Tuesday, July 25, 2017

wet weather, fish live in the wet water, no worries

Hi Folks, Yesterday guiding was one of those days that tests an anglers mettle.  I guided two river trips and it rained the entire time.  A nice steady rain that puffed up the rivers a bit, but did not blow them out completely.  I watched the water slowly rise throughout the day and become slightly off colored.  Feels like fall out there.  Air temperatures have not risen above 60 degrees in a couple of days.  Great for keeping water temps. nice and cool.  Water was 64 degrees yesterday morning and was the same at 4pm.  Both trips were spin fishing for bass.  We did catch one nice stocked rainbow in the morning on a fire tiger rapala.  Had a few bass attack a surface plug.  The good old floating rapala in brown trout pattern.  Most of our action was on a 3" baby bass Senko that was dead drifted and then twitched on the retrieve.  In the afternoon, the smallmouth became a bit more fussy eating the rubber.  I think it was due to the cooling temps., rising water, and east wind.  Lots of pick ups of the Senkos but when we would set the hook they fish would stay on for a second or two and then drop it.  They were carrying the rubber in their mouth but not attempting to flip and swallow it.  Had to be really patient prior to striking the fish.  I tip my hat to my guests yesterday who never complained about the weather and were very happy to be fishing.  Rough weather in fishing builds character.  Plus I have good waders and rain coats for guests.  Will be floating the boat the next couple of days.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, July 24, 2017

big water, small water

Hi Folks, I had a fun weekend guiding in very different environments.  Spent some time in the smaller trout water with nice cool temperatures and then some time on the big warm water chasing smallmouth bass.  The contrast between the two is extreme.  The small brooks I visited were between 59 and 62 degrees.  The big water was 75 degrees.  River flows are just above the seasonal average flow.  Lots of #8-#10 stone fly shucks on rocks.  We cast a #12 foam yellow sally dry fly in the brooks as well as #14 chartreuse bodied stimulator.  Both flies worked effectively catching wild rainbows and native brook trout.  Tight casting and the ability to roll cast and place the fly accurately is and was very important.  The bass fishing is so different as you can really open up the cast and not worry about trees and bushes and being as accurate. Double hauling is helpful for distance and casting big wind resistant bass bugs in the big water.  A #8 yellow bodied grog popper was really effective.  Love watching smallmouth explode on a surface fly.  I am off to chase bass this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, July 22, 2017

when you take a trout angler bass fishing

Hi folks, Been awful warm for the last few days and with it the water temperature has come up.  Actually feels like summer out there.  River levels have settled out nicely and are slightly above the seasonal average flow.  The lower Lamoille was 73 degrees Thursday and even warmer yesterday.  Perfect weather for chasing smallouth bass.  I have been seeing a few #10-#12 Golden Drakes hatching and egg laying.  The large may fly has even drawn interest from a few river smallmouth.  Lots and lots of #8-#10 stone fly shucks on rocks.  Our tactics have been to work #8 yellow bellied popper with rubber legs aggressively in big back eddies.  Dead drifting a #6 clauser style olive bunny fur and marabou streamer with rubber legs covered our bases for below the surface presentations.  The fish have been stacked up in these eddies and if you got one strike in a spot you were probably going to receive another.  It is fun to take a trout angler bassin.  Most do not realize how strong smallmouth are and how hard they fight.  The trick is getting the angler to really set the hook and put pressure on the fish,  We were using a 16lb. tippet so you could really strike a fish and put a bend in the rod when fighting them.  I am off to small stream it this morning and chase bass in the afternoon,  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Smallmouth time!

Hi Folks, Been a solid smallmouth bite the last couple of days on my trips.  River fished and then boat fished yesterday morning.  Lost another afternoon trip on Monday due to heavy rain and thunderstorms.  Our rivers are up again and the best bet would be the small streams currently.  In addition, water temperatures are on the rise so the big rivers are now becoming to warm to trout fish.  We finally have some hot humid weather for July.  Im okay with it as it really turn on the smallmouth bite.  They are a warm water species and truly show their colors when the water reaches 70 to 75 degrees. July this season has been odd from a weather standpoint.  The trout fishing remained really good because water temperatures were suppressed with all of the cool damp weather.  So, now that things appear to be returning to normal, the bass bite has really improved.  Good top water action the last few days.  I had a father and son who were keen on learning to fish.  We fished the good old floating perch rapala and a series of poppers.  Nothing better than watching a good sized smallmouth crush a surface presentation.  We also fine tuned fishing rubber along the bottom.  Good to have an up and down offering for the smallmouth as you need to be adaptable as are the bass.  It appeared that a surface lure with an orange bottom was the most appealing.  5" Senkos in baby Bass and Watermelon Red Magic were extremely effective.  In the river, the fish were holding in slower deep pools.  They appeared to be tight to cover such as downed wood and large boulders.  In the lake, the larger fish were in 15' of water off the first drop from shoreline.  Once again, a hard bottomed area.  Well, until things cool down, I will be small stream trout fishing and chasing smallmouth.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, July 17, 2017

wild Winooski, wow


Hi Folks, Heck of a day of fly fishing on the Winooski yesterday morning. Nothing better than watching folks who are new to fly fishing start to pick it up and catch fish.  The water temperature was 61 degrees at 7 am and the levels are still up but dropping.  It is like May conditions currently.  There were a few #18 caddis hatching but lots and lots of bugs on rocks in riffles. #16-#20 tan bodied and dark green bodied bugs in pupa stage on the rocks.  We caught all of our fish on a #16 olive hare and copper, #18 olive wire caddis pupa, and a #10 black double tungsten stone fly nymph,  Lots of #8-#10 stone fly shucks on rocks.  We landed 11 nice wild rainbows with the largest trout measure in at 16".  Strong fighting fish.  I could not be more tickled with the trout fishing for July.  Nice to see the river fishing so good come mid summer and water temperatures remaining in cool. We focused on heavy water. Tight line nymphing.  The fish look really healthy and are certainly benefiting from the favorable conditions.  Looks to get hot the rest of the week and the big water fishing might slow.  I am off to river bass today.  Remember to have fun and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, July 16, 2017

tricky but consistent

Hi Folks, Been a busy few days on the water.  Mixing it up between spin and fly fishing trips.  The water is still big, but clear.  Temperatures have remained in the low sixties in the Winooski and Lamoille, but will begin to rise this week as we have summer weather upon us. Friday on the Winooski there was a fabulous hatch of #18 micro caddis.  Trout were rising and we were able to get them to eat #16/#18 olive wire caddis pupa swung, a #18 green bodied soft hackle, and a #16 x-caddis.  Landed  1 really nice wild rainbow that peeled off line and did not want to give up.  In addition we caught several smaller wild bows and a couple of native brook trout.  #8-#10 Stone fly shucks all over the rocks.  Friday evening the Lamoille fished pretty well in high water conditions.  There were a number of hatching #10 Golden Drakes (pothamanthus) and some egg laying caddis.  A few sporadic rising fish.  We got them to eat a #8 black wooly bugger and a #10 White Wulff.  All of the takes on the bugger came at the end of the drift as the fly swung to the seam and was given a couple of slight twitches or strips.  The fish are spread out pretty well with the high water conditions.  Yesterday I spent the day with a fun group of spin anglers.  We covered some water.  Pretty over cast conditions for the most part the water temperature was 62 degrees.  We mostly fished 3" to 4" Senkos and tried to develop a patterns.  We got lots of interest from fish but not as many hook ups for the amount of takes received.  It appeared the fish were bit off.  They would pick up the rubber but never attempt to shallow it.  We even had trout eating the rubber.  We fought fish that were never hooked but hanging onto the rubber.  Interestingly, the fish seemed to be more aggressive on eating the Senkos when the sun came out, go figure? We did have some fun sight fishing a few fish and had a huge rainbow in our sights. The trout was swinging wildly but we could not get it to eat. I suspect a well presented fly would have worked.  The strangest incident of the day was the trout that ate a Tiny Torpedo prop bait.  We did have a bit of surface action early.  Still we landed over 15 fish, but worked hard for them.  I am off to the Winooski.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, July 13, 2017

What's next????

Hi Folks, The beat goes on with the guiding.  Had a lot of fun yesterday with two trips.  River fished with a family in the morning and boat fished the afternoon with a father and son tandem.  We spin fished and fly fished yesterday.  Caught a variety of species yesterday and you were not sure what was going to eat the lure or fly next.  Two different weather patterns yesterday.  Hot and muggy in the morning with no wind and sun and clouds.  The afternoon you could feel the weather front move in and the air temps. cool off and we battled a bit of a north/northeast wind.  I have noticed lately that there is very little fishing pressure on the water currently.  Just not seeing any signs of anglers.   River temperature yesterday morning was 65 degrees and the surface temperature of the lake I was on was 71 to 72 degrees.  The lake I guided the previous  day for smallmouths was 74 to 77 degrees.  On the river fishing front, dead drifting 3.5" watermelon black/red magic Senkos and 3" crawfish colored Senkos hooked smallmouth bass, stocked rainbow trout, and lots of fall fish.  The trick with the Senkos is detecting the strike and having good line control.  The fish really do try to eat the Senkos so it does give the angler plenty of time to set up the hook set.  The hook set really needs to be a big sweep.  In the afternoon we cast poppers with a 7wt. and 8wt. outifts and spin fished with a floating perch rapala.  We caught a number of large pickerel who were more than willing to eat off the surface.  We caught off downed trees and the edges of deep weed beds.  Fun in clear water watching a a long green shape materialize to the surface to eat.  We did catch a few smallmouth and 1 largemouth, but no real big boys.  We made lots of cast to get the fish to eat off the top.  I think the weather front moving in impacted the bass fishing.  Another damp cool wet day.  Perfect fishing weather and I will be taking advantage of it.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Still wacky weather in the fishing world

Hi Folks, Another wacky weather weekend of fishing. Rain, thunderstorms, and changing weather fronts.  Still we managed to catch a few fish along the way on my guide trips.  River levels and lake levels are still up and our larger rivers have begun to settle out, but are still twice their average flow and slightly off colored.  Water temperatures are beginning to creep up into the mid sixties.  Lake levels are up as well with not nearly the issue of water clarity.  Bass fishing out of my boat Saturday was steady action with the fly.  We caught lots of fish, just not any large bass.  We aggressively worked a #6 foam crease fly in blue and white.  Largemouth bass in the 1 to 2 year old class were all over it.  I think the larger fish might have been stuffed as it was a full moon the previous night and they might have fed very actively during night time hours.  We worked large established weed bed edges on the deep side.  Set the boat up in 20' of water and casting into to 10' to 12'.  We did land 1 small pike as well on a #1/0 white Deceiver worked quickly just under the surface.  On the trout front I had spin guests the last couple of days and we have been working over the stocked rainbows and smallmouth bass.  With the high water, we have been finding lots of fish holding in big eddies and soft deep seams.  Dead drifting soft baits has been the ticket.  We did have some success with floating rapalas drifted in the current and then worked quickly off seam lines.  Had bass and trout respond to the hard baits.  Well, nice muggy weather today, should be good for my boat trip for bass.  We need a a drying out period.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, July 7, 2017

Fishing the habitat

Hi Folks, Been enjoying the early morning fly fishing for trout with my guests the last few days.  Water temperatures are still between 61 and 63 degrees.  The main stem of the Lamoille was 63 at 6am yesterday.  Water levels are still up and it looks like they will be climbing with the afternoon thunderstorms today.  I cancelled my afternoon trip,  It is not worth taking a chance on the water holding a graphite rod in the air when there is lightening in the area!!!  We nymphed the Lamoille yesterday and we worked for the 3 trout we landed.  2 of the fish were wild and the third was a stocked rainbow.  We nymphed heavy water with lots of cover and stability.  All of the 7 trout that ate our fly were holding in stable riffles to pools.  Once again a #16 olive caddis pupa off a #10 black double tungsten stone fly nymph was the most consistent set up.  This morning we fished a river that is influenced by a reservoir.  A high percentage of the fish whether they be trout or smallmout bass to several bait fish come and go from.  This river has very few stable bottom pools and not a lot of bug activity.  Where there are riffles to pools with cover, many of the stocked trout hold in these areas.  This morning the tactic was to dead drift big dry flies.  A #10 orange bodied stimulator and /#12 foam yellow sally pattern drew lots of interest.  We landed 5 fish and had another 5 eat the fly off the surface.  Once again as the sun rose the fishing slowed around 9am.  I'm pretty tickled that the trout fishing has bee so good for July in the larger rivers,  Typically this time of year the water is too warm and the trout fishing moves to small brooks.  So, fish the habitat and good things happen.  You do not need to always see rising fish or a hatch to get trout to eat off the top.  Vermont trout streams are a testament to that time and time again. Running the boat in the morning for bass.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

really nice for July

Hi Folks, Been pounding the big water with the fly rods and my clients the last few days.  Incredibly cool air temps. and water temps. for July.  Water levels are still up in our rivers but clarity in the Lamoille is just fine,  The Winooski is still a bit high  and off colored.  Monday afternoon the brook I was on was 56 degrees, yesterday the Lamoille trib. was 60 degrees and this morning the main stem of the Lamoille was 62 degrees.  Been a lot of caddis hatching the last few day in #16 olive bug and #18/#20 micro caddis that is tan bodied.  Today around 9am on the Lamoille we  saw a bunch of #10 Alder flies coming off but no fish eating them.  The fishing has been best the first few hours of the day and the last hour half before dark.  When the sun comes up high, regardless of the water temperature. the fishing slows.  We landed a dozen native brook trout on Monday on dry flies.  Big #10 stimulators, #12 Royal Wulffs, and a #10 foam tarantula.  Yesterday of the 15 brown trout and rainbows that came to the #12 orange bodied stimulator and #16 olive caddis pupa dropper we landed 5.  This morning we caught a lot of trout in a big riffle to pool in the Lamoille dead drifitng a #10 black double tungsten stone fly nymph with a #16 olive caddis pupa.  Caught fish both dead drifting and swinging the fly.  The dry dropper rig has been very consistent.  Trout fishing should remain good as long as the water stays cool.  Off to chase small stream trout with guests.  Remember toclean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, July 3, 2017

Having Fun

Hi Folks, Spent a really nice afternoon guiding a father and son river fishing.  Dad cast a fly and son a spin rod.  Water is still up and off colored. The Lamoille and Winooski will be a few days away from fishing.  Tributary streams are the best bet currently.  Nice weather pattern has moved in and it appears that it will be cool and dry for the next few days.  Water temperature yesterday afternoon was 64 degrees.  Not much for hatching bugs.  We worked a variety of streamers actively to no avail so we resorted to dead drifting a #8 black wolly bugger under an indicator.  We got four fish to eat.  All of the trout were holding in skinny water off the main current.  With the water being stained, the fish were very close to the river bank and you had to pay attention to not move into the water and spook them.  It was really nice spending an afternoon in dry sunny conditions.  Very relaxing.  Off to chase smallmouth from the boat.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Working with the weather and forcing the surface bite

Hi Folks, Been raining an awful lot the last 3 days.  Miraculously I pulled off 1 of two trips on Friday after the flooding rains and today rain the boat the is morning before it got ugly.  Even more incredibly the fish being caught buy client whether with a fly for a brook trout or a Zara Spook for a bass, the bite has been in the surface.  Our rivers are really big and saturated.  I think big river fishing is out for a few days.  The little brook I guided yesterday afternoon was 54 degrees and full of water.  However, the high gradient streams might come quickly, but they come down just as fast and clear rapidly.  I marched my fly clients as about high as we could go on this Winooski water shed brook and we proceeded to entice well over 2 dozen native brook trout to the dry fly.  Large #10 orange bodied Stimulators, #12 Royal Wulff, and a #10 foam rubber legged tarantula pattern all caught brook trout.  The water was heavy, but the fish hold in the soft pockets and seams.  They are naturally greedy and live in an environment that does have lots of food.  Big dry flies present opportunity and they gobble them up out of curiosity as easy pickings.  Small two weight and three weight rods in the 6' to 7' range with a slow action taper are perfect for this type of fly fishing.  On the still water front this morning we had perfect conditions with overcast, damp, humid, and slight breeze.  We got after the bass with oldie but goodie, the Zara Spook.  An active surface lure that is walked back to the boat steadily and produces some violent strikes.  The bigger fish were holding right on the drop offs from 10' to 20' on the outside edges of big milfoil beds.  Smallmouth and lots of young largemouth were chasing down the Spook into deep water We had a lot of fish come up and examine the lure and turn off.  I think the constant movement was important in drawing a strike.  We did fish the bottom a bit with some 5" rubber in order to keep my finesse fishing client tickled.  A man named Top water who likes to work the down and dirty with the rubber.  Anywho, the 5" watermelon red magic Senko did produce the largest bass of the day.  Well, I'm ready for the rain to stop.  Looks like a nice cool week ahead for fishing, perfect.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, June 30, 2017

Before the rains came, wow!!!!

Hi Folks, Guided the almost perfect trout fishing trip yesterday with the fly rods.  I had a guest who owned all of the gear, great attitude, could cast, and was eager to learn about fly fishing for trout.  The missing piece to the puzzle was he  had not had a lot of success catching trout.  Water conditions were perfect with levels above average flow, 57 degrees, and over cast.  We spent the day day working our way up a Lamoille trib. casting and drifting into pocket water.  Unfortunately this has all changed today as we got torrential rain last night that has blown out our rivers.  We are saturated!!!!!  We had several different bugs hatching yesterday with a #16 olive bodied caddis coming off , a #18 black caddis coming off, and tiny #20 BWOs hatching in mid afternoon.  We found some rising fish, but we had just as many trout eat our dry fly blind fishing.  The rig of the day was #10 orange bodied Stimulator with a #16 olive caddis pupa dropper and then a #18 BWO nymph dropper.  We did nymph some heavy plunges with an indicator rig that had a #12 black double tungsten stone fly and a #16 olive hare and copper nymph.  We landed 20 trout and had just as many eat the fly.  I think in every spot we fished we had a trout take the fly.  It was fun for me to watch so many fish move to eat.  I typically do not fish when guiding so I get to observe and watch.  I try to position myself to see the behavior of fish.  Man, I saw a lot of trout move from holding spots yesterday to eat the fly.  In particular, the larger brown trout were positioned on the up stream side of large boulders and would launch themselves to eat.  We caught wild rainbows, wild browns, and stocked browns.  Hooked several large fish that made short work of us by wrapping around rocks.  When pocket water fishing you need to really focus on your mending.  Less fly line is better and high sticking is really a nice way to dead drift the fly.  We had multiple fish deny us when we made a sloppy presentation and then come back to eat when we presented the properly.  Great day on the water, what a damn shame that the rain had to blow it out!!! Well, running the boat and fishing small streams for brookies it appears.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Is it really summer?

Hi Folks, Been staying out of trouble guiding and storming around Vermont trout streams.  It feels more like the end of May rather than the end of June.  The weather has been inconsistent and weird.  Beautiful and sunny one minute, pouring with thunder and lighting the next.  Our rivers are full of water and temperatures are really nice.  The two little brooks that I fly fished yesterday were 53 degrees and 56 degrees.  A larger river today I guided was 62 degrees.  I'll take it.  As long as nights stay cool, the water temperatures should hold for a bit.  The small stream fishing has been interesting. Been fishing dry flies as well as dry dropper rigs.  A #10 foam royal true, a #12 royal wulff, and a #12 elk hair caddis.  Been mixing a few small dropper in because the trout have not been all over the dry flies.  A #18 peacock herl soft hackle and a #16 olive caddis pupa.  I would say 60 percent of the strikes from brook trout came on the dry and 40 percent on the dropper.  Due to the higher and cooler water, the fish have been holding in some slow and soft water and pockets.  Most of the takes have been methodical on the dry fly, within the exception of one crazy brookie who launched out to eat the dry.  Saw a great hatch of #16-#18 sulphurs last night on a tribe. of the Winooski.  A lot of bugs coming off and a fish rising.  Happened right around dark as was still going strong after dark.  The fish were rising, but mostly smaller rainbows.  Tough when you cant see your #18 parachute sulphur pattern. It appeared that a lot of the trout were eating emergers in the film. Been seeing #16 and a #18/#20 Black caddis hatching mid afternoon the last few days.  Lots of #14 chartreuse Yello Sallies hatching on the small brooks.   On the spin front, it is Senko time in the rivers.  Dead drifting 3" to 4" natural colored Senkos is a pretty sure bet for catching a river smallmouth and occasionally a trout.  Should be a good few days of fishing ahead.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home,  Have Fun, Willy

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