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