Wednesday, July 23, 2014

get up early

Hi Folks, Ran the boat yesterday morning with clients spin fishing for bass.  We were on the water by 5:45 am. as we are currently suffering through a nasty heat wave with high humidity.  Hopefully it will break this afternoon with thunderstorms.  Water temperature was 76 degrees in the morning.  Pretty warm.  Certainly too hot to trout fish the big rivers currently.  We caught all of our fish within the first two hours of the morning and the bite shut down as the sun came up.  Mostly landed smallmouths, but did catch 1 decent largemouth bass and several large rock bass.  The top water bite was good off the get go and we cast fire tiger poppers.  We worked a river system that flows into a lake and we cast to the bank into slow seams and eddies.  Lots of little fry in the water that were being crushed by bass and it appeared to be walleyes as well.  You could see the bait fish schools and watch large fish coming out of the water on the bait fish.  Pretty damn hard to get them to eat our swim baits.  5" Senkos produced a few strikes but even the rubber was tough going under the sunny skies.  So get out there early and enjoy the coolest time of day on the water. Off to do a kids program.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Consistent

Hi folks, Introduced a group of Floridians to the smallmouth bass on a river fishing trip yesterday.  Water is low and we could use some rain.  Temperature was 72 degrees and the water gin clear.   Nothing fancy yesterday as we worked 3" olive and crawfish colored Senkos on red hooks up against shady banks in deep pools.  Focused on the slow water.  Any downed wood or obstructions in the river held a bass.  All pretty subtle takes and you really had to give the fish a chance to eat the rubber bait.  We ended up landing 17 smallmouth bass.  Pretty warm out there so the big trout water is off limits currently due to warm temperatures.  Small streams are in good shape but are low and warming.  Off to chase bass in the boat this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, July 21, 2014

back to the basics

Hi Folks, Been keeping out of trouble chasing smallmouth and river trout over the weekend.  Nice fishing weather to be outside. Looks like a heat wave this week and dry weather.  We could use some rain as it is getting a bit dry out there.  Fly fished still water for smallmouth Saturday and the surface temperature was 72 degrees with very little wind and over cast conditions.  Beautiful for popping bass.  The fishing was consistent and with a #6 frog popper with rubber legs we landed 8 smallmouth between 9" and 15".  We found fish resting on the outside edges of weed beds on drop offs.  Any downed wood seemed to really hold fish.  The trick was being patient on the hook set and making sure all of the slack fly line had been recovered prior to hooking.  Good afternoon.  Yesterday morning I took two young boys and their dad trout fishing with spin gear on the Lamoille.  We were on the water at 5:45am and the water temperature was 68 degrees.  We had some back to back cool nights with air temperatures in the mid 50's that lowered the river water temperature a bit.  I taught the boys the basics I learned at their age about river fishing for trout and we even kept a few stocked rainbows for them to eat on the camp fire.  We fished crawfish lures and perch lures actively we limited results.  When started dead drifting baits on #10 red hooks with a little weight we crushed the stocked trout.  All of the fish were holding in large primary pools.  We caught 15 fish and all of the them we removed the hook from.  Barb less hooks actively fished and the hook was not swallowed.  Pretty basic and simple trout fishing.  Our next outing will be with fly rods.  It was fun to watch these kids catch a trout and clean it for dinner.  At the same time they were educated about wild fish and stocked fish and the fine balance of river fishing.   Nice experience and made me  feel like kid.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

consistent

Hi Folks, Been chasing smallmouth bass with clients lately.  Been very consistent fishing.  Fished for river smallmouth yesterday.  Water is low and clear and we could use some rain. Water temperature at 5:45am was 70 degrees.  Nice morning fog keep the sun off the water until about 8am.  We landed over 2 bass drifting 3" crawfish and olive Senkos on #1 red octopus hooks.  All of the fish were holding in deeper pools out of the main current.  In and around shady banks and downed wood worked well.  I rig the Senkos weedless so the hook set is really important.  Imperative to the let the fish take the Senko and swim with it until the line becomes tight.  The hook set is a big sweep and needs to be aggressive.  Loads of fun coming tight on a jumping smallmouth.  Off to chase small stream trout this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, July 18, 2014

tugging on smallmouth morning and night



Hi Folks, Guided a double smallmouth bonanza yesterday with a morning boat trip and afternoon boat trip.  Water has warmed up with the surface temperature in both lakes I fished holding between 73 degrees to 76 degrees.  Fairly calm in the morning with heavy fog.  The afternoon was bright and sunny with a steady NW wind.  We hammered the bass in the morning landing over 25 fish between 4" and 16".  Nice mixed bag.  Popper fishing was pretty good early morning and non-existent in the afternoon.  We landed a nice jumping smallmouth on the first cast of the morning with a fire tiger chug bug.  Most of our action came from Senkos in olive with red worm hooks.  We located bass in 10' to 12' holding right off drop offs.  Seemed like we hooked fish all morning long.  In the afternoon, the fishing was slow to start.  Probably due to the sun.  As the low got low the bite really turned on.  We set up the boat in 5' of water and cast out to 15' of water on the back edge of milfoil beds.  All hard bottom that was littered with wood and rock.  We caught 6 smallmouth and lost another 6 on a 5" green Senko.  All quality fish in the 2lb to 3lb range.  Really were coming out of the water.  Great day on the water and good fun.  Off to chase river bass this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Covering some ground

Hi Folks, Guided a full day with a fly angler on one of our local tail water fisheries.  Nice environment to fish in this time of year when it is sunny and warm.  We fished under tree canopy all day and the water temperature was 62 degrees to 65 degrees.  We walked this entire stream in 9 hours.  It did pay off as we landed 34 trout and mostly on dry flies.  Not an easy walk and it was not for the faint of heart.  Rugged terrain.  Pretty cool to catch wild trout all day in the middle of July with good water temperatures.  We caught all 3 species with 8 wild brown trout, 4 wild rainbows, and the rest native brook trout coming to the fly.  We mostly dry fly fished with a #12 royal wulff, #16 parachute hare's ear, and #16 elk hair caddis with bright yarn.  Due to the clear water, stealth was key.  You could see the fish rise to the dry fly.  We had several brown trout that we caught and missed rise ever so slowly to sip in the fly in slow glassy pools.  Lots of patience in setting the hook.  We did nymph several large plunge pools with a #14 tungsten prince and #12 double tungsten black stone fly.  Small stream magic.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

wearing out some boot leather

Hi folks, Been spending some time with fly anglers guiding small trout streams lately.  One of my favorite environments to fly fish in and really not conducive to spin angling.  I have learned over the years that fishing small streams involves some walking.  There is only so much caring capacity in these small brooks for trout so there is not a high density of fish per spot.  The streams have a high density of fish, but you are not going to find 30 trout in one hole.  More like 1 or 2.  You have to cover water to catch a good number of trout.  The trade off is the brookies, browns, and rainbows in small streams are greedy and pretty willing to eat dry flies.  Yesterday morning, we fished a small Winooski tributary and landed 4 wild brown trout and 3 native brookies.  Missed another half dozen fish.  The water was low and clear and the temperature was 63 degrees.  We could use some sustained rain.  The fly of the day was a #12 Royal Wulff and a #14 Orange Stimulator.  It is pretty common to have a fish eat the dry fly on the first or second cast.  Prepares you mentally for setting the hook.  These fish in small streams are greedy and it is important to not spook them.  Well. looks like I will be dodging thunderstorms today and could get blow off from my afternoon boat trip.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, July 14, 2014

What a day

Hi folks, Guided a double yesterday with some trout fishing in the morning and smallmouth bass fishing in the afternoon.  Nice fishing conditions yesterday with over cast skies and then late afternoon showers. Water levels are down and we could use some steady rain.  Spent the morning on a Lamoille tributary that was 63 degrees and low and clear.  Very good dry fly fishing.  We fished pocket water with a 2wt. casting a #14 lime green stimulator and a #12 royal wulff.  Caught trout on both flies.  We landed 7 brown trout and 3 brook trout.  The fish of the day was a measured 20" brown trout that sipped in the royal wulff.  The opening of my net is 17".  Incredible that we landed this fish in heavy water.  We had to chase it down in the brook.  It was not sitting in an obvious spot as it was nestled up against a large boulder off a small run.  This is the third large brown I have seen in a week guiding as I have now had clients land a 16", 18", and 20" brown trout and all in different streams.  Not much for hatching insects and we blind fished the stream with the dry flies.  In the afternoon, the smallmouth river we fished was clear and 72 degrees.  We pounded on the smallmouth landing 14 fish and missing and losing another 8 fish.  Not much for a top water bite, but they were pounding a 3" watermelon magic Senko.  We hooked fish on our first three casts.  Most of the bass were holding in big eddies or around large rocks in deep pools.  All about line control and watching your line move when a fish picked up the rubber.  Really consistent day on the water.  Off to do it all over again today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

Sunday, July 13, 2014

spook factor in full effect

Hi Folks, Been guiding fly anglers river fishing the last couple of days for smallmouth bass.  The water is low and clear and we could use some rain.  Looks like we are going to get some rain with in coming thunderstorms.  Any rain will be welcomed but the steady variety versus a thunderstorm would be better.  I have been a on a river that is very clear and you can spot the bass more often than not.  The water temperature has been between 72 degrees and 75 degrees the last couple of days.  Lots of #8/#10 stone fly shucks on the rocks on the waters edge.  Also, a lot of #8 Damsel fly nymphs where moving around the bottom of the stream and were very visible.  Big morsel of food.  Not much for a top water bite last two days with bass coming to look at the fly and turning off.  We have been resorting to nymphing with #8 double tungsten stone flies under indicators and #10 olive/black tungsten bead wooly bugger.  Nice dead drifts have produced some good fish.  Trout tactics for fussy fish.  Trust me, when you can see the fish, more often than not they can see you as well.  Trout almost always swim off and hide when spooked.  Bass do not necessarily swim off, but they still will not eat your fly.  Approach to the water is pretty important in these conditions and not getting in the water is also a good idea.  Will be chasing small stream trout this morning and bass fishing in the afternoon.  Hopefully I will be able to dodge any nasty weather.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, July 11, 2014

get out of the sun and good things happen

Hi folks, Guided a double yesterday with a family trip in the morning and a boat trip in the afternoon.  Big bright sunny day with really pleasant air temperatures.  Water temperatures in our lakes are now holding in the mid 70's.  Perfect for bass fishing.  Pretty good steady northwest wind yesterday.  I think one of the bigger determining factors in bass fishing is finding low light.  The sun seems to be the biggest deterrent in getting fish to eat.  In the morning we did some bank fishing and caught all sorts of fish with spin gear from pumpkin seeds to suckers to perch to bass to even a rainbow trout.  Pretty simple fishing with lots of action for the kids.  Little kids do not care what they catch as long as they have a bend in their rod.  In the afternoon was a combination of a fly angler and two spin anglers on the boat. The water where we fished was off color.  We moved around and finally fished a shoreline out of the sun with big weed beds that dropped from 9' of water to 20' of water.  The fish were holding on the edges.  No love fishing in the sun.  We made lots of cast and worked our poppers really aggressively.  A little chop on the surface with dirty water dictates that the popper is worked more aggressively.  We landed one of the larger smallmouth I have seen this season with the fish really pressing the 5lb category.  Absolute pig that fought like crazy.  It crushed the fly. On its first jump I thought it was a largemouth bass because it was so deep.  Pretty good fun on a fly rod.  The fish ate a #4 chartreuse popper with rubber legs and large saddle hackle tail.  We had several other smaller bass eat but nothing in comparison to the big boy.  The big fish made up for the lack of numbers in the afternoon and the fly guy out fished the spin anglers.  We did see a few #6 Hexs' coming off at dusk and an almost full moon makes me think that the fish are really feeding heavily at night.  Makes sense with the big sun all day and then a bright night sky.  Off to chase bass and small stream trout over the next few days.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

magic

Hi Folks, Finally a reprieve from the hot humid weather. A cold front blasted through last night bringing some rain and of course wind for today.  I guided a small stream in the valley yesterday with great success.  Water temperature was 63 degrees and the levels were low.  It appears that the trout are now holding in the primary pools and there is not enough water to hold fish in the secondary water.  Starting to see more #8/#10 Stone fly shucks on rocks and #10/#12 green grass hoppers in fields.  The time for Stimulators is now.  The Stimulator is an adult stone fly imitation, but creates the profile of a grasshopper.  Great dry fly that floats well and is a good choice for putting a dropper nymph underneath.  The trout were on yesterday as we landed 16 4" to 8" native brook trout and 4 wild brown trout between 13" and 16".  Good fun a 2wt. and a real challenge landing the larger brown trout.  What is fun in clear water is seeing the fish come to the fly.  The two largest brown trout emerged from wood piles that were jammed up against large boulders.  Each fish chased the fly down stream and grabbed it.  Never under estimate how often a trout eats your fly after it has drifted past them. We mixed up Stimulators in size and color using orange and lime green from #10 to #14.  Also took a number of brook trout on #12 Royal Wulff.  I love small stream fly fishing and I believe it is Vermont's best option for wild fish.  Small streams make you an accurate fly caster.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

small stream action

Hi folks, Been chasing trout in small stream environments with the fly rods lately.  Great place for beginning fly anglers to start out their fly casting career.  Long cast are not required, mending a short line is easier, and the fish tend to be user friendly.  Water temperature on the brook I guided yesterday was 64 degrees and the water level was low.  A few morning showers but generally just over cast yesterday.  The trout were a bit tight yesterday morning and we located fish in a few pools.  It appeared that the spook factor was in place and with the low water levels the fish have moved around.  The fly of the day was #12 royal wulff.  Had two nice wild rainbows smash the dry as it was presented under a tree with lots of roots in a down stream drift.  We took a 10" wild brown on a #18 olive caddis nymph.  Tons of #18/#20 micro caddis hatching and as well as #8 stone fly shucks on rocks.  Off to chase trout in a small brook again this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, July 7, 2014

a little relief from the heat

Hi folks, Spent a nice weekend guiding trout in small water and chasing river smallmouth bass.  Friday night brought a cold front to town to that pushed out the hot humid weather that had been hanging around all last week.  Pretty windy both Saturday and Sunday making boat fishing a bit if challenge.  The small streams I fished were fairly low and it appears that we could still use some steady rain.  Water level was dropping after heavy rain from the storms produced from the cold front. Water temperature has dropped and the two small streams I guided over the last 2 days were 62 degrees.  Pretty decent number of micro caddis hatching both mornings.  #18/#20 tan bodied caddis coming off in big numbers, but nor trout rising to the small bug.  We fished #12 yellow bodied and green bodied stimulators with a #18 olive copper john dropper nymph.  Most of the trout we hooked smashed the dry fly.  Wild rainbows and browns and native brook trout.  A little nymphing with a #14 black double tungsten stone fly under indicator was effective in some larger deeper pools.  As long as the nights stay cool the trout fishing in the small brooks will remain consistent. The big rivers are still too warm and the Lamoille was off color all weekend.  On the bass front, the river fishing has been very good and the lake fishing challenging.  The challenge with the lake fishing was the wind and boat control.  The river fishing was very good last night as we caught 5 nice smallmouth and missed or lost another half a dozen fish.  We cast popping bugs at them and spin fished.  Mots of the bass were holding in slower deeper pools with wood.  Pretty clear water and you could see the fish a times coming to the fly.  The river bass fishing will be the best option over the next couple of months as summer is now full on.  Off to chase to small stream trout this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, July 5, 2014

celebrating the 4th with smallmouth

Hi folks, Guided from my canoe yesterday morning for smallmouth bass with a spin casting client.  Pretty damp morning with showers for the first part of the day.  A constant wind from the northwest forced our hand in where we could hold the boat and fish.  Looks to be very breezy one today and fishing from a boat could be challenging.  The water was warm and the temperature was 74 degrees to 77 degrees.  Not much for a top water bite so we got down and dirty fished 4" Senkos on Red Hooks with olive and craw fish colored soft plastics.  We landed 9  bass with the largest fish weighing in at 2.5lbs.  All Pretty subtle takes and there really was no pattern as to where we caught them.  We picked them off from the edges of lilly pads with downed wood, to rock islands, to rock cliff faces with downed wood.  It was a morning of lots of casting and patience as most of our takes were subtle.  My client did a nice job of being patient and continuing to cast and fish hard.   I suspect the weather has an impact on the fishing. Off to chase small stream trout this morning.  Feels pretty cool outside as as a big weather front has moved in.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, July 4, 2014

muggy, thunderstorms, and brook trout

Hi folks, I have bee dodging thunderstorms the last couple of days while small stream fishing for brook trout with clients.  It has been awful muggy and hot out there with thunderstorms each afternoon.  Brook levels are low and below the seasonal average.  Been pretty dry.  The only game for trout fishing right now are small brooks.  All of the big rivers are too warm and the fish should be left alone.  I have found water temperatures on low sixties on the brooks I have been guiding.  Yesterday the water temperature was 63 degrees which is pretty warm for this particular stream.  Been working up stream in clear water with a #10 parachute hopper pattern.  Seems to be brook trout in every spot you cast.  Brook trout are not giant, but awful greedy and willing to eat dry flies.  Nice dead drifts with little slack fly line is the key to getting strikes and hooking trout in these small brooks.  Our small streams are our best trout fishing options for native brook trout and wild rainbows and browns.  Our big rivers have a mix of wild fish and stocked fish.   Not a big fan of stocked trout.  Going smallmouth fishing this morning.  Looks like a cool down for the next few days which will make fishing a bit more pleasant.  Happy 4th of July. Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have fun, Willy

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

pulling the boat around


Hi folks, Guided with the boat yesterday on the lower Lamoille where it forms a lake.  All sorts of fish to be caught, though our target was smallmouth bass and walleye.  Awful hot and humid out there.  We got on the water very early to avoid the big sun. Surface temperature at 6:00am was 72 degrees with a steady south wind.  We landed two smallmouth bass off the get go on a storm fire tiger chug bug, but then the top water bite tailed off.  We resorted to fishing 4" and 5" Senkos on 1/0 red worm hooks in green flake with pretty good results.  Landed all in all 8 smallmouth, no monsters, several rock bass, 1 short walleye, and a massive 8lb Bow Fin.  We focused on big eddies and the slow seems off the main current.  Lots of rock for cover for the fish where we cast.  The Bow Fin, a prehistoric fish, was incredible. I did not know they lived in this body of water as I had only caught them previously in Lake Champlain. Let me tell you that these fish fight!  It took us several minutes to land as it pulled the bow of my 16" Grumman around.  My client did an excellent job fighting this fish on 6lb test and we got lucky that its razor sharp teeth did not break us off.  The Bow Fin ate a Senko.  Not the easiest fish to handle for photos.  Notice the bend in the net handle.  I could not get my hand around the top of its head.  Pretty exciting.  In the afternoon I did a little exploring and checked out a small Lamoille tributary that was 72 degrees at 6:00pm.  Trout fishing for the most part is on hold until things cool off.  Small mountain streams will be the best option as well as smallmouth fishing early and late in the day.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

until next time

Hi Folks, Took two spin anglers fishing on the Lamoille yesterday morning.  We were on the water at 5:30am.  Pretty darn warm out there and the Lamoille is now too warm to trout fish.  The water temperature at 6:00am was 69 degrees and by time we finished up, the temp. had reached 70 degrees.  Hot summer days will do that.  Give the thermally stressed trout in the bigger rivers a break and move to small streams for trout fishing now.  We fished big primary pools had some good success with the stocked rainbows of the Lamoille.  We landed one 13" wild bow, but every other fish was a hatchery product.  We cast a rapala brown trout imitation and a rebel crawfish.  There were crawfish all over the river bottom.  Pretty interesting to see the number of follows from fish.  Most of the strikes are usually on a pretty good wallop on the plugs.  We landed 8 fish and missed a few others.  Looks warm over the next few days so getting on the water early will be good.  Off to chase walleye and bass this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, June 30, 2014

get after it early

Hi folks, Floated in canoe yesterday morning with guest fly fishing for smallmouth bass.  Surface temperature was 70 degrees at 5:30am and the water's surface was dead calm.  I like the early morning fishing when the weather is hot and humid.  Big bright sun as well makes mid day fishing tough.  We fished surface flies with using a #6 frog popper and a #4 chartreuse foam slider.  Pretty tough morning of surface fishing with only 3 smallmouth coming to the fly and 1 fish being landed.  We noticed a bit of feeding in deeper water by smallmouth on the surface as they were slowly rising and slurping something in.  Could of been #6 Hexagenia spinners they were eating as the rise forms almost looked like trout until you took a closer look and realized it was smallmouth.  This activity took place for an hour early on then shut down as the sun got up over head.  All 3 fish that took the fly was hooked in deeper water off drop offs where there were weed beds and rocks.  Chasing trout early this morning.  Keep your thermometer handy as the water has warmed up significantly.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, June 29, 2014

getting out of the sun

Hi Folks, Been keeping busy and out of trouble guiding the last few days.  Really nice summer weather currently and a big bright sun.  I like the sun for gardening but not necessarily for fishing.  Small stream trout fishing has been in order and the fishing has been very good.  Water temperature on the small brook I visited yesterday morning was 59 degrees.  The water was clear and the level had been dropping from the previous days rain.  I love the small streams on hot summer days as they have good shade with the tree canopy and tend to always stay cooler than the larger exposed rivers.  We cast dry flies all morning with a #14 lime green bodied stimulator being the go to fly.  We caught a dozen and half native brook trout and wild rainbows.  Some pretty nice sized brookies and even one wild bow over 11".  Good fun on a 2wt. outfit in a small environment.  The only hatching bugs were #14 yellow sallies.  I am not convinced that matching the hatch is critical in a small brook but our stimulator was certainly the same size as the bug that was coming off and it did out perform a larger #10 royal trude with rubber legs. Up stream fishing, accurate casting and good mending allowed us to catch all the trout.  Keep your thermometers handy as it is warm outside and the big rivers are becoming too warm to fish in the afternoon.  I am off to chase smallmouth with the fly.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, June 27, 2014

beautiful weather for a change

Hi Folks, Spectacular out on the water this morning.  Nice after a few days of steady rain which we did really need.  My clients were treated to an excellent morning of smallmouth bass fishing.  Dead calm at 5:30am and heavy fog which burned off around 7:00am.  Surface temperature was 69 degrees in the lake we fished.  It was ideal conditions for surface fishing.  We cast over dead wood and boulders in 10' of water and watched smallies come to the poppers.  Fire tiger was the color and a storm chug bug was very effective.  The key component was letting the surface lure sit still for half minute.  Slight twitches provoked some very aggressive strikes.  The bass got air born today.  Lots of jumpers.  When the sun poked its head out we moved to deeper water on shadey shorelines.  Flipping 5" green Senkos with red flakes out performed crawfish colored ones.  We landed over a dozen bass with some nice 2lb to 3lb fish coming to the boat.  Off to fish bass again this afternoon.  Keep your thermometer handy in the big trout water as I suspect the Lamoille and Winooski are too warm.  The Winooski was still pretty dirty yesterday and the level was way up.  The Lamoille was high and dropping and a little off colored.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy