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

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

heat, chantral mushrooms, and lots of brook trout

Hi Folks, Guided a couple of aspiring fly anglers this morning on a small mountain stream.  Started seeing a number of chantral mushrooms popping up. Very enjoyable outing for me to see a young kid who was probably born with a fly rod in his hand pick up the sport so quickly.  The brook we fished was 59 degrees at 6:30am.  Water levels are dropping quickly and we now could use some rain.  Approach is very important when the levels drop in these small streams in order to not spook the fish before you cast.  We worked up stream with light 3wt outfits and cast stimulator patterns into any potential holding water.  We landed 34 brook trout and probably missed another 20.  Pretty good steady action.  A tight line drift with very little slack made the hook set much easier.  Casting accuracy was important.  I have been hearing over the last few days of northern pike in the Lamoille below Cadys Falls.  It appears that the pike were in Lake Lamoille and during the high spring water they were flushed down stream into the river.  There goes the trout fishing in that stretch of river.  Never introduce a fish to a body of water.  Leave that to the biologist.  This is not a good thing and will certainly change the balance of things in the Lamoille.  Looks to stay hot for the next few days so trout fishing will be limited to small cold streams or fish for smallmouth bass.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

hot fun in the summer time

Hi folks, The really busy season is upon us.  Guided a small brook yesterday and just returned from bank fishing with kids and parents this morning.  Pretty hot and sunny out there, but we are still managing to get enough rain to keep the water levels in decent shape for mid summer. Water temperatures are getting high and the lake I was on this morning was 74 degrees on the surface.  The small brook I guided yesterday was 60 degrees.  Keep your thermometer handy.  The best fishing this time of the year is certainly early morning.  Especially if you want to catch trout.  Tugged on native brook trout yesterday with 3wts and dry flies.  Beautifully colored fish that just through themselves at the fly.  I love seeing fish come to the surface regardless of their size.  This morning we got fish to eat off the surface , except that they were smallmouth bass who have a love for the floating rapala.  Man is there some electricity in the rod when these fish are hooked.  Everyone jumped and we landed a few and missed a few.  Really important on the surface take with a bass to be patient in setting the hook and then really strike them. Had the kids working garden hackle on the bottom with a tight line.  We caught yellow perch, fall fish, pumpkin seed, and more smallmouth.  Kids do not care what they catch as long as they catch something.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, July 17, 2011

cool water on a hot summer day

Hi Folks, Just back from a Maine vacation with my wife.  Nice coastline and I like eating lobster.  Back in the saddle guiding today on a small stream.  Water temperature was a cool 59 degrees under the heavy tree canopy.  Really important to keep your thermometer handy this time of the year when trout fishing.  Our larger streams will become too warm to fish and your best option will be small mountain brooks for native and wild fish or lake and lower river fishing for smallmouth bass.  We worked this small brook upstream and cast #12 stimulators into larger pools and any water that was knee deep. I love watching brook trout aggressively smash dry flies.  Beautiful little creatures.  The trick in brookie fishing is to keep moving and cover water.  Not a bad morning of trout fishing on a hot summer day.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, July 11, 2011

lots of fishing

Hi Folks, Been all over the board the last few days.  Guided the Lamoille Friday and today for trout and then smallmouth bass.  River levels are finally are the seasonal average and they have certainly warmed up.  The Lamoille above Morrisville was 64 degrees Friday in the morning and down low this am was 72 degrees.  Trout fishing will not be option on the Lamoille if the water stays at 70 degrees or higher.  At least if you are going to fish the Lamoille currently, make sure you do it early in the morning.  Friday the trout fishing was decent as we landed 4 wild rainbows and a wild brown trout.  Nothing giant, but not bad for July.  We nymphed all of the fish on #12 prince and #18 caddis pupa dropper.  Golden stone flies are starting to show up and I have seen a few casings on rocks as well as winged adults.  Micro caddis are the soup of the day and a #18 and #20 tan bodied caddis seems to be the dominant hatching insect currently. Also, noticed a few #12 golden drakes hatching and their shucks in the some back eddies. Smallmouth fishing was okay this morning.  We landed 3 smallies who all ate poppers and we missed several fish.  Fished big slow pools that were lined with boulders.  Small chartruse poppers were the fly of the day.  In between this all, I visited Maine with a fishing guest I have become friends with.  We fly fished the Magalloway River for brook trout and landlocked salmon.  Pretty interesting fishery as we fish a tailwater, a freestone, and a spring influenced sections of the same river.  Very hatch friendly river with large brookies and fiesty salmon.  Good wildlife viewing as we saw black bear, antlered deer, bald eagles, otters, osprey, grouse, beaver, and, hare.  No moose.  Great experience that I would recommend to anyone.  We had good fishing and we were there at a slow time.  Really enjoyed the spring influenced part of the river fishing to rising brookies in slow water.  So lots of different fish the last few days.  Nice diversity in New England for fishing.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

Friday, July 8, 2011

little weather blip and lots of smallmouth

Hi folks, Had a huge cold front push through the area with a crazy thunderstorm on Wednesday afternoon.  Dropped almost an inch of rain at my house in Stowe.  Needless to say it raised the level of our rivers.  I guided a river trip yesterday afternoon on a stream that drops pretty quickly after the level rises and clears fairly quickly.  Water temperature was 68 degrees and the clarity was okay.  We landed a dozen smallmouth bass between 9" and 18".  We found a "honey hole" that was loaded with hungry smallmouth.  I always like the fishing in a river when the level is dropping after a high water event.  The fish are always hungry in that situation after hunkering down behind or under cover when fighting heavy water.  Loads of fun battling river smallmouth in big current.  With the cooler weather our rivers should stay just below 70 degrees for trout fishing.  Carry your thermometer.  I am off to chase trout this morning with guests.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

bass and bald eagles

Hi Folks, Guided with my boat all day yesterday on a large body of water for smallmouth bass using spin tackle.  Beautiful weather day with air temperatures reaching the low 80's and big blue skies.  Water temperature on the surface was 70 degrees and the water clarity was a little off color.  Saw a large adult bald eagle in the morning take a yellow perch out of the water.  Pretty impressive.  We covered a lot of water and started the day working top water presentations.  Not a lot of big fish looking at the top water lures so we resorted to jigging crawfish colored tube jigs.  Drew a lot of interest below the surface.  The smallmouth probably did not want to rise to eat on such a bright day.  The largest bass landed of the day was 16.5" long.  We lost another smallmouth at the boat that spit the jig that was much larger.  Really important to get a good solid hook set when fishing with soft plastics.  A good day fishing with plenty of action.  The bite did slow significantly around noon.  We found most of our fish on a hard bottom holding just off shore in 15' of water.  Off to use the boat again this am for smallmouth.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, July 4, 2011

river and lake fishing for trout

Hi Folks, Been busy with the guiding every day going in the morning and evening for trout.  Guided the Lamoille yesterday and this morning.  Water temperature this morning at 5:30am was 65 degrees.  Nice heavy of the last couple of mornings and helps to keep the sun off the water and keep the fish a bit more active.  Saw a black bear yesterday on the way to fishing.  Always a bonus when outside getting to see wildlife.  The Lamoille is still above the seasonal average flow.  Have seen a few micro caddis hatching #18 to #20 olive and tan bodied as well as some #14 cahills.  Seen the light cahill duns at dusk and the spinners in the early am.  Found a few sporadic rising rainbows to caddis in the morning.  The fishing on the Lamoille this weekend has been decent with a mixed bag of wild trout and stocked trout.  Had a guest this morning land a measured 18" wild rainbow.  Great looking trout that ate a #12 tungsten prince nymph.  Most of our fish we have been catching are in the 7" to 12" range so when you get one over 15", pretty nice moment.  Had a few trout rise and take a #18 tan bodied x-caddis or a #18 olive caddis pupa drifted just below the surface.  Fly fished a north east kingdom lake last night for the Hex hatch.  We used my boat and set up where a brook dumped into the lake and had a soft bottom that abutted a sharp drop off into deeper water.  The Hex is a burrowing nymph and rises out of sediment ridden bottoms.  The hatch came off pretty well around 9:00pm.  Awful big fly!  The rainbows in this lake were not overly responsive last night.  We did get a few chances to cast to some cruising fish, but it was not easy.  Caught a few perch stripping back a Hex nymph, but no fish on the dry.  Casting distance and accuracy is a must on the Hex hatch and figuring out the direction the trout are moving can be tough when it gets dark.  We got pushed off the water by a massive thunderstorm.  Pretty interesting hatch to witness even when the fishing is tough.  Well, guiding out of the boat the next few days for smallmouth.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, July 2, 2011

mountain brook trout and lake fishing for smallies

Hi folks, Nice day out.  Not too often that we have seen the sun this spring and summer.  Heavy fog this morning on the lake I guided with my boat.  Surface temperature was in the high sixties with a slight breeze from the south.  Not much of surface bite for the bass today.  We had to work hard for 2 landed smallmouth between 1lb and 2lbs.  Both good strong fighters and jumpers.  We found each fish located in deeper water off islands.  Right at the end of points that slowly tapered into deeper water. Did see a few large fish in shallow, but they did not want to play.  Landed a ton of large yellow perch and 1 pickerel.  A deep diving crank bait that imitated a craw fish was the lure of the day.  Last night I guided two fly anglers on a small mountain brook where the water temperature was 57 degrees.  The water level was still above the seasonal average, but the clarity was fine.  Saw a number of #14 yellow sallies hatching.  We fished rubber legged stimulators and found brook trout in big primary pools.  Not many fish in secondary water.  We landed several 8" plus brookies and lost a few.  All upstream presentation with a high stick mend.  No fly line on the water.  Pretty consistent fishing and good to see all different size classes of brook trout.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, July 1, 2011

working upstream

Hi Folks, Guided a Lamoille tributary yesterday afternoon under gray damp skies.  Some on and off light showers.  Saw a decent hatch of #20 BWO's and actually some smaller wild rainbows eating off the top.  Water temperature was 63 degrees and the level was still slightly above the seasonal average.  We walked up stream through a wide variety of water types from deep swift plunge pools to long riffles to pools.  The rig of the day was a #12 tungsten prince nymph with a #18 BWO dropper and a #12 Black Copper John with a #18 olive caddis pupa.  We hooked fish on all of the fly patterns.  Landed wild rainbows up to 11" and wild and stocked brown trout up to 10".  No giant fish but good steady action.  The key to catching this trout was a good dead drift and quick response time when the strike indicator danced.  You have to trust the indicator in swift water and set the hook.  A pretty cool sensation when the indicator goes down and you feel the electricity of a trout on the other end of the line.  All up stream presentations in order to sink the flies and not spook the fish.  I will be guiding this afternoon and all weekend.  Looking busy and the weather looks good so fish on!  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy