Monday, June 30, 2014

get after it early

Hi folks, Floated in canoe yesterday morning with guest fly fishing for smallmouth bass.  Surface temperature was 70 degrees at 5:30am and the water's surface was dead calm.  I like the early morning fishing when the weather is hot and humid.  Big bright sun as well makes mid day fishing tough.  We fished surface flies with using a #6 frog popper and a #4 chartreuse foam slider.  Pretty tough morning of surface fishing with only 3 smallmouth coming to the fly and 1 fish being landed.  We noticed a bit of feeding in deeper water by smallmouth on the surface as they were slowly rising and slurping something in.  Could of been #6 Hexagenia spinners they were eating as the rise forms almost looked like trout until you took a closer look and realized it was smallmouth.  This activity took place for an hour early on then shut down as the sun got up over head.  All 3 fish that took the fly was hooked in deeper water off drop offs where there were weed beds and rocks.  Chasing trout early this morning.  Keep your thermometer handy as the water has warmed up significantly.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, June 29, 2014

getting out of the sun

Hi Folks, Been keeping busy and out of trouble guiding the last few days.  Really nice summer weather currently and a big bright sun.  I like the sun for gardening but not necessarily for fishing.  Small stream trout fishing has been in order and the fishing has been very good.  Water temperature on the small brook I visited yesterday morning was 59 degrees.  The water was clear and the level had been dropping from the previous days rain.  I love the small streams on hot summer days as they have good shade with the tree canopy and tend to always stay cooler than the larger exposed rivers.  We cast dry flies all morning with a #14 lime green bodied stimulator being the go to fly.  We caught a dozen and half native brook trout and wild rainbows.  Some pretty nice sized brookies and even one wild bow over 11".  Good fun on a 2wt. outfit in a small environment.  The only hatching bugs were #14 yellow sallies.  I am not convinced that matching the hatch is critical in a small brook but our stimulator was certainly the same size as the bug that was coming off and it did out perform a larger #10 royal trude with rubber legs. Up stream fishing, accurate casting and good mending allowed us to catch all the trout.  Keep your thermometers handy as it is warm outside and the big rivers are becoming too warm to fish in the afternoon.  I am off to chase smallmouth with the fly.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, June 27, 2014

beautiful weather for a change

Hi Folks, Spectacular out on the water this morning.  Nice after a few days of steady rain which we did really need.  My clients were treated to an excellent morning of smallmouth bass fishing.  Dead calm at 5:30am and heavy fog which burned off around 7:00am.  Surface temperature was 69 degrees in the lake we fished.  It was ideal conditions for surface fishing.  We cast over dead wood and boulders in 10' of water and watched smallies come to the poppers.  Fire tiger was the color and a storm chug bug was very effective.  The key component was letting the surface lure sit still for half minute.  Slight twitches provoked some very aggressive strikes.  The bass got air born today.  Lots of jumpers.  When the sun poked its head out we moved to deeper water on shadey shorelines.  Flipping 5" green Senkos with red flakes out performed crawfish colored ones.  We landed over a dozen bass with some nice 2lb to 3lb fish coming to the boat.  Off to fish bass again this afternoon.  Keep your thermometer handy in the big trout water as I suspect the Lamoille and Winooski are too warm.  The Winooski was still pretty dirty yesterday and the level was way up.  The Lamoille was high and dropping and a little off colored.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

give em rubber

Hi Folks, Been chasing bass the last couple of days with guests.  Been getting early and on the water between 5:30am and 6:00am.  It has been a pretty windy June.  The wind is a nemesis when fishing from a boat and even casting a fly rod in the big water.  I like early for calmer conditions and low light.  Lake surface temperatures have been hovering between 67 to 69 degrees.  Spin fishing the last few days and we have had to slow down our approach and give the bass an easy meal.  Lizards, Senkos, tubes, and twister tails in olive and crawfish colors have all worked.  I have better success with 3" rubber in the rivers and 4" to 5" in lakes.  The pictured largemouth, caught this morning, ate a 5" green senko with silver flake.  Been catching both largemouth and smallmouth.  Pretty even split.  All of the smallmouth in the river have been out of the main current around wood, deep pools, and big back eddys.  Caught all of our largemouth in less than 5' of water.  All around lilly pads, wood, and docks.  The smallmouth have been hanging around rocks piles in 10' to 15' of water.  Fun fishing.  Looks like rain on the way and we could use it.  Hex hatch going on so time to fish into dark for some big surface feeding trout.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, June 22, 2014

summer set-up

Hi folks, Spent the summer Solstice guiding in the morning and afternoon.  Ran the boat in the morning for smallmouth bass.  Nice cool morning with air temps around 50 degrees and a heavy fog on the water.  The surface temperature of the water was 68 degrees.  Fairly calm first thing, but the wind picked up as the day progressed.  Good spin fishing morning for bass. Not much of a top water bite, but I suspect that had to do with the cold front that had settled in the region.  We landed well over a dozen smallmouth on a 5" olive Senko with a red 2/0 worm hook.  Some pretty subtle takes where you really had to watch the line move in order to sense a fish was biting.  Largest fish landed was the 17" smallie above in the photo who ran right at the boat with the worm before my client knew she had a take.  Finesse fishing requires good line control and a lot of focus.  We located all of our fish 10' to 15' of water on drop offs with a hard bottom and downed wood. My afternoon trip was river fly fishing for trout.  We fished a small brook trout stream that is a part of the Lamoille watershed.  Water was slightly low and very clear.  Water temperature was 60 degrees under good tree canopy.  I wanted relief from the sun and wind.  We landed  numerous brook trout in the 6" to10" range.  The small stream was very well defined and everywhere you thought there should be a trout there was.  Never changed flies as we worked a #12 Royal Wulff  all afternoon long.  It appears that summer is here officially and with the bass and trout fishing.  The bass has moved to there summer hang outs and the small stream trout fishing has come to life.  The best fishing will be early and late in the day unless we encounter some rainy cool days.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, June 21, 2014

feels like fall

Hi folks, Chased trout on the Lamoille with clients yesterday morning.  Pretty chilly out there with a nice cold front pushing in from up north.  Water temperature was 62 degrees and the level was just slightly above the seasonal average.  Decent hatch of #16 tan bodied caddis yesterday morning and we actually found a rising trout.  We got the fish to eat a #16 burnt orange The Usual.  The rainbow made a nice jump prior to being netted.  We landed the rst of our fish nymphing with a #14 red thread tungsten prince nymph with a #16 caddis pupa dropper.  We caught 5 rainbows with 4 being wild fish and 1 a stocked trout.  In addition, we landed a nice 10" brook trout.  Pretty unusual in this section the Lamoille.  By mid morning the wind really picked up out the north/northwest with the bright sun and the trout fishing slowed down.  Certainly time to start fishing lakes for all of the burrowing may flies, most noticeable being the Hexagenia. I am off to fish smallmouth bass.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, June 20, 2014

slow down the approach

Hi folks, Ran the boat with spin clients yesterday morning.  Sunny day with a steady NW wind that increased as the day progressed.  I am glad that we got on the water early.  Surface temperature was 65 degrees.  This particular  body of water holds northern pike, smallmouth bass, and largemouth bass.  We started out the morning searching for pike unsuccessfully.  Could not get a fish to chase or eat.  Not shocking as a cold front had moved in with wind making the fishing always a little more challenging.  However, we did catch a smallmouth on a large perch colored rattle trap.  Finally we resorted to casting 5" green Senkos on 2/0 Red Hooks with great results.  We landed 3 more smallmouth bass with the largest fish measuring 18" and 4 largemouth bass.  The smallmouth were holding in 10' of water over a hard bottom and the largemouth were in 3' of water around lilly pads.  Never a bad idea to be flexible on the water and take what the conditions provide.  Look like good fishing weather on the horizon with cool nights and warm days.  Off to trout fish this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

smallmouth bite

Hi folks, Been a pretty interesting few days of fishing and guiding.  Lots of rain prior to the weekend followed by a cold front made fishing interesting.  Big northeast wind did not help matters.  Tough for lake fishing.  Cold fronts always make fish a little neutral to non-aggressive in feeding.  The main stems of the Lamoille and Winooski are still high but dropping.  They shot up pretty good after all of the rain and became off colored.  Fishing in their tributaries was my focus.  Love the small water when it is up.  Tend to see the bigger fish in those conditions.  River temperatures dropped with the cooling air temperatures and my thermometer was reading low sixties.  It will be a hot week so carrying a thermometer is a great idea for fishing the big water.  Time of the year to fish early morning and some evenings for trout.  All contingent on water temperatures. If you have to trout fish in 70 degrees water then either kill the fish and just be unethical.  The bass fishing this morning was excellent.  Calm conditions at 5:30am with a surface temperature of 67 degrees. The top water bite was excellent until the fog burned off.  Got smallmouth to eat floating rapalas in perch and blue and silver.  When got down and dirty with Senkos in natural 4" crawfish we really began to hook fish.  Pretty darn productive.We located most of our bass in 12' to 15' on hard bottoms off the first real drop off from shore.  Will be chasing trout and smallmouth all week.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

old bucketmouth and toothy slim dogs

Hi folks, Mixed it up the last couple of days with the operation from fishing warm water river fishing for bass and the sort to colder water fishing for trout.  Sorry for slow reports, two kids are a game changer with my time management skills.  Yesterday afternoon was an exploratory mission with my father in law on local large river that has several dams that hold back lakes/oxbows/marshes.  Good calm muggy day. These dams are not particularly good for the trout water below as they significantly warm up during hot weather and bright sun.  Almost bath water as my thermometer read 77 degrees at 6:00pm.  Depending on water flows from mother nature or the power companies holding back water dictates where you will fish.  Fish do move in places like this based on levels.  Also, the fish we were pursuing, largemouth bass and northern pike, were illegally introduced.  We covered some water with me casting an 8wt. with a red and orange bunny bugger (dirty water) and my father in law spin casting a 5" olive Senko on a 2/0 red worm hook.  The fish were biting! Landed 5 quality 2lb to 3lb largemouth bass.  The best fish of the day hammered a #4 frog popper.  The Senko gots looks of action just not a lot fish to the boat.  We must have caught at least 12 chain pickerel with the largest coming in at 24".  Great takes in shallow water.  Some really explosive surface takes on the popper.  Pretty much fished shallow water with lilly pads and the channel edge.  Good exploratory mission.  This morning guided a group of fly anglers.  Big late night rain puffed up the rivers.  Rained early on this morning while we were starting out.  Water temperature was 65 degrees.  The water was rising as we fished.  We hooked two good smallmouth right off the get go.  One fish ate a popper and second took a large #6 brown stone fly nymph.  Both fished jumped and spit the flies.  Landed a nice 12" rainbow on a dead drifted #10 olive wooly bugger that was heavily weighted.  We had a few other bass take a #6 cone head olive bunny bugger but the fishing slowed as the water rose and dirtied up.  I do not thinkthe fish are willing to move so much to eat when the water is rising.  They are way more apt to hold tight to some cover.  Off in the boat tomorrow.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.

Friday, June 13, 2014

weather front????

Hi Folks, spent the day in the kingdom yesterday under cloudy skies.  A cold front just moved into Vermont with an east wind, cooler air temperatures, and rain.  Looks like the rain has raised the level of our streams.  We needed rain and this recent wet event will be beneficial for the long haul.  Water temperatures were we fly fished were 56 degrees to 58 degrees.  Sporadic insects hatching from some large #10 stone flies, to a few #10/#12 March Browns, to some larger #14 sulphurs, and the ever present #16/#18 caddis flies.  Have not seen any drakes on a river this spring.  Did see a hatch of #8/#10 Drakes on lake recently.  Generally the #8/#10 Brown Drakes come off at dark on the Lamoille right now and the hatch happens for maybe a week if we are lucky.  All about timing.  The fishing was tough yesterday and we managed to drum up a handful of trout nymphing, but I can't say it was red hot.  A combination of rainbow and brown trout who were eating #10 black stone fly nymphs and #16 olive wire caddis.  I can only think that the weather front made the trout pretty non-aggressive because we fished nice water under low light conditions and the flows were perfect.  Our success is never due to a lack of trying.  Looks like I will be dodging some wet weather the next couple of days.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, June 12, 2014

wretched fall fish

Hi folks, Spent the afternoon with a client on the lower Winooski yesterday. The lower Winooski to me is from Bolton Dam down to Essex.  Water temperature was 68 degrees ouch!!! Water level is below the seasonal average flow and it was easy wading for big water.  A few #16 sulphurs hatching, but not much for bugs.  We resorted to one of my favorite Winooski tactics, swinging flies.  Position at the top of riffles and swing double nymph rigs with a tight line and let it drift all the way to a stop.  The Winooski is big and dirty and you do not spoke fish with this tactic like could happen on a smaller clear trout stream.  We did land two wild trout on a #16 yellow soft hackle dropped off a #12 tungsten Prince nymph.  One wild bow and a rare wild brown below Bolton.  Generally you catch lots of stocked brown trout in the Winooski in this stretch. This brown trout with cherry dots and big pectoral fins was no stocked fish.  Unfortunately we caught tons of the dreadful fall fish.  Too damn many.  I have to wonder what impact they have on the trout fishery.  Would make good pike bait.  Off to the kingdom today for some trout fishing.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have fun, Willy

Monday, June 9, 2014

spin day

Hi folks, Guided a double yesterday with the spin rods.  We fished trout in the morning on the Lamoille and fished from my boat in the afternoon for smallmouth bass.  Our rivers are now below there seasonal average and we could use some sustained rain.  Water temperatures are rising with the Lamoille at a warm 68 degrees yesterday morning.  We put a hurting on the stocked rainbows yesterday morning.  Landed 13 cookie cutter looking trout.  All of the fish were holding in slow pools on the bottom.  Pretty decent caddis hatch in the morning with #18 tan bodied bug coming off and a few rising trout in riffles.  Splashy rise forms and even several fish coming clean out of the water.  In the afternoon, under bright skies and warm air temperatures we fished from my boat for smallmouth bass.  Surface temperature was 69 degrees and very little wind with a slightly south wind.  The lake we fished is gin clear and you can spot fish.  We used an up down approach with poppers and floating rapalas on the surface and 5" olive Senkos on red worm hook  for dragging the bottom.  All of the bass we located were in 12' of water and less over rocky bottom with some milfoil.   We got denied a lot yesterday afternoon with large smallmouth coming up to the surface presentation and turning off.  We resorted to sighting fish and casting the Senkos in the direction they were moving in order to generate strikes.  All very subtle takes.  The fishing certainly improved as the sun went down behind the hills.  Saw a number of #8 mayflies, some type of Hexagenia coming off at dusk.  They were hatching over a soft bottom which indicates they are a type of burrowing nymph.  A few sporadic rises for the bugs which could have either been perch, smallmouth, or rainbows.  Good day of fishing and fun mixing it up.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, June 8, 2014

double haul

Hi Folks, Guided from my boat yesterday with some long time repeat guests.  Love the long hair and let me assure you this boy can cast a fly rod and fish.  Big bright sunny day with very little wind.  We were on the water early and the sun was high in the sky right off the get go.  Surface temperature was 69 degrees.  I think it is fair to say the bass are all done spawning as we saw a lot of abandoned spawning beds.  The lake we fished is fairly clear and you are able to sight fish.  Lots of casting and the ability to double haul is important in this style of fly fishing.  You need to be able to generate line speed in order to turn over some the larger flies being cast and in order to cover water.  Much more energy efficient and easier on the arm when double hauling heavy fly gear.  Just remember when double hauling the saying "Down up" and always keep constant tension on the fly line.  We did not land a lot of fish of fish yesterday, but we did generate a lot of interest in the fly.  Lots of changing of flies until we settled in or 1/0 white deceivers.  No top water action at all.  We cast sinking lines to keep the fly in the zone.  Every bass and pike we saw came from 10' of water and deeper off the first drop off from shoreline.  Usually over new forming weed beds and piles of rocks.  Lot of follows from really  big fish who would just deny us and not eat the fly.  A little maddening but to be expected with the big bright sun.  The one good pike we hooked eventually broke us off as we did not have  a wire bite guard on the end of the tippet.  Interesting day of warm water fly fishing and no question that the weather played a factor.  Off to chase trout this morning and back in the boat this afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have fun, Willy

Saturday, June 7, 2014


Hi folks, Chased landlocked salmon yesterday with the fly rods.  My client has been fine tuning his fly fishing skill and we did a lot of nymph fishing.  Nice overcast day with water temperatures holding steady at 61 degrees.  The water level where we fished was high and the clarity was okay.  A pretty decent #16 caddis hatch but no rising fish.  We carried a two rods yesterday with one rigged with a #8 Grey ghost streamer and the other with a #12 tungsten red thread Prince nymph under an indicator.  We added a piece of split shot a foot above the fly in order to slow down the drift and keep the fly down in the heavier pocket water.  The streamer did move some fish and resulted in an 18" smallmouth bass, but the nymph rig caught a majority of the fish.  We did see a pretty large salmon chase the streamer only to turn off.  We caught a dozen small salmon between 8" and 14".  Not the target. Several large smallmouth bass and plenty of fall fish where willing to eat the nymph rig as well.  A productive day on the water.  I am off to chase pike and bass with the fly rods from the boat today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, June 6, 2014

very nice

Hi folks, Guided a double yesterday fly fishing with clients fly fishing the Lamoille in the morning and the Winooski in the afternoon.  Water temperatures on both rivers were between 62 degrees and 65 degrees.  Water levels are excellent and about the seasonal average flow.  A nice fishing day with sun in the moring and cloud cover and showers in the afternoon.  A really good day of trout fishing.  Caught most of our fish nymphing with caddis flies.  A #18 olive wire caddis dropped off a #12 cooper john was consistent.  We landed 13 rainbows in the morning with 9 of the fish being stocked trout.  In the afternoon we landed all wild fish rainbows and native brook trout.  Worked a little harder in the afternoon with more casting, but the payoff was nice with jumping wild rainbows and larger average trout.  We had to change flies several times in the afternoon as the trout appeared to want smaller flies.  An unweighted #16 hare's ear flashback nymph and #16 pheasant tail with a #18 caddis dropper was our best rig.  Not much for rising trout yesterday.  However, a good number of #16/#18 caddis hatching in the morning along with a few #10/#12 March Browns, and a #14 sized mayfly hat I did not identify.  The afternoon saw a good hatch of #14/#16 sulphurs along with some small #18 caddis.  I was surprised that there was not any surface activity with amount of bugs that were hatching.  We fished right to dark.  Well a very nice day on the water and I am off to chase some salmon with guests this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, June 5, 2014

bump in the road

Hi folks, Guided with the fly rods yesterday with aspiring fly anglers.  Water was up as we received about a 1/2" of rain in Stowe the previous night.  Pretty warm sunny day.  Brought all of the river levels up, though they have now settled back down.  So, we fished a small stream with wild brown trout and native brook trout.  Water temperature was 57 degrees with good clarity but a higher than average flow.  We focused on large primary pools with #12 black stone fly patterns under an indicator and #10 orange stimulators and #12 royal wulffs.  We missed several fish n the nymph rig.  We were able to catch a couple of brook trout and missed one really nice brown trout.  Awful lot of fun watching a large fish rise to the dry fly.  Came right out from a mess of down fall wood.  I managed to spook a really large brown trout crossing the stream.  I was surprised to see the fish where it was holding.  I am sure it was where is was due to the high flows.  I have it now marked and will return and some point to try to catch it.  Tough conditions yesterday morning, but will be back after the trout this morning and this afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, June 2, 2014

here comes summer conditions

Hi Folks, Spent a nice morning on the Lamoille yesterday with a fly client looking to improve his knowledge and skill.  I always enjoy the teaching aspect of my job as a fly fishing guide and instructor.  Water levels have settled down a bit are slightly above the seasonal average flow.  The water temperature in the morning was 61 degrees and I am sure it went up as the day progressed.  Bright sunny day out there and it looks like it will be warm and sunny the next few days and will warm up water temperatures.  Use your thermometer and leave trout alone when water temperatures exceed 70 degrees.  We nymph fished yesterday with and without an indicator.  There was a decent number of #16 caddis hatching, but I did not see any fish rise.  No shocker for a Vermont trout stream.  A few #14 may fly duns coming off and even some spinners over a shady hole, but once again no rising fish.  We landed multiple rainbow trout yesterday on a #14 olive hare and copper.  Mostly stocked fish with the exception of the photographed 13" wild rainbow that put up a nice fight.  Our tactics were to fish out of the sun and we dead drifted a tandem nymph rig with an indicator and then on another hole tight swing the nymphs into a heavy riffle that fed a deep ledge rock pool.  Good morning of trout fishing.  The best fishing right now will be early and late on the big rivers due to bright sun and warming air and water temperatures.  Look for #14/#16 sulphurs at dusk and morning hatches of #16 caddis on the sunnier days.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, June 1, 2014

light line brown trout

Hi folks, Spent a beautiful day on a Lamoille tributary yesterday with a fly client chasing wild fish.  Nice weather day with cloudy morning conditions giving way to afternoon clearing.  The water levels are still up but the clarity in our streams is fine.  Water temperature ranged from 59 degrees to 62 degrees.  Saw a few #10/#12 march Browns hatching throughout the day yesterday and then a pretty good hatch of #14 dorothia sulphurs at dusk with a few rising trout.  Sporadic #16 caddis all day and even some larger #12 stone flies and #14 yellow sallie stone flies.  We carried two rods yesterday with a 4wt. rigged with a double nymph rig under an indicator and 000wt. Sage armed with a #12 hare's ear parachute.  We landed all wild and native trout yesterday with 1 10" native brook trout, 4 wild rainbows between 8" and 12" and two spectacular dry fly eating 15" and 16" brown trout.  By the way, brown trout do jump.  One of the brown trout was caught on the seam of a riffle that piled under an over hanging birch with a big root jam.  Great watching the fish rise to eat the fly.  I have mostly been nymphing with #12 black stone fly patterns, #12 red threaded tungsten prince nymphs, #14/#16 olive and natural hare and cooper nymphs, as well as a variety of caddis patterns.  Off to guide the Lamoille this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy