter, and can help you understand the challenges and overcome them to show you how you can extend your fly fishing season into the winter months.
Most of the challenge revolves around the cold, typical of a Vermont winter. Before the cold even brings snow and ice. Cold air cools water from summer time highs of 70+ to the upper 30’s in the fall. This cool down slows everything, particularly the metabolism of cold blooded species like trout. During this time trout don’t eat much and the items on their menu are also not very active or no available at all.
The cold weather it tough on anglers as well. Gone are the summer days wearing shorts and wet wading. Now, dressing like your going skiing or ice fishing is something you’ll need to consider. Some days you can’t fish because the river is frozen. Other days your normal parking spot is a snow removal area. That usually means you walk to the stream could be in a couple feet of snow. Preparation is key.
Now more than ever you’ll need to put safety as a priority. Things can go bad much quicker during the winter.
Technic and strategy’s are minimized to swinging streamers and dead drifting nymphs. You won’t need dry or emerger flies for the most part. Streamers should be retrieved slowly and nymphs should be drifted as slow and close to the bottom as possible.
Give us shout if you would like to see what winter fly fishing is all about. All of our guided trips are discounted January-March.It’s another great way to enjoy the outdoors during a Vermont winter.