Spring has sprung in the outdoors
By Darren Marcy
Staff Writer | April 27,2014
While many outdoor enthusiasts have nothing but putts, purrs, clucks and gobbles on their brains right now, others are dreaming of strikes, bites, hits and takes.
Fishing season has opened thanks to a last-minute arrival of spring, which arrived just in the nick of time.
The opening day of trout season brought the sixth-annual Otter Creek Classic out of hibernation, and the receding ice sheet has anglers back out on the big lake.
Thereís no doubt that, in time, the fishing will improve as high water recedes, water temperature climbs and fish activity increases.
I saw my first two reports of lake trout on Facebook last week as Capt. Mickey Maynard posted a couple of mackinaws from his first forays onto the still frigid lake.
But nothing says spring like that magical day in April when trout anglers brave mud, cold and high water to get skunked for the first time.
And thousands of anglers look forward to it for months.
In Middlebury, some of the top fly-anglers in the area show up not only to get skunked, but to have fun doing it with good company.
The annual Otter Creek Classic was held on opening weekend for the sixth straight year out of the Middlebury Mountaineer.
The winners this year are well known in trout-angling circles.
Ross Crowne took top honors in the amateur division, followed by Jon Brooks in second and Doug Rabidoux in third and David Aronson in fourth.
The professional division was won by Brian Cadoret, followed by Alex MacDonald in second and Asa Sargent in third.
For the record, Crowne is a 13-year-old who not only caught the largest fish of the tournament, but also has more points than anybody in either division.
With the win, heíll be entered into the professional division next year and there are some pros who are probably a little concerned about that development as Crowne has been proving himself to be one of the top anglers in the area in recent years.
Fishing was tough at the event with many anglers posting doughnuts both days on the scoreboard.
Big runoff from snowmelt and rain created difficult conditions.
Spring conditions are notoriously tough, but a fishing report from the Middlebury Mountaineer is saying the rivers could see reduced flows, which should create more fishable water for this weekend on some streams.
For a good report for your area, head to your nearest tackle shop or sporting goods store and find out where the fishing is in your neck of the woods. But donít forget to thank the shop by picking up an item or two.
Most shops are free with their advice, but the knowledge comes at a price. The least you can do is pick up a few flies or other gear.
The Vermont Outdoor Show held in Rutland in mid-March, looks like it will be coming back to the area next year.
Show organizer Fred Allard recently announced the show dates for 2015 with a new venue that should get everybody excited.
The 2015 show is set for March 28-29 at Spartan Arena.
There will be room for 120 vendors and space for seminars and competitions.
Booth space will be $150, but booths paid before June 1 of this year will only be $100.