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


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


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