The Deerfield is a year-round fishery with good fishing practically every month of the year and exceptional fishing when water flows, weather, and insect activity intersect.
Some of the best fishing of the year occurs in the winter, particularly on days with light wind, decent flows, and temperatures in the mid to high thirties. Big temperature spikes into the 40’s or heavy rain can lower water temperatures via snowmelt which results in lower water temps and reduced fish activity. Nymphing is the go-to tactic for connecting with trout in the winter and some of the biggest brown trout of the season come to hand in the winter.
Springtime fishing is the easiest of the year and all of the area rivers like the Swift, the Hoosic River, the Waloomsac, the Battenkill as well as the Deerfield are in prime form. These rivers start fishing well as soon as the snowmelt runoff ends-some years that’s as early as the first week in April, others it might be as late as the third week. We start seeing Hendrickson mayflies and some caddis on the Deerfield the first week in May bringing the first dry fly fishing of the season. Dry fly action will go well into June, some years longer. Streamers and nymphing routinely bring big fish to the net too! This time period is the busiest for guiding so pre-booking is highly recommended to reserve a prime date.
Summertime might not produce the numbers like spring but double-digit action is common and the fishing is fun and relaxing with hopper-dropper fishing the go-to technique. There’s nothing quite as exciting as a savage take on a hopper or Chubby Chernoybyl Ant. This is a great time to round out a vacation with a fun float down one of the most beautiful rivers in New England-think shorts and sandals and consistent fishing.
Autumn is perhaps the most beautiful time to be fishing the rivers of Western Massachusetts and Southern Vermont and definitely one of the most productive. There’s a reliable Blue Wing Olive hatch from mid-September to the last week of October as well as Caddis and flying ants. Streamer fishing for big browns is good all of October and the egg bite is dynamite in November just downstream of spawning areas and lasts right into December.