Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Wrapping it up

Hi Folks, Been a busy last seven days guiding and I think my mind and body and know it.  Awesome season of fishing as I set records for numbers of trips and and revenue.  Can't do any of it without the support of my great guests!  Thanks to everyone.  So, as far as the fishing goes for the last couple of days, Sunday was a boat day and Monday we chased landlocked salmon.  Awful nice weather and foliage the last couple of days.  Not a formal boat launch for the Sunday trip so my truck gets a little bath while loading and unloading.  My clients love it.  Water temperature was 56 degrees on the surface.  Variable wind and plenty of sunshine.  We cast flies for bass and pike.  Focused our efforts on deep edge weed beds in 10' to 15' of water.  Large #1/0 yellow and red streamers drew the most interest.  I like how many salt water flies can be used in fresh water fly fishing.  We had 4 bass and 2 northerns eat the fly.  All of the fish came right out of deeper water to eat the flies.  The pike are incredibly fast when they strike.  Kind of startles you.  Lots of casting and being able to double haul is awful important in this style off fly fishing.  The lake fishing for warm water species should remain decent for the next few days as we are going to experience some summer like weather.  On the salmon front, finally some water in the river , but also lots of angling pressure.  Water temperature was 50 degrees early in the morning and the water clarity was decent.  The fishing was pretty slow as we caught 1 14" salmon and missed a few fish nymphing.  We swung streamers and dead drifted a double nymph rig in large primary pools.  A #6-#10 Mickey Finn would always be my first choice for streamer in the fall.  Our nymph rig consisted of various #12-#16 copper johns with #16 olive caddis pupa droppers.  The funniest part of the day was the 5lb to 6lb salmon we netted for an older gentlemen.  He was fishing in a slow section of the lower river from the bank dressed in tennis shoes.  We watched him with a fish on and asked him if he needed a hand.  I think he was more than happy to have a guys with waders on and a net land the fish for him.  Not sure how he would have landed it on his own.  Pretty interesting all of the guys on the river with fancy fly rods and waders not catching much and here is a guys in street clothes with an old Fenwick glass fly rod from the bank hang a real beauty of a fish.  Anywho, I am heading to Florida in a few days and will be chasing snook with the fly.  Looks like nice weather around here so get out and enjoy it.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, October 11, 2014

wood stoves, foliage,and fine fishing


Hi Folks, Been mixing up the guiding the last few days and really enjoy the fall weather.  The foliage still looks pretty decent with some pockets of peak leaves and other areas that are certainly gone by.  Been cold the last few nights with air temperatures in the 30's. Burned my first wood stoves off the year.  Trout fished with the fly rods yesterday on a Lamoille tributary. Water temperature was 51 degrees and the water level was slightly low.  Nothing for hatching insects and no rising fish.  We resorted to nymphing with a #14 tungsten red thread prince nymph and a #14  zug bug with a #18 olive dropper nymph.  We caught 3 wild rainbows that all got some air time.  We made lots of casts and drifts for those three trout.  All of the fish were holding in heavy pocket water and not in slow pools.  Surprised me a bit with the cooler water temperatures.  Today I ran the boat with spin anglers in pursuit of bass and pike.  Not much for wind and the surface temperature of the lake was 56 to 57 degrees.  We worked weed beds all day that abutted deeper water.  Casting into 5' to 8' with the boat set up in 15' to 20'.  Fire Tiger plugs worked very well on the bass as we predominately caught largemouth today.  One of the larger bass ate a red skirted spinner bait with double blades.  Did catch one northern on a spinner bait and had another fish chase to the boat.  We ended up landing 10 fish today.   Pretty nice way to spend a beautiful foliage day.  Will be in the boat again tomorrow.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, October 10, 2014

winding down

Hi folks, Guided with the fly rods yesterday afternoon on the Lamoille river.  A bit chilly out there as it really feels like fall now.  Air temperatures were in the low fifties and the water temperature was 51 degrees.  Water level is up as I suspect the town of Hardwick drained the lake above the dam in town as they do every fall. The wind was howling yesterday at a steady 15 to 20mph from the NW. The trout fishing was slow.  We got one fish to eat a #14 rubber legged Copper John nymph and had one other fish rise to a #20 BWO dry and deny us.  We found a few sporadic rising fish late in the afternoon, but not with any regularity.  As the water cools the fishing can become a bit more challenging.  Not a bad time of year to fish a sink tip line with streamers and hunt for a big fish.  Still afternoon fishing will provide some dry fly opportunities as trout will rise to eat BWO emergers and duns in slow pools.  To locate these fish you need to find stretches of river that have finger nail sized gravel on the bottom.  The habitat for the tiny may flies.  All of the rise forms are pretty subtle.  Guiding trout and pike for the next few days.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Big water and small and things in between

Hi folks, Guided with the fly rods up north yesterday for landlocked salmon and fished a small brown trout stream the day before.  The foliage is still looking good with things just past peak in some areas and just peaking in other spots.  In between guiding I attended the meeting in Waterbury the other night hosted by the Agency of Natural Resources to discuss the future of the Waterbury Reservoir. The meeting was very informative.  It appears that when it is all said and done we will finally get a minimum flow agreement of run of the river for the tail water below the Dam.  This will have a profound impact upon the fisheries in the lower Winooski.  Unfortunately, it will still take some time and it could be several years before much happens.  Back to fishing, water temperatures have dropped over the last few days into the low to mid fifties.  Lots of junk in the water from downed leaves.  Small stream has become tough with colder water temperatures.  Caught one small brown trout the other day and we did see any other fish. My guess is the browns are now in spawning mode and it is time to leave them alone.  The salmon fishing was okay.  The river is getting pounded by angling pressure.  We caught two salmon and 1 brown trout. We missed another 4 fish. We located every fish in a primary pool holding in the tail out in front of behind large rocks.  Our tactics were to swing unweighted #10 Mickey Finn streamer.  The fish came right up and wacked the fly.  The one snafu of the day was a larger fish broke us off on a take.  We were fishing a 2x tippet and I can only assume the leader was degraded from being snagged on the bottom and in trees.  It was a clean break and I should have been more diligent in checking it as I am the guide. Always learning, even after 20 years in the game.  Looks like decent fishing weather for the next few days.  I will be guiding trout over the next few days and looking for tiny #20/#22 BWOs hatching and big noses coming  up to eat them.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, October 6, 2014

Shuffling the deck

Hi folks, Guided on the Lamoille yesterday morning for trout with the fly rods.  Water temperature was 57 degrees. The water level was rising the entire time we were on the river.  Not the ideal scenario as there was a ton of junk drifting in the river from downed leaves to sticks and trash.  Water clarity was not bad.  Now, I am okay with the fishing being slow yesterday morning as we really needed the rain. We still need more rain.  The high water is important as far as moving fish around and especially providing some flow to allow brown trout and landlocked salmon to move for spawning purposes.  Not to mention many of the trout holding in riffles to pools have been fished over and the water had become stale.  Look at the rain as a refreshing of the river.  So, fishing will be best midday currently as the air temperatures have now cooled off and the nights will be chilly.  Look for trout rising subtly in slower water eating small #20-#22 BWO's.  Tough trout fishing as you have to be able to cast, but some of my favorite catching bigger fish on small flies. Will be guiding trout for most of the week through the weekend.  Remember to clean you gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Fly fishing in the rain, fly fishing in the rain.....

Hi Folks, Spent a nice damp, wet day on the Lamoille with clients fly fishing for trout. Finally some rain.My rain gauge in Stowe measured not quite a a 1/2" of rain.  Really needed it and we could use some more. Water temperature was 57 degrees. We nymph fished and swung streamers in the morning.  #10 rubber legged green leech patterns and #12 olive/black tungsten bead bugger got the trout's attention.  Around 2pm we started to see a nice hatch of #20 BWO's and a few #16 caddis with rising fish.  The trout were rising in long slow pools.  Pretty subtle rise forms.  The fish demanded good presentations and it required a long cast.  They were extremely finicky.  It is a dynamic where you do not cast any more than you have too and even when you make a bad cast let the fly drift through.  Tough dynamic for folks who are learning to fly cast but a great learning experience. A lot of good noses poking up to eat and trust me I will re-visit these fish as they should look up for the next couple of weeks. Even if you see trout rising does not mean you will always catch them. I love fishing to fussy rising trout.   Off to chase trout again today. Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home. Have Fun, Willy

Friday, October 3, 2014

Oh baby,baby


Hi Folks, Ran the boat yesterday afternoon chasing largemouth and smallmouth bass with the fly and spin tackle.  Spectacular on the water with a warm sun, beautiful leaves, and no wind.  Surface temperature of the water was 64  to 65 degrees.  Midday is the time to fish right now.  We never changed flies or lures yesterday.  The day started out a little slow as we picked up a 1.5lb smallmouth and about 2lb. largemouth for the first hour and half of the trip.  The smallest fish of the day.  For the duration of the trip we slammed some big bass.  The bass fishing has been excellent over the last several weeks and I have seen no one on the water except bird hunters.  We landed 9 bass with everyone of them weighing weighin in between 2 3/4lbs to almost 5lbs.  Both big largemouth and smallmouth.  Once again fire tiger was the color.  A large Rapala husky jerk worked great and a #6 fire tiger crease fly was deadly for surface action. Really good top water action.  The smallmouth were schooled up and we found fish concentrated off rocky areas that abutted deep water.  The largemouth were a bit more spread out and located along heavy weed beds.  We did miss a number of fish and one really big smallmouth that will haunt me for a bit.  Looks like the weather is about to change and I think yesterday might have been it for epic surface fishing.  I will be trout fishing for the next few days.  We really need rain and it looks like we might get some for the weekend.  I have never seenthe Lamoille so low.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home. Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Big group, bright leaves

Hi Folks, Guided a large group yesterday afternoon on the Lamoille with the fly rods. The leaves are full on peak and looking spectacular.  Still really dry out there and we desperately need some rain.  The Lamoille is about as low as I can remember seeing it. Water temperatures are still warm. The water temp. was 61 degrees and I was able to wet wade comfortably.  So, big groups are not my thing as I have never looked at river fishing for trout as group activity.  However, on a rare occasion when I can rally the troops (guides to help me) and I can pull off the group trip.  14 people stretched out over 2 miles of the Lamoille was pretty interesting.   Incredibly enough we had the entire river to ourselves.  The fishing was okay yesterday with some #16 caddis activity and a few #20 BWO's hatching.  A few junk feeding fish off th surface.We got 7"-12" wild rainbows to eat #16 elk hair caddis and a #20 BWO parachute.  The fish of the day was a very large brown trout that was lost on a black leech pattern with lots of weight swung into a heavy riffle.  Swinging flies has been pretty productive with caddis patterns lately.  Lots of takes at the end of the swing.   Never give up on the drift.  Looks like some rain for the weekend hopefully.  Will be in the boat tomorrow.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, September 28, 2014

almost peak

Hi Folks, Guided the Lamoille yesterday afternoon with fly anglers. It is summer outside with air temperatures in the mid 70's.  The water is really low and it feels like July not the end of September.  The foliage is spectacular right now and I would dare say very close to peak.  The amazing thing and it is not good was the water temperature was 66 degrees.  Should be at least 10 degrees cooler this time of the year.  No change in sight as it will reamain warm and sunny for a few days with no rain in the forecast.  We did find a pod of wild rainbows rising to caddis yesterday afternoon.  Even in the bright sun and with debris in the river from falling leaves the fish were looking up.  We cast a #16 elk hair caddis with a #16 olive caddis pupa dropper and a #18 peacock caddis with a #18 olive caddis pupa dropper and had trout eat both set ups.  We got takes dead drifting the double rig as well as swinging it.  Pretty interesting that we found actively feeding trout in two separate riffles, but in several other locations we could not buy a strike.  Such is life in trout fishing.  Do a rain dance, we really need it. Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, September 26, 2014

yes sir

Hi folks, Guided with the boat yesterday afternoon with spin gear for smallmouth and largemouth bass.  Helluva nice day outside for the end of September with air temperatures reaching 70 degrees.  The water temperature was 64 degrees and no wind to speak of.  The fishing was pretty darn good yesterday.  We cast the same lures all afternoon.  Fire tiger stick baits worked great and we caught a percentage of our fish off the surface.  A good day for larger fish and all of the bass looked stuffed from feeding.  The fish of the day was a almost 19" smallmouth bass.  We landed 9 bass with an equal mix of smallmouth and largemouth.  It seemed that the smallies were schooled up as we hit pods of them with steady action and then there would be a lull in the action and we would pick off a few largemouth.  I set the boat up in 20' of water and we cast to the channel edge in 5' of water off heavy weed beds.  The fish were coming up out of deeper water to eat in the shallows.  We still really need rain. Looks like summer type water for the next few days.  I will be guiding trout the next few days.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have fun, Willy

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fly fishing Maine

Hi folks, Just spent several days in Western Maine in the Rangely Lake Region fly fishing for landlocked salmon and brook trout. What a beautiful place.  It is the deep woods and there is not a lot going on in that neck of the country.  The foliage is a bit ahead of Vermont and the leaves were looking spectacular.  They need rain like we do and the lack of water certainly impacted the fishing.  We focused our efforts on the Kennebago river.  Pretty awesome fishing a place that is fly fishing only with wild and native fish and has been managed that way for over 50 years.  Vermont is way behind the times as we still refuse to have fly fishing only water and we allow lots off fish to be harvested.  Not to mention that we can fish over spawning fish in the fall and other states like Maine they close their waters down to protect their fisheries.  Many of the lakes in the Rangely area do not allow ice fishing either.  Pretty proactive management that benefits everyone.  A real fishing destination.  The fishing for us was a bit tough with the lack of water.  We managed to catch decent salmon everyday as well as brook trout, but the fishing was not fast and furious.  The technique in Maine is to swing flies and it works really well.  Also, nice fishing in tail waters were there are not water temperature concerns.  The lake fishing can be excellent for large brook trout, but the wind made it tough for us.  Anywho, great trip and wonderful place to visit.  I will return. I am back to guiding today and will be on the water for the next week straight.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have fun, Willy

fly fishing in Maine and Vermont

Hi Folks, Been away for several days fly fishing for Landlocked Salmon and large Brook trout in Western Maine in the Rangeley Lake Region.  Returned yesterday to guiding in Vermont on the Lamoille for trout.  Low water everywhere in New England currently.  We really could use some rain.  Beautiful country in Maine and really big dense woods.  Lots of fly fishing history with famous water.  Pretty refreshing to fish water that has been fly fishing only for wild and native fish for over 50 years. I am not aware of any water like that in Vermont. Had a great time catching some beautiful Salmon and Brookies in Maine. Yesterday, the Lamoille was really low and 57 degrees.  We fished in the middle of the day under sunny skies.  The fishing started out pretty slow as we were able to drew little interest nymph fishing.  Around 3pm there was a decent hatch of #18 caddis and rising fish.  The pod of wild rainbows were feeding in the film and eating the caddis pupa.  We swung flies to trick the trout.  The rig of the day was a #18 peacock caddis with a #18 caddis pupa dropper.  The trick to detect the takes was to swing a tight line through the pool were the fish were rising and set on any jump in the fly line or when tension was felt.  Pretty similar to how we fished in Maine, swinging flies.  Not a bad afternoon on the water and rising fish are always welcomed.  Off to fish for bass and pike today from the boat.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, September 19, 2014

You would not believe it if you did not see it

Hi Folks, Ran the boat yesterday with clients wanting to spin fish for bass.  It was a day of big fish.  Cool yesterday afternoon on the water with air temps. holding in the fitties.  Pretty steady northwest wind.  Surface temperature of the water was 60 degree.  We fished off weed beds that abutted deep drop offs.  The trick was to cast right to the edge of the weeds and let the plug sit and then work it erratically back to the boat.  Fire tiger was the color of the day.  The body of water we fished is always stained and off colored so bright colored lures and flies tend to be the most productive on this body of water.  We saw all of our fish come to the lures.  We did not touch a fish under two pounds.  All fat healthy smallmouth and largemouth that looked absolutely stuffed.  One of the craziest things I have seen on the water took place yesterday.  My client cast his lure into a tree where the lure hung over branches onto the water.  Go figure a giant smallmouth came up and hammered the lure.  Hard to hook.  The fish missed it and then we began to try to free the lure from the tree and the fish came back.  Pretty cool.  The high light of the day was a 21" smallmouth.  Yes we measured it.  A true 5lb. bass.  That does not happen every day.  I will guide maybe 2 to 3 20" class  smallmouth a season.  Not an everyday event to catch one these large fish and I do not pound them when they are on spawning beds in the spring.  All big fish that are caught after the spawn.  September is the month for the big boys and girls.  Seems to be a pattern as the I think the big fish are putting on the feed bag in preparation of winter.  I think the bass fishing will stay consistent until the water temperature drops into the forties.  Good frost last night so our rivers are plenty cool for trout fishing.  Midday is prime time to be on the water currently.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Low water

Hi Folks, Take the fishing operation up north to unsaid river for Landlocked Salmon.  No secrets about this place, but still I do not like to say where I fished and guided.  Water temperature was 61 degrees and the water level was incredibly low.  We could use some sustained rain.  The river was about as low as I can remember in 25 years of fishing it for salmon.  Lots of fishing pressure and lots of trash to go along with it.  Not a bad idea to leave a place better than you found it.  Pretty decent #16 tan bodied caddis hatch.  I did not see any rising fish though we did get a few fish to eat off the top.  In these conditions I like to use trout tactics to catch salmon.  We dead drifted a #10 orange stimulator with a #16 flash back hare's ear dropper nymph.  We had several 18" to 20" class fish take the dry fly and we lost each one.  We located each fish holding in front of large boulders.  Interesting to watch them methodically rise to the dry fly.  Our other set up was a double nymph rig with #12 tungsten red threaded prince nymph with a #16 hare's ear flash back nymph.  We landed a 12" brown trout and several small salmon along with everyone's favorite the Fall fish.  Interesting identifying the differences between brown trout and landlocked salmon this time off the year.  They can look very much alike.  With the rain the salmon fishing will only get better. There are a few decent fish in the river, but they are not easy to catch in the current conditions.  Off to run the boat today and chase bass and pike.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, September 15, 2014

Brrrrrrrrrr

Hi folks, Ran the boat with clients yesterday in the morning.  Awful cold out on the water.  Fishing really has become an afternoon activity now.  However, in my guiding world sometimes you have to accommodate guests when they can fish.  The surface temperature was 66 degrees and there was a steady north wind.  The air temperatures never really eclipsed 60 degrees yesterday and we had a frost warning last night.  We worked for our fish yesterday morning as we landed 3 small bass.  We did miss several decent fish and lost a couple of jumpers, but the fishing was not fast and furious.  We were able to get the fish to eat off the surface with a fire tiger jointed rebel stick bait and a blue and white popper.  When that bite slowed we resorted to jog fishing and working Senkos.  All of the fish we located were holding on sharp drop offs from 12' to 20' of water.  Fishing in our rivers is only getting better by the day.  We still need rain, but at least the water has cooled off.  Lots of hatching activity currently with #12 Isonychia, #14/#16 tan and olive bodied caddis, and we should begin to see #18-#22 BWO's.  Love the next month for fishing in Vermont.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, September 14, 2014

big bass sort of day

Hi Folks, Spent the day in my boat chasing bass and pike on damp cool day.  The only other people on the water were goose hunters.  No problem dodging them and always nice on Saturday to have an entire lake to yourselves to fish.  Seems to be the the norm as I do not encounter many anglers in my daily guiding operation.  Nice over cast cool day with air temperatures never reaching 60 degrees and the rain set in by 1:30pm.  We  fished a lake that is influenced by the flow of the Lamoille.  We had to find warm water in order to tug on fish yesterday.  In the river section the water was 58 degrees.  When we moved into the main lake a mile away the water temperature was 65 degrees.  A big difference and very important this time of the year.  The fishing was pretty darn good. We caught largemouth bass and smallmouth and as you can see some really big fish.  We did hook and play one very large northern pike that was lost at the boat.  The color of the day was fire tiger.  We got the fish to eat stick baits off the top and on the retrieve.  The largest bass of the day missed the lure initially and then came back after it for second helpings.  Nice job by client being patient prior to striking the fish.  We located all of our fish off weed beds on the outside deep edge in 10' to 12' of water.  Off to chase pike and bass again today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Mighty Winooski

Hi folks, Guided a large group on the Winooski down below the Bolton Dam yesterday afternoon.  We fished midday under cloudy overcast conditions.  Certainly has cooled off outside.  This stretch of the Winooski has always had a good population of wild rainbows and it used to fish really well in the early to mid ninties.  In recent years I had stayed away due to fishing pressure and lack of fish.  Well, yesterday reconfirmed my faith in this stretch as the rainbow fishing was excellent.  There are many big pools in this section of river that are well over 10' deep and I think it takes a lot of food up in the water column to get these fish to move up to eat.  Well, awesome hatch of #12 Isonychia yesterday and the trout were rising everywhere.  We cast #12 parachutes all afternoon to rising fish.  These rainbows are strong and fight like crazy.  Lots of 7" to 12" wild fish with 1 15" brute in the mix.  Include a couple of stocked brown trout and it was a heck of a good day on the Winooski.  Nice and cold out this morning.  Could be a wet day in my boat fishing for bass and pike.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

fishing dry flies

Hi Folks, Guided a double on the Winooski yesterday taking fly anglers out in the morning and the afternoon.  Water temperature was 65 degrees in the morning and 68 degrees in the afternoon.  Water is low and we could still use some rain.  Nice morning fog and then big sun for the rest of the day with a crazy south/southwest wind.  Made casting challenging at times.  Lot of hatching activity yesterday and we were treated to a great hatch of #12 Isonychia in the morning and a pretty good spinner fall in early evening.  Found rising fish both in the morning and the afternoon.  We never nymph fished yesterday as my clients were able to cast dry flies on both trips.  A #12 hare's ear parachute worked really drawing the most interest of any fly cast yesterday. Had some success with a #12 thorax style blue dun dry fly and a #14 Grey Wulff.  We caught lots of juvenile Landlocked salmon from 7" to 12", stocked brown trout, and wild rainbows.  Of course always plenty of fall fish in the mix.  It was fun for my guests to catch salmon but I have to say what a stupid stocking program that is.  How many of these fish actually make it through the dams to lake Champlain??? Not to mention any adults that return are trapped and trucked up river.  We live in a start with nutrient poor rivers and do we really need to create competition with the wild rainbow trout population in the lower Winooski.  Only so much food to go around and young salmon are aggressive.  Plus the salmon program is for the benefit of the lake fishermen who troll and not us river rats.  Colossal waist of resources.  Looks like a big cool down rolling in to town.  Perfect, the trout will only get better.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What a day

Hi Folks, Guided a couple fly anglers yesterday looking to tug on some fly eating smallmouth bass.  Incredible weather day.  Blue bird sky and nice cool conditions.  This must be how it feels to live in San Diego.  Okay, back to fishing.  Water level was just slightly above the seasonal average flow and the temperature was 69 degrees in the morning and rose to 71 degrees by time we wrapped up the full day at 3pm.  We landed fish in every spot we fished yesterday.  No top water bite, but I suspect that was due to the bright sun.  However, the fish were eating below the surface.  We cast a #8 olive bunny bugger and a #6 olive and yellow clouser minnow.  Lots of small craw fish, baby fish, and baby bass in the shallow margins.  I think our flies imitated the forage items fairly well.  Good day for species diversity as we caught several large fall fish, a nice walleye, and lost one pike that broke us off.  Not the norm to catch a walleye on a fly.  We focused on large pools and some slow water where there depressions in the stream bottom with drop offs.  All in all we landed 10 smallmouth and missed half a dozen.  Fun day on the water.  I am off to chase trout morning and night today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Dead drifting

Hi Folks, Guided on the lower Lamoille for smallmouth bass yesterday morning.  Water levels are really low and you can access some pools and stretches of water that is usually out our reach to fish.  Probably casting over fish that do not see too my flies.  Water temperature was 73 degrees.  Big weather front moved in bringing some heavy rain and cooler air temperatures.  The fishing yesterday morning was challenging.  I wold have thought that we would have crushed the bass with the hot humid air.  Instead we landed 3 nice 1.5lb to 2lb. river smallmouth but I was hoping for a few more fish.  Typically in my experience with in coming weather fronts the fishing is really good.  Not the case yesterday and we were in some of the best river smallmouth fishing water I know.  We could not get the fish to come to a popper. We dead drifted a #8 cone head olive bunny bugger and the fish would just stop the fly.  You would have thought that you were hung on the bottom, except that the line would begin to move.  Always slow things down when the fishing is tough.  One of the those quality versus quantity sort of mornings.  We did receive some rain and more would be welcomed.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non native species at home. Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, September 6, 2014

It is not about our convenience

Hi Folks, guided a double yesterday chasing river trout with the fly rods.  Not many days left where I can do 2 trips in the day as our days shorten with available light.  We still need rain as our rivers are low and warm.  The brief rain storm mid week was much needed but we still some sustained rain would be good.  I fished the upper Winooksi in the morning which was 66 degrees at 6:30am and warmed to 68 degrees by 10:00am when we were finishing up.  Pretty decent number of #16/#18 olive bodied caddis hatching. Not much for rising fish.  We nymphed up 5 wild rainbows and caught two larger fish on rainbow trout imitation streamers.  I am not much of streamer fishermen but I see its merit.  Awful hard on the fish when they eat the big morsel with the hole it makes in their mouths.  Our nymph rig consisted of a #16 olive caddis pupa with a #18 peacock herl soft hackle.  One of the lines I like to use on clients is "It is not about out convenience."  What I mean is it is up to us to make the cast in the sometimes tight quarters of river fishing.  Trout hold where they do and it is up to us to get the fly to them.  Not always easy due to trees, bushes, and a variety of currents  in moving water.  The afternoon trout fishing was challenging with low water and the summer like heat.  Water temperature in the small brook we fished was 66 degrees.  Nothing for hatching insects.  We worked up stream with the spook factor in full effect.  We had 9 fish come to the fly and landed 2 native brookies and 1 wild brown trout.  We did lose another very nice brown trout.  We had every fish to a #16 hare's ear parachute.  Well, off to chase river smallmouth this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have fun, Willy

Friday, September 5, 2014

pulling back

Hi Folks, Spent a really nice afternoon evening fly fishing for smallmouth bass out of my canoe.  Water temperature was 72 degrees.  A slight west breeze when we started out but the lake became like glass as the afternoon progressed.  We popped the smallmouth all afternoon with pretty good success.  We had all types of fish come to the fly from perch and pumpkin seed to chain pickerel and of course hard fighting smallmouth.  Yellow seemed to be the color as we cast a yellow and red stripped popper and a frog pattern with a yellow body.  We fished shoreline cover and some with sharp drop offs.  We located smallmouth off of downed wood, weed beds, and rock points.  All of the fish were fat as could be.  Looks like they are preparing for winter and putting on a feed bag.  We landed 8 smallmouth and missed and lost another 6 fish.  Consistent with nice 2lb bass that really put up a tussle.  The fish of the night was a 20" smallmouth that had to weigh in around 4.5lbs plus.  Incredible specimen that really did not want to be landed.  Leaves are starting to turn.  the soft maples are already becoming red.  However, it does not feel like fall outside.  It will be very summer like today.  I am off to trout fish and then bass fish this afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have fun, Willy

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hard to beleive it is September

Hi folks, Guided fly anglers for trout on a small brook yesterday morning.  Water levels are low and we really need some rain.  Water temperature was 61 degrees.  The spook effect was in full effect.  The other thing I am really noticing lately with the current low water levels is that it is imperative to get the trout to eat on the first couple of casts and when you miss them they are not returning to eat the fly.  We had 11 fish rise to the dry yesterday with a #14 green foam hopper producing the best trout of the day, a nice wild brown trout.  We missed a much bigger fish that emerged from the up stream side of a large boulder.  Always cool to see a 15" plus brown rise to eat.  The fish are certainly pooled up as there is not exactly a ton of holding water in the small brooks currently.  With the current heat and humidity the Lamoille and Winooski are too warm for trout fishing.  The lower parts off the river are in excellent shape for smallmouth bass fishing. Good time of year to tug on big smallmouth.   It will feel like September soon enough.

Monday, September 1, 2014

challenging

Hi folks, Guided a fly angler for trout on a small stream yesterday morning.  A few morning showers with the threat of thunder and lightening which never materialized.  Water levels are really low and water temperatures have warmed back up.  The temperature was 65 degrees.  It feels  like mid summer outside with high humidity and air temperatures in the upper eighties.  We really need some rain.  So, back to the fly fishing.  One of those mornings where we worked for trout.  We had 9 trout come to the fly and landed 1 wild rainbow.  The spook factor was in full effect as we watched several large fish dart up stream as we cast over  pools.  We were pretty cautious in how we moved and still did not matter.  We scaled back flies and had good success with a #16 hare's ear parachute.  I guided a fine fly angler it just was an off day with missing fish.  Happens to all of us.  Still the fishing was tough and will remain so until the water levels cool down and rise.  Still, I am off to chase small stream trout with a fly this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, August 31, 2014

light tackle and big fish

Hi Folks, I have been guiding river smallmouth the last few days.  Water is low and temperatures have climbed.  Water temperature was 73 degrees at 7:00am yesterday morning.  Hopefully we will get some much needed rain over the next few days.  The bass fishing has been very good.  It appears that the fish have been on a feeding binge as well with lots of stuffed bellies.  Been noticing a high number of craw fish sticking out of the fish's gullet when taking the hook out and releasing them.  We have caught well over 40 smallmouth in the last 2 days and the average fish has been weighing in around 2lbs.  Been spin fishing using 3" baby bass Senkos and watermelon green magic for colors.  Dead drifting in big pools with lots of boulders and wood.  Since the water is so low and clear you can see the fish emerge from cover to eat the rubber.  Lots of fun fighting smallmouth on light tackle with ultra light spin gear and 4lb and 6lb. test.  I am off to chase trout this morning in a small stream.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Low light versus bright sun

Hi Folks, Guided smallmouth bass yesterday in the morning and the afternoon.  Both trips were river fishing and it was very interesting with how different the results were.  Been summer like the last few days with bright sun and humidity.  Mornings have been great with heavy fog and low light while afternoons have been bright and sunny.  Water temperatures have ranged from 71 degrees in the morning to 76 degrees in the afternoon.  Water levels are low and we could use some rain.  We landed over 20 smallmouth in the morning and only 2 in the afternoon.  Both groups I guided did a fine job fishing.  In the morning the fish were all over the Senkos and in the afternoon the fish would come up to our fly and deny us.  The water is so clear you cn sight fish.  In the morning the smallmouth were more than willing to move to chase down the dead drifted Senko.  Baby bass was the color. Granted in the afternoon we fly fished but still the fish were fussy.  We watched countless smallmouth in the afternoon come right up to the fly kiss it and swim off.  We changed flies a lot from surface poppers to a variety of streamers.  It appeared that the smallies were much more inclines to chase the fly when it was moved aggressively, but they put on the breaks when they came right up on it.  All a product of the bright sun.  Smallmouth are much more active in low light than bright sun.  At least the two fish we caught in the afternoon were two large fish.  Pretty interesting to witness the change in behavior by the fish due to the light levels.  I am taking my daughter to fish today.  Been  extremely busy last few months  and really looking forward to fishing with my kid.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bassing-morning and night

Hi Folks, Chased smallmouth bass with clients yesterday in the morning and then again in the afternoon.  Fished the still water from my motorboat in the morning and from a canoe in the afternoon.  Surface temperature in the morning was 73 degrees under calm conditions.  In the afternoon the surface temperature was 75 degrees.  Pretty warm outside with summer like conditions with air temps. rising into the high eighties.  Pretty warm to trout fish as I am sure the Lamoille and Winooski are too warm presently. Things will cool off tomorrow.  Pretty solid top water fishing both in the morning and evening.  We cast fire tiger poppers and frog colored poppers.  In the morning the heavy fog hung around so we had nice low light until about 8am.  Then it was all about fishing the shady shore lines.  In the afternoon we stayed out of the sun.  We located most our fish off of steep rock faces that had tree cover.  Letting the fly sit on the surface for a good 30 seconds induced a few strikes.  It was interesting that the smaller fish crashed on the fly as the larger bass were slurping it in.  We landed well over 25 smallmouth yesterday between my two trips. Pretty consistent fishing.  Off to chase bass again today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Learning the fine art of fly fishing

Hi folks, Spent yesterday morning and afternoon guiding young fly anglers.  A return to summer outside with air temperatures reaching the mid eighties.  My morning trip we fly fished on the Winooski down river a ways from the Bolton Dam.  Water temperature was 68 degrees and had risen to 69 degrees by time we finished up in the morning.  A fair amount of hatching activity with #18 tan bodied caddis hatching and #12/#14  Isonychia beginning to hatch towards late morning.  We caught a ton of Fall Fish with 1 brown trout and a landlocked salmon in the mix.  When taking teenagers fly fishing it is important that they catch fish. You need a little encouragement when learning to fly fish and fall fish are much more user friendly than trout.  We swung flies all morning using #14 tungsten bead head prince nymph and a #16 olive wire copper john.  In the afternoon I took another teenager fly fishing for brook trout.  Brookies are greedy and more than willing to eat dry flies.  The mountain brook we fly fished was 60 degrees and gin clear. Always fun watching native brook trout come to the fly.  We worked up stream casting #14 royal wulff.  We had well over a dozen brookies come to the fly.  Like usual most of the brook trout measured between 4" to 8".  We leveled the playing field by casting a slow action 6' 2wt.  It was a nice day for me to see teenagers getting into fly fishing as I do not notice too many kids fly fishing let alone regular fishing these days.  I am off to chase smallmouth all day with a morning boat trip and a canoe trip in the afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, August 24, 2014

nice afternoon on the water with the ants

Hi Folks, Guided fly anglers for beautiful afternoon of trout fishing on the upper Winooski.  Water temperature was 66 degrees to 67 degrees.  Water level is low but still slightly above the seasonal average flow.  Fair amount of bug activity yesterday with #14-#22 flying ants from 6pm to dark, #12/#14 isonychia  sporadically coming off, #18 micro caddis hatching, and still a few #8/#10 stone flies around.  Lots of #12/#14 olive grasshoppers in fields.  We nymphed fished with a #16 olive copper john and a #18 olive caddis pupa.  We caught fish on both fly patterns.  We found a few rising fish and got them to eat a #12 hare's ear parachute and a #14 foam flying ant.  We landed 5 stocked rainbows, 2 wild rainbows with 1 fish measuring in at 14" (really fought hard), and 1 nice little wild brown trout.  We missed another half a dozen fish.  Pretty good for the end of August and the trout looked really healthy and in good shape.  No signs of fishing pressure what so ever.  Looks to be hot and a little humid for the next few days so the top water bite for smallmouth should be good.  Trout fishing on the big water could be tough with warming temps.  Morning trout fishing will be the way.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have fun, Willy

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Patience and persisitence in the rain

Hi Folks, Guided a hearty crew of spin anglers yesterday afternoon for smallmouth bass.  Nice damp afternoon with pretty steady rain showers.  Water temperature was 66 degrees and the clarity was pretty good.  We focused on big slow pools as the water level is fairly low and the fish are not holding in any secondary spots.  I can't say the fishing was red hot.  We made a lot of casts for the half a dozen smallies we landed.  The fish were tentative in feeding and they would pick up the Senko and drop it.  Had to really wait on the fish we caught to eat the rubber.  All very subtle takes and line control was imperative.  Pretty interesting as I would say the fish were in non-aggressive mode for feeding.  The largest bass of the day was not caught immediately as we probably cast to the area where it was holding for 20 minutes.  Patience and persistence paid off.  Will be chasing river trout later today with the fly.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

Thursday, August 21, 2014

not dialed in, but lots of ants

Hi folks, Weird last two days guiding as I ran my boat yesterday afternoon and did two river trips today.  Things have certainly cooled off with the lake surface temperature reading 71 degrees, the Lamoille was 66 this morning at 8:00am and this afternoon river temp. was 63 degrees.  Bright and humid yesterday with heavy air.  I thought for sure the bass bite would be on.  We worked hard for 4 bites and landed one smallmouth bass.  Nice calm conditions with an abundance of #14 flying ants landing on the water.  Most of the surface action we saw was from perch and pumpkin seed gulping ants.  The smallmouth we caught was on a #6 fire tiger crease fly.  We fished a shallow lake that is no deeper than 30" and holds smallmouth. largemouth, and pike.  The fish were just not on.  This morning on the Lamoille we caught 4 rainbows with 3 being stocked and 1 nice 12" wild trout.  Pretty funny when one off my clients noted that the wild fish really pulled much harder than the stocked fish.  However, the 3 stocked trout we landed had been caught previously.  Love catch and release fishing! There we lots of #12/#14 Isonychia shucks on rocks.  A #12 pheasant tail will work great as a nymph and #12 Grey Wulff or #12/#14 Adams parachute are good dry fly options.  We found sporadic rising to drowned ants.  There were also some #18/#20 micro caddis hatching.  This afternoon the fishing was dreadful.  great over cast conditions with drizzle.  We went river fishing for smallmouth and it was not happening.  We had 3 smallmouth chase a #8 olive cone head bunny bugger and that was that.  The fish were not feeding on the river we visited.  Lots of fly changing and tactic adjustments without getting them to eat the damn fly.  Oh well, always moving forward and never backwards.  Remember to clean your gear and leave the non native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

thick as pea soup

Hi Folks, After a day and half off from guiding back at this morning chasing smallmouth bass from the boat. Nice to regenerate my batteries and take a break.  Been a really busy summer.  Pretty chilly out on the water this morning with air temperatures in the high forties and the surface water temperature was 69 degrees.  The water temperature has cooled off 5 degrees from over the weekend.  Dead calm on the water with heavy fog.  Pretty interesting navigating in the fog as lights on and the use of electronics were certainly helpful.  Fished top water this morning for awhile.  The fish were on a blue/white popper.  We located active smallmouth on a 15' deep flat that has sporadic boulders on it.  As the top water bite slowed we jig fished in 20' to 30' of water.  A 1/4oz shaky jig tipped with a Yamamoto spider jig in watermelon black magic was the ticket.  Pretty subtle bite and line control was important to pick up the strikes.  On the trout end our rivers have cooled off the fishing is good.  Time to take advantage of fall like conditions.  Fishing will still be best early and late as you want low light.  Nice time of year to find rising trout as we have #22/#24 tricos still hatching in the morning, #18/#20 micro caddis hatching in the morning, #12/#14 Isonychia hatching throughout the day, a few #8/#10 remnant stone flies emerging still, and lots of terrestrials.  Keep an eye for #14/#22 flying ants as they can pop up at anytime presently.  Nice fishing weather.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, August 16, 2014

cool down equals good fishing

Hi Folks, Been guiding like crazy with a full day boat trip yesterday for smallmouth bass and river fly fishing for trout this morning.  After the big rain on Wednesday, everything has cooled with water temperatures dropping by several degrees.  On the lake yesterday the surface temperature was 71 degrees and the main stem of the Lamoille this morning was 61 degrees.  We cast poppers with the fly rod yesterday until mid morning when the wind picked up out of the west.  Pretty good top water bite.  We located all of our smallmouth off steep drop offs from rock walls and faces.  Being patient when the fly landed was the trick.  Generally, most of our takes were within a couple of feet as to where the fly landed.  It is important to eliminate the slack when the fly lands and be patient prior to moving it.  The bass will come from a long ways away to eat the surface presentation.  Just have to be patient to let the fish find the fly.  Once the top water bite slowed, we resorted to spin fishing with 3.5" crawfish tube jigs on 1/4 oz. jig heads.  We fished in 15' to 30' of water.  The larger fish were located in the deeper water.  I lost track of the number of fish we caught, but the action was pretty steady.  This morning the Lamoille fished pretty well.  The water level has just dropped and the clarity was good.  Rising fish today eating #18 micro caddis and some #12 Isonychia duns.  Always fun when there is a hatch and rising fish.  We caught wild trout on #14 hare's ear parachute.  The best fish of the day was a nice fighting 14" wild rainbow.  good looking fish.  We hooked all of our fish in riffles as the rising fish in the pools were a bit more challenging to get to eat.  Off to chase trout again this afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, August 15, 2014

Pecking away at them

Hi Folks, Spent yesterday afternoon in the boat with guests chasing smallmouth bass.  Little bit of a cool down after the rain and it felt like autumn on the water.  Water temperature had dropped a few degrees from  earlier in the week as the surface temp. was 72 degrees.  The weather must of scared off people as we pretty much had the water to ourselves.  Not much wind to speak of and nice flat conditions for popping at dusk.  We bounced around the lake focusing on drop offs.  We managed to pick off 11 smallmouth with 5" Senkos in craw fish and watermelon red magic.  The larger fish were once again holding in deeper water.  We had to exhibit extreme patience on the hooks set as the fish were holding the Senkos in their mouth for a long time without trying to swallow them.  We took the rubber away from a lot of fish.  A lot of tail grabbing by the bass.  Probably due to the weather front and the fish being somewhat non-aggressive.  Well, about to go do it all over again except we are going to try to get the smallies to eat some fur and feathers today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Before the rain

Hi Folks, Guided river bass yesterday morning before the big rain set in.  It appears that we were spared the 1" to 2" of rain that was forecast.  We did receive about 1/2" and 3/4" of rain that has puffed up our rivers.  As well the air temperatures have dropped which will bring river temperatures down.  In a day or so when the big rivers settle down the trout fishing should be very good.  Yesterday morning the river we fished was 69 degrees and the water was really low.  A humid morning with heavy air and periodic rain.  We got a little damp.  A really good day of bass fishing. We caught fish on a fire tiger popper and 3" green senko.  Caught a bass on the first and last cast of the day.  We landed well over a dozen and half smallmouth and missed a few.  The fish were on as I believe that when the barometric pressure is dropping the fishing in rivers is really good.  I think the fish sense that a change in their environment is about to happen and they go into binge mode.  Needless to say we had the place ourselves fishing yesterday as that seems to be the trend when venturing into our local rivers.  Chasing smallmouth bass today from the boat.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have fun, Willy

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

smallmouth bass, brook trout, and bears oh my

Hi Folks, Had a busy day yesterday guiding smallmouth bass in the morning and small stream trout in the afternoon.  Chased bass on the lower Lamoille where the water temperature was 74 degrees.  Water levels are really low presently.  That should change after today with the expected 1" to 2" of rain heading our way.  The top water bite was excellent as we got bass to eat a fire tiger popper.  Caught a fish on the first cast of the day.  The top water bite slowed pretty quickly and we resorted to dead drifting 3.5" swim Senkos in red water melon magic.  The fish were on it immediately.  We made one adjustment by using a slightly larger warm hook versus an octopus hook and we started landing the fish we were losing.  Good solid hard pulling smallmouth.  We located all our fish in large primary pools.  In the afternoon on the small stream we walked the water temperature was 61 degrees.  We caught lots of brook trout on a #14 orange stimulator.  Due to the low water levels the fish were stacked up in bigger pools.  We had a close encounter with a mother bear and two cubs.  She walked right up on us.  We backed off and watched her for several minutes as her cubs had scampered up trees.  Pretty cool.  Good day on the water with good anglers who took advantage of fine fine fishing.  Off to chase bass before the rain sets in.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

quality versus quantity

Hi Folks, Mixed it up with the guiding yesterday chasing bass with spin gear from the boat in the morning and then small stream fly fishing with a client in the afternoon.  Pretty darn warm day.  Surface temperature on the lake we fished was 74 degrees and there was a very heavy fog that did not lift until around 7:30am.  We caught lots of 2 to 3 year old bass and a couple of fish in the 1.5lb to 2lb. class.  Really good top water fishing.  We focused on rock faces that dropped into deep water.  Most of the takes were right off the get go when the popper landed on the water.  Important to get the slack eliminated or else too much slack line made the hook set tricky.  Once the sun was up we resorted to fishing 5" Senkos in baby bass hooked lots of small fish.  A good morning of fishing with lots of action.  Afternoon trout fishing was tricky with warming water temperatures and low levels.  We spooked several nice fish.  Water temperature was 61  to 62 degrees. We worked up stream with #12 orange stimulator and a #14 lime green stimulator.  We had a total of 4 trout come to the dry fly and caught two small brook trout.  I always like to carry a nymph rod and we had a 17" wild male brown trout eat a #14 double tungsten black stone fly.  Really nice fish with beautiful markings.  Good fun a 6'6" 3wt.  So, would you rather catch lots of smaller fish with good action or catch 1 really nice fish and have not a lot of action?  Off to chase river bass. Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, August 11, 2014

Gaining momentum and building a rhythm

Hi Folks, Guided out of my boat yesterday for smallmouth bass on very busy body of water.  Passed my annual state inspection for the boat.  Surface temperature was between 73 degrees and 74 degrees with very little wind.  Good morning fog made navigation tricky off the get go.  It took us a awhile to get it going yesterday morning as the bite was slow first thing.  We managed to catch a decent smallmouth with a popping bug and missed a few nice fish, but we could not prompt a bite below the surface.  We changed directions and worked tube jigs in deeper water and jig heads tipped with twister tail Senkos. The colors were olive green and crawfish.  We fished the jigs in 15' to 30' of water on sharp drop offs with a hard bottom.  We also changed the color of the shallow Senko from green to craw fish and that appeared to attract the attention of a lot more fish of the shore line related fish.  We ended up landed a dozen and a half smallmouth bass, but not monsters.  It just took us a while to get into a groove.  I am off to do it again this morning and then chasing small stream trout this afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

Sunday, August 10, 2014

family fun on the Lamoille

Hi Folks, Guided a group of spin anglers yesterday for trout fishing on the Lamoille.  The river was just about at its seasonal average flow and the water temperature at 7:00am was 67 degrees.  Nice morning fog kept the sun off the water for a bit until things really heated up.  We located most of the fish we caught in heavy riffles to pools. No shocker with the warming water temperatures.  First time trout anlgers so I showed them how I learned how to catch trout.  Small red hooks on light line attached to a 18" leader off a swivel and very small piece of weight.  A piece of garden hackle on the hook drifted over and over again and next thing you know we have landed over a dozen stocked rainbows with a couple ofnice wild fish in the mix.  Pretty easy fishing and with debarbed hooks an easy release of the trout.  We also cast some rapalas that imitated a yellow perch, brown trout, and the good old rebel crawfish.  Lots of crawfish scampering around the bottom of the stream.  Had my first true encounter with a northern pike in the Lamoille as it ate $15 worth of rapalas.  Pretty good sized.  Our best fish of the day was really nice 15" wild rainbows that ate a rapala in the same hole where we had found the nuissance pike.  Interesting that a nice trout like that was living is such close proximity to a toothy pike.  We did see several trout rising to eat #18/#20 tan bodied micro caddis.  Pretty consistent risers.  Good morning of fishing.  I am off to chase smallmouth bass from my boat this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, August 9, 2014

small stream action

Hi Folks, Been keeping out of trouble guiding small streams with the fly.  Water temperatures have cooled off with nice night time temperatures in the low fifties.  I have found water temperatures from 59 degrees to 62 degrees.  Spent the other morning river fishing for bass and the water temperature had dropped to 66 degrees.  Slowed down the bass bite as we were not able to get a surface take.  We resorted to nymphing with #8 black stone fly patterns and #10 golden stone pattern.  We caught a couple of smallmouth and one really large fall fish but we worked for them.  On the flip side, the trout fishing has been excellent.  I like dry fly fishing so the small brooks are a perfect fit.  Nutrient poor brooks mean not a lot food for the fish so they have to eat when presented with the opportunity.  #12/#14 Stimulators, Wulff patterns, Hoppers, and Caddis all work. Yesterday we had well over a dozen wild rainbows and native brook trout come to the fly.  A lot of fun in clear water watching the fish move from their holding areas to eat.  Due to the clarity of the water, the spook factor is in full effect.  You see the dark shape dart off when you spook a fish.  Up stream fishing is in order.  Off to chase trout this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, August 7, 2014

river bass, lake bass, and giant Hex hatch


Hi Folks, Guided smallmouth bass yesterday in the morning and the evening.  Fly fished and spin fished both morning and evening.  Been some good fog early in the morning which keeps the sun off the water longer.  Pretty windy afternoon with a steady gust from the west/northwest. The wind did lay down by dusk and the fishing really picked up.  The river temperature in the morning was 68 degrees and the lake temperature was 73 degrees.  The river conditions were less than ideal with off colored water and high flows.  All caused by thunderstorms from Tuesday night.   The spin anglers stole the morning while the fly anglers struggled a bit with getting fish to eat.  We caught smallmouth on a floating perch rapala and 3" baby bass Senkos on red #1 octopus hooks.  We were only able to get 1 fall fish to eat a popper on the fly.  Due to the conditions the smallmouth were holding outside of the current in the pools and on the slow seams.  In the afternoon, we picked off a few fish with a 5" watermelon black magic Senko and missed a few big fish on a popper.  Conditions were initially tough until the wind settled.  The smallmouth were holding in deeper water off rock ledges and points.  Around 8pm, we witnessed a massive hatch of #6 Hexagenia along with a good number of egg laying spinners.  The bass and large yellow perch were rising and coming out of the water all over the place.  We hammered them with a #8 yellow bottomed frog popper.  It was the light switch effect as all of sudden everyone was eating off the top.  Lots of nice 1.5lb to 2.5lb sized smallies that just fight like crazy.  Pretty intense hour of fishing and we quit because we could not see any longer.  Nice cool down should make for good trout fishing the next few days in the mornings.  Lots of grasshoppers around along with other terrestrials.  Start looking for#14-#22 flying ants and been a decent hatch of #22/#24 Tricos every morning for the last 10 days.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

brook trout fishing

Hi Folks, Guided fly anglers yesterday for some good old small stream fly fishing for brook trout. Water levels were low and we could use a couple days of sustained rain.  Pretty easy to find where the fish are holding as the rivers are pretty well defined at this level.  A little warm out there and the water in the brook we fished has crept into the mid sixties.  It was a little cooler in its head waters as temperature was 61 degrees.  Brook trout are greedy and very willing to eat dry flies.  The perfect set up for small stream fly fishing.  We cast #12 orange bodied Stimulators, #14 Royal Wulff, and a #14 Royal Trude.  We had well over a dozen brook trout come to the fly from 3" to 9".  All up stream fishing with good mending.  Really important to keep as much fly line off the water as possible and only drift the leader.  The bonus of the day was an extremely large brown trout that came out of a wood pile and ate the dry fly.  I think it shocked my client.  This brown was a brook trout eating fish.  Pretty impressive and I have it it marked for a future encounter.  Thunder showers in the evening pushed out the humid hot weather and looks to be a beauty today.  I am off to chase smallmouth all day.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

a little variety

Hi folks, Changed directions yesterday and did a family fishing trip.  Very refreshing for me and brings me back to the basics.  Calm, muggy conditions yesterday with partial sun.  Water temperature was 72 degrees.  We banked fished and got to enjoy a wide variety of species.  We caught tons of pumpkin seeds under a float.  We took off the floats and fished the bottom and really caught some fish. Large suckers, yellow perch, bullhead, and smallmouth bass.  Kids do not care what they catch, they just need to catch something.  Keeping it simple and fun is what is most important.  Pretty warm outside and did not really cool down last night. The Lamoille was brown yesterday afternoon and too warm to fish.  Trout fishing will be best in small brooks presently or go bass fishing.  I love muggy conditions for top water fishing for smallmouth.  The heavy air always seems to bring them to the surface.  Off to chase brook trout with the fly this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Girl power


Hi folks, Had a an enjoyable Saturday guiding a family of aspiring anglers.  Fishing is an equal opportunity activity and girls can fish with the best of them.  Water temperatures held in the low seventies and the water clarity was excellent.  We were able to spot several fish.  Levels are right around the seasonal average.  Saw some more #22/#24 Tricos hatching yesterday morning, but not fish responding to the dun or spinners.  No shocker as we were fishing in a smallmouth stream that has some stocked rainbows.  No self respecting bass in the 2lb. class is going to eat a tiny may fly.  We mixed up our tactics yesterday initially swinging garden hackle at the fish until my crew got down the basics.  Pretty easy as we pretty much hooked a fish on every other drift.  No hooks taken deeply as we struck the fish the moment we got a bite.  That is the trick to bait fishing is being proactive and not complacent and constantly drifting the presentation.  After that we moved to 3" baby bass Senkos on red octopus hooks and a yellow hula popper.  Really fun watching a bass in clear water move to eat a popper.  They invariably take it after the you pause from popping the lure.  The Senko fishing was consistent as usual and I swear the fish eat those rubber baits as aggressively as they do garden hackle.  Every fish was holding in a slow deep pool with downed wood.  The bigger fish are in eddies and on back side current seams. Taking the day off as it will be my first day not guiding in a month.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Big fish kind of morning


Hi folks, Spent a really nice morning with fly fishing guests on the lower Lamoille chasing river smallmouth bass.  You never know what you might encounter when fishing the big water.  Water temeprature was 68 degrees and the flow was above the seasonal average.  Cooling water temps. have slowed down the top water fishing.  We fished big pools and left the smaller water alone.  Lots of big rocks where we fished and the walking can be challenging.  We started out with popping bugs and drew one violent strike from a smallmouth bass and that was that for surface action.  We resorted to fishing #6 long shank cone headed olive bunny buggers with red thread, #8 chartreuse/white clauser minnow, and dead drifting #8 stone fly patterns with weight under an indicator.  We did not catch any small fish.  All solid and big strong river smallmouth bass as well as half a dozen very large fall fish.  The fish and surprise of the day was a solid 16" brown trout.  It ate a olive streamer and immediately jumped several feet out of the water.  Petty cool.  Olive was the color of the day.  Tons of crawfish in the shallow margins. I think the streamer when fished slowly imitated the craw daddy's movements in the water.  Good day for rod bending.  Off to river fish for bass this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, August 1, 2014

Getting them to eat

Hi Folks, Spent a nice day on a small Lamoille tributary fly fishing for trout with a client.  Water temperature was 59 degrees and the water level was perfect.  I have been seeing a few #22 Tricos hatching early the morning with late morning spinner falls.  Not really any fish responding.  Lots of #8/#12 stone fly shucks all over the rocks.  We fished a little 2wt. with an #14 orange stimulator and a short 4wt. with a #12 double tungsten stone fly under an indicator.  We had 17 trout come to the fly and we managed to land 5 fish yesterday before the thunder set in.  Several nice wild brown trout along with brookies.  Missed a couple of good rainbows. We fished a stream with heavy pocket water and line control and management was important for getting a good drift and striking the fish.  We covered a fair amount of water as I like to walk on small streams.  I am off to river fish for smallmouth this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have fun, Willy

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Two very different results

Hi folks, Spent the day chasing smallmouth with clients yesterday as I guided a river trip in the morning and from the canoe in the afternoon.  Cool weather outside and it does feel a bit like fall.  Water temperature in the river in the morning was 68 degrees and in the lake in the afternoon was in the low seventies.  Water temperatures did drop several degrees and undoubtedly affects fish behavior.  We worked for bass in the morning only managing to land 5 small fish and lost another half dozen. The strikes were very subtle and line control was essential. The fish did not appear willing to move to far to eat.  A slowed down 3" Senko dragged on the bottom of slower pools was what eventually got the fish to eat.  In the afternoon was totally different deal as the smallmouth and big ones were on! A slight south wind affected where we could fish, but it laid down by dusk.  No top water bite to speak of last night.  We got the smallies to eat a 5" Watermelon Magic Senko.  We landed a dozen fish with 4 fish over 16" and weighing in between 2lbs. and 3lbs.  Strong bronze backs.  The fish were holding on rock and drops offs with downed wood.  It seemed that the larger fish would pick up the Senko and swim to the boat.  You had to reel down and really come tight to get them hooked. Nice evening on the water.  I am off to chase river trout today.  Should be good.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

same day, different bass

Hi Folks, Doubled up on the boat yesterday and chased smallmouth bass in the morning and largemouth bass in the afternoon.  Feels like fall outside.  The water temperature on both lakes I fished ranged from 71 degrees to 74 degrees. Water temperatures actually dropped by a couple of degrees with the arrival of the cooler weather.  Pretty steady northwest wind for most of the day and with partly sunny conditions.  The water clarity was slightly off from all of the rain from the previous two days.  My morning trip was a combination of fly fishing and spin fishing.  We cast poppers with both spin and fly rods.  Nothing large coming to the surface.  Steady action, but mostly 2 and 3 year old smallmouth.  The spin angler who was casting rubber worms produced the larger fish.  The larger bass were holding in deeper water and certainly needed to be finessed.  We located them in 15' to 18' of water off sharp drops offs with large rocks on the bottom.  Baby bass was the color for the morning for the rubber worms.  I think the cold front made the fish a bit neutral to non-aggressive and we had to slow down our approach.  In the afternoon I guided on a lake that is fairly shallow as has slow tapering shore lines with lots of weeds.  No smallmouth to speak of, but we did manage to catch a few largemouth bass including a solid 3lb fish.  We located all of the largemouth in skinny water of less than 4'.  The bass were tucked under lilly pads and we had to cast right to their edges.  Keeping the bail open while the rubber worm dropped was critical in order to hold the presentation right on the pads and prompt a response.  We got broken off by one pike and had another one follow a worm back to the bait and slash at it.  Certainly a day on the water that required patience.  Off to do it again today with river fishing for smallmouth this morning and cane fishing this afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Fishing in the Rain, fishing in the rain

Hi folks, Wet one on the water yesterday morning as I took out guests on my boat for some smallmouth bass fishing.  We got on the water early and were able to avoid the heavy until about 9:00am.  Calm conditions off the get go and no wind until later in the morning when it picked up from the east/northeast.  Surface temperature was 75 degrees.  Really good to water in the morning as we landed 4 quality smallmouth on a blue and white concave popper.  These fish were fat.  Disproportionate girth to their length and it appeared that they have been gorging on crawfish.  We located the smallies on a flat in 14' of water that had an abundance of downed wood and big boulders.  When the top water bite slowed we cast 5" watermelon magic Senkos at them and picked off another 6 smallmouth.  Certainly a day of mental endurance with the weather.  The rain is good for the long haul.  Could be a couple of days before our trout streams improve, but the cool weather that has moved in is certainly welcomed.  Off to chase bass all day.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

Monday, July 28, 2014

dodging the weather

Hi folks, One of those days yesterday with rain and thunderstorms.  Trout fished with the fly rods in the morning on a small brook and had to cancel my afternoon trip due to the weather.  Not a big fan of standing in a stream with a graphite rod during an electrical storm.  Looks like the storms are moving out but not before it leaves behind some heavy rain.  Could receive up to an 1" of rain today which will shut our streams down for a few days.  The temperature on the brook we fished was 61 degrees and the level was at its seasonal average.  It was a morning for brook trout.  Had the square tails eating a #14 orange stimulator.  Spooked one large fish that I am sure was a brown trout.  We had to cut our trip short due to a nasty storm that moved in.  Off to chase smallmouth bass in the boat this morning and tonight.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Epic!

Hi folks, Had a spectacular trip yesterday morning fly fishing on a small tributary of the Winooski river (not in the Stowe in area).  Water temperature was 60 degrees and the clarity was excellent.  The water level had just recently receded from big rain and storms on Wednesday.  Yesterday morning was one of the better dry fly fishing experiences I have seen for large fish in Vermont.  We landed 5 brown trout yesterday with 2 fish measuring in at 15" and 2 fish measuring at 17" and another small 12". All caught on 6' 2wt. rod.  We fished in primary pools in small water and we did not see any trout in any secondary water. Pretty impressive when you watch a large brown trout emerge out from under a rock and crush a dry fly.  The amazing thing was we did not lose any fish and let me tell you these trout fought hard.  We caught all of our fish on a #14 royal trude.  The clincher to the brown trout experience was the 20" to 24" brown we saw in pool that swam right up to my client's feet.   He came over to check us out after we had cast into the pool.  Absolutely incredible and hard to believe such a large fish in a tiny brook.  We could see the cherry dots and the eye ball of this large brown.  I have him marked for the future.  After the brown trout we settled in for some brookie fishing and landed 12 native brook trout.  I guess what makes this morning special is that it is not every day in Vermont that you catch in a river a legitimate 15" wild fish.  The fact that we landed 4 over 15" is special.  The average wild trout in Vermont goes 7" to 12".  Do not care about hatchery mutants and the trophy fish stocking.  That is for beginners and people who do not care about wild trout.  Looks like big rain coming in today so the river fishing might get shut down for a few days.  We need the rain and it will be good for the long haul. Off to chase small stream trout today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy


Saturday, July 26, 2014

night and day bass fishing

Hi folks, Guided for bass yesterday in the morning and afternoon.  We fished from my boat in the morning where the surface temperature was 73 degrees.  The water was very clear and there was a slight wind from the south.  We hooked two smallmouth right off the get go on a fire tiger top water that promptly tossed the popper on big jumps.  We had to finesse fish with 4" and 5" Senkos in green with flake to entice half a dozen bass to the boat.  Several very nice large mouth and as well as smallies.  We hooked all of our fish around downed wood in fairly shallow water.  The afternoon was totally different ball game as we landed will over 30 smallmouth bass and could keep the fish off the line.  The water temperature in the river we fished was 70 degrees and slightly off color.  We caught all of our fish on 3" Senkos on #1 red octopus hooks in olive and crawfish.  We did land 1 bass on a fire tiger popper and missed another, but the best bite was below the surface.  We even managed to catch a 10" stocked rainbow on a crawfish senko.  The trout did not fight and the bass put it too shame.  The smallmouth were really feisty and almost every fish came out of the water multiple times.  We hooked all of our fish in slow section of the river in and around downed wood and large rocks.  Very good afternoon on the water.  Off to fly fish for trout in small streams this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, July 25, 2014

a little relief

Hi folks, Changed directions yesterday morning and went fishing with a friend.  Guided Wednesday for river smallmouth bass.  The smallmouth fishing has been excellent and the water temperatures have been holding in the low to mid seventies.  Small 3" Senkos on red hooks have still been the ticket with different shades of green being the most productive.  Lots of hoppers showing up in fields now and should be considered in any fly anglers arsenal.  Laker fishing was interesting. We were on the water at 4:30am and the surface temperature was 73 degrees.  Pretty warm for a trout lake in the kingdom.  We fished fly rod blanks and glass rods spooled with braided line attached to long fluorocarbon leaders.  We fished humps that came up out of deep water with 1/4oz. to 3/8oz. jigs tipped with rubber swim baits.  Snap jigging produced 3 lake trout and 5 other fish on that we did not land.  A real finesse technique as you needed to feel the slight tick by the fish as they ate the bait then come tight.  It was interesting that the small pieces of structure we located with electronics were the most the productive.  the big obvious spots held some fish but they were much more fussy.  Fun morning of fishing.  Off to chase to smallmouth.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

get up early

Hi Folks, Ran the boat yesterday morning with clients spin fishing for bass.  We were on the water by 5:45 am. as we are currently suffering through a nasty heat wave with high humidity.  Hopefully it will break this afternoon with thunderstorms.  Water temperature was 76 degrees in the morning.  Pretty warm.  Certainly too hot to trout fish the big rivers currently.  We caught all of our fish within the first two hours of the morning and the bite shut down as the sun came up.  Mostly landed smallmouths, but did catch 1 decent largemouth bass and several large rock bass.  The top water bite was good off the get go and we cast fire tiger poppers.  We worked a river system that flows into a lake and we cast to the bank into slow seams and eddies.  Lots of little fry in the water that were being crushed by bass and it appeared to be walleyes as well.  You could see the bait fish schools and watch large fish coming out of the water on the bait fish.  Pretty damn hard to get them to eat our swim baits.  5" Senkos produced a few strikes but even the rubber was tough going under the sunny skies.  So get out there early and enjoy the coolest time of day on the water. Off to do a kids program.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Consistent

Hi folks, Introduced a group of Floridians to the smallmouth bass on a river fishing trip yesterday.  Water is low and we could use some rain.  Temperature was 72 degrees and the water gin clear.   Nothing fancy yesterday as we worked 3" olive and crawfish colored Senkos on red hooks up against shady banks in deep pools.  Focused on the slow water.  Any downed wood or obstructions in the river held a bass.  All pretty subtle takes and you really had to give the fish a chance to eat the rubber bait.  We ended up landing 17 smallmouth bass.  Pretty warm out there so the big trout water is off limits currently due to warm temperatures.  Small streams are in good shape but are low and warming.  Off to chase bass in the boat this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, July 21, 2014

back to the basics

Hi Folks, Been keeping out of trouble chasing smallmouth and river trout over the weekend.  Nice fishing weather to be outside. Looks like a heat wave this week and dry weather.  We could use some rain as it is getting a bit dry out there.  Fly fished still water for smallmouth Saturday and the surface temperature was 72 degrees with very little wind and over cast conditions.  Beautiful for popping bass.  The fishing was consistent and with a #6 frog popper with rubber legs we landed 8 smallmouth between 9" and 15".  We found fish resting on the outside edges of weed beds on drop offs.  Any downed wood seemed to really hold fish.  The trick was being patient on the hook set and making sure all of the slack fly line had been recovered prior to hooking.  Good afternoon.  Yesterday morning I took two young boys and their dad trout fishing with spin gear on the Lamoille.  We were on the water at 5:45am and the water temperature was 68 degrees.  We had some back to back cool nights with air temperatures in the mid 50's that lowered the river water temperature a bit.  I taught the boys the basics I learned at their age about river fishing for trout and we even kept a few stocked rainbows for them to eat on the camp fire.  We fished crawfish lures and perch lures actively we limited results.  When started dead drifting baits on #10 red hooks with a little weight we crushed the stocked trout.  All of the fish were holding in large primary pools.  We caught 15 fish and all of the them we removed the hook from.  Barb less hooks actively fished and the hook was not swallowed.  Pretty basic and simple trout fishing.  Our next outing will be with fly rods.  It was fun to watch these kids catch a trout and clean it for dinner.  At the same time they were educated about wild fish and stocked fish and the fine balance of river fishing.   Nice experience and made me  feel like kid.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

consistent

Hi Folks, Been chasing smallmouth bass with clients lately.  Been very consistent fishing.  Fished for river smallmouth yesterday.  Water is low and clear and we could use some rain. Water temperature at 5:45am was 70 degrees.  Nice morning fog keep the sun off the water until about 8am.  We landed over 2 bass drifting 3" crawfish and olive Senkos on #1 red octopus hooks.  All of the fish were holding in deeper pools out of the main current.  In and around shady banks and downed wood worked well.  I rig the Senkos weedless so the hook set is really important.  Imperative to the let the fish take the Senko and swim with it until the line becomes tight.  The hook set is a big sweep and needs to be aggressive.  Loads of fun coming tight on a jumping smallmouth.  Off to chase small stream trout this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy