Nathan Mackey of Poultney poses with a beautiful rainbow trout he recently caught and released in Bennington during Vermont’s year-round, catch-and-release trout season.
Spring is prime time to fish for Vermont trout
Despite the late return of spring, Vermont’s traditional trout fishing season is set to open on Saturday, April 11, marking the start of some of the best trout fishing of the year in the Green Mountain State.
Spring trout season can often afford an angler the greatest opportunity to catch trout in rivers and streams.
“Many of the biggest brown and rainbow trout caught in Vermont rivers each year are taken during the spring season,” said Eric Palmer, director of fisheries with the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. “Though the cold, high water early in the season may force anglers to fish slower in order to tempt sluggish fish, as the spring temperatures rise, the action can really pick up.”
Vermont is known for its excellent fishing opportunities for wild trout, as well as for stocked trout–including large, two-year-old trophy trout that will be stocked statewide in the coming weeks. Over 18,000 trophy trout will be stocked throughout Vermont in 2015 and anglers will be able to fish over 34 miles of rivers and 28 lakes and ponds that are designated as trophy water.
Vermont’s landscape offers quality habitat for brook, brown and rainbow trout, including a mix of smaller, boulder-lined mountain streams and larger, meandering creeks and rivers at lower elevations.
“Whether you prefer to fish smaller, remote streams in the woods, larger rivers in the valleys, or one of our many lakes and ponds, Vermont really has it all,” said Palmer. “We have excellent populations of trout across a range of habitats and that makes Vermont a special place to fish for people of all ages and abilities.”
Anglers should note that anglers may not fish from the ice or through the ice for trout during the open-water trout season on rivers, streams and lakes with seasonal closures.
Lake Champlain, however, is open to year-round trout fishing and it does not matter whether an angler is ice fishing or fishing open water. Many other lakes and ponds are open to year-round fishing for species such as yellow perch and northern pike.
Planning a Vermont spring fishing trip is easy. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department publishes its “2015 Vermont Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Laws and Guide” that includes maps showing lakes and streams as well as fishing access areas and public lands. The guide also lists the fish species found in each body of water and includes the state’s fishing regulations. Copies are available where fishing licenses are sold, or by calling the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department at 802-828-1000. You can also download sections of the publication from www.vtfishandwildlife.com, which also lists year-round fishing spots.
The Vermont Outdoor Guides Association (VOGA) is also a resource for locating fishing guides and some overnight facilities (www.VOGA.org). Additional help in finding a place to stay overnight can be found at (www.VermontVacation.com).