Fishing season closed November 30th on the Ashton Dam to Vernon Bridge reach and will not re-open until Memorial Day, 2012. The river below Ashton Dam has cleared significantly, and fishing has been good (streamers, small bead head nymphs, and midge life cycle patterns) downstream of the Vernon Bridge. Access along the river is not impeded much by snow amounts.
Now for some information that will help you plan fishing on the lower river next season. First, Ashton Reservoir will be refilled during the winter, but depending on run off conditions, the reservoir will be drawn down for the final time in late May, 2012. Next, turbine issues at the Chester Dam mean that the rubber bladder on top of the dam will not be installed until fall, 2012 at the earliest. This means water levels, and fish and insect activity in the Chester Dam backwaters and immediately above will be subject to run-off and weather conditions alone. This delay also impacts full use of the dam’s new fish ladder.