Fishing the Winooski
Schirmer's Fly Shop top guide -- Aaron Tudhope, 33, of Grand Isle -- takes experienced and novice anglers alike to the hottest fly-fishing spots in Chittenden County. Tudhope grew up in Vermont and has been fishing nearly his entire life, year-round. He took a fly-tying class with Ed Schirmer seven years ago and has been a guide for him for six seasons. We met with him on the Winooski River in Jonesville recently.
As Tudhope walked into the water June 23, he spoke of what bugs were hatching and pointed out a cold water inlet.
"We want to pay attention just down stream from that," he said as a fish jumped, breaking the surface. "See that fish rise? The trick is to stealthily approach that area and place the cast as close to it as possible. Through experience we can tell by the way that fish is rising what he's feeding on."
When he's not teaching and guiding, he's actively seeking to catch and harvest for his family. "It's not just a sport. It's a way of life," he said.
Tudhope said right now there is a good population of trout in the Winooski River, but they are hard to catch.
"To be productive I need to use all of my observations to know where to fish and where to focus my efforts. Moon cycles, barometric pressure and time of day all play into how well I do. It's more than just casting."