Thursday, July 29, 2010


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


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


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


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

Monday, July 5, 2010

smallmouth on the fly

Hi folks, Chased river and lake smallmouth with guests today.  Fished big water in the morning with heavy boulder and rock cover.  Giant pools laden with rocks and big back eddies.  Water temperature was 71 degrees at 5:30am.  Pretty comfortable out until sun go full over head.  Muggy day.  We fished the surface with a #8 chartruse foam slider fly.  Most our takes came in the slower water out of the main current after popping the fly and letting it sit.  Good surface takes.  We landed 6 river smallmouth and missed and lost a few more.  The largest fish was about 2lbs and put up a good tussle on the 6wt.  We also dead drifted a large stonefly nymph under an indicator in the heavier riffles and hooked fish with that method.  Nice morning.  This evening I took another client canoe fishing for smallmouth on an extremely clear body of water.  Water temperature was 73 degrees on the surface.  Dead calm water and still muggy outside.  We worked the shady shorelines. Saw a Hex flies around 8pm and a few smallmouth eating the big mayfly.  Not a major hatch.  Also saw some large #12 drowned ants in the surface film struggling.  Easy pickings for the smaller fish.  We cast a #8 frog cork popper off rocky points, shoreline drops. and any fallen timber.  The larger bass were holding  in the deeper sides of the drop offs.  We landed 7 smallmouth between 6" and 14".  Nice evening.  Going to do it all over again tomorrow.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, July 4, 2010

fun in the sun

Hi folks, Just spent the last two days guiding full days on Lamoille watershed and the Winooski watershed.  The fishing has been great.  Water temperature was 64 degrees yesterday morning on the Lamoille at 5:30am.  Water level was slightly above the seasonal flow.  The were rising everywhere and eating a #18 tan bodied caddis.  Also a fair amount of #12 potamanthus or golden drake spinners hitting the water.  You had your choice of where to cast as fish eating in the riffles and pools.  We found rising trout  in less than a foot of water. A #18 tan x-caddis was the fly of the day.  We must of hooked well over 20 trout consisting mostly of wild and stocked rainbows.  The biggest fish of the day was 14" wild bow.  You could watch the caddis trying hatch off the water and see the rainbows launch out of the water to eat the newly winged adults.  As sun became very high in the sky and the water warmed up we moved to a small brook trout stream where was was clear and a cool 59 degrees.  Caught a lot of native brookies with a #12 rubber legged royal stimulator.  The largest brook trout was 9".  The theme of the day was dry fly fishing and working on aerial mending with the dry fly.  Thinking about our positioning prior to the cast and making a good drift in the trout feeding lane.  This morning the Winooski was 66 degrees at 6:00am and with some cloud cover that kept the sun off the water until 11:00am.  Not much for rising fish today though we did find some juvenille rainbows who were happy to eat a dry fly.  We nymphed a using a double rig consisting of #16 hare's ear nymph a #20 tan caddis pupa.  We landed 14 rainbows where all but two fish were wild.  Were a few hatching micro caddis and lots of caddis pupas on tops of rocks.  No real consistent rising fish.  Found a lot of fish holding in the heavy water due to the rising water temperatures.  Really good big water trout fishing for the 4th of July.  Probably will now be on hold for a while with the hot days and nights ahead.  We moved to a small tributary after lunch and found low clear water.  The water temperature was 59 degrees.  A real spook factor was in effect as we watched numerous brookies dart for cover as we approached pools.  Being stealth and cautious was important.  We landed a few brookies using a #14 green/tan stimulator but we spooked more fish than we caught.  Will be smallmouth fishing for the next few days.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, July 3, 2010

return to summer

Hi folks, guided the Winooski yesterday morning under a big bright sun.  Water level was above the seasonal average and the clarity was not so great.  Water temperature was 61 degrees and that should rise in the next few days with the warm air temperature we will be experiencing.  The Hex hatch is going on so a nice change of pace from river fish for those of you who like to fish at night.  Not much for bugs hatching yesterday morning and we did not see any rising fish.  We landed 3 wild rainbows and missed 4 other trout with a double nymph rig.  A #14 tungsten prince with a #18 hare's ear nymph.  Off to guide trout all day or until it becomes too warm.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, July 1, 2010

cold front

Hi Folks, Guided with the boat on a northeast kingdom lake yesterday.  Felt like fall out there.  Cool air temperatures with a building wind from the north.  The weather has been unstable for a few days.  Water temperature was in the high sixties and the water was very clear.  You could see smallmouth swimming around and pickerel chasing lures.  Always fun sighting fish.  We worked a variety of lures as the fish seemed to be in a bit of a funk from the weather change.  We worked shallow running rapalas in early and then resorted to a 4" olive lizard and a black panther martin spinner.  Lots of small baitfish in the shallow margins and the spinner  blade was about the size and profile of the flashing baitifsh.  We landed 1 largemouth bass (illegally introduced to the is body of water) 1 large pickerel, and 4 smallmouth.  Found all of the fish around milfoil beds where there was a hard bottom.  Lost several hooked fish who buried themselves in the weeds.  Had a lot follows from smallmouth and pickerel who turned off when they saw the boat.  Also saw a lot of fish who simply were not interested.  Challenging day of fishing but my guests endured and were able to catch some fish with patience and lots of casting.  Off to look for the Hex hatch tonight.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy