Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom is known for many things. Two of which are Yankee ingenuity and great trout and salmon fishing. The two came together when we fished gorgeous Lake Willoughby with fishing tackle innovator, Keith Chamberlain.
Every year, thousands of people camp on the shores of Lake Champlain, but very few actually spend a night on the lake -- especially in the heart of winter. Yet that is exactly what some dedicated anglers do on Missisquoi Bay, where the ice fishing can be as hot as the weather is cold. We hit the hard water of Missisquoi Bay on Lake Champlain to enjoy some exciting ice fishing for northern pike. And experience a comfy night on the ice thanks to Gilbert Gagne of Martin’s Store in Highgate Springs where we rented our overnight accommodations. We also meet up with a group of anglers that have made spending the night on the ice an annual tradition.
Nestled deep in the vast forestland of the Northeast Kingdom is a classic northwoods camp that's been a haven for hunters, anglers, and other outdoor lovers for more than a century. Located on a quiet pond a stone's throw from Canada, Quimby Country Lodge and Cottages just might also be one of the best kept secrets in Vermont. To learn more about this historic camp, we visited for an overnight stay and some upland bird hunting.
During the Dog Days of summer, when rising water temperatures make trout sluggish and hard to catch, many fly fishermen hang up their rods. But for a growing number of anglers, hot, sunny days are the perfect excuse to target other species. Longnose gar are just one of several fish in Lake Champlain that thrive in warm water. And for at least one angler, fly fishing for these ancient predators is the perfect way to spend a summer day.
When it comes to fishing in New England it’s tough to beat the opportunities that are offered by Lake Champlain. But when the ice goes out early and you’re still looking to catch fish you don’t have to wait long or look very far. On Vermont’s east coast the Connecticut River offers some of the best walleye fishing in the northeast and in the spring the fish start biting in mid March. The walleye fishery is so good on the Connecticut that even if you miss the peak by a day or two you’re still going to get into fish especially if you’re with someone who knows where to find them.
If you're looking for big steelhead trout in Vermont, you'll find no finer spot to cast than the eleven-mile stretch of the Willoughby River between Lake Willoughby and the Barton River. Every spring people come from miles around not only to fish, but watch them jumping upstream to reach spawning grounds. The falls at Orleans presents one of the best fish watching opportunities in Vermont if not all New England. Host Lawrence Pyne, and angler Michael Hahn, tackle the Willoughby in search of two feet of steelhead.
The backwoods ponds and mountain streams of Vermont can be the perfect place to fish for native trout. They may require a little effort to get there, but compared to the larger lakes and rivers these bodies of water can provide a relatively untapped resource for anglers. Host Lawrence Pyne and author Peter Shea hike the Long Trail to get to Little Rock Pond in search of "brookies."
- The Fly Rod Shop
- GORP - Fishing Page
- The Green Mountain Club
- Orvis Endorsed Fishing Trips
- Orvis Fly Fishing School
Lake Champlain has earned the reputation as being New England's premier bass fishing lake. The quantity of large and small-mouth makes the lake a big draw for professional bass tournaments. There are no special maintenance or organized stocking programs for bass on the lake. There are just lots of 'em. Host Lawrence Pyne joined anglers Randy Savage and Gilbert Gagner of "Bronzeback Guide Service" for a day of bass fishing on Lake Champlain.
To properly manage Vermont's streams, wildlife officials need to survey them. The information gathered from these stream surveys is used in determining minimum lengths and quantities for anglers in addition to stocking needs and assessments of the overall stream health. Detailed records are kept on each survey and compared with previous findings to help determine environmental impacts of development near the streams. We tagged along this past spring with two Vermont Wildlife Fisheries Biologists to see how a stream is surveyed.
- Bald Hill Fish Culture Station
60 Abbott Hill Road
West Burke, VT 05871-9644
Supervisor: Chris Thompson
Fish Culturist: John Talbot
- Bennington Fish Culture Station
R.R. 2, Box 3859
Bennington, VT 05201
Supervisor: Monty Walker
Assistant Supervisor: Vacant
Fish Culturists: Brook Bicking,
Fish Culture Worker: Thomas Dwyer
- Ed Weed Fish Culture Station
14 Bell Hill Road
Grand Isle, VT 05458
Supervisor: Dan Marchant
Maintenance Supervisor: Mark LaBonte
and Kevin Kelsey
Fish Culturists: James Bellinghiri,
Gabe Cameron,Tom Chairvolotti,Sean Hilpl,
Priscilla Stutz-Lumbra, Gregory Owens
- Roxbury Fish Culture Station
3696 Roxbury Road
Roxbury, VT 05669
Supervisor: Ralph Barber
Fish Culturists: Dudley Leavitt,
- Salisbury Fish Culture Station
646 Lake Dunmore Rd.
Salisbury, VT 05759
Supervisor: Tom Dumont
Assistant Supervisor: George Scribner
Fish Culturists: Michael Ellis,
- Vermont Agency of Natural Resources
- Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department