Monday, September 15, 2014


Hi folks, Ran the boat with clients yesterday in the morning.  Awful cold out on the water.  Fishing really has become an afternoon activity now.  However, in my guiding world sometimes you have to accommodate guests when they can fish.  The surface temperature was 66 degrees and there was a steady north wind.  The air temperatures never really eclipsed 60 degrees yesterday and we had a frost warning last night.  We worked for our fish yesterday morning as we landed 3 small bass.  We did miss several decent fish and lost a couple of jumpers, but the fishing was not fast and furious.  We were able to get the fish to eat off the surface with a fire tiger jointed rebel stick bait and a blue and white popper.  When that bite slowed we resorted to jog fishing and working Senkos.  All of the fish we located were holding on sharp drop offs from 12' to 20' of water.  Fishing in our rivers is only getting better by the day.  We still need rain, but at least the water has cooled off.  Lots of hatching activity currently with #12 Isonychia, #14/#16 tan and olive bodied caddis, and we should begin to see #18-#22 BWO's.  Love the next month for fishing in Vermont.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, September 14, 2014

big bass sort of day

Hi Folks, Spent the day in my boat chasing bass and pike on damp cool day.  The only other people on the water were goose hunters.  No problem dodging them and always nice on Saturday to have an entire lake to yourselves to fish.  Seems to be the the norm as I do not encounter many anglers in my daily guiding operation.  Nice over cast cool day with air temperatures never reaching 60 degrees and the rain set in by 1:30pm.  We  fished a lake that is influenced by the flow of the Lamoille.  We had to find warm water in order to tug on fish yesterday.  In the river section the water was 58 degrees.  When we moved into the main lake a mile away the water temperature was 65 degrees.  A big difference and very important this time of the year.  The fishing was pretty darn good. We caught largemouth bass and smallmouth and as you can see some really big fish.  We did hook and play one very large northern pike that was lost at the boat.  The color of the day was fire tiger.  We got the fish to eat stick baits off the top and on the retrieve.  The largest bass of the day missed the lure initially and then came back after it for second helpings.  Nice job by client being patient prior to striking the fish.  We located all of our fish off weed beds on the outside deep edge in 10' to 12' of water.  Off to chase pike and bass again today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Mighty Winooski

Hi folks, Guided a large group on the Winooski down below the Bolton Dam yesterday afternoon.  We fished midday under cloudy overcast conditions.  Certainly has cooled off outside.  This stretch of the Winooski has always had a good population of wild rainbows and it used to fish really well in the early to mid ninties.  In recent years I had stayed away due to fishing pressure and lack of fish.  Well, yesterday reconfirmed my faith in this stretch as the rainbow fishing was excellent.  There are many big pools in this section of river that are well over 10' deep and I think it takes a lot of food up in the water column to get these fish to move up to eat.  Well, awesome hatch of #12 Isonychia yesterday and the trout were rising everywhere.  We cast #12 parachutes all afternoon to rising fish.  These rainbows are strong and fight like crazy.  Lots of 7" to 12" wild fish with 1 15" brute in the mix.  Include a couple of stocked brown trout and it was a heck of a good day on the Winooski.  Nice and cold out this morning.  Could be a wet day in my boat fishing for bass and pike.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

fishing dry flies

Hi Folks, Guided a double on the Winooski yesterday taking fly anglers out in the morning and the afternoon.  Water temperature was 65 degrees in the morning and 68 degrees in the afternoon.  Water is low and we could still use some rain.  Nice morning fog and then big sun for the rest of the day with a crazy south/southwest wind.  Made casting challenging at times.  Lot of hatching activity yesterday and we were treated to a great hatch of #12 Isonychia in the morning and a pretty good spinner fall in early evening.  Found rising fish both in the morning and the afternoon.  We never nymph fished yesterday as my clients were able to cast dry flies on both trips.  A #12 hare's ear parachute worked really drawing the most interest of any fly cast yesterday. Had some success with a #12 thorax style blue dun dry fly and a #14 Grey Wulff.  We caught lots of juvenile Landlocked salmon from 7" to 12", stocked brown trout, and wild rainbows.  Of course always plenty of fall fish in the mix.  It was fun for my guests to catch salmon but I have to say what a stupid stocking program that is.  How many of these fish actually make it through the dams to lake Champlain??? Not to mention any adults that return are trapped and trucked up river.  We live in a start with nutrient poor rivers and do we really need to create competition with the wild rainbow trout population in the lower Winooski.  Only so much food to go around and young salmon are aggressive.  Plus the salmon program is for the benefit of the lake fishermen who troll and not us river rats.  Colossal waist of resources.  Looks like a big cool down rolling in to town.  Perfect, the trout will only get better.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What a day

Hi Folks, Guided a couple fly anglers yesterday looking to tug on some fly eating smallmouth bass.  Incredible weather day.  Blue bird sky and nice cool conditions.  This must be how it feels to live in San Diego.  Okay, back to fishing.  Water level was just slightly above the seasonal average flow and the temperature was 69 degrees in the morning and rose to 71 degrees by time we wrapped up the full day at 3pm.  We landed fish in every spot we fished yesterday.  No top water bite, but I suspect that was due to the bright sun.  However, the fish were eating below the surface.  We cast a #8 olive bunny bugger and a #6 olive and yellow clouser minnow.  Lots of small craw fish, baby fish, and baby bass in the shallow margins.  I think our flies imitated the forage items fairly well.  Good day for species diversity as we caught several large fall fish, a nice walleye, and lost one pike that broke us off.  Not the norm to catch a walleye on a fly.  We focused on large pools and some slow water where there depressions in the stream bottom with drop offs.  All in all we landed 10 smallmouth and missed half a dozen.  Fun day on the water.  I am off to chase trout morning and night today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Dead drifting

Hi Folks, Guided on the lower Lamoille for smallmouth bass yesterday morning.  Water levels are really low and you can access some pools and stretches of water that is usually out our reach to fish.  Probably casting over fish that do not see too my flies.  Water temperature was 73 degrees.  Big weather front moved in bringing some heavy rain and cooler air temperatures.  The fishing yesterday morning was challenging.  I wold have thought that we would have crushed the bass with the hot humid air.  Instead we landed 3 nice 1.5lb to 2lb. river smallmouth but I was hoping for a few more fish.  Typically in my experience with in coming weather fronts the fishing is really good.  Not the case yesterday and we were in some of the best river smallmouth fishing water I know.  We could not get the fish to come to a popper. We dead drifted a #8 cone head olive bunny bugger and the fish would just stop the fly.  You would have thought that you were hung on the bottom, except that the line would begin to move.  Always slow things down when the fishing is tough.  One of the those quality versus quantity sort of mornings.  We did receive some rain and more would be welcomed.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non native species at home. Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, September 6, 2014

It is not about our convenience

Hi Folks, guided a double yesterday chasing river trout with the fly rods.  Not many days left where I can do 2 trips in the day as our days shorten with available light.  We still need rain as our rivers are low and warm.  The brief rain storm mid week was much needed but we still some sustained rain would be good.  I fished the upper Winooksi in the morning which was 66 degrees at 6:30am and warmed to 68 degrees by 10:00am when we were finishing up.  Pretty decent number of #16/#18 olive bodied caddis hatching. Not much for rising fish.  We nymphed up 5 wild rainbows and caught two larger fish on rainbow trout imitation streamers.  I am not much of streamer fishermen but I see its merit.  Awful hard on the fish when they eat the big morsel with the hole it makes in their mouths.  Our nymph rig consisted of a #16 olive caddis pupa with a #18 peacock herl soft hackle.  One of the lines I like to use on clients is "It is not about out convenience."  What I mean is it is up to us to make the cast in the sometimes tight quarters of river fishing.  Trout hold where they do and it is up to us to get the fly to them.  Not always easy due to trees, bushes, and a variety of currents  in moving water.  The afternoon trout fishing was challenging with low water and the summer like heat.  Water temperature in the small brook we fished was 66 degrees.  Nothing for hatching insects.  We worked up stream with the spook factor in full effect.  We had 9 fish come to the fly and landed 2 native brookies and 1 wild brown trout.  We did lose another very nice brown trout.  We had every fish to a #16 hare's ear parachute.  Well, off to chase river smallmouth this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have fun, Willy

Friday, September 5, 2014

pulling back

Hi Folks, Spent a really nice afternoon evening fly fishing for smallmouth bass out of my canoe.  Water temperature was 72 degrees.  A slight west breeze when we started out but the lake became like glass as the afternoon progressed.  We popped the smallmouth all afternoon with pretty good success.  We had all types of fish come to the fly from perch and pumpkin seed to chain pickerel and of course hard fighting smallmouth.  Yellow seemed to be the color as we cast a yellow and red stripped popper and a frog pattern with a yellow body.  We fished shoreline cover and some with sharp drop offs.  We located smallmouth off of downed wood, weed beds, and rock points.  All of the fish were fat as could be.  Looks like they are preparing for winter and putting on a feed bag.  We landed 8 smallmouth and missed and lost another 6 fish.  Consistent with nice 2lb bass that really put up a tussle.  The fish of the night was a 20" smallmouth that had to weigh in around 4.5lbs plus.  Incredible specimen that really did not want to be landed.  Leaves are starting to turn.  the soft maples are already becoming red.  However, it does not feel like fall outside.  It will be very summer like today.  I am off to trout fish and then bass fish this afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have fun, Willy

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hard to beleive it is September

Hi folks, Guided fly anglers for trout on a small brook yesterday morning.  Water levels are low and we really need some rain.  Water temperature was 61 degrees.  The spook effect was in full effect.  The other thing I am really noticing lately with the current low water levels is that it is imperative to get the trout to eat on the first couple of casts and when you miss them they are not returning to eat the fly.  We had 11 fish rise to the dry yesterday with a #14 green foam hopper producing the best trout of the day, a nice wild brown trout.  We missed a much bigger fish that emerged from the up stream side of a large boulder.  Always cool to see a 15" plus brown rise to eat.  The fish are certainly pooled up as there is not exactly a ton of holding water in the small brooks currently.  With the current heat and humidity the Lamoille and Winooski are too warm for trout fishing.  The lower parts off the river are in excellent shape for smallmouth bass fishing. Good time of year to tug on big smallmouth.   It will feel like September soon enough.

Monday, September 1, 2014


Hi folks, Guided a fly angler for trout on a small stream yesterday morning.  A few morning showers with the threat of thunder and lightening which never materialized.  Water levels are really low and water temperatures have warmed back up.  The temperature was 65 degrees.  It feels  like mid summer outside with high humidity and air temperatures in the upper eighties.  We really need some rain.  So, back to the fly fishing.  One of those mornings where we worked for trout.  We had 9 trout come to the fly and landed 1 wild rainbow.  The spook factor was in full effect as we watched several large fish dart up stream as we cast over  pools.  We were pretty cautious in how we moved and still did not matter.  We scaled back flies and had good success with a #16 hare's ear parachute.  I guided a fine fly angler it just was an off day with missing fish.  Happens to all of us.  Still the fishing was tough and will remain so until the water levels cool down and rise.  Still, I am off to chase small stream trout with a fly this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, August 31, 2014

light tackle and big fish

Hi Folks, I have been guiding river smallmouth the last few days.  Water is low and temperatures have climbed.  Water temperature was 73 degrees at 7:00am yesterday morning.  Hopefully we will get some much needed rain over the next few days.  The bass fishing has been very good.  It appears that the fish have been on a feeding binge as well with lots of stuffed bellies.  Been noticing a high number of craw fish sticking out of the fish's gullet when taking the hook out and releasing them.  We have caught well over 40 smallmouth in the last 2 days and the average fish has been weighing in around 2lbs.  Been spin fishing using 3" baby bass Senkos and watermelon green magic for colors.  Dead drifting in big pools with lots of boulders and wood.  Since the water is so low and clear you can see the fish emerge from cover to eat the rubber.  Lots of fun fighting smallmouth on light tackle with ultra light spin gear and 4lb and 6lb. test.  I am off to chase trout this morning in a small stream.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Low light versus bright sun

Hi Folks, Guided smallmouth bass yesterday in the morning and the afternoon.  Both trips were river fishing and it was very interesting with how different the results were.  Been summer like the last few days with bright sun and humidity.  Mornings have been great with heavy fog and low light while afternoons have been bright and sunny.  Water temperatures have ranged from 71 degrees in the morning to 76 degrees in the afternoon.  Water levels are low and we could use some rain.  We landed over 20 smallmouth in the morning and only 2 in the afternoon.  Both groups I guided did a fine job fishing.  In the morning the fish were all over the Senkos and in the afternoon the fish would come up to our fly and deny us.  The water is so clear you cn sight fish.  In the morning the smallmouth were more than willing to move to chase down the dead drifted Senko.  Baby bass was the color. Granted in the afternoon we fly fished but still the fish were fussy.  We watched countless smallmouth in the afternoon come right up to the fly kiss it and swim off.  We changed flies a lot from surface poppers to a variety of streamers.  It appeared that the smallies were much more inclines to chase the fly when it was moved aggressively, but they put on the breaks when they came right up on it.  All a product of the bright sun.  Smallmouth are much more active in low light than bright sun.  At least the two fish we caught in the afternoon were two large fish.  Pretty interesting to witness the change in behavior by the fish due to the light levels.  I am taking my daughter to fish today.  Been  extremely busy last few months  and really looking forward to fishing with my kid.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bassing-morning and night

Hi Folks, Chased smallmouth bass with clients yesterday in the morning and then again in the afternoon.  Fished the still water from my motorboat in the morning and from a canoe in the afternoon.  Surface temperature in the morning was 73 degrees under calm conditions.  In the afternoon the surface temperature was 75 degrees.  Pretty warm outside with summer like conditions with air temps. rising into the high eighties.  Pretty warm to trout fish as I am sure the Lamoille and Winooski are too warm presently. Things will cool off tomorrow.  Pretty solid top water fishing both in the morning and evening.  We cast fire tiger poppers and frog colored poppers.  In the morning the heavy fog hung around so we had nice low light until about 8am.  Then it was all about fishing the shady shore lines.  In the afternoon we stayed out of the sun.  We located most our fish off of steep rock faces that had tree cover.  Letting the fly sit on the surface for a good 30 seconds induced a few strikes.  It was interesting that the smaller fish crashed on the fly as the larger bass were slurping it in.  We landed well over 25 smallmouth yesterday between my two trips. Pretty consistent fishing.  Off to chase bass again today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Learning the fine art of fly fishing

Hi folks, Spent yesterday morning and afternoon guiding young fly anglers.  A return to summer outside with air temperatures reaching the mid eighties.  My morning trip we fly fished on the Winooski down river a ways from the Bolton Dam.  Water temperature was 68 degrees and had risen to 69 degrees by time we finished up in the morning.  A fair amount of hatching activity with #18 tan bodied caddis hatching and #12/#14  Isonychia beginning to hatch towards late morning.  We caught a ton of Fall Fish with 1 brown trout and a landlocked salmon in the mix.  When taking teenagers fly fishing it is important that they catch fish. You need a little encouragement when learning to fly fish and fall fish are much more user friendly than trout.  We swung flies all morning using #14 tungsten bead head prince nymph and a #16 olive wire copper john.  In the afternoon I took another teenager fly fishing for brook trout.  Brookies are greedy and more than willing to eat dry flies.  The mountain brook we fly fished was 60 degrees and gin clear. Always fun watching native brook trout come to the fly.  We worked up stream casting #14 royal wulff.  We had well over a dozen brookies come to the fly.  Like usual most of the brook trout measured between 4" to 8".  We leveled the playing field by casting a slow action 6' 2wt.  It was a nice day for me to see teenagers getting into fly fishing as I do not notice too many kids fly fishing let alone regular fishing these days.  I am off to chase smallmouth all day with a morning boat trip and a canoe trip in the afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, August 24, 2014

nice afternoon on the water with the ants

Hi Folks, Guided fly anglers for beautiful afternoon of trout fishing on the upper Winooski.  Water temperature was 66 degrees to 67 degrees.  Water level is low but still slightly above the seasonal average flow.  Fair amount of bug activity yesterday with #14-#22 flying ants from 6pm to dark, #12/#14 isonychia  sporadically coming off, #18 micro caddis hatching, and still a few #8/#10 stone flies around.  Lots of #12/#14 olive grasshoppers in fields.  We nymphed fished with a #16 olive copper john and a #18 olive caddis pupa.  We caught fish on both fly patterns.  We found a few rising fish and got them to eat a #12 hare's ear parachute and a #14 foam flying ant.  We landed 5 stocked rainbows, 2 wild rainbows with 1 fish measuring in at 14" (really fought hard), and 1 nice little wild brown trout.  We missed another half a dozen fish.  Pretty good for the end of August and the trout looked really healthy and in good shape.  No signs of fishing pressure what so ever.  Looks to be hot and a little humid for the next few days so the top water bite for smallmouth should be good.  Trout fishing on the big water could be tough with warming temps.  Morning trout fishing will be the way.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have fun, Willy

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Patience and persisitence in the rain

Hi Folks, Guided a hearty crew of spin anglers yesterday afternoon for smallmouth bass.  Nice damp afternoon with pretty steady rain showers.  Water temperature was 66 degrees and the clarity was pretty good.  We focused on big slow pools as the water level is fairly low and the fish are not holding in any secondary spots.  I can't say the fishing was red hot.  We made a lot of casts for the half a dozen smallies we landed.  The fish were tentative in feeding and they would pick up the Senko and drop it.  Had to really wait on the fish we caught to eat the rubber.  All very subtle takes and line control was imperative.  Pretty interesting as I would say the fish were in non-aggressive mode for feeding.  The largest bass of the day was not caught immediately as we probably cast to the area where it was holding for 20 minutes.  Patience and persistence paid off.  Will be chasing river trout later today with the fly.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

Thursday, August 21, 2014

not dialed in, but lots of ants

Hi folks, Weird last two days guiding as I ran my boat yesterday afternoon and did two river trips today.  Things have certainly cooled off with the lake surface temperature reading 71 degrees, the Lamoille was 66 this morning at 8:00am and this afternoon river temp. was 63 degrees.  Bright and humid yesterday with heavy air.  I thought for sure the bass bite would be on.  We worked hard for 4 bites and landed one smallmouth bass.  Nice calm conditions with an abundance of #14 flying ants landing on the water.  Most of the surface action we saw was from perch and pumpkin seed gulping ants.  The smallmouth we caught was on a #6 fire tiger crease fly.  We fished a shallow lake that is no deeper than 30" and holds smallmouth. largemouth, and pike.  The fish were just not on.  This morning on the Lamoille we caught 4 rainbows with 3 being stocked and 1 nice 12" wild trout.  Pretty funny when one off my clients noted that the wild fish really pulled much harder than the stocked fish.  However, the 3 stocked trout we landed had been caught previously.  Love catch and release fishing! There we lots of #12/#14 Isonychia shucks on rocks.  A #12 pheasant tail will work great as a nymph and #12 Grey Wulff or #12/#14 Adams parachute are good dry fly options.  We found sporadic rising to drowned ants.  There were also some #18/#20 micro caddis hatching.  This afternoon the fishing was dreadful.  great over cast conditions with drizzle.  We went river fishing for smallmouth and it was not happening.  We had 3 smallmouth chase a #8 olive cone head bunny bugger and that was that.  The fish were not feeding on the river we visited.  Lots of fly changing and tactic adjustments without getting them to eat the damn fly.  Oh well, always moving forward and never backwards.  Remember to clean your gear and leave the non native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

thick as pea soup

Hi Folks, After a day and half off from guiding back at this morning chasing smallmouth bass from the boat. Nice to regenerate my batteries and take a break.  Been a really busy summer.  Pretty chilly out on the water this morning with air temperatures in the high forties and the surface water temperature was 69 degrees.  The water temperature has cooled off 5 degrees from over the weekend.  Dead calm on the water with heavy fog.  Pretty interesting navigating in the fog as lights on and the use of electronics were certainly helpful.  Fished top water this morning for awhile.  The fish were on a blue/white popper.  We located active smallmouth on a 15' deep flat that has sporadic boulders on it.  As the top water bite slowed we jig fished in 20' to 30' of water.  A 1/4oz shaky jig tipped with a Yamamoto spider jig in watermelon black magic was the ticket.  Pretty subtle bite and line control was important to pick up the strikes.  On the trout end our rivers have cooled off the fishing is good.  Time to take advantage of fall like conditions.  Fishing will still be best early and late as you want low light.  Nice time of year to find rising trout as we have #22/#24 tricos still hatching in the morning, #18/#20 micro caddis hatching in the morning, #12/#14 Isonychia hatching throughout the day, a few #8/#10 remnant stone flies emerging still, and lots of terrestrials.  Keep an eye for #14/#22 flying ants as they can pop up at anytime presently.  Nice fishing weather.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, August 16, 2014

cool down equals good fishing

Hi Folks, Been guiding like crazy with a full day boat trip yesterday for smallmouth bass and river fly fishing for trout this morning.  After the big rain on Wednesday, everything has cooled with water temperatures dropping by several degrees.  On the lake yesterday the surface temperature was 71 degrees and the main stem of the Lamoille this morning was 61 degrees.  We cast poppers with the fly rod yesterday until mid morning when the wind picked up out of the west.  Pretty good top water bite.  We located all of our smallmouth off steep drop offs from rock walls and faces.  Being patient when the fly landed was the trick.  Generally, most of our takes were within a couple of feet as to where the fly landed.  It is important to eliminate the slack when the fly lands and be patient prior to moving it.  The bass will come from a long ways away to eat the surface presentation.  Just have to be patient to let the fish find the fly.  Once the top water bite slowed, we resorted to spin fishing with 3.5" crawfish tube jigs on 1/4 oz. jig heads.  We fished in 15' to 30' of water.  The larger fish were located in the deeper water.  I lost track of the number of fish we caught, but the action was pretty steady.  This morning the Lamoille fished pretty well.  The water level has just dropped and the clarity was good.  Rising fish today eating #18 micro caddis and some #12 Isonychia duns.  Always fun when there is a hatch and rising fish.  We caught wild trout on #14 hare's ear parachute.  The best fish of the day was a nice fighting 14" wild rainbow.  good looking fish.  We hooked all of our fish in riffles as the rising fish in the pools were a bit more challenging to get to eat.  Off to chase trout again this afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, August 15, 2014

Pecking away at them

Hi Folks, Spent yesterday afternoon in the boat with guests chasing smallmouth bass.  Little bit of a cool down after the rain and it felt like autumn on the water.  Water temperature had dropped a few degrees from  earlier in the week as the surface temp. was 72 degrees.  The weather must of scared off people as we pretty much had the water to ourselves.  Not much wind to speak of and nice flat conditions for popping at dusk.  We bounced around the lake focusing on drop offs.  We managed to pick off 11 smallmouth with 5" Senkos in craw fish and watermelon red magic.  The larger fish were once again holding in deeper water.  We had to exhibit extreme patience on the hooks set as the fish were holding the Senkos in their mouth for a long time without trying to swallow them.  We took the rubber away from a lot of fish.  A lot of tail grabbing by the bass.  Probably due to the weather front and the fish being somewhat non-aggressive.  Well, about to go do it all over again except we are going to try to get the smallies to eat some fur and feathers today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy