Tuesday, May 29, 2012

small water magic

Hi folks, Spent yesterday morning guiding a Lamoille tributary with the fly.  Water temperature was 57 degrees.  Water was clear and fairly low for this time of the year.  We received a bit of rain today in thunderstorms, could use more.  Been awful hot for late May and I think we will be trout fishing small steams exclusively shortly if things do not cool down.  The Lamoille main stem is already in the high 60's and reaching 70 degrees by late afternoon.  The smalls stream fishing Monday was excellent.   We landed 12 wild trout with 8 fish being brown trout and 4 rainbows.  All up stream fishing with #12 and #14 stimulators with a #18 copper john dropper nymph.  We took 3/4 fo the fish on the dropper fly and the other 1/4 on the dry fly.  The browns in this particular stream are beautifully colored with nice cherry dots on their flanks.  The rainbows jump as high as you are tall.  2wt. and 3 wt. rods are in order and tons of fun with trout anywhere from 6" to 14.  Did see a few #14 yellow sallies, some #16 caddis, and a few random #14 grey fox.  No rising fish.  We caught fish in deep plunge pools and some secondary water that might get over looked by the average angler.   Keep your thermometer handy and looks like the weather might cool down some this week.    Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, May 28, 2012

chasing the other fish

Hi Folks, Guided an am and then a pm trip yesterday for warm water species.  Spin cast from my canoe in the morning and then from my boat in the afternoon.  Nice day yesterday with a mix of sun and clouds.   Pretty calm in the morning with a decent south wind in the afternoon.  Water temperatures ranged from 68 degrees to 71 degrees.  In the morning we landed 5 northern pike and two very nice smallmouth bass.  1 of the pike was a healthy 32" specimen that pulled some drag from the reel.  Always exciting to watch a northern accelerate onto a fly or lure.  They appear out of no where and are lightening fast when chasing down a potential prey item.  Really important to retrieve your lure or fly all the way to the boat.  The lure of the day yesterday was a blue and silver husky jerk from rapala.  We witnessed a 2lb smallmouth try to eat a rock bass we hooked.  Saw the smallie put the rock bass right in its mouth while it was hooked onto our plug, pretty cool.  Had a nice pike break take and break off a surface prop bait.   Every fish we saw follow or we hooked was holding on step drop offs into deeper water from the shoreline.  Lots of juvenile fish holding on weed and wood and the drop offs and the pike and bass were not far behind.  The afternoon fishing was a little more tough.  The fish seemed more responsive in the morning.  We did a lot of casting in the afternoon and we worked hard for the fish we saw.  We landed a very big and healthy largemouth bass that ate the husky jerk.  This largemouth was a solid 4lb fish, but a non-native specie to this body of water.  We were fishing a lake that holds smallmouth bass, pike, and perch.  Someone must of illegally stocked largemouth into this body of water.  Oh well, it was a welcomed bonus and a very nice fish.  We could not get a smallmouth to bite and we fished with plugs and jigged.  We did hook a very large pike and unfortunately had it pitch the perch colored crank bait.  Landed a few really nice yellow belly perch. Would have been psyched had it been ice fishing season, but not so much when you want to catch northerns.  Summer conditions out there and we still need rain.  On the cold water front the trout have been rising like crazy at dusk to #12 March Brown spinners.  Keep your thermometer handy as the water has warmed to 70 degrees.  I am off to chase trout this am.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have fun, Willy

