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Assuming this weird weathered year doesn’t have some surprises in store for us all, an off beat sort of place to head this fall is Seymour Lake in Morgan, Vermont. This smallish, 2,700 acre lake used to be famous for its landlocked salmon. Those fish are still available, but light tackle and fly anglers have discovered something else here namely, a healthy population of smallmouth bass.
The smallies here normally become active this month and next as they rise from deeper water. On calm, misty mornings this time of year, they will take not just streamers and woolly buggers worked fairly shallow but surface poppers and plugs such as the Zara Spook. Seymour is an easy lake to learn how to fish; your only problem here is fickle weather mainly wind that can make for tough going.
Fall means the landlocked salmon come on top here, too. And don’t just think of these fish as "trolling" targets. Late this past July, I’m told, a local guide took salmon as well as smallmouth bass and perch casting a No. 8 yellow streamer.
A good, inexpensive place to headquarter here is Seymour Lake Lodge. Built in the 1870’s, the homey old wood frame lodge has recently acquired new owners, Dave and Sue Benware. Dave is an Orvis Endorsed guide known to many out of staters as a trout stream expert. However, he will also take you and a partner out on the lake in a 16 foot Lund for $190 per day. He also has half day rates and float tube rates (you provide your own tube).
The lodge has a launch ramp and ample space to park your trailered boat. It can accommodate 16 guests in various room configurations. You can choose between sharing a bathroom or having your own private bath. The downstairs area consists of a living room/lounge with wood stove and dining room where Sue’s homemade breads and country cooking keep things warm each day.
Breakfast here can be on the light side, or you can choose something more hearty. Dinners run the gamut from pasta to chicken Dijon to (occasionally) lobster. There’s no bar at the lodge but guests may bring their own beverages. The bed breakfast dinner package is just $50 per person.
If your interest runs to stream fishing, there are many brooks nearby, predominantly on paper company lands, that offer a crack at true native brook trout. There are also resident, stream bred rainbows in a few of the waters. Just don’t look for anything large. The average fish here will run eight to 13 inches, but you’ll be fishing in solitude and with No. 2, 3 or 4 weight outfits. The experience can be delightful and surprisingly intense. Benware knows these waters well and will take two anglers out for the day for $190, and that includes lunch.
The stream fishing season here lasts through October. Attractor wets, streamers, woolly buggers and nymphs are best fly choices in fall. The best spring fishing in this territory is in May and early June. There are good mayfly hatches then. For more information contact Seymour Lake Lodge (*). – Jerry Gibbs.