Battenkill 9/14/19

Fall weather has arrived in Southern Vermont and with the change trout fishing should get exciting soon. The browns and brookies will be going into spawning mode soon if they haven’t already and that means some aggressive fish willing to hit big streamers.

The temperature is dropping but unfortunately so is the water level. With these conditions the Manchester stretch of the Battenkill was a bit tough to fish. There was some rise activity from 6:45am until at least 8, but no obvious hatch that I could discern. Finding deeper pools and runs was the best bet due to the low water levels. On a positive note the cool daytime temperatures and overnight lows in the mid-40s to low 50s have kept the water temps cool. Water clarity was better than I would like. On the Battenkill a little bit of stain goes a long way to putting the odds in favor of the angler. After the next rain I think the fishing will improve significantly.

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Low water on the Battenkill isn’t all that unusual for September. Normal flow would put water about half way up the rocky stream side on the right. 

I tried a little of everything. Dry flies, terrestrials, nymphs and streamers. The only thing that got any action was a #8 brown and grizzly stimulator. I heard on good authority that flying ants were hatching earlier in the week and the trout were loving it. It was an overcast morning so large or bright dries were the only option if I wanted to actually see where my fly was.

The fishing season may be winding down but it’s not over yet. If you’re one of the people lamenting that you didn’t get out as much as you wanted this spring, make up for it now. The Battenkill has some big browns in it and once the spawn starts the fishing will be great.

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