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
Drift boats such as the "McKenzie" and "Rogue" have a rich history. Developed in the 1930s in Oregon these oar-powered boats with their wide, flat bottoms became the craft of choice for fisherman negotiating the sometimes-treacherous McKenzie and Rouge rivers. Today variations of the original drift boat designs are popular with guides and fisherman needing to negotiate shallow stretches of river. The boats offer a terrific platform from which to fly-fish from. Host Lawrence Pyne joined John Marshall of "River Excitement" in Hartland Four-Corners for a day of fishing from his "McKenzie" on the Connecticut River.
American shad were once so plentiful in Atlantic coastal rivers that colonists spread the fish on their fields for fertilizer. By the early 1900s shad numbers were in decline due to pollution, dams and overharvesting. Thanks to restoration efforts over the past 35 years, American shad are making a considerable comeback in the Connecticut River offering some exciting fishing opportunities. Host Lawrence Pyne fishes the Connecticut river with local angler Forest Woodruff to learn how to catch these strong fighting fish. He then meets up with Ken Cox, a fisheries biologist, to learn how fish ladders in dams along the river have brought the fish back north.
There are seven species of sturgeon in the United States. These long, armor-plated fish are virtually unchanged since prehistoric times. Mature lake sturgeon grow to about three to five feet in length and can weigh over 100 pounds. It wasn't long ago that Lake Sturgeon were commercially fished on Lake Champlain. Today they are an endangered (threatened) species. Host Lawrence Pyne joins Chet MacKenzie of the Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife's Lake Champlain Sturgeon Restoration Program, to find out what is being done to reestablish one of the lake's ancient creatures.
- Chet MacKenzie
VT Dept. of Fish & Wildlife
317 Sanitorium Road, West Wing
Pittsford, VT 05763