Friday, June 29, 2012

Hex fishing

Hi Folks, Had the boat out last night for an evening trip to the kingdom to fish the #6 Hexagenia Limbata hatch.  The Hex is the largest may fly in the world and the hatch is very impressive to witness. Fishing the hatch can be difficult.  We had a beautiful night on the water with no wind and surface temperatures of 67 degrees.  We set the boat up off a brook that enters the lake that deposits sediment onto the lake bottom.  The Hex is a burrowing nymph and hatches from soft bottoms.   We were positioned on the first drop off from shore adjacent to the brook mouth.  Saw a pretty good hatch of bugs and the numbers of insects accelerated after dark.  Unfortunately, not too many trout rising.  We did witness a few explosive rises where trout literally launched way out of the water.  However, rising was somewhat subdued and we really never got a crack at a visibly feeding trout.  The Hex hatch is one of things that you want to fish daily for several weeks.  Neve easy but really cool to witness.  I will be guiding straight for the next two weeks and will be fishing small streams for trout and chasing smallmouth bass.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

fishing in the rain

Hi Folks, Guided out of my boat yesterday and we had the entire lake to ourselves.  Flat calm in the morning with intermittent showers.  Surface temperature was 74 degrees a drop in water temperature from 3 days prior of 5 degrees.  Excellent top water bite yesterday for smallmouth bass.  A #6 fire tiger popper was the ticket.  We had fish of all size classes come to the surface.  The smaller 2year old and 3 year old bass were extremely greedy while the large 2 lb to 3 lb smallmouth were a bit more tentative.  Lots of takes from the bass with a reckless abandon.The fish were there for the taking and we had the place to ourselves, awesome!   We covered a lot water.  We found a majority of the active fish holding off a long rock points and rock faces that plunged into deep water.  You could see the smallmouth rocket up out of the water to take the surface presentation.  Lots of focus as many takes came the moment the popper landed on the water.  Been raining for a few days now and we really needed it.  I have already received an 11/4" of rain at my house in Stowe and looks like we will get some more today.  Exactly what our streams need.  The cooler weather has also allowed our streams to cool off a bit.  Will be trout fishing some smaller water this week and looking for the #6/#8 Hex hatch.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, June 24, 2012

river smallmouth

Hi Folks, Still been pretty warm out there with a big bright sun.  We desperately need rain as our rivers are getting really skinny.  Trout fishing is non-existent right now in our brooks and streams.  I have been laying off the trout and chasing river and lake smallmouth bass.  Guided the last couple of days for river smallmouth.  Water temperatures have been from 72 degrees in the morning to 80 degrees in the late afternoon.  Even a bit warm for smallmouth.  The fish are pooled up and I have been finding large numbers of fish stacked into deep pools.  The fish do not too interested in rising in the water column to eat so we have been getting down to them.  Been casting small natural colored tubes and twister tails on lightly weighted jigs with spin gear.  Had a family out this morning and we were swinging garden hook on small hooks and we did some damage.  Landed smallmouth from 10" to 17" on light spinning rods.  Good fun.  Hex fishing is going on and not a bad option for dusk into dark.  Watch for afternoon thunderstorms and the wind seems to have been blowing pretty steady from the west.  Give the river trout a break until it cools down and hopefully we get some rain.  Off to chase bass from the boat tomorrow morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, June 23, 2012

working hard for fish

Hi Folks, Guided with boat yesterday with spin gear.  We were fishing for bass and pike.  Another hot day with a good stiff wind from the west.  Unfortunately the wind prevented us from fishing certain parts of the lake effectively.  The surface temperature was 77 degrees.  Pretty darn warm.  We had a pretty good top water bite off the get go casting a fire tiger popper and frog pattern Heddon tiny torpedo.  We had smallmouth bass and largemouth bass eat the surface presentations.  The fish appeared to be moving back and forth from a deep drop off to a shallow boulder strewn shoreline.  Nice weed beds on the drop off.  After messing and landing a few largemouth and smallmouth bass we moved to a deep drop off looking for northern pike.  We cast a 1oz. weed less dardevile spoon and a #3 red and white Mepps spinner.  Landed 1 pike on the spinner and had another fish follow right up to the boat.  We switched to a large clown nose Husky Jerk and landed another pike and prompted a few more follows to the boat but not a take.  We covered a lot of water yesterday and made lots of cast to tug on the fish we caught.  We cast some soft plastics with mixed results.  A large white Zenko and Sluggo drew the interest of some largemouth bass.  We watched one largemouth make a bow wake from some lilly pads to eat the Sluggo.  Pretty cool.  Still lots of casting and the fish did not seem overly aggressive.  I can only figure the heat and a small weather front had the fish in a state of flux.  Small stream fishing this afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, June 21, 2012

hot, slow it down

Hi Folks, Been running the boat with clients the last few days chasing smallmouth bass with spin gear.  Surface temperature of the water has been 77 degrees in the early morning.  Been getting the boat dropped in between 5:15am and 5:30am.  Sun has been intense and the air temperatures a little uncomfortable.  Pretty calm in the morning and the wind has picked up at midday.  We have been catching some decent smallmouth jig fishing.  The top water bite has been fairly slow with only juvenile smallmouth eating our surface presentations.  Does not seem like many large fish were holding in shallow water.  So we have been pitching 1/8 jig heads with a crawfish colored 3 1/2" tube jig to drop offs and deeper water.  The smallies have been eating it up!  The best fish the last couple of days have in the 15" to 17" class.  Moving the boat out away from shore a bit into deeper water has been the ticket.  I think the bright sun and heat has slowed down the top water bite.  Jig fishing is an excellent method for working neutral to non-agressive fish.  It is a finesse technique and is best accomplished with rods from 6 1/2' to 7 1/2'.  A slow hop of the jig with good line control is important.   What a difference in results with the jigging versus fishing floating rapalas and poppers.  Looks like thunder stoms this afternoon and a much needed cool down.  We need rain!  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

getting too hot

Hi folks, Been out and about fishing over the last few days chasing smallmouth bass to river trout.  It has become pretty warm this week and air temperatures are looking to tip the 90 degree mark.  Our rivers and brooks are in tough shape currently.  No water!!  Looks like August out there and it is only the middle of June.  Water temperatures are now an issue and small streams will hold temperature the best.  The Winooski and Lamoille are too warm to trout fish currently. All is not lost because the smallmouth fishing only picks up now.  The lower Winooski and lower Lamoille offer some excellent river bass fishing, just kind of rugged wading.  Guided smallmouth from my canoe the other night and the surface temperature of the lake we fished was 72 degrees.  Good top water bite despite the stiff southerly wind.  We fished bright colored poppers tight to shorelines that dropped off quickly.  When conditions are not perfectly come for top water fishing, move the popper more aggressively.  Anywhere there was downed wood or trees that hung out over the water was a fish that was willing to eat.  Most of our takes were after the popper had been twitched and then resettled.  Bass fishing is loads of fun and the fish really do pull back.  If you want to trout fish currently small streams are where it is at.  The water is low and clear but the temperatures are okay.  The spook factor is in play so move cautiously and slowly up stream.  Mornings and evenings are where it is at for fishing right now.  Hope for some prolonged rain.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have Fun, Willy

Sunday, June 17, 2012

happy fathers day

Hi folks, Been guiding trout on the Winooski in the early am the last couple of days.  Been pretty tough fishing in my opinion.  The sun has been up and high in the sky early in the morning and the water temperatures are getting too warm.  The temperature of the Winooski has been high 60's in the early morning and over 70 degrees by late afternoon.  We could still use some rain as our rivers are low and clear presently.  We have seen some random #16 tan bodied caddis hatching in the early am, but not much for rising trout.  We have been swinging a #16 orange the Usual and #16 tan bodied CDC caddis in riffles.  Every trout we have hooked has been early on in the morning and then the fall fish get involved.  Not a big fan of fall fish though they do bend a fly rod for a beginner.  It is pretty clear that trout simply do not like these big bright sunny days on the big water.  Small stream fishing is where it is at under these conditions or chasing smallmouth bass in lakes and ponds.  Have seen some #14/#16 cahills at dusk, #18 sulphurs, #16/#18 olive and tan bodied caddis in the morning hatching and egg laying at dusk, plus the giant #6 Hex on our lakes and ponds.  Fishing will remain best in the early morning or late afternoon to dark.  I prefer mornings for river fishing in the summer.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, June 15, 2012

