Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Fly fishing in Southern Vermont

Fly fishing in southern Vermont is fun & active due to our amazing water system in the Deerfield Valley. The river system is called "The Upper Deerfield," and is supplied a constant flow of water from three local bottom release dams. The three dams, Harriman, Somerset & Searsburg are operated by Great River Hydro. This man-made hydro-electric water system operates from its 400-square-mile Vermont drainage basin in four river branches: the main Deerfield, and the East, North, and West branches. The improved water management on these upper sections since 1998 has provided the Deerfield with constant flows and has some of the best fly fishing for wild trout in
the state.

Here is an overview of the river from an article from Tom Keer in Fly Fisherman magazine:

Starting in the Headwaters
In fly-fishing terms, the Deerfield flows almost from the Orvis Company in Manchester, Vermont, to the Thomas & Thomas rod company in Turner’s Falls, Massachusetts. It covers some 40 miles from its southern Vermont origins, then runs along the Mohawk Trail through western Massachusetts before it joins the Connecticut River below Turner’s Falls.
The main Deerfield (see map) runs south out of the Somerset basin, parallel with Forest Service Road 71, the dirt access road leading to the Somerset Reservoir. It joins the East Branch, which runs from the base of the Somerset Reservoir Dam to the Searsburg Reservoir. The main stem of the Deerfield then flows from Searsburg Reservoir south to the northwestern end of Harriman Reservoir (Lake Whitingham). It continues out of Harriman Reservoir southward through Readsboro, joining with the West Branch to flow into Sherman Reservoir. (The Massachusetts/Vermont line divides the reservoir.) The North Branch runs from West Dover along Route 100 through Wilmington, where it enters the Harriman Reservoir.

More importantly- how's the fishing? VT Wildlife does a great job to ensure the local fisheries are stocked well. So far in 2018, VT Wildlife has put 1300 Lake Trout in Harriman Reservoir and 750 Rainbow Trout into the Upper Deerfield River. Check out their stocking update here:

Always wanted to try fly-fishing but don't want to make the investment? We can set you up with gear rentals & some local guides from Pheasant Tail Tours. They will put you on some great fishing spots & make you fall in love with the sport! We also have custom maps, made by Charlie, of the river to help direct you to some great local spots to fish.

Come join us at The Wilmington Inn for some great fishing; our last fishing package is October 13-14th! To sign up visit:

We look forward to seeing everyone soon!
harlie & Megan Foster


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