Saturday, June 29, 2013

High elelvation streams

Hi Folks, Finally got out guiding again today after a couple of days off due to high water and big rain.  We still have a ton of water in our streams and river/brook fishing is limited at the moment.  I know of several small mountain brooks that clear quickly in big rain and can be fished within a short period after a heavy down pour.  These little brooks have a steep gradient with good stability and really good riparian buffer zones surrounding the edges.  It all means that they come up quickly and go down quickly in rain events.  Water temperature this morning was 59 degrees.  The level of the brook we fished was probably 5 times its average flow for this time of the year.  Water clarity was fine and you had to pay attention to wading.  We had 25 brook trout come to the fly between 4" and 7".  The two ladies I guided were new to fly fishing and they did an excellent job with casting to presentation to reading the water and catching fish.  We never changed flies and a #10 rubber legged royal stimulator and a #10 orange stimulator did really well. In high water, the trout you can catch are in the soft margins.  Stay away from the heavy stuff.  Trout are energy efficient machines and they do not want to work any harder than they have to.  In small mountain brooks, the water temperature is pretty consistent from bank to bank.  So, anything knee deep off the main current is fair game.  I love big eddies and bouncing flies off big boulders and letting them drop straight down into the water.  It works really well and the fish almost always their to eat.  Water levels will remain high and thunderstorms are likely in the afternoon for the next few days.  Chasing smallmouths tomorrow.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Quality verus quantity

Hi folks, Guided this morning with spin gear for river trout.  Needless to say we do not need any more rain presently.  The Lamoille was stuffed today so we fished a tributary that was in good shape.  The water was up but the clarity was fine.  We got on the water early and I have been over the last few weeks.  Started to rain pretty good when we were finishing up around 10:30am. Lots of afternoon thunder activity which has limited my ability to fish any Hex hatches.  The water temperature was 65 degrees which is not terrible considering the hot humid weather we have been experiencing.  We cast a variety of lures with trout imitations being the most effective.  We had four fish eat this morning and we landed one.  Happened to be a 17" male brown trout.  The other three fish were all rainbows because we watched them jump a mile high as they tossed the plugs with a big FU!  Pretty much moved around to big primary pools and got our strikes withing minutes of fishing them.  Keep the focus on always when first casting into a piece of water.  I often ask clients when we only catch a fish or two, but one of them or both are nice quality fish, what do think?  would you rather catch a mess of smaller to average fish or a 1 or 2 really good ones?  I find the answer varies depending on the age of my client.  Anywho, the brown trout we caught today was a quality Vermont wild trout.  High water that is a little off colored and a lure that looks like an easy meal equals nice brown trout.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Hi Folks, Ran the boat yesterday morning for smallmouth with clients.  Water temperature on the surface was 72 degrees and it was dead calm.  Cast surface flies all morning under hot humid conditions. Looks like afternoon thundershowers through Thursday which is puffing up our rivers once again.  Not to mention that the big water is too warm to trout fish presently.   I like the high humidity for bass fishing.  I always find that the top water bite is pretty darn good when the air is heavy.  I do not like bright blue skies as I find the fish tend to be a bit tentative when it is super sunny.  We had a combination of both yesterday morning so we focused on shady shorlelines and got on the water very early.  We landed 11 smallmouth bass on frog colored and chartreuse popping bugs.  We mostly focused on downed wood around rocky shorelines and with sharp drop offs.  The fish wanted the fly moved aggressively.  We did not land any really big fish yesterday, but just good steady action.  I will be gudingg bass and small streams for the rest of the week.  I look forward to week ending cool down period.  We do not need any more rain presently.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Bass masters


Hi Folks, Put in a full day yesterday with clients guiding out of the boat for smallmouth bass.  The fishing was really really good.  Water temperature was 69 degrees in the early am and rose to 71 degrees by midday.  Water clarity was excellent and there was little if any wind.  Lots of folks on the water yesterday, but it did not effect the fishing in any way.  We fished top water initially with marginal success.  We did have one 18'" plus bass take a top water popper that was awesome to watch. The fish came under the surface lure and swirled around and as the lure was moved away it absolutely exploded on it.  Too bad we lost it.  Anywho, we started casting 4" Senkos on red hooks and we landed almost 40 fish.  We caught smallmouths from 8" to 17".  The fish were holding everywhere they should be. Big rock points produced numerous fish.  The feed was on.  We landed one 16" bass that coughed up breakfast including a giant tadpole that was still alive and swam off.  Looks like some hot humid weather for the next few days so pay attention to water temperatures and watch for thunderstorms.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, June 21, 2013

Enjoying the weather

Hi folks, Finally some nice weather without rain and seasonal air temperatures.  Good for my vegetable garden.  Nice big blue sky the last few days so I worked some small trout streams.  Guided a full day on the Lamoille today and we started really early.  The small brooks I ventured into were still holding water temperatures between 53 to 57 degrees.  Flows were still up and clarity was excellent.  Good conditons for larger small stream fish to show themselves.  Indeed they did as I seen 4 9" to 11" brook trout get caught in the last couple of days as well as several 9" to 12" wild bows take a dry fly.  Good darn fun on a 2wt.  all the fish have been holding in the larger pools in the brooks and it appeared that probably had not seen a fly yet this season.  The Lamoille today was 62 this morning and warmed to 66 degrees by time we were done.  I have been seeing lots of #18/#20 olive micro caddis hatching in the morning and some large #10 stone flies at dark.  Sporadic mayflies with some #16/#18 sulphurs at dark.  Good time to be venturing onto lakes and ponds in the kingdom to look for the Hex hatches.  We only saw 3 rising fish this morning and that was not consistent.  We had all of our fish eat nymphs except for one feisty rainbow that took a bright orange #10 stimulator.  The only reason I put the stimulator on was that the fish first tried to eat a strike indicator. We landed 5 wild rainbows in the 7" to 12" class and lost and missed a handful.  The fishing really slowed as the sun got high over head.  Well, looks like summer conditions ahead.  Get out early or at dusk and carry a thermometer.  Starting to transition into small stream action and smallmouth fishing.  off early am to tug on bass.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

keep a bend in it!

Hi Folks, Guided the Lamoille yesterday morning.  Fairly cool out there for this time of the year.  Nice, the cool weather is keeping the water temperatures in the high fifties to low sixties.  The Lamoille is still big and especially after Sunday's rain.  Water clarity is fine and the fish are there for the taking.  We dead drifted heavily weighted #10 olive wooly buggers and #12 tungsten black stonefly.  We had 9 fish on and missed a few.  We did not land a fish.  It is really imperative to trust the flex of your fly rod when a fish is hooked and keep constant pressure on the fish.  If the rod is not bent then pressure is not being applied.  The other thing I notice with aspiring fly anglers is that they want to put every fish on the reel.  Strip the line and keep pressure.  Lots of slack when attempting to put a fish on the reel.  I only use the reel if the fish puts me on it with a long run.  So, no hatching insects yesterday morning or rising fish.  River fishing should remain consistent with cool nights ahead.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's Day

Hi Folks, Guided the Lamoille yesterday morning with the fly rods for trout.  Water level is still high, but the clarity was excellent.  The flows are how the river generally is in the beginning of May. Water temperature was 60 degrees, perfect!  The trout fishing the last few days on the Lamoille has been excellent. I lost track of how many fish we had eat the fly yesterday.  I know we landed at least 12 rainbows with a combination of wild and stocked fish.  Good to see wild trout in the 6" to 12" class as I think they were the fish that I had been wondering about after Irene and the heat off the last summer.  We nymph fished all morning with two flies and never changed rigs.  A #14 tungsten prince and #18 olive copper john.  We hooked fish on both flies.  We found trout in the pools and riffles.  They were really on yesterday morning.  The most productive spots were deep seem lines between slow and fast water on the riffles.  We hooked trout dead drifting as well as swinging the fly.  Yesterday morning was as good as it gets on the Lamoille with the exception of the no trout on dry flies.  It is my opinion that taking advantge of the big rivers while you can would be a good idea before everything starts to really warm up.  Look like a good fishing week.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Oh Sunny Day

Hi Folks, What a beautiful day to be out side and enjoy the water and do some fishing.  Guided a double today chasing smallmouth bass this morning with my boat and river fished trout this evening.  Surface temperature of the lake this morning was 64 degrees and the Lamoille main stem was 65 tonight at 7:00pm.  Nice sunny day with a pretty steady wind from the NW.  It was calm from about 5:00am until 8:00am and then again at dusk.  Bass fishing was interesting today as we saw lots of fish but only landed 3 okay sized bass.  We started popping early with a variety of surface stuff and had two good fish on and lost them.  As the sun came up we resorted to casting #2 Deceivers in Blue/White.  We were counting down the fly and working it back pretty darn quickly to draw a response.  If the fly was moved to slowly the bass would literally swirl multiple times around it and turn off.  It appeared that as we sped up the retrieve, the aggressive nature of the fish kicked in and we got more strikes versus denials.  We saw all of our fish in shallow and the water level was up several feet over the seasonal average.  I can only attribute the smallmouth's behavior this am to the new weather front and bright sun. This afternoon we waded the Lamoille and had the place to ourselves.  Pretty afternoon to be on a river.  Actually saw some rising fish.  There were some micro caddis coming and going as well as #16/#18 sulphurs towards dusk.  Too bad we were spin fishing.  Not really actually as we caught half a dozen wild rainbows and lost another half a dozen fish.  We had one really large brown trout chase the rebel crawfish lure to our feet.  A real submarine that we were unable to seal the deal on.  Larger trout in the Lamoille and Winooski resort to eating crawfish which are certainly abundant.  what do think a #10 or #12 olive/black/brown wooly bugger represents? Crawfish of course.  We hooked fish in riffles as well as large pools.  Working the plugs slowly as possible with the aid of the current drew a lot of interest.  Pretty interesting how many follows you get were the fish just don't take the plug.  Fun for me to watch.  Good fishing afternoon with nice looking trout.  Off to tug on some trout in the early am.  Happy Father's Day, Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

Friday, June 14, 2013

Fine tuning

Hi Folks, I had the pleasure of guiding an aspiring fly angler this morning. He was certainly more adept with the fly rod than he wanted to admit.  Water level is still high, but clarity was fine and no problem negotiating the water we fished.  Water temperature at 10am was 60 degrees.  Pretty darn good.  Weather front just pushed through and looks like clear sunny days for a little bit.  The only bugs we saw hatch were a small #16 mayfly and I am not sure what it was.  We did get a small wild rainbow to eat a #16 pheasant tail on the swing.  The best fish of the day was hard pulling 13" wild rainbow that took a swung heavily weighted #10 olive wooly bugger.  We had two other strikes on the day and both were very subtle.  We got to witness one take as a small rainbow swam down stream after the fly and merely sipped it in.  The indicator barely moved.  Pretty cool fishing in clear enough water to see trout eat nymphs.  For what ever reason the fish were not totally on.  We did fish some really nice looking water and did a bit of walking.  Fished a lot of different water types today in search of trout and worked on fine tuning the mending and presentation.  The Winooski is still cranking and the Lamoille is settling out but still way higher than average.  Focus on tributaries for a few days.  Off with the boat in the morning and trout fishing  in the afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, June 13, 2013

big water and tight lines

Hi folks, Finally a day without any rain.  I guided a tributary of the Lamoille this morning with the fly.  Nice fishing weather.  Water levels are still up and will stay that way for awhile.  The main stem of the Lamoille and Winooski will be stuffed for a couple more days.  Get used to the high water, not such a bad thing if the clarity is decent.  The water temperature was 59 degrees today which is great and bodes well for the fishing the next few weeks.  Trout can adjust to high water and they still have to eat.  Focus on the softer water and steer clear of some the heavy stuff.  All of our strikes today were pretty violent.  The nice thing about high water is the spook factor is not so great and the fish truly do move out heavy dirty water into shallow margins at times.  We fished by tight line swinging double nymph rigs with lots of weight which was positioned 6" above the lead fly.  There were a few micro caddis hatching (caddis smaller than #18) and no rising fish.  Our rigs consisted of #12 tungsten Prince and Zug bugs with #16 and #18 olive caddis and an olive flashback hare's ear.  The best trout of the day was crazy jumping 14" wild rainbow.  Big pectoral fins on this fish and a broad tail.  We had 11 trout eat the fly including one large we never saw, damn it!  We landed 5 fish a combination of rainbows and browns.  I will be on the water for the few days and the fishing should be good.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

wild bow on the swing

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

wet again

Hi Folks, Interesting fishing season thus far with really dry weather to start the year and now monsoon type rain.  How about a little break from the wet weather?  Our rivers are once again blown out for a few days. The bright side of things are that water levels and hopefully temperatures should remain good for the next month or so.  I guided on Monday on a small stream and was amazed to see how cool the water was.  Water temperature was 53 degrees and the level was high but clarity was excellent.  Not too much success getting fish to off the top.  We cast a double rig with a #10 orange stimulator and #16 olive copper john as the dropper.  All of our brook trout and one small brown trout all took the dropper nymph.  We had two fish come to the dry and the takes were not exactly aggressive.  When the water levels do settle out, I think the trout fishing will be outstanding.  Until then, fishing lakes and ponds should be good.  I have heard off some large drake type flies hatching on some northeast kingdom lakes at dusk.  Get ready for Hex season as there are always impressive hatches of the big mayflies on lakes and ponds from the middle of June through July.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, June 9, 2013

nice smallie

Opening Day of bass season

Hi folks, Ran the motorboat yesterday morning with spin clients for some bass fishing.  Second Saturday in June is the official opening of bass season.  Meaning you can keep them and fish with bait.  Does not matter to me as I never fish them with bait, only flies and lures and not a big fan of eating largemouth and smallmouth bass.  Water temperature was 64 degrees and the clarity were we fished was very good.  Nice damp overcast morning with showers.  We have had a big low pressure system hunkered down over New England for a few days.  More rain on our rivers which did not need.  We landed 11 bass yesterday with 9 fish being smallmouth and 2 fish being largemouth.  We did land one small pike.  The bite was not aggressive and we really had to slow down our tactics.  Even though it was dead calm conditions for a bit, we could not induce a surface strike.  We did catch a couple of fish on a fire tiger rapala twitched below the surface but most of our action came with soft plastics.  The bass are now in post spawn mode and can be little tricky to catch and a little more widely dispersed through out the lake.  Pre-spawn and spawn time is easy fishing for bass.  We fished a 2/0 red offset hook with a 5" green red flake Senko and dragged it off the bottom.  That was the ticket.  Most of our smallmouth came from rocky areas at drop offs.  However, we landed our biggest bass of the day 17" and another 16" fish in a soft bottom area with lots of emerging weeds.  Largemouth habitat and matter of fact it was the area where we caught the 2 largemouth of the day.  Litterally in less than 2' of water that I would guess does not get fished too often.  The lake we were on has lots of good sized fish and all of the bass yesterday were really nice strong fish.  Good way to start the bass season off.  Looks like another damp cool week and if our rivers settle a bit more the trout fishing should be excellent.  Small streams are good to go today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  H

ave Fun, Willy

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Lots of bugs

Hi folks, Just returned from the Lamoille tonight after an evening of guiding with the fly rods.  Man, we saw 4 different types of mayflies and 2 different types of caddis hatching.  Even found a few rising wild fish.  Water level is perfect, too bad we are about to receive another 1" or so of rain over the next couple of days.  Water temperature was 60 degrees.  Just a really nice damp, overcast , cool, day for trout fishing.  So, we saw a #16 olive bodied caddis and a #20 tan body caddis coming off in small numbers.  Good numbers of  #14 large and #16 small sulphurs hatching at dusk with fish responding to them.  Also, a tiny #18/#20 olive was launcing off. The best were the #10 Brown Drakes that came off at dark.  Big darn bug!  We only had 6 fish come to the fly, but we got every one of them to eat a dry fly.  The best fish of the day was really fat 14" wild Lamoille River rainbow that really fought hard.  Several magnificent jumps.  We got all of our fish to either eat a #14 Catskill style cdc sulphur dun and a #10 parachute emerging drake pattern.  Kind of fun for a change to actually cast dry flies to rising wild trout on a Vermont big river.  Not an every day event.  Good night of trout fishing and it looks like the river temperatures should hold their own for a bit as there is not any hot weather in near future forecast.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Pleasant Surprise

Hi Folks, Had a really nice day on the Lamoille today guiding fly anglers for trout.  Beautiful weather with cool air temperatures and a big blue sky.  Water conditions were good with high flows but decent clarity.  I have to assume that river flows will be above average for sometime to come due to all off the recent wet weather we have enjoyed.   Water temperature hovered between 58 degrees to 60 degrees.  The higher than average flows are fine as trout simply find the soft water to hang out in and it tends to make them a lot less wary.  We had well over 20 trout come to the fly.  A combination of stocked and wild rainbows.  We hooked every fish with nymphs.  Mostly dead drifted #12 pheasant tails with weight, #14 tungsten prince nymphs, and heavily weighted #10 olive/black wooly buggers.  Saw a good number of hatching insects.  Random #12 March Browns and #14 Grey Fox along with a consistent number of large #14 to #16 Sulphurs (dorothea).  Caddis really took off around mid morning and hatched for the rest of the day.  We only saw a couple of rising fish.  I would have to say that it was one of the better days I have seen for trout fishing on the Lamoille in awhile.  Nice fishing weather coming up if we do not receive too much rain.  Will be cool and damp. I am guiding trout for the next few days so hopefully we will be experiencing plenty of tight lines.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, June 3, 2013

Always a challenge

Hi folks, Not to often that I scratch my head after guiding small trout streams, but that is how I feel after this weekends experiences.  I guided two different brooks for native brook trout, wild rainbows, and wild brown trout.  Nice brooks with good stability and shade.  Water temperatures had crept into the mid 60's which is awful warm for this time off the year.  Of course the weekend weather was hot, bright, and very humid.  Thunderstorms Saturday night made the water conditions a little off, but generally that scenario would produce some big fish who feel more comfortable in high off colored water.  We worked up stream and caught trout, just all little 4" to 6" dinks.  Caught all 3 species on dry flies, but I think I would have traded 4 little fellows for 1 decent sized trout.  We worked a variety of #14 wulff patterns with small #16/#18 caddis and pheasant tail droppers.  We hooked fish on both the dry and wet, but once again no big fish.  Nice fishing weather for the up coming week.  Cool and maybe a little cloudy and damp.  June is typically and excellent month to trout fish so lets see what happens.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

Saturday, June 1, 2013

hot, humid, and french fries

Hi Folks, Put a full day in yesterday with fly anglers chasing trout.  Pretty incredible with the weather turn around from a week ago.  Yesterday was really bright, hot, and muggy.  Water temperatures were still very comfortable with temps. ranging from 58 degrees to 61 degrees.  Water levels were still up on the big rivers and the small streams are in excellent shape.  It is now time to fish either early in the morning or late in the day to avoid the bright sun and to enjoy some cooler water temperatures.  We did not see much for hatches yesterday.  In the early morning we fished some bigger water and tugged on stocked rainbows and even a decent smallmouth bass.  We got the fish to eat heavily weighted #10 olive/back wooly buggers and #12 olive bead headed leech patterns.  When the big river fishing slowed we moved to a shaded high elevation brook trout stream.  We fished big attractor patterns like #10 royal stimulator and some crazy looking foam flies.  Every pool we cast into held a brook trout.  Problem being you had to sort through 20 3" to 5" french fries in order to catch one decent 6" to 9" trout.  I like to level the playing field and use short 6' to 7' 2 weight and 3 weight rods fro this type of fishing.  Awful lot of fun watching the beautiful square tails engulf a dry fly.  Well, off to guide a small stream now and escape this damn heat.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy