The scenery on the way there was downright amazing. It looked like the mountainside was on fire!
We got on the water just after sunrise on Sat morning. The parking areas were already littered with cars from NH, NY, ME, MA and only a few Vermonters...oh boy....
The fishing was tough, and from what we could tell, it had drastically slowed just days prior to our arrival. but I managed to go 2 for 5 on Saturday and Sun morning. The crowds were thick, and I wasn't really loving the water that was open to fishing. It was too fast and shallow for my liking, but since we apparently didn't get there an hour before sunrise we couldn't hold down a decent spot, so we were forced to keep moving and fishing the small pocket water in between the good holes.
My first fish came right after we just started fishing. Someone was swinging through a decent looking pool and was leaving as we walked up. I rigged up, drifted a chartreuse egg through the same run and got hit by this 18" male on the first drift! Just goes to show that changing methods can pay off.
You could tell this guy had previously been caught and released. His lower jaw was deformed. You can't tell by the picture, but his kype is pointing out to the right instead of straight up.
My second fish landed came later that night before dark, it that took right before we were about to call it quits!
Just like the first male, this hen had damage to her mouth as well. Just goes to show how hard people fish this river for salmon. I'm willing to bet nearly ever salmon that comes up will get hooked at least once, which is insane to think about. I felt pretty bad for making them worse...makes me think about using barbless hooks if I decide to go back next year for sure. I already went with pretty small hooks, but these wounds looked like they were from pretty big hooks.
Unfortunately, Chris had no hookups until we had left the Clyde for an afternoon lunch break. We hit a small little outlet of a Lake that was a bit of a drive but ALWAYS worth it. His first rainbow, about 12" ended up being chased by an even bigger rainbow in the 18-20" range. We knew he was still in the same hiding spot, so Chris kept casting to him until he took, and sure enough he got him! A beautiful wild rainbow!
Sunday morning was terrible - I won't lie. We got up EARLY and left REALLY EARLY to get on the river BEFORE it was even light out. Apparently 10 other guys had the exact same idea. When we pulled up to the parking areas in the pitch dark, cars had already filled it. We couldn't even see our hands in front of our faces, yet there were about 6 cars already empty in the parking spots. We still rigged up and hit the river, but once again didn't find any open decent water. It was humind and raining - we had enough. At that point, the fishing was so slow that it wasn't worth waiting 10 hours for two spots to open up in one decent run - we just left.
We took the scenic route home, right near Jay Peak. We stopped every once in a while on some good looking water and fished. I came up empty handed but Chris got into two small wild browns.
It was good to finally fish the Clyde, but boy was it crowded for only having a mile of fishable water...jeez. I even witnessed 3 snaggers below the waterfall and had to yell at each of them, along with other anglers who were fishing in the area! I hate to think of it this way, but it felt like a miniature Salmon River over there. Nice water, nice fish, but I wonder if the crowds even make it worth it? Maybe I'll try to time it better next year and have a double-digit fish weekend that will hopefully change my mind, ha!