Panting trout in heat

A great pic of what we did not catch.

Anticlimactic. That word best describes my much-anticipated trip to Vermont/New Hampshire. There are other words that spring to mind, but I need to consider those of you out there with tender sensibilities. Bottom line: trout like cold water and cloudy days, and we had – for the most part – low, hot water and bright sunshine. The last day it did get grey and foggy, but when the sun rose it was sweltering and brutally muggy. In fact, two days ago the heat (in the 90s) broke long-standing weather records in Vermont. The rivers we’d hoped to fish were mere trickles, and the big Connecticut River was dead. We beat the snot out of the big river with dry flies, steamers and even spinnerbaits, then abandoned that and took a shot at a river to the west that’s regulated by a damn, and allegedly not as dependent on rainfall. Wrong. It too was a pitiful trickle. We managed to catch a handful of panting little rainbow trout on muddlers, but it was an exercise in frustration given the amount of planning that preceded the trip. Oh, and did I mention that US Air lost my luggage and — when it finally arrrived — my digital camera was missing from a side pocket? What a bumbling outfit they are. Ah well, such is life. I did get to walk in a comparatively cool river again, the nights were cool and comfortable (compared to Florida), I spent time with an old bud and my tackle is ready for a pending trip to Canada. There’s always a bright side.

A footnote: I had a beer (and, okay, a tequila shot) in Philadelphia before realizing that I’d miscalculated my boarding time. I ran down the hall, stopping briefly in the men’s room. A long mirror lined the entire wall above the urinals, so you could watch yourself do business. Strange. I looked up and the guy next to me glanced my way. It was former Eagles quarterback Ron “Jaws” Jaworski. I’ve never been one to be awed by “celebrities”, so as a friendly gesture I just grinned at the guy. Then it hit me that we were both standing there, dongs in hand. Hope he took it the right way. He left in a hurry.

Trip to Canada is coming up soon, and the redfish are packing up here in SW Florida. To prove that there are actually some good trout in Vermont, I’ve posed the pic of a 22+-inch VT rainbow above. My good buddy Quinton “Agent Q” Carr bagged it earlier this season in an undisclosed stream. He throws most fish back, but this one went on the grill.

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