I have been blessed with the ability to travel throughout the United States over the years, but no place stands out like Vermont. Vermont is home to some of the best fishing and hunting around. From fishing Lake Champlain for bass and pike with Nihad Basic of Fishing Champlain Guide Service to fishing for walleye on Lake Carmi, it doesn’t get any better. Then there is waterfowl hunting with Matt Trombley of 3rd Alarm Charters and Bradley Carleton of Sacred Hunter. Finally, there is fishing the numerous trout streams with my friend Stan. In other words, the list could go on and on.
There is much more to Vermont than just the hunting and fishing. It is the culture and the people who make Vermont special. Green living is a way of life here. Recycling and repurposing is the norm. Windmills and solar panels are everywhere. The roads are clean and free of trash. During the warmer months bicycles are a major form of travel. During the winter it is not uncommon to see people moving from Point A to Point B using cross-country skis. In Burlington, the state’s largest city, the city buses, which are powered by natural gas, move people from place to place. There is plenty of open land to hike, bike, hunt and fish. Above all, the people are friendly and welcoming.
Made up of mountains, forests and rolling farmland Vermont is a major draw to skiers in the winter and wildlife watchers and fisherman year round. In season farmer’s markets are everywhere; a place to find fresh produce picked that day. Do you like dairy products? If so, then Vermont is for you as dairy cattle seem to outnumber people and there is nothing better than Vermont sharp cheddar cheese. A visit to Cabot is a must to pick up some fresh Vermont cheddar.
If you are looking for wildlife or perhaps interested in casting a fly to willing trout Vermont makes it possible. Unlike many states, Vermont not only encourages you to explore they make it pretty easy for you to do it. There are over 800,000 acres of federal and state public land in Vermont. In the state wildlife management areas (WMA) there are designated pull offs and parking areas that give you access to trails that will lead you to some great fishing areas or the adventure of a lifetime. For the angler and history buff there is the American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester, Vermont. Here you will find world record fish and the stories of the sometimes famous people who caught them.
Wildlife abounds in Vermont and you never know what you may see. White-tail deer and Black bear are very common, but don’t be surprised if you see a moose as well. You may share a fishing spot with a mink, like I did, or you may see a muskrat or a beaver. Balsam and hemlock forests are the home to Snowshoe hares and if you are really lucky you may see a coyote or a bobcat. The bird species found here are too numerous to name.
A visit to Vermont is lacking if you don’t partake in some of the craft beers that the state is known for. Long Trail, The Shed, Trout River and Von Trapp are just a few of the examples. Speaking about Von Trapp, how about a visit to the Trapp Family lodge. If the name sounds familiar it is because this is the home of the Von Trapp family who were made famous in The Sound of Music. This is where the family settled after fleeing Austria and it is still owned by the family today. Here you can eat authentic Austria food, see maple sugaring done the old way, rent mountain bikes or just hike the trails.
Vermont is not just a place; it is a way of life. Here you can slow down and relax. You can do as much, or as little, as you want. There are no fancy rides, just fresh air and the outdoors. Just the way I like it.