Thursday, June 30, 2011

really good afternoon of fishing

Hi Folks, Spent a nice afternoon on the Lamoille watershed yesterday chasing trout with the fly.  Nice weather for fishing with cool air temperatures and cloudy skies.  Water temperatures ranged from 61 degrees to 64 degrees.  Water levels were slightly above the seasonal average.  Had to nymph fish with an indicator for a good part of the afternoon.  A #14 tungsten red thread prince nymph with a #16 olive caddis pupa as a dropper was a productive rig.  Landed several 8" to 11" wild rainbows on that rig and the fish ate both fly patterns.  Fished some heavy pocket water and line control was very important.  No fly line on the water and a lot of high stick mending.  Strikes were unmistakable as the indicator went shooting up stream every time a fish took the fly.  Ventured into a few very large plunge pools and worked a #10 heavily weighted wooly bugger under an indicator.  I moved the indicator up the line as the plunge pools had a fair amount of water in them and I wanted the fly to get down.  I usually set the indicator about a arm's length away from the fly.  Anyway, it did not take long before a very large brown trout was all over the fly and hooked.  Unfortunately the fish came undone and spit the fly.  Still got a good look at the big boy and he will be there for my next visit.  Stopped at the main stem of the Lamoille on the way home at a large pool that has frequently rising fish at dusk.  Saw a pretty good hatch of #14 light cahills and the trout responding to the light colored fly.  Watched and attemtpted to catch a brown trout that was gulping the may fly in a giant back eddy.  The fish was moving around eating and it took awhile to figure out its feeding pattern.  There was at least 8" between the dorsal fin and the tail of this large brown trout.  I would have guessed it to be at least 18" long as I got a really good luck at it from above the river.  Never got into the stream as I could cast to it from the bank.  This trout consumed me and I did even attempt to cast to the other rising fish.  Unfortunately the brown was smarter than I and I was unable to get it to eat before daylight ran out.  It appeared to be eating emergers from the looks of the rise form.  I saw the dorsal and tail more than the nose sticking out of the water.  I have it marked and will try again.  Not every day a big fish like that eats off the surface.  Hex hatch is going on.  Really challenging fishing, but an awesome display of rising fish.  I will off to guide trout this afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

cranking smallmouth

small stream and big fish

Hi Folks, Water levels are dropping and our streams are looking pretty decent.  The Lamoille looked excellent this morning above Morrisville.  The Winooski is still high and will take a little time to settle down.  Guided a small stream last night that holds wild rainbows and native brook trout.  Water flow was above the seasonal average and the clarity was excellent.  Water temperature was 60 degrees.  This little brook is tree lined with some tricky fly casting involved.  You have to think about where you stand before casting due to the spook factor and the abundant trees and bushes.  We worked a #10 rubber legged stimulator dry fly on a 6'6" 3 wt. and a #12 black double tungsten stone fly under a white indicator on a 7'9" 3wt.  Most of the rainbows and brookies we caught were on the dry fly.  Did have a few fish take the stone fly in some of the deeper plunge pools.  Fish of the day was a wild 12" rainbow that jumped several times and I though it might jump right into a tree.  Also, landed a legitimate 10" native male brook trout.  The surface takes were all pretty explosive.  We landed another half a dozen bows and brookies and missed and lost a few.  Fun when you are using slow action 3wts. in a small brook.  Levels the playing field with the size of the fish you are catching and the wild rainbows in this brook are full of piss and vinegar.  Typically your larger small stream fish will show themselves after a high water event and the levels are dropping.  On a bad note, some outfitter who is using a drift boat is not respecting the land.  I noticed on the Lamoille this morning where a boat and trailer trampled down a hay filed and then flattened several trees that made up a shaky riparian buffer zone.  What irritates me is these tree where planted by the Lamoiile River Anglers Association a few years back and now that are pretty much killed.  I do not own a drift boat because there really is not a lot of water to float in these parts.  I use a motorboat on lakes and ponds where there are boat launches.  I do not approve of trashing a stream bank in order dump in a drift boat that scares more fish than you catch.  Sorry to rant and rave, but this action shows how someone just does not care about the state of our that the rivers they make money from.  Give something to back to the stream versus destroying the buffer areas!!!  Anywho, hopefully no rain in sight and the trout fishing will remain good as long as weather stays cool.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, June 27, 2011

wet weekend

Hi Folks, Man, it just keeps raining. Rained all weekend and puffed up our streams. Nice day today with sun and warmer air temperatures.  Lost a couple of trout trips this weekend due to the persistent rain and high water.  Guided this morning on a swollen brook that has clear, but higher than average water flows.  Water temperature was 56 degrees.  We fly fished with 2wt. and 3wt. outfits and big bushy dry flies.  A #10 royal rubber legged stimulator to be exact.  Not a matching the hatch stream.  We covered a lot of water to catch 7 brook trout.  Missed another half a dozen fish.  Where we found calm water off the main current we had trout rise to the fly.  Nothing huge, but nice to see trout eating off the top even in way high water.  Really important to fish a short line and keep line control in order to get a decent drift.  Short line is easier to mend and also easier setting the hook when the trout rose to eat.  I am off to guide again this afternoon and will be fly fishing in a small stream for brookies and brown trout.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, June 24, 2011

fishing by ourselves

Hi folks, I guess the wet weather scares anglers off and away from the water.  No one fishing on the lake I guided this morning with the boat.  Pretty peaceful and quiet.  Water was pretty calm and the surface temperature was in the high 60's.  Low light with heavy clouds and a couple of light brief showers.  We spin fished the surface for smallmouth bass with a jointed blue and silver floating rapala.  Worked rocky points and ledge rock areas.  The bass were holding off the deeper parts of the points and very well could have been suspended.  The first fish of the day was 16".  Caught 5 more smallmouth in the 6" to 12" range and then the big boy.  The top water bite slowed a bit by mid morning so we changed to a deep diving craw fish pattern crank bait and immediately hooked and landed a 19" smallmouth.  Really nice strong looking fish that was full of piss and vinegar.  Not a bad morning of smallie fishing.  Really important to be dialed in when fishing the surface as you just never know when a strike will occur.  More rain today has my range gauge in Stowe measuring close to an 1" over the last 24 hours.  Our streams are high and dirty again.  Will be fishing small streams this weekend as the Lamoille and Winooski will take a few days to calm down.  Remember to clean you gear

Thursday, June 23, 2011

wet again

Hi Folks, Looks like rain for the next couple of days.  Showers on and off and nice cool air temperatures.  If we avoid thunderstorms, our streams and brooks should stay fine.  Guided the Lamoille this morning and fished on a Winooski tributary yesterday afternoon.  I have found water temperatures between 58 degrees on the small stream to 62 degrees on the main stem of the Lamoille.  Not too much for insect activity.  A few random #14 yellow sallies yesterday and this morning a few #18 Blue Winged Olives.  Lots of #16 to #18 olive bodied caddis and tan bodied caddis encased on large boulders.  No rising fish.  Last night a #14 light green stimulator drew a fair amount of attention from 4" to 8" wild rainbows and brook trout.  A lot of walking between knee deep holding water, but good fun watching the fish come to the fly.  Really enjoy seeing the fish eat.  This morning we nymphed with a #16 olive caddis and #18 peacock herl soft hackle as a dropper.  Rigged the the two flies under indicators and dead drifted several pools.  We tried a blindly fished #12 ausable wulff and #16 usual, but no takers.  We had 11 trout eat the fly and we landed 2 fiesty wild rainbows on dropper fly.  Saw no stocked fish.  They must have really taken a beating on the Lamoille during the high water.  Well, I fine by the weather as long our streams do not get too high or dirty.  Off to fish smallies in the am from the boat.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

