Friday, October 29, 2010

end of the season

Hi Folks, Spent a nice day up north chasing salmon on the fly with friends.  Beautiful day with sunny skies and warmer than average air temperatures.  Water level was slightly above the seasonal average and the temperature was 50 degrees.  We landed 6 landlocked salmon yesterday with the best fish measuring 20" and going about 3.5lbs.  Nice looking male that put up a good struggle.  Lots of angling pressure yesterday and the streamer approach seemed to get fish looking, but not eating.  We nymph fished with a #12 prince nymph under an indicator and that rig hooked a majority of our salmon.  We did miss a few and lose some fish, but all in all not a bad day.  One thing I noticed was too many anglers getting in the water.  Stay off the gravel and spawning beds.  Matter of fact leave the spawners alone.  Pretty obvious when you see a big silver flash in front of you as to what is happening.  No need to get in the water and more often than not you are hurting your chances of hooking fish.  These are lake run fish and they like the soft water where people were standing, silly.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, October 24, 2010

wooly bugger

Hi Folks, Guided the Lamoille yesterday afternoon under sunny skies and a strong north wind.  Water temperature was 46 degrees.  Clarity was fine and the level is still above the seasonal average.  Did not see much for hatching insects.  We dead drifted large fly patterns that imitated crawfish.  The greatest of all time is the wooly bugger.  A #10 or #12 olive and black or olive and brown does an excellent job of imitating the crawfish population on  the Lamoille.  In my days of killing trout long a go I always looked into their stomachs to see what they contained.  I often wonder if people and the other fishing guides in the area even know how to clean a fish.  A lost art with catch release.  Anywho, more often than not the trout over 12" had small crawfish in their stomachs.  We hooked or missed 5 large trout yesterday afternoon.  Landed one beautiful wild rainbow.  Keeping the bugger towards the bottom and slowly drifted was the key.  Not glamorous fly fishing but effective.  One week left in the trout season and the weather looks good for fishing.  Warmer air temperatures and damp weather.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, October 23, 2010

cold outside

Hi Folks, Been away moose hunting for the last few days.  A lot of fun.  Guided yesterday for trout on the Winooski drainage.  Water temperature was 45 degrees with a steady cold north wind.  Water clarity was good and levels are still above the seasonal average flow.  No hatching bugs or rising fish.  Fishing was pretty slow and we drew one strike all afternoon.  Nymph fished with #10 tungsten stone flies and dead drifted some #12 olive buggers and swung a few #10 black ghost streamers.  Will try again today with guests.  Couple of trips left until the last day of the season on Halloween.  Will be hunting in November maybe a little steelhead fishing and getting ready for ice fishing.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, October 16, 2010

before the rain

Hi Folks, Been chasing moose in the woods with a friend the last few days.  Pretty interesting.  Guided for trout on the Lamoille drainage on Thursday prior to the Nor'Easter.  Received a little over an inch of rain at my house in Stowe on Friday.  Thursday the water temperature ranged from 50 to 52 degrees and the fishing was certainly better as the day progressed and the water warmed.  The rivers were higher than average on Thursday and they are certainly up and dirty now.  Lots of heavy wind with the storm and a lot of debris in the streams.  We found a pod rising rainbows and a one very large brown trout in pretty clear water,  Watched them do their thing in the water for awhile.  Was able to sight fish for them.  Fun stuff as the trout sipped little BWO mayflies.  We landed 13 wild trout for the day with 1 brown trout and 12 rainbows.  Too bad for the rain because the fishing was good.  Well will be moose hunting for the next few days.  We wills e what it brings.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, October 14, 2010

calm before the storm

Hi folks, Another glorious day on the Winooski guiding with beautiful weather and foliage.  Looks like it is about to change with a big nor'easter coming at us this weekend.  Water temperature was 52 degrees and the levels are still above the seasonal average.  Not much for hatching bugs and I saw one fish rise in a big back eddy.  We nymph fished with #12 copper john and #18 BWO dropper and a #12 tungsten prince nymph with a #18 green soft hackle.  Landed 3 wild rainbows on the larger nymphs and lost or missed another 6 trout.  Most of the fish were holding in slower deeper part of the pool.  No strikes in the riffles and the best fishing seemed to be right in the middle of the day.  Fishing has been consistent in our trout streams with fish being hooked and caught every day, but we are making lots of casts to accomplish this feat.  Off to guide trout again today and then seeing what the weather will bring.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Salmon on the fly

Hi folks, guided up north yesterday chasing Landlocked salmon with the fly rods.  Water is still above the seasonal flow for the year, but the clarity was good.  Water temperature was 53 degrees under bright blue skies.  We moved around yesterday fishing different holes.  Do not like concrete feet.  We tried a few different streamer flies like mickey finn and a black ghost and id not draw even a follow.  When we started to dead drift a #10 tungsten prince with a #18 BWO dropper we started to get some strikes.  We hooked and missed a lot of smaller salmon until a big boy decided to respond.  Landed a 3lb almost 20" male salmon that jumped 5 times.  Spectacular fight.  Interesting how the salmon get out of the water the moment they are hooked.  You really need to put the pressure on the big salmon or they get out of the hole where they were hooked and you are stuffed.  Off to chase trout today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

cooling down

Hi folks, guided the Lamoille yesterday under bright blue skies with a steady north wind.  A little chilly out there and the water temperature was 51 degrees.  Flows are still a bit high and I do see that changing for the rest of the season.  We moved around to find rising fish and never saw any surface activity.  Pretty decent number of hatching #20 BWOs, but no trout responding to the surface.  Also saw a good number of #14 olive bodied egg laying caddis around dusk and no fish responding.  Lots of junk in the water yesterday, but that is typical of a fall day with wind and leaves.  We nymph fished several riffles and hooked 1 decent trout and missed two others.  Lots of casting for limited results.  Well I am going to do it all over again today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, October 10, 2010

heavy nymphing

Hi Folks, Spent a beautiful sunny fall afternoon guiding the Winooski.  Water flows are heavy and the level is still 3 times the seasonal average.  Clarity was good and the temperature was 54 degrees.  Not much for hatching bugs and we fished double nymph rigs all afternoon.  A #12 tungsten prince nymph with a #18 BWO dropper nymph under a white indicator.  Made lots of upstream casts into soft seams and the inside corners of heavy riffles.  A fun take from the trout when you see the indicator stop or dart out and set the hook only to feel the thrashing of a fish.  We landed 6 wild rainbows between 8" and 14" and missed several other trout.  Several of the fish looked absolutely stuffed as their bellies were fat from feeding.  Pretty decent fishing considering all of the high water.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, October 8, 2010

water logged

Hi folks, Spent the last two days guiding in the rain.  Such is life and at least I am still fishing.  Yesterday we chased brook trout on a small mountain stream on the Winooski drainage.  Actually had to nymph fish brook trout.  Water was high and coming up the entire time.  Clarity was decent and the temperature was 53 degrees.  Due to the flows and cooling temperatures the old reliable brook trout on a dry was not happening.  So a heavy nymph under an indicator and we landed a dozen very brightly colored brookies.  Fly selection was not critical, but I like a #12 tungsten prince nymph with red thread in heavier flows.  it was interesting that we caught most of our fish in the first part of the trip and the bite really slowed as the water began to really rise.  Today, I gambled and gave the main stem of the Lamoille a try.  Water was 3 to 4 times its normal flow, but it has been that way for a awhile.  Clarity was just fine and the temperature was 56 degrees.  We spin fished with trout imitation plugs and landed 3 really nice fat wild rainbows.  It looked like they were stuffed with crawfish or some kind of large food item.  Fattening up for winter.  We missed or lost another 5 trout.  I watched several fish chase from the heavy seem line into the slower current to eat.  Always cool watching the take.  Well, enough of the rain and now it will be cooler and I am guiding pike.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, October 7, 2010

brown trout on the fly

Hi folks, Guided a moderately sized stream yesterday afternoon with an aspiring fly angler.  Cool damp day with showers.  Water levels are still up a bit and the water temperatures are holding in the mid fifties.  Not much for hatching bugs yesterday and we did not see any rising fish.  We nymph fished with a #12 prince and #18 BWO dropper and caught a nice 13" male brown trout.  Not a lot of action yesterday and we did miss another trout.  Looks to stay cool and damp today and then things will clear up.  Hopefully the ran lets up to keep our stream in manageable shape.  Off to chase trout again today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

back on the lamoille

Hi folks, Guided the Lamoille yesterday under sunny skies and warm air temperatures.  Foliage looks really nice presently, but maybe not as brilliant as it has been in years past.  Water level was still higher than the seasonal average, but the clarity was fine.  Water temperature was 56 degrees.  Not much for hatching bugs yesterday and it did not really matter as we spin fished.  Fished deep stable pools with a rebel crawfish lure. The trout are holding in slower water current now as the temperature continues to drop. We landed 3 nice wild rainbows in the 12" to 14" range.  All 3 fish were extremely fat and looked to be very well fed.  Almost too fat for the length of their bodies.  All jumpers that we watched chase down the lure on the retrieve.  No stocked fish and and we made lots of casts to catch 3 trout.  My client did not mind as catching quality fish is always a good thing versus numbers of hatchery mutants.  Looks like more rain on the way which should blow out our big rivers once again.  Well I getting ready to guide trout today and should escape the rain until tomorrows trip.  Might be fishing for pike.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

changing direction mid fly cast

Hi folks, Guided a full day yesterday looking for salmon.  Unfortunately the salmon river was still too high to fish even though the clarity was decent.  When it comes down to a fishable level the fishing should be awful good.  So, we moved to a small stream with all 3 species of trout and had a ball.  Water level was high but decent clarity.  Temperature was 55 degrees.  We worked a wide variety of water with 3wt outfits and cast #12/#14  stimulators with #18 tungsten bead pheasant tails nymphs as droppers.  Almost 75% of the takes were on the dropper fly though we did have fish eat the dry and some good strikes at that.  We landed 5 wild brown trout and 14 wild rainbows.  Missed a few fish and basically forgot about the salmon water.  Always need to have a back up plan as a fishing guided and it is nice when things work out.  Pretty good trout fishing for all of the high water around.  Will be off chasing trout again today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have fun, Willy

Monday, October 4, 2010

pike fishing from a canoe

Hi folks, guided a a spin angler yesterday morning from my canoe on small lake for  pike.  Water temperature was 60 degrees on the surface and the wind blew steady from the north.  Sunny morning with early frost had a nice crisp chill to the air.  We found northerns off a long rock point that splits a weeded flat and and deep water drop off.  Also located some fish on slow tapering shore line with under water weed beds.  Landed 5 northerns on a large blue, orange and chrome husky jerk.  Lost one decent fish and had 3 others follow to the canoe and turn off.  Always interesting fishing pike form the canoe when the come up to the boat and take the lure.  Good attention getter.  A fast steady retrieve was the method and the strikes were pretty good.  Off to chase trout today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, October 2, 2010

pike fishing

Hi Folks, Guided in the northern tier of Vermont today for northern pike.  Lost a trip yesterday after nearly 5" of rain fell at my house in Stowe on Thursday into Friday.  Our rivers are still very high though a few mountain tributaries could be fished tomorrow for brook trout.  the big rivers will be shot for a few days.  Steady north wind today with over cast skies in the morning and sun in the afternoon.  Water temperature was 65 on the surface and the lake level was certainly high. Cool out there today and I wore my long underwear. Clarity was decent and we were able to see several northerns chase the lure.  We landed 5 pike and 2 largemouth bass.  Missed a few fish and lost a couple of decent fish.  We had two strikes on a large black double prop top water in the early am before the wind picked up.  The lure of the day was a double gold and silver bladed spinner bait with a red skirt.  We found fish off of weed bed edges into drop offs and over a shallow flat with consistent weed beds.  A steady retrieve was the ticket.  Even with the changing weather and high water we were able to tug on fish.  Good anglers catch fish in a variety of weather conditions and nothing is ever consistent.  Off to guide pike again tomorrow.  Always options.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, October 1, 2010

big rain

Hi folks, Guided the Winooski watershed yesterday in the rain and the Lamoille on Wednesday.  Water temperatures have maintained in the high fifties to low sixties and the air temperatures have remained warm with muggy air.  Water levels have come down and up and our rivers are now not fishable.  We are under a flood watch and I have received almost 4" of rain at my house in Stowe.  Shame, as our rivers were fishing well and the trout had been biting.  Wednesday on the Lamoille we dead drifted #12 olive and black wooly buggers attached to long leaders.  Had trout eat the fly on the dead drift and the swing.  Imitating crawfish which is a favorite of our larger trout.  The dead drift is the approach with a  bugger as crawfish live on the bottom of the stream and the fly needs to get down and dirty.  Yesterday was spent on a small brown trout stream with bright colored streamers.  Pretty cool watching brown trout smash the fly.  We covered a lot of water and had 3 wild browns between 10" and 13" eat the brightly colored #10 mickey finn.  We did have much larger brown trout chase the fly only to deny us as it approached.  Never saw the fish again which I am not surprised by.  Typically a large fish makes one good effort to eat the fly and if it does not happen then move forward.  Lots of junk in the river yesterday and was a bit of a pain.  Well looks like no trip today for me and I might be boat and canoe fishing for pike as our rivers will take a few days to settle down.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have fun, Willy