Tuesday, June 29, 2010

finesse fishing bass

Hi folks, Guided smallmouth this morning on a big body of water with spin anglers.  It was calm early with big morning sun and a late morning northwest breeze.  Still pretty muggy.  The water was fairly clear considering all of the rain and water that was still pouring in from the edges, small brooks and gullies.  Not much of a top water bite this morning.  We fished the first drop off from shore with a hard bottom that was littered with downed wood and big boulders.  Stayed in 8' to 15' of water.  Really subtle takes fishing with a crawfish colored tube jig on a 1/8oz. jig head and a floating gulp worm with a sliding cone sinker.  Caught some decent fish with the largest measuring 17".  It is important to watch your line jig fishing and really be in contact with the lure.  Fun setting back with a long rod and watching it pucker over.  Will be doing it all over again tomorrow.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, June 28, 2010

more rain

Hi folks, Guided the Lamoille yesterday morning before the big rain showed up last night.  Just received 1" of rain at my house in Stowe over night.  Prior to that the Lamoille was in great shape with seasonal flows and temperatures in the low to mid sixties.  Decent hatch of small #18 tan bodied caddis yesterday morning and few #10 Potamanthus distinctus or golden drakes.  Saw a good hatch of golden drakes the previous night.  We found a few select risers but our best success was with a double nymph rig.  We dead drifted and swung a #10 red fox squirrel nymph with a #18 bead head hare's ear.  Managed to catch two wild bows at once, one on each fly.  Now the 6th time I have seen that and the second time this season.  Pretty cool.  Landed 6 rainbows and missed or lost another 10 fish.  Looks like our rivers will be blown out for a few days with unstable weather.  Will be fishing from my boat this week for smallmouth and looking for the Hex hatch.  Saw a few random Hex flies on Friday night, but no fish responding.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Nice fishing weather

Hi Folks, Guided a morning and an evening today on the Lamoille.  The fishing was outstanding!  Water is slightly up from the seasonal average and the temperature maintained all day.  It was 64 degrees at 6am and 66 degrees at 6pm.  Not too bad and add the overcast, damp conditions with some showers, perfect.  Found rising trout in the morning and evening.  Good hatch of #18 BWO's, along with #18 tan caddis, and few #14 cahills this morning. We caught fish on a #12 white wulff with #18 caddis pupa dropper and then we fished a #16 tent wing parachute caddis dry.  It did not matter as we must of hooked 20 fish and landed 10.  The fish of the day was a 17" male rainbow that ate the caddis pupa dropper.  awesome looking trout.  The fish were rising in the riffles and the slow water of the pool.  Hooked a few trout swinging into current transitions.  Tonight, pretty much the same thing except the fish were rising to big #12 yellow drakes.  Real splashy rise forms.  However, we were casting spin gear with trout imitations and a crawfish plug and hooking trout all the same.  Landed 14 rainbows.  We would cast upstream of a rising fish and pull the plug across their face.  Lot of good takes right at the end of the retrieve.  Slow and steady was the key.  The trout were still rising at dark when we left the river.  Off to chase trout in the am.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, June 25, 2010

weather change

Hi Folks, Seen some vastly different weather in the last couple of days.  Fished for fun on a Winooski tribuatry yesterday in the morning and guided a lake this morning.  Yesterday I received almost an 1" of rain at my house in Stowe.  The big rivers are pretty high and dirty at the moment, but should clear soon.  Small streams are clear and high, but can be fished..  A big front came thorough with heavy rain and wind.  Today things are fairly clear, much cooler, and no humidity.  Stood in a driving rain storm yesterday morning and the fishing was excellent.  Water temperature was 63 degrees and the water level was rising slowly.  We found a pod of stocked rainbows who were eating off the surface.  Matter of fact the were eating any fly drifted by them.  Not sure what they were tuned into to, but a #14 ausable wulff worked very well.  I bet between 3 anglers we landed 50 fish.  It was ridiculous as we caught them nymphing, with streamers, and dry flies.  You know things will be decent when the trout are eating orange strike indicators.  Lots of fun with a 3wt.  This morning the lake I guided was 69 degrees on the surface with a slight north breeze.  We spin fished and worked the surface.  No real pattern this morning and we landed 4 smallmouth on a blue and silver rapala.  We covered a lot water and made lots of casts.  We found fish off beaver huts and downed trees with a hard bottom.  I have to believe the weather front last night affected the fishing this morning.  No giant smallmouth with the largest fish weighing in around 1.5lbs.  Will be guiding trout and smallmouth over the next few days.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, June 24, 2010

fishing in the rain

Hi Folks, Guided the Winooski drainage in the rain yesterday morning.  Steady rain all morning with calm wind.  Water temperature was 70 degrees and the clarity was fine.  Spin fished with two young anglers and their grandfather.  We fished the surface and just below with a variety of lures.  A copper bladed beetle spin was the lure of the day.  We landed a wide variety of fish including smallmouth, brown bullhead, yellow perch, pumpkin seed, and fall fish.  good action and fun for the kids.  It is important that young anglers fish in an area where they are going to get some action or else they lose interest very quickly.  Fun watching them tug on a smallmouth that jumps and really pulls back.  I am off to fish a small streams this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

the days are getting shorter

Hi Folks, It is all down hill from here.  Summer is here and we just past the longest day of the year.  So I guided trout on the Lamoille early this am.  Water temperatures at 5:30am was 64 degrees and it moved up a  couple of degrees by 10:00am.  Sunny warm day early with clouds and rain moving in tonight.  Saw a few small #18 to #20 tan bodied caddis all over willows on the banks and few hatching as well.  We dead drifted a #18 hare's ear nymph with a #18 tan caddis pupa.  Saw lots of juvenille rainbows 4" to 6" eating the small caddis as they hatched.  We landed 4 trout and lots or missed another half a dozen.  All wild rainbows between 5" and 11".  All of the trout for the most part were holding in the oxygen rich water of the heavy riffles.  Looks like a good weather week for fishing with the exception of some heavier rain that could dirty up rivers.  Still cool nights make a big difference if you like am fishing.  Off to chase trout again tomorrow am.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have Fun, Willy

Monday, June 21, 2010

The two fishing tales of one day

Hi folks, Guided a double yesterday with a big group in the morning and big group in the afternoon.  Moved between watersheds from the am to the pm and had to do the thorough cleaning of gear and equipment.  Fly fished the Lamoille in the very early am and the lower Winooski  in the pm.  The Lamoille was 69 degrees at 5:30am yesterday and warmed to 70 degrees by 9:00am when we were finishing up.  Saw a good hatch of #12 yellow drakes yesterday morning as well as a number of #18 tan bodied caddis.  The trout were rising everywhere!  Really explosive rise forms.  We fished dry flies the entire time and got fish to eat of the surface really easily.  The fly of the day was #12 white wulff and #12 light bodied emerging parachute pattern.  Also, a spent #16 spent caddis with a #16 hare's ear parachute worked very well.   The wulff patterns produced on the trout feeding in the riffles and the spent caddis and hares ear worked well on the fish slurping in the pools.  One of those mornings that was magic.  Must of caught 30 fish.  Certainly not the norm and i was glad my guests who were good fly anglers got to enjoy such a fishing experience.  A lot of fun targeting a rising fish and making a good cast and drift and watching the take.  All rainbows were caught with a mix of stocked fish and wild fish.  The afternoon on the Winooski was the total opposite.  Water temperature was 70 degrees and the water level came up significantly while we were fishing.  The rising water level cooled things off a bit, but the fishing was slow.  Saw a few large #10 stonefly adults laying eggs, but not much else for insects and no rising fish.  We nymph fished and tugged on the fall fish.  Better than a sharp stick in the eye.  Too warm for trout .  Off to fish trout and smallies this week and it looks like cool nights which will help the trout fishing.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, June 20, 2010

fishing bass, catching trout

Hi Folks, Guided down low on the Lamoille yesterday afternoon for smallmouth bass.  Took a couple of aspiring anglers spin fishing.  A hot summer like day with early sun and good late afternoon cloud cover.  A threat of thunderstorms that never materialized.  Water temperature was 70 degrees, clarity was excellent, the river level was just below the seasonal average.  We fished with light spin tackle casting stick baits and shallow diving crankbaits.  Lots of crawfish on the river's bottom that you could scurrying about.  Our most effective were two crankbaits that resembled crawfish.  We did catch a 2lb smallmouth and a very large fall fish, but the fish of the day were 3 large trout.  Two brown trout and 1 rainbow.  Both brown were stocked fish and it appeared that one fish could have been a holdover.  Looked too darn good to have been stocked this year.  The rainbow was all of 15" and it appeared to be a wild fish.  Everything was holding in primary pools that were fed by giant riffles.  Pretty curious that you go to catch bass on a hot summer day and we turn 3 nice looking trout.  Well, off to do a double today.  Should be fun.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have Fun, Willy

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fog and summer heat

Hi folks, Been a good week of fishing in our streams.  Overcast, damp , and cool for most of the week.  However, things are about to change.  Guided the Winooski this early am and the river was in great shape.  Good heavy fog with bright sun breaking through around 8:00am.  62 degrees was the water temperature at 6:00am.  Level was right around the seasonal average and clarity was excellent.  Today the air temperatures are going to rise to 90 degrees which will heat our rivers.  Early morning on the big rivers will be best and our small cool mountain streams for the afternoon.  Fishing this morning was very good.  Not much for hatching insects though we did see some small #18 black caddis hatching and some #16 tan bodied caddis hatching.  Saw one random fish rise and it was surely junk feeding or either a hatching caddis, a spent caddis, or it was chasing bait.  We swung a #16 tungsten gold bead hare's ear nymph with a #16 olive caddis pupa.  Also, used a #12 double tungsten stonefly with a caddis dropper and my favorite red thread #12 prince nymph.  Hooked most of our wild rainbows on the hare's ear nymph.  We tight lined drifted and let the fly swing in the riffles.  Real violent takes resulting in some missed fish.  The fish of the day was a measured, released, photoed, and deep bodied 15" wild rainbow.  The fish went nuts coming out of the water 6 different times and really spun the reel.  Pretty exciting!  We landed 5 other wild bows between 7" and 11".  As the fog burned off we dead drifted with an indicator in heavy water with good results.  So, get out of the sun and fish early or late.  Carry your thermometer and leave the trout alone when temperature rises above 70 degrees.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

working a small stream

Hi Folks, Worked a small tributary of the Lamoille this morning that has wild rainbows and native brookies.  It is a stream that requires some walking to get to the fishy water.  I would dare say that it does not get fished very often if ever.  Makes you feel like you are in the bush as it is off the beaten path.  Water level was low and clear.  Temperature was 57 degrees.  This brook comes off high elevation and has a great tree canopy.  Lots of shade and cool water.  Caught 15 trout with a mix of wild bows and brookies that were holding in any water that was knee deep.  Some the larger plunge pools held more fish.  It was interesting to see how the rainbows would not return to eat the fly when missed, but the brook trout came back for seconds every time.  The fly of the day was a #14 orange and black stimulator. All dry fly fishing with a short limber 2wt.  Still not seeing anyone fishing except around the trophy zones of the Winooski and Lamoille.  Those anglers can have the hatchery mutants as I prefer to fish for and guide wild trout.  Much more challenging and rewarding.  It looks like summer is on its way with some warmer days on the horizon.  Morning will be the way to go on our trout streams especially the big water.  Hatches still consisting of sulphers #14-#18, caddis in tan and olive #14-#18, stone flies #10-#14, and terrestrials.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Swinging the fly

Hi Folks, Guided the Winooski this morning with a fine fly angler. Water level was still up a bit, but the clarity was excellent.  Water temperature was 58 degrees at 6:30 am with morning clouds.  Nice low light for fishing.  Saw a decent number of #16 olive bodied caddis hatching and some random trout rising to eat.  The fishing was very good this morning with plenty of hungry fish.  We moved around a bit and did not have concrete feet.  We carried two rods with us.  One rigged with a double nymph rig with a #12 tungsten prince and #16 olive caddis pupa and dry fly rod with #16 olvie x-caddis with a #16 caddis pupa dropper.  We caught trout on every fly.  We discovered this morning that the trout were tuned into the fly on the swing.  Dead drifting did produce fish, but the fly swung at the end of the drift with action imparted really worked.  I can only attribute this to the fashion in which caddis hatch.  We also had good success catching wild rainbows on the x-caddis.  We had success on the dry fly to rising trout as well as being blind fished to good habitat.  Landed close to 20 trout and missed a bunch.  Primarily wild rainbows between 7" and 14".  They looked to be in excellent shape.  A lot of fun watching fish eat the fly.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, June 11, 2010

fly fishing the high water

Hi Folks, Guided the last two morning under cloudy rainy conditions.  Lots of water in our streams presently.  Fished Winooski tributaries where water temperatures ranged from 51 degrees (small moutain stream) to 59 degrees (larger valley river).  Water clarity was not bad, but the levels are certainly high.  Hatching insects have not been a factor as we fished nutrient  poor rivers where attractor patterns seem to be the most effective.  Yesterday I had a father and son with one fly angler and one spin angler.  Worked a chartruse clauser minnow and a tan bead headed zonker on the fly rod and hooked one rainbow in high water and landed a smallmouth bass.  With the spin tackle we caught a nice 12" wild bow and a scrapy smallmouth.  The good old perch colored rapala was the ticket.  The trout were at the heads of pools while the bass were located in slower part of the pool.  Today we fly fished some local streams for wild rainbows and native brook trout.  Caught every thing on dry flies.  Large brightly colored stimulators were very effective as we landed 2 dozen brook trout between 3" and 8" with a few wild rainbows to boot.  Tight line drifting into soft eddies and seem lines were where the fish were holding.  Fun watching them to rise to eat a dry.  Our big rivers are too high to fish today but should be back in line by Sunday.  Nice weather pattern with cool nights and mild daytime temps should keep the trout fishing solid.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

high water trout

Hi Folks, Spent all day guiding a fine fly angler from the UK on the Lamoille and a trib. of the river.  Always fun to guide anglers from over seas and see and discuss their home waters and tactics.  The Lamoille is still above its average flow as well as the trib. we visited.  Water clarity was good and water temperatures were even better.  Had a frost warning last night with cold air temperatures in low forties and high thirties.  The Lamoille was 59 this morning at 5:30am with morning fog.  The tributary we fished was 51 degrees.  Not much for hatching insects so we nymph fished the Lamoille was a double rig consisting of a #12 tungsten Prince nymph and #16 olive caddis pupa.  We also mixed a #12 double tungsten stone fly in the mix for some of the heavier water.   In one run we landed 7 wild rainbows between 7" and 13".  All good jumpers.  The Lamoille fished very well this morning with few more fish landed and missed including what appeared to be a decent brown trout.  Always a great scenario when the rivers are dropping from a high water event combined with cool water.  We received over 2" of rain this weekend so I think we were the first anglers to fly fish this stretch of river and the fish were hungry.  The trib we fished was out of control.  Landed at least 15 brook trout on dry flies.  A big royal #10 stimulator with rubber legs got hammered.  Two of the brookies pressed 10".  There were brook trout everywhere.  Good fun.  Will be guiding the next few days and the fishing should remain good.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, June 6, 2010

rain and small stream magic

Hi Folks, Guided all day yesterday on a small tributary of the Winooski drainage.  The Winooski itself was 70 degrees on Friday night after a warm sunny day.  The small stream we fished yesterday was a pleasant 61 degrees.  I have received 1" of rain at my house since Saturday morning and looks like it will rain all day today.  We need it.  Good weather week coming up with highs in the 70's and lows in the forties at night.  Should keep our trout streams somewhat cooler.  The Lamoiile was pretty dirty yesterday morning so we opted for a small stream and the fishing was great.  We covered a lot of ground casting a #12 royal stimulator and a #14 yellow sallie stimulator.  Found native brook trout to 9" and wild rainbows to 10" in every nook and cranny.  Even used the bow and arrow cast a few times for some tight spaces.  Probably had over 40 trout come to the fly and we landed at least half of them.  Good fun on a 2wt. and certainly good practice for casting accuracy.  Short lines and little fly line on the water was important for good drifts and hooking trout.  Any water that was knee deep held a trout.  Took a couple of good falls with my rubber bottomed boots.  Certainly going to have to use more caution wading now that felt bottomed shoes are becoming obsolete.  Still we need to do what we can to prevent the spread of Didymo and other non-native species.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, June 4, 2010

nice fishing weather

Hi Folks, Guided last night on the Lamoille for some evening trout fishing.  Nice overcast conditions with the threat of rain.  There was a bit of anorthwest breeze, but it lessened towards dusk.  Water temperature was 66 degrees at 6:00pm.  Saw a good number of rising trout.  Saw a few sulphurs hatching, but the fish once again were keyed into caddis.  We swung #16 olive caddis pupa in riffles and had trout smash the fly the moment it hit the water.  The best rig of the night was a #16 olive x-caddis with an 18" caddis pupa dropper attached to the dry.  The fish ate it on the dead drift and on the swing.  Landed wild rainbows between 6" and 12" with a couple of stocked bows in the mix.  Look for Brown Drakes at dark as well as sulphers.  Don't leave home without some olive and tan caddis in your assortment of flies.  The rain was nice but we still need more.  Chased smallmouth this am and the fish were surface oriented.  Calm conditions until about 9:00am.  Did not see any on beds.  We cast surface sliders with the fly rod and small rapalas with the spin gear.  Each worked very well.  The fish were holding off points and submerged boulders.  Rock oriented.  We fished the shady areas along the shoreline.  We did not get too many strikes when casting where the sun hit the water.  It was bright pretty early this am. Caught smallies between 8" and 15".  Good jumping fish!  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Hi Folks, Guided on a stretch of the Lamoille this am that generally receives a lot of fishing pressure.  It was my first visit there this season.  Nice heavy fog this am and it remained until about 9:30am.  Water flow was good, though still below the seasonal average flow.  We did receive rain yesterday and I got about 1/4" at my house.  Water temperature was 64 degrees.   Saw a decent number of hatching #14 olive bodied caddis and #16 tan bodied caddis.  You can see all the caddis casings on the tops of rocks indicating that they are ready to pop.  Found some rising fish and a few who were willing to eat off the top.  You know the morning will be good when you hook fish on your first two casts of the day.  Never changed rigs this am using a #16 olive x-caddis with a #16 olive caddis pupa dropper.  Hooked trout on the dead drift and on the swing.  Landed 11 trout all together with a combination of stocked and wild trout. Probably missed or lost just as many. Lost a real beauty of a rainbow that had some shoulders.  The fishing for trout the last 3 weeks has been great.  Can't remember such a good stretch in a while.  Morning is the time with the bright, warm sunny days we have been experiencing.  Saw a few #14 sulphurs hatch this am and should see a lot at dusk.  Also, start looking for the Brown Drakes at dusk, but take a temperature reading and leave the fish alone if the water is over 70 degrees.  Keep plenty of caddis in your box as that seems to have been the soup du jour pretty consistently in recent weeks.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home, have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

lots of action

Hi folks, Double duty on the guiding front yesterday with a trout trip on the Winooski in the am and a smallmouth excursion with the canoe in the afternoon.  Another sunny day with warm air temperatures in the upper 70's and a persistent haze from fires up north in Canada.  The Winooski was 64 degrees with flows below average and good water clarity.  You know the fishing will be good when your guest hooks a fish on their first cast.  We fished some big pocket water with a variety of nymph rigs under an indicator.  A few hatching caddis but not much for rising fish.  It did not seem to matter though we did have two trout come up and almost try to eat the strike indicator.  We fished a #12 prince nymph with a #15 olive caddis pupa as the dropper and a #10 stonefly nymph with a caddis pupa dropper.  Lots of dark brown stone fly shucks on the rocks plus a few still born bugs.  We landed 20 trout in the 6" to 13" range with a combination of stocked brown trout and wild rainbows.  Probably had another 20 fish eat.  Really good fishing with a good angler.  The afternoon was not quite as busy, but still good.  Surface temperature was 68 degrees on the lake we fished and we did see some occupied spawning beds but mostly ones that had been abandoned.  Fished a chartruse popper with rubbed legs and never changed flies.  Had 10 smallmouth come to the fly and landed 4 fish between 10" and 14".  A lot of fun catching smallies off the surface.  The fish did not seem to located in one spot and we covered a bit of ground to catch them.  Still all related to rocky points and shorelines.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy