Jess and I got back over to Vermont for the Stowe Food & Wine Festival this past weekend. We had an amazing time trying local cuisine, wine, and beers from the area. The Stowe Valley is home to Stowe Ski Resort and Smugglers Notch. There is also some solid trout fishing.
I got up one morning to hit up a local river, the Lamoille, before the heat and humidity put the fish down. The Lamoille meanders through the valley like a giant spring creek with long runs and not many pools. I landed a dozen in about an hour. A team of wet flies, a Picket Pinn and a Mini-Muddler, working down stream and a 16 high-vis Adams back upstream did trick. All the fish were rainbows in the 10-14”.
After that it was time for the festival hosted at the Von Trapp Family Lodge. Great cooks and local brew masters provided amazing food and beverage the entire afternoon. To wrap up the day, I took Jess back for an evening session on the Lamoille. Since my 4wt is in the rod shop, we split time on my 6wt landing around another dozen between us; however, I didn’t mind one bit. Jess doesn’t get out fishing with me too much, but she did an amazing job fixing her cast, working the flies, and landing half a dozen fish. I think she will start coming out on the river more often now. It was great to see her light up and yell that she had a fish on. I find it more enjoyable to help someone catch a fish on the fly then catch one myself.
The next day we hiked a remote mountain stream called Stevenson Brook. It is a small tributary of the Waterbury Reservoir. The stream is tucked away in the woods, and has many broken pockets and plunge pools. There were small brookies behind almost every pocket. The real surprise was the decent size rainbow that fought through several pools. We finished the day off with trips to the Fiddlehead and Alchemist breweries on our way back to the Adirondacks. Another great trip to Vermont.
My dad recently bought some property and built a cabin in the western Adirondacks. I finally got up here to enjoy some quality time with the family. My dad’s property back’s up to a remote stream, so yesterday I decided to give it a go and see if there were any wild trout. We hiked through the property to get to the water. This creek is nice and remote, and the only other way to access this section besides my dad’s property is a 3-mile hike in. I rigged up with my favorite way for prospecting small streams: a size 16 mini muddler. This fly is like a small Turk’s Tarantula. You can fish the mini muddler as a dry fly up stream and then swing it through a run downstream at the end of your drift. It’s a great way to cover a lot of water. On some of the slower pools, I switched to a Hendrickson Comparadun.
I hooked up with a lot of wild brookies, and they were spread out pretty evenly in different kinds of water. The creek had the classic Adirondack tea color with lots of structure, runs, pools, and pockets. Lots of midge activity on the surface with the occasional Hendrickson. It was an amazing time just exploring and catching these small but aggressive trout.
The Schroon River is a special place to me because it is where I caught my first trout on a fly. The Schroon is a decent size river that flows in the southern Adirondacks of New York, and it eventually meets up with the Hudson River. The river contains trout and landlocked salmon as well as smallmouth and northern pike in the lower reaches. The only downside to this fishery is that there are no regulations on the trout fishing. The state and county supply a heavy amount of stocking every year; however, most do not make it to the next year due to either overharvesting or extreme summer temperatures. The famed Battenkill and Ausable rivers are both within an hour drive, so the potential for a great trout fishery is there. However, the Schroon remains primarily a put and take trout fishery. The trout fishing is still worth a trip from April through June, and I also plan to explore the river for the large pike that are rumored to thrive in the lower reaches.
I haven’t fished the Schroon in about a year, so I tried several popular spots to get my bearings back. The water is still high from run-off and this is not a wader friendly river. Fishing streamers upstream was the call of the day given the conditions. There were lots of small stocked trout in the river. I picked up a mix of around 15 bows and brookies, with a lot of half committed follows. All fish were cookie cutters of the pictures listed, in the 8-9” range. A size 6 slumpbuster was all that was needed. It was nice to just get back to where my fly-fishing obsession all started. I did see a small hatch of Hendrickson’s coming off, but no noses breaking the surface. It is still a little early up here for the trout to focus on the surface insects.