Saturday, July 23, 2016

mix it up

Hi Folks, Been guiding a of of different types of trips the last few days.  Keeps it fresh for me when I go from small stream fly fishing for trout to lake spin fishing for smallmouth.  Did get some rain last night via thunderstorms.  Every bit helps.  Water was up this morning, but did not matter on the small stream I visited.  Small stream fishing the last 3 days has been consistent.  Today was the most challenging, but that was the nature of the stream we fly fished.  We caught plenty of brook trout, just had employ different tactics and work more on dry fly presentation. The temperatures on the 3 different brooks we walked the last 3 days was between 58 degrees to 62 degrees this morning.  Dry fly fishing has been the method except today when we got down and dirty with the fish.  Stripped fairly quickly a heavy #8 tungsten cone head black muddler and a #8 tungsten bead black leech out of big plunge pools.  Caught several nice brookies, had a bunch of follows, and a rather larger brown trout chase twice without striking, damn it! Casting directly up into the heavy white water with a heavy pattern was important..  Almost like casting a spin lure into a pool and reeling like crazy.  The pictured brown was caught yesterday by a keen fly angler with a #12 green foam hopper.  Had a good morning and had a few nice trout eat dry flies.  This morning, we drifted some slower pools and had success getting brightly colored brookies to eat a #18 foam ant.  There were a few #18-#20 micro caddis hatching as well as a few midges.  We did see some rising fish which we caught with the ant pattern and a #18 goddard caddis.  Was able to get on the main stem of the Lamoille Wednesday after the two consecutive nights of 50 degree air temps.  Main stem was 65 degrees in the early morning and 69 degrees at dusk.  Caught stocked and wild rainbows with a #18 peacock herl caddis dry and a #18 yellow/tan caddis pupa.  Also got some stockies to grab foam hoppers and and #14 Grizzly Wulff.  There were a few #14 light Cahill hatching as well as spinners. Good mending is always important in trout fishing.  This stream today required good drifts or the fish simply would not rise.  Mending is a work in progress for everyone as every bit of water can be different.  Trout eat good drifts! On the bass front I have been on the afternoon program.  Taking spin guests in my boat and canoe.  The good old Senko never fails.  The surface temps on the two different bodies of water I guided were between 74 degrees ad 76 degrees.  Pretty warm.  The bass have been holding in deeper water.  Lake levels are down significantly.  Sharp drop offs from 10' to 20' seem to be holding some of the larger fish.  Still a lot of 4" to 10" smallies in the shallows, but the big girls and boys are off in deeper water.  Right at dusk on Thursday night some of the better fish did move in shallow to eat. We got them on a 5" crawfish Senko.  Lots of action on the rubber lately, but quite a few short strikes.  Must be the smaller fish. Top water action for the bass was the best around downed trees that jutted into deeper water. Fishing the shade is always important.  Did see a few #6 Hex's hatching.  Well, keeping out of trouble and changing directions, just the way I like it.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

nothing but water and micro caddis

Hi Folks, Trying to stay out of trouble by guiding night and day.  Had two real contrasting trips from yesterday afternoon to early this morning.  Lake fished with spin clients last night and fly fished for trout this morning on the main stem of the Lamoille.  Last night we experienced an absolutely perfect Vermont weather day in my opinion.  Cold front arrived with cool 70 degree weather and partially sunny.  Good stiff breeze out of the west and nice humid free air.  Last night it got down to 50 degrees which cooled off the Lamoille this morning.  The surface temperature of the lake I fished last night was 76 degrees.  The Lamoille River was a nice 66 degrees at 6:30am today.  Pretty good for the middle of July.  So, boat fishing last night was refreshing in that I had young men learning to fish.  These kids are repeat guest and it was fun to step it up and fish with lures and challenge them.  On top of it, a cold front had pushed through so we had to finesse the smallmouth.  No active lures like a crank bait or popper drew any interest.  5" and 4" Senkos in various shades of green with sparkle (kids love the sparkle) were the ticket.  We landed 9 smallmouth bass.  It was pretty funny that when one of the boys would not get any bites for awhile he would state "nothing but water is what I am catching."  I love that kids speak their mind.  We located most of the smallies holding on drop offs into deeper water.  About 12' to 20' of water seemed to be the range where we got most of our takes.  Slow presentations creeping the rubber on the bottom.  The kids did a nice job.  This morning was all about small caddis #18-#20 or micro caddis.  Lots of tan bodied caddis on riparian vegetation along the banks of the Lamoille.  No rising fish but we got 3 bows to eat a #18 peacock herl caddis dry and landed 2.  Nymphing with a #10 double tungsten stone fly and a #18 yellow body caddis produced 3 more trout.  We missed a good half a dozen fish nymphing.  Fun hooking trout on small flies.  Of the 5 trout landed we had 1 wild fish and 4 stocked fish.  I liked the fact that my client commented on the fact of how the wild trout fought like crazy while the stockers just lay down.  Stocked trout are a necessary evil.  Well trout fishing again this afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

nothing but water and micro caddis

Hi Folks, Trying to stay out of trouble by guiding night and day.  Had two real contrasting trips from yesterday afternoon to early this morning.  Lake fished with spin clients last night and fly fished for trout this morning on the main stem of the Lamoille.  Last night we experienced an absolutely perfect Vermont weather day in my opinion.  Cold front arrived with cool 70 degree weather and partially sunny.  Good stiff breeze out of the west and nice humid free air.  Last night it got down to 50 degrees which cooled off the Lamoille this morning.  The surface temperature of the lake I fished last night was 76 degrees.  The Lamoille River was a nice 66 degrees at 6:30am today.  Pretty good for the middle of July.  So, boat fishing last night was refreshing in that I had young men learning to fish.  These kids are repeat guest and it was fun to step it up and fish with lures and challenge them.  On top of it, a cold front had pushed through so we had to finesse the smallmouth.  No active lures like a crank bait or popper drew any interest.  5" and 4" Senkos in various shades of green with sparkle (kids love the sparkle) were the ticket.  We landed 9 smallmouth bass.  It was pretty funny that when one of the boys would not get any bites for awhile he would state "nothing but water is what I am catching."  I love that kids speak their mind.  We located most of the smallies holding on drop offs into deeper water.  About 12' to 20' of water seemed to be the range where we got most of our takes.  Slow presentations creeping the rubber on the bottom.  The kids did a nice job.  This morning was all about small caddis #18-#20 or micro caddis.  Lots of tan bodied caddis on riparian vegetation along the banks of the Lamoille.  No rising fish but we got 3 bows to eat a #18 peacock herl caddis dry and landed 2.  Nymphing with a #10 double tungsten stone fly and a #18 yellow body caddis produced 3 more trout.  We missed a good half a dozen fish nymphing.  Fun hooking trout on small flies.  Of the 5 trout landed we had 1 wild fish and 4 stocked fish.  I liked the fact that my client commented on the fact of how the wild trout fought like crazy while the stockers just lay down.  Stocked trout are a necessary evil.  Well trout fishing again this afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

oh yea, lots of rain

Hi Folks, Guided a small stream with new fly anglers yesterday morning prior to the big storms.  Water was really low, but the temperature was a pleasant 59 degrees.  The small brooks/streams might be low, but they are maintaining their cool temperatures.  We did get some big rain yesterday afternoon and evening.  Almost an inch at my house in Stowe.  Our rivers and the ground really needed it.  Needless to say the rivers are a bit high and off colored today.  Cost me a afternoon and morning trip.  The brook fishing with a fly rod is good fun and a great place for beginners to gain an appreciation for fly fishing.  It is mostly dry fly fishing with large attractor patterns.  Great for anglers new to river fishing for learning about drifting the fly naturally and seeing trout eat the dry fly.  Small stream fishing forces the angler to use the roll and false cast.  You have to think about where you stand in the brook prior to casting. Also, shows how spooky trout can be as you often see a dark shape swim off rapidly when you spook them.  When the water is low you can really gain some valuable knowledge of holding spots for trout that might not always be obvious.  Yesterday we managed to bring 15 plus brook trout to the fly.  A few 8" to 10" fish and we missed one big trout that was holding in an eddy off a deep plunge pool.  Of course we also had our fair share of french fry sized brookies attack the dry fly.  The flies of the day were a #14 trude and a #12 Royal Wulff.  After missing the larger trout it was fun to watch the fish come up to the fly a second time and deny us. Finally, I think it is easier for beginner fly anglers to learn with light trout rods than heavier fly rods used in bass fishing.  I am running my boat this afternoon for smallmouth.  Remember to clean your gear and leave the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, July 17, 2016

full moon and big bad turtles

Hi Folks, Been an interesting couple days of guiding.  Finally got a little bit of a respite from the heat with a cold front pushing through on Friday.  Alleviated the muggy air and replaced it with nice cool crisp air.  We still need rain and our little streams in northern part of the state and northeast kingdom are drying up.  Central Vermont seems to have a bit more water.  The recent full moon certainly had an impact upon the fishing.  We have been catching fish the last few days, but we have worked to get the larger fish to eat.  My take is that there is a lot of feeding taking place at night under the full moon and the fish are stuffed by time we fish for them.  Guided 5 fly anglers for smallmouth on Friday early and the water was 68 degrees.  Not bad all things considered.  We did get a few decent bass to eat a #8 frog pattern poppers.  There was a hatch of #22 Tricos and fish feeding on the spinners as they landed on the water to lay eggs.  Rainbows and Fall Fish were sipping the tiny may flies in the slower tail outs of pools.  Tricky presentations on fish that were holding tight to their feeding lane.  We did manage to land a nice 13" jumping rainbow and missed several other takes.  Not easy fly fishing.  That afternoon I took out the boat and encountered an prehistoric beast.  Fished a lake that is very clear.  The surface temperature was 76 to 77 degrees.  Pretty darn warm. We were casting  floating Rapalas to downed wood and had a large dark shape chase out a perch Rapala.  Turned out that the 30lb plus snapping turtle wanted to eat the lure. It came right up to the boat.  This dinosaur would have removed your hand if you got close enough to eats beak. Really impressive.  The fishing itself was marginal.  Caught half dozen largemouth and smallmouth, a pickerel, and a bunch of perch.  No big fish except for 1 hog we did not land.  I think the moon and front impacted things as there was no pattern to speak of.  Did see several large rainbows in deeper water coming out of the water to eat what appeared to be a #10/#12 egg laying caddis.  Yesterday morning fished for lake trout with the long fiberglass rods and reels spoiled with braid and fluoro-carbon leaders.  Fishing was tough.  The surface temperature was 74 degrees.  We set up on deep water humps and worked smelt imitation swim baits over suspected holding areas.  Caught 2 lake trout and missed or lost another 5 fish between 3 anglers.  Lots of casting.  I think once again the full moon and front impacted the fishing.  Did see rainbows eating spent #12/#10 caddis at for the first couple hours of day light.  There were some #6 Hex shucks on the water and a few random Hex spinners.  I bet the fish gorged themselves during the night.  Taking today off and back at it tomorrow.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, July 15, 2016

Get your brook trout on.

Hi Folks, Spent a nice morning yesterday introducing a group of anglers to the world of fly fishing.  We picked the perfect environment to start in, a brook trout stream.  Water was nice cold reading a pleasant 59 degrees.  Water is still very low and we really need rain.  We worked up stream in the clear water presenting attractor dry flies to greedy native brook trout.  There were fish in every pool.  We landed 22 fish.  Now they are not "Moby Dick," size, but very pretty and agreeable t rising to eat a dry. A #12 Royal Wullf, #12 Grizzly Wullf, and a #14 stimulator all were productive.  With the low water a high percentage of the trout were packed into the larger deeper pools.  Good drag free drifts with very little fly line on the water was helpful in getting the hook set.  The visual aspect of dry fly fishing is really helpful to beginners in learning about drifting the fly and seeing a take from a trout. Slack free presentations with up stream mending and high sticking were essential.  So, trout fishing is not done currently, just in a different setting than the big rivers.  By the way, Lamoille and Winooski are un-fishable at their current temperature.  Off to chase river bass.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Earning it

Hi Folks, Had a nice afternoon on the big water chasing river smallmouth with a long time guest yesterday afternoon.  Water is still very low and warm.  Water temperature was 76 degrees.  We were fortunate to dodge afternoon thunder storms.  Though storms to our south did help to provide cloud cover and some southerly breezes that made things a bit more comfortable.  We worked for the 12 smallmouth and 1 Fall fish we landed.  Lots of walking on a big rocky water.  We had too slow down our approach with the #8 olive and white cone headed bunny bugger. Lots of juvenile bass in the shallow margins as well as crawfish.  We also noted that on the first pool we fished a number of small silver/white bat fish coming out of the water. Letting the fly sink and working it as slowly as possible without getting snagged was the ticket.  Towards dusk we tied on a #6 blue/white crease fly for some top water action.  We caught several fish on the surface fly in slow glassy pools.  Interestingly enough, we had a huge boil on the fly towards the end of the trip and missed the fish.  Always funny how you talk about the ones missed.  Pretty impressive regardless of the outcome.  I like to say to guests that the most difficult part of fly fishing is getting the fish to eat.  Well, good summer afternoon.  I am off to chase brook trout with guests.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home. have fun, Willy

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

standing in a river on a hot day

Hi Folks, Been guiding river smallmouth yesterday afternoon and this morning.  Actually going to go do it again here in a little bit.  Pretty darn hot.  Water levels have now receded and once again things are low.  It was nice yesterday afternoon as I can tell from the lack of footprints that we were the first people to fish a stretch of river since the high water.  We were rewarded with 9 smallmouth, 2 stocked rainbows, and two Fall fish.  The water temperature was 68 to 69 degrees.  This morning on the same river but in a different beat the temperature was 67 to 68 degrees.  I had a spin and fly couple and I have to tip my hat to the fly angler who watched his wife the spin angler hook a few fish before he got his line to come tight.  It always good when learning to fly fish to commit to it.  The only way you will get better at fly fishing as by doing it and putting down the spin gear.  We located most of the bass holding tight to down wood.  Used for shade and cover form predation and current.  We did have two nice smallmouth crush a #8 orange belly rubber legged frog popper.  Spinning the baby bass 3.5" swim Senko was consistent.  At dusk there was a nice little hatch of #14 light cahill.  A fair number of fish began to rise from stocked rainbows to Fall Fish.  My fly guy caught two rising rainbows on a #14 cahill compara dun.  Good long casts with good mending resulted in takes.  Nice to see.  This morning the bass fishing was consistent.  We landed 10 smallmouth drifting 3.5" swim Senkos into deeper slow pools.  The takes were pretty subtle for the most part.  However, once hooked the smallies gave us some good dancing on the surface.  Well, hopefully no thunderstorms until I am done tonight.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, July 11, 2016

Wet

Hi Folks, Finally got some rain.  We are in a drought and the rain over the weekend was a welcome relief.  I lost a trip yesterday for the first time this year.  The previous two days were spent chasing river smallmouth and small stream trout fishing.  The big water was 74 degrees and so low that we could wade all over the river.  Nice to be able to wade into spots that are generally not approachable.  We caught fish on a #8 cone headed olive bunny bugger.  Not much for a top water bite but believe that was influenced by the arriving front.  We caught a dozen fish and all of them were in the 1.5lb to 2lb class.  Lots of #6-#10 stone fly shucks on rocks and a decent hatch of #14 tan bodied caddis coming off that were be eaten by small bass and fall fish.  Saturday was a morning on small brook that was 59 degrees and coming up.  Early a thunderstorms had puffed the stream up. The rising water level made it deceiving as to where the fish were holding.  Many sexy looking spots that were devoid of a trout and probably were a bit dry the previous day before the water came up.  We cast a #10 royal foam stimulator, #12 yellow bodied stimulator, and nymphed with #14 prince.  We landed native brook trout and wild brown trout.  Missed a few fish including losing a decent rainbow.  Really important when fishing small brooks with the fly to manage your fly line well.  Slack line translates to bad drifts and missed fish.  Trout are not very forgiving and you generally get one crack at them.  However, if you get the trout to eat your fly then you have done a good job tricking them.  Off to stream fish later today.  Water should be high still but hopefully cooled off some.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Wow!

Hi Folks, The fishing the last couple of days has been incredible!  I have mixed it up with clients from small and big water trout fishing to river fishing for smallmouth.  The Winooski tribe I was on Tuesday night was a clear and cold with the water temperature reading 59 degrees.  The main stem of the Winooski bright early was 66 degrees and rose to 68 degrees by mid morning.  The two bass rivers I have been on were both 73 to 75 degrees.  Still need rain.  Getting awful bony on our steams.
The small stream brook brook trout fishing has been off the hook.  We caught well over 20 fish the other night on dry flies.  Even a couple of wild rainbows in the mix.  Lots of longer than normal casting into long deep pools.  A #12 Ausable Wulff was the fly of the day.  Really important to not over false cast in these pools as it can spook trout in the low clear water.  The Winooksi yesterday morning fished very well.  We nymphed up 9 rainbows on a #10 double tungsten stone fly and a #18 olive wire caddis pupa.  The fishing really slowed as the sun got over head.  I think the big water trout fishing might be done for a bit the warm weather now.  Need more cool nights.  The river bass fishing has been ridiculous!  Last night we caught 14 smallmouth and today my client landed 62 fish.  That's right 62 fish!  The most I have ever seen in my 21 years of guiding Vermont waters.  The first six casts produced a bass.  Spin fishing with a 3.5" texas rigged green red flake Senko has been tremendous.  Today we even cast a few popping bugs with a 6wt. and caught fish.  A brown/copper rapala really drew interest.  A number of takes on the lure as it floated.  We would miss a fish or lose one and then have another fish hit while retrieving.  The fish were really on. It seemed like the perfect storm.  We caught smallmouth in heavy riffles to pools as well as slow meandering sections.  In the slow water we focused on large submerged boulders.  Lots of great takes as the lure came over various rocks and a smallie would crush it.  I love river bass fishing.  Off to do it again tomorrow.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A brief respite

Hi Folks, Spent the last tow mornings guiding on the main stem of the Winooski.  Hard to believe that can happen in July.  The cld front that moved in the other day dropped water temperatures. Night time air temperatures in the 50's have really helped to cool off the big rivers.  The Winooski yesterday morning was 64 degrees and today 66 degrees.  The Winooski can be interesting as the erratic nature of some of the dam releases can effect the fishing.  Unfortunately, with the exception of the Waterbury Reservoir tail water release, all of the other dams are releasing warm water.  I think it takes the trout a bit to orientate when the water levels are going up or down in the big water.  Not much for hatching bugs the last few days. Lots of #6-#10 stone fly shucks on rocks and lots of cased olive caddis in riffles preparing to hatch.  Starting to see grasshoppers.  Any foam green or olive bodied hopper pattern between a #10 and #14 can be effective blind fished. We have worked for our trout the last two days managing to land a couple of wild rainbows nymphing with a double rig consisting of a #8 double tungsten stone fly and #18 micro caddis pupa as a dropper.  All of our fish we have hooked have been in the heavier riffles.  Makes sense with things warming up. Have missed a few trout, but that always happens.  We still need rain!  A little bony out there though the central VT streams appear to have more water in them than the northern waters.  Off to chase small stream trout with the fly rods.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, July 4, 2016

nice little cool down

Hi Folks, Happy 4th of July.  I have really enjoyed the last two days of guiding with the nice weather cool down we have been experiencing.  Felt like Fall on Saturday.  The weather change and subsequent cool down has allowed me to take clients on the big rivers once again.  I did guide a little brook on Saturday and spent some time on a small stream yesterday afternoon prior to visiting the Winooski.  The little brooks I have been are really low.  Water temperatures were 58 to 60 degrees.  The fishing in the small streams was decent, but a bit challenging to catch larger fish in the present conditions.  I think the trout are tight and there is a percentage of them that are not willing to come out front their holding spots to chase down a fly.  All the same we still have been catching brookies in these streams, just not a lot of big ones.  Flies that have been productive have been a #12 Royal Wullf, #10 foam Royal Trude, #14 yellow stimulator, and a #14 yellow Humpy.  I had guests on the main stem of the Lamoille yesterday morning and the water was a pleasant 64 degrees.  Lots of #10 white may fly spinners in the morning hitting the water. I think they were Golden Drake or Potamanthus may flies.  Under the sunny conditions I did not see any rising fish.  Later in the morning there was a good hatch of #18/#20 micro caddis.  We caught 3 wild rainbows and 1 wild brown on a #18 olive caddis pupa.  Most of the takes were at the end of the drift.  My second trip yesterday started on a small brook we moved to the main stem of the Winooski at dusk and had a really nice hour of trout fishing. Not much for rising fish and bugs hatching, but we got some nice fish to eat a #10 black double tungsten stone fly nymph.  My young aspiring angler had his hand full with these trout. We fought one fish for almost a minute on a 7' 3wt. that just went ballistic.  Jumped, pulled line, and changed direction continuously.  Helluva an experience for someone's first real fish on a fly rod.  The trout were holding in a heavy riffle and literally were eating the fly 5 feet in front of where we were standing.  Pretty easy short drifts.  With the nice cool down I am taking my clients to the Winooski this morning for a little trout fishing. Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, July 1, 2016

LIttle bit of this and little bit of that

Hi Folks, Been staying out of trouble guiding everyday.  Did a double yesterday of river fishing and ran my boat this morning.  Yesterday morning the small stream fishing was fantastic!!!  We landed 17 nice brook trout, 1 wild rainbow, and 1 wild brown.  We fly fished a brook that I would say does not see much human traffic.  We were off the beaten path.  The water temperature was 58 degrees and it was gin clear.  You could sight fish in certain spots.  For all of you folks who have doubts about wild trout fishing in Vermont, fly fish a small high gradient stream some time.  That is were the wild trout live in abundance from native brookies to wild bows and browns.  Countless miles of water with fish that are pretty willing to eat dry flies blindly fished due to our waters general infertility.  The larger rivers like the Lamoille and Winooski are were higher  percentage of the stocked fish are.  The tactics are simple in the little brooks.  Work up stream and dress in earth tones.  The spook factor is real and ever present.  Nice presentations are important and do not false cast too much over the water you intend to fish especially if using a bright colored fly line.  On the other end of the spectrum, my afternoon trip was spin fishing for smallmouth in a river.  The water was 74 degrees  and it was a bright hot sunny day. We landed 16 smallmouth yesterday afternoon dead drifting 3" and 4" green and crawfish colored Senkos and the last few fish of the day ate a perch rapala.  All of the bass were holding in deep slow pools with a bit of cover.  This morning I ran the boat to a northern lake.  Surface temperature was 73 to 74 degrees.  Big bright sun for most of the morning and the wind really increased out of the west.  We worked for fish and could figure out any pattern to the fishing.  We only landed 2 largemouth and 1 smallmouth.  We did hook a few other bass, but the fishing was pretty slow overall.  The 18" smallmouth we caught ate a 5" green Senko.   We worked a variety of lures and caught another bass on a fire tiger spinner.  The largemouth were holding in heavy weed cover.  The smallmouth was out in 18' of water over a hard bottom. Looks like big rain this afternoon and then a cold front moves in, perfect in my world.  Will be trout fishing the next few days.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Let it Rain, Let it Rain, let the fish rain down on me


Hi Folks, Finally got some much needed rain over the last 24 hours.  A good boost for our rivers.  I guided a brook yesterday that looked completely different now that it has some water in it.  Water temperature was a pleasant 60 degrees and the clarity was good even with almost 3/4" of rain.  We did a bit of walking and fished a variety of water types from classic riffles to pools to heavier pocket water.  This particular brook has big brown trout and native brook trout.  We presented a #12 Royal Wulff and a #10 green foam hopper with a #16 pheasant tail nymph.  No luck with the brown trout but we did catch some nice looking brook trout. It appeared that we hooked one brown on the dropper nymph but we were unable to land the trout.  Most of our action was on the dry fly.  It was interesting that the brook trout that are generally aggressive were a bit more tentative yesterday morning.  I think that the changing water levels must have had a part in their behavior.  I am off to do a double today with small stream fishing this morning and bassin' this afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tight lines mister

Hi Folks, spent the last two guiding full days for smallmouth bass.  Mixed it up guiding out of my motorboat then rive fly fishing today.  Still really dry but as I write this we do have some rain hitting the roof.  The lake surface temperature was 73 degrees and the river temperature was 70 degrees today.  Water is low everywhere including lakes and ponds.  Yesterday was a great day to be in a boat with no wind and partial cloud cover. The larger smallmouth have been holding in deeper water. We located them in 12' to 15' of water plus.  The bigger fish were off long deep rock points and off sharp drop offs from the shoreline.  We could not get the fish to eat off the top so we resorted to finesse fishing with some rubber.  A 5" crawfish colored Senko and a 5" Watermelon Red Magic Senko worked very well.  It was interesting that a lot of the fish hooked swam at the boat after getting airborne.  Really had to reel to keep the pressure on and the rod bent.  We landed 15 bass and missed or last as many.  Pretty nice that we had the entire lake to ourselves for most of the morning. Today I wore out some boot leather wading for smallmouth.  A large number of #8-#10 golden stone fly nymph shucks on rocks.  A fair number of #14 egg laying caddis this morning that were dipping their bodies into the water to drop their eggs.  Saw a few fall fish eat the bugs off the surface.  We did not have a lot of luck with surface presentations though we did catch a decent bass on a #8 foam mouse fly, and another one on a #8 yellow bodied frog popper.  Most of our damage was done with a #8 olive crystal flash bugger, a #6 olive bunny bugger, and a #8 Girdle bug under an indicator.  We caught most of our bass in slower sections of pools while we landed some giant Fall fish  in the heavy riffles.  Lots and lots of crawfish and juvenile fish milling about in the shallows.  We worked for fish today as the wind really blew from the east.  However, we still managed to catch over 15 fish between 2 fly anglers.  Hopefully we get some much needed rain as the front passing through will give us some nice cool nights to bring down water temperatures.  Off to small stream fly fish in the morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, June 27, 2016

You just never know

Hi Folks, Guided a river smallmouth trip yesterday with spin clients.  Awful darn hot on the river with a big bright sun.  The air temperature was already 78 degrees at 6:00am yesterday morning.  The water temperature was 70 degrees and low and clear.  I know I sound like a broken record but we really need rain as we are in a drought.  We fished slow pools that had lots of cover from downed wood and rock.  Dead drifting 3" green and crawfish colored Senkos.  We landed 8 smallmouth plus 3 trout.  Missed a few fish and lost a bunch that had just short struck the rubber and never really got hooked.  I was pretty surprised to see us catch two stocked rainbows and 1 12" plus native brook trout.  Not our intended target and especially in the warm water.  As you can imagine, each trout was holding in a heavy riffle with the warm water temperatures.  Pretty interesting that the trout takes were fairly aggressive while the smallmouth picked up the Senko and would swim off with it slowly.  I guess the beauty of fishing is you are never fully sure what you can or will catch on a particular day.  I am of to run the boat for smallmouth bass this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Looks and feels like summer

Hi Folks, Guided one of my regular summer beats yesterday afternoon for the first time this season.  Chased river smallmouth bass with the fly rods with aspiring fly anglers.  I love teaching people who are new to fly fishing.  Very rewarding to watch them catch their first fish on a fly.  The river we waded was extremely low and clear.  You could see the fish come to the fly.  We still need rain and ands lots of it.  The water temperature was a hot 75 degrees.  Lots and lots of cased caddis on tops of rocks.  They were a #18 yellow/tan bodied pupa.  Looks like they are ready to blast off as a high percentage of the casings were on top of the rocks in the riffles not below.  We mostly drifted dry flies and a #10 green foam hopper was the fly of the day.  Had some success with a #12 yellow bodied stimulator as their were a mess of #12/#14 yellow sallies hatching towards dusk.  We caught 3 smallmouth and 3 fall fish and missed a few.  When you are learning to fly fish their is a lot going on with line management after the cast and when a fish strikes.  All part of the learning curve.  We located all of our fish in large deeper pools and they were holding tight to cover and out of the hot sun.  Looks like a real scorcher today.  Fishing early and then hunkering down.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, June 23, 2016

That's the big one!

Hi Folks, Ran the motorboat yesterday with spin clients chasing warm water species.  I just put a new bow mounted trolling motor on the boat with 55lbs. of thrust.  Nice upgrade for my boat.  The lake we fished was stained and the surface temperature ranged from 71 to 73 degrees.  On and off rain showers which are very much needed.  We still need rain and lots of it.  We are on the verge of drought if we are not already there.  Nice calm morning, but the top water bite was not happening.  Good species diversity yesterday as we landed smallmouth, largemouth, northern pike, perch, and pumpkin seed.  All of our big fish came below the surface on 5" green and black magic red flaked Senkos Texas rigged on red hooks.  We did catch a 1lb smallmouth on a floating jointed yellow perch Rapala.  Caught the northern on a gold double bladed spinner bait. Fishing the rubber off large milfoil beds in a combo soft/hard bottom was magic.  The fish were holding on the deep edge in 15' to 17' of water. Landed two really nice bass that measured 17" and 19".  Caught several other smaller fish.  The 19" bass was a beast and both took drag off reels.  Very fun.  Well looks like summer is here and the fishing will remain an early or late in the day option.  I am off for today and tomorow in order to attend a funeral and I will be back in the game come Saturday.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Summer trout office

Hi Folks, When it gets hot I take my clients small stream fishing with the fly rods for trout.  last couple of days have been guiding the small water for native brook trout. We have almost 6,000 miles of trout streams in Vermont and large percentage that is small water.  These streams maintain temperature even on the hottest of days when the Lamoille and Winooski are too darn warm. Nice way to get a little hiking in while fishing.  The small brooks I guide are all wild trout streams.  Native brook trout and wild rainbows and brown trout.  The last couple of days the brooks I guided where between 56 and 59 degrees.  Nice to get a little rain last night and have the weather cool off.  However, the water table is way down and we really need some sustained rain.  Our river levels flows are at an August level.  We worked for trout initially yesterday as we came in behind someone who had fished where we were within a day or two.  So, we moved to a piece of water that was fresh and the results were very different.  Over the last several days we have had well over 50 brookies come to dry flies.  Even managed to hang several 10" plus fish which is big in the terms of the environment we are fishing in.  A #12 Royal Wulff, #14 yellow stimulator, #10 rubber legged Royal Trude, and a #14 Ausable Wulff have all been productive.  With the low water the spook effect is on.  Up stream presentations with careful movement are important.  On the lake front, the large burrowing may flies are hatching.  It is an evening event into dark.  Challenging fly fishing involving long casts and lots of patience.  I off to chase smallmouth tomorrow early.  Looks like rain.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, June 20, 2016

Mother Natures Air Conditioner

Hi Folks, Spent Father's Day afternoon guiding small stream trout.  Awful darn hot and sunny out there.  Fishing in a high gradient brook with good tree canopy is the way to go on those bright warm sunny days.  You can literally feel the temperature difference when you walk onto one of these brooks and get out of the sun.  Very nice. Water temperature was a pleasant 59 degrees.  Clarity was excellent, though levels are very low.  We really need rain! We had well over 30 brook trout eat our #10 rubber legged Royal Trude.  Every pool that was knee deep had a Brookie in it.  It is fun in the clear water to see the trout emerge from their holding station to eat the dry fly. The key component is to not spook the area prior to delivering the fly.  Move slowly and with stealth and do not over false cast on the pool.  Had so much yesterday that I am going to do all over again today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy