Vermont Guides Since 1998

Opening Day River Report 4/11/18

Opening Day River Report 4/11/18

Opening Day River Report 4/11/18

It’s almost here…. the opening day of the 2018 trout season! Are you ready?!

We guide and fish year round but always look forward to this weekend. To us it’s like a holiday!

Guide Sutton Doria won the OCC pro division in 2016.

Every photograph in this report was taken during the OCC over the past 9 years. For more info about the opening day tournament stop by Green Mountain Adventures in Middlebury. A handful of tickets are left for Friday nights Fly Fishing Film Tour, also available at GMA.

A few things special about opening day are fishing with friends, hitting favorite spots that haven’t been “open” since 10/31 and connecting (hopefully) with big fish!

Guide Andy M with a hog.

Streamers that I always have in my box this time of year are the White Muddy Buddy which is what Andy’s big Brown crushed. Wolly Buggers in Black, Rusty Brown, White and Purple. Sculpin patterns like the Zoo Cougar and Sex Dungeon, Rattlesnake in White, Yellow, Black and Olive. Zonkers and the Classic Muddler Minnow put a lot of fish in the net as well.

For Nymphs have some Prince’s, PT’s, Golden and Black Stones, Batman’s, Copper Johns, Turd Flies, Zug Bug’s, Twenty Inchers and Hares Ears.

I will sometimes carry two rods during the OCC. A 6wt with sinking line to fish streamers with and a 5wt set up for nymphing. A few other flies to have are various worm patterns like the San Juan, squirmy wormy, the mop fly and possibly Egg patterns/ sucker spawn imitations. I don’t fish these very much but they certainly catch lots of fish in the Spring.

I like to fish a hole or a run with streamers first looking for an agresive take. Then going back and getting some drifts with nymphs through the same water as deep and slow as possible.

Guide Gerry Nugent said this Bow hit a White Wolly Bugger.

Sutton has a knack for finding big fish. The Rainbow below fell for a Wolly Bugger in the first OCC in 2009.

Lets talk about the weather. A few days ago it looked like ideal conditions all across VT. Partly sunny and a high of 58 for Saturday. Well that seems like a cruel joke now! Expect a strong North wind of 10-15 mph. Snow totals of 2” in the valleys, more in the mountains and below freezing temperatures on opening day. This is harsh and hopefully we get something in the middle of the two weather reports!

The large rivers in Vt are very high with river temps around 38. The clarity of the Otter (and the Winooski) is actually pretty good but be very careful wading. We may get a half of an inch or more of rain (plus additional snow melt) tomorrow which could bump up the creek even closer to 2,800!

Stream and Brook guides at the

2015 Fly Fishing Film Tour. Kevin Ramirez, Brian Cadoret, Sutton Doria and Nick Mayer.

So the big rivers like the Otter and Winooski are raging as I said but there tributaries are in great shape. Fairly low, clear, and high 30’s for water temp.

Good luck, stay warm and fish hard! Thanks BC