Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ice Fishing

Hi Folks, Back on the water after an off season filled with walking around the woods chasing big and small game.  Guided guests yesterday morning for some northern pike and yellow perch on the hard water.  The lake we visited had a solid 5" blanket of black ice.  Due to the warm up prior to the big freeze last night the lake's surface was a bit  sloppy with water on top of the ice.  Good stiff north wind forced us to really anchor the shanty down well.  We set up in about 10' of water over weed beds.  The water was pretty off colored from the rain the night before.  Tip-ups were spread out and tipped with large golden shiners.  We jigged Hali jigs tipped with live maggots.  Hot colors like fire tiger worked the best of the perch.  We caught lots and lots of perch.  We had two flags with pike on and were unable to bring either fish through the hole.  The weather really got nasty as the day progressed and we picked up by late morning.  I will be chasing pike and walleye over the next few weeks.  Use extreme caution on the hard water as ice is still forming on many lakes and ponds and might not be safe to venture onto as of yet.  Bring all of the safety gear including rope, safety spikes, creepers, and let someone know where you are fishing.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, October 27, 2011

coming to a close

Hi Folks, Only a few days left in the trout fishing season for 2011.  Visited a northeast kingdom lake yesterday for some lake trout action.  Incredibly the surface temperature was 52 degrees.  Pretty warm for this time of the year.  Not much wind yesterday morning which was nice because it was a cold morning.  Need to be dressed really well this time of the year if you are on a boat.  We used fly rods converted into spin rods matched with 6lb braided line on spin reels.  A long 8' fluorocarbon leader was attached to the end of the braid.  We cast chartruse and orange 1/4 oz. jigs heads tipped with a soft plastic emerald shiner imitation over a mid lake shoal for lake trout.  Saw an incredible number of surface breaching fish.  It must be a spawning posture by the lake trout to readjust their internal organs.   All of their internal parts get a bit compressed this time of the year as roe and sperm build up in their bodies in preparation for spawning.  The surface activity we witnessed is not a feeding act.  We must of seen over a 100 fish roll on the surface and some rather large fish to boot.  We hammered the lake trout early and then the bite turned off like a light switch.  Landed 8 lakers with the largest being 24" and we lost and missed another dozen fish.  Awful lot of fun casting to lakers versus the trolling.  This type of fishing is an early morning activity and we were on the water at 6:30am and the bite turned off by 10am.  Get your licks in as we only have 5 days left of fishing.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Still Happening

Hi folks, Guided a fly angler yesterday on a Lamoille tributary and the fishing was excellent.  The fly fishing the last few days has been outstanding and there is no one on the water.  I have been working 3 different Lamoille tributaries for the last few weeks and the number of fish and wild fish has been really solid.  I try to not visit the same spot within a week of having fished it and the strategy seems to be working.  Water levels are still high and will remain that way for the last week of trout season.  Water temperature was 50 degrees under cloudy skies with occasional showers.  We nymph fished with a #12 prince and #20 copper john under an indicator.  My client landed 7 of the 9 trout that came to the fly.  All wild rainbows with the largest fish measuring 15".  It fought like a steelhead with multiple jumps and tail walks.  All of the trout were holding in the slower sections of the pools in front of and behind large boulders.  Saw some #22 BWO's hatching but no risers again.  Still the fish are eating the small nymph and half of our trout were hooked on the #20 BWO nymph.  Dead drifts with a long leader was the key to getting the fish to eat.  Well, going to finish strong this week and looks like the weather will be decent for fishing.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, October 22, 2011

a small warm up

Hi Folks, Guided a couple of fly anglers yesterday on a Lamoille tributary.  The water temperature had warmed up almost 5 degrees from when I had fished on Wednesday.  Water temperature was between 50 and 51 degrees.  Probably due to the previous day being unseasonably warm.  Looks like pretty decent weather for the last 9 days of fishing season with the no frost or snow in the forecast and warmer than average day and night time temperatures predicted.  We nymph fished yesterday with double fly rigs under indicators.  A #10 prince with #20 BWO nymph and a #14 cooper john with a #20 copper john.  Had wild rainbows and wild brown trout eat both flies.  We 14 trout eat the fly with the best fish of the day being a brightly colored up 14" brown trout.  Pretty darn good turn around after really slow fishing on Wednesday.  Saw more #22 BWO duns drifting on big back eddies, but no takers off the surface.  Most of our takes were on the small dropper flies so the trout must be tuned into the hatch, but just the nymph and emerger stages. Water levels are still pretty high and I am sure that has something to do with the lack of rising fish.  Still have a few trips left and will be out chasing trout again today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, October 21, 2011

coming into stick season

Hi Folks, Starting to feel a little more like fall out there.  Coming into stick season as the leaves are really falling off the trees now.  Guided Wednesday on a Lamoille tributary where the water level was twice its seasonal average.  Clarity was fine and the water temperature was 46 degrees.  Pretty chilly for wading.  Saw a really good hatch of little #22 BWO's, but not a fish responding.  I suspect the high water level prevented any rising activity.  We looked at a few nice slow deep pools that I have witnessed fish rising in previously and it was not happening.  We nymph fished with indicators and an assortment of heavy flies.  A #10 tungsten bead olive and black wooly bugger drew some interest.  Had a few short strikes and actually watched a rather large brown trout come up on the fly and basically nip the tail.  Interesting to see as we lifted the fly out to cast this fish rose from the depths and was extremely tentative in eating.  We missed few other subtle strikes, but the fishing was not easy and a bit slow.  Cold weather fly fishing takes a lot of patience and many of the strikes are not as obvious as you would think.  Yesterday took the day off and went duck hunting late in the day.  Loads of fun.  Off to chase trout with guest today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

high water and season winding down

Hi Folks, Guided a river yesterday with spin anglers.  Water levels are still high around here and most our rivers are either twice to three times their average flow for this time of the year.  Looks like rain for the over night and that will not help the river fishing.  I do not think that our stream levels will subside by the end of the season.  The water table is full and the ground is saturated.  Trout season runs until Halloween so it is winding down quickly.  It is okay as I have already been transitioning into hunting birds and getting ready to stalk my Thanksgiving turkey.  Water temperature yesterday was 50 degrees and there was a lot junk in the river.  We fished a stream that is influenced by a lake and found an assortment of fish.   Landed a lethargic smallmouth bass off the get go and you could tell it was not too active in the cooler water.  Caught a few trophy fall fish and missed a few fish we never saw.  All in all the fishing was not bad considering the conditions.  Some of our strikes were tentative and subtle and I attribute that to the dropping water temperatures.  Most of the fish we encountered were holding in the slower parts of the pools and out of the heavy water.  We swung silver beetle spins across the tail outs to draw interest.  Careful wading these days as the water is cold and if you fall in you will be heading to the truck.  Off to guide trout today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

changing weather and yellow bellies

Hi Folks, Been the weather roller coaster around here lately.  Lots of rain and wind over the weekend made fishing a bit challenging.  Matter of fact I canceled trips and watched football.  Still will not guide when I think I cannot catch a fish.  Probably could have fished some small brooks, but I am leaving the brook trout alone to spawn.  Yesterday I guided a family shore fishing on a lake for pan fish and trout.  Kept it pretty simple and fished the bottom of the lake.  Surface temperature was 51 degrees and there was a real steady hard south wind.  Lots of leaves in the water now as a lot of the foliage is being brought down from the trees.  We caught a variety of fish.  Most notably a decent number of large yellow belly perch.  Really good eating and if it was winter I would brought them home for a fish fry.  An adult yellow perch is a good looking fish, too bad they do not fight a little harder.  Getting to eat was not too difficult as we dragged beetle spins and a baits along the bottom very slowly.  Good fun for me and today I am off to river fish for trout.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, October 13, 2011

still pleasant

Hi Folks, Been awful nice the last few days fishing.  Guided still water yesterday and a Lamoille tributary today with the foliage changing quickly.  Water temepratures have been pretty steady in the mid fifties.  The surface temperature was 54 degrees at 5pm and this morning on a small stream it was 54 degrees.  Still relatively warm and it looks like rain.  I had 2 young aspiring spin anglers yesterday afternoon and we fished the old fashioned way, garden hackle.  Right on the bottom in a deep drop off from the shore line.  Caught 4 different species of fish.  Good fun for the kids and entertaining for me.  Young anglers do not care what they catch, they just want to pull on something and learn the basics.  Today back to the fly rods and catching wild brown trout.  Worked up stream with a double nymph rig and a dry dropper rig.  Do not over look any spot that you suspect holds a fish, with the current water temperatures fish are holding in a lot more area of the stream.  Had trout eat the #14 yellow foam spider dry fly, the #18 prince, and the #20 BWO nymph.  Landed 2 really pretty wild brown with beautiful cherry dots.  Love trout fishing this time of the year when the weather stays mild.  Get nasty in November for rifle season for deer.  Well, going pike fishing next.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

peak foliage and salmon

Hi Folks, Been really enjoying the summer like weather the last week.  Too bad it is all going to change with rain coming in.  the leaves are at peak right now and just spectacular.  Late foliage this year, probably due to all of the rain we have received.  Guided the Lamoille watershed on Monday under sunny skies.  Started fishing a little later in the day due to the bright sun.  Water temperatures were 55 degrees and the levels are prefect for fishing.  Saw a few #16 caddis hatch and actually found a few rising fish.  Only in the shade and the rising activity improved as the sun went down.  Did land any huge fish, but had a lot of action with a #16 Goddard caddis dead drifted over the rise forms.  Yesterday I went and chased salmon up north.  Level there was perfect and the fish are in town.  Worked all of the usual holding spots with a  #8 Mickey finn and a double nymph rig under an indicator.  Dead see several large black salmon porpoise out of the water.  It is my understanding that they are shifting their body weight around due the large build up off eggs in their bellies that compress other internal organs.  Landed 5 salmon yesterday and lost another 3 fish.  The largest landed fish was a 20" 3lb silver male that took a #18 copper john.  Caught all of the salmon on the little cooper john and every salmon landed had a hook jaw.  Good fun on a 5wt. and these fish really pull back.  I think the nymph rig works well on sunny days and the streamer and wet flies are more effective on over cast days.  All of the fish landed were hooked in the top of the mouth.  Seems to me that the silver fish are still eating and the fishtthat darken up and not so interested.  Off to river fish this afternoon and hopefully the rain holds off.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have fun, Willy

Monday, October 10, 2011

big sun

Hi folks, Busy holiday weekend guiding under really nice weather conditions.  Big bright sun and record air temperatures.  Not ideal for fishing, but the warm air helped to heat the river temperatures back up a bit after frosty mornings during the week. The last two days on the main stem of the Lamoille were slow.  Nothing hatching and nothing rising.  We had a few trout eat here and there, but pretty damn slow.  So, always have a back up plan as a fishing guide and I took my clients to smaller tribs. of the Lamoille that have fished well lately.  Interesting when moving spots that you hope things work out.  Well sometime they do and sometimes they do not.  Yesterday it took a couple of minutes in a new spot with a #10 bugger and we caught an almost 17" wild rainbow that really did not want to be landed.  Throw in a few more smaller rainbows and not a bad day.  The other rig we have been casting is a #14 yellow foam spider fly with a #18 olive cooper john nymph as a dropper.  Nothing on the dry, but the little dropper fly has been a gem.  Not sure why, but the Lmaoille main stem has been tough for the most part.  The tribs have been great.  Probably all of the water in our streams and the lack of stocked fish.  Off to chase trout this afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

beautiful fall weather

Hi folks, Been guiding the afternoon the last couple of days for trout on the main stem of the Lamoille and its tributary streams.  We have had two consecutive hard frosts and the river temperatures are beginning to drop.  The leaves seem a little delayed and the foliage is okay.  The red maple or soft maple turned well early, but it appears the prolonged warmer fall weather has slowed the rest of the foliage.  Oh well, still nice on the water right now.  So water temperatures are now hovering around 50 degrees.  You know you have been standing in a river.  Water levels are still up and should remain that way for the rest of the season.  Not much for hatching bugs last two days.  It appears that the trout are finally dropping into their fall haunts of slower water as things cool off .  The fishing on the Lamoille the last couple of days has been slow.  Not much action where I was guiding. We moved into tributaries and started catching and seeing fish.  Mostly small rainbows between 7" and 11". Still drawing random surface takes with yellow foam fly patterns.  Pretty interesting that 3 of the larger brown trout I have guided this year all ate of the top and where interested in a gaudy foam fly that really looks like nothing.  Small #18-#22 copper johns, BWO nymphs, and soft hackles have all been catching fish.  Do not rule out streamers on sinking lines right  now or a dead drifted heavily weighted
#10-#12 olive/black wooly bugger on a long 3x leader. The big bright sun and north wind has probably  not helped the big water fishing this week.  I would much prefer cool, dark, and damp.  Oh well, I'll take the nice weather while I can.  Off to chase trout all weekend.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

Thursday, October 6, 2011

big wind and cool down

Hi Folks, Spent yesterday afternoon guiding on another Lamoille tributary.  Big cold north wind yesterday that posed some problems for casting and blowing debris in the water.  Lots of junk and leaves drifting in the current that we had to periodically remove from our leader and flies.  Water temperatures have remained in the mid fifties. but should cool down with the first frost of the year.  Fishing will be best mid afternoon right now as we need the water temperatures to warm up to crank things up.  Levels are still high but should drop down some with a nice dry warm period on the way for the next week.  Saw a massive hatch of #22 BWOs yesterday and not a damn fish eating off the top.  Did have one decent rainbow randomly explode on a foam fly, but nobody interested in eating BWO duns.  I can only figure the bright skies, junk in the water, and flows impacted that.  So, I am not adverse to getting down and dirty and we nymph fished with a #14 rubber legged copper john and a #22 peacock soft hackle.  We had wild rainbows eat both flies and the dropper seemed to draw more attention.  Tells me the fish were tuned into the BWO hatch, just not surface oriented.  Pretty interesting how fishing can change from day to day.  Creamed large wild brown trout 2 days ago under damp cloudy conditions and yesterday under bright windy skies, we never saw a brown.  Well, will be checking out the Lamoille later today and hopefully the fish will be rising.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

big fall brown trout

Hi Folks, Guided a fine fly angler on a Lamoille tributary for the day yesterday.  This particular stream has always had a decent population of wild brown trout with a mix of wild rainbows and native brook trout.  the state does stock some browns, but we did not see any of them.  Water levels are all still up in our streams and where we fished yesterday was probably 3 times the average flow for this time of the year.  We carried two fly rods, 1 rigged with a dry dropper and 1 with a double nymph and indicator rig.  The dry dropper rig produced the most fish for the day.  A #14 yellow foam spider fly I tie with a #18 copper john nymph as a dropper.  The first fish of the day was a small wild rainbow on the nymph and then shortly thereafter we hooked and landed a measured 17" male brown trout.  Probably weighed about 3lbs.  Big hook jaw with lovely cherry dots on its flanks.  The fish really put up a tussle and hung in the pocket water making landing it a good challenge.  The slower action 3wt. my client was using made things even more difficult.  However, I did get it in the net and man was it fun.  We did land another 15" plus brown on the dry fly.  Landed 3 other large brown trout on the nymph under the dry and missed god size fish on the dry as well.  All of the trout were holding in the tail outs of pools.  Casting upstream was important in order to catch these fish.  We found wild bows in the head of the the pools  in some of the rough and tumble pockets behind big boulders.  The brown trout were not on beds and every male was pretty plump.  Did not catch a female brown.  These fall fish are impressive looking with their hook jaws, big eyeballs, beautiful colors.  Good day of fishing under cloudy damp skies.  Still catching fish in October and it should remain decent for awhile.  Off to do it again today.  Remember to clean you gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, October 3, 2011

still wet, but tugging on trout

Hi Folks, Been wet here for the past week.  Looks like the weather will improve as the week progresses.  Though with the sun will come our first frost of the year potentially on Wednesday night.  Guided today on a series of small streams.  Had to cancel on Sunday with the rain and rising streams.  My philosophy is if I feel I cannot catch a fish in high dirty water than how can I expect my clients to?  Water levels were pretty high today and the temperature was 56 degrees.  Clarity was okay but a little off.  We nymph fished with a 3wt. rod with #12 tungsten prince under an indicator.  Used a bright colored indicator due to all of the junk in the water and the turbidity of the brooks we fished.  It never fails, a bright colored indicator gets eaten by fish.  Had a rainbow come right up on it.  We did land half dozen bows and lost or had on another half a dozen fish.  Even  had a few takes on large #10 royal stimulator.  Pretty decent small stream fishing for the conditions.  Our big water will be blown out for a few days, but the small streams are still fishing fine.  Off to do it again tomorrow.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, October 2, 2011

fall is here

Hi folks, Guided a full day yesterday in the rain.  Nice cold wet day that lets you know you live in Vermont and that the weather is part of life.  No worries, my client and I had good waders and rain gear and the right attitude.  Water levels rose throughout the day after beginning to recede from the previous days of rain.  Water temperatures ranged from 54 degrees to 56 degrees.  The foliage is really starting to come on and downed leaves in the water can be a pain.  We fly fished two different streams and caught a variety of fish.  In the first brook we visited we nymph fished with a #12 tungsten prince and a #20 BWO dropper under an indicator.  Managed to catch 3 wild rainbows and miss a few more.  We bailed out when the brook began rise and wading became tricky.  The next stream we fished we were looking for lake run brown trout.  We cast streamers that we swung across pools with a a long 3x leader and some weight attached a coupled of inches above the fly.  The streamer that drew the most interest was a #8 white zonker.  It is fun for me as a guided to stand down stream of my client when they are streamer fishing and watch the fly swing and fish respond to it.  We managed to land a smallmouth bass and a decent fall fish.  Did see two trout chase the fly but not really hit it hard.  Also had a few subtle takes we missed.  It appeared to me that the fish were tentative and I think the weather played a role in that behavior.  Looks like more rain.  Too bad because the fishing has been good.  October is a fine month to fish in Vermont and time of the year when fishing pressure is non-existent.  Matter of fact I had a client tell me that a guide in this area told him that river fishing was done in October.  That guide is a dummy and does not know his waters.  I will guide through October and my clients will catch all of the fish that dummy does not know how to hook!  Massive hatch of #22 Blue Winged Olives yesterday. Too bad the water conditions did not allow the fish to rise.  More rain on the way and lets hope it does not blow things out too badly.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, September 30, 2011

more darn rain

Hi Folks, Guided a fly trip on the Winooski yesterday and the river was in pretty good shape.  Man can things turn in hurry around here.  Over 11/4" of rain at my house in Stowe yesterday has now stuffed our big streams.  High and dirty for a few days with more rain in the forecast for tomorrow.  The river was 63 degrees yesterday and we did not see much for hatching insects.  The first run we fished was pretty good.  We landed 3 wild rainbows between 7" and 11" and missed few fish.  Hooking the trout on a tiny #20 peacock body soft hackle.  If you can get the little fly to stick it does not generally come out.  The line will break before the fly falls out of a trout's mouth.  We moved up stream to try some other water and we did even draw a strike.  It was like someone flipped the switch and the fishing shut down.  Pretty weird.  Well we did not need any more rain and it looks like I might lose a couple of trips this weekend including today.  Not good.  Lake fishing is an option for smallmouth and pike, but there is going to be a nasty north wind that could make fishing tough from a boat.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

upper Winooski

Hi Folks, I have not fished on the Winooski main stem since the Hurricane.  The last month I have spent most of my time trout fishing on tribs. of the Winooski or the Lamoille watershed.  I was pleased to see the Winooski in good shape yesterday afternoon.  Real summer day with air temps almost to 80 and pretty bright and sunny.  Looks like that is all going to change here shortly.  The foliage is starting to come around.  Water temperature was 65 degrees.  It was interesting to see that all of the holes i visited were still intact.  Of course there was some wood and big rocks moved around and the bank beat up in places, but the riffles and pools still held together. Subsequently the fish were there for the taking.  Saw a decent number of #20 BWO's hatching, but no rising fish.  I rigged a #16 hare' ear flashback with a #20 BWO nymph as a dropper.  Caught 3 wild rainbows and lost 2 all on the #20 BWO nymph.  Good sized trout between 11" and 14".  I did hook and play a real monster rainbow for about 30 seconds.  Got the fish pretty close to me before it ripped off a bunch of line and ran under some wood.  Did not break off, just had the fly pop out.  I would have guessed this trout in the 18" class.  Put it this way, when hooked it ran up a riffle with its back out of the water like a salmon migrating.  Pretty exciting and it is there for someone to catch still.  The main focus of my trip yesterday was to investigate the state of affairs on the river and I was pleased with what I discovered.  Off to guide trout over the next week every day so lets hope we do not get too much rain.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, September 26, 2011

Is there anybody out there?

Hi folks, Spent an nice afternoon guiding a father son fly fishing pair on a small tributary of the Lamoille.  I have not seen another angler in weeks.  I have been guiding pretty much every day and moving around we are having the water to ourselves, perfect.  The stream we fly fished yesterday I do not visit as often as I should.  I use to fish a lot more and yesterday reminded me of how good it can be.  Nice warm sunny day with beautiful foliage and early am fog.  Water temperature was 60 degrees and the flow was perfect.  Lots of pocket water on this brook and it involves some walking in order to be fished correctly.  We had to nymph the entire time and we never changed flies.  We set up a short 2wt. and 3 wt. with white yarn indicators and #14 prince nymph and #14 copper john nymph.  Literally the third cast of the morning produced a large brown trout that schooled us in the pool and buried itself under a huge boulder.  I did see the fish and it was the one that got away.  However, all was not lost as we did manage to land a dozen wild trout including one of every species rainbow, brown, and brook trout.  Missed another half dozen fish. Some nice fish as well with brown trout and rainbow trout between 11" and 14".  The star of the day was my young angler friend who has held a fly rod since he could walk.  I have guided this pair of anglers many times and this young kid caught all 3 species on his own.  He did a better job with the fly rod then a lot of adults.  Really nice small stream experience.  Should be nice weather for the next few days before some more wet weather and cooler temperatures show up.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, September 25, 2011

still looking up

Hi folks, guided from my canoe yesterday afternoon for smallmouth bass.  The foliage is almost at peak where we fished.  Of course the elevation of this lake is over 1000' so the leaves are a little further along.  Nice muggy afternoon with air temps. in the high 70's.  We did get rained on pretty good for half an hour, but it did not deter us or the fish.  Water temperature was 68 degrees and the surface was pretty calm.  a slight north breeze did kick up half way through the afternoon.  We spin fished with 1 rod rigged with a top water and second rigged with a jig.  We pretty much stuck to the top water.  We cast a fire tiger rapala and a blue and silver popper.  Had 19 fish come to the top to eat.  Pretty damn impressive for September 24.  Water temperatures and weather have been generous enough to allow us to fish top water so late into September.  We landed 5 smallmouth and one good sized pickerel.  Lots of big fish eating of the top as well.  We had one rather large smallmouth come all the way out of the water and back down on the lure.  The lesson of the day is patience on the take by the fish.  When surface fishing for smallmouth you need to give the bass the chance to eat the lure and not respond to the push or splash of water from the take.  We were a little quick striking some of these large fish and subsequently we missed them.  All of our bass were holding off downed wood.  It was theme of the day.  Especially if the wood dropped off into deeper water.  The fish were holding on the outside edge of the structure.  Might not be too many days left in the season for this type of surface feeding and the weather looks good for it over the next couple of days.  Off to guide a smaller stream today for trout.  We had some rain lately so our rivers are up again.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Really good fly fishing

Hi Folks, spent a full day on the Lamoille yesterday with a client guiding with the fly rods for trout.  Water temperature was 60 to 61 degrees.  Levels were perfect for fishing as they wee slightly above the seasonal average flow.  That might change today as we just received 5/8th" of rain at my house in Stowe.  Should settle out quickly either way.  We had trout rising throughout the day.  Every spot we fished had a rising fish. Saw a good number of #20 BWO's hatching as well some #12 Isonychia, and #16 caddis.  My client was fine fly caster and he had a 4wt. that he had made out of split cane. It cast beautifully.  We carried two rods and did not change flies all day.  On the Bamboo we cast a #12 foam ant and on the nymphing rod we rigged a #14 Prince nymph and #20 BWO nymph.  Fished dry flies for most of the day and we had in excess of over 30 wild trout eat the fly.  I think a good percentage of the trout were all eating yesterday.  The wild rainbows in the Lamoille are scrappy and put up a good tussle.  I bet the trout fishing was good everywhere yesterday.  We had a lot of takes on the dead drift, but we also missed a lot of fish on the swing.  You get an awful lot of takes letting the fly swing down stream this time of the year.  The fish are are willing to chase with the current water temperatures and the Isonychia hatch prompts some of this behavior as well.  Anywho, get out there, the fly fishing around here for trout is in its prime time period.  I am off to guide smallmouth this afternoon.  Should be really good as it will be a warmer muggy day.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.

Friday, September 23, 2011

back after it on the Lamoille

Hi Folks, Had a nice group yesterday afternoon for fly fishing on the Lamoille. Perfect weather day for fishing with over cast, a little muggy, and an occasional shower.  River flows are perfect right now and water temperatures could not be better.  Temperature yesterday was 62 degrees.  Saw a good number of #20 BWOs hatching and some #16 caddis popping off.  Even found a few wild fish that wanted to eat on the surface.  Had 3 wild bows take a #16 Goddard caddis on a dead drift.  Hooked the rest of our trout with a #16 green caddis pupa and a #20 BWO nymph under indicators.  We hooked wild rainbows in every hole we fished.  We visited a spot that I had not been to since the end of May.  No stocked fish which is fine, but a good amount of wild rainbows in the 7" to 14" class.  Looks like good fishing weather for the next few days and I will out guiding and taking advantage of the early fall fishing.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, September 22, 2011

return to summer

Hi folks, Nice late summer day yesterday afternoon with sun and warm air temperatures. Beautiful day to be on the water with the foliage beginning to turn.  Had a group of aspiring fly anglers visit the main stem of the Lamoille.  Water temperature ranged from 58 degrees to 60 degrees.  The level is still above the seasonal average, but a fine flow for fishing.  I have to say after over 20 years of fishing the Lamoille and 17 years guiding on it, the fishing has not been very good this season.  The tributaries have been excellent and producing lots of wild trout, but the main stem has challenging.   The stocked fish are not part of the equation and I have to assume that they have been flushed with the various high water events of the year.  It shows how few wild trout really exist in the Lamoille.  Another factor I have to believe is the introduction of northern pike into the Lamoille below Cadys Falls.  The group I guided yesterday had a van transport them to the river and the driver spin fished above where we were fly fishing.  He caught a 24" pike and had another chase his lure.  Not good in trout water and what will happen is it will cull the population of trout.  Probably the strongest and biggest will survive, but the impact of northerns in a trout river can not be good.  Pike are the top line predator in this state and their ideal forage when becoming adults is a soft finned bait fish i.e trout.  Oh well, back to the fishing.  Some #20 BWO's hatching and we did find one fish rising in a back eddy that was impossible to put a good presentation to.  We nymph fished with #14 copper johns and #14 prince nymphs as well as swung a some #10 olive buggers and #12 olive leech patterns.  Trying to imitate craw fish.  We hooked a total of 3 trout and missed 3 more.  Did not land a fish, but that I attribute to my anglers learning the ropes of fly fishing.  Still, we should be hooking more trout than that this time of the year.  Off to chase trout again today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Hi Folks, I am often asked if I get a chance to fish?  I make time to fish and yesterday was one of those days.  Can't guided every day and it is nice to catch some fish myself every so often.  I like to river fish by myself for the most part.  So, I walked in the morning a small stream that is part of the Winooksi drainage and in the afternoon a tributary of the Lamoille.  I explored some water that I had not been on in a long time and even a strectch I had never walked.  You can only figure out a stream by getting in it.  Water temperatures have been between 52 degrees and 56 degrees.  Nice damp day yesterday with over cast conditions.  I did change waders and boots before moving from stream to stream.  Though I am not so sure many people are taking precautions to prevent the spread of non-native species in our streams.  In the morning the brook I fished was really clear and had with stood the heavy rains of Irene.  Lots of downed wood in this brook and not a lot of trout but the ones that are there are good sized.  I managed to spot 2 large brook trout holding in pools with wood.  Pretty fun watching them in action.  However, the moment I attempted to set-up for a cast, the fish spooked.  Always need to be really cautious in clear water streams.  I am sure that we fly anglers often spook a fair number of trout before we even get to cast to them.  No other fish in the morning and I did not even get a strike.  The afternoon made up for the morning  with lots of action.  The stream I was on does not get fished very often and I think most people think that it is dead water when they drive by it.  I had 20 wild rainbows come to the fly in a beat that was no more than 1/2 mile.  I rigged on a 3wt. a #14 stimulator with a #16 copper john nymph as a dropper.  I had fish eat both flies.  The bows were holding in the riffled water and not the pools.  No hatching insects, though the biting insects were fierce.  No monster fish but lots of jumping rainbows between 8" and 11" and the place to myself.  Back to guiding and watching people catch fish.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, September 19, 2011

fine fly fishing

Hi folks, Awful nice being on the water this time of the year.  Guided a fly trip yesterday on several small brook that hold brookies, browns, and rainbows.  We were looking to hit for the cycle and catch all 3 species in a day.  Water levels are about at the seasonal average and the clarity was excellent.  Water temperatures ranged from the low fifties to mid fifties by afternoon time.  Been sunny and bright out there so we have been fishing on shaded streams.  Interesting to see all of the Japanese knot weed along the banks of our rivers get blown over from recent floods.  Probably just spreads the stuff around even more.  The Japanese knot weed is a non-native species introduced by landscapers that has taken over our stream banks.  It has no redeeming qualities and spreads like wild fire.  So, fishing yesterday morning was solid with over 20 fish coming to the fly.  We landed rainbows and brook trout, but missed and lost a couple of brown trout.  Still good fishing with most of our takes on a #10 royal rubber legged stimulator.  Love watching trout come to the dry fly.  Never gets old.  No matching the hatch in these little brooks, but more say making a good presentation and being ready for the take.  Looks like nice weather fishing this week and I plan to take advantage with trips.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Feels like fall

Hi Folks, Took a couple of days off from fishing and we got some rain in the mean time.  Received about 3/4" of rain at my house in Stowe on Thursday. Also, a cold front pushed through and we have our first frost warnings  of the fall.  Guided a tributary of the Lamoille today for a full day and we did not see another angler.  Beautiful sunny day with morning frost, fog, and then afternoon sun. Leaves are starting to turn.  All of our rivers are up and above the seasonal average flow.  Probably will not change for the rest of the season as the ground is saturated and its been wet.  Still the trout are biting.  Water temperatures ranged from 50 degrees at 9am to 55 degrees at 4pm.  Saw a decent number of #20 BWO's hatching as well some BWO spinners late in the day.  A few #12 Isonychia spinners and random caddis hatching.  No rising fish.  Lots of cased #18 tan bodied caddis on the tops of rocks in riffles indicating that they are getting ready to hatch.  So, we nymph fished all day with a #12 prince, #14 copper john, and even through a #10 bead head wooly bugger in the mix.  Landed 2 wild rainbows over 15" with one measuring 16" and another measuring 17" and had to have weighed 3lbs.  Helluva of a trout and fought like crazy.  My client did a good job landing it in a tough spot with a waterfall and not much maneuvering room.  Also, landed a 14" bow and several smaller wild bows.  Missed a few fish and lost one brown trout but we did not have tons of action all day.  I always like to ask folks what they prefer, "1 or 2 large fish or lots of small fish?"  One to ponder, but I like seeing the large adult bows.  Fishing should stay consistent and the weather looks pretty good to me.  Off to chase trout again tomorrow.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, September 15, 2011

big fish small brook

Hi Folks, Fishing has been pretty darn good lately.  Guided another good fly angler yesterday on small Winooski tributary.  Water temperature was 60 degrees, clear, and at its seasonal average for flow.  No hatching insects as this is a pretty nutrient poor stream.  The trout in this stream want a good drift.  Also, caution is needed in order to avoid the spook factor.  We fished 2 different 3wt. outfits with one rod rigged with a #14 yellow foam terrestrial pattern and and other with an indicator and a #14 tungsten prince nymph.  We tangled with all wild rainbows and were pleasantly surprised to land measured rainbows of 14" and 15".  Really nice trout in a small brook that you could spit across.  Pretty crazy fighting fish like this in a small area.  Some of their jumps were almost above our heads.  A lot of electricity in the rod tip on these fish.  One ate the dry and one ate the nymph.  Most of our takes were on the dry fly.  All of our presentations were up stream with minimal slack in the line.  Just really drifting the leader. We did land several other smaller fish, but the big boys were the cream of the crop.  It seems to me that the small water trout fishing has been outstanding and the big water has been slow.  I have not done very well in the Lamoille lately, but the tribs. have been outstanding.  I am supposed to fish this afternoon but looks like rain out there so we will see what happens.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

wild rainbows

Hi Folks, Guided a fine fly angler yesterday for trout on small Lamoille tributary.  Water temperature was 60 degrees and the water level was inline with the seasonal average.  Not much for hatching insects.  Saw a few #12 Isonychia and fair amount of #20 Blue Winged Olives.  No rising fish.  Pretty breezy day with bright sun.  The fish were certainly tuned into the nymphs we were fishing.  We rigged a #14 prince nymph with a #20 BWO dropper under a white indicator.  I think there was a wild rainbow in every hole we fished.  We had a lot of strikes and lost fish.  We did manage to land 4 bows.  All fish between 7" and 11".  No monsters but good steady action.  We nymphed up stream keeping the slack line out of the equation.  Lots of strikes on the up stream drift where you just have to trust the indicator.  Good fishing.  Off to fish a small stream again this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, September 12, 2011

full on

Hi Folks, Been a busy September with trips almost every day even with some bad weather in the mix.  Guided yesterday for smallmouth and today for trout.  The bass fishing has been great and the surface fishing in particular.  Caught 5 smallies yesterday between 1.5lbs and 2.5lbs.  Good fighting fish that got air time.  There was a pretty stiff north wind so most of our takes were below the surface, yet when the wind calmed down the bass seemed to key in on the surface.  It was cold morning so the fishing only improved as the day progressed.  Today I spent a full day with clients chasing trout.  Started on the Lamoille which was 60 degrees.  Not much for insect activity and the fishing was slow.  We hooked and missed 5 trout which I think were all rainbows.  We cast terrestrial patterns tied out of foam.  All of out takes were on the top, but we covered a lot of water to get 5 fish to the fly.  So, instead of flogging a dead race horse we jumped into a small brook for some afternoon brook trout action.  Water was 56 degrees and very clear.  All of our river levels are still up.  We had well over 20 brookies come to the fly and the ones we landed were pretty brightly colored.  We cast #12 royal stimulators and #14 hopper patterns.  Not sure the fly totally mattered, but instead a good accurate cast and drift.  Kind of seemed like summer out there today so hopefully things will cool off.  Back at again tomorrow.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, September 11, 2011

back to the well

Hi folks, Could not get enough of a good thing so I went back to the well with my clients yesterday morning and chased smallmouth bass from my boat.  The bass fishing the last few days has been excellent and I am all in favor of taking advantage.  Trout fishing is not going anywhere and that will only get better as things cool down.  Nice cool night last night as it is 40 degrees at my house right now.  Yesterday morning was another calm flat morning with good fog cover.  The leaves are starting to turn higher up.  A little north wind kicked in mid morning but for the most part it was not a factor.  Surface temperature of the water was 65 degrees.  The bite was a little slow off the get go.  We missed one really large fish and a couple of small fish before getting our groove on.  We pounded shoreline, but paid particular close attention to downed wood in the water.  We caught almost all of our 14 smallmouth yesterday on wood.  Floating rapalas in blue and silver and a fire tiger popper were the ticket.  All surface strikes with fish from 6" to 19" .  The 19" smallmouth was all of 4lbs and fought like a champ.  Great fish!  Most of our takes were when the lure hot the water or was slightly moved.  Nice morning for fishing and hopefully today will be the same.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, September 10, 2011

feeding binge

Hi Folks, Been chasing smallmouth the last couple of days with clients.  Yesterday morning we spin fished a large body of water under foggy conditions.  The water's surface was like glass.  Temperature was 69 degrees and not a breath of wind.  We cast a popper and fire tiger and perch colored floating rapalas to shoreline cover.   We landed well over 20 smallmouth and had as many come to the lure.  The largest fish of the of the day was just shy of 18".  We caught a nice assortment of size ranges.  Most of the fish were holding in relationship to downed wood.  You had to be ready for strike the moment the lure hit the water as the takes were pretty quick.  Really important to eliminate any slack in the line in order to be able to strike the fish on the surface take.  The smallies we have been catching have been stuffed and coughing up an assortment of minnow and crawfish.  Looks like they have been putting in the fed bag.  Looks like a cool down tonight and will be good for our trout streams.  Water levels are still up, but should continually drop over the next few days.  Off to chase smallmouth bass again this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, September 8, 2011

smallmouth bonanza

Hi Folks, had been shut out of fishing the last 2 days with the rain.  More rain was the last thing we needed, but we still took on another 1/34" of rain at my house in Stowe from Monday through Wednesday.  Our rivers are up and the Lamoille and Winooski are not approachable presently.  I have been exploring some tribs. on both rivers and thought they are high, they are very fishable.  Tonight I took a long time guest spin fishing for smallmouth out of one of my canoes.  We fished a high elevation lake that does not allow motorboats.  I think we were the only people on this body of water.  Nice foliage starting especially from the soft maples.  Dead calm on the water with a surface temperature of 69 degrees.  My guest was dialed in tonight and the fishing was excellent.  We never change lures as we stuck with a fire tiger colored floating rapala cast on a light spinning rod with 4lb test.  The first cast of the night produced a violent surface strike.  Usually a good sign.  We landed 15 smallies between 1/10thlb to almost 4lbs.  We landed 3 fish over 3 lbs.  My guest only missed a few takes and he really took advantage of his opportunities.  We lost a couple of decent fish, but all in all we brought a good percentage of fish to hand.  The pattern of the night was wood.  The water level is way up and the fish were in close to shore hanging off fallen timber.  We only had one long submerged rock point where fish were stacked up, but for the most part it was wood tonight.  We did have 2 very large smallmouth chase in smaller bass we had hooked.  Not sure if they were chasing the fish out of their area or attempting to eat them.  The bass tonight were just stuffed.  Big, fat fish full of piss and vinegar.  Some really good surface takes with lots of jumping.  I think it is safe to say that the smallmouth are preparing for the big cool down and are on the feed.  I will be chasing them again in the morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, September 5, 2011