Sunday, May 27, 2012

fly fishing for Vermont fish diversity

Hi folks, Guided up north for a full day out of my boat yesterday.  Took 3 generations from 1 family fly fishing for bass and pike.  Nice day with mixed sun and clouds and very little breeze.  Water temperature in the lake we fished was 69 degrees to 71 degrees.  Water temperature is heating up quickly this year and really need some.   Our streams are pretty darn low.  The lake we fished yesterday is pretty clear and we had a ton of fun sight fishing.  Saw a lot of abandoned beds from bass.  Looks like a lot of fish have already spawned and a bit early this year.  all of the smallmouth we landed were post spawn fish.  We started out early am with popper fishing.  Love catching smallies off the top.  Our first 3 fish were northern pike who ate the surface fly.  Amazingly enough we did get broken off.  When finally got into the smallmouth we caught a lot of fish. Landed well over 20 fish and missed as many.  We also caught ans released a huge 14.5" crappie, yellow perch,  rock bass, and a 2.5lb largemouth bass.  The largest smallmouth fo the day was 18"  We landed several fish in this size range.  Most of the fish were holding on the first drop off from shore.  Hard bottom with rock and weed was the ticket.  Once the sun got bright over head we switched to brightly colored streamer flies that you could see moving in the water and the fish coming up to eat them.  Often we would set the hook based on seeing the fish open its mouth.  Red and white, chartruse and copper, and orange and yellow were the colors of the day.  Good fishing and  am going to do it again today with guests.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial trout fshing bonanza

Hi Folks, Started off the Memorial Day weekend with a fishing bang.  Guided clients on the Lamoille watershed yesterday for a full day.  Stayed cloudy for most of the morning but the sun got bright in the ski by midday.  Water tempratures ranged from 62 degrees in the early morning to up to 66 degrees by time when finished.  Really become summer like conditions out there and we could use some rain.  We mostly nymph fished with a #14 pheasant tail and a #16 hare and copper as a dropper.  We did fish a #12 parachute adams on the surface.  Laned over a dozen trout mostly rainbows with a very large brook trout in the mix.  We missed or lost another dozen or so trout as well.  We did find a few rising fish, but I  could not tell you what they were eating.  Saw a few hatching #16 caddis and few #12 March Browns and a few #14 sulphurs, but no giant hatch.  I am off to put the boat in the water.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home. Have fun, Willy

Monday, May 21, 2012

spring fishing bonanza

Hi folks, Been guiding night and day the last two days.  Big bright sun with warmer than average airs temperatures.  Did cloud up this afternoon and allowed for some good dry fly fishing.  The trout fishing right now is pretty darn good as I have been on the Lamoille, Winooski, and a Winooski tributary in the last two days and we are catching fish everywhere.  Water temperatures are heating up and levels are low for this time of the year.  The water levels are kind of scary low for this time of the year it doe snot bode well for the summer without some rain.  Yesterday we found water temperatures on the Lamoille early in the low to mid sixties and in the afternoon on a small Winooski tributary holding steady at 60 degrees. All nymph fishing on the Lamoille yesterday as we found a pod of stocked rainbows and tugged on them pretty well.  A #12 flashback pheasant tail was the fly.  The fish were holding in heavier water because of the warming water temperatures.  The small trib. we fished was dynamite!  We actually sight fished a few wild rainbows and native brook trout.  I have to say I would take a wild 10" rainbow over a 12" stocked fish any day of the week.  The wild rainbows we have been catching lately have been just electric.  We caught one of the nicest small stream brook trout you will ever catch.  A legitimate 11" specimen that had a large hook jaw and was just beautifully colored.  A #12 Ausable wulff was the fly of the afternoon.  Saw a decent hatch of #14 Grey Fox yesterday and few #16 olive bodied caddis.  The main stem of the Winooski today was awesome.  Not much for hatching bugs, but it did not matter.  If you ever wanted to catch a trout on a fly today was the day.  We landed 18 fish with a combination of wild rainbows, wild browns, and stocked rainbows and browns.  Probably missed or lost another dozen fish.  The rig of the day was a double nymph rig with a #12 flashback pheasant tail with a #16 olive caddis pupa dropper.  It was pretty equal with the which fly was bit the most by the trout.  We ended the day with a #12 Ausable Wulff.  The common denominator of the day was that the trout were fixed to heavy water with big boulders and rocks.  Trout need a high amount of dissolved oxygen and the fast and tumbling water is the place when temperatures are heating up.  A strike indicator is really useful on heavy water and line management is critical.  Well, 2 great days of fishing and more to come.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have fun, Willy

Saturday, May 19, 2012

catching trout in bright sun

Hi folks, Guided for trout this morning on the Lamoille and fished yesterday at a private trout club.  Big bright sun out there that makes it feel like summer.  The Lamoille was 58 this morning and heated up to 60 degrees by time we left at the lunch hour.  Saw a number of #12 March Browns coming a few #14 Grey Fox, and a few #16 olive bodied caddis.  No rising trout.  My guess is with this weather pattern trout will be much more likely to rise at dusk to eat spinners versus gobbling duns in bright sun.  We nymph fished with and without an indicator.  We began the morning with olive leech patterns that created the illusion of a young crawfish.  We hooked a big trout that we never saw that ran up stream.  The fly line literally was cutting through very heavy current before the hook popped out.  We landed a wild rainbow in the 10" with the leech and lost or missed 4 other trout.  We swung the leech pattern with a piece of weight above the fly.  When the bugs began to pop we switched to double nymph rigs under an indicator.  A #12 flashback pheasant tail with a #16 pheasant tail put a clinic on with the stocked rainbows.  We found a pod of stocked fish that were willing to play.  Even had a trout to eat a orange strike indicator. Not a bad morning of fly fishing.  Yesterday was fun for me as I floated on a private lake for native brook trout.  Kind of mystery to me as to how to catch the fish without seeing them rise in still water.  I hate trolling a refuse to troll a fly.   We found a few random risers on a drop off from deep water to a shallow flat.  A few #16 caddis were hatching in close and every so often we would see a fish boil.  I got 2 trout to eat a #14 Usual twitched just below the surface.  I missed both.  I moved to the brook that flows between the private ponds and caught 2 really nice 12" brook trout on a #14 prince nymph under an indicator.  Lots of black flies.   Will be guiding a double tomorrow.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

popping smallmouth

Hi Folks, Out on the boat today with guests fishing for smallmouth bass with the fly.  Nice morning after 3/4" of rain yesterday.  Water clarity was decent but not gin clear due to all of the rain we received in Stowe yesterday.  Water temperatures ranged from 59 degrees to 62 degrees.  We found actively biting fish in the warmer water.  We cast to rocky points and submerged boulders in 2' to 5' of water.  You could see the smallmouth rocket up in the water column to take the fly.  Awesome!  A chartruse colored popper and a fire tiger popper were the trick.  Never changed flies.  We landed 18 smallmouth between 3/4lbs and 2.5lbs.  As the sun got high in the sky we found that the fish really were more aggressive on the shady shorelines.  We missed another dozen fish.  The trick was to be patient on the take prior to setting the hook.  The smallies seemed to like the popper being worked very aggressively.  On another note the Lamoille is stocked with rainbows now.  If you like stocked fish then have at it.    Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, May 11, 2012

Not the target species

Hi folks,  Been on my boat the last two days.  Guided northern pike yesterday and fished for walleye early this morning.  We received well over 1" of much needed rain the last 3 days.  Our rivers are currently high and dirty.  Nice owning a motor boat when the river fishing is shot.  Surface temperatures have been in the low fifties and the wind has been howling out the north northwest.   A fun thing about spring fishing is that you never know exactly what you might catch when fishing.  With water temperatures staying cool it allows many game fish to remain in the shallow margins of lakes and ponds.  Spawning activity also brings fish into contact with shore oriented anglers.  So what I am getting at is we did not catch a pike yesterday and we did not catch a walleye today.  However the small mouth fishing has been pretty decent.  Landed a 20" smallmouth yesterday on a perch colored crank bait and an 18" smallmouth this morning on a brightly colored walleye jig.  Both bass were females who were loaded with row and in pre spawn mode.  Sometimes in fishing you have to take what you get when offered.  Looks like a nice weather week end so river conditons should improve and water temperatures should warm a bit.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pre Spawn smallmouth bass

Hi folks, guided out of my boat yesterday on a local reservoir for smallmouth bass.  Beautiful day to be on the water.  Bright and sunny and a light wind from the northwest.  Surface temperatures varied from 58 degrees to 60 degrees.  We looked for warmer water in order to find a prespawn smallies who were attempting to warm up their internal core.  We cast craw fish pattern crank baits to shoreline cover.  We mostly focused on hard rocky bottoms off rock points and large boulders.  We landed 8 smallmouth bass between 1/4lb to 2lbs.  We did miss a few fish and even had a few surface takes.  all of these fish were in less that 7' of water.  We even caught a rainbow trout and missed another trout on the crank baits.  Generally I am not a big fan of the sun except in the spring when you want the water to warm up.  We fished in the middle of the day and had the whole place to ourselves.  Looks like much needed rain over the next few days.  I will be boat fishing on Thursday with clients.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, May 7, 2012

pike on a fly

Hi folks, Ran my boat yesterday in an attempt to work out any kinks.  Put a new fish finder on board and wanted to make sure it worked.  Needless to say we did a little fishing.  Nice sunny day with a stiff breeze from the northwest.  Surface temperature varied from 55 degrees in protected coves and bays to 55 degrees in the main stem of the lake.  We cast deceiver patterns attached to floating and sinking lines.  We landed one 21" pike on a yellow and orange deceiver and missed one other fish.  We found fish in 4' to 6' of water over soft bottoms that had emerging weed growth.  Good outing for only being on the water for a brief time.  Pike fishing should continue to be good throughout the month as long as the water does not warm too quickly.  I am off to guide for pre-spawn smallmouth bass today from the boat.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Big Vermont wild trout on a dry fly

Hi Folks, Guided an accomplished fly angler today on a Lamoille river tributary.  Water temperature was 52 degrees on a cloudy overcast day with a short brief showing from the sun.  Saw a great hatch of #14 Hendrickson mayflies today with trout rising in every pool we fished.  We took advantage of a good thing and landed 3 trout over 17".  The first fish was an almost 20" wild rainbow who was gulping duns in the lower section of a pool.  My client did a great job casting a 3wt. and playing these larger fish on such a light rod.  It was funny that in the same pool we were unable to get several smaller fish to eat.  Moving upstream we found the large brown trout who was swinging in the slow tail out of a pool gulping duns.  Pretty fun watching big sail boat looking mayflies drifting downstream and disappearing into the hungry mouth of a trout.  We got the brown to eat pretty quickly on a #14 red quill tied Catskill style.  The brown was a solid 18" wild fish full of piss and vinegar.  In our next spot we found a healthy 17" wild rainbow gulping duns in heavier water.  Love the air time of wild rainbows.  We landed one more smaller 14" wild rainbow on a #14 sparkle dun.  We missed a couple of fish and lost another but we did land the ones that count.  Awesome day with zero fishing pressure.  We ended the day on a pool with a large number of spinners over the riffles.  The spinner fall did not go down like we hoped.  Will have pictures of these fish soon.  Weather looks wet over the next few days.  We will see how it impacts the fishing.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

cool damp day

Hi Folks, guided a group of fly anglers yesterday midday on the Lamoille.  Nice cold rainy day that would have appeared to be perfect for fishing.  Looks can be deceiving.  The water temperature was a cool 46 degrees.  It was like fly fishing the dead sea.  We did witness a small hatch of #16/#18 olives, but once again no fish responding.  I did not see one #14 Hendrickson mayfly after witnessing a massive hatch of the mayfly a couple days prior.  My feeling is that until the water temperatures warm to above 50 degrees the trout fishing will be sporadic at best in our streams.  Looks like a warmer spell over the next few days.  Lots of fishing opportunities right now with walleye season opening on Saturday, pike fishing in the shallows taking place, and surface fishing for salmonids on any trout lake.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy