Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Vermont 2014 Trout Opener Forecast- Revision

Opening day for trout in Vermont is this coming Saturday, April 12. We are coming off a pretty hellacious winter with extremely low temperatures, some significant snowfall and a late spring. I made a few predictions about the opener last weekend after getting out on the water for the first time in a long time based on what I was seeing. I think it was pretty good for the time and there are some things that I still think are important- especially being careful near all that ice stacked up along the banks (it is seriously dangerous stuff to walk on or through- use a lot of caution). It is five days later and time for an update.

Things keep getting warmer and we had a good spate of rain. Rivers are running pretty hard at the moment. Temperatures in the mid 50's to low 60's have been seen in the Champlain Valley over the past few days and temps look like they will be similar for the next little while as well. This has significantly reduced the snow here in the Champlain Valley. Rain on Monday has certainly made a difference with that as well. This bodes well.

The snow pack in the higher elevations is still significant which could impact the first weekend of trout fishing. If we were to get significant rainfall in the next couple of days it could blow the rivers out making fishing next to impossible. Fortunately the only precipitation is less than a tenth of an inch. 

Looking at the USGS river gauges is a great way to tell what is safe to fish. Keep an eye open for significant rises in river levels. If they are running high then stay away from them. The Winooski, Lamoille and Otter Creek and other larger rivers are likely to be unfishable this coming weekend. I would personally stay will small to mid sized rivers myself, especially ones that have a fairly small watershed that may have seen significant melting already. They will clear up first. Of course there are other factors, notably development and agriculture that can have a huge impact on water clarity. 

I will definitely be heading out there this weekend. I think there will be some good shots at some big fish if you know where to look for them. I do. And nope, I'm not sharing where... but if you want to tangle with some big dogs I am available to guide!  April and May are big brown months. I can do my best to put you on big trout. 

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