longest day of the year and great fishing

Hi folks, Really nice weather pattern for fly fishing our trout streams currently.  Cool nights into the 50's and cool mornings with bright sunny days warming into the high 70's.  The morning trout fishing has been outstanding.  I guided a Lamoille tributary yesterday morning where the water temperature was 60 degrees at 6:00am.  Nice #16 tan bodied caddis hatch all morning as well as some #18 caddis hatching and #14 rusty mayfly spinner was egg laying.  We found fish rising subtly to the spinner and good splashy rise forms to the caddis.  The rig of the day was a #16 parachute caddis with a #16 caddis pupa dropper.  We landed 5 stocked brown trout and 3 wild rainbows.  Probably hooked and lost another 7 fish.  We found adult fish rising in big primary pools and younger smaller trout rising in the riffles.  I was introduced to an interesting method of fishing yesterday by my guest.  He had a Tenkara rod which is a  form of fishing used in Japan.  A long telescoping rod without a reel with a fluorocarbon leader attached to the tip of the rod.  No reel what so ever.  The rod was 11' and the leader was slightly longer.  You could false cast this rig and it was really slick for short drifts and casts.  Reminded me of a bamboo cane pole I used as a kid to catch bream and crappie. We did land a couple of fish using it and and lost a few.  Pretty interesting and I think I will be looking into the Tenkara set-up.  With the bright days, I prefer fishing in the morning as the afternoon has a limited window of opportunity when it is so bright.  Right at dusk basically.  Will be chasing trout in the morning tomorrow.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day weekend

Hi Folks, Spent the last two days guiding for trout and smallmouth bass.  Nice weather front has cooled things off, but also presented some wind issues yesterday.  River water temperatures have remained in the low sixties and levels are still slightly higher than the seasonal average.  The lake I was on yesterday morning with the boat was 68 degrees on the surface.  Saturday the trout fishing was pretty decent as we fished a river that holds lake run fish.  We landed 3 rainbows with 2 of the fish being wild trout.  The largest of the bunch made some spectacular leaps out of the water.  Streamer fishing was in order with no bug activity and the fish unwilling to eat nymphs.  A crawfish pattern seemed to be the ticket. All of the fish were holding in deeper pools and rose to eat the streamer fly.  The smallmouth fishing was pretty darn good yesterday morning before the wind really began to blow.  We were on the water fishing by 5:30am and fished surface flies the entire time.  We found smallmouth in usual places like big rock points and humps.  The fish were holding on the deeper sides of the points.  Also, fished some old wood that was abutted by random large boulders on a drop off.  You could see the smallmouth come up in the water column and eat the fly.  A blue and white foam slider was the most productive fly and most of the strikes came when the fly hit the water or after the first movement of the fly on the surface.  Good surface takes with lots of jumping.  We landed 9 smallies and missed or lost another 7 fish.  No monsters yesterday, buts lots of action.  I am taking today off from fishing after a week straight and will be back after the trout tomorrow am.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, June 18, 2011

working for trout

Hi folks, Guided a double yesterday starting on the upper Winooski in the morning and then finished the day on the Lamoille.  Yes, I did change wading gear and make sure that I did not move anything from one watershed to another.  Water temperature on the Winooski was 60 degrees and the water was almost twice the seasonal flow average.  The color of the water was slightly off or even say dingy.  Not much for insects hatching and no rising fish.  We nymphed and worked a few streamers.  We covered a fair amount of water were able to land 5 wild rainbows all under 12".  Even at a young age the rainbows all got air time.  A #10 olive and black heavily weighted wooly bugger accounted for one fish.  A #12 tungsten prince and a #16 olive caddis pupa accounted for the other trout. We did not find any consistency in the fishing and the trout were holding in heavy water as well as slow pools. Last night on the Lamoille the water temperature was 65 degrees and the water level was above the seasonal average.  Saw a number of #16 to #18 caddis hatching at dusk as well as #16 sulphers.  We found a few rising fish, but they were all young rainbows.  Nymphing a #16olive caddis pupa with #18 pheasant tail under an indicator produced 1 landed wild rainbow and several missed or lost fish.  We were able to get the rising trout at dusk to eat a #16 the usual and #16 parachute sulpher.  Still no larger fish showing their face.   Considering the conditions, the fishing was not fast and furious.  Nice overcast day with cool air temperatures, you would have thought we would have caught a ton of fish.  We did have the rivers to ourselves, that is always a bonus.  I think the higher than average flows had an impact on the fishing yesterday, but who knows.  You can only catch them if your fly is in the water.  Off to tug on trout today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

Thursday, June 16, 2011

dusk and dawn

Hi folks, Nice weather finally.  Really enjoying the dry spell with the sun.  Of course these big bright sunny days change the prime fishing times, but who cares about getting up at 4:30am to go fishing?  Been guiding in the morning and evenings.  Right now you want to fish either very early or late in the day to dusk due to light levels and water temperatures.  This morning we chased smallmouth bass from my boat with the fly rod and spin rod.  Surface temperature was 64 degrees with no wind.  We worked large rocky points that dropped into deeper water with a surface popper that looked like a frog and a floating rapala.  Both the fly and lure were equally productive and we landed 15 smallmouth bass between 6" and 16".  We covered a lot of water and made lots of casts.  The trout fishing has been crazy right at dark.  Fish rising everywhere eating sulphers, egg laying caddis, and even saw a few drakes.  The last hour of dark seems to be the magic hour for rising fish.  Trout fishing in the morning has been steady as well, just not as much rising activity.  Flies right now, olive and tan bodied caddis between #16 and #18, sulphers between #14 and #18, and drakes between #10 and #12.  I have been mostly using an #16 x-caddis, #16 pheasant tails, and #12 white wulff.  The fish have not seemed overly fussy.  Make a good drift and good things happen.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have fun, Willy

Sunday, June 12, 2011

wet weather

Hi folks, Been guiding for trout the last two days in some nice cool damp weather.  I did two trips on the Lamoille yesterday and the water temperature dropped from the morning to evening.  It was 62 degrees at 5:30 am and 59 degrees at 7:00pm.  I was up stream in the afternoon and we did receive almost 3/8" of inch of rain between my trips.  Last night brought another 1/2" of rain and it is raining now.  The small stream I fished this morning was 56 degrees.  Might as well get used to the higher than average water levels.  It seems like it will be that way for awhile.  Good for the fish.  We saw a few #15 olive bodied caddis hatching yesterday morning but only a few rising fish nothing with regularity.  We caught 4 stocked rainbows and 1 wild bow with a #14 orange bodied usual swung in the current and a #16 olive wire caddis.  The afternoon brought on a great hatch of #20 BWO's, but we found absolutely no rising trout.  I think the rising water level from the afternoon rain put the fish down.  We did see a few #16 sulphurs hatching at dusk, but not in great numbers.  We landed one wild rainbow that ate a #12 ausable wulff, go figure.  This morning was a nice small stream expereince for brook trout.  Man, are they user friendly and willing to eat big silly dry flies.  Good fun with a 2wt.and 3wt.  Looks cool for the next few days, so rivers temperatures should stay nice.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, June 11, 2011

stocked trout

Hi folks, Spent a full day guiding on a Lamoille tributary yesterday.  Thunderstorms the previous night had dropped a 1/2" of rain at my house in Stowe and all of our rivers came up.  The Lamoille was up and off color.  Where we fished the clarity was fine, but the water level was high.  Nice day to be outside with cloudy skies turning to sunny skies by mid day and a nice cooler air temperatures.  Water temperature was 62 degrees and we saw a few #16 olive bodied caddis hatching.  Found a few rising fish, but not many.  We mostly nymphed in the morning with a #12 prince and #16 caddis pupa dropper.  We missed a few fish and worked for strikes.  By mid morning we changed 2 a dry dropper rig and really started to pick up some fish.  We caught a lot of stocked brown trout on the dry and and wet fly.  Loads of fun and pretty easy action.  All of the fish were holding intow big stable pools.  Off to chase trout his am.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, June 9, 2011

getting warm

Hi folks, Been hot and muggy over the last couple of days and our trout streams are already heating up.  Guided on the Lamoille today and the water temperature was 68 degrees and moving towards 70 degrees.  Water level is still higher than average, but the clarity is fine and the fish do not seem to care.  Pretty interesting seeing all of the bank erosion and damage from the high water events of the spring.  Turned over a lot rocks in several riffles and I did not find a ton of insects.  A fair amount of caddis, but few stoneflies or mayflies.  We spin fished for trout today casting a natural rebel craw and a small brown trout imitation.  We had 4 rainbows take the plugs with two fish being wild and two stocked.  Pretty interesting watching how much harder the wild fish fight.  Real jumpers.  Looks like thunderstorms are moving through the Stowe area and the fishing should be very good this weekend with the air temperatures cooling off.  Water temperatures will cool down and it looks like some cloudy conditions.  Perfect, I will be on the water the next few days.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

Monday, June 6, 2011

silver king

Time is now to be on a trout stream in Vermont

Hi folks, Now is the time of the year that you want to be everywhere at once to fish.  The fishing is stellar presently and I just returned from trip up north for Landlocked Salmon.  Water levels are still high, but the clarity is excellent and there are a wide variety of hatching insects.  Water temperatures have ranged from 58 degrees to 64 degrees over the last couple of days.  Saw a few #12 March Browns blast off today, a number of #16 olive bodied caddis hatching, and a few #14 rusty spinners landing on the water.  A few small fish were rising.  We targeted landlocked slamon with streamer patterns and nymphs.  A #10 black ghost and #8 magog smelt were the early morning flies and drew a little interest except for 1 mid size salmon that jumped and pitched the fly.  A #10 red head tungsten prince nymph with a #16 olive wire caddis under indicator was the ticket.  We found spawning smallmouth protecting beds in big back eddies and very slow currents.  We left them alone for the most part. Not the target species though we did land several including a fine 18" specimen on a 5wt.  The salmon were holding in the heavier water and we landed a solid 4lb 22" male salmon.  A real silver bullet.  Hooked another salmon that was even larger but the tail walk across the pool created separation from the fly rod.  The 22" measured salmon was chased down stream almost a football field through really nasty heavy water and still stayed hooked.  Man do landlocked salmon fight.  We landed one salmon per and a 15" salmon.  Lots of fall fish in the mix.  The best part of the morning was having the river to ourselves.  Get out fish, either early or late in the day.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have Fun, Willy

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Lamoille looking good and fishing well

Hi Folks, Just returned from an early morning fishing trip on the Lamoille.  Water temperature was 55 degrees at 6:00am.  The water level is still about twice the seasonal flow average, but the clarity was excellent.  No hatching insects, but I did find a few random rising trout that appeared to be eating #14 mayfly spinner.  Had 4 different trout attempt to eat a orange strike indicator.  Landed a couple of stocked rainbows in the 10" to 12" class and missed or lost another 4 fish.  A #12 Ausable Wulff drew a few random strikes.  A double nymph rig with a #12 flashback pheasant tail and #16 olive wire caddis produced some interest as well.  The big water certainly had the trout spread out a bit and I think the flow prohibited some fishing from moving too far to eat.  Afternoon to dusk probably would be the time to fish on a day like today due to the cool  morning.  It was bit chilly out there before the sun hit the water.  Look for #14 to #18 sulphurs and #14 to #18 caddis presently.  Still some random #12 March Browns hatching and it will not be long before the Drakes.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, June 2, 2011

post spawn smallmouth

Hi Folks, Guided on my boat again yesterday and we dodged thunderstorms once again.  Really big light show at 5:30am that forced us off the water temporarily.  However, my clients and I waited it out and we got back after the smallmoth bass.  The water temperature on the surface 66 degrees and the clarity was off color.  Still a lot of debris in the water and we had to watch out with the boat not to hit anything.  Fished with spin gear and worked top water rapalas in the morning before the wind picked up from the south and the sun began to shine.  Mid morning we changed directions and jig fished with crawfish colored tube jigs on 1/8th oz. jig head and also used a green 6" zoom lizard.  We landed several small bass on topwaters and missed a few lunkers.  The jig fishing produced a lot of action and we landed several fish in the 14" to 16" class.  All of the bass were holding off of rock points and humps.  Lots of wood on the bottom so we texas rigged our jigs.  Not a bad day of fishing and it appeared that every fish we caught was post spawn.  Big cold front has descended upon us and our rivers are coming down.  Small streams look decent and I am looking forward to trout fishing in a river.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have fun, Willy