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  • Writer's pictureJZ

Report 6/7/18

The fishing has been great recently for all species of fish, from pond dwelling trout to coastal striped bass. Right now is one of the most difficult times of year to be a fly angler because you have so many options to choose from, it can be challenging to decide where to go on your day off. Early morning and last light are producing more fish now that the evening temperatures have been warmer. Water temperatures in lakes and ponds are warming fast as we have had very little rain recently in NH and VT. Trout and salmon will soon be deep to take refuge from warmer surface waters.

Bass fishing is almost at its peak with the spawn winding down. Largemouth and smallmouth bass, which are protected from May 15th - June 15th by strict use of artificial lure/fly and mandatory catch and release regulations, will be aggressively feeding after spawning in the shallows. In mid June I like to fish top water after the spawn or fish deep water with a heavily weighted streamer for big fish in recovery mode.

Smallmouth will be hungry and shallow in the coming weeks after the spawn. Photo: Laura Pinkham

Over the last few weeks brown trout have been aggressively feeding and chasing streamers quite well. Early June is typically prime time for browns, but we are experiencing low water and not much precipitation which is fast forwarding our season to mid summer conditions. Another week of drought-like weather could put trout fishing in jeopardy. Be aware of warming trout water, if water temps exceed 68 F try targeting bass or other species that are more tolerant to warmer water.

Bill with a nice VT pike. Photo: Jon Zukowski

The pike are post spawn and feeding well, especially the smaller male fish that are the first to arrive in setbacks and the last to leave. These smaller "jacks" are fun to target amongst the new weed growth. Fishing near the surface with a mid sized fly can be very productive in areas with new vegetation. While it is mostly smaller fish in the weeds, an occasional trophy-sized female will appear out of nowhere to strike at your offering. I watched a 45"+ fish sunning itself in 10"of water the other day. I casted to the fish to determine if it was indeed a fish, not a log. Sure enough I saw its massive tail move slowly back and forth as my fly passed in front of the fishes snout, it gave a quick inspection then kept swimming toward deeper water. A few seconds later I saw another fish in the 30" range also sunning itself. The fish seemed to be recovering from the spawn which can take a toll on these large predators. Fish are often left with visible wounds on their sides and backs, especially the smaller males.

Small pike with post spawn wounds visible. Photo: Mac Cayer

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