Sunday, June 25, 2017

Deluge

Hi Folks, Well after a couple of lost days to big rain, the catfish was back at guiding today from the boat.  Thursday night into Friday brought substantial rain.  All of the big rivers are still blown out.  Coming down and hopefully no significant rain for a bit.  Small streams are high but clear.  You could fish them successfully right now with a fly rod.  Air temperatures have cooled back down after a few days of hot humid weather. Currently we are experiencing nice cool nights in the 50's which will keep the trout fishing good.  I ran the boat today with aspiring anglers.  The lake we visited was really high and bit off colored.  I had to pay attention to all of the debris floating in the lake when we were moving in my boat.  The surface temperature was 72 degrees.  It dead flat calm at 5;15am.  The wind started to blow by mid morning. Did see a few trout rising in the first couple of hours of the morning, but I have no idea as to what they were eating.  We could not get a fish to come to the surface, so we gave them so rubber.  A 5" green Senko with red flakes was pretty consistent.  We caught most of our fish in less than 12' of water. Of the 15 smallmouth we landed, most were in the 1lb to 1.25lb class with one good 2lb smallie.  It was interesting that a lot of takes were pretty subtle and the fish would pick up the rubber and swim towards the boat.  You had to really watch the line and stay on the reel. Hard bottom with boulders and wood were the key ingredient for holding water.  A lot of fun being part of an individuals first real fishing experiencing and watching them improve their skill as the morning progressed.  Back into the trout world tomorrow.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, June 22, 2017

water is up, but not a bad thing

Hi Folks, Been guiding with the fly rods the last two days in some higher than average water flows.  I'll take it after two years in row of drought conditions.  The higher flows are keeping water temperatures down a bit and we are seeing some nice fish.  It has been all about the caddis fly,  If there is one fly I had to fish currently it would a #16 olive caddis pupa.  We had landlocked salmon in the 20" to 24" class eating caddis today and yesterday it was brown trout.  Pretty awesome watching a big salmon rise to eat a pupa in the surface film.  Really gets my heart rate up!  Lots of caddis hatching tonight with small salmon eating off the top and the big boys eating in the film. The trib of the Lamoille I guided yesterday morning was 60 degrees and up.  The river of big fish today was 66 to 67 degrees in late afternoon.  The Lamoille and Winooski are both above seasonal average flow.  If we are spared rain tomorrow, then they should settle out and be in perfect shape for the weekend. If it rains like is forecast then they will be blown out.  Learn to fish the high water folks because it is shaping up to be one of those seasons.  High water means more food being  dislodged and drifted down stream,  Bigger fish feel more comfortable in higher water.  The problem is wading can be tricky and Vermont trout streams do not have a high density of trout.  So they can be more spread about.  Fish like soft water so find the areas with soft seems and eddies.  Fly rigs have consisted of double nymph rigs under indicators and dry dropper set ups.  Been drifting a #14 elk hair caddis with a #16 olive caddis pupa dropper and a #12 red threaded prince nymph with a #16 olive caddis pupa dropper.  Even getting smallmouth to eat the prince nymph.  Seeing lots of female #8-#10 adult stone flies laying eggs at dusk.  Always the females as the male stone fly crawls off into the riparian zones after mating to die.  If you nymph with stone flies, get them down on the bottom as they are terrible swimmers and when dislodged are at the whim of the river.  A stone fly nymph is a great pattern in higher off colored water and not so great in low clear water.  Great searching fly.  I plan on taking advantage of the trout fishing while it stays consistent and good.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

lack of stability

Hi Folks, Been a couple of weird weather days,  Unstable weather with hot and humid to cooling down to raining, then really raining, to big beautiful blue skies.  I know that in the fishing world that stable and consistent weather of several days is the best scenario.  Ran my motorboat yesterday with a couple of long time guests and spin anglers.  We had a lake up north all to ourselves.  Water temperature was 68 degrees on the surface.  We worked for the 5 bass we landed.  # really nice 2.5lb to almost 3 lb. smallmouths and 2 smaller largemouth bass.  We could not get the fish to eat a hard bait and there was nothing moving to the surface.  I have found that post spawn bass can bw a bit tricky to locate and locate at times.  After spawning there is a little bit of a lull in the action as the fish disperse to their summer haunts.  We gave the fish rubber in a 5" green Senko with sparkle.  The smallies were located on a har rocky bottom in about 10' of water while the largemouth were holding in a soft bottom with emerging weed beds.  We covered some water and there were certainly some spots that just did not produce.  All part of the game in figuring it out at times.  Off to chase trout this morning.  Water levels are up, but that might be the case for the summer.  Im okay with it after last couple of years of dry weather.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, June 19, 2017

Hot weekend on water with even hotter fishing

Hi Folks, Was a great weekend of fly fishing for trout on the Lamoille watershed.  The month of June is prime time for fly fishing for trout in Vermont.  Air temperatures shot up to the 80's but the water temperatures maintained early in the morning.  The Lamoille was 66 degrees yesterday at 6;30 am yesterday and a trib. was 58 degrees early am on Saturday. When its hot like it has been, getting out early am is critical.  Late day is too hot and the window of opportunity is limited. Not much bug activity the last few mornings.  Have been seeing more and more #8-#10 Golden Stone fly shucks on rocks and live bugs on big rocks in riffles on the edges of the streams.  Been catching a nice mix of wild and stocked fish.  Seen a few really good looking wild browns that rose to eat a #10 orange bodied Stimulator.  We have been doing a lot of nymphing with double fly rigs.  A #16 olive caddis pupa was the fly of the weekend.  Dead drifting has been very effective, but also taking a lot of fish on the swing.  I think the reason for this is the way a caddis hatches.  The pupa drifts for a long time in the surface film before exploding off the surface as it bursst out of a gas bubble it gets trapped in during emergence.  I believe the trout follow the fly and as it swings out of the current they respond so they don't come away empty handed.  We caught a really nice 14" wild bow that jumped in pretty skinny water.  Really important when walking up on a stream to approach cautiously. Dont assume early the morning that there is not a trout right in front of you.  Just because we wear waders does not mean that we have to get them wet.  We stuck this bow 10' in front of us on the first cast into the spot because we approached like a stalking Blue Heron.  I have been very tickled with the trout fishing over the last week.  Wish the conditions would remain the same.  Supposed to float today, but thunderstorms are getting in the way.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Getting after it

Hi Folks, Been a crazy week of guiding burning the candle on both ends with morning and evening trips.  Saw a big weather change as of Wednesday that really helped to cool things down.  Tuesday morning was 72 degrees at  5 am and today it 42 degrees.  The big rivers warmed to 70 degrees by Tuesday night and today the upper Winooski was 65 degrees.  Water levels are great for fishing right now.  However, we could use some rain as it has become a bit dry.  Not sure we have yet fully recovered from the drought of the past two years.  Been guiding trout on the fly in Lamoille and Winooski main stems and spent a couple afternoons on Lamoille tributaries.  Lots of Didymo on these tribs.  Its nice have felt boots legal again from a safety stand point of wading rivers and not falling down, but they are giant sponges that transport all sorts of bad things. I guess time will only tell what impact the Didymo will have on our streams and brooks.  An amazing Brown Drake #10 E.simulans spinner fall the other night on the Lamoille.  It is one of the few mayflies that lands as a spinner on the water with its wings upright and not spent.  Brings some big fish to the surface right at dark.  The hatch only last for about 5 days so its nice when you time it correctly.  Been tons of #16 olive bodied caddis hatching.  The fish have been all over a #16 olive caddis pupa.  We landed 4 wild bows today in 14" to 15" class today on the Winooski.  Realluy hard fighting trout that get big time air.  Yesterday on a small trib. we got wild browns in the 10" to 12" class eat a caddis pupa and #12 prince nymph rig under an indicator.  Fun fishing casting up into plunges and watching the indicator disappear.  We have been nymphing them up.  Prior to the Drake hatches the egg laying caddis activity has been solid and we have taken fish dead drifting and swinging a #16 x-caddis and a #14 Henryville Special.  On the warm water front, the river smallmouth fishing was pretty consistent on Wedensday.  Landed over 15 smallmouth and a couple of really nice walleyes.  I wish I had a photo of them but they were dropped in the process, ugh. The bass trip was with spin gear and the walleyes tore up a black and gold rapala while the smallmouth where on a 4" watermelon black magic swim senko. Hopefully thing will remain cool as keep water temps. in check.  Starting to see #8-#10 golden ston fly shucks on rocks, #14-#18 sulphurs, and the ever present #14-#16 olive caddis and #18 yellow/tan caddis.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, June 12, 2017

Lamoille heating up

Hi Folks, Been guiding the Lamoille watershed for the last 4 days.  A combination of wading and floating the main stem to walking a tributary. Water temperatures since early Saturday morning to early this morning have shot up from 58 degrees to 68 degrees.  Would not be surprised if it did not reach seventy by this afternoon.  Been awful hot, but there is a cooling down on the way starting Wednesday.  River levels have been just above seasonal average flow.  The fishing has been pretty good.  Lots of #14-#16 caddis hatching in the morning with some rising fish.  Been lots of rising trout at dusk eating #10 Brown Drakes and egg laying caddis.  Starting to see more and more #14-#18 sulfurs in the last afternoon. The largest number of rising trout happens in the last hour of light.  The only problem is often this time of the year the water is too warm to fish buy dusk.  The bright sun always makes trout fishing tough so early morning and late afternoon have been the times to be on the water.  Funny the last couple of days we have been catching a combination of wild and stocked rainbows with some native broke in the smaller water.  No brown trout to be seen even though we fly fished over a lot of good brown water.  I think it is the hot weather with the bright sun.
June certainly is a good month to find rising fish as I would say to it is the month that has a large  number bug hatches.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, June 9, 2017

Row Lina Row

Hi Folks, Been on the water the last couple of days after getting blown out on Tuesday.  The trout fishing has been very good.  Fun guiding when the fishing are really eating.  I guided a fly angler on Lamoille tributary yesterday morning and took out a group of young aspiring anglers in the evening. Today I floated my drift boat down the Lamoille with a guest fly fishing for trout.  Water temperatures have maintained in the mid fifties yesterday to 60 degrees today.  Lots of caddis hatching in the morning.  A #!4/#16 olive bodied dark tan winged bug.  Found a few random rising fish, but most our activity has been below the surface.  My take is the water levels are way above seasonal average flow and the fish don't need to rise in heavy water.  Where we saw risers was in slow pools, eddies, and really soft seams.  Yesterday the rig was a #12 Wulff pattern with a #16 hare and copper dropper nymph and today it was a tandem streamer rig.  The streamer rig is really slick. Using a 6wt. with a 200 grain sinking tip. Casts effortlessly if you can water haul.  The flies were a #8 heavily weighted black wooly bugger with a trailing #10 muddler minnow.  I would say of the 20 trout we hooked today the bugger accounted for 60 percent of the fish.  Yesterday most of the trout we caught ate the caddis pupa pattern.  Last night was fun for me as it was a complete change of direction from fly fishing. Kept it simple with a group of kids as we casts garden hackle under bobbers for pan fish.  Hard to keep up with these kids as we caught fish on just about every cast.  Young kids need to learn the basics and have some success.  All about the fun.  Floating in the morning, should be good.  Look for #10 Brown Drakes at dusk along with morning caddis hatches and egg laying activity late in the day.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home. Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Caddis, wet weather, and stocked trout

Hi Folks, Been Slow to warm around here in the Stowe area.  Air temperatures in the 50's and rain every other day for the last 10 days.   Looks like a drier warming trend towards weeks end.  Our big rivers are up and rising currently.  My trips over the weekend were in high water with water temperatures reading 52 degrees on the Lamoille.  Pretty crazy for June.  However, good for the long haul and after two years of hot and dry, we need it.  Say a great morning #14/#16 light green bodied dark winged caddis hatch Sunday.  Lots of bugs coming off and no trout rising or appearing to key in on the hatch.  Might have to do with the volume of water in the river and that the fish don't have the need to rise as there is plenty of food drifting towards them below the surface.  We did see some large #10 Damsel flies emerging to the shoreline from the River. A big morsel for a trout.  We have been hooking a few fish, but not by any means knocking their socks off.  All stocked rainbows that hit pretty well then lay down for the fight.  A #8 black/olive tungsten head wooly bugger and a #10 white tungsten head wooly bugger have been the flies in the big water.  As air temperatures rise hatches will be towards early morning with caddis when it is sunny and more may fly activity in the late afternoon to dusk.  Look for a few left over  #10 March Browns, #14-#18 sulphurs, #8-#10 Brown Drakes, #14-#18 caddis in tan and green bodied.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the  non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Barbie Rod power

Hi Folks, Been guiding, wandering around rivers, and taking my daughter fishing.  Been cool and damp for a few days now.  Lots of water in our rivers currently.  Levels are high, but the clarity is fine.  Temperatures have cooled off with the Lamoille registering 53 degrees late yesterday afternoon.  Saw a few #14 Sulphurs hatching and a few random #14 caddis.  Tough conditions for fish to rise in with the heavy flows.  Good to see the rivers charged and cool for the long haul this season.  We have been nymphing up trout with heavily weighted #8 wooly buggers in black and olive.  My daughter put on a clinic the other day with her Barbie Rod.  Stocked rainbows, perch, sunfish, and smallmouth.  She has the touch.  We did eat one of the stocked trout as she wanted to see how a fish is cleaned and prepared.  Of course after the fact she was upset that we killed her favorite fish the rainbow trout.  Too funny.  Well, looks wet for the next few days.  Off to chase trout in high water.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

That's the way we like it!

Hi Folks, Guided the Lamoille watershed yesterday with two fly anglers.  Perfect weather day for fishing with overcast, damp, cool conditions.  Water levels are still above the seasonal average flow. Matter of fact this afternoon was a wash as we experienced severe thunderstorm with hail after heavy rain last night.  Our big rivers are currently blown out.  It will take a couple of days to settle out.   Been an awful wet spring though we have needed it after two dry years.  Water temperature was 56 degrees yesterday.  Lots of hatching bugs.  A large number of #16 caddis coming off along with #10/#12 March Browns.  Saw some #14 Grey Fox and a few #14/#16 sulphurs at dusk.  We located a few rising fish at dusk as the rain began,  Prior to that we nymphed up a number of rainbows.  We landed 7 trout but had 20 fish eat the fly.  The nymph rig was a #12 Dave's Red Fox squirrel nymph with a #16 caddis pupa dropper and #10 bead head black/olive wooly bugger with a purple #16 olive caddis pupa dropper.  The dry flies where a #10 Wulff pattern and a #14 x-caddis with a pupa dropper.  We had trout eat every fly with the caddis pupa being the most consistent.  Nice to see a large number of wild fish.  June should be awful good fishing!  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home, Willy

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Denial is a river in the kingdom

Hi Folks, A really fun Memorial Day weekend of fishing.  Mixed it up a bit and concluded the weekend in search of Landlocked Salmon on a fly.  The river of large fish was above seasonal average flow and the water temp. was 59 degrees.  Wet weather pattern currently. Like the water up for this type of fishing.  We swung lots of smelt imitations and did a bit of nymphing.  There was a massive hatch of a #16 green bodied caddis, but very few rising fish.  Nothing with any regularity.  Also in the mix was the large #10/#12 March Brown may fly.  We did hook one nice silver salmon that made short work of us.  In addition we played with some pre spawn smallmouth that had run up into the river.  Lot of pressure on the river from both spin a nd fly anglers.  We left mid day as the rain set in.  We did encounter some rather large smallmouth that came up to the fly and said "I dont think so."  Cant catch all of them all the time.  Off to trout fish in the wet weather.  Should be good.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, May 28, 2017

warm water action

Hi Folks, Been keeping out of trouble the last few days running my boat with guests on several Vermont lakes.  Visited 3 different bodies of water the last two days in pursuit of smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and northern pike.  My anglers have been a combination of fly and spin.  Water temperatures have been between 58 and 64 degrees.  Water levels are up everywhere.  It has been a pretty wet spring.  Our big rivers are above seasonal average flows.  We need the rain as things have been dry for the last couple of years.  We have been working mostly shore line areas for bass and pike. The most productive areas have been the sharp drops where depth goes from 2' or so to 10' plus.  For spinning lures the good old perch Rapala has been really consistent.  Pike have been receptive to a large clown nose tipped Husky Jerk.  4" and 5" watermelon Senkos have been consistent.  The fly fishing has been really good.  I have had clients casting a 9' 9wt with a Rio sinking pike line.  Easy casting line that keeps the fly in the zone longer than a floating line.  A white 1/0 cone headed White Deceiver has been a steady fly pattern.  A 3/0 chartreuse and white Deceiver has also been steady for the pike.  Not much for a surface bite with the fly.  Though most of the strikes you seen as the fly moves up in the water column.  Vermont has a good diversity of fish to pursue whether it be with the fly rod or conventional tackle.  Off to to trout fish in the am.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, May 27, 2017

wet weather, wicked good bite

Hi Folks, Been running my motorboat in the guiding operation the last few days.  Been a bit wet here in Stowe with rain puffing up our rivers.  The still water fishing spin and fly has been outstanding for smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, northern pike, and chain pickerel in recent days.  Water temperatures have been between 57 degrees to 62 degrees on the two lakes I have visited.  Lake levels are up and the fish are located in the shallow margins.  Been mostly fly fishing for these game fish with one spin angler in the mix for good measure.  The largemouth have been holding in very skinny water in preparation for spawning. I have not noticed any visible spawning beds but the bucket mouths have been stationed right next to submerged logs in a mucky bottom.  Yesterday on my trip we had a fair number of large chain pickerel hiding in and amongst the bass and they were more than willing to slam a fly.  The smallmouth have been stage in a little deeper water adjacent to spawning water.  Rocky shorelines with thumb nail sized gravel and point areas.  We did find some decent sized smallies on a rip rapped shoreline holding in about 10' to 12' of water.  The northern pike have ben distributed throughout and more than willing to eat out flies.  Probably landed a dozen pike on the fly yesterday.  Productive patterns have been a #6 fire tiger crease fly, #2/0 orange and Yellow Sea Ducer, a #1 deer hair red and white head with a bunny tail, a #1/0 white Deceiver, and a #8 red and white popper.  Most of the fish being caught have come to the fly towards the surface and we have been able to watch the strikes.  Erratic movement of the fly and retrieving all the way to the boat has been a very successful tactic.  The bass have been methodically eating the fly while the toothy critters absolutely hammer it.  I am bass fishing this morning and then trout fishing this afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, May 25, 2017

rising trout and a non-native menace

Hi Folks, Been guiding and stomping around our trout streams the last few days.  Our rivers are in great shape.  Flows are right around the seasonal average and temperatures have been consistently between 55 degrees and 59 degrees.  Found rising trout the last couple of nights feeding on egg laying caddis.  Good number of fish rising last night in really skinny water.  The fish were moving around a bit and we had to be patient and stealth and figure out their rising pattern.  The fly was a #16 CDC caddis.  We had 7 trout eat the dry.  Nymphing was slow for us, but it has been pretty steady on the stocked fish in the Lamoille.  #10/#12 olive wooly buggers, #14 pheasant tails, #14/#16 olive caddis, and #12 prince nymphs have all been effective.  On another note, our streams are being run over and consumed by Japanese Knotweed. A real non-native invasive threat.  It is part of the knotweed and buckwheat family. Seems to do really well along our rivers and spreads like wildfire.  It has no redeeming qualities that I can determine.  Certainly displaces all of the native plants along our buffer zones.  I know in some countries it is illegal to grow.  Not sure how it can be eradicated, but I know left unchecked it will be the only plant life on our stream banks.  Well, looks like a damp weekend, but the fishing should be very good.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Lamoille in great shape

Hi Folks, Guided a fly angler yesterday on the main stem of the Lamoille.  Beautiful blue bird sunny day.  A little breezy.  Water levels are excellent holding right around the seasonal average flow.  Water temperature was 57 degrees. Great hatch of #14/#16 Hendricksons yesterday with a massive spinner fall at dusk.  In addition, a number of large #14 midges over riffles.  Saw a few #12 March Browns and a smaller #18 mayfly which I could not identify.  We did not see any rising fish. I thought for sure at dusk that the spinner fall would bring risers to the surface after the bright sun had gone down.  We nymph fished all afternoon.  We used a variety of double rigs.  A #14 Dave's Red Fox Squirrel nymph with a #16 pheasant tail was the most productive.  We could not get the wild trout to play but we did get the stocked rainbows to play.  We did hook 1 larger trout in a heavy falls/plunge pool that we could not land.  Really nice to see the trout fishing coming around and more to come.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, May 19, 2017

pre spawn bass with some toothy critters

Hi Folks, Ran my boat yesterday for the first time in 2017.  Ran beautifully! Always a certain amount of work and prep that goes into getting the boat ready and keeping it maintained for the fishing season.  Nice day to be on  the water with air temps, exceeding 90 degrees.  Really sunny and a stiff breeze from the west southwest.  The water temperature was a consistent 62 degrees.  Color was a bit off.  We did not see any bass spawning beds but the largemouth were in much shallower water than the smallmouth.  We located most of the largemouth in soft bottom areas with old dead trees on the bottom.  Saw a number of pike and pickerel chase flies yesterday and we did manage to land half a dozen of the toothy critters without bite guards on our tippets.  Unfortunately, we did lose the fish of the day and maybe could have been the pike of the season when we had a giant hen pike take a black bunny bugger in about 3' of water.  Needless to say she bit us off and left us standing oin the boat in shock!, Damn it!!!!  All the same the fishing was pretty darn good as we landed 7 different species on the fly using black and white bunny buggers and some red and white deer hair divers.  Looks to me like the next month should be really good on the warm water front as the bass prepare to spawn.
Trout fishing should be spot on now with fish beingg stocked and wild fish awakening from their winter hiatus.  Hendricksons, March Browns, and Grannoms all in the mix.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, May 12, 2017

Here we go again

Hi Folks, Spent my first day on a Vermont trout stream today.  Visited a Lamoille tributary. Nice sunny day with a few passing clouds and actually really pleasant. I have been away in Montana trout fishing.  Pretty incredible place.  Anywho, The water temperature today was 52 to 53 degrees. Still experiencing some cool nights. Water flows are excellent. Nice to see water in our rivers. Been awful dry for the past couple of years.  I am fine with the slow start to the season with high water from rain and snow melt.  Water temperatures are just starting to rise to the magical 50 to 55 degree mark.  Witnessed an excellent #14 Hendrickson may fly hatch today.  Large number of bugs hatching with lots of crippled duns from the breeze.  I did not see a single fish rise.  I am not sure how long the hatch has been going on for, but these fish were not interested in nymphs either.  I have experienced this before with the Hendrickson hatch.  Maybe the water needs to warm a few more degrees?, not sure. Also, being sunny maybe the fish did not turn on until dusk if there was a decent spinner fall.  I did see a few #14 caddis hatching and noticed a number of pupa casings on top of rocks.  Quite a few #12/#14 Midges hatching as well. Flies for now are any #14-#16 Hendrickson pattern, #14 American Grannoms (caddis in black and green),#12-
#16 pheasant tail nymphs,  #12-#14 Dave's Red Fox nymphs, #14-#16 x-caddis, #8-#12 olive/black wooly bugger dead drifted.  Coming into the time of plenty for fishing in Vermont.  Lots of possibilities for different species.  Off to walk a river with a guest in the morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

River Monster

Hi Folks, Visited the land of big fish yesterday morning.  Pretty chilly out there with snow falling while we fished.  Water has cooled off with the river temperature 48 degrees.  Level was great after a weekend of rain and snow.  We swung streamers that were weighted and unweighted.  For any of you lifters out there, and you know who you are, no need to dredge flies to get the salmon to elevate to eat.  We caught two nice salmon, 20" and 25" and both fish rose to eat our flies.  We lost another really good fish and caught a nice strong fighting lake run rainbow.  All on a #8 Mickey  Finn, #8 Black Ghost, and a #8 Magog Smelt.  It appeared that the fish were on the move as we hooked all of our fish in tail outs of primary pools.  The salmon were holding in front of large rocks and boulders.  Need places to rest after blasting through heavy water.  Magnificent fish that fight like crazy.  It is a real challenge to land the big ones.  Rod angles and how the fish are handled is key in landing salmon.  Halloween bring its to an end.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home, Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Going out with a gulp

Hi Folks, Guided probably my last trip of the 2016 season on Friday. Record setting season for the catfish with over 140 trips over the last 6 months.  My legs, ankles, and feet feel it.   There is still 9 days left in the fishing season so hopefully get on the water a couple more times.   Fished my home river the Lamoille and it showed that there are some really nice fish still to be caught.  Weird weather day with the afternoon starting out with air temperatures in the mid 60's and then dropping to the forties with rain by days end.  Lots of leaves in the water.  We located some rising fish and they were of the gulping variety.  You can tell the difference between a big head and jaw rising to eat versus that of a small trout.  We cast a #20 BWO Klinkhammer style fly with a #18 pheasant tail dropper nymph. We had 6 trout eat the fly and landed two fish.  The two big boys we were unable to land.  There is nothing better than watching a large fish rise in slow water gulping and then make a perfect cast and drift to get it to eat! Raining and snowing in Stowe currently.  Good for the rivers as we really need the precipitation before the ground freezes.  October has been prettyd darn good river fishign for trout.  In particular for wild rainbows.  Despite the drought, the fish look to be in good shape.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

working a beat of water

Hi Folks, Another beautiful fall day on the river guiding.  Been a nice foliage season with unseasonably warm weather and lots of sun,  Still very dry.   The Lamoille was 56 degrees.  Not too many leaves in the water.  My strategy in river fishing has always been to have a beat of water to fish.  At least 3 to 4 riffles to pools that are 1/4 to 1/2 mile  from start to finish.  It was interesting in this dynamic yesterday how only 1 riffle to pool held all of the fish. The other 3 produced zero strikes while we had well over a dozen fish eat in one riffle.  All 4 spots were good water so it was interesting to me why the trout were concentrated.  Probably the low water.  Anywho, great hatch of #20 BWOs yesterday with rising fish.  Good rising activity in the late afternoon.  We landed 4 trout yesterday with the largest fish being jumping 14" silver sided wild rainbow.  Our nymph rig was a double fly set with a #14 prince and a #20 BWO dropper nymph.  The trout were all over the little dropper.  When the fish began rising we cast a #20 BWO Klinkhammer style fly.  The fish demanded a good drift. Nothing better than watching wild trout eat tiny dry flies.  The trout fishing for October has been consistent.  Primarily been catching wild rainbows and considering the water conditions the trout look great.  Looks like rain later this week, sure hope so.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy