Monday, September 30, 2013


Hi Folks, Guided fly anglers yesterday afternoon on the Lamoille.  The foliage is spectacular right now and it appears that it is nearing peak.  Great afternoon of trout fishing.  Water temperature was 63 degrees and the level is low. We could use some rain.  We fished big primary pools with dry dropper rigs and double nymph rigs.  There were some rising fish.  It appeared that they were eating #20 BWO's which hatched throughout the afternoon.  We had 14 trout eat the fly and we landed 9 wild rainbows between 7" and 13".  Had several fish take a big #14 olive hopper with rubber legs.  The flies of the day were a #18 bead headed pheasant tail and a #18 olive wire caddis.  Amazingly, we had the entire place to ourselves on such a nice day. The weather is going to remain consistent and the fishing should stay the same.  I will be chasing trout all week.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, September 29, 2013

tough one

Hi folks, Ran my boat yesterday with a fly client chasing pike and bass.  Big bright sunny day with early morning fog.  I think we should have been on the water much earlier as the sunny conditions and slight east wind made fishing tough.  Water temperature ranged from 58 degrees in the morning to almost 65 degrees by mid afternoon.  It was summer like out on the water.  We managed to land one smallmouth bass and that was it.  A decent fish but we were hoping for more.   We cast from 15' of water into 2' of water and covered lots of the lake.  Had several pike chase a bright orange/yellow bunny bugger and a red/white bunny bugger but they tunred off each time.  We sighted several large smallmouth in shallow water who were not interested in eating. Pretty frustrating.  We cast a lot of different flies and in various shapes and sizes, no luck.  Oh well, not due to a lack of effort. Guiding trout today and I am wondering how it will be with all of the sun and warm air temperatures.  We still need rain.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fesity Rainbows

Hi Folks, Spent the day with a client on the Winooski yesterday chasing trout with the fly rods.  The river trout fishing has been excellent over the last couple of weeks.  Water temperatures are maintaining from the high fifties to the low sixties.  Our rivers are getting a little low and we could use some rain.  Cloudy start to the day yesterday that was followed by big bright sun.  Lots of cased caddis on the rocks with green boded #16 caddis preparing to hatch.  Saw a lot of #20/#22 BWO's coming off, but no rising fish.  We did not have one trout eat a dry fly yesterday.  We nymph fished the entire day with great success.  Very different fishing from the previous day when we never tied on a nymph and only dry fly fished.  We had well over 20 wild rainbows come to the fly yesterday and we landed a good portion of them.  We fished a with a #16 olive caddis with a #18 bead headed pheasant tail nymph as the dropper.  The rainbows mostly ate the pheasant tail.  As the day became brighter and we focused on some heavier water we switched to a red threaded tungsten #14 prince nymph with the pheasant tail dropper.  The good old prince produced the 17" wild rainbow that really put up a tussle.  Incredibly strong fish.  The trout we encountered yesterday did a lot of jumping.  We had to be pretty thorough with our presentation in order to get the fish to eat.  Due to the sun they did not seem overly willing to mover very far from their holding to station to eat.  Really good day on the water.  Today I will be guiding from the boat with the fly rods for pike and bass. Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, September 27, 2013


Hi Folks, Guided on the Lamoille yesterday afternoon with the fly rods.  The Lamoille has been fishing very well lately.  Water levels are still at the seasonal flow and level.  Water temperature was 58 degrees and the clarity was excellent.  Tons of bugs last night with #22 BWO's coming off as well as #14 olive bodied mayfly with a slate wing, and what appeared to be some #16/#18 sulphurs.  Also in the mix were #16 egg laying caddis and a #18 light bodied may fly spinner.  A fair amount of rising fish and we cast dry flies the entire afternoon into dark.  The rise forms were literally dimples on the surface that could have been over looked by many anglers as not a trout.  Occasionally there some more robust splashes on the surface that I think were trout taking egg laying caddis.  We cast a #22 BWO dun and #18 rusty spinner.  We caught fish on both fly patterns.  We had well over dozen fish come to the dry and we landed at least half of the trout.  All rainbows from 7" to 14".  These fish were fussy and demanded a well presented fly.  They were holding to their feeding station and not swinging much from that  position to eat.  Good long casts with a long leader and good mending was required.  The trout were rising in slow water and had a good look at everything coming their way in the water column.    Off to trout fish again today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, September 26, 2013

nice fish

Hi Folks, Guided the upper Winooski yesterday afternoon with the fly rods.  Nice fishing conditions with calm over cast conditions.  The water level and flow was at the seasonal average with the water temperature holding at 60 degrees.  We found rising fish yesterday afternoon.  A number of hatching insects from #18 caddis to #14 grey bodied may fly and a small #20 olive may fly.  We had trout eat a #18 Henryville special and a #14 foam ant.   It was interesting that on one pool we had half a dozen fish rising who all of sudden stopped rising.  We were drifting a double rig of the foam ant with a #18 pheasant tail when we saw the shape of a very large trout emerge under our rig and eat the nymph.  5 minutes later we landed the large 18" male brown trout.  Epic battle.  Love fall fishing and especially when you can catch a big trout on a little fly.  I rather catch the big boy on a small fly than swing a streamer for them.  Looks like nice weather for the next few days and the trout fishing will remain steady.  Nice fishing afternoon and I am going to do it all over again today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

nice float on the Lamoille

Hi folks, I spent a really nice day in my canoe floating down the Lamoille with a client yesterday spin fishing for trout.  Foliage is starting to look really beautiful.We had originally planned to fish from my motorboat but the stiff wind of 15mph to 25mph prevented that.  I do not float very often as I do not think drift boat are really not necessary on my Vermont trout streams.  The water is really too small to float more often than not and I think that you scare more fish than you catch when you are making tons of noise bumping into rocks.  Anywho, we did pass a few anglers and we showed respect and etiquette by not casting and moving through quickly and quietly.  We even got out of the canoe and walked it around one set of fishermen.  Water temps. ranged from 56 degrees in the morning to almost 59 degrees by late afternoon.  We did see some trout sipping small #20 BWO's late in the afternoon.  We landed a dozen wild and stocked rainbows and missed or had follow at least another dozen fish.  Pretty good day of trout fishing.  The lures of the day were Rapala husky jerks in blue and gold with an orange belly and brown and copper in with an orange belly.  Towards the end of the day I think we were as content watching fish chase the plugs instead of hooking them.  However, my client in good angling fashion caught a trout on the last cast of the day.  Good Mojo. We saw one large brown trout yesterday that chased our plug right to the canoe.  We ran out of room.  You know a brown is big when you can see the cherry dots on their flanks in the water.  We found most of our fish in slower water with in stream rocks and boulders.  Off to chase trout again today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, September 23, 2013

breezy weekend

Hi Folks, Spent the weekend chasing trout with guests on small tributary streams of the Lamoille and Winooski. Big weather front moved in and brought with it cooler air temperatures, wind, and rain.  The main stem of the Lamoille and Winooski were stuffed for Sunday with the rain from the previous night.  One problem is the fall is all of the debris in the rivers from falling leaves and twigs.  I always wonder how it effects the fishing and I know that you hook a lot of crap with your fly during the drift.  Water temperatures were holding steady in the high fifties.  Not a good weekend for a boat with all the wind in Stowe.  We fished dry dropper rigs with 3wt. outfits into larger primary pools.  We caught almost all of our fish on the #18 copper john nymph.  Mostly hooked 7" to 11" wild rainbows with a few small brown trout and native brook trout.  Not much for hatching bugs with the exception of a few #18/#20 BWO's coming off and a few #14 caddis hatching and egg laying.  Fishing should remain consistent but the wind and weather do become a real factor in fall fishing. I will be mixing it up this week with trout fishing and lake fishing for pike.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Hi Folks, Guided yesterday afternoon for trout on the Lamoille with spin gear.  Water temperature was 62 degrees.  The Lamoille is currently is at it's seasonal level for this of the year.  Another big bright sunny day and we found some shady water to fish.  Lots of craw fish all over the bottom off the river as you can see them darting about as we waded.  We fished rebel craw fish lure in natural colors and with orange bellies.  We had eight trout take the plugs.  A lot of jumping silver bullet rainbows.  The water is low and clear and enough that you can see the trout chase the lure right in.  We had several takes right at our feet.  Not much for hatching insects yesterday and no rising fish.  We fished right to dark and the water was pretty quiet.  Off chasing trout this weekend.  Looks like a change in the weather is on the way and will give way to some wet stuff.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, September 20, 2013

good fishing

Hi Folks, Guided on the upper Winooski yesterday afternoon with the fly rods.  My clients got to enjoy a beautiful sunny fall day.  Water temperature was 62 degrees and the flows were at their seasonal average.  A little bit of debris in the river like leaves and sticks which will happen this time of the year.  We caught 16 trout yesterday including all 3 species with 2 almost 10" male brook trout that were colored up nicely and 2 wild brown trout.  The rest were rainbows.  We missed another half a dozen fish.  All of our fish were between 8" and 14".  Jumping rainbows and browns.  Tons of cased caddis on tops of rocks that have been hatching and will hatch any day.  A size #14/#16 bug.  We took all our fish nymphing with double rigs of #16 olive caddis and a #18 peacock soft hackle as well as a #14 prince with a #18 olive wire caddis.  Most of the takes were dead drifting the flies.  We had to be thorough with our presentations due to the bright sun.  I do not think the fish wanted to move far to eat because of the lower water with bright conditions.  We found a lot of fish in heavy riffles and plunges.  Nice afternoon on the water and I expect the trout fishing to only stay consistent.  Off to chase trout on the Lamoille today. Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Water is still warm

Hi Folks, Been guiding with my canoe lately for smallmouth bass.  Big bright blue skies out there with high pressure stalled in Vermont.  Foliage is beginning to look nice.  Nice cold nights and warm days make fall my favorite time to fish.  The surface temperature of the lakes I have been on has been 66 degrees to 67 degrees.  The water does not ever cool off as quickly as the air temperatures in lakes and ponds.  River temperatures tend to vary more widely and quickly.  The wind has been a pain in the butt in the canoe and makes it tough holding the boat in position to fish.  Steady from the NW lately with the  swirling effect.  No top water to bite to speak of and we have really worked to catch a handful of fish each time out.  Mostly jigging with soft plastics that imitate crawfish.  I have been finding smallies off downed wood that reaches into deeper water.  Still we have been covering a lot of water to get strikes and fighting the darn wind.  I think the big blue sky also makes the lake fishing a little tougher as the fish may be neutral to non-aggressive and you have to make it easier for them to eat.  Back to trout fishing with the fly today as I will be fishing the Winooski.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun , Willy

Monday, September 16, 2013

Cool down

Hi folks, Looks like fall is here and things are cooling off.  I guided with the fly on Sunday in the morning on the main stem of the Lamoille and then a small tributary.  Water temperatures ranged from 61 degrees on the big water to 58 degrees on the small water.  It seems to me that now that we are in for colder nights with a chance of frost that the best time to fish will be midday to late afternoon.  Water needs to warm each day when it is really cool at night. Get things cranked up should we say. The Lamoille was slow for us on Sunday.  A decent number of #18 tan bodied caddis and #14 olive bodied caddis coming off but no fish responding.  We nymph fished with larger flies like buggers and cooper johns with really no action.  The water level is still up and slightly off colored.  The fish need to see the fly in order to eat it.  So, after being slow we moved to a stream stream and cast a #14 lime green stimulator with good success.  We had a dozen wild rainbows and brook trout eat the dry fly.  Love small streams.  We fished obvious big pools working up stream.  Lots of fun.  Off to fish smallmouth tomorrow afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, September 15, 2013

working for them

Hi folks, Ran my boat yesterday with clients spin fishing for bass and pike.  Went up north and the weather was a bit chilly.  Over cast skies and damp with a slight north west wind.  Water temperature was 65 degrees and the lake level was up considerably from the recent rains.  We did not catch a lot fish yesterday but the ones we did were awful nice.  Quality over quantity.  We targeted pike with big spinners and fire tiger colored plugs.  We did not land a northern but had several large fish follow up to the boat only to turn off.  The pike did not appear to be overly interested in our presentations.  We did land several 2lb to 3lb plus largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.  Had one really big smallmouth take a top water.  The interesting thing for the day was how shallow of water all off the fish were holding in.  We saw every fish in less than 5' of water.  Could have to do with the water level being up.  Also, all of the fish were located in areas with big boulders and hard bottom that was littered with weeds.  We slowed thing down with Senkos fished slowly that seemed to be the ticket.  A real finesse bite.  This particular lake has a good amount of milfoil and I had to really clean the boat and trailer after the trip.  Off to trout fish this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, September 14, 2013

much needed rain

Hi Folks, I am sorry that I have not been able to post fishing reports lately.  My 19 month daughter is in the hospital battling an illness.  She will recover.  Family first and fishing has not been a priority.  I am sorry to clients I was unable to guide these past days.  Anyway, we finally received some badly needed rain that puffed up our streams and it will take a couple of days for the Winooski and Lamoille to clear up and come down.  Tributary streams will be fine to fish just a bit high.  The rain will shuffle the deck and prompt movements form fish like brown trout, landlocked salmon, and brook trout.  All fall spawners.  I am guiding today out of the boat for smallmouth and northern pike.  Love this time of year for fishing as things cool off.  Really triggers a response from fish and the bite should be awful good.  Well I will do my best to keep people up to date as to what I see on the water, but my reports might be sporadic as our family helps our child recover.  Remember to clean your equipment and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Stowe fly fishing fall trifecta

Hi Folks, Been off the water for a few days, but was back out there today with a client fly fishing for trout.  Nice fall morning with cool air temperatures, threatening showers and a big front moving through.  Water levels are low but temperatures are excellent.  The small stream we fished was 59 degrees.  We covered a lot of water today and wore out some boot leather.  The only way to fish this nutrient poor brown trout stream.  Armed with a very nice 3wt. Helios my client landed the cycle catching a 5 wild brown trout, 4 native brook trout, and 1 one really nice wild rainbow.  The rainbow took a #14 lime green stimulator by coming out of the water and back down on the fly.  Great take.  However, in 23 years of fishing this Stowe stream I have never caught or had a client catch a rainbow.  Very interesting.  We fished a dry dropper rig with a the stimulator and a #18 olive wire caddis pupa and then swtiched dry flies to a #12 royal wulff.  Most of our takes came on the small nymph.  All of our 4 brown trout that were over a foot came from big pools with downed wood.  Pretty neat watching a tan flash come to the fly from out of a big pile of debris.  We could use some rain.  Still the trout fishing will remain good all month.  Lots of fish to be caught and plenty of rising activity to be enjoyed.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home. Have Fun, Willy

Monday, September 2, 2013

swimming with the bass

Hi Folks, Did a double dip yesterday guiding river smallmouth bass in the morning with the fly rods and a spin trip in the afternoon from my boat.  Pretty warm day for the first of September.  The threat of rain never developed and we had sun and clouds all day.  In the morning the lower Lamoille was 74 degrees and extremely low.  It is still so warm out there that we are wet wading.  We crossed the river which is not an every day event and were able to fish some pools that I am sure do get cast into very often.  We landed 17 river bass with the largest fish pressing 3lbs.  We cast frog poppers early with great success until the sun came up and then top water bite ended.  We switched up tactics and cast #8 cone headed olive bunny buggers and nymphed with an indicator and a strike indicator.  We did really well with the streamer in slow long pools by fishing it slowly and twitching it on the retrieve.  Really good morning of river fishing.  The lake we fished was gin clear and 73 degrees on the surface.  Pretty warm for this lake which is in the kingdom and holds both bass and trout.  In the afternoon, I had a crazy incident take place.  One of my clients dropped his spin rod into 14' of water after hooking a fish.  The water is so clear that you could see the rod and reel on the bottom.  So, with my best Jacques Cousteau imitation and dove over board to retrieve the rod.  What a trip but with the rod in the boat we got back to fishing.  Pretty slow fishing until dusk and then it really turned on.  We ended up landing 3 smallmouth and 1 largemouth bass all between 1 to 3lbs.  Even had a few pickerel attempt to eat the top water.  We found all of the fish around weed beds and downed wood.  Looks like rain on the way and we could use it as our rivers are low.  Trout fishing in the big rivers is not a great option until things cool off.  Small stream fishing is the way to go presently though those streams are low and spooky.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, September 1, 2013

good bite

Hi Folks, Spent the day yesterday chasing river smallmouth bass with a client on the lower Lamoille.  We fished big water and spent most of our time on three big primary pools.  Water temperature was 74 degrees and level was right at the seasonal average flow.  We landed 19 bass in wide variety of sizes.  Probably had another dozen fish eat that we missed lost our just not a good take.  We fished them up and down with half of our takes coming on a popper and other half on green and crawfish colored Senkos.  Nice heavy air out there again this morning and I aoff to chase smallmouth.  Should be a good top water bite.  Looks like cool down is on the way with some much needed rain.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy