Vermont is home to some of the best skiing in Vermont and with that, the state has become home to a growing population of ski bums. People that just can't spend enough time on the slopes during the winter season. Believe it or not this same phenomenon is happening on Vermont's trout streams. We caught up with a couple of young trout bums during the last days of the season on the Middlebury River. These two fishing guides may fish for a living but they also live to fish.
Canoes are perfect for fishing Vermont's countless small ponds. Native Americans developed these simple, versatile vessels over the course of thousands of years and they are well suited to exploring everything from tiny creeks to the shores of Lake Champlain. Today's canoes are lightweight, low maintenance and relatively inexpensive, and they open up a world of hidden waters that are either off-limits or inaccessible to larger boats. We visit Emerald Lake State Park as well as another local pond for some exciting bass fishing.
As winter slowly loosens its icy grip on Lake Champlain, activity on and around the lake is almost nonexistent. But under its slushy surface, it is a different story. As spring approaches, multitudes of fish are gearing up for the spawning season, and many of the lake's bays and marshy setbacks teem with life. For the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, it's the perfect opportunity to begin gathering data for its northern pike management project.
One of the best places to fish for brook trout are beaver ponds. A good beaver pond can hold Vermont's favorite fish in numbers and sizes rarely seen in streams, and a hidden beaver pond teeming with plump, colorful brookies is a treasured discovery. One of the best places to look for a productive beaver pond is Vermont's rugged Northeast Kingdom, especially in the fall, when the orange bellies and red fins of spawning brookies are a perfect compliment to the bright fall foliage. And thanks to the efforts of the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Conservation Group, finding a good beaver pond is easier than ever.
While Lake Champlain has a reputation as a world-class bass fishery, the lake's many tributaries are less well known. We'll enjoy great light-tackle fishing during the spring catch-and-release season when the Smallmouth spawn.