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.