Monday, November 29, 2010

hunting and getting ready for ice fishing

Hi folks, Been in the woods the last few weeks chasing birds and deer.  I think I am a better angler and fishing guide than hunter.  Love the woods and the the thrill of hunting.  Hunting is nice way to learn patience, how to be quiet, move slowly, and be extremely observant.  Some snow on the ground presently and ice forming on lakes, but that will all change this week with a warm spell and rain.  Once the cold sets in I will be offering ice fishing for pike and yellow perch. I hope to be on the ice by the third week of December.  January will bring ice fishing for trout.  I will be putting my shanty on a trout lake and using my portable shanty for pike lakes.  Awful good fishing for pike in the early season so let hope for some cold weather.  Remember to clean your gear and obey the bait laws to prevent the spread of non-native species.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, October 29, 2010

end of the season

Hi Folks, Spent a nice day up north chasing salmon on the fly with friends.  Beautiful day with sunny skies and warmer than average air temperatures.  Water level was slightly above the seasonal average and the temperature was 50 degrees.  We landed 6 landlocked salmon yesterday with the best fish measuring 20" and going about 3.5lbs.  Nice looking male that put up a good struggle.  Lots of angling pressure yesterday and the streamer approach seemed to get fish looking, but not eating.  We nymph fished with a #12 prince nymph under an indicator and that rig hooked a majority of our salmon.  We did miss a few and lose some fish, but all in all not a bad day.  One thing I noticed was too many anglers getting in the water.  Stay off the gravel and spawning beds.  Matter of fact leave the spawners alone.  Pretty obvious when you see a big silver flash in front of you as to what is happening.  No need to get in the water and more often than not you are hurting your chances of hooking fish.  These are lake run fish and they like the soft water where people were standing, silly.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, October 24, 2010

wooly bugger

Hi Folks, Guided the Lamoille yesterday afternoon under sunny skies and a strong north wind.  Water temperature was 46 degrees.  Clarity was fine and the level is still above the seasonal average.  Did not see much for hatching insects.  We dead drifted large fly patterns that imitated crawfish.  The greatest of all time is the wooly bugger.  A #10 or #12 olive and black or olive and brown does an excellent job of imitating the crawfish population on  the Lamoille.  In my days of killing trout long a go I always looked into their stomachs to see what they contained.  I often wonder if people and the other fishing guides in the area even know how to clean a fish.  A lost art with catch release.  Anywho, more often than not the trout over 12" had small crawfish in their stomachs.  We hooked or missed 5 large trout yesterday afternoon.  Landed one beautiful wild rainbow.  Keeping the bugger towards the bottom and slowly drifted was the key.  Not glamorous fly fishing but effective.  One week left in the trout season and the weather looks good for fishing.  Warmer air temperatures and damp weather.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, October 23, 2010

cold outside

Hi Folks, Been away moose hunting for the last few days.  A lot of fun.  Guided yesterday for trout on the Winooski drainage.  Water temperature was 45 degrees with a steady cold north wind.  Water clarity was good and levels are still above the seasonal average flow.  No hatching bugs or rising fish.  Fishing was pretty slow and we drew one strike all afternoon.  Nymph fished with #10 tungsten stone flies and dead drifted some #12 olive buggers and swung a few #10 black ghost streamers.  Will try again today with guests.  Couple of trips left until the last day of the season on Halloween.  Will be hunting in November maybe a little steelhead fishing and getting ready for ice fishing.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, October 16, 2010

before the rain

Hi Folks, Been chasing moose in the woods with a friend the last few days.  Pretty interesting.  Guided for trout on the Lamoille drainage on Thursday prior to the Nor'Easter.  Received a little over an inch of rain at my house in Stowe on Friday.  Thursday the water temperature ranged from 50 to 52 degrees and the fishing was certainly better as the day progressed and the water warmed.  The rivers were higher than average on Thursday and they are certainly up and dirty now.  Lots of heavy wind with the storm and a lot of debris in the streams.  We found a pod rising rainbows and a one very large brown trout in pretty clear water,  Watched them do their thing in the water for awhile.  Was able to sight fish for them.  Fun stuff as the trout sipped little BWO mayflies.  We landed 13 wild trout for the day with 1 brown trout and 12 rainbows.  Too bad for the rain because the fishing was good.  Well will be moose hunting for the next few days.  We wills e what it brings.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, October 14, 2010

calm before the storm

Hi folks, Another glorious day on the Winooski guiding with beautiful weather and foliage.  Looks like it is about to change with a big nor'easter coming at us this weekend.  Water temperature was 52 degrees and the levels are still above the seasonal average.  Not much for hatching bugs and I saw one fish rise in a big back eddy.  We nymph fished with #12 copper john and #18 BWO dropper and a #12 tungsten prince nymph with a #18 green soft hackle.  Landed 3 wild rainbows on the larger nymphs and lost or missed another 6 trout.  Most of the fish were holding in slower deeper part of the pool.  No strikes in the riffles and the best fishing seemed to be right in the middle of the day.  Fishing has been consistent in our trout streams with fish being hooked and caught every day, but we are making lots of casts to accomplish this feat.  Off to guide trout again today and then seeing what the weather will bring.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Salmon on the fly

Hi folks, guided up north yesterday chasing Landlocked salmon with the fly rods.  Water is still above the seasonal flow for the year, but the clarity was good.  Water temperature was 53 degrees under bright blue skies.  We moved around yesterday fishing different holes.  Do not like concrete feet.  We tried a few different streamer flies like mickey finn and a black ghost and id not draw even a follow.  When we started to dead drift a #10 tungsten prince with a #18 BWO dropper we started to get some strikes.  We hooked and missed a lot of smaller salmon until a big boy decided to respond.  Landed a 3lb almost 20" male salmon that jumped 5 times.  Spectacular fight.  Interesting how the salmon get out of the water the moment they are hooked.  You really need to put the pressure on the big salmon or they get out of the hole where they were hooked and you are stuffed.  Off to chase trout today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

cooling down

Hi folks, guided the Lamoille yesterday under bright blue skies with a steady north wind.  A little chilly out there and the water temperature was 51 degrees.  Flows are still a bit high and I do see that changing for the rest of the season.  We moved around to find rising fish and never saw any surface activity.  Pretty decent number of hatching #20 BWOs, but no trout responding to the surface.  Also saw a good number of #14 olive bodied egg laying caddis around dusk and no fish responding.  Lots of junk in the water yesterday, but that is typical of a fall day with wind and leaves.  We nymph fished several riffles and hooked 1 decent trout and missed two others.  Lots of casting for limited results.  Well I am going to do it all over again today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, October 10, 2010

heavy nymphing

Hi Folks, Spent a beautiful sunny fall afternoon guiding the Winooski.  Water flows are heavy and the level is still 3 times the seasonal average.  Clarity was good and the temperature was 54 degrees.  Not much for hatching bugs and we fished double nymph rigs all afternoon.  A #12 tungsten prince nymph with a #18 BWO dropper nymph under a white indicator.  Made lots of upstream casts into soft seams and the inside corners of heavy riffles.  A fun take from the trout when you see the indicator stop or dart out and set the hook only to feel the thrashing of a fish.  We landed 6 wild rainbows between 8" and 14" and missed several other trout.  Several of the fish looked absolutely stuffed as their bellies were fat from feeding.  Pretty decent fishing considering all of the high water.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, October 8, 2010

water logged

Hi folks, Spent the last two days guiding in the rain.  Such is life and at least I am still fishing.  Yesterday we chased brook trout on a small mountain stream on the Winooski drainage.  Actually had to nymph fish brook trout.  Water was high and coming up the entire time.  Clarity was decent and the temperature was 53 degrees.  Due to the flows and cooling temperatures the old reliable brook trout on a dry was not happening.  So a heavy nymph under an indicator and we landed a dozen very brightly colored brookies.  Fly selection was not critical, but I like a #12 tungsten prince nymph with red thread in heavier flows.  it was interesting that we caught most of our fish in the first part of the trip and the bite really slowed as the water began to really rise.  Today, I gambled and gave the main stem of the Lamoille a try.  Water was 3 to 4 times its normal flow, but it has been that way for a awhile.  Clarity was just fine and the temperature was 56 degrees.  We spin fished with trout imitation plugs and landed 3 really nice fat wild rainbows.  It looked like they were stuffed with crawfish or some kind of large food item.  Fattening up for winter.  We missed or lost another 5 trout.  I watched several fish chase from the heavy seem line into the slower current to eat.  Always cool watching the take.  Well, enough of the rain and now it will be cooler and I am guiding pike.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, October 7, 2010

brown trout on the fly

Hi folks, Guided a moderately sized stream yesterday afternoon with an aspiring fly angler.  Cool damp day with showers.  Water levels are still up a bit and the water temperatures are holding in the mid fifties.  Not much for hatching bugs yesterday and we did not see any rising fish.  We nymph fished with a #12 prince and #18 BWO dropper and caught a nice 13" male brown trout.  Not a lot of action yesterday and we did miss another trout.  Looks to stay cool and damp today and then things will clear up.  Hopefully the ran lets up to keep our stream in manageable shape.  Off to chase trout again today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

back on the lamoille

Hi folks, Guided the Lamoille yesterday under sunny skies and warm air temperatures.  Foliage looks really nice presently, but maybe not as brilliant as it has been in years past.  Water level was still higher than the seasonal average, but the clarity was fine.  Water temperature was 56 degrees.  Not much for hatching bugs yesterday and it did not really matter as we spin fished.  Fished deep stable pools with a rebel crawfish lure. The trout are holding in slower water current now as the temperature continues to drop. We landed 3 nice wild rainbows in the 12" to 14" range.  All 3 fish were extremely fat and looked to be very well fed.  Almost too fat for the length of their bodies.  All jumpers that we watched chase down the lure on the retrieve.  No stocked fish and and we made lots of casts to catch 3 trout.  My client did not mind as catching quality fish is always a good thing versus numbers of hatchery mutants.  Looks like more rain on the way which should blow out our big rivers once again.  Well I getting ready to guide trout today and should escape the rain until tomorrows trip.  Might be fishing for pike.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

changing direction mid fly cast

Hi folks, Guided a full day yesterday looking for salmon.  Unfortunately the salmon river was still too high to fish even though the clarity was decent.  When it comes down to a fishable level the fishing should be awful good.  So, we moved to a small stream with all 3 species of trout and had a ball.  Water level was high but decent clarity.  Temperature was 55 degrees.  We worked a wide variety of water with 3wt outfits and cast #12/#14  stimulators with #18 tungsten bead pheasant tails nymphs as droppers.  Almost 75% of the takes were on the dropper fly though we did have fish eat the dry and some good strikes at that.  We landed 5 wild brown trout and 14 wild rainbows.  Missed a few fish and basically forgot about the salmon water.  Always need to have a back up plan as a fishing guided and it is nice when things work out.  Pretty good trout fishing for all of the high water around.  Will be off chasing trout again today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have fun, Willy

Monday, October 4, 2010

pike fishing from a canoe

Hi folks, guided a a spin angler yesterday morning from my canoe on small lake for  pike.  Water temperature was 60 degrees on the surface and the wind blew steady from the north.  Sunny morning with early frost had a nice crisp chill to the air.  We found northerns off a long rock point that splits a weeded flat and and deep water drop off.  Also located some fish on slow tapering shore line with under water weed beds.  Landed 5 northerns on a large blue, orange and chrome husky jerk.  Lost one decent fish and had 3 others follow to the canoe and turn off.  Always interesting fishing pike form the canoe when the come up to the boat and take the lure.  Good attention getter.  A fast steady retrieve was the method and the strikes were pretty good.  Off to chase trout today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, October 2, 2010

pike fishing

Hi Folks, Guided in the northern tier of Vermont today for northern pike.  Lost a trip yesterday after nearly 5" of rain fell at my house in Stowe on Thursday into Friday.  Our rivers are still very high though a few mountain tributaries could be fished tomorrow for brook trout.  the big rivers will be shot for a few days.  Steady north wind today with over cast skies in the morning and sun in the afternoon.  Water temperature was 65 on the surface and the lake level was certainly high. Cool out there today and I wore my long underwear. Clarity was decent and we were able to see several northerns chase the lure.  We landed 5 pike and 2 largemouth bass.  Missed a few fish and lost a couple of decent fish.  We had two strikes on a large black double prop top water in the early am before the wind picked up.  The lure of the day was a double gold and silver bladed spinner bait with a red skirt.  We found fish off of weed bed edges into drop offs and over a shallow flat with consistent weed beds.  A steady retrieve was the ticket.  Even with the changing weather and high water we were able to tug on fish.  Good anglers catch fish in a variety of weather conditions and nothing is ever consistent.  Off to guide pike again tomorrow.  Always options.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, October 1, 2010

big rain

Hi folks, Guided the Winooski watershed yesterday in the rain and the Lamoille on Wednesday.  Water temperatures have maintained in the high fifties to low sixties and the air temperatures have remained warm with muggy air.  Water levels have come down and up and our rivers are now not fishable.  We are under a flood watch and I have received almost 4" of rain at my house in Stowe.  Shame, as our rivers were fishing well and the trout had been biting.  Wednesday on the Lamoille we dead drifted #12 olive and black wooly buggers attached to long leaders.  Had trout eat the fly on the dead drift and the swing.  Imitating crawfish which is a favorite of our larger trout.  The dead drift is the approach with a  bugger as crawfish live on the bottom of the stream and the fly needs to get down and dirty.  Yesterday was spent on a small brown trout stream with bright colored streamers.  Pretty cool watching brown trout smash the fly.  We covered a lot of water and had 3 wild browns between 10" and 13" eat the brightly colored #10 mickey finn.  We did have much larger brown trout chase the fly only to deny us as it approached.  Never saw the fish again which I am not surprised by.  Typically a large fish makes one good effort to eat the fly and if it does not happen then move forward.  Lots of junk in the river yesterday and was a bit of a pain.  Well looks like no trip today for me and I might be boat and canoe fishing for pike as our rivers will take a few days to settle down.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have fun, Willy

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

subtle rise forms

Hi Folks, Guided the Lamoille yesterday afternoon under cloudy skies and threatening rain.  Water level was slightly below the seasonal average and the temperature was 59 degrees.  We just received 3/4" of rain at my house in Stowe.  Looks like a wet week for fishing as more rain is on the way for later in the week.  Our rivers need it.  I love fly fishing this time year with the BWO hatches.  As small mayfly sizes #18 to #22 to comes of prolifically for the next month.  Typically the trout will hold in the slower parts of pools and even long slow flats with gravel bottom.  Water temperatures are not an issue and the fish can feed easily off the surface and in the film on the tiny mayfly in slow water.  The rise forms look like a big rain drop and unless you looked closely you would not realize it was a trout sipping off the top.  Love seeing the nose and dorsal fin rise form.  So yesterday we had no luck with nymphs and cast a #18 BWO parachute to subtle rise forms.  All wild rainbows to the fly that were all full of piss and vinegar.  Loads of fun hooking trout on little flies.  The BWO hatches will be consistent for the rest of the season and you should find fish rising every day in the slower stretches of river.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, September 27, 2010

fly fishing school

Hi folks, Concluded a 2 day fly fishing school on the Winooski watershed.  We mixed it up yesterday and cast flies to smallmouth bass and then brook trout.  A lot of fun exposing people new to fly fishing the various species that can be caught on a fly.  Water temperatures ranged from the low sixties fishing for smallmouth to mid fifties in the brook trout water.  Even with the cooling water temperatures we were able to get bass to eat flies off the surface.  Not a fast and furious surface bite with the poppers but just enough to keep us interested.  We also worked a few #8 chartruse/white clauser minnows and had bass chase but turn off.  I think it was due to the fly not being moved fast enough and the fish got a really good look at the fly.  Brook trout fishing was good and we got all of our brookies to eat big bushy attractor dry flies.  Saw some nice size fish in full spawning colors.  Also spooked a few brook trout who were holding in some secondary lies and we just did not expect to see a fish in those spots.  Off to chase trout with guests this afternoon on the Lamoille.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

Sunday, September 26, 2010

fly fishing school on the Winooski

Hi Folks, I am in the middle of a 2 day fly fishing school with guests and we have been enjoying the Winooski watershed.  Water level seemed to rise and fall yesterday and there was a bit of debris in the water from the heavy west wind. Always a fall challenge with the dropping leaves and junk in the water. Water temperature was 62 degrees and the day started out sunny and became cloudy towards midday.  The fishing was pretty good as we had a good number of wild rainbows come to the fly.  We did not land any real big fish, but we had steady action on both nymphs and dry flies.  A #18 pheasant tail was extremely productive and a #14 olive bodied x-caddis got some fish rising to the surface.  We fished several large riffle and pools and the fishing was consistent in every spot.  Always fun taking people new to fly fishing and introducing to the challenging art of catching fish on a fly.  Off to do it all over again today.  Look like rain coming in this week and we could use it.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, September 25, 2010

flying ants again

Hi folks, Guided the Lamoille yesterday afternoon and experienced a nice flying ant hatch with fly fishing guests.  Water level was below the seasonal average and yes we could still use some rain.  The water temperature was a nice comfortable 61 degrees.  Saw a good number of flying ants size #14 to #16 and they were bouncing off my windshield on the way to fish and the way home.  The ants always get the trout looking up and as a fishing guide I am always pumped when the fish are rising and we only have to fish dry flies.  Also, saw a few #14 olive bodied caddis and a few sporadic #20 BWOs.  Pretty muggy and warm outside yesterday. It seems when it is humid and the water temperatures are right the trout will really fed in the surface column of the water.  I think the heavy air puts the ants on the water and any hatching stream born bug has a hard time getting off the surface.  Anywho, we tugged on some nice trout yesterday afternoon with the prize of the day being a solid 15" wild Lamoille rainbow.  Beautiful looking fish.  It appears that the wild fish survived the summer heat much better than the stocked fish which look pretty beat up.  Off to fish all weekend for trout, should be good.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, September 24, 2010

small stream fly fishing

Hi Folks, Spent a really nice morning on a small stream with a guest fly fishing for wild brown trout and native brook trout.  Water temperature was 56 degrees and slightly higher than the seasonal flow average.  In this particular brook the water is extremely clear and approach is very important.  Not much of a match the hatch stream and more just making good accurate casts and drifts to suspected holding areas.  The fly of the day was a #14 Ausable Wulff fished off a 2wt.  The brook trout are lit up right now as they prepare to spawn.  All of the brookies were holding in slow pools with finger nail sized gravel.  Pools without the gravel did not hold adult fish.  I did not see any spawning redds, but I am sure it is only a matter of time.  We found brown trout holding in slow pools with wood cover.  Pretty cool watching the browns race out from their holding spots to take the dry fly.  Were able to sight fish a few trout and we had mixed results with hooking them and spooking them.  Good cast, drifts, and positioning were all important.  Chasing trout again today and we just received about a 1/4" of rain at my house in Stowe.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, September 23, 2010

fall, foam ants, and wild rainbows

Hi folks, guided the Winooski yesterday afternoon under really good fishing conditions.  Overcast skies with threatening rain that never materialized and calm wind.  Water temperature was 61 degrees and the flow was below the seasonal average.  We could still use some rain.  Saw a few #14/#16 olive bodied caddis hatching a few #20 BWOs.  We did find a couple of rising fish, but it did not matter as we still got the trout to eat off the surface.  A #16 foam ant was the fly of the day.  I think the profile of the and looks a lot like a caddis and the flying ant hatches early in the month get the trout programmed into looking up.  We landed 11 wild rainbow trout between 10" and 14" and we aught a few fish that were incredibly fat and looked to be very well fed.  Due to the low water we found the trout holding in fast pockets in front of big in stream rocks and boulders.  Not obvious spots to cast to.  Really great takes from these fish and they were all over the ant.  We did use a tan bead headed zonker in couple of slow pools and we had several fish crush the streamer fly.  We missed or lost another 8 fish including a good brown trout and we watched two different large trout chase hooked fish out of holes.  One was a large brown and it prompted us to try the streamer fly.  Really good day of fishing and nice to see the fall off to a good start.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have fun, Willy

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

really low water

Hi folks, Guide 3 aspiring anglers yesterday afternoon on the Lamoille.  I am not a big fan of using this blog to make statements, but I am sick of the power company holding water back on the Lamoille.  I watched the river drop to next to nothing for flow yesterday afternoon while we were fishing.  Luckily the water temperature is 61 degrees and the fish are not thermally stressed presently.  Still the management of the flows is crazy and obviously Green Mountain power does not give a sh#@**!! about the well being of the river environment.  With the dropping levels the fish seemed to become a bit disoriented.  Still we located wild rainbows and stocked rainbows in slow deep pools.  Not much for riffles with the low water.  A few rising fish to #20 BWOs and saw a decent number of #14/#16 olive bodied caddis returning to lay eggs.  We landed 7 rainbows yesterday with 3 being wild fish in the 13" range and 4 being skinny 11" to 12" stocked bows.  You could really see the effect of the low warm water this summer on the stocked fish.  The wild bows looked pretty healthy and their colors were extremely vibrant.  First day of fall today and I will guiding trout.  Lets hope for rain.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

wind, sun, low water, and rising trout

Hi Folks, Guided the Lamoille yesterday afternoon under very sunny conditions.  The wind blew hard out of the north and put a lot of junk into the river.  The water level is still low and we need rain.  The temperature was 60 degrees and the clarity was excellent.  Saw a good number of #20 BWO's and a large number of #16 olive bodied egg laying caddis at dusk.  We covered a lot of water and really no luck nymph fishing.  We missed one fish on a #12 olive woolly bugger dead drifted and lost another trout with a #18 pheasant tail nymph.  The best action of the day was on a slow flat with large submerged boulders where we found selective rising fish.  We got 5 trout to eat a #16 foam ant.  The wind made casting tricky and the sun and junk in the water made the fish a little fussy.  Will be on the water every day for the next several weeks and I can only imagine the fishing will get better.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, September 18, 2010

rain, snapping turtles, and wild trout

Hi folks, spent the last part of the week fishing and guiding on the Lamoille.  Had over an inch of rain at my house in Stowe on Thursday and it brought up the river levels.  Water temperatures have been dropping and this morning on my trip it was a pleasant 60 degrees.  Level is slightly above the average for the season and that is a good thing.  Seen a lot of hatching #14/#16 caddis with green bodies.  Tons of casings on top of rocks in riffles indicating more are ready to hatch.  Found a few rising fish in the rain on Thursday and they were fussy.  Finally got the wild rainbows to eat a #16 foam bodied flying ant pattern I tie.  The drift had to be right in their feeding lane. This morning I had spin anglers for guests and we had success with crawfish imitation lures and small trout patterns.  Every trout landed was a scrapy wild rainbow that took to the air.  We found all of the fish holding in larger stable pools with some cover.  We encountered two snapping turtles today.  Pretty prehistoric looking creatures. One was big enough to take off a finger and the other was no bigger than the cap on a gatorade bottle.  Leaves are slowly but surely turning and foliage should be perfect in a couple of weeks.  Great time of the year to fish.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

scatching up lake trout

Hi folks, Spent a great morning fishing lake trout in the morning on a lake in the north east kingdom with a friend.  We used a specialized technique to catch the lake trout unlike many forms of fishing.  We set up over humps, shoals, and underwater structure that came up out of deep water.  There was a slight west wind with over cast conditions.  The water temperature is still warm with surface temperatures hovering in the upper sixties.  We used slow action fly rods and fiberglass spin rods between 8' and 9' in length.  We spooled them with spin reels with braided line and a 9' long fluorcarbon leaders.  We cast 1/4oz chartruse colored jig heads tipped with soft plastic baits that resembled young smelt and emerald shiners.  We anchored the boat and made long casts to the structure and then varied our retrieve to the boat.  We landed 10 lake trout between 18" and 24".  We missed and lost another half dozen fish as well.  Some of the males were beginning to become fairly colored up in preparation for the spawn in coming weeks.  Lots of fun and some of the takes happen right at the boat as the fish chase the jig up to the surface.  Most of the lakers came from 25' to 35' of water.  A lot more enjoyable than trolling or jerking lead core line.  Received a 1/2" of rain at my house in Stowe over night and things have really cooled off.  Should make for some good fishing in the next few days.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

laker taker 2

laker taker

Monday, September 13, 2010

tough go of it

Hi Folks, spent a windy afternoon of the Lamoille with guests chasing trout yesterday.  Water level is still extremely low and the temperature was 64 degrees.  Should cool off a bit more this week and looks like we might get some rain.  Still the power company is not helping matters by holding back water behind their out dated dams.  Good breeze yesterday afternoon that blew junk onto the water.  Not much for hatching insects as we saw a few #20 BWOs, some sporadic #12 Isonychia, and a few #14 green bodied caddis hatching.  Saw two subtle rise forms all afternoon.  We caught one 11" wild rainbow that was pretty skinny and I would have to say took a beating during the last heat wave. The bow ate a #12 hare's ear parachute.   Missed a couple of other fish, but it was pretty tough day on the water.  Well, it can only get better.  I will be chasing trout this week and if the wind lets up I will be fsihing pike with the boat.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

Sunday, September 12, 2010

small water, big brown

Hi Folks, spent yesterday afternoon working a small brook where the water temperature was a comfortable 63 degrees.  Water level was slightly above the seasonal average flow and the clarity was excellent.  due to the high and bright sun I focused on some pocket water that had fairly deep ledge rock pools.  I was able to sight several fish including two very nice looking brown trout.  You could see swinging left to right in the pools and eating something drifting downstream towards them.  I think the trout were in the pocket water due to the warmer than average water temperatures and their need for dissolved oxygen.  I can only guess this due to the fact that there were several large riffles to pools above where I located these trout.  I did not find one fish in either pool.  Casting a #12 AusableWulff I landed a 16" male brown trout on a 3wt.  A lot of fun run up and down the brook.  Big cherry dots and a hook jaw on this trout.  The best part was spotting him prior to the take and being able to see the cherry dots on his flanks.  Missed the other brown trout with a #14 green hopper pattern.  Set the hook too quickly in my excitement.  It was interesting how the second brown was about the same size as the first, but a little more fussy to take the fly.  Not too many strikes though I missed couple other smaller fish.  I'll take one good trout any day over a bunch.  Off to chase trout today with guests.  Should be good with the incoming weather and I expect we will see some BWO action.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, September 10, 2010

fall weather finally

Hi folks, Finally a welcome change to the weather.  Received about a 1/2 " of rain at my house in Stowe the last few days.  The ground and our rivers could use it.  More would be welcome.  The Lamoille has come up a bit and appears more effected by recent rains than the Winooski drainage.  Water temperatures are have now returned to the sixties and the big river fishing is back on.  With the cooling water temperatures northern pike fishing should pick up as well.  The large hen fish always prefer cooler water temperatures.  Lake run fish like landlocked salmon and brown trout will begin their annual spawning movements.  Still seeing #12 isonychia's, #14-#20 olive and tan bodied caddis, #18-#22 BWO's, a few random #22-#24 tricos, and of course terrestrials.  Never a bad time of the year to dead drift a olive bugger or swing a black ghost or mickey finn streamer.  Nice time of the year to fish.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

river smallmouth bass

Monday, September 6, 2010

nice weather change

Hi Folks, Finally a break in the weather and much enjoyed by the guide, the anglers, and the fish.  Back to more seasonal weather and now we only need some rain.  Still pretty dry here and our streams are very low.  Guided the past two days in rivers and brooks for smallmouth bass and small stream trout.  The lower Lamoille was 74 to 75 degrees on Saturday morning and I have never seen the river so low.  We waded in spots that I have not be able to get to in the past.  We spin fished for bass and the lure of the day was a fire tiger husky jerk and a rebel crawfish plug.  Not much for a top water bite and the fish seemed to prefer a steady retrieve.  I positioned myself on large rocks was able to observe the track of the lures.  It was interesting to see the smallmouth materialize from under large rocks to eat.  They would turn off when the lure was moving too slowly.  Lightening fast strikes.  We landed 8 smallies and most of the fish were between 1lb and 2lbs.  Real good fighting fish!  The small brook I guided yesterday accounted for a dozen wild trout.  Water temperature was 62 degrees and the level was low and clarity was too good. We caught brookies, rainbows , and 1 brown all on dry flies.  We worked up stream with a #14 black ant and a #14 green foam bodied hopper pattern.  The spook factor was in full effect as we watched a number of fish take off before we cast to them.  A lot of the trout were holding in riffles due to the warmer than average water temperatures and the skinny water.  A lot pools did not have sufficient holding water and any trout sitting in one was easy pickings for a predator.  Looks like we might get some rain this week.  Sure could use some wet stuff.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species a t home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, September 4, 2010

low and clear

Hi folks, Guided yesterday morning fly anglers on the Winooski drainage.  Started with some popper action for smallmouth and eventually ended in a brook trout stream.  We really need some rain as our streams and rivers are crying for a drink.  Water temperature was 71 degrees where we began the the morning and the small we finished on was 63 degrees.  Probably both streams are 5 to 8 degrees warmer than they normally would be this time of the year.  Of course we just had 4 days in a row of record heat.  Smallmouth fishing was okay as we had 6 smallies come to the fly  and fair amount of refusals.  You could see the bass elevate to the fly on the clear water.  All of the fish were in slow deep pools and and flats where you could see them cruising along.  We found brookies today sitting in riffles as it appeared that they were slightly uncomfortable from the warmer than average water temperatures.  Did catch a few legitimate 10" brookies that were lit up with color.  A #14 green bodied hopper was the fly.  Still consistent fishing on the small streams and watching the brook trout move from a spot to eat a fly is always fun.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, September 2, 2010

hot, humid, warm water, wet wading, and smallmouth

Hi Folks, Really awful outside presently.  Rather have it be below freezing than this current weather pattern.  Anywho, hanging in there and fishing and guiding.  Trout are out of the question in a big river i.e. the Lamoille or Winooski.  The water is to hot and the levels are incredibly low.  Fish for smallmouth in rivers or lakes.  I have been on the lower Lamoille tugging on smallmouth with clients.  Water was temperature was 80 degrees at 5pm today and I have never seen the water as low as it was where we fished.  Easy to find the fish and no need for waders.  We used light spinning tackle and cast rebel crawfish patterns in natural colors.  Caught and missed most of our fish with the lure floating on the surface without any movement.  Eliminate the slack line and let the lure drift.  Did pick up a few strikes and smaller bass on the retrieve.  Best fish of the day was a scrappy 1.5lb smallie.  Good jumper!  All of the fish were holding in slow current channels with large submerged rocks on both edges.  Saw a few #12 isonychia spinners at duks, but insignificant to the smallmouth.  Looks like the weather will break this weekend.  We need rain and cool weather. Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

low water and small brooks

Hi Folks, Guided yesterday morning on a small mountain stream for native brook trout.  Water temperature was 59 degrees and the water level was below the seasonal average.  Very clear stream and approach is always important as to not spook fish.  My guest is new to fly fishing and it was a lot of fun for me to see him catch his first trout on the fly.  Brook trout are very user friendly and not bashful about smashing dry flies.  Good confidence builders when learning to fly fish.  We worked upstream with a 2wt and a #12 stimulator and pretty much found fish every spot we cast to.  Did not catch anything too large but man are the brookies really pretty right now.  Continued heat wave with record setting air temperatures.  Really need some rain and trout fishing with the exception of small streams is not an option.  Bass fishing should continue to be good and I will be guiding smallmouth this week.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, August 30, 2010

opposite ends of the spectrum

Hi Folks, Guided two fine fly anglers yesterday morning on the Winooski drainage.  We fished for smallmouth bass early and later chased brook trout and wild rainbow trout.  Hot day with a big sun and warm air temperatures.  The river we fished for bass was clear and low and the water temperature was 65 degrees at 6:30am.  Not much movement to the stream but it did not matter as we cast popping bugs for the smallmouth.  We had 6 smallmouth come to the fly and we hooked 4 landing 3.  The first and biggest of the day jumped 5 different times.  Loads of fun to watch.  We then changed directions and moved into a smaller tributary of the big water.  Water was low and clear and the temperature was 60 degrees.  We covered some ground to catch half a dozen brook and half dozen rainbows.  Cast a #14 green bodied hopper pattern, a #12 rubber legged royal stimulator, and #14 foam bodied caddis.  Did have the opportunity to do some sight fishing to a rainbow which is always fun.  Well looks like it will be hot all week so I will be chasing smallmouth and small stream trout.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Big Lamoille brown again

big Lamoille brown

Finicky bass

Hi Folks, Double dipped yesterday guiding morning and night for smallmouth bass.  Pretty warm out there as our water temperatures are on the rise once again.  Warm sunny days and warm nights have our larger trout waters too warm to f ish.  Small brooks are still okay, but we could use some rain and the spook factor is in effect.  So when warm why fish the smallmouth.  took out the motorboat in the morning where the water temperature was 74 degrees and water clarity was good.  It appeared that the lake level was down and the smallmouth had pushed away from shoreline areas.  We made lots of cast to catch 4 small bass.  Mostly worked the surface with floating shad raps in fire tiger, however we did jig fish a 4" crawfish colored tube on a 1/8th oz. jig head.  Drew a few strikes on the jig, but the strikes were extremely subtle.  All 4 bass and numerous yellow perch were caught on the floating rapalas around downed wood that stuck out into deeper water off shallow tapered shorelines.  In the afternoon my guest and I fished from a canoe where the water temperature was 72 degrees and it appeared like the leaves were starting to turn.  Lots of red maple or swamp maple was already bright red.  We had a bit of a north west wind in the afternoon and we made a point to get on the lee side of land and out of the shade.  Pretty bright afternoon.  The wind did calm down at dusk.  Same as the morning we made lots of casts for a few fish.  However, we did land a solid 3lb smallmouth that sipped in a fire tiger popper.  Also, tangled with 2 large pickerel that exploded onto the popper.  Awesome surface strikes from the pickerel and worth the wait.  Saw a mess of flying ants on the surface a numbers of smallmouth eating them.  They just were not interested in our offerings.  Well off to chase river bass this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, August 28, 2010

massive Lamoille River brown trout

changing directions

Hi Folks, Spent the whole day guiding a fine fly angler.  He requested to catch brook trout and smallmouth bass and I was more than happy to accommodate.  We started midday on high mountain brook trout stream where the water temperature was 57 degrees.  Water level was twice its seasonal average and the definition of the pools was excellent.  We fished a #10 rubber legged royal stimulator and had countless brook trout come to the fly.  The brookies are looking pretty good as there spawning colors become more pronounced.  When then moved to some big river fishing for smallmouth.  Water level was below the seasonal average and the temperature was 72 degrees.  Saw a really good hatch of #20 BWOs, but no rising fish and not really significant to the smallmouth.  We mixed up our poppers fishing chartruse when the sun was still up and black at dark.  Black does stand out better to the fish under dark conditions.  We landed 7 smallmouth with the largest fish not quite 2lbs.  Missed probably half a dozen.  We found that the smallies were holding in the slowest parts of the river where there were big submerged boulders.  Nice flat water to view the strike on the surface fly.  Did see some #10 stonefly shucks and #12 isonychia shucks on the rocks.  Saw a fair amount of large green hoppers yesterday, but no flying ants.  Looks like the big water in our trout streams is about to really warm up again with the in coming hot days ahead.  Leave the trout alone if the water goes over 70 degrees as I suspect it will.  Chase smallmouth like I will be doing today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, August 27, 2010

dry fly fishing

Hi folks, Guided two trips yesterday on the Lamoille drainage.  Fly fished the main stem in the morning and a tributary.  Actually fished in Didymo stream so really had to clean the gear thoroughly last night.  It will not be me or my clients who spread this nuisance around.  Did not see any large mats of the "rock snot" but the spores are ever present and cleaning is a must!  Water temperatures were pretty good with the Lamoille hovering between 64 and 68 degrees from morning to night and the trib. was 62 degrees.  We could use some rain as our rivers are still a bit bony.  Not hard to locate the fish as the riffles and pools are very obvious.  Looks like the cool weather is about to get pushed out and warmer summer like weather will return for the weekend. You know the morning will be good when your client catches a trout within the first 3 cast of the day.  We fished a #12 hopper pattern and that could have resembled a stone fly adult and had pretty consistent action with it.  What was fun was my guest used a short 7'  4wt. that really bent when a fish was on.  We landed 6 rainbows with 4 being wild fish.  Missed a few. but the fishing was pretty decent for still being in August.  Pretty cool afternoon with a strong wind that made casting a trick.  Did find a few willing trout who wanted to eat an ant pattern.  It was difficult to detect rise forms due to the wind on the water.  Nice when you can spend the day fishing dry flies the entire time.  The hell with nymphing or casting steamers when fish are looking up.  So, off to chase trout and smallies later today with guests.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, August 26, 2010

trophy fish

Hi Folks, guided the Lamoille yesterday morning and evening.  Great fishing weather with overcast skies all day and cool air temperatures.  The water temperature was 65 degrees at 7:00am and 68 degrees at 5pm.  Water level came down all day as the power company shut off the flow.  Don't understand how the manage the flows but I know the fish are not a concern.  In the am we encountered a good number of flying ants.  Size #14 to #22 flying ants were carpeting the water.  We found specific rising fish and cast a #14 foam bodied flying ant pattern I tie.  Most of the fish were eating the ants in slow flats down stream from riffles.  We landed 4 wild rainbows and 1 wild brown trout.  Missed another half dozen fish.  Real explosive strikes to the fly.  You could anticipate the strike when a good cast and drift was made you knew the trout was going to eat the fly.  In the afternoon I guided a group of spin anglers on the Lamoille down river from where we fished in the morning.  We cast rebel crawfish lures and a rapala imitation brown trout plug.  We landed 11 rainbows between 8" and 14" and then the brown trout.  Maybe one of the largest brown trout I have ever seen in the Lamoille.  You could tell pretty quickly that my client had a big fish on the line when i saw his line ripping up stream.  It was a beautiful male brown trout with a big hook jaw that measured 22" .  I guess it would have weighed 4lbs.  We released this beast, but I think it would not have been a bad fish to have mounted.  A trout that size is on his last leg and he probably eats a fair number of young fish.  Pictures to come.  Not every day you see a wild resident river trout of this size.  Pretty exciting.  Not much for ants last night or rising fish. Lots of #12 isonychia shucks on the rocks along with some #10 stoneflys.   Off to chase trout this am.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

lots of casting

Hi folks, Guided with the boat yesterday morning for smallmouth bass on a large body of water.  Heavy morning fog with steadily increasing wind from the east.  Surface temperature of the water was 73 degrees.  We covered a lot of water and made lots of cast to a wide variety of cover.  Cannot say there was any consistency to where we located smallmouth.  We found them on the edges of wood, off rock points, soft bottom points, rock faces, and shoreline drop offs.  We caught a good number of bass, but nothing of major size.  The fly of the day was a black and yellow popper with a good concave face that made a good deep sounding pop when moved with the rod tip.  Saw a great hatch of flying ants last night in Stowe.  They really get the fish looking up.  Patterns in black and cinnamon from #14 to #22 will work.  Make sure you have ant patterns in your box as they can pop up anytime for the next few weeks.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

nice fishing weather

Hi Folks, Guide the Winooski drainage yesterday morning and then fished on my own in the afternoon.  Nice damp overcast day with passing showers.  Really cooled off as the air temperatures never passed 65 degrees.  The stream we fished in the morning was 62 degrees and the stream I visited in the afternoon was 62 degrees.  You have to likw when the water temperature stays pretty constant for the day.  We did receive a little over an inch of rain at my house in Stowe from Saturday night to Monday morning.  Welcome rain that raised the level in our rivers.  The Winooski was up but very fishable as it was slightly off color.  The streams I was on were higher than normal but still clear.  Spin fished in the am with my client and we landed 3 smallmouth bass and missed 2 other fish.  Did land a solid 2lb fish that put up a good tussle and took some line off the reel.  In the afternoon I walked  a short beat of water I had not been on in a few years.  Nice to see that it had not changed and still is stable with a good ratio of riffles to pools.  Caught trout in every pool I cast my #12 stimulator in to.  The fish of the afternoon was a beautiful almond colored female brown trout that came all the way out of the water and back down on my fly.  Great take and spectacular looking fish.  Had numerous wild rainbows attack the fly in the 6" to 12" range and they were certainly feisty in the cooler water.  Looking like nice weather for fishing this week.  I am off to guide with the boat this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Finally some rain

Hi folks, Guided the main stem of the Winooski yesterday morning where the water temperature was 66 degrees at 6:00am.  Pretty cool breezy morning with increasing cloud cover.  Raining here now and I have thus far received 1/2" of rain at my house in Stowe.  Supposed to rain for a couple of days which we could really use.  Been pretty dry and our streams and rivers need a drink.  The Winooski was about as low as it gets yesterday and we were down stream a ways from Bolton.  Did not see any rising fish and only a few sporadic hatching small caddis.  Lots of #12 isonychia shucks on rocks as well as #10 stoneflys.  We spin fished with beetle spins in silver and caught 4 wild rainbows between 10" and 14", 1 1.5lb smallmouth, 2 young landlocked salmon, and a few decent sized fall fish.  All of the fish were in deep pools that were fed by heavy riffles.  The rainbows looked like they had survived the heat of the summer but were a bit thin bodied with big heads.  Not surprised considering how warm our big rivers got this year.  Should be a good fishing week with the rain and some cooler air temperatures.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, August 20, 2010

Isonychia sadleri

Hi Folks, Been guiding trout on the last two days.  Fly fishing the Lamoille drainage and casting lots of dry flies.  The Lamoille main stem is still too hot to fish.  It was 74 degrees last night at 5pm and 69 degrees to 70 degrees this morning at 6am.  So we have been fishing tributaries of the main stem.  Lots of Isonychia shucks on rocks and saw a good hatch last night with rising fish.  Fished a stream with lots of rock and boulders. The temperature of the stream we fished was 67 degrees.  Isonychia also goes by the name Leadwing coachman or Isonychia bicolor.  Very significant hatch in late summer to early fall as it is a big bug #12 to #14 and it hatches for a long period of time and throughout the day with spinner activity at dusk.  It is a swimming may fly and moving the fly during and at the end of the drift often produces strikes.  Simply put the trout see this macro invertebrate for an extended period of time and it is a big morsel of food for them.  For nymphs I like to use pheasant tails, zug bugs, and exact nymphs ties in claret with a white dental floss back.  For the dry I like a gray wulff, adams, or hare's ear parachute.  Last night we got small wild rainbows to eat the parachute version.  Good explosive strikes as the Isonychia typically crawls out on to rocks to hatch and on windy days the duns get blown onto the water and are easy pickings for the fish. This am I changed directions with my guest and we fly fished small brook trout water for natives.  Lots and lots of action and beautifully colored brookies.  All caught on large stimulators.  Hopefully things will cool off and we can gt back on the big water for trout and enjoy fishing the Isonychia hatch.  Will be chasing smallies the next few days.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

last cast bass

Thursday, August 19, 2010

fussy fish

Hi folks, Guided the double yesterday for smallmouth bass.  Spent the morning river fishing for smallies with the fly and in the evening from my boat with spin tackle.  The river we visited yesterday was 64 degrees at 6am and low and clear.  Saw a few #22 trico spinners and sporadic number of #20 micro caddis that were tan bodied.  No rising fish and not that I expected bass to waste energy eating tiny little bugs.  We could sight the smallmouth and there were some very large fish cruising in the pools we visited.  Lots of denials from the bass whether we presented a surface fly or a sub surface fly.  Pretty frustrating to watch a 15" smallmouth come to the fly only to put the brakes on and turn off.  Witnessed it over and over again.  We had five fish eat the fly and we landed none.  In the afternoon under cloudy skies and calm conditions we found some finicky fish that we were able to get to eat.  Surface temperature was 76 degrees and water clarity was good.  We fished 1/8 oz. jigs with 31/2" crawfish colored tubes to some non-aggressive fish.  Working the jig slowly off deep points produced bass.  Really subtle takes.  As the sun set the top water bite turned on we saw larger smallmouth crush floating rapalas.  A jointed a balck and silver rapala and a pumpkin seed rapala worked well.  Most of the takes were while the lure was sitting still or  having just been moved.  We covered a lot of water to catch.  Well, fishing can be tricky at times and occasionally it takes some real determination and persistence to catch fish.  Off to trout fish this afternoon.  Love the morning fog.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

smallmouth bass

Hi Folks, Spent yesterday morning with guests on my boat chasing smallmouth bass on the fly.  Now in the dog days of August and the lake and river fishing for smallmouth has been a pretty good option.  Surface temperature of the lake we fished was 77 degrees under calm conditions.  Another warm sunny day and it seems like that has been the theme for August; bright and warm.  The consistent stable weather is a good thing for bass fishing and the top water bite has been dynamite.  We never changed flies yesterday as we cast a chartruse colored slider that made a nice subtle pop to shore line drop offs.  Water clarity was good and it enabled us to see the bass come to the fly or some instances turn off from the surface presentation.  We had a young angler aboard and who is learning the ways of fishing and we had him casting a small spin rod with a silver and black popper.  We landed 12 smallies, missed a few, and saw several very large bass look at the fly including one that appeared to want to eat a small hooked bass.  Patience once again with the presentation was important in giving the bass the chance to see the fly and respond to it.  So, the big water trout fishing has been slow as our water is still warm, but the bassing has been steady.  Did see some #12 isonychia shucks on rocks the other night and there are plenty of terrestrials around right now.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, August 16, 2010

Big water and small water

Hi Folks, Spent the weekend chasing trout in small water and smallmouth bass in big water.  Still fairly warm out there and the small stream I visited was 62 degrees and the lower Lamoille was 77 degrees.  Pretty windy out there yesterday with a steady blow form the south/southwest.  Saturday was just humid and bright.  Water clarity is good and our rivers and streams are close to their seasonal average flow.  Extremely different environments to fish in from a wading perspective.  Both can be tricky to walk around with the uneven walking surfaces, but positioning for casting and the distance of casts is very different.  Lot more trees and bushes to contend with in the small streams while the large water is wide open.  Accuracy is much more important on the small water.  Either way caution is needed when walking around these environments and it is important to cover some water to catch fish.  The trout fishing Saturday was good with numerous native brook trout coming to the stimulator.  The spook factor is in effect so approach was important.  Smallmouth fishing was okay.  Landed 4 smallies yesterday afternoon and missed two other fish.  A crawfish clauser was the fly of the day and we only took 1 bass off the surface with a chartruse popper.  Loads of small crawfish in the shallows darting around and several bass puked up crawfish as we landed them.  Looks like some weather moving in this afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, August 13, 2010

nice variety

Hi folks, Guided the Lamoille yesterday morning with spin anglers.  Water level was twice it s seasonal average flow.  The temperature at 6:00am was 67 degrees and it warmed to 68 degrees by 10:00am.  Probably too warm to fish trout in the afternoon.  Nice morning fog which kept the sun off the water until about 8:00am.  Lots of crawfish scurrying about the shoreline and we fished a crawfish imitation on light spin rods.  Landed 14 rainbows between 8" and 14".  A combination of wild trout and stocked trout.  No fish left the water while being released and every trout swam off full of piss and vinegar.  The trick to catching the rainbows was to imitate the movements of the crawfish with a slow steady retrieve and a stop and go action.  Also, swinging the lure into the current and starting the retrieve at the end of the drift was effective as we had several fish follow the lure right up to the anglers feet before striking.  Saw a decent #22 trico spinner drop., but very few fish rising to eat the little mayfly.  Also, a few random #20 tan bodied micro caddis hatching and did see a several splashy rise forms which would indicate a trout eating a hatching caddis fly.  Have not seen any #12 isonychia nymphs on rocks, but it should be only a matter of time.  Mid day I visited a small brook where the temperature was 65 degrees and I caught two brightly colored brook trout on a #14 hopper pattern.  Both fish were holding in fast water section of the run due to the warmer water temps and their need for dissolved oxygen.  After that I went fly fishing with a friend on local smallmouth lake and tugged on smallmouth bass.  Wind out of the north with a the surface temperature of the lake being 77 degrees.  We located smallmouth around old beaver huts and weed beds that emerged around rocky bottoms.  The largest fish landed was 2lb smallmouth that put a good bend in the 6wt.  A frog popper pattern with a yellow belly and rubber legs was the fly of the night.  We probably could have caught more than 6 smallies if we had fished until dark, but we pulled the plug around 7:00pm.  Patience was the key as we let the fly sit for a while prior to making the first pop.  Amazing how often you draw strikes after the fly has being sitting on the surface of the water for over 30 seconds.  Taking the day off from fishing.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, August 12, 2010

sight fishing smallmouth

Hi Folks, Guided a couple of spin anglers yesterday afternoon for some river smallmouth fishing.  Water temperature where we fished was 68 degrees.  The water was gin clear and about at its seasonal flow.  We found two honey holes that must have held 20 smallmouth a piece between 10" and 18".  You could see them plain as day and they were not spooked.  We landed 23 smallmouth yesterday afternoon casting fire tiger colored rapalas, crazy!  The best action was allowing the rapala to drift slowly in the current with slight movements in the rod tip and watch the smallies crush the lure.  Some real jumpers and tail walkers.  My guests did a great job landing fish and we did not lose many.  Several 2.5lb to 3lb fish were landed and they fought like their size.  Beautiful weather afternoon and the sun allowed us to target specific fish.  I could see the bass (polarized glasses help) and would direct where to cast.  Pretty fun stuff.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Off to chase trout as it looks like the Lamoille and Winooski should be fishable once again.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

wet august?

Hi folks, Seems like the lack of rain in July is being made up for here in August.  Received another 1/4" of rain at my house in Stowe over night.  The small stream I guided yesterday morning was 3 times its seasonal average and slightly off color.  The water temperature was 59 degrees.  The big water, Lamoille and Winooski came up once again with the rain.  Brook trout fishing has been dynamite.  Greedy little char that eat dry flies with a reckless abandon.  Starting to see some really nicely colored brook trout as they prepare for fall spawning.  Most of the larger brook trout, over 9" have been males with hook jaws.  Small stream fishing is not about fighting moby dick on the fly, but more about making accurate casts and maintaining good line control.  It is important to minimize your slack fly line and make a good controlled drift.  This will ensure a good hook set when the trout hits the dry.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun,Willy

Monday, August 9, 2010

cool down

Hi folks, Guided yesterday afternoon for trout on the Lamoille.  Nice to be back on the big water.  Beautiful weather for fishing this last weekend.  The Lamoille was still above its seasonal average from the rain of the previous week.  Water temperature was 64 degrees with cloudy skies and rain showers.  I received a 1/4" of rain at my house in Stowe over night.  We worked for fish but the best action came at dusk.  There were some small micro #20 caddis hatching  tan bodied and a large #12 mayfly with a olive green body and slate colored wing at dusk.  We mimicked the mayfly with a #12 hare's ear parachute pattern.  The trout seemed to like it as we landed 2 wild rainbows on the dry and missed 3 others.  Also landed a decent 12" wild bow with a #12 tungsten prince nymph.  Nymphing was slow as we only had 3 strikes below the surface.  Should continue to be a good fishing week with cool night time air temperature which should keep water temperatures right inline.  Off to fly fish a small brook.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

good fun

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Back to the trout

Hi folks, Guided yesterday under beautiful weather conditions.  Nice cool day with morning fog and even cooler evening.  Water levels have been dropping and I visited the Lamoille in the early am to find the water temperature 59 degrees.  Still twice its seasonal flow average and off color slightly.  We drifted some heavy nymphs without a bite so we moved to a small stream for brook trout.  The brook trout stream was 55 degrees and gin clear.  Still it was 4 times over its seasonal flow average.  We had well over 40 brook trout come to the fly.  Big gaudy stimulator patterns were the ticket.  Great environment for perfecting casting accuracy and making controlled short drifts.  The brook trout are really colorful right now as they begin to prepare for fall spawning.  Should be another nice day for fishing.  I will be guiding trout late this afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Holy smallmouth

Hi Folks, Guided a river yesterday afternoon with a mix variety of species.  Beautiful day with a frontal change taking place.  Pretty breezy with cooling air temperatures.  Really cooled down last night with air temps dropping into the 40's.  River levels are still high and the Lamoille yesterday afternoon was still pretty dirty.  The river we fished was up, but certainly clear.  We worked beetle spins and a floating perch rapala into the slower parts of pools and the tail outs.  Landed 15 smallmouth bass, two stocked rainbows, and several fall fish.  Two of the smallies were legitimate 2lb fish.  Loads of fun with these jumping and tugging fish.  Interesting  to note that the fishing in rivers is generally pretty good when the waters levels are dropping after a high water event.    I think the fish are hunkered down riding out the big water and are simply hungry when the water levels come back down.  Going to be a nice weekend and I am off to chase trout.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, August 6, 2010

after effects from rain

Hi folks, Guided yesterday morning with my boat on a large lake.  All sorts of debris on the surface of the lake from the recent rain storm.  Water clarity was decent, but not perfect.  Surface temperature was 77 degrees and an extremely humid conditions yesterday.  No wind which made for a good top water bite.  We worked a silver and black popper and a jointed floating rapala fairly close to shoreline.  The water level in the lake was up significantly.  Landed 10 smallmouth but nothing to large.  We did jig fish for a bit in deeper and hooked several bass, but once no monsters.  River levels are still dropping and lloks like some cool nights on the way.  Hopefully our rivers will cool off.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Big Rain

Hi Folks, Received almost 3" of rain at my house in Stowe the last 2 days.  Been awful hot and muggy.  Looking forward to fall and cooler weather.  Anywho, still guided a small trout steam this afternoon on the fly.  Man our rivers are cranking and most streams are high dirty and blown out.  Could be a few days before the big water is fishable and anyway it is still too hot for trout fishing  in either the Winooski or Lamoille.  We fished a small headwater stream of the Winooski drainage for wild rainbows and native brookies.  The stream was 5 times it s normal flow, but clear.  Good tree canopy with a gorge and no topsoil pouring into the brook.  Water temperature was 64 degrees which is probably 4 degrees warmer than normal.  We fished a big #10 royal stimulator into soft water off of big plunge pools.  Landed 3 wild rainbows between 7"and 10" and 1 9" male brookie.  Missed or lost 6 other trout.  Not to shabby considering the conditions.  Off to chase smallies in the am.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, August 2, 2010

small stream brook trout

fishing with kids

Hi Folks, Guided two trips yesterday with young aspiring anglers.  Beautiful Vermont summer day with air temperatures in the high seventies and light cloud cover.  Water temperatures are still warm.  My morning excursion was bank fishing where the surface temperature was 76 degrees.  It is always rewarding for me to see young repeat anglers whose skill level improves.  We did away with the floats yesterday morning and taught the kids how to fish off the bottom.  Pretty bright out to have the fish rise so we went down to them.  Garden hackle was our bait of choice.  We hooked and landed numerous pumpkin seed, bullhead, perch, and smallmouth bass. Also, we were able to use a floating perch rapala and catch smallmouth as well.  Kids just want to have fun and they do not care what they catch as long as they catch something.  Fun process watching them became better casters and having them successfully hook a fish that bites.  In the afternoon, I took group of young people river fishing on the lower Winooski for smallmouth bass and fall fish.  The Winooski was low and clear and the water temperature was 74 degrees.  The irony of this trip was I did not want to fish for trout due to the warm water temperatures and the first couple of fish landed were 15" plus wild rainbows.  We landed them quickly and they never left the water while being released.  The rainbows were in excellent condition and did not look stressed from the hot weather of July.  So, after that we got down to business and caught numerous large fall fish and 1 2lb river smallmouth that put up a good fight.  The lure of the day was silver bladed beetle spin.  Looks like a good week for fishing with some rain hopefully and cool night time air temps.  We will see.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, August 1, 2010

mixing it up

Hi folks, Guided a double yesterday with smallmouth/pike trip in the morning and brook trout outing in the afternoon.  The pond we visited in the morning had a surface temperature of 75 degrees with calm conditions and lifting fog.  Really nice day yesterday and a couple of cool nights mixed in with air temps. dipping into the high forties.  We spin fished form my canoe casting a prop bait initially and them shifting to a large blue/silver and orange husky jerk stick bait.  We caught a wonderful 18" smallmouth off a steep ledge in about 15' of water with the prop bait.  We missed it initially and it came back after the surface presentation with a fury.  Helluva of a good fish that fought and jumped and appeared to be very well fed. Only bite on the surface so we worked the stick bait and landed another 2lb smallmouth and 3 northern pike in the 20" range.  It was interesting that we hooked all of the northern pike on a sunny shoreline with a deep weed bed.  We did lose one pike that appeared to have some girth, but we will never know as it escaped us.  In sharp contrast, I guided a new fly angler in the afternoon on a small mountain brook where the water temperature was 59 degrees.  Good tree canopy on this stream and stable pools.  Water was pretty clear and the flow was at its seasonal average.  We saw numerous brook trout come to the #12 royal rubber legged stimulator.   Best fish of the day was a legitimate 10" brookie that was lit up with color.  Awesome looking fish that love to eat dry flies.  On a sad note, I have noticed that the Lamoille river has been dropped to 42 cfs.  Seasonal average for this time of the year is 188cfs.  Shame on Green Mountain Power as they obviously do not give a damn about the trout.  Let out some water folks.  Run of the river dams are managed horribly by the power company and not good for the fishery.  Sorry to rant and rave.  I am off to do two kids program today.  Should keep me on my toes.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, July 29, 2010

patience

Hi Folks, Guided with the boat this am under overcast skies with a steady wind out of the west.  Surface temperature in the lake was 76 degrees.  We made a point of fishing calm shorelines and getting out of the wind as much as possible.  I always like surface fishing for smallmouth bass when there is high humidity.  We worked poppers off drop offs into 10' to 15' of water.  Long rocky points that extended into the lake a ways were productive this morning.  We saw a lot smallies come to the surface.  I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to be patient when the lure or fly first lands on the water.  Also extremely important to let the fish eat the surface presentation prior to setting the hook.  The lake we fished was pretty clear and you could see the smallies move to the surface to eat.  The anticipation of the strike will kill you, but you have to wait.  Awful good surface bite this morning with no angling pressure what so ever.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

big bass

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

crawfish

Hi Folks, Guided the last two days in larger rivers for trout and smallmouth.  Visted spots that I have not fished in weeks due to the warm weather and warm water temperatures.  Yesterday morning was beautiful with cool clear weather and nice steady northerly breeze.  Water temperature was 64 degrees with clear water conditions.  Saw a decent hatch of #22 tricos and a few trout responding to the spinner drop.  We cast large stimulators and hopper patterns.  I had two new fly anglers and I cold not bear to start them out with a size #22 fly.  Hard to teach someone how to mend  a fly line if they can not see the fly.  Anywho, who caught and released a smallmouth bass, fall fish, and missed 3 trout.  A lot of fun watching the fish rise in the clear water to eat the fly.  Being able to see the fish come to the fly is extremely helpful in getting the hook set.  This morning we fished the Lamoille which was 67 degrees at 6:00am and 69 degrees by 10:00am.  Saw a few #20 tan micro caddis hatching and a few random rises.  Also, saw some #16 light cahill spinners hitting the water.  Pretty sunny this morning so surface feeding was limited.  My guests this morning were spin anglers and we cast craw fish imitation lures.  Lots of crawfish shucks on the rivers edge and you could see the craw fish darting about in the shallow water.  Do not under estimate the value of crawfish to trout and bass.  I have seen my fair share of crawfish in trout bellies over the years and it is pretty common to have smallmouth coughing up crawfish as they are landed.  The olive wooly bugger is pretty darn good crawfish imitation as well as a rebel crawfish for spin anglers.  Large trout in the Lamoille and Winooski eat a lot of crawfish due to our streams being nutrient poor and lacking a large number of stream born insects.  So our crawfish lures this morning accounted for 9 rainbows.  Mostly stocked fish though we did land two wild rainbows.  We missed or lost another 10 fish.  The rainbows looked okay considering the horribly hot July.  A few of the fish had the large head and skinny body syndrome.  Watch the water temps. as the Winooski and Lamoille will be too hot to fish this afternoon for trout.  Morning will be the best time as long as continue to get cool nights.  Small stream are looking good for trout.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, July 26, 2010

walking

Hi Folks, Spent a full day guiding with two fine anglers.  Visited the lower Lamoille in the morning and a small mountain brook in the afternoon.  Water level in the Lamoille was above the seasonal average and slightly off color.  Temperature was 72 degrees at 7:00am.  We covered a lot of water and wore out some boot leather.  We landed 1 14" smallmouth on a #8 chartruse/white minnow.  No top water bit e to speak of and we made lots of casts for 1 fish.  So we changed directions and boots and moved to a small brook where the water temperature was 59 degrees.  There were brookies in every spot we cast to.  We walked and fished a lot of water. Caught them on #12 stimulator in yellow with a red tail and a #12 rubber legged royal stimulator.  Really good fishing in the small brook.  I am of to teach fly fishing to some aspiring anglers.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, July 25, 2010

small stream fly fishing

Hi Folks, Spent the day yesterday working small water with the fly rods.  A fairly warm day with bright sun and high humidity.  Started at the main stem of the Lamoille in the morning to find the water temperature 69 degrees.  The level was still slightly high.  We did a casting clinic and fished a bit but it really was not going on in the main stem.  The smsll stream we were on the am was 60 degrees with clear water.  The fishing was a bit slow as we had 5 trout come to our fly.  We cast #14 yellow sallie imitations, a #14 copper john under an indicator into plunge pools, several types of terrestrial flies.  Made up for the slow morning conditions with after noon foray.  The small stream we visited was slightly high with okay clarity.  We had 6 brook trout come to the fly in 10 casts and two of of the fish were 10".  A #12 royal rubber legged stimulator was the ticket.  All in all we saw at least 30 brookies who were very well conditioned.  Amazing how much cooler it is in a small brook with good tree canopy on a hot day.  Off to chase smallmouth this morning and trout in the afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, July 24, 2010

nice fishing weather

Hi folks, Spent yesterday morning on my boat with guests chasing smallmouth bass.  Heavy fog in the morning made the boat ride out to the fishing spot interesting.  Good cloudy morning when the fog burned off with calm conditions.  Water temperature was 76 degrees.  Great top water bite yesterday morning.  My clients were spin anglers and we cast a jointed black and silver rapala and a silver bottom popper with great success.  The smallmouth were all over the lures.  I think every fish we hooked came flying out of the water.  The bass were holding in 5' to 15' of water off the first drop off from shoreline.  It was important to let the lure settle and landing in order to draw a strike.  You can't under estimate how far a smallmouth will travel from to eat a surface presentation.  Then it is really important to be patient on the hook set and let the fish get the lure in its mouth.  We had over 20 smallies eat yesterday morning with fish ranging from 6" up to 20".  A lot of really impressive takes off the top.  I am off to guide trout in a small stream this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, July 22, 2010

big storm

Hi Folks, Lost a trip yesterday afternoon to a torrential down pour and thunderstorm.  I received 1.5" of rain at my house in Stowe in about a hour's time.  Rivers came up and got dirty, but are now settling back down.  Small streams could be fished this afternoon and the big water will take a few days to clear.  Air temperatures have cooled off and especially in the evening.  Will be good for the trout fishing.  Lots of grasshoppers and japanese beetles around presently.  Do not ignore carrying some terrestrials with you while stream fishing.  Nice patterns to blind fish with when nothing is rising.  Will be chasing smallmouth tomorrow and trout his weekend if the weather holds.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

surface bass

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tricos

Hi folks, Guided fly anglers in the morning and evening yesterday on the Winooski drainage.  We dodged around thunderstorms yesterday though we did get caught in some rain showers.  I received about 3/4 of an inch of rain at my house in Stowe.  Much needed rain and we could use some more.  Also, it appears that things will be cooling off slightly with night time lows in the high fifties and low sixties.  Water level was still low and the temperature at 6:00am was 67 degrees.  Saw a good hatch of #22 Tricos yesterday morning with a good number of rising rainbows.  The spinners were hitting the water by 8:00am and the trout were taking advantage of an easy meal.  We had success getting the fish to eat a #22 black parachute and then a #22 sparkle spinner.  You really had to make a good cast and drift right into the feeding lane of the fish in order to draw a response.  Lots of fun watching them rise and anticipating the strike.     We also found some trout  that were willing to attack a large #10 hornberg.  I think this was due to the plentiful numbers of grasshoppers we saw in the fields and also all of the stonefly casings on rocks.  In the afternoon I did the small stream circuit were the water temperature was 62 degrees.  Water was still low and clear and we did spook several fish as we moved upstream casting.  Fished a #12 rubber legged royal stimulator with good results.  We had a combination of 16 native brookies and wild rainbows come to the fly.  It was like the trout had never ate before as the strikes were pretty aggressive.  All in all, not a bad day trout fishing in the middle of July.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, July 18, 2010

back in the saddle

Hi Folks, After a tough day on Friday with the boat, back in the saddle guiding river smallmouth bass and small stream trout.  Found water temperatures in the low sixties on the small water I guided the last couple of days.  Fished river bass on stream that runs into a lake and the water temperature there was 66 degrees at 5:30am.  Water is still low and clear and approach is extremely important in order to prevent spooking fish.  Saw some #22 Trico mayflies this morning.  A fair number of spinners and it appeared that they were being consumed by small fish.  We were more focused on catching the smallmouth with a large #8 Hornberg.  A lot of fun sight casting to smallmouth and watching them come to the fly.  Also, a large number of #8 to #12 golden stonefly casings on rocks.  Must been a good hatch of them late last night.  A stimulator dry is a good option right now for blind fishing.  Expect violent strikes.  The brook trout streams are in good shape and the definition of the stream is very apparent.  Not hard to find the holding spots.  Terrestrial, stimulators, and wulff patterns are all working.  Looks like some cooler weather this week which would be good for our trout streams.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, July 17, 2010

tough day

Hi Folks, Guided a north east kingdom lake yesterday morning with my motorboat.  Experienced a weather change with an in coming front.  Steady wind from the south south/west.  Surface water temperatures still remain warm and in the mid 70's.  We did have several short down pours yesterday around midday that resulted in 1/10th of inch of rain at my house in Stowe.  Rivers are warm and low presently and we could use some more rain and some cooler night time air temperatures.  Yesterday morning the small mouth fishing was tough!  We had two bass eat off the surface first thing in the morning and then that was it.  We tried a a variety of plugs, spinners, and jigs with little success.  I did spot several large fish cruising, but they did not seem interested in eating. Also, watched several smallmouth chase lures, but not finish the deal and grab onto it.  I can only figure that the weather had them in a state of flux.  Prior to yesterday the smallie fishing had been dynamite.  We did tug on some pan fish, but not the target species.  Oh well, always moving forward and never backwards.  Will be guiding small stream stuff with the fly over the next few days.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, July 15, 2010

tail walkers

Hi folks, Guided with my motorboat this morning for smallmouth bass on large body of water.  Nice heavy fog at 5:00am with calm conditions.  Muggy outside and still nor really cooling off at night.  The surface temperature was 76 degrees.  Man, what a morning of top water fishing with jumping smallmouth.  We spin fished to hard bottom shoreline and stayed out of the sun for as long as possible.  The fish were holding on the first drop off from the shoreline in about 6' to 10' of water.  The water was extremely clear and you could see the bass coming to the lure from a good distance.  We cast a blue back with white bottom rapala and pumpkin seed colored rapala. We did mix in a jointed black back rapala.  I think any earth toned or natural looking lure would have worked.  Nothing bright.  Letting the lure sit after being cast was the key.  The fish ate the plug immediately or after the first movement from siting still.  Good explosive strikes with lots and lots of jumping and tail walking.  The top water fishing lately has been dynamite.  We covered a lot of water and noticed that the top water fishing slowed down after the sun got high in the sky.  Still, we hooked fish on a steady retrieve with the shallow running lures.  It was interesting to note how the strikes changed and became more tentative once it was bright out.  Fish the shaded areas when possible and go early or late.  Trout fishing is still a small stream affair it looks like the power company shut off the water in the Lamoille.  Not generally a good thing for trout that are thermally stressed.  Will be bass fishing over the next few days.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

warm weather fishing

Hi Folks, Spent the last few days guiding big water or lower sections of rivers for smallmouth bass.  Still pretty hot out there though the humidity is not as bad as last week.  Water temperatures are still the low seventies.  The Winooski and Lamoille down low were between 72 and 75 degrees early in the morning on Sunday and Monday.  Still to warm to be fishing trout in the big water.  Walk a small mountain stream if you want a trout fix or fish the Hex hatch at dusk on local lake.  We did receive an inch of rain at my house in Stowe over the weekend and that did put a bit of water in our streams.  I can not say the fishing has been fast and furious.  We have been working for fish and catching a lot of damn fall fish.  Nothing really large on the smallmouth end of things though the smaller bass have been cooperative.  Surface action has been slow and all of the fish have been caught on either clauser minnows with the fly rods or crawfish imitation plugs with the spin gear.  I will be back chasing bass with my boat and canoe this week.  Fishing will be best in the early am and late day to dark.  Looks like some afternoon showers so hopefully things will cool off a little bit.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, July 9, 2010

mixing it up

Hi Folks, Guided a double yesterday morning chasing trout with the fly rods in the morning and spin fishing for smallmouth bass in the afternoon.  Water temperature was 63 degrees in the unnamed brook and the water level was slightly below its seasonal average.  Good tree canopy on this stream which helps keep the big, bright sun off the water.  Incredible how cool the water remained in the heat of the past week.  We worked upstream with a #14 stimulator and a #12 hare's ear parachute.  Had 30 plus trout come to the fly.  A combination of native brook trout and wild rainbows.  There are browns in this stream, but we did catch any of the elusive little bastards.  However, we did land some legitimate 9" brookies and several rainbows over 12".  Good fun on a 2wt. and pretty darn good trout fishing during an extreme heat wave.  The large rivers are still too warm to trout fish and leave fish alone that are stacked at cold water points.  Yesterday afternoon my boat and guests visited a northeast kingdom lake for smallmouth bass.  Water temperature on the surface was 78 degrees with a steady south wind.  Water clarity was excellent and you could see fish coming to our topwater lures.  We fished shady shoreline in and around milfoil beds.  All hard bottom.  We did catch a lot of fish yesterday afternoon, but every smallmouth we landed measured over 15".  I'll take big fish over quatity any day of the week.  All really good looking smallmouth that jumped and jumped some more.  Saw a number of #6 Hexagenia limbatas' hatching at dusk and a few fish working the big mayfly.  Looks like rain and a break in the weather over the next few days.  We could use it.  I am taking a day off and will be back after it tomorrow.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

top water fishing

Hi folks, Spent the early morning and late afternoon chasing smallmouth with clients.  Fished a lake in the morning and the lower Winooski in the afternoon. Early morning water temperature on the surface was 76 degrees.  Dead calm withe heavy haze and humidity.  Top water fishing for smallmouth bass is always good when it is really humid.  My guests cast the same rapalas all morning.  A blue and silver, pumpkinseed, and jointed black and silver.  Text book fishing with patience in allowing the lures to sit after they landed on the water.  Removing slack was important in order to set the hook properly.  The smallmouth were all over the lures on the first couples twitches prior to the retrieve.  We hooked a lot of fish that were holding just off wood into the first significant drop off from the shoreline.  We landed over 10 bass and lost and missed another 20.  Really good morning.  The afternoon was a challenge with the tropical heat wave that we have going on.   Hard on the anglers as well as the fish.  Fished big water that holds a good number of feisty river bass.  Water temperature was 83 degrees in the lower Winooski, Holy #$***!  Certainly not trout fishing the big waters with those type of temperatures.  Fishing was tough, but we managed to catch 7 smallmouth on smaller rapalas.  All of the bass were in big pools fed by heavy riffles.  Lots of boulders and large rocks in the pools for the fish to hide behind and in front of.  Saw a lot crawfish in the water and I have seen many bass in the last few days spit up crawfish as we land them.  Hot for a few more days and then hopefully a break over the weekend.  Off to small stream trout fish in the am and bass in the pm.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

hot, hazy, and smallmouth

Hi Folks, Guided with the boat this am for smallmouth bass on a large lake.  Worked spin gear under hot, hazy, and humid conditions.  Water temperature on the surface was 74 degrees and the water clarity was decent.  We actually sight fished at one point to large cruising smallies.  The 4" crawfish colored tube jig on a 1/8oz head was the pattern today.  Not much of a top water bite.  The fish seemed to all be holding on the first significant drop off from the shoreline were there was a hard bottom.  Real finesse fishing with line control being important to detect the subtle strikes.  A lot of fun hooking a smallmouth on a jig and then watching it launch out of the water and tail walk.  Still too warm to fish the big rivers for trout. Small brooks will be okay but the spook factor is in full effect.  Will chasing smallmouth all over again tomorrow.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy