There is a reason why so many county music songs mention fishing – it’s relaxing! Getting outside near water, hearing wildlife like loons, and spending quality time with friends or family is why many people fish. Some catch fish to eat, others catch and release.
Rutland County has many bodies of water, but these are our five favorite fishing spots with public access.
Lake Saint Catherine
Beginning in Southern Rutland County, Lake Saint Catherine flows across two towns, Wells and Poultney. Because of the lake’s cool water you can catch panfish, largemouth and smallmouth bass, rainbow and brown trout, yellow perch, northern pike, crappie, bullhead, bluegill, and pumpkinseed sunfish.
Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department says the best time to catch panfish is mid-April through mid-May.
If you are trying to catch bass and pike, your best odds are from mid-May through September.
At this lake, you can fish from the shore just North and South of the swimming areas. The beach also offers boat rentals! And every Saturday at 10:00am there is a “Let’s Go Fishing workshop,” where participants are taught how to tie fishing knots, create fishing lures, learn about fishing regulations, and learn to use spin-casting rods. The last clinic of the season is on August 25 and no registration is required.
it is best if you have a boat to fish from, but there are opportunities to catch smaller fish along the shore.
Here you are most likely going to catch brown trout, perch, largemouth and smallmouth bass, northern pike, yellow perch, rock bass, rainbow smelt, bluegill, pumpkinseed, common white sucker, black crappie, brown bullhead, and various minnow species. The maximum depth of the lake is 65 feet, but the lake features many shallow-water habitats.
Chittenden Reservoir and Lefferts Pond
Staying in Rutland County, to the East is the Chittenden Reservoir and Lefferts Pond in Chittenden. The 721-acre reservoir was created in the early 1900s and is home to yellow perch, trout, walleye, and smallmouth and largemouth bass.
Fly-fishing, spinners, and bait fishing are allowed on the Reservoir, but both bodies of water have length restrictions on Walleyes and creel limits. In order to produce large walleyes to control the over-abundant yellow perch, the minimum length is 22-inches, the daily limit is two, and the season is open June 1 through March 15. Learn more about regulations here.
Because the water is surrounded by nature, many outdoor enthusiasts will camp along the shore, heading out on the water early in the morning and again in the evening, then cooking their catch of the day over a fire.
Continuing East is Colton Pond in Killington. This body of water feels very secluded, surrounded by trees and mountains. Not as many people visit this location. The pond does border a golf course, so every once in a while you hear someone yell, “fore!”
This pond is home to largemouth bass, yellow perch, and early-season brook trout. You can fish from the shore, but there are a lot of weeds, so don’t be surprised if your lure gets stuck. The best way to fish is by kayak, paddleboard, or canoe.
Fishing tip: if you are in a kayak, paddleboard, or canoe head East from the access area, the back corner has some of the best fishing on the pond.
This pond has an access point specifically for fishing. The Dam Breast has a shore-fishing platform, which is located just off Thundering Brook Road.
If you are searching for trout, especially on a very hot day, head to the Kent Pond Access Areas across from the Gifford Woods State Park. From there, take the little path through the woods to the right at the access area’s bulletin board. You’ll come to a waterfall on your right and cold, shallow water where the trout like to nestle into the bank.
Before you go fishing, it is important to know the rules and regulations for each body of water, which can be found here. Everyone over the age of fifteen must have a license to fish and the game wardens do random checks to make sure everyone is fishing legally. Speaking of legally, make sure the waters you fish are public access, or you have permission to be there from the landowner.
Before you visit Rutland County or if you decide to move here, connect with one of our Concierge Program volunteers who loves to fish. They can give you advice on where they love to go!