If indeed, variety is the spice of life, anglers visiting Quechee, Vermont will certainly enjoy the delectable palate provided by the many streams, rivers and lakes available in this central section of the state. In the springtime, trout fishermen can explore the riffles and pools of the smaller, "user friendly" Ottauquechee River, one of three rivers in the area.
Hatches generally begin in mid-May during which time hip waders will suffice, though chest highs are useful in the long, slow pools above the several hydro dams. As water levels begin to recede in early June and the insect activity reaches its' peak, many local fly fishers begin taking the short journey north from Quechee into the beautiful valley of the White River and its' three main tributary branches.
Here, as on the Ottauquechee River, rainbow trout comprise the great majority of the catch but the White River has at least twice the volume of water and sustains an ample population of small-mouth bass as well. Both rivers yield the occasional large brown trout to the savvy angler and in the headwaters, particularly on the smaller Ottauquechee, populations of eager and vibrant brook trout may be found. As summer approaches and water temperatures begin to soar, trout fishing efforts are best concentrated in the deeper pools of the White River, fishing late into twilight or hours.
For those not suffering the addiction of angling strictly for trout, the opportunities for catching some beautiful small-mouth bass generally begins in early June but remains very productive throughout the warm weather months of July, August, and into early September. Now fishermen may wish to explore the big water, the Connecticut River.
Catch a five pounder on the Connecticut!
Canoe trips are a wonderful way to access remote sections of this gentle giant of a river. But, one must respect the tremendous volume of water in the Connecticut and a guide is highly recommended as dam releases just to the north cause water levels to rise suddenly making wading difficult and dangerous to those unaware. The small-mouth bass fishing can be tremendous. At times dozens of fish can be caught, some weighing four to five pounds; and do they ever jump!
Feeding on the abundant caddis flies and crayfish, the Connecticut River rainbow trout average 15" to 18" with fish over 20" not uncommon. In central Vermont the first frost often occurs in early September making a return to activity for trout on the smaller streams. Towards the end of September the tiny bluewinged olive mayflies begin to hatch in tremendous numbers and trout drift back into the slow, glassy pools to gently sip the emerging insects at the surface. Long casts and fine leaders are the order of the day as even the most seasoned fly fisher is challenged by these healthy, robust trout on the smallest of flies. Despite autumn colors beyond imagination reflecting off crystal clear water, October draws to a close finding very few fishermen enjoying this most incredible of seasons.
Quechee also offers its' own two small lakes loaded with panfish, large-mouth bass, and northern pike. Ice fishing on these lakes has grown increasingly popular and the kids love spending a warm summers evening canoeing about watching beavers and blue herons while catching a pail full of panfish. With such a variety of rivers and lakes within minutes of the village, Quechee truly can offer a unique fishing experience to the entire family whenever they may find the time to visit this beautiful area of Vermont.
The above article was written by Marty Banak. You can contact him at:
Wilderness Trails at The Quechee Inn
Vermont Fly Fishing School, Canoeing and Bike Rentals
1 Mile from the Quechee Gorge
on Club House Road
Quechee, Vermont 05059
Tel (802) 295-7620