Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Winooski River Vermont
The Winooski River is one of the largest rivers in the
state of Vermont. It starts in Central Vermont at
Marshfield, and flows northwestward all the way to Lake
Champlain. Along its course, it gains in size big time,
picking up water from several major tributaries such as
Dog River, Little River Stevens Branch, Mad River and
others. Fly fishing the Winooski River varies from
section to section.
This river is easy to wade in most areas but a canoe
would be better suited for many other areas. It's very
wide and from a Vermont standard, a very large river.
The section that extends from Burlington to Montpelier is
the most popular section for fly anglers. Good access is
provided in this area by River Road. This section is
cooled by water from the Mad River and the discharge
from the dam at Duxbury. It's a tailwater stream in this
The river is stocked with rainbow, brown and brook trout.
In the lower section of the river in Burlington, below the
dam at Winooski, you can fish for landlocked salmon
and steelhead that move into the river up to the dam
during the Fall. This section is called the Salmon Hole.
The river flows through forested mountains and open
farmland. Many parts of the river gets too warm for trout
during the hot summer, so much of this large river is
better suited for warm water species. The sections that
hold trout have very good populations of various aquatic
insects that provide the trout with plenty of food.
After being stocked for a few weeks, the trout in the
Winooski River learn to survive on the national aquatic
insects and other foods and can become quite selective.
Using more realistic imitations of the most plentiful and
available food at the time your fishing will improve your
success. There is a good population of several caddisfly
species, some mayflies and a few stoneflies. Sculpin and
baitfish are very plentiful. The tailwater has lots of
The season follows the standard Vermont trout season -
but the season in the Salmon Hole is different. Be sure
to check the current regulations on it.
Late Springtime is a good time for fly fishing the
Choose your places to fish carefully during the hottest
part of the Summer. Much of the water can become too
Fall is a good time to fish the Winooski and the time the
salmon and steelhead move into the lower river.
Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Trout Flies
|Type of Stream
Brown Trout (wild and stocked with
Brook Trout (wild and stocked)
Rainbow (wild and stocked with some
Medium to Large
Mid April - October..
State of Vermont
National Weather Service Link
Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and
Winooski River Vermont
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Photo Courtesy Steven Lamb
Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight for trout, 6 to 8 for
Dry fly: 9 &12 ft., 5 or 6X, Nymphing:
71/2 ft., 3 or 4X, Streamers 0-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Streamer & Salmon 0-2X
Best Fly Rod:
Perfect Fly 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 weight rods
For 4 to 9 wt. fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Loon Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (email@example.com)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.
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