big bright sun

Hi Folks, Guided the Lamoille yesteday morning and the Winooski yesterday afternoon.  Nice morning fog on the Lamoille early on.  Once it burned off the sun was high bright in the sky.  Water temperature was 63 degrees on the Lamoille at 5:30am and 69 degrees on the Winooski at 7:00pm.  The Winooski would have been warmer but there was a water release up stream while we were fishing and it helped to keep the water temperature down a bit.  I like morning fishing when it is bright and hot. Saw a variety of hatching insect yesterday morning and evening, but not a single rising fish.  Random #16 tan bodied caddis hatching in the morning and a decent number of #14 light cahills in the evening.  Starting to see more #8/#10 stone fly shucks on rocks and winged adults buzzing around.  The Lamoille fished pretty well in the morning.  We moved around a bit and finally got into a lot of fish on a heavy riffle.  I think the first spot we fished hand been hammered the night before.  We dead drifted under an indicator a #14 bead head olive wire caddis with a #16 flashback hare's ear nymph.  We had one stretch were on 3 successive drift we hooked wild rainbows.  Ended up landing 6 rainbows and losing or missing as many.  Pretty good morning.  My afternoon trip was a ton of fun as I took four great ladies who were child hood friends fly fishing.  The big sun, rising water, and warm water made the trout fishing pretty slow.  We did get into the good old fall fish who love to eat flies on the Winooski.  Hey, they put a end on a rod even if they are not the target species.  Pay attention on the Winooski as the water can come up quickly and you could caught in a tight spot.  It is big water down low.  Looks like summer is here for good and air temperatures will be warming up along with water temperatures.  Still could use some rain  and the fishing on the Lamoille and Winooksi are about to really slow down if the warming trend continues.  My guiding operation will begin to switch directions and we will be fishing more for smallmouth bass and walking up and down cold mountain streams for native brookies, wild rainbows, and the brown trout.  Off to chase trout.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Hi Folks, Guided the upper Lamoille yesterday in the rain.  Pretty wet morning until the sun appeared late in the day.  Unfortunately the rain was not significant enough to raise water levels.  Our rivers are awful low for June and when the air temperatures really warm up our trout might be in a bit of trouble.  Water temperature was 62 degrees and low and clear.  Cool nights the next few days should help to maintain water temperatures.  Fishing early in the morning will be the best approach.  Saw a few #8/#10 stone fly shucks on rocks as well as some large adults flying around.  We worked up stream casting #10 and #12 orange stimulators.  We landed 2 native brook trout and missed a few fish.  We covered a lot of water in order to encounter the trout we saw.  Lots of cased caddis on top of and below rocks.  #16/#18 tan bodied and green bodied caddis.  Look for the #6 Hex hatch on our lakes and #18 sulphurs at dusk on streams.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

change of pace

Hi Folks, Guided 2 aspiring fly anglers yesterday afternoon on a small mountain brook.  The water was incredibly low for this time of the year.  We need rain and for several days.  The water level was at an August level which is not good considering it is only the middle of June.  Water temperature was 60 degrees.   We worked up stream casting #10 and #12 stimualtors.  There was a native brook trout in about every pool we drifted into to.  Small stream fishing is all about positioning and casting accuracy.  Using a short amount of line to make short accurate casts and tight line drifts where only the leader is on the water.  The tip of the fly rod is used to steer the fly through the various holding areas.  The little amount of line makes it easier to set the hook when a brookie rises through the clear water to eat a dry fly.  We landed a dozen brook trout and missed a few.  Pretty steady action.  Off to chase trout this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Hi folks, Guided the Lamoille watershed yesterday in the morning and evening.  Water temperatures ranged from 64 degrees in the early am to 70 degrees by late afternoon.  We could use some rain and it looks like we might some significant rain fall tonight.  It was a day of caddis.  Lots of cased caddis on top of and below rocks.  Yellow bodied #16/#18 caddis.  Also found a fair amount of hatching and egg laying #16/#18 olive bodied caddis.  The X-caddis was the fly of the day.  A #16 olive and tan bodied caddis caught fish equally well.  Dead drifted over rising fish and swung in riffles was really productive.  The X-caddis is simple to tie and pretty durable.  The beauty of the pattern is that it can represent a caddis pupa in the surface film, a winged adult on the surface, and an egg laying bug.  Very versatile.  Keep your thermometer handy as the water is really warming up. Small streams for wild fish and fishing the big rivers early am is the ticket right now.  I will be trout fihsing with guests later today, lets hope the thunderstorms hold off.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have fun, Willy

Monday, June 11, 2012

small water and wood

Hi Folks, Guided the upper Lamoille last night.  Pretty darn hot day yesterday and the warm sun heated up our streams.  The Lamoille at 6:30pm last night was 67 degrees and pretty low and clear.  The section we fished was littered with downed trees from previous high water events.  Makes for great cover for fish on some pools.  Tough to cast an drift around.  Saw a a number of #8 stone flies flying over the river who were dipping their bottom end into the stream to lay eggs.  No rising fish but we got them to eat a dry fly.  A #10 orange stimulator cast off a 3wt. was the ticket.  We landed a dozen wild rainbows and native brookies on the stimulator.  Had a couple of instances where we had to go into the pool and untangle a rainbow from the wood.  Saw rainbows jump out of the as high as we were tall and then land in big messes of tree limbs.  All up stream fishing.  Nice evening on the water and looking to do it all over again today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, June 10, 2012

opening day of bass season

Hi Folks, Guided with my boat for smallmouth bass and pike yesterday morning.  We were on the water early and so were other folks looking to enjoy the opening day of bass season.  Opening day means that you can fish bass with bait and keep them if you wish.  Not applicable to my operation.  Slight wind yesterday from the northwest and the surface temperature was 67 degrees.  We worked the top water bite for a good part of the morning.  We had 7 smallmouth bass come to the popper.  We selected a pumpkin seed looking popper that had a deep concave face and made a deep bellowing pop when moved through the surface.  We landed 4 of the 7 surface feeding fish with the best fish measuring 17'.  We did not land anything under 14" yesterday.  Nice bag limit if we were in a tournament of 2lb to 3lb smallmouth bass.  We switched to a watermelon senko rigged with a 2/0 red worm hook when the top water slowed.  My client informed me that if the senko could catch bass in central park new york then why not Vermont.  He was correct and we landed 2 more smallmouth and missed one other fish.  All of the smallmouth were holding over hard bottomed surface and in about 10' to 15' of water.  Mostly at the first significant drop off from the shore line.  Weed beds have begun to form and the fish were on the out side edges of these weed beds.  We looked for pike casting to a variety of hard ware and managed to land 1 small northern on 5 and diamonds spoon.    I am off this afternoon to trout fish.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, June 9, 2012

caddis and crawfish

Hi folks, Spent a full day on the main stem of the Lamoille yesterday.  The Lamoille fished about as well as it could yesterday.  We started early am and the sun was a factor for the the first part of the day.  It clouded up a bit by mid morning and prompted some rising fish.  Water temperature was 59 degrees and crept up to 60 degrees by afternoon.  Water level was perfect for fishing.  I lost track of how many fish we caught, but I know at of at least 20 wild and stocked rainbows landed and another 20 or so that were missed or lost.  Saw a pretty decent hatch of #16 olive bodied caddis mid morning and the bugs came off steadily until around lunch time.  We fished double rigs yesterday with a #14 prince with a #16 olive caddis pupa as a dropper.  When the fish began to rise we switched and fished a #14 orange stimulator and with a #16 flashback hare's ear as the dropper.  The fish of the day was a beautiful measured 16' wild rainbow.  Really good looking fish that put a bend in a 4wt. rod.  Tons of crawfish all of the shallows and you could watch them dart off as you approached the water.  A #12 olive wooly bugger would be a good imitation for the crawfish.  Though I can assure you we are not drifting buggers when trout are eating off the top.  Changing directions today and taking the boat out to chase smallmouth and pike.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, June 8, 2012


Hi Folks, Had a trip yesterday afternoon on a small Lamoille watershed tributary.  Man was the water low and clear.  Water temperature was 58 degrees.  We could see brook trout darting off 20' in front of us if we did not approach the pools with stealth.  Good stream to wear earth tones on and blend in with your back drop.  Many of the trout were holding in the tail outs and slower portion of the pool.  Why not stay out of the heavy current and plunge part of the pool if the water temperature allows?  Landed a dozen beautifully colored native brookies on a #12 orange stimulator.  They crushed the fly.  Should be decent trout fishing over the next few days.  You want to be on the big water early and late.  Small shaded mountain streams will fish well during the day.  Off to chase trout this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

chasing warm water fish in cold water

Hi Folks, Had the boat out today guiding on a lake up north.  Good steady east wind that provided a bit of chop.  We were casting 6wt. and 7wt. fly rods for smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and northern pike.  Water temperatures were 63 degrees to 65 degrees.  The surface water cooled down almost 8 degrees from a week a go.  Been chilly and damp in Vermont.  Saw a great hatch of Hexangenia today.  Not sure exactly which Hex, but it was a  Hex.  Weird that it went down in the morning and not the evening.  A large number of #6 sized flies hatching in a shallow mucky bottomed bay.  Not a big enough of a morsel for a big pike, but should have prompted a respons rom at least a bass, perch, or pan fish.  Still impressive all of the same.We had 5 really nice smallmouth take a popper off the surface right off the get go this morning.  The smallies are off their spawning beds and holding on steep rock bottom drop offs.  The lake we fished is very clear and you can see the fish quite often and well as the bottom structure.  All of the surface takes were pretty subtle and not big splashy rise forms.  Definitely due to the cooler water temperatures.  We went looking for northern pike in 5' to 12' of water where there were large patches of weeds.  Took awhile to find a willing participant so we settled for half a dozen largemouth bass.  Finally did land 3 pike and get bit off by one.  We cast #3/0 orange and yellow deceiver, a #2/0 chartreuse and white half and half, and a orange and red #2 clauser minnow.  Moving the fly quickly with long strips prompted a lot strikes and follows.  I think the bite got better as the day went due to the water warming a bit and the east wind settling down.  Fishing should stay good.  Water temperatures are great and our rivers are full of water.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, June 2, 2012

cool down

Hi Folks, Finally some nice cool weather.  Did receive some rain this week which puffed up our streams and brooks.  Rain is expected over the next few days and will be good for the long haul.  With the rain air temperatures have cooled off and will have nice affect on our river fish.  It was too warm too early this year.  Last night the fishing on the Lamoille watershed was great.  Fish rising everywhere to sulphers.  Saw #14 Ephemerella dorothea and #16/#18 Ephemerella invaria coming off and the fish were tuned in.  Still some large mayfly spinners around and a #12 rusty spinner would have produced fish as well.  Some #16 olive bodied egg laying caddis were returning to the stream and some of the splashy rise forms indicated to me that a percentage of the trout were tuned into the caddis.  Could see some #10/#12 Brown Drakes any day and that hatch should fish well if the water levels come down from the rain and the streams clear up.  Did not land any monsters last night, but plenty of 8" to 13" wild rainbows.  A #16 yellow parachute was the fly of the day.  Lake fishing might be tough this weekend with the rain and wind.  Smaller streams should fish well and you will have to keep an eye on the big water.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy