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Do you love tests, experiments, and challenges? If you do, the Clyde River is the best place to be because of its unique fisheries.
Anglers who are improving their skills can practice new styles and techniques on this river as it boasts versatility when it comes to fishing opportunities.
The river’s uppers harbor brook and brown trout while the mid-section around East Charlestown has salmon and rainbows cruising the waters.
The third section which is the lower part has plenty of rainbows and salmon. You will enjoy streamer fishing for salmon as they spawn.
Since the number of tackle gear you carry to the Clyde River is a consideration before accessing the waters, you can fish trout on one day and salmon the next day to avoid breaking fishery regulations.
Each dam, pond, and tributary on the Clyde offers different fishing experiences.
The area from Clyde Pond to Lake Memphremagog is excellent for salmon fishing. From Island Ponds heading downstream, lots of browns and brooks guard the section.
Lighter rods will catch more trout in the Clyde while heavier 6 to 8-weight rods will work for salmon.
You have to be smart while choosing your flies. Golden drakes, march browns, little black caddis, Quill Gordons, and Hendricksons are excellent to pair with lighter rods for trout.
For you to catch salmon successfully, flies that imitate the smelt will do.
However, bigger streamers can catch both trout and salmon here.
Seasons: Mid-April through October
Main Species: Brooks, browns and rainbow trout, salmon
Fly Patterns: Golden drakes, march browns, little black caddis, Quill Gordons, and Hendricksons
Nearest Towns: Newport, Derby, Charleston, West Charleston, East Charleston, Brighton, Island Pond
Lake Champlain and its tributaries are excellent spots to try out for fly fishing. It is among the biggest freshwater lakes in the continent.
You can hook pike, bass, salmon, and trout in these waters. There are various modes of fishing on the Champlain.
Fish from the shore, get on a canoe or kayak and advance to the furthest areas, or fish along its banks.
The season peaks in spring and fall. Smallmouth and largemouth bass will be the best bets for warmer summers.
Crawfish and streamers are the best for larger fish. Pair these large flies with a 7 to a 9-weight rod. But, if you are targeting smaller fish, a 3 to 5-weight rod will do.
Waloomsac River will interest you if you are looking to hunt trophy trout.
The state stocks the river with more than 750 fish which are about 14 inches or more.
This is a river for anglers who want to travel less though they have the best fly fishing experience.
You can access the river from North Bennington closer to Henry Bridge. A 5-weight rod will do the task here and pair it with big streamers.
More flies you shouldn’t leave behind are zonkers and wooly buggers.
The Black River which is the Connecticut River’s tributary is under the Trophy Trout Stocking Project that the state runs.
You can fish along Route 131 which is in Weathersfield for more success.
Another best spot is the stretch from the covered bridge closer to Downers Corners as you head to Howard Hills Road.
A 4 to 5-weight fly rod will be the best for this river.
If you come here in the early season, carry bead-head hare’s ears, wooly, buggers, gray ghosts, bead-head stoneflies, elk hair caddis, hoppers, and parachute Adams.
Have 3x tippets for heavier streamers and nymphs and 5x tippets for throwing dry flies.
Waterbury Reservoir is another trout fishery that you should comb.
You can hook smallmouth bass here in July as the trout season winds down.
You need to learn how to do the topwater actions and take advantage of the warm temperatures of the water.
The 60-mile Connecticut River tributary is stocked with salmon and trout by Vermont Fish and Game Department.
White River is lightly fished as most anglers opt for Lake Champlain instead of it. The rapids here and the low angler population guarantee you a catch.
Half Moon Pond State Park has kid-friendly fishing opportunities.
It has two lakes and a pond and you can hook panfish, yellow perch, and bass.
You can head to Lake Bomoseen and Lake Glen which are nearby.
Lake St. Catherine State Park offers great opportunities for boat and shoreline fishing.
Some of the fish species in the lake here are sunfish, pumpkinseed, bluegill, bullhead, crappie, yellow perch, northern pike, smallmouth, and largemouth bass.
You can fish for pike and bass here from May to September while the panfish season peaks in April and May though fishing them is allowed all year round.
The West River is in Jamaica State Park and offers some of the best fishing opportunities for fishermen.
It has some sections with rapid flows while the rest have slow-moving waters. Other areas are shallow while others are deep.
Sunset Lake harbors yellow perch, smallmouth and largemouth bass.
Trout too are often stocked here though their season is best in spring before the water temperatures rise.
Children can fish here but should fish from the floating bridge crossing the pond for easier experiences.
You can launch your boat or fish from the shores of the Gale Meadow Pond for rock bass, bullhead, yellow perch, chain pickerel, and largemouth bass.
The Lower Winooski River has two public access points-at Windermere Way Access Area and Heineberg Bridge Access Area.
Any species you can catch in Lake Champlain is found in this river.
A few are northern pike, brown bullhead, smallmouth and largemouth bass, white perch, and yellow perch.
Colton and Kent Ponds are less than a mile apart and boast a huge population of largemouth bass.
It also has pumpkinseed sunfish, yellow perch, and largemouth bass. Trout can be caught in spring.
Boat fishing or shore fishing is allowed on the Baker Pond that has plenty of pumpkinseed sunfish and largemouth bass in abundance.
The pond is stocked with brookies and these chaps are best caught in spring before the water temperatures increase.
Lowell Lake is easily accessible and offers fishing from a canoe or from the shore.
Motorized boats are forbidden here.
Fish here include pumpkinseed sunfish, yellow perch, bullhead, chain pickerel, and largemouth bass.
Newark Pond has various fishing points and one of them is owned by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.
It is stocked with trout and the best time to chase them is when the waters are cooler as they easily reach the shoreline.
Other species in this pond are yellow perch and smallmouth bass.
The Marshfield Reservoir regulations allow you to launch a boat or fish from the shore.
Spring is also the best time to catch stocked trout here.
However, you can try your luck with smallmouth bass, yellow perch, northern pike, and chain pickerel in other seasons.
Stoughton Pond is used by the US Army Corps of Engineers in the day and offers shoreline fishing opportunities for stocked trout, pumpkinseed sunfish, bullhead, yellow perch, and largemouth bass.
Bullhead Pond is one of the places to visit if you are in Manchester.
You can fish from the shore for stocked brown trout, brown bullhead, yellow perch, and largemouth bass.
Sawdaga Pond has lots of yellow perch, pumpkinseed sunfish, chain pickerel, largemouth bass, and bullhead.
You can launch your boat or fish from the shores.
Echo Lake has excellent fishing opportunities and you can choose between fishing from the shores and launching a boat to catch pumpkinseed sunfish, bullhead, stocked trout, yellow perch, chain pickerel, smallmouth, and largemouth bass.
Lake Carmi State Park hosts Lake Carmi which is Vermont’s fourth-largest and harbors warm water species, walleyes, and northern pike.
Tips for Successful Fly Fishing In Vermont
You need to pack a wide variety of fly options or visit the nearest fly shops to your fishing hole to pick a few.
Ensure that you are aware of all the hatches happening in your fly fishing areas of choice before packing your imitations.
However, mayflies, caddis, egg patterns, large streamers, and Beadhead nymphs will do.
Most of the waterways we have mentioned in this guide are easy to wade.
Remember to pack a pair of high-quality breathable waders, wading boots, and gear for cold water fishing if you aren’t planning to launch a boat or fish from a canoe.
From our research, we deduced that Vermont has a wide variety of fish and fly fishing here and if looking to sample the fish species lurking in these waters, you might have to invest more.
For trout only, a 3 to 5-weight fly rod will not fail. Warm water fish and salmon will get hooked properly on a 6 to 9-weight fly rod.
There are some water sections on private land and farmland.
It is courteous to ask for permission in order to access these sections.
More to do while fishing on such sections is not destroying property, and fishing on instructed spots only.
Vermont is generous enough to host a free fishing day. This is usually in mid-June.
So, if you have no license, you can head over to any waterway on this day.
Anyone wishing to access or attempt to fish any Vermont waterways and is 16 years and over must have a valid fishing license.
This applies to both residents and non-residents.
FAQ’s – Questions on Fly Fishing in Vermont
Q) When does the general bass season in Vermont begin?
A) The general bass season here opens yearly on the second Saturday of June and continues to November 30th.
Q) What is the bag limit for brown trout here?
A) The daily bag limit for brown trout is 6. However, this will depend on the area you choose to fish in as each has its set regulations.
Q) Do senior residents of Vermont need a fishing license to fish in any water body?
A) Senior residents who are 70 years and above don’t need to pay for the fishing license. However, they have to renew their permanent licenses annually at no cost online.
Q) What is the penalty for fishing without a valid license in Vermont?
A) You risk a $2000 and a suspension period.
As earlier said, don’t judge it by its size. Vermont can pull a surprise on you if you weren’t hoping to have the best of your fly fishing moments here.
The small state has plenty of offerings to fly fishermen. While other waterways only harbor trout which thrive to larger sizes and longer inches, some boast diversity in fish species.
You will be proud of the few that are unique in structure and offer different experiences in each section.
Enthusiastic anglers looking to better their skills should target such streams and rivers.
As you plan to head to Vermont and confirm our statements, ensure that what you pack is the right tackle gear for the season.
Identifying the best of the best can be daunting.
We render our help in the buyer’s guide section where we have tackle and gear for all anglers depending on their budgets.
Don’t be limited if you’d like to have an experience in Vermont.
We are generous just like you are. Share with us the areas you have fished in Vermont, what tackle and gear you used, catches you caught, and your overall experience.
Also, if there are prime areas that you know of here and we haven’t mentioned, drop them in the comment section-hearing from you motivates us.