Friday, August 26, 2016

Making rods bend

Hi Folks, Been weathering the heat and humidity by standing in rivers.  Mixed it up the last two days with river fishing for smallmouth bass and fly fishing for wild rainbows and browns on a Winooski tributary.  Water temp. on the smallmouth water was 72 degrees and the trout stream this morning was a very nice 63 degrees.  Water is low and clear and we still need rain.  The bass fishing was pretty straight forward as we dead drifted 3" green and brown Senkos on red hooks.  We landed 8 smallmouth and missed a few.  The bite was fairly subtle but with good line control we managed to stick a few in deeper pools and back eddies.  This morning the trout fishing was pretty darn good with all of the fish caught on a dry fly.  A #12 Royal Wulff to be exact.  One 14" plus bow jumped 6 times.  Landed 5 wild bows and 1 wild brown.  Missed a few as we had trout coming out of the water and back down on the fly.  Really fun in clear water to watch fish launch to the surface to eat.  Not much for hatching bugs.  Seeing a few #18/#20 yellow bodied caddis, #6-#10 stone fly shucks on rocks, flying ants #14-#22, #18-#22 BWOs, a few #22 Tricos, and lots of different types  of terrestrials.  Off to bass fish this afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Keeping the spirit alive, plus flying ants

Hi Folks, Since returning from up north I have had the chance to guide young anglers the past two days.  A young budding fly angler from a canoe last night for smallmouth bass and today Boy Scout Troop 94 from Maine for a little river spin fishing for bass.  Pretty warm today and muggy today.  Yesterday was beautiful coming off a cold front that arrived on Monday.  Surface temperature in the lake was 71 degrees and the river temperature today was 72 degrees.  Water levels are still down and we need rain!.  Sun has been bright the last few days.  Yesterday afternoon we had a field day with small smallmouth eating our top water offerings.  A #6 frog popper and a #8 foam popper were the flies of the day.  Did not see really any big fish come to the fly.  We fished all sorts of cover and structure and spots where the big boys and girls hang.  I think the cold front from the previous day made the bigger bass a bit fussy to come to the surface.  The strikes we did receive from the numerous small fish were when the popper was being worked aggressively out over deeper water.  However, at dark, there was a nice little hatch of some sort of burrowing may fly in the Hex family and the bass begin to rise to it.  We caught our best fish of the afternoon right at the end at dark.  Today I had the pleasure of guiding Boy Scouts.  I am a Eagle Scout and I was turned on to fishing from scouting.  I was able to help four of the kids earn their fishing merit badge.  Every Scout caught a bass today.  I did let them harvest several fish selectively and learning to clean and prepare a fish is part of the badge requirement.  We drifted bass colored Senkos in 3" and 4" sizes with great success.  At the end of the trip the flying ants started to appear after we were in the trucks.  Have your ant patterns handy as they bring everyone to the surface.  Was very nice for me to fly fish with a young man I have guided since he was 6 and who could successfully and effectively deliver the fly while siting.  I was having flash backs all afternoon with the Scouts thinking about my great memories at their stage in fishing.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

back in the game

Hi Folks, Just returned from Labrador fly fishing the Mckenzie River Lodge.  Pretty incredible place in the middle of no where. Literally one of the last true wilderness areas in north america.  Not for the faint of heart.  Challenging but really rewarding fly fishing for 2lb to 7lb brook trout, 5lb to 15lb Ouananiche or landlocked salmon, 8lb to 25lb lake trout, 5lb to 15lb northern pike and lake whitefish that go up to 6lbs.  We sight fished brook trout and few salmon with nymphs under Bomber dry flies.  My favorite rig as I landed some of my best salmon on a #12 red thread tungsten prince nymph.  We twitched mouse fly patterns for violent boils and strikes from angry salmon as well as swung and stripped streamer fly patterns in olive, black, and natural colors.  All catch and release fishing and a place where most of the fish are not afraid of us as they do not recognize people as predators.  Hell of a experience
and one that is logged in my brain for sometime to come.  I am off to chase smallmouth this afternoon with clients.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Heading to Labrador, not quite yet

Hi Folks, Guided one last fishing trip yesterday morning before I leave for Labrador today.  I will be gone from Saturday August 13 to Sunday August 21.  Heading north to Labrador to fly fish for landlocked salmon, brook trout, pike, lake trout, and white fish.  Should be epic.  So, yesterday took a young angler spin fishing for smallmouth bass.  Water temperature was 71 degrees and the water was low and clear.  You could see the fish eat the presentation.  Tough not to set the hook prematurely when you see the smallmouth move to eat your presentation.  A little bit of on and off rain made for good low light fishing.  We landed 9 smallmouth on a 4" Senko swim bait in baby bass.  All of the fish were holding in deeper pools causing back and forth amongst down wood and rocks.  Still really need rain and it looks like we might get some over the next few days.  For hatches, #22-#24 Tricos, #10-#12 Epherons, #18-#20 minor caddis in tan and black, #12 Isonychia, and terrestrials in all shapes and sizes. I will resume my guiding operation when I return to action on Monday August 22.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, August 11, 2016

not bad

Hi Folks, Been mixing it up with the guiding the last couple of days.  Fly fishing small streams and brooks for native and wild trout as well as bigger water for smallmouth.  The bass fishing had been tricky until yesterday morning when we had some nice low light.  The difference between sun and low light was astronomical.  In the bright sun the smallmouth would come to the fly and turn off.  In the low the light they would come to the fly and commit to eating.  We got smallmouth to eat a #8 chartreuse rubber legged popper on the surface and a #8 picket pin streamer below the surface.  All of the fish were holding in deeper pools that had a mix of wood and rock for cover.  The water temperature was 66 degrees and really low.  The low water certainly has made the fishing challenging.  Still seeing big numbers of #22 Tricos hatching in the morning with massive spinner clouds over riffles around 9am.  Some #18-#20 micro caddis are hatching in the morning as well.  On the trout front, I have been covering a lot of ground on small brooks to get fish to eat.  The brooks we visited Monday and Tuesday were between 57 to 62 degrees.  The water is so low that you really have to make more casts than usual to get the fish to eat.  They simply do not want to move off their holding areas.  Knee deep water up against large rocks that abut riffles have been consistent holding areas.  My clients have been casting #12 green foam hoppers, #12 Royal Wulff, #14 green bodied stimulator, and #14 yellow humpy.  Any terrestrial pattern would be productive currently.  Still really need rain.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, August 8, 2016

A bit challenging

Hi Folks, Been pounding it the last few days for smallmouth bass with clients in lakes and rivers.  We have been fly fishing and spin fishing.  The fishing has been down right slow!  Water temperatures really spiked into the high 70's and then almost 80 degrees on a lake I fished last Friday.  Cold front moves through and I got a reading of 68 degrees this morning on a bass stream and 59 on a brook trout stream.  The lower Lamoille had a weather event on Friday night with a thunderstorm that made it a bit off color.  We fished some sexy water that simply was off.  I have guided these stretches for a number of years and the fish were simply shut down after the front passed.  This morning we watched smallmouth come to the fly both a popper and streamer and turn off over and over again.  Not interested enough to eat it.  Making lots of casts and drifts to hook a couple of fish at best. Funny in fishing how you can one day catch over 50 fish one day and the next barley touch one.  This is why I am no expert and continually trying to get better at my craft.  You never have it totally figured out.  The brook trout fishing was good as they seemed willing to eat dry flies.  A#12 rubber legged foam Trude was effective this morning getting fish to eat.  Well with the cooler weather maybe have the chance to fish some bigger water for trout in the early morning.  Still need rain big time.  Been a good number of #22-#24 Tricos hatching.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Dog days of August

Hi Folks, Been trying to stay cool with the guiding operation over the last few days.  Truly the dog days of August right now. Did a full day yesterday in the boat with aspiring fly anglers and the previous day fly fished a small brook.  In between guiding I had the chance to take my kids fishing which was good fun.  The lake we fished yesterday was 78 to 80 degrees.  I have never seen the water so warm in the 25 years I have fished this place.  Not to mention the water is extremely low.  We need sustained rain.  The brook I was on was 59 degrees but extremely low and gin clear.  Bass fishng yesterday with the fly rods was tough.  We caught fish on the surface, but nothing too large.  It was a day where a sinking line with a heavy fly would have been the method.  The larger fish are holding in deeper water off the first significant drop from shore.  15' to 25' of water would be perfect.  Tough to fish deep water with a fly rod and if you are learning really tough.  Lake fishing with the fly forces the casting angler to learn how to haul the line and in particular double haul.  Managing the fly as you recover it by stripping the fly back and then re-casting is all challenging stuff when learning to fly fish.  Casting from a boat is certainly more tricky than from a standing position in a river.  The small stream front has been good.  The fish are ultra spooky, but still agreeable to eating a well presented dry fly.  Still getting fish t eat #10-#14 stimulator, #12 royal wulff, and a #14 Ausable wulff.  Paying attention to approach and making good accurate casts is the key.  Had fun taking my 2 and 4 year old fishing for pan fish the other day.  Keep it simple and short with kids.  We caught pumpkin seeds and perch using a bobber with a small hook with some garden hackle.  Good for kids to have the visual of the bobber.  Pretty entertaining.  I am off to chase river smallmouths this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Even a blind squirrel can find an acorn

H Folks, I had the chance to fish between guiding trips yesterday morning.  Visited an old favorite Winooski River tributary.  The beat I fished with another angler I had not walked in 7 years.  Certainly some of it looked different (this stream got a bit beat up by Irene) but a fair amount of water looked the same.  That is a good thing when you have stability.  The water temperature was 60 degrees and we had a nice dam cloudy drizzly type of morning.  Water is low and man we need more rain.  Saw a few #22 Tricos, a few #18 caddis, but not a lot of hatching activity.  We did see some rather large fish make a few random rises including a trophy brown trout.  I was all about matching the hatch and used a #18 black foam ant with a #22 peacock herl soft hackle dropper.  While my angling partner opted for his old go to the #14 Royal Trude.  Guess what, the Trude crushed it.  He landed a beautiful brown trout and rainbow as well as missing several large fish.  We blind fished the trudes in the stable holes.  Really slow drifts.  I did get two trout to eat the ant.  I missed one fish and lost the another rainbow at my feet.  A #18 olive caddis pupa under the Trude did catch the best fish of the day a jumping hard pulling 15" wild rainbow.  It was great to see this stream fish well.  Pleasant surprise.  This morning I stormed a client up a small brook for wild rainbows, browns, and brookies.  Water temperature was 56 degrees and the water was slightly up and clear.  We landed 15 brook trout and two wild rainbows with one measuring in at 11"  Good fun on a slow action 6' 2wt.  A #12 rubber legged foam bodied trude was the fly of the day.  Two pretty good back to back mornings of trout fishing, very nice.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, August 1, 2016

a bunch of bass

Hi Folks, Another great weekend of smallmouth bass fishing with the fly rods in the big rivers.  Did mix a brook trout in between which was productive as well.  Two contrasting fishing worlds, large strong bronze back to delicate dainty square tails.  The brook trout stream was 60 degrees and crazy low.  It seems like the fish are running out of water.  Landed a 10 small native brook trout with a #14 royal wullf and #12 trude.  The water is spooky so approach is critical.  In the bass world the fishing is just silly good.  In two days I have seen well over 75 smallmouth caught on fly rods.  Yesterday afternoon we landed 41 smallies between two fly anglers.  Water temperatures are really warm reading 76 to 78 degrees.  It has been all surface fishing with a variety of poppers.  to sure the popper type matters.  In the shallow margins there is life everywhere from young bass of varying sizes, to crawfish galore, and a variety of bait fish and bugs.  You can see the beginning of the food chain right in front of you.  We have had fish eat in slow water with lots of rock for cover, but the faster sections seem to beholding the larger fish.  Probably due to the high water temperature and bright sun.  There could not be a better time than now to chase river smallmouth bass.  Looks like we might get some much needed rain.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Wow, that was crazy and silly good

Hi Folks, Guided an epic full day yesterday with spin anglers for river smallmouth bass.  Thursday I ran my boat for bass in the afternoon and Thursday morning was some small stream magic.  Been hot out there but luckily yesterday we had nice steady breeze to keep things pleasant and Thursday afternoon the cloud cover and showers mad for some decent lake fishing.  The small stream trout fishing has been good but challenging.  Low clear water always makes it challenging.  The water temperature in the brook we fished was 62 degrees, the surface of the lake was 75 degrees and the lower Lamoille was 74 to 76 degrees.  With the low water, wading the big river for bass fishing is pretty easy for getting to spots that are not generally easily accessed.  However, the walking around is tough with all of the rocks, boulders, and slippery terrain.  Really need to pay attention or you will get hurt.  Small steaming we fished a #14 foam green grasshopper pattern.  We landed several very nice 10" plus brook trout.  Matter of fat we caught an old fish that was easily 13" and looked to be a bit beat up with a torn up tail and dorsal.  However, it did fight pretty well and crushed a sry fly.  The other larger broke was stellar looking with a giant type.  We missed a large brown trout that came from under a rock to eat the hopper.  After missing it we spooked the brownie when we landed a smaller fish.  Pretty impressive watching it swim off.  On the lake front we caught 6 smallmouths on 5" goby colored Senkos with red hooks.  We had several fish come up on a blue/silver floating rapala and we simply missed them.  The smallmouth were holding in 18' to 25' of water and we had to really make sure our presentations got down to them.  All off sharp drop offs from the shore line.  Yesterday, was absolutely epic as we landed 69 smallmouth bass.  A new single day record for Catamount Fishing Adventures.  However, for clarification, the old record was set by single angler as yesterday was 4 anglers.  All the same, the fishing was ridiculous.  We did catch a few and miss a few on the gold/black Rapala, but the artificial of the day was a 4" dark green pumpkin Senko on a red hook dead drifted and reeled back after the drift all took fish.  As the sun got up over head we had to focus on getting the rubber down into the zone.  Always a trick figuring out the drift in a river and where to land your presentation in order to have it down to the fish.  Many of the bass were holding in and around large structure in the river which happens to be boulders and rocks. We caught a lot of really nice 1.5lb to 2.25lb smallmouth.  Strong hard fighting fish.  The large pools were the most productive without question.  Silly good.  I have guided just about every day for the last 6 weeks and I really relished yesterday.  Not all the time that the fishing is that good.  I tip my hat to my Ohio fancy pants beer drinking anglers (they partly come to Vermont to drink and buy our beer) as they put on clinic yesterday and made me look good.  Fine work!!! For hatching bugs lately, I have been seeing #18/20 black caddis in the morning, #22/#24 Tricos, a few #6/#8 stone flies and lots of terrestrials with hoppers dominating the seen. I am off to chase river bass with the fly this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Holding tight to cover



Hi Folks, Doubled up on the smallmouth with clients yesterday fishing rivers with spin gear.  Pretty darn hot day on the river.  Big bright sun with the water temperature reading 70 degrees in the morning and rising to 76 degrees by days end.  Water is still low and we need rain.  Very clear where we fished and you could sight a percentage of the fish prior to casting to them.  It was also possible to see the smallmouth move to eat our Senkos and Rapalas.  I had the family dynamic on both of trips yesterday.  Great fun to watch kids who do not do a lot of fishing if any at all to cast their first fish.  I love the process of the teaching them how to cast, reel, set the hook, play the fish, and handle it with some respect prior to release.  The fishing in the morning started out red hot and then slowed a bit as the sun got high in the sky.  In the afternoon it was just the opposite as the fishing picked up as the sun went down.  Makes good sense.  With the low water and big sun, the smallmouth were holding tight to cover.  In and around big rocks and downed wood.  You would have to strategically place your cast above a spot and have it drift into the holding area to prompt a response.  Some of the larger fish of the day to a juvenile brown trout plug.  Love watching big smallmouth come up and eat.  Also good for aspiring anglers to see how a fish eats.  Between, he morning and evening we collectively landed 23 bass.  Well, changing directions today and heading out to chase small stream trout.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

submarine

Hi Folks, Guided a small stream yesterday morning with a fly angler.  Water temperature was 60 degrees and the flow was just below the seasonal average.  Thunderstorms the last few days have dropped some much needed rain.  We still need more rain, but some is better than non.  We saw some very nice fish yesterday.  The brook we were on is very clear and it is not hard to spot fish when the rise to the fly or spook.  We spooked on a false cast one of the largest brown trout I have seen in a river around here in quite sometime.  The fish was a true submarine and had to measure in the 20" plus range if not bigger.  Probably a trout like that eats the brook trout we are catching.  Though the 12" native brookie we landed on a #14 tungsten prince nymph might have been a bit of a meal for the big brown.  Nice fat brookie that was beautifully colored up.  I do not generally nymph small streams like this one, but we had just missed a brown trout in the 15" plus class twice on a dry fly.  A #14 yellow bodied stimulator was very productive on the surface.  So, we were attempting to nymph up the brown when the large brookie intercepted the fly. Good problem to have.  We had 11 trout come to the fly.  We found all of the fish in primary pools and holding in and around large rocks and boulder or downed wood. The small streaming was so good yesterday that I am going to do it all over again this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

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