General Fishing Report May 15, 2020


General Fishing Report for May 15, 2020

Howdy Folks!  Fishing has continued to be on the upswing, despite several inches of snow in the mountains and cold morning temps.  We are seeing more and more bugs too!  Couple different bigger stoneflies, some early Mayflies and still some smaller stones.  Warmer days definitely have the greater amount and diversity of bug activity. We are rapidly approaching that time of the year when everything seems to happen all at once: trout streams get productive, bass are in Lake Champlain tribs, steelhead are still there (due to cooler water temps) and the Creek is dropping, giving us more opportunities to chase fish there.  Oh, and inland Lakes are becoming productive too!

On the trout end of things, we have been successful with streamers on the cloudy and higher flow days, with black and white getting the looks, and size being on the smaller end of things (3-4 inches).  Nymphing in the pocket water has been pretty productive as well.  Matching insect life and those that are active has been a key, as has being able to get those flies to penetrate the quicker flows.  Accomplish this in one of several ways:  split shot, a heavy fly to get a smaller more natural one deeper or slim profiled nymphs that don't have many accessories to slow their plunge.  I have not seen or heard of many fish looking up regularly, but with the forecast for next week looking warmer, it will happen.  The Creek is so close to the start of great fishing, but there is still a lot of water in it and regular shots of rain keep it somewhat stable.  For a change of pace and to avoid crowds I did take my Switch Rod for a walk on the Creek last weekend. I did get a few grabs swinging streamers, but nothing hung around too long.  Tribs are settling into their normal state, with lower reaches being more productive during higher/stained flows and pocket/moving water becoming hot when things settle down a bit after rains.  One tip about fishing the slower/ lower reaches of Otter tribs is that the fish are definitely associated with structure, usually a drop off or current break.  Find these areas in clearer water to know where they are when the water is stained.  Sometimes during stained flows everything looks the same, but if you know where that structure is, you'll have a better chance at targeting these fish.  I walked a stretch last weekend that I hadn't been on this year and found that some of last years productive spots were filled in with sand, while others had developed.  Fish were hard to come by in the in clear flow, but the Ramps were plentiful!

Some flies that have produced recently during stained flows are bigger stones, worms and streamers.  As things cleared up nymphs that worked were Frenchies and Pt's, Walts worms, Egan's Red Dart, Quilldigions and Duracell jigs. Some Caddis type emergers put some fish to the net as well.  And I think that they will produce more this week with the warmer daytime temps.  If you tie your own Caddis emergers, think the messier the better (same if you buy them).  Best to swing out a few nymph drifts from now on as well to imitate an emerging bug.  If you are fishing streamers and getting swipes but no takes, consider downsizing your offering.  I also use the smaller streamer tactic when fishing dropping and clearing water.  The one benefit of getting fish to swipe at your streamer, is that you have now located a fish to target later with nymphs or another streamer.  

On the shop side of things, with the recent retail opening, Steve has decided to start offering open store hours for next week.  These hours may change on a weekly basis, so best to call the shop before heading in.  For next week Tuesday-Friday 11am-3pm, Saturday 10am-4pm, closed Sunday and Monday.  Steve will also continue curbside pick-up during open shop hours.  Shop phone is (802)388-7245 or email

Rivers are still pretty busy out there, but with many more opportunities right now, it should be easier to find some distance.  Such an exciting time to be outside too; trees leafing out, wildflowers, birds, warming weather.  So happy to call this special place my home!  Feel free to send any comments or questions my way and I'll be sure to get back to you.  Otherwise, stay safe and have fun on the water.