Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lamoille on the fly

Hi Folks, Guided the Lamoille yesterday morning with a couple of fly anglers.  Water temperature was 64 degrees at 6:00am.  Overcast skies and we even got some afternoon rain.  I received less than a quarter inch of rain at my house.  Decent morning #14 caddis hatch with olive body and dun colored wing.  Found a few random risers, but of our fish were hooked with a #16 olive caddis pupa.  We worked a variety of riffles to runs and plunge pools with good results.  We had 15 trout come to fly with 7 fish landed.  All wild rainbows between 6" and 13".  Some fine jumpers in the mix.  We worked on making good mends and maintaining line control.  It is essential to manage your fly line or it becomes much more difficult to hook and land trout, let alone make a good drift.  Caddis was the theme of the morning and we did not see any other anglers.  Off to guide trout this pm.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, May 29, 2010

sight fishing

Hi folks, Guided an all day trip yesterday with my motorboat.  Fly fished up north on a large pond/lake for smallmouth, largemouth, and northern pike.  Fine day to be on the water with water temperatures in the high sixties and air temperatures creeping up to 80 degrees.  Another sunny day with a slight north breeze and extremely clear water.  We found some spawning bass that we left alone.  You could see them on the beds.  Instead we targeted cruising fish that we spotted all day long.  I bet we saw well over a 100 fish if not more.  Most of the fish were moving along the first drop off from the shoreline.  At the edges of weed beds that combined with a hard bottom.  Nice vantage point from boat for sight fishing.  We did change flies but once yesterday and that was to switch from a traditional popper used in the morning to saltwater crease flies for once it got a bit bright out.  We were on the water at 5:30am.  We landed well over 20 bass in the 12" to 17" range and they all ate off the surface.  Also messed with a few northern pike that seemed to materialize out of no where when they wanted to eat.  Long flourocarbon leaders helped and long casting put the flies away from the boat.  If we could see the fish, there were certain times where they could see us.  Great fun watching a big smallmouth smash a surface presentation.  Patience is required in setting the hook.  Will be guiding trout all weekend..  Hopefully we will get some rain and it will cool off.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, May 27, 2010

wild winooski

Hi Folks, guided a fine fly angler on the Winooski yesterday morning under bright blue skies and rising air and water temperatures.  We were on the water by 5:30am and the water temperature was 63 degrees.  It rose to 68 degrees by 11:00am.  I can only imagine that it reached 70 degrees by late afternoon.  Morning trout fishing right now or small cool streams.  No fishing in 70 degree plus water temperatures.  Water levels are still down and we need rain.  Saw a fair number of hatching #16 olive bodied caddis and a few sporadic rising fish.  We caught a bunch of little wild rainbows and brookies in several thin riffles with an #16 x-caddis dry and #16 olive caddis pupa dropper.  The big fish all came on nymphs.  We hooked a very good number of wild trout in the 12" to 14" range yesterday.  A #12 prince nymph with a #16 olive caddis pupa under an indicator was the ticket.  Lots of jumping fish and lost fish.  Really important to set the hook especially with a slower action fly rod.  Trust the rod, tippet, and your knots.  The fish or fishes of the day was the two wild bows we caught at the same time.  One on the top fly and one on the dropper fly.  Both wild rainbows around 12".  That is the 5th time in my life I have seen two fish caught at once.  Pretty cool.  Great fishing morning and with lots of action.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fishing in the sun

Hi Folks, Spent yesterday afternoon chasing smallmouth bass from my boat.  Man was it hot and bright.  Water is gin clear and the surface temperature was 72 degrees.  Pretty warm for May.  We cast topwater poppers in chartruse and firetiger along rocky shoreline and points with great results.  I bet we saw a 100 smallmouth yesterday afternoon.  Not sure how many we caught, but it was a lot fish.  The largest of the day was a 16.5" beauty.  Saw the entire take as the bass rose from the depths slowly and with one twitch of the fly it exploded on it.  We were fishing in the sun so it explains the methodical nature of the takes.  We saw a lot fish just cruising the shoreline.  Did not see any beds or fish on spawning beds.  Lot so little bass in the 6" to 10" range and a good number of 12" to 14" smallies.  Really important to be patient when working the topwater bite.  You need to let the fish eat the fly and then count 1,000 one before setting the hook.  It is amazing how often the fly is taken away prematurely.  Saw a lot of brown bullhead suspended on the surface.  Must be spawning.  Almost had one eat a fly.  That would have been a first.  Taking the day off from fishing, too damn hot.  Will be guiding in the early am.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, May 24, 2010

Its hot outside

Hi folks, Guided early yesterday am on the Lamoille.  Water temperature was 62 degrees at 6:30am.  A very bright hot sunny day with daytime air temperatures reaching 90.  Looks to stay that way until Thursday.  Not very good weather for trout fishing in May.  May can be a magical month with lots of hatches and large rising fish as well as prespawn smallmouth and shallow water pike.  This weather shuts that fishing window down a bit.  Go early or late though late day is usaully a short period of time to fish.  The rivers really warm up on a day like yesterday.  The good news is the weather will change by weeks end and it will be cool once again.  So, we fished with spin tackle yersterday and put a hurting on the stocked rainbows.  The lure of the day was a natural colored rebel crawfish.  We also used effectively a juvenille trout plug from rapala.  The fish of the day was a beautiful 15" wild male rainbow.  Only hooked with one hook and never removed from the water.  This trout drove home the point to my guests of the difference between a stocked and wild trout.  The wild fish fight a lot better and they look lie royalty unlike their stocked breathen who are beat beaten up and do not fight really well.  We still need rain and our rivers are getting low.  The bright sun compounds matters so I will using the boat to chase prespawn smallmouth today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Summer conditions

Hi Folks, Looks like summer fishing out there.  Guided all day yesterday and I was surprised to see how low our rivers really are.  Could use some steady rain.  Fly fished the Lamoille and one of its tributaries which were both much lower than average for this time of the year.  Yesterday was partly cloudy with afternoon clearing.  Water temperatures were 60 to 63 degrees.  Not going to cool much either as it will be warm and sunny for most of this upcoming week.  We fished a lot of water yesterday and use a wide variety of tactics.  Started with a dry dropper rig in the morning that did not produce so we double nymph rigged with a #12 flashback pheasant tail and #16 hare and copper.  We landed, hooked , and missed 8 wild rainbows with most takes being on the dropper fly.  We stayed away from stocked fish yesterday and the larger trout in the river did not seem overly interested in us.  We moved to smaller water and found a few rising fish that were eating hatching caddis.  We swung #14 and #16 olive bodied x-caddis with pretty good results.  More wild rainbows but not any big fish.  We concluded the day in a shady pocket water section with the x-caddis ahd fun tugging on native brookies and small wild rainbows.  Really important in small stream fishing to move with your feet and minimize the amount of fly line out and on the water.  Positioning and line management are critical.  Off to do it all over again today.  Morning and evening seem to be the way to go now.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, May 22, 2010

beautiful day, good fly fishing

Hi Folks, Spent the day guiding the Lamoille under blue bird skies with big bright sun..  Not ideal fly fishing conditions, but with water temperatures from 58 degrees in the early am to 62 at dusk, the trout were on.  Really good hatch of #14 green bodied light wing colored caddis in the morning.  We saw #12 March Browns throughout the morning as well.  Not many fish rising early.  We fished with double nymph rigs with and without indicators.  A #12 flashback pheasant tail nymph with a #14 dark caddis pupa was the combo.  Our first 5 trout of the day were 4 12" to 13" wild rainbows that all jumped and 1 10" brook trout.  It was interesting when we moved spots we encountered a pod of fresh stocked rainbows that were easy pickings.  Not nearly as pretty as the wild fish nor as acrobatic.  We took midday off to siesta and went back out late day to find rising fish.  The trout were certainly rising and eating a #14 mayfly.  Had a blue dun colored wing, but not sure exactly what mayfly it was.  Did not matter as we drifted a #14 hare's ear parachute with good success.  Landed several more wild rainbows and missed a few.  The cast and drift were important as the slightest drag in your presentation resulted in a refusal.  Patience in watching the rising fish and only casting when in proper position was key.  No errant casts.  Off to guide another full day and it looks like summer conditions for the next week.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fly fishing in the rain

Hi folks, Spent a really good day of fly fishing up north in the rain.  Water temperature was 58 degrees and the river flow was well below the seasonal average.  Clarity was good.  Saw a tremendous hatch of #14 green bodied caddis with a tan wing.  A few #12 March Browns, but the caddis were the meal of the day.  Not too often that you get situation where Landlocked salmon are eating dry flies like crazy.  We could watch the salmon rise and slash at hatching caddis.  We did nymph fish a bit and one of the better salmon of the day was a  18" silver bullet that ate a #14 hare and copper.  The most productive rig of the day was a #14x-caddis with a caddis pupa dropper.  You could see the salmon swing to eat the dropper and when the rose of the dry there was no doubt about the take.  Had a 16" male steelhead absolutely cream the x-caddis by swimming downstream and sticking its entire head out of the water to eat.  The fish of the day was a 20" plus silver steelhead that gobbled up a #10 smelt imitation.  What a fish.  You can call them steelhead or lake run rainbows, but these fish can fight.  One of the bigger rainbows I will see this season for sure.  It is really important in the water we were fishing to have good knots the right tippet 3x and 4x and put relentless pressure on these fish.  If they race out of the pool you hook them in, you are done.  We landed 8 salmon and 2 steelhead.  We missed another half a dozen salmon.  Going to warm up and be sunny over the next few days so I will be fishing early and late.  Hatching bugs right now are #14 Grey Fox, #12 March Browns, #14/#16 caddis, #14 yellow sallies and I have seen an assortment of stoneflies.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

landlocked salmon


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Getting around

Hi Folks, spent yesterday dedicating myself to Vermont fishing.  Started the morning on lake Champlain in my friends boat fishing for landlocked salmon and lake trout.  The main lake was like glass with no wind.  Water temperature was in the low fifties and fairly sunny day.  We trolled which is not my cup of tea, but very interesting all the same.  Landed several lake trout between 3lbs and 5lbs and lost a couple of fish.  No salmon to report. One of the lake trout did have a big lamprey mark on it.  We kept our lures and flies anywhere from the surface to 15' down.  Covered a lot of water.  A rainbow trout imitation spoon seemed to be the most productive.  Later in the day I helped plant trees with fellow members of the Lamoille River Anglers Association.  A local group of anglers dedicated to stream preservation, conservation, and education.  We were helping to stabilize a  streambank with a wide variety of trees and shrubs yesterday afternoon.  Anyone interested in becoming part of the LRAA can contact me.  You can an active or inactive member.  Great way to give back to the Lamoille watershed.  so, while plantings trees and digging holes I noticed rising trout downs stream.  Well any good anglers carries his fly rod along at all times, right?  My curiousity got the best of me and I had to see what was going on.  Water temperature was 62 degrees at dusk.  I found about 15 rising fish.  I tied on #14 hare's ear parachute and landed a 14" wild brown trout on my second cast and then a 18" hook jawed male rainbow on the 5th cast.  Probably one of my single best dry fly experiences on the Lamoille in a long time.  The rainbow was incredible and a just a big fat healthy trout that really bent the 4wt. It is not every day that you catch a wild trout that big on the Lamoille.  Any trout over 15" is big.  This fish weighed almost 3lbs on my net scale.  To bad no camera.  I ended up hooking 6 trout in total and all of the fish were wild!  Not bad for about 20 minutes of fishing.  I am off to chase landlocked salmon in a river today.  Should be good fishing day with overcast skies and cooler air temperatures.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

stalking rising fish

Hi Folks, guided the Lamoille yesterday afternoon under sunny skies.  Water temperature was 58 degrees and the level was just below the seasonal average.  Saw a number of large #14 caddis hatching, a few sporadic #12 March Browns, and #14 spinners.  We nymph fished for the first part of the day without much success.  Just could not buy a strike.  We fished 3 pretty good riffles with a variety of flies and no luck.  However, once the sun went down a bit and we found shady section of river, things changed quickly.  We found a nice pod of rising wild rainbows that were holding in slow long bend pool that was littered with large boulders.  It took some observation and patience to figure out what they were eating.  This pool is fed by a gentle riffle and the mayfly spinners were being swept down stream into the trouts feeding lanes.  These fish were not moving very far to eat and were certainly tuned into one thing and one thing only.  The fly of the day was a #14 Hendrickson colored spinner with grizzly hackle wing and split tail.  Man did these trout fight when hooked!  The first fish was out of the water before you knew what was happening.  All of the trout were between 13" and 14" and looked to be in excellent shape.  Good fun stalking these fish.  It required good casting, staying out of the water, and lots of patience.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-natvie species at home.  Off to chase landlocked salmon.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, May 17, 2010

Nice sunny weather

Hi Folks, Spent the weekend away from the Stowe area down around Cavendish Vermont.  Nice part of the state.  Did a bit of fishing on the Black River.  It one of Vermont's trophy trout streams where large brood stock from the hatchery are dumped.  Big rainbows and browns in the 15" plus range.  Along with the big fish comes big fishing pressure.  I saw more people fishing yesterday that I have seen collectively all season around this area.  I can't blame them, nice day with a really nice looking river.  However, it is my understanding that the Black fishes the best in the spring before the water temperatures warm over 70 degrees.  Not much of a summer fishery.  Water temperature was 52 degrees yesterday and there were a few #14 hatching caddis, #12 March Browns and plenty of black flies.  My friend and I nymph fished using the old reliable prince nymph.  Something showy for the stockers.  Can't say I put on a clinic as I only hooked one trout but my friend caught two very fish stocked trophy fish. One rainbow and one really good looking brown trout.  All in all it was fun to fish somewhere new and enjoy some good Vermont scenery.  Will be guiding trout today and should be good.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, May 13, 2010

cold weather fishing

Hi Folks, Guided a large party yesterday afternoon with the fly rods.  We fished a river that has an influence of lake run rainbows, browns, smelt, suckers, and smallmouth bass.  Cool day with morning sun and afternoon clouds.  Not much wind to speak of and it was a chilly day.  Water temperatures have not really warmed up with night time temperatures still in the thirties. Water temperature was 43 degrees.  River levels are slightly above average but very fishable and the clarity was good.  Saw a decent hatch of Stenonema mayflies #12 to #14.  Looked like March Browns or Gray Fox.  It would make sense since this particular river has large gravel with heavy riffles that is not typically kind to the Ephemerella family of mayflies.  Did not see any trout rise.  We did manage to catch two brook trout who ate weighted nymphs.  A #12 Dave's Red Fox nymph and a #14 Hare's Ear nymph.  Lots of casts for a few fish.  The river fishing will only get better and it appears that once the waters warms a bit things will really turn on.  Look for Hendricksons #14/#16, Caddis dark bodied #16, Caddis candy apple bodied #14, and Gray Fox #14, Blue Quills #16, and March Browns #10/#12.  Will be running my boat this afternoon looking for northern.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, May 9, 2010

cold rain and snow

Hi Folks, Snowing right now at my house, great!  Fished yesterday afternoon on a Lamoille river tributary and the water temperatures we a chilly 42 degrees.  Not good with leaking waders.  Water levels are up a bit after receiving about a quarter inch of rain.  The Lamoille main stem was slightly high and off color and the tributary I fished was off color as well and high.  I did see a few Hendricksons #14 hatching and few shucks in a big back eddy.  Believe it or not I also found a few rising fish.  Nothing consistent but the trout that were rising were keyed into emergers.  I did not see one nose of a trout eat a dun.  So I swung a Hendrickson emerger pattern and hooked a fish.  I was so surprised that I got one to eat I lost the trout pretty quickly.  I can not imagine that the water will warm up in the next few days as the weather looks to be a bit on the cold side.  Still the trout seem to have awoken out of the winter slow down and are feeding.  You can expect to see some Blue Quills #16, Hendricksonss #14/#16, and dark bodied caddis #16, and apple candy colored bodied caddis #14.  Pike fishing in the shallows is still a good option.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Rising wild trout

Hi Folks, guided on a tributary of the Lamoille today and was pleasantly surprised to find lots of rising fish.  The main stem of the Lamoille was blown out and dirty.  The water temperature was a cool 48 degrees and there was an impressive hatch of #14 olive dark bodied caddis with a light tan wing.  The water level was slightly high but clear.  The trout were rising with an angry aggression.  The rise forms sounded like rocks were being tossed in the water.  We did see a few sporadic mayflies, but with the bright sun the caddis ruled the day.  A #14 olive x-caddis was the fly.  We cast right at the rise forms and were rewarded with aggressive takes.  We did land any monsters but all of the trout were scrapy wild bows.  Not bad to have rising fish this early in the season.  I love being able to fish in the middle of the day and find trout taking bugs off the top.  I will be chasing pike tomorrow.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, May 3, 2010

guiding, pike, and black flies

Hi Folks, Just returned from southwest Florida for a little vacation with my wife.  Stayed in Captiva Island.  Great place with lots of good fishing and yes I did hire a guide for a day.  Loads of fun.  Anyway, guided a day before I left Vermont. and just did a fly fishing trip for northern yesterday.  Whether seems to have been a little helter skelter with snow one day and eighty degree temperatures the next.  Bank fished with a family before I left and we tugged on all sorts of things.  Bottom fishing with set lines we kept it simple and caught lots of keepre size yellow perch, suckers, bullhead and one very large brown trout.  Good fun for the kids and parents.  Yesterday under the  threat of thunderstorms which never developed we cast flies for pike.  Water temperature was 56 degrees with a steady south/southwest wind.  Made paddling the canoe interesting.  Worked very hard for one northern and missed two other pike.  Did see one very large smallmouth chase a fly but it would not eat.  A classic #2 chartruse/white clauser minnow was the winning fly.  Tried a few different patterns and made lots of casts.  We fished primarily in shallow dark bottomed bay with new weed growth from 1' to 5'.  There did not seem to be any pattern to the fishing yesterday.  I will be piking some more this week and investigating some trout streams.  Look for #14/#16 Hendricksons on our rivers and I think it should be a good year for early rising fish. Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy