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
For the Adopt-a-Salmon Family program at the CP Smith School in Burlington, two fourth grade classes raised a salmon family from eggs. Five months later the one-inch fry were ready for release into Mill Brook in Jericho. OUTDOOR JOURNAL visited the school to see what the students learned from raising the fish and then attended the release, complete with ceremonial reading of poems by the students.
Well-camouflaged and extremely aggressive, Northern Pike will strike at just about anything that crosses their path. These fish are traditionally caught on lures or live bait. But when host Lawrence Pyne joins pike enthusiast Drew Price on Bristol Pond (Winona Lake) for a day of pike fishing, they break out the fly rods in pursuit of these great predators.
Late spring and early summer are when the hexagenia limbata are hatching and the fish are jumping. When these mayflies hatch in late spring and early summer several Vermont ponds offer anglers excellent opportunities to not only catch a lot of fish, but sizable ones as well. Host Lawrence Pyne and angler Leighton Wass journey to Seyon Pond and Caspian Lake during the hex hatch to experience the rewards of what Leighton calls "hexitis."
Although Lake Champlain is renowned for it's fine bass fishing, Vermont has many smaller, less famous lakes that also offer excellent opportunities for anglers to reel in a hefty largemouth or small-mouth. One of the best times to enjoy the great bass fishing that these inland lakes have to offer is in the early fall — boat traffic is almost non-existent and cooling water temperatures have summer-fat bass back on the prowl. Host Lawrence Pyne joins longtime bass guide Rod Start of Tinmouth, Vermont for a mid-September outing on Lake St. Catherine, one of several outstanding bass lakes in southwestern Vermont.
It's probably the last thing most anglers think of as they drift their bait in a tumbling stream or troll their lures through a deep, clear lake. But a big reason why trout fishermen in Vermont are so successful is because of the state's fish hatcheries. Vermont operates five fish culture stations, and collectively they play a critical roll in both restoring and maintaining the wonderful trout fishing found throughout the state. We visit the Ed Weed Fish Culture Station in Grand Isle for a look at some beautiful trout and salmon destined for Vermont's rivers and streams. Then we accompany members of the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife as they stock the Winooski River with the help of some schoolchildren.
- Ed Weed Fish Culture Station,
Bald Hill Fish Culture Station,
Bennington Fish Culture Station,
- Roxbury Fish Culture Station,
Salisbury Fish Culture Station,
- Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife
Getting to the best fishing hole on any river can be extremely difficult from shore. One way to get to just about anywhere on the river is by float fishing. Miniature inflatable pontoon boats give anglers the flexibility to fish on the move or stop at areas that might hold the big ones. Host Lawrence Pyne joins Bob Shannon of the Fly Rod Shop in Stowe, Vt., as he pumps up the pontoons for a guided float trip on the Lamoille River in search of trout.
The Fly Rod Shop
P.O. Box 960
Stowe, VT 05672
There are so many pieces that make up the fly fishing experience, it's easy to see why it takes people a while to grasp this challenging sport. Aside from mastering the artistry of the cast, there is the equipment, the conditions of the water, a knowledge of the hatching season of the various flies you are trying to emulate and a number of other factors that must be right to make a "good presentation" for the fish. Host Marianne Eaton joins instructor Truel Myers at the Orvis Fly Fishing School in Manchester for a fly fishing primer.
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