Outdoors Vermont:Trout fishing can continue after season closes
By Darren Marcy | November 02,2012
The small trout wriggled furiously as I tried to grasp it as gently as possible in order to release it.
I had caught close to a dozen small trout in the section of stream I was fishing.
I was throwing a small inline spinner and the percentage of hits to casts was unusually high for my limited skill.
I finally corralled the trout and slipped the hook from its mouth and lowered it back into the river. As soon as it felt the stream of water flowing past, it darted free from my loose grip and disappeared toward the center of the stream as only a fish can.
This late, postseason fishing trip came last fall, a few weeks after the close of the trout season.
Vermont's trout season runs from early April until Oct. 31 each year. But before and after that, anglers can ply the waters of specially designated streams for trout.
For diehard trout anglers, the ability to continue fishing a handful of rivers and streams throughout the state after the close of the state trout season is a blessing.
While there are fewer places to fish and more regulations in place, the ability to still get out on the river during a warm fall day is one of the true joys in the outdoors.
While most anglers have put away the fishing gear for the season in favor rifles, shotguns or even skis and snowboards, the fish are still hungry and, sometimes, more than willing to try your offering.
“Avid trout anglers who don't want to put their rods away quite yet can take advantage of mild spells during the fall and early winter in these waters,” Rich Kirn, Vermont Fish & Wildlife's trout project leader, said in a news release. “These areas also provide anglers early fishing opportunities when we experience good early spring conditions for stream trout fishing, as we did this past spring.”
Be sure to read the proclamation to make sure you're familiar with all the regulations related to trout fishing after the regular season ends.
One of the most important is to figure out which streams and rivers are open to off-season trout angling.
The Fish & Wildlife Department has identified nine streams or rivers that are open to off-season trout fishing:
Black River — From the Connecticut River boundary upstream to the top of the Lovejoy Dam in Springfield;
Lamoille River — From the top of Peterson Dam in Milton upstream to the top of the hydroelectric Dam at Fairfax Falls;
Lewis Creek — From the Lake Champlain boundary upstream to the State Prison Hollow Road bridge in Starksboro;
Ompompanoosuc River — From the Connecticut River boundary upstream to the Union Village Dam in Thetford;
Otter Creek — From the Lake Champlain boundary upstream to the top of Center Rutland Falls;
West River — From the Connecticut River boundary upstream to the Townshend Dam;
White River — From the Connecticut River boundary upstream to the bridge on Route 107 in Bethel;
Williams River — From the Connecticut River boundary upstream to the top of the dam at Brockway Mills Falls in Rockingham;
Winooski River — From the Lake Champlain boundary upstream to the Bolton Dam in Duxbury and Waterbury;
In addition, off-season trout fishing is catch-and-release and only artificial flies and lures can be used.
For more information, see the Fish & Wildlife Department's hunting and fishing proclamation or read it online at www.vtfishandwildlife.com. Additionally, information is available by calling (802) 241-3700 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Darren at email@example.com or at his website at www.DarrenMarcy.com.