In a state not so far from ours, excellent trout fishing can be had… if there is enough water to fish in of course. For at least the second straight year, the southeastern Vermont stream flows were not in my favor during my annual weeklong vacation to the Green Mountain state. We arrived at my in-laws’ house around 11:00PM Thursday night, so I wasn’t able to take a scenic detour off the highway and investigate the nearby stream flows for the following day’s outing.
I woke up Friday (July 31st) and drove about 10 minutes to a nearby stream that I had done decent on the year before, but had run out of time before I could fully explore the upper reaches (See the stream referenced in the last paragraph from last year’s VT post - https://www.huntingpa.com/forums/ubbthrea...775#Post3377775
). When I arrived at the stream it was really, really low. Since I had limited time, I decided to make the most of my morning and at least explore the upper reaches.
As expected, things started out real slow before I finally brought a native brook trout to hand.
The action was slow and I knew it wasn’t going to be a big numbers day, but I patiently plugged along. The trout were mostly on the small side, but given the conditions, I was happy to be catching anything.
I moved upstream at a good pace as I skipped over a lot of low and slow water in search of ‘better water’. I probably covered about a mile before I ran into some houses. I didn’t see any posted signs (things are different up North), but I decided to hike back to my car and drive to the lower section of the same stream.
When I reached the lower section, I hiked all the way down to the mouth, which joins the Connecticut River. Usually there is a deep pool below a railroad trestle that is nearly impossible to cross, but with the low water conditions, it was pretty easy to make it across. Before wading into the trestle pool, I tossed a cast along a downed tree resting in the pool and was rewarded with a nice sized brookie, which slipped out of my hand before I could get a picture. That was the only action that I had between the railroad trestle and the mouth of the stream. There was some good looking habitat and water, but no signs of life (I’ve encountered the same situation on 3 other tributaries to the Connecticut River).
These “berry” bushes were lining the stream. I don’t think they were blueberry bushes.
Once I reached my starting point at the railroad trestle, I decided to go for broke, and fish upstream. The action was just as slow as before, but I was content with bringing the occasional native brook trout and wild brown to hand.
Since the fishing was rather slow this day, I decided to take out my camera and snap some pictures.
It didn’t take long before I started to hit the “better” water. When I approached the below pool, I figured it would surely cough up a small brown or brookie.
Instead, the pool coughed up a wild rainbow! This was the first time that I have caught 3 wild species not only on the same day, but also in the same creek. At that point, the outing suddenly became worth the effort.
After a few pictures, I put the rainbow back in the water and moved upstream a few feet. It didn’t take long before I had another small trout at the end of my line. Much to my surprise, it was another wild rainbow.
I fished for a short while longer before I called it a morning and headed back to the in-laws to enjoy a good breakfast with the family.
Similar to last year, the wife and I headed to Cape Cod (kid free) for four days during the work week. While renting standup paddle boards one morning, I noticed the guy who ran the surf shop had a similar idea to Zak (Trout 2003), except he took the easy way out and used camouflage duct tape.
Fast forward to Friday, August 7th, and I was back out on the water. Since southeastern Vermont had not received any significant rainfall since my last outing, I decided to hit a larger body of water and fish a river that I’ve had average success on. Again, the water was low for this river, but had far more volume than any of the nearby streams.
I only fished for about 35 minutes and had 2 large trout on my line that I failed to bring to hand. This river typically produces a few hefty smallmouth bass as well, but not on this day.
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I hiked back towards my car and figured I would fish a small tributary that is usually dependable enough to catch a few brookies in. However, it appears that most of the creek was filled in with sediment and unfishable. Even the culvert pool that is about 15 long and wide and about 2 ½ feet deep was filled in with sediment. Quite disappointing, but those things happen.
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I fished another river on the way back to my in-laws with plenty of decent looking water, but after a half hour, I still didn’t even have a strike. I didn’t even see any signs of life in any of the pools or riffles. With that, I called it a day and took my first skunking in a long, long time.
Next year, my plan is to fish the other side of the Connecticut River, and hit the New Hampshire streams which seem to hold the water better. Plus, it could be another state to cross off the list.