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