TroutSeason VT Fish & Wildlife photo of Drew Price with an early-season brown trout from a prior year

Vermont’s traditional trout fishing season opens Saturday, April 13, and despite recent cold weather and lingering snow cover, Vermont Fish & Wildlife says anglers can still have fun and be successful early in the season.

State fisheries biologist Bret Ladago said, “Given the recent cold weather and deep snow pack, conditions may be challenging, but if you can find a good location and present your bait or lure without spooking the trout, you could have the catch of a lifetime before the snow even melts!”

Ladago said, “Finding a small to medium low-elevation river or stream that is clear of ice and not too murky from spring runoff can be key. Trout are coldblooded and may be slow to bite, especially if water temperatures linger around freezing, so it’s important that they can also see your bait, lure or fly.”


Larger baits can often be effective for enticing early-season trout into biting. Spin-anglers should try night crawlers, egg imitations or bright-colored spoons and spinners. Fly anglers may find success in the early season by drifting large, more visible flies such as wooly buggers, streamers or San Juan worms along the bottom in slower pools and runs.

Check Vermont Fish and Wildlife’s website for a regularly updated stocking schedule, which usually occurs in May and June.

Anglers who like catch and release don’t need to wait for opening day. There are year-round catch-and-release fishing opportunities for trout and bass in Vermont. See Pages 35 and 36 of the 2019 Vermont Fishing Guide and Regulations for a list of rivers open to year-round trout fishing. Copies are available free where fishing licenses are sold, at or by calling VT Fish & Wildlife at 802-828-1190.