General Fishing Report May 1, 2020


General Fishing Report for May 1, 2020

Hello Everyone!  Hope everyone is staying safe out there, getting out and doing some fishing.  Seems like things are changing for the best out on the water recently.  More fish being caught on more natural nymphs (Caddis, Walt's worms, etc) and also streamers during rain/higher flow events.  Typical for mid-spring.  I would expect this trend to continue with more moderating temperatures over the next few weeks.  A few rivers have been stocked (mostly toward the south and trophy sections), and would assume that more local rivers will get their yearly stocking of trout soon.  

As the water warms and more bugs become active, it's a good idea to let your nymphs swing out at the end of a few drifts now and then.  The look of an emerging insect can sometimes drive the fish to eat, as they see it as a fairly easy meal to get.  These fish usually end up hooking themselves, so resist the urge to give a hard hook-set.  Most times you'll just break the fish off; so just get tight to the fish and play as normal.  Nymphs that have a soft hackle collar tend to do really well when fished this way.  The messier and buggier, usually the better!  When targeting fish with streamers in higher flows, look for the ambush points, where that cagey old brown is hanging.  This could be as simple as a current break, log jam or mid-river drop off.  We also usually find that these fish are aggressive, and as such, will take on the first offering.  You may just get a flash, but you've located a trout, which gives you an advantage if you come back later.  You can try switching flies to a different color or smaller size to get that fish to take as well.  I tend to hit spots and move downstream when I am streamer fishing in these conditions.  Covering ground means more opportunities!  Take a look at how you present your streamer as well.  Over the years, I have noticed that most (if not all) of my streamer eats come when my fly is either coming back cross current, upstream or somewhere in between.  Most productive streamer patterns will have good movement on the stall, and retrieving in these directions accentuates this movement.  Pays to vary your retrieves as well, and include some stalls or pauses in the retrieve. With warming water temps, more of the pocket water stretches are also giving up some fish.  Gives some more options if your favorite stretch is busy.  

On the shop side of things, Steve is busily putting together orders for people.  If you are in the area, he's trying to be available for curbside pickup at the shop, Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11am-3pm and Saturday 10am-2pm. Feel free to reach out to him either at (802)388-7245 or to confirm. I know he just got an order of Buffs in the store, so you can be stylish and protected from the sun, while following facial covering guidelines. Plenty of flies and terminal gear on hand, as well as some fresh new spring styles from all our favorite brands.  Thank you so much for supporting your local fly/gear shop!!!  We are still offering free shipping on orders of $75 or more and a free pair of Darn Tough socks on a $50 order.  Also, check the website for the gift card bundle called Saving Main that includes the shop and several other awesome Main Street businesses.  Thanks!!

Thanks to those who reached out recently with questions; one in particular was about current trout health, given recent hot summers and also more numerous higher water events.  What do other folks think?  Other burning questions that people have? I'm always willing to throw my two cents in the ring on these questions.  Reach out at

Moving forward, with more bugs becoming active, time to start reaching for those more natural nymph imitations: Caddis larvae and pupa, mayfly nymphs and emergers.  I suspect that fish are going to be looking up soon too!  Streamers in a few sizes (from 2-5 inches or so) in colors like white, olive, black.  Usually darker streamers for more stained water and dark days.  When in doubt though, when you change out a streamer, change to the complete opposite color than the one you were using.  It's all about finding what the fish want on a particular day. 

Also, a reminder that the Spring Turkey season opens today.  Hunting until noon; just don't look like a turkey out there! Things are really starting to green up out there, in my opinion, one of the best times to be out side in Vermont. Stay safe, have fun and good luck on the water,