Thursday, February 18, 2010

ice fishing, fly tying, and buying gear

Hi Folks, had a busy week of ice fishing guiding.  Always amazes how many people are interested in ice fishing.  It is a lot of fun standing on a frozen lake fishing and certainly different than open water fishing.  the fishing from my shanty has been up and down.  pretty steady on the yellow perch and smelt, but the trout fishing has been okay.

There is currently 20" of black ice on Waterbury Reservoir with very little snow cover.  Lots of shanties on the ice and plenty of traffic which makes me wonder if it is not having an impact on the trout fishing.  Most of the large trout we catch ice fishing come from right under the ice with a live smelt set on a tip-up.  All of the noise on the ice has to have an impact. 

I am gearing up to start chasing pike under the ice as this is the time of year that the large hen fish start to move into dark bottom bays to spawn.  the next two months are the prime time to catch a trophy northern in Vermont. 

Been spinning flies for the up coming season and filling the guiding calender for May.  If the winter continues on the current pace the early spring fishing could be pretty decent this year.  However, if we do not receive some significant snow between now and then a late spring drought is possible. 

A lot fun this time of year buying new gear and figuring out the what the business is missing.  Looking at good electronics for the boat to use for the lake trout trips I will be offering this season.  More to come.  Should be able to ice fish for another 6 weeks before focusing on the open water fishing. 

Remember to obey the bait laws help prevent the spread of VHS. 

Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

smelt and trout

Hi Folks, Spent all day yesterday at my shanty fishing for smelt and trout.  The water level was being lowered throughout the day and it appeared that the power company released over 5' of water.  Lots of noise, moaning, and groaning on the ice yesterday.  A little freaky except that there is over 18" of ice.  Plenty safe out there as I drove my truck onto the ice yesterday. 

Beautiful day with very little wind and plenty of sun.  We landed not quite 50 smelt on a silver Hali jig with a orange floating bibbit attached.  Had 7 flags yesterday and did not manage to land one trout.  Had several trout on who simply did not get hooked well enough.  Every trout ate a smelt under a tip-up. 

We started with golden shinners and rosy reds under tip-ups and did not get one trout bite.  We did have several large perch eat the rosy reds and shiners, but they were not the target species.  We set up in 5' to 25' of water and it appeared that most of the trout were suspended at 15'.  Every fish we lost and missed mauled the live smelt.

I am fishing this afternoon and lets hope that we can execute a little better on the trout.  I have replaced some hooks with rigs that should be more effective. 

Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Obey the bait laws.

Have Fun, Willy