The Battenkill River in Vermont is one of those “historic” places to fish. You have a great, wild brown trout fishery located in one of the most beautiful areas in the country. In addition, you have a rich history of fly fishing that is chronicled in the American Museum of Fly Fishing which houses numerous exhibits sure to wet the interest of fly fishermen. And, any visit to this area would be incomplete without a visit to the Orvis mothership location in Manchester, VT. Want to buy first run Orvis gear and clothing… head to the Orvis flagship store. Looking for bargains, there is the Orvis Outlet store just down main street. Interested in how that new Helios 3 rod is made, a trip to the Orvis Rod Factory is sure to enlighten you to the intricacies of rod making and the care taken in crafting these incredible tools. Oh, and if you want to improve your own skills, there is the Orvis Fly Fishing School right across the street from the flagship store. It that weren’t enough, right next to the flagship store is a large field and trout pond with giant rainbows waiting for students to ply their skills, catch and release these behemoths.
But we were here to fish the Battenkill, so we embarked on a day with Orvis-endorsed guide, Ray Berumen, the owner and head guide of Taconic Guide Service in Manchester Center, VT. Ray prepared us for a “challenging” day on the river citing the fact that in a couple of previous days, clients had not landed fish. Undaunted, we literally dropped into the river from a high bank, crossed over to the other side and headed upstream to a riffle/run/pool section.
As I headed upstream of Ray and Barb, I was alone in this beautiful river, searching for deep, slow runs where an unsuspecting brown trout might feed. I was lucky and hooked into a 10″ brownie on a small nymph and got him to hand (I wasn’t carrying a net and Ray was really too far downstream to call). After I released the gorgeous fish back into the Battenkill, I continued to fish the run with no luck. After about 45 minutes, I headed back downstream where Barb had been working her run/pool section. She was throwing dry flies at a few rising fish. She’d not hooked anything yet so Ray took me downstream. As soon as we got to a spot I was going to fish, we heard Barb “Fish On!”…. and it began. The rest of our time on the Battenkill, Barb was the “hot stick” for sure. She landed 5 brown trout over 16″, the largest right at 18″. It seemed like every time I looked up, Barb’s rod was bent into that taco shape with a big, wild trout tugging and pulling on her line. Very cool.
At the end of our time on the Battenkill, Ray told us of a spot we should do our “Guide Talk” with him. We stopped at a covered bridge, but not just any bridge, the one Norman Rockwell painted in several of his iconic works. We set up our camera and had a great time shooting Ray’s guide talk which we know you’ll enjoy.