Written by: Jared Zissu
After a long work week, my fellow intern, Jon, and I decided to take a trip to the legendary Battenkill. Charting out our journey on google maps, we keyed in on some good runs and had high hopes for the Friday afternoon adventure. The legendary Shawn “Diddy” Combs even took us down to his fish-mobile and picked out a few streamers that would surely do the trick. I asked Shawn what our chances of catching a fish were. His answer: “There is a 100% chance you do not catch a fish.” Surely he was joking. Right?
Parking along River Road, which runs adjacent to the glorious Battenkill, we began our first attempt to fish this iconic watershed. Clear water and the dim light of a Friday afternoon accompanied our journey. I had left my waders at home and Jon had a pair of Women’s medium-long waders that fit him perfectly. So we were more than prepared.
After about three hours of changing flies, climbing trees to retrieve Shawn’s streamers, and pouring rocks out of my wading sneakers, fatigue began to set in. Cast after cast, no fish, not a flash or a rise. It seemed that this river was not going to be an easy one to crack. Maybe that is why everyone was laughing at us in the office on our way “out to the Battenkill.” Instead of coming back to the office Monday morning with the sad story of the failed interns, we needed to redeem ourselves. Jon, a trophy bass fisherman, decided our best chance to get some action was to go for some smallies in the Somerset Reservoir.
The nine-mile dirt road and sketchy boat ramp were a nice intro into this beautiful, serene lake. We headed to the north end of the lake, and on my second cast I watched a nice smallie smash my red-and-white streamer, ripping it down under the surface. We brought about 20 fish to the boat that day, and once the sun dipped over Stratton Mountain, the poppers came alive.
We will need to get our revenge on the Battenkill this summer, but on some rivers, you just need to put in your time.
Jared Zissu is the Orvis Social Media intern. He’s also the mind behind Flylords on vimeo.