humid fly fishing for trout

Hi folks, guided a full day yesterday with the fly rods on the Lamoille and one of its tributaries.  Water temperatures did not change much from the Lamoille to the tributary we visited.  The water temperature was 66 to 67 degrees.  Pretty muggy day with heavy air and we had to hold up under some soft woods for 15 minutes at lunch time due a quick moving thunderstorm.  I though the water levels were perfect for fishing.  We nymph fished for the most part and my guests were fine fly anglers who could handle a rod.  We did see a few #12 Isonychia hatch but only a couple of random rising fish.  We drifted a #14 zug bug with a #18 olive caddis pupa under and indicator.  Also threw a prince nymph in the mix and caught fish on both fly patterns.  We picked up fish dead drifting as well as swinging the fly.  At days end we tried a #14 green foam terrestrial pattern with a caddis pupa dropper and caught a wild bow on the dry.  All wild rainbows yesterday with 1 brook trout in the mix on the last cast of the day.  All said we landed 13 fish and missed or lost just as many.  We did do some walking and cover some water.  No really big trout, but lots of fish between 7" and 12" and good fun on small stream fly rods.  The fishing seemed more consistent in the tributary we visited versus the Lamoille.   Looks like the muggy weather will push out of here but not before we receive some heavy rain today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, September 4, 2011

180 degrees

Hi folks, Guided with my boat yesterday morning with spin gear and then in the afternoon I took a large party fly fishing on the highest brook trout pond in the state.  Beautiful conditions yesterday morning for surface fishing with the surface temperature at 73 degrees and overcast skies and no wind.  We pounded a lot of water and kept the boat moving.  With spin gear and a variety of poppers we were able to land 8 smallmouth bass, but no large fish.  We missed another 12 fish with several larger fish not being hooked who came to eat off the top.  No pattern to the fishing yesterday morning as the fish seemed to be fairly dispersed throughout the lake. We tried a a wide variety of tackle including jigs and the surface plugs were the winner.  The most consistent color was fire tiger and a brightly colored perch plug.  Large fish do not always show themselves and when given the opportunity it is important to have your focus and make the connection.  I think a lot of times people do gauge how good the fishing is based on how many fish come to their lure or fly.  I cannot hook the fish for you and 20 opportunities on any given day is good fishing, especially with a surface bite.  Been pretty muggy around here the last couple of days and the hike to the pond in the afternoon was a sweaty affair.  Still nice and calm on top of the mountain and the surface temperature was 58 degrees.  Real tannin colored pond due to the surrounding organic matter.  Dark water, but clear.  We just worked around the perimeter of the pond and cast large terrestrial patterns.  We did find a few rising fish, though I have no idea what they were eating.  We had 6 takes off the top within a few feet of shore.  The Littoral zone is always the place to explore on a pond.  It is where a good percentage of the life lives.  Nice experience and a good change of pace for me.  Off to guide a fly trip today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, September 3, 2011

on the big water

Hi folks, Guided the Lamoille main stem and a Lamoille tributary yesterday.  Water levels are coming down slowly but surely and the water clarity is improving.  The Lamoille yesterday morning was a spring level.  Similar to fishing it in May.  Water temperature was 63 degrees.  Saw a few random #14 olive bodied caddis hatching, but no fish responding.  There was a fair amount of #12 Isonychia shucks on rocks.  We dead drifted heavy nymphs with and with out an indicator.  We hooked 2 trout all morning and lost one and landed one.  If you are going to catch 1 fish in a day, might as well be a good one.  We landed a really healthy looking measured 16" male rainbow trout.  The old boy ate a #10 tungsten bead head olive/black wooly bugger.  Awesome hook jaw on this fish and I would guess it weighed about 2.5lbs.  In the afternoon I ventured on to a Lamoille tributary where the water temperature was 61 degrees.  It was interesting to see the effects of Irene on the streams and good to see that they held up.  Most of the stable pools that I have seen the last few days on our streams look to be intact.  Something to be said for keeping buffer zones along river banks and not removing gravel.  Lots of green grasshopper action in the surrounding area where we fished so we tied on #12 green grasshopper pattern and began to hooks fish after fish.  Nice brook trout action with fish in the 5" to 10" rage eating the fly.  Well looks like nasty weather on the way so I am off to fish from the boat this morning and and pond in the afternoon.  Hope the weather holds.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, September 2, 2011

casting into the trees

Hi Folks, Spent yesterday morning guiding from my boat for smallmouth bass.  Lots of water in the lake where we fished as the level was way up.  Surface temperature was 70 degrees with very little if any wind.  Pretty much had the place to ourselves.  We cast surface flies for the bass.  We had a fish in the boat within our first few casts and we thought that we were going to really catch a lot of fish.  As it turned out we did land 8 smallmouth with no over 12", but we made lots of casts.  It seemed that we came into hot and cold areas and we had to keep moving to find fish that wanted to play.  I can only attribute this to the high water where we literally made some casts into trees that were flooded.  The water color was slightly off so making noise with the popper was important.  It needed to be worked aggressively on the surface.  Bright colored flies were in order.  In the afternoon I worked a small brook that is part of the Lamoille watershed.  Water levels were high and the temperature was 59 degrees.  Clarity was good and we were able to fish stimulator patterns and get native brook trout to eat.  Lots of action.  The brook trout are currently preparing to spawn and their colors are incredible right now.  I am off to guide trout this morning and will be fishing on the Lamoille watershed.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

back at it

Hi Folks, Back guiding today after a couple day lay off.  Was a weird day for me as all I could think of was the flood and how many people are still dealing with the reality of the situation.  Incredibly my afternoon trip was on a river in the Stowe area and we caught fish.  Guided this morning over towards Burlington on a small lake for northern pike.  A lot of flooding damage in the Waterbury to Richmond area.  Not sure the Winooski drainage will be fished anytime soon as many of the tribs and the main stem just got wrecked!!!  I could not believe the destruction along route 2 and how high the water came up. Surface temperature was 69 degrees and I would like to see it a bit cooler.  Slight north breeze with good morning fog.  We spin fished and pounded the water.  The water clarity was not great, but this particular body of water is always off colored.  We landed one northern on a large Husky Jerk.  Missed one other fish and that was that.  As the water cools off the pike fishing will get better.  Water levels in lakes are still pretty high and that should settle in a few days.  This afternoon the river we fly fished was 66 degrees down low and 62 degrees up high.  Water level was up and slightly off colored.  Still hard to believe that we are river fishing 3 days after the flood.  Our rivers took a beating it was interesting to see the changes in certain spots.  Still the stable pools that did not change held fish.  We landed a beautiful 10" wild rainbow that looked stuffed full of food.  Also tangled with some fall fish and a smallmouth bass.  When we moved up stream we fished for brook trout and brown trout.  Missed a few fish and I am not sure what species they were.  Did land a fat brightly colored brook trout on a stimulator.  Pretty incredible that the trout were rising in these river flows.  We focused our casts on the pools and soft water areas.  Lots of wood blown around and nice undercut banks for a big fish to hide in.  Off with the boat in the am to chase smallmouth bass.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, August 29, 2011


Hi Folks, Been pretty crazy in Vermont the last 48 hours.  Extreme flooding in the southern half of the state and the western portion.  There are still towns down south that are cut off due to roads and bridges being wiped out by flooded streams and brooks.  We were somewhat fortunate in the Stowe area as I received almost 4" of rain in 24 hours.  Other towns and areas took on 7" to 10" of rain which caused most of the major flooding.  I really feel for the people who have lost everything.  I cannot complain about the wet basement.  Hard to think about fishing will all of the devastation around us.  The Winooski is 10' over flood stage, though it has crested and is beginning to come down.  The Lamoille is in better shape and is within its banks.  I walked along the Lamoille above Morrisville today.  The water is high and dirty and it was obvious where it had come over its banks.  River fishing will not be an option on the Winooski for some time and the Lamoille maybe by week's end. A lot of good trout water got hammered from this storm and surely there will be a negative impact on the fisheries in some cases.   However, our river fish have survived floods before and they will again in the future.  I will be doing more exploring in the days to come.  Small streams around here are dropping like a stone and I know a couple I could fish tomorrow.  Nice weather forecast for the week with not much precipitation.  Should allow things to dry out.  Cool days and even cooler nights.  Lake and pond fishing will be a good option.  I resume guiding again on Wednesday and will be chasing northern and smallmouth from canoes and my boat.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, August 27, 2011

pocket water

Hi Folks, Guided the morning and the evening yesterday for trout with the fly rods.  Fished a Lamoille tributary in the morning and the Winooski in the afternoon.  Nice morning fog yesterday that burned off around 9:30am.  Water temperature on the small stream we fished was 66 degrees.  Not much for hatching bugs and I saw no rising fish in the morning.  We nymph fished with a #14 tungsten prince and #18 olive caddis pupa dropper.  We fished classic riffles to pools early with no results.  Not sure there were many fish in those areas to be caught.  Probably had moved out during the summer heat and had not returned as of yet.  Pocket water on hot day has more dissolved oxygen which the trout prefer and provides good cover from the sun and predators.  We landed 2 wild rainbows and missed and lost another half a dozen fish.  Nice feisty bows that got into the air.  Did see few other anglers which I have not encountered much lately.  Here is a tip for them, no white shirts and red hats on trout streams.  You really stand out to the fish.  Wear subdued colors.  I had to clean my equipment thoroughly prior to my afternoon trip as not move Didymo around.  Helps when you have lots of wading boots.  Afternoon fishing on the Winooski was decent.  Water temperatures were a bit on the warm side as I got readings from 68 degrees to 70 degrees.  We nymph fished some heavy pocket water with a #14 tungsten prince and a #18 black wire caddis pupa.  Landed 2 stocked brown trout and 2 wild rainbows on the wire caddis.  All of the fish were holding in heavy water and the strikes were fairly subtle.  I attribute that to the warm water temperatures.  My afternoon guest had to leave a little early and around 6:45pm in Montpelier there were flying ants everywhere.  Needless to say I took advantage of the situation and went and tugged on some trout myself.  Found a good pod of young rainbows rising and put a #16 crystal flash ant on them.  Pretty easy pickings.  Nothing too large landed, but good fun on a 3wt.  Looks like after today, the fishing might be shut down for a few days from Hurricane Irene.  I hope everyone weathers the storm well.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Leisenring lift and Isonychia

Hi Folks, been guiding on the big water the last couple of days splitting time between the Lamoille and the Winooski.  The early fall weather has lowered our rivers water temperatures.  I have been recording water temperatures between 66 degrees and 68 degrees.  A welcome change from the hot weather of the summer.  Saw a pretty decent #16 dark bodied caddis hatch yesterday accompanied by rising trout.  The fish were aggressively coming out of the water to eat emerging caddis.  A #16 olive bodied x-caddis and a #16 goddard caddis fooled the young wild rainbows.  The fish were rising in riffles, eddies, and slow boulder strewn pools.  All wild rainbows between 7" and 11".  More of the same today on the Winooski with fish rising throughout the day.  Nice overcast conditions with on and off rain showers.  Did see a few #12 Isonychia hatching and the nymph shucks on rocks.  Fished a #12 Isonychia nymph and used the Leisenring Lift to perfect to hook several wild rainbows.  We cast up stream and dead drifted the nymph past ourselves and begun to raise the rod tip and wiggle it horizontally at the same time.  A great method for imitating a swimming may fly or emerging caddis.  Did get a few fish to eat a #14 foam ant that could have been perceived by the trout to be a caddis fly.  Looks like no much for rain tonight, but that will change by Sunday.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

morning fog

Hi folks, Been pretty foggy the last couple of mornings on the water.  My clients and I visited the Winooski yesterday morning well below the Bolton Dam.  Water temperature was 67 degrees and there was a nice amount of fog over the water that kept the sun covered up.  We found a few rising trout early on that seemed to be sipping  small #18 black caddis.  We caught 1 stocked brown trout and lost one other.  A few fall fish in the mix and that was that.  Once the fog burned off the fishing really slowed down.  Still some #12 stone fly shucks on rocks, #12 Isonychia shucks as well, #14-#22 spent flying ants, micro caddis, and a  wide variety of terrestrials. I am off to guide the Lamoille this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

some where over the rainbow

Hi folks, Guided 2 extremes yesterday.  Fly fished for brook trout in a small mountain stream in the morning and spin fished for smallmouth bass in the afternoon.  The small brook we visited was 58 degrees and just above its seasonal average flow.  The brook trout are really colored up right now in preparation for the fall spawn.  We cast terrestrial patterns and a large #10 stimulator.  The fish were not fussy, but they made us cover some water in order to catch them.  The surprise of the morning was a 9" brown trout that ate a hopper pattern.  Had not seen brown trout in this location previously.  In the afternoon I guided a large group for smallmouth bass.  We experienced some fast moving rain showers that produced an incredible double rainbow.  A cold front that pushed through yesterday has lowered air temperatures and will cool off the water.  Lots of heavy wind yesterday but it did lay down towards dusk.  Water temperature in the river we fished was 68 degrees and it was above its average flow.  We moved around a  bit prior to locating some bass, but when we found them we made them pay the toll.  We landed 7 smallmouth and missed and lost just as many.  A fire tiger rapala and a beetle spin were the ticket.  We literally found the gold at the end of the rainbow as we caught all of our fish in one large pool.  Off to do it again today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, August 21, 2011

happy camper

best of both worlds

Hi Folks, Did a double dip yesterday and fly fished with clients in the morning for wild rainbow trout and then smallmouth bass in the afternoon.  Nice morning fog greeted us yesterday in the Winooski where the water temperature was 68 degrees.  The fog lifted around 9:00am.  Water levels were excellent for fishing.  Saw #12 Isonychia shucks on rocks as well as a few hatching and #10 golden stonefly shucks on rocks.  There were a few #18-#20 micro caddis hatching as well and the cedar wax wings were pounding the insects in the air.  Sporadic rising activity by the fish when we arrived prompted us to cast a dry fly dropper rig.  I saw a lot of spent #14 to #22 spent flying ants in water puddles on rocks next to the river. A #12 Hare's parachute with a #18 olive caddis pupa was the rig.  We nymphed with #12 and #14 prince nymphs and #14 zug bugs.  We did not land a lot of fish but the ones we did were really nice.  The first fish of the day was male rainbow in the 14" class that sipped the parachute pattern before coming tight on the line.  The fish of the morning was a measured 16" wild female rainbow that put up a really nice tussle.  Both trout were the largest fish my clients had caught in Vermont with a fly.  The fish looked to be in excellent shape and weather the hot summer well.  We missed several other fish and lost a couple.  The bite really slowed once the fog lifted and the bright sun showed itself.  In the afternoon, I canoe fly fished for smallmouth bass.  Lots of people had the same idea and there was a considerable amount of fishing pressure.  The surface temperature was 73 degrees with a slight breeze from the north.  We worked a lot of water and mostly focused on weed bed edges that had a hard bottom and dropped into deeper water.If you are only going to land one fish, you might as well make it a good one.  Fish of the day was a 3lb smallmouth bass that really put a bend in the 6wt. rod.  Several great jumps and the fish just did not want to be landed.  A fine smallmouth bass on a popper.  The fly of the day was a #4 chartruse snook slider.  We missed several other fish including a couple of decent sized pickerel.  Pretty exciting when a pickerel takes a fly off the top. The water level in this body of water had come up a foot in the last week and I was wondering if that had not affected the fish to a degree.  Anywho, always nice catching big fish off the top, the best of both worlds for trout and bass fly fishing.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, August 20, 2011

summer is back

Hi folks, Just when I thought things were really beginning to cool off, the heat and humidity returned yesterday.  I guided a family for a bank fishing excursion where we were fishing with spin gear for smallmouth bass.  The surface temperature of the water was 76 degrees and the clarity was okay.  The area we fished is heavily fished and we had to work around some other folks who had the same idea as us.  We cast jointed floating rapalas in chartruse, blue, and perch color.  Even with all of the fishing pressure we managed to land 3 smallies off the surface and miss a couple.  Love hearing and seeing the push of water created by a bass we it eats off the top.  The surface fishing fishing for smallmouth has been dynamite the last week.  I think the changing in the light levels, flying ant hatches, and some humidity has the smallies really looking up.  Look for flying #14-#22 ant hatches in the afternoon, #22-#26 tricos still in the morning, and #12-#14 isonychia throughout the day as well the #14-#16 green rock worm.  Do not count out beetle, and, and hopper patterns as well.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, August 19, 2011

popping for bass

Hi Folks, Spent a really nice evening with a long time repeat guest guiding smallmouth bass from my canoe.  We visited one of my secret little smallmouth ponds that is off the beaten path.  Surface temperature was 75 degrees and water was pretty darn clear.  You could see the bottom in 10' of water.  A slight breeze initially ruffled the water's surface, but then things laid down for nice calm conditions for surface fishing.  We had 20 smallmouth come to the fly last night.  Pretty aggressive feeding off the surface.  There were a fair number of #22 male flying ants on the surface of the water, but I do not think a 3lb smallmouth is going to expend too much energy eating such a small morsel of food off the top.  We cast a #4 chartruse snook slider fly for most of the night and at dark switched to a #6 black and yellow popper.  I am not so sure the fly change made a difference as the fish were on.  We worked rock piles, points, and fallen timber over rocky bottom shoreline areas.  Most of the fish were holding off the first drop off from shore.  We did not land a lot of the fish who came to the fly.  Sometimes in fishing you get psyched out and can't get the hook set after missing a few.  The hardest part of  fly fishing is getting the fish to eat the fly, not hooking and landing them.  My guest is a  fine fly angler and it just was not his night for landing fish.  The strikes all came from the time the fly hit the water to the first 10' from where it landed.  Letting the fly sit for a bit after it landed was important and working the popper aggressively triggered responses from the smallies.  Hook setting with a 15lb tippet must be aggressive.  No trout sets as we are not using 6x tippet.  Well, off to do it again today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, August 18, 2011

rain and flying ants

Hi Folks, Finally got he rain we were looking for.  I received almost 2" of nice steady rain at my house in Stowe from Monday night to Tuesday morning.  Our rivers are full again and the Lamoille and Winooski are coming down fairly well and they should be ready to fish by day's end.  Of course temperature could still be an issue.  Got rained out on Tuesday with my river trip, so I will be bass fishing today.  Saw a ton of flying ants yesterday afternoon.  Large #14 cinnamon female flying ants and small #22 male flying ants.  The flying ants are late summer early fall event around here that typically happens late in the afternoon and especially after a rains storm. The swarm is moving the nest and they get pushed onto the water and the trout and smallmouth bass go nuts.  Matter of fact, the fish will be single minded in their feeding and only eat the ants and sometimes key in on the really small males.  Do not leave home without some ants patterns in your vest this time of the year.  Ant hatches really get fish looking up.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy 

Monday, August 15, 2011

much needed rain

Hi Folks, Looks like some wet weather.  Nice day of rain would be fine by me.  Guided a small brook last night towards the valley and was on the Winooski main stem this morning.  The mountain brook last night had a water temperature of 58 degrees.  It was really low and clear.  Watched a lot of fish dart off prior to ever casting to them.  Great attention had to be payed as to how we walked up the river so as to not spook fish.  Longer than normal casts were required and a little longer leader.  Usually I like a 7' leader on a brook trout stream.  Last night we used a 9' leader on a 6' rod and just directed the leader and fly with the rod tip through each pool.  Never putting fly line on the water's surface.  Also scaled back the fly size with a more natural looking pattern.  How about a #14 foam bodied ant.  Lots of brook trout between 4" and 8" and with even more spooked and lost.  Pretty steady action and missing and scaring a few fish did not matter.  The Winooski this morning was 69 degrees and low.  Good numbers of stone fly shucks on rocks that looked freshly hatched from the previous evening.  Seeing more and more #12/#14 Isonychia shucks as well.  There were trout rising this morning and they appeared to be eating small caddis.  We got them to eat a #12 hare's ear parachute.  Looks like a Isonychia dun that is crippled and blown onto the water.  All wild rainbows today between 9" and 13".  We did nymph fish with a #14 flashback pheasant tail under indicator as well as a red head #14 prince nymph.  Both nymph patterns hooked fish.  Found lots of #16 Rhyacophila caddis or the green rock worm crawling around on rocks.  Isonychia and Rhyacophila will be the dominant bugs available to our trout in big rivers for the next month or so.  Good to have few of those patterns in your box.  Well if we get a 1" of rain or so it will be good for the whole, but maybe not so good for river fishing tomorrow.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, August 14, 2011

nice cold front

Hi Folks, Been enjoying the weather the last few days after a nice little cold front pushed through.  Beautiful with clear cool nights and comfortable sunny days.  Fronts do effect fishing and I think we felt the brunt of it on Friday while guiding smallmouth bass.  Visited the Winooski which was still slightly up and off color.  The water temperature had dropped to 70 degrees.  Good spinner fall of #22 tricos with numbers of fall fish eating the tiny may fly.  Saw some larger mayfly spinners #12 that could have been Epherons, but I never captured a sample.  We spin fished for the bass and managed to catch one small bass on a fire tiger rapala. Bright colored lures seemed to be the way to go with the water color.  Everything else landed was a fall fish.  Did miss one big smallie that we rolled on a soft bait that imitated a crawfish, but that was it.  I just think the river level and fishing on the back side of a front slowed things down.  Yesterday I headed due north and fly fished some small brooks and did a casting clinic and fly fishing class at a northern ski resort.  The stream I was on was 63 degrees and the water was really low.  Not hard to find the brook trout, but you had to watch your approach.  Spooked a fair amount fish before we were able to cast to them.  Still landed a number of 4" to 8" brookies on a 2wt. with a #14 simulator pattern.  At dark we cast to rising stocked rainbows in a snow making pond.  Pretty easy pickings as the fish were rising everywhere.  A #16 goddard caddis worked really well.  You watch a fish rise and figure out the direction it was moving and then lead it with your cast.  Let the fly sit and the fish would just engulfed it.  Nice change of pace from river fishing for trout.  Well looks like some rain on the way which we could really use.  I will be guiding a small stream this afternoon and in the morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, August 11, 2011

on the surface

Hi Folks, Had a lot of fun today guiding in the morning and evening because the fish were looking up.  I always have fun guiding, but it is really fun to catch trout and bass on the surface with flies and lures.  The small brook we fly fished this morning was 59 degrees and the water level had come up and down significantly in the last 24 hours.  Received an 1" of rain at my house in Stowe from Tuesday night to Wednesday morning.  Much needed and our rivers and streams came up and are already receding. The Winooski might take a little longer to settle due to higher rain amounts in central Vermont.  Water clarity was fine today.  Brookie fishing was steady with 4" to 8" brook trout grabbing big #10 and #12 stimulators off the surface.  Regardless of the size of the brook trout, how cool is it to see a dark shape materialize from under a rock to eat your dry fly in gin clear water?  This afternoon I guided a little bigger water and we fished with spin gear for smallmouth bass.  Water temperature was 70 degrees with good cloud cover.  Low light is preferred in top water fishing.  You know things could be good when a big smallmouth crushes the jointed floating rapala on the first cast.  Really nice steady bite all afternoon.  We landed 11 smallmouth bass using brightly colored rapalas.  Probably missed and lost another dozen and a half.  Not bad.  Well after them again tomorrow and looks like a nice cool down which will bode well for our rivers.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

birds of prey and bass

Hi folks, Been guiding down low on the Winooski the last few days.  Water levels are low and water temperatures are between 70 and 75 degrees.  Pretty easy to read the water right now and get a feel for the riffles and pools and where to fish.  Could use some rain and hopefully we get some in the next few days.  Saw a bald eagle today as well as osprey, broad band hawk, and red tail hawk.  Just one of the many benefits to fishing.  The difference in fishing today and Sunday in low light versus yesterday in the sun is worlds apart.  I cannot emphasize enough how much better the fishing is in the early morning and right at dark.  Smallmouth fishing with poppers has been pretty solid right at dark and into dark.  It seems like the bigger fish do not turn on until the sun sets.  Makes sense when it is hot and bright.  The smallmouth bite has been good and steady.  Landed a dozen fish this morning working big giant pools.  Love watching smallies jump.  Not too many surface strikes as almost all of our fish were hooked on the retrieve.  We did catch some very large fall fish between 15" and 20".  Matter of fact the 20" fall fish had wound marks on its flanks that looked to be the work of a bird of prey.  When it has been sunny the only thing biting has been fall fish.  When there is low light the smallmouth seem to really turn on.  Still lots of #10 to #12 stone flies on rocks and have been seeing #22 Trico spinners every morning.  Some #16 Caddis hatching as well and some #14 Isonychia shucks on rocks.  Looks like a decent weather week for fishing with a cool down on the way.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, August 7, 2011

rising trout in the middle of the day

Hi folks, Guided a full day on the lower Winooski yesterday with folks learning to fly fish.  Water temperature was 68 degrees in the early morning and moved to 70 degrees by midday.  I think there must of been a tail water release from the Littler River prior to our arrival that lowered the water temperatures.  So, a decent  number of #18 tan bodied caddis hatching in the morning and then some #14 isonychia sadleri during the middle of the day.  A large number of isonychia shukcs on rocks as well as #10 to #12 golden stone fly casings.  Interesting spot where we fished as you could catch smallmouth bass, stocked brown trout, wild rainbow trout, and fall fish.  We tussled with all 4 species.  What was really cool was eating lunch on a big rock above the water and looking down into a giant pool where we could see smallmouth and rainbow trout swimming around.  We watched one smallmouth come up in the water column over some rocks that was easily one of the largest bass I have sever seen in a river.  Certainly over 20" and could eaten the trout and smaller bass we saw in one bite.  A lot of fun for my guests to see a rainbow swimming in a big eddy eating just below the surface.  Always a good idea to find a high vantage point in a river a look into the water.  Good viewing with lessons to be learned.  Unfortunately, it was virtually impossible to cast to the fish we were watching as you would have spooked them while approaching and you could not get into the river and cast from the opposite side.  The fly pattern of the day was a #12 hare's ear parachute.  The stocked browns were all over it as well as the fall fish.  We nymphed with a #12 Montana stone fly, but most our work was with the dry fly.  Fun day on the water after all of the recent heat and it was nice to have over cast skies in the afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, August 5, 2011

Need some rain

Hi Folks, Been guiding every day this week and we really could use some rain.  Our rivers have become a little stale.  Mostly chasing smallmouth bass and brook trout.  Did lake fish twice this week for bass and lost one morning due to engine problems with the boat.  Getting pretty good at learning how to fix my boat motor.  So, river temperatures in our big rivers are still in the seventies and surface temperatures in our lakes are high seventies.  Small mountain streams have been maintaining in the low sixties.  Seen lots of #10 to #12 golden stone fly shucks on rocks.  Lots and lots of #16 free form green caddis below rocks and #18 yellow bodied caddis in casings on top and the bottom of rocks. Also, #22 to #24 tricos have been hatching in the morning.   Do not rule out terrestrial patterns from ants to beetles to hoppers.  The fish of the week was 17" 3lb smallmouth bass that ate a surface presentation.  Been working hard for fish and the only consistent fishing has been for brook trout.  August is always a challenging month to fish in Vermont due to water temperatures and light levels.  Lack of rain does not make it any easier.  Will be river fishing all day tomorrow.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Getting skinny

Hi folks, Guided yesterday afternoon and this morning on small streams.  We could use some rain.  As the water levels drop and especially in clear water, the fish can get tight and spooky.  Think about your approach.  Both small streams we visited were 60 and 61 degrees.  With skinnier water levels and warming water temperatures, the brook trout have been holding in riffles versus some the slower pools.  Small flies have been working.  A #14 yellow and green foam caddis as well as light elk colored #14 stimulator were producing lots of action.  Did mess with some smallmouth this morning right off the get go and got 3 smallies to eat trout dry flies.  Got the bass to eat #10 foam bodied adult stone fly pattern and a #10 hornberg fished on the surface. The water temperature in the bass stream was 71 degrees.  Some a pretty decent #22 trico spinner drop.  No fish rising except a random fall fish and I am not so sure smallmouth bass eat itty bitty trico may flies.   Good fun catching a 10" smallmouth on a 7' 3wt. rod.  Lots of #10 to #12 stone fly shucks on rocks and numbers of #16 olive green caddis pupa under rocks in riffles.  Well some cool nights in the 50's for the next couple of days will hopefully keep water temperatures in check.  Smallmouth fishing in the morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, August 1, 2011

boat fishing and man over board

Hi Folks, Been out and about on my boat the last few days guiding and fishing.  Mixed up the still water fishing and chased lake trout and smallmouth bass.  Water temperatures have in the mid to high seventies on the surface.  Been fairly calm in the morning with a west wind increasing as the day progressed.  Whether fishing for smallmouth or lakers we have been setting up on structure.  Fishing submerged humps and islands that come out of deep water.  Incredible how fish relate to a lonesome piece of rock or debris on the bottom of a lake.  If that is the only piece of cover on the bottom and the surrounding area is featureless, then the bait fish and the predators will be holding there.  We have been jig fishing with swim baits that imitate emerald shiners for the lakers and 3.5" craw fish looking tube jigs for the smallmouth.  Heavier jig heads in deeper water and lighter jig heads in shallow water.  Good steady action, but nor real large fish until this morning.  Mostly lakers and smallmouth in the 1lb to 2lb class.  However, this morning my client did hook a monstrous smallmouth  on a popper and the fish immediately jumped out of the water and then wrapped itself all through some submerged wood.  We could see the big bass in the wood wrapped up and my client promptly jumped over board to attempt to free the fish from the wood.  Unfortunately the fish got free.  That was the first time in 17 years of guiding that I have ever seen someone jump out of the boat to go after a fish.  Pretty funny.  Well, morning is still the most pleasant time to be on the water.  Trout fishing in the small brooks is still steady and the big rivers are still too warm.  I will be guiding a small brook on the fly this afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, July 29, 2011


Hi Folks, Guided a large group on the Winooski this morning who were interested in learning to fish.  Water level was just below the seasonal average.  Water temperature was 69 to 70 degrees.  Nice overcast conditions and hopefully we get some much needed rain later today.  We were treated to a young bull moose crossing the river this morning right in front of us.  Amazing to see how well these animal swim.  The moose crossed in a section that you would never dream of wading in.  Saw a few #20 micro caddis hatching and few subtle rises in the tail out of a very large pool.  The rise forms were out of casting range and they only happened right off the get this morning.  Lots of #10 to #12 stone fly shucks on rocks.  We nymph fished and messed with a bunch of small fall fish.  No trout, though we did miss a few fish that very well could have been a trout.  All of our takes were in heavy riffles.  Obviously due to the warmer water temperatures and the fish's need for more dissolved oxygen.  High stick drifts with #10 tungsten stone flies and #12 prince nymphs were our approach.  We also presented some #18 olive caddis to the fish.  We fished all of our nymphs under indicators.  I think small streams are still the way to go until things cool off.  I will be chasing smallmouth bass and small stream trout tomorrow.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fly Fishing the Vermont cycle

Hi folks, Guided a double yesterday with trout fishing in the morning and smallmouth bass fishing in the afternoon.  The trout stream I was on was 59 degrees at 6:30am and low and clear.  It was interesting to see all of the wood that had been pushed around from the spring floods and how some holes had become filled in with sediment.  Still plenty of water to fish and hungry trout.  We worked up stream casting #14 green and yellow foam terrestrial patterns into every piece of water that was at least knee deep.  The further we walked from where we parked (go figure) the better the fishing became.  We ended up landing 9 trout, 1 brookie, 5 rainbows, and 3 brown trout.  Missed another 10 fish.  All wild fish with the 2 best fish of the day being a 12" and 16" male brown trout.  Both measured with photos to come.  Not every day that you land a 16" wild brown trout in a small brook with a 7' 3wt. rod.  Really impressive male trout with a hook jaw.  Incredible that we landed it and it did not wrap in wood or break us off on rocks.  The fish was holding in a spot that most anglers would walk by.  Really nice small stream experience.  The afternoon was a totally different story.  Went smallmouth fishing on the lower Lamoille which had come up a bit from thunderstorms  the previous night.  Water was slightly off color but still decent visibility.  Big bright sun.  The bass fishing was not very good.  We landed 1 fall fish and lost another.  Really slow.  Sun and high water is all I can figure.  I am pretty convinced that the morning is the way to go in the summer.  It is cool out and easier on the anglers as well as cooler water temperatures and lower light levels.  Lots of #18 to #20 micor caddis hatching and egg laying yesterday.  Still finding tons of #10 to #12 stone fly shucks on rocks.  Also, beetle, hopper, and ant patterns will all work this time of the year.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

just enough

Hi folks, Guided a small brook yesterday with the fly rods.  The stream was 60 degrees and low and clear.  We received a 1/4" of rain in Stowe on Monday night and it looks like we received another 1/10" last night in a thunderstorm.  Just enough rain to keep the brooks a little fresh.  A day of steady gentle rain would be perfect.  Cooler nights are helping cool down our rivers a bit from the oppressive heat of last week.  Brook trout fishing was good.  Caught numbers of brookies yesterday with several fish between 8" and 10".  Scaled back the size of the flies cast due to clarity of the water and the spook factor.  Small stimulator patterns and wulff patterns between #14 and #16 worked well.  Be careful of your approach in the small streams to avoid spooking fish prior to casting.  Off to fish a small brook in the kingdom this morning and then chasing river smallmouth this afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, July 25, 2011

pleasant weather and even some rain

Hi folks, Mixed it up today and guided smallmouth bass from my boat in the morning and guided the lower Winooski this afternoon with the fly rods.  Lake temperature was 77 degrees on the surface and it was dead calm at 6am.  Wind picked up half way through the morning and blew hard from the south.  There is a front moving through that could dump some much needed rain as our lakes and river are getting a little bony.  Nice to fish without the humidity as well.  We managed to land two 2lb smallmouth on poppers while it was calm and also caught two nice sized pickerel that ate the surface presentation.  We found all of the fish holding in or around milfoil beds in less than 8' of water.  Missed a few other surface takes.  Lots of casting this morning.  Nice violent strikes on the surface and patience setting the hook was important.  When the wind picked up the fishing slowed and boat control became a little tricky.  The lower Winooski was 71 degrees at 6pm and the wind was blowing really hard.  Makes casting a challenge as well as mending the line.  Lots of #8 to #12 golden stone fly casings on the rocks.  We were looking for smallmouth bass, but we only managed to catch fall fish.  Greedy little bastards that are not very fussy as to what fly they eat.  Nymphs or dries, it does not seem to matter.  Rain started to fall hard around 7pm and we wound things up.  Off to fish trout tomorrow am on some small water.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cool down and fall fish

Hi Folks, Finally a break in the weather.  Looks like the humid hot stuff is out of here for now.  I received 1/2" of rain last night at my house in Stowe.  Guided a large group with some help Friday on the Winooski.  Water temperature was 77 degrees at 1pm.  All beginners who wanted to learn about fly fishing.  Nice standing in the water when it is hot.  All wet wading.  So, we focused on the basics and tugged on a lot of fall fish.  Very user friendly fish that seem to eat just about any fly presented to them.  No trout and just as well due to the water temperatures.  The Winooski would not of been my choice of of places to fish with a small group or one person.  I would have fished a small mountain brook.  However, with 12 people, options are limited and it really is about having fun and learning.  Saw a fair amount of golden ston fly shucks on rocks.  Lots of cased caddis on the bottom of rocks between #18 and #20 and yellow/tan bodied.  Found #16 green bodied caddis on the tops of rocks.  Green and yellow soft hackles swung in riffles make excellent imitations of the micro caddis.  Last night as the front blew through I chased smallmouth bass.  Really stiff west wind made canoe control challenging.  Still, the smallies wanted to play and we cast on the lee sides of islands and points and the fish were pretty user friendly.  Love watching smallmouth inhale a fly.  Strong damn fish that really bend a fly rod.  The next 6 weeks should be outstanding fishing for smallies and especially for the surface bite.  Any popper between #4 and #8 in frog patterns, chartruse, or black seems to work well.  Just keep moving and casting.  Cover water!  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, July 22, 2011

Too Damn Hot!

Hi folks, Guided on the lower Lamoille yesterday afternoon for smallmouth bass.  Too damn hot.  Not a big fan of fishing late afternoon when the weather is hot and muggy.  Mornings are the way to go. Oh well, a fishing guide has to work with his guests.  The Lamoille was 80 degrees and low.  We could use some rain.  hard to believe after the spring we suffered through.  The fishing was tough.  We covered a lot of water walking in the river.  We did land two large smallmouth bass between 1.5lbs and 2lbs., but we earned them.  A perch colored floating rapala and a silver beetle spin drew the most interest as we did have several other fish follow as well.  At dusk we caught several fall fish and missed a couple of smallies, but the surface bite was slow.  I can only guess that the hot water makes the fish a little lethargic as well.  Looks like the hot humid weather will break this weekend.  I taking out a large party today in the middle of the day.  A fly fishing instruction.  The fishing will be difficult with the current conditions.  Small mountain streams, ponds and lakes in the morning are the way to go presently.  Saw lots of craw fish in the shallows yesterday and golden stone fly shucks on rocks.  Any #10 to #14 stone fly pattern nymphed under an indicator will work right now.  Fish them in heavy riffled water.  This technique works well on fussy small mouth.  A olive/black #10 to #12 wooly bugger will imitate the craw daddies well.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy