Photos: Scenes from a First East Coast Autumn

Written by: Phoebe Bean

These glorious native brookies have been a treat for our Westerner intern.
All photos by Phoebe Bean

Last Friday marked the end of the fishing season here in Vermont, and the beginning of the wintery season in my mind. Having grown up in the West–fishing waters in Idaho and Montana, where the rivers, streams and creeks are rarely closed to anglers– I’m having a hard time accepting that I can no longer drop a fly in the Battenkill or Roaring Branch at lunch. Since my move from Sun Valley, Idaho, and arrival at the Orvis HQ in mid-September, I’ve grown to love casting to the ambitious little brookies that I am so unaccustomed to.

When you’re hopping from spot to spot on a dirt road, the wipers come in handy.

Learning the quirks and tricks of fly fishing unfamiliar rivers over the past month and a half has been an awesome experience, and I’m sad it’s over. The challenge I’m left with is deciding what to do during my lunch breaks now that I can’t race to the river, stubbornly refuse to drop a nymph off of my dry, and come back to the office refreshed and excited about the new tactics I can put into play the following day.

It’s been dry-flies-only since Phoebe arrived in Vermont.

Though bittersweet, the last day of the season was the most rewarding for me; I had heard from a couple of Orvis folks that they had been catching browns on the Roaring Branch farther downstream than where I usually fished, and I was determined to find them. Jess McGlothlin and I headed out after a hectic morning at work and hit the river, hard, knowing that it was our last day out. It was in the low 40’s, which didn’t help us because the fish weren’t hungry and knot-tying with numb fingers became much more challenging. My first few casts yielded nothing, so I switched my fly from a stimulator to a BWO. I cast just above a small boulder and watched as a 13-inch brown slowly emerged from under the rock and sipped my fly from the surface. My strike felt good, and the first three seconds were exhilarating as I watched my 5-weight actually bend for the first time on the small stream. Then, after a few fleeting seconds more, I lost him. Although I didn’t land that fish, I now have an excuse to come back next year and try again. But, who really needs an excuse to rig up a rod and hit the river?

Phoebe Bean is an Internern for Orvis Adventures.

Nancy Mackinnon crosses the stream to hit a far pocket.

Sometimes the joys of being on the water have nothing to do with fish.

9 thoughts on “Photos: Scenes from a First East Coast Autumn”

  1. I’d like to point out that not all East Coast fisheries shut down for the winter. Here in Virginia, trout season runs all year, and the Smallmouth are continuous open season as well, if you can catch them in cold water!

  2. I just talked with a customer of ours who was pretty sad that his fishing season was coming to an end. He was in Vermont and he said he was starting to get out his tying equipment to “carry him” through the Winter.

    That’s got to suck.

  3. Well for those of you up at HQ you CAN still fish the Wallumsac and Hoosic – check the Vt fishing abstracts to be sure exactly where you are allowed to fish. And the first 4.4 miles of the Battenkill are open year round.

    Mass does not have a closed season and there is some good fishing to be had not far from where you are located.

    So the season can continue even if the opportunities are not there for a quick lunch break wetting of the line.

  4. Pingback: Photos: Winter Fishing On Silver Creek | Orvis News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *