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Fishing the Mettowee Guide Peter Basta with Black River Steelhead Big River, Labrador
Vermont & New York Muskegon River, MI Labrador

May 12th., 2016
Dorset, VT

We are a month into the season since the trout opener in April. What started out as an early spring following a mild winter, the later part of April and early May were cool and below normal temps. Spring definately slowed down till just the last few days. Our water conditions have been excellent for this time of year due to the below normal precipitation this spring. Median flows in most streams have been 60 % of normal till just lately.  Rain events on 4/24,5,2,and 5/6 have brought water levels up but only unfishable for a day after the rain.  All good !

While I have done some trips since the opener I have had some time to fish and scout myself. Also I have been getting caught up on projects at home which once the season gets going I will not have any time to do. I did have a great afternoon in the lower NY Kill  3rd week in April where I was fishing an area that was one of my primary haunts as a kid. Hendricksons  and Blue Quils were coming  off sporadically and only the rare splashy rise.  I decided to first go through swinging  a Hendrickson nymph and olive caddis trailer.  Several good pulls and a nice hook up with a 16-17 Brown, however he shook off after a minute.  This was repeated again further down  and this fish I landed, a beautiful 19 inch female.  This stetch is far away from stock points and rarely holds stockies.  This was true 50 years ago and is the same today. Took a break and just sat waiting for the surface to get more active but the three fish I saw earlier I hooked 2.  Decided to make one more pass, this time fishing a streamer. No pulls or hits till I got almost half way down (this is a big pool). I knew immediately that this was a big fish by the Kill standards. A couple of head shakes deep and then off to the races down the pool  once into the backing.  I was sure glad I ws fishing 1X tippet.  Aftr 10-15 minutes he was begining to tire but still a botttom hugger. Finally I got him on top on his side and sliding toward the net, only to have the hook pull within a foot of the net.  A beautiful Hooked Jaw male, definately in the 26 "+ range. It was great !!!!

Back to the report.  Stream stocking really picked up the last week of April and first week of May. In VT the Wallomsac got its first stocking in the trophy stretch on the 25th April and yearlings on the May 6th.  The Black got 500 Rainbows in the Trophy Stretch the first week of May.  As othe 10th of May the Kill and Mettawee in NY have been both been stocked. We are pretty much done with Hendricksons and I am just starting to see Cahills and more and more caddis.This evening I was fishing small water near home and around 7:00 p.m there wer tons of spinners mostly from Blue Quills and a few Hendricksons. It was so neat just to observe. I was successful on the only rising fish where this was happening.

Thats all I have at this time.  See you a-stream!
April 20th., 2016

Our fishing season opened on the 9th and while water levels were excellent we got some cold weather and snow flurries which started the week before the opener. I was scouting and taking temps. at the
end of March and they were in the mid to upper forties and dropped to high thirties for the opener.  Rain events on the 8th and 11th raised water levels on area streams to unfishable levels. The Batten Kill  rose to over 2000+ CFS, the Walloomsac to over 1000 CFS and the Mettawee in NY to over 750 CFS.  Water levels have dropped significantly to excellent levels as I write this report. Temps. are in the upper forties to over 50' F at the warmest part of the day.

Bug hatches are just beginning. I am seeing Hendrickson, Blue Quills and small black stone flies. The bright sun shiny days are helping and this next week to two, the hatch should be in full swing.

Stocking of area streams both in NY and VT are still yet to be started. Otter Creek in danby recieved the first stocking of Trophy trout today which I will check out tomorrow.  The Black will get the first stocking, the week of may 1st, the Walloomsac has not listed stock dates (which is probably a good thing).

I have done a few trips to date, mostly Instructional with limited fish catching. That should improve as we get closer to May 1st.

Tight Lines,

Peter Basta

Pre-Season report
March 13th., 2016
Its "Spring Forward Day" with the clock change this morning. Longer days, stronger sun, and thoughts and plans for the upcoming season  are on my mind this morning.  Usually at this time I am busy finishing my winter job in the ski industry and madly getting ready to head to Michigan for the spring Steelhead season.  This will be the second year I will not be going west and concentrating my guiding on the local waters of southern VT and nearby NY.

What a winter!!  Or should I say a "non-winter"!!!  Virtually no snow, wide temperature swings, and many days above freezing all culminating in the warmest winter on record for my home state of Vermont!!!  As I write this report there is no snow cover and our temps have been averaging 15-20 F above normal  Usually when the  fishing season opens  (early April) ours streams are high and cold from snow melt so our hatches and spring fishing doesn't get going till early May.  NOT THIS YEAR, IT WILL BE UNUSUALLY EARLY DUE TO THESE RECENT CLIMATIC CONDITIONS. The local ski areas will close soon and I will have plenty of time to prep, tie flies, and work on my small water targets, walking/scouting and pruning that critical branch to get a good cast  in a tight spot.

Our NY Trout season opens April 1st and VT opens on the 10th of the month. Looking at the 30-60 Temperature and Precipitation forecast/Prediction, it looks like temps will be above normal and precipitation normal or slightly above normal. Given this and my instincts, I WILL BE ACTIVELY TRYING TO BOOK TRIPS FROM THE 15TH OF APRIL ON!!!!!  Three weeks earlier than usual.  I don't predict higher spring flows so we should see good Hendrickson/Red Quill hatches in the NY Kill  much earlier than usual. I feel my early season fishing will be much better than in years past.  If interested in that later part of April contact me to get on the callendar for that time frame.  Its not often we get this (I can think of only once or twice) early season opportunity.

I will start actively walking my small water streams this week and keep you posted as to what I am finding from the stream and conditions.

Tight Lines,



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