Sunday, May 31, 2015

If you don't like the weather, wait a minute

Hi Folks, Good weekend for the Catfish on the water.  Guided two trips yesterday in the hot bright sun.    Took guests out today in the rainy colder weather.  Started yesterday in my boat spin fishing for bass and pike.  Surface temperature ranged from 64 degrees to 68 degrees.  Good steady stiff wind from the south.  Pushed my boat around a bit.  We caught a wide variety of species from smallmouth bass to largemouth bass to pike to chain pickerel to perch and finally rock bass.  The water was bit off color to down right dirty.  Depended on where we fished as the wind affected areas were the dirty sections of the lake.  The clearest and coolest water was in the river that fed the lake.  The largest fish we located were in the main lake on rocky shore lines that abruptly dropped off into deeper water.  I held the boat in 15' to 20' of water and my clients cast into 5' of water.  The fish were holding on the drop offs.  We located a mess of smallmouth bass in the river section that were more than willing to eat a Big O crank bait that resembled a crawfish.  Yesterday afternoon I took a beginning fly angler to fish on the lower Winooski.  The water temperature was 68 degrees.  The river level was low.  Pretty darn hot and humid  yesterday afternoon prior the cold front that pushed through with a massive thunder and lightening show.  The trout fishing was slow but it was a fall fish bonanza.  Lots of #14/#16 suphur nymphs on the rocks in the riffles and quite a few #16/#18 olive and tan bodied caddis.  Not too many hatching bugs that we saw prior to being blown off the water.  Last night and today we finally received some much needed rain.  We could use some more.  Nice cool down as well.  Did a family outing today with a little bank fishing.  The Lamoille was not fishable today as the water came up pretty significantly.  We fished were a river dumps into a lake from the shore line.  The water temperature was 63 degrees and off color.  We cast beetle spins and a variety of perch colored and craw fish colored plugs.  Good day for chasing pan fish.  Lots of action with bullhead and perch.  We did manage to draw the interest of several large trout but they turned off each time they followed a lure.  Looks like wet weather for the next few days.  Should be good for the fishing.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, May 29, 2015

Warming up and late day risers

Hi Folks, Guided a young aspiring fly angler today on the Lamoille.  Water is awful low and warm for May 29.  Reminds me of July conditions except the fact that we have spring hatches!  Really warm weather for May.  Started the afternoon on a stretch of the Lamoille that was 72 degrees.  Ouch!!!!  So we did a casting clinic and went and found some cooler water.  Nice hatch of #14 Sulphurs and #16 olive bodied caddis, along with #12 March Brown spinners to boot.  Once the light got the low, the trout began to look up.  I love dry fly fishing.  Rather do that and guide it than ever swing streamers or drift nymphs.  My young angler today caught his first wild trout on a fly rod today with a dry fly, fantastic. The fly of the afternoon was a Catskill style tied #14 sulphur.  We landed 5 wild rainbows between 7" and 12" and missed 2 fish.  We did catch two of the trout with the fly drowned, though it was still drifting naturally in the current.  My suspicion is the trout were keyed in to the emerger.  All good jumping rainbows and fun on a 4wt.  Well, we need rain and some cooler weathe would be nice.  Off to chase pike and bass in the morning and trout in the afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

on the still water front

Hi Folks, Spent the last two days in my boat guiding anglers with both spin and fly gear for smallmouth bass and northern pike.  Water temperatures have ranged on the surface from 58 degrees to 63 degrees. Today the windy side of the lake was 3 degrees warmer than the leeward side.  Good steady northwest wind today with some whitecap action.  The fish in the lake I fished yesterday are up in the skinny water.  We got them to eat a floating perch colored rapala and a shallow running Big O crawfish colored crank bait.  Fished in a different lake today and the fish were are staging on the first drop off from the shallow areas where they will spawn.  We saw all of our bass today in 6' to 12' of water.  Both days the takes where pretty subtle,  Today we would set the hook when we saw our flies disappear.   You would not feel the strike.  You had to be patient on the hook in order to allow the fish to eat either the fly or lure.  Had a few encounters with toothy northern pike today and we landed and a couple a lost a couple.  The flies of the day were a Red/White 2/0 Bunny Bugger and a Creamsicle 2/0 Bunny bugger.  We found the northerns in deeper water and all of the strikes seemed like they come out of no where.  We really need some rain and it is awfully dry for May.  Fishing should continue to be good as long as it stays cool.  Warmer air temperatures slow things down and it appears that the fishing will now be best in the early morning and late afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, May 25, 2015

Perfect time of the year

Hi Folks, Kept busy yesterday on the water guiding in the morning and afternoon. Chased smallmouth with the fly rods in the morning and river trout with the fly in the afternoon.  Great time of the year to pursue a wide variety of species and lots of options.  Nice cool morning yesterday with a slight swirling breeze.  Nice over cast skies and the top water bite was on for the bass. We landed 21 smallmouth.  The bass are in full on pre spawn mode and pretty easy pickings right now.  The fish were located in less than 5' of water over gravel and broken up rocky shorelines.  The takes were pretty subtle as the fish just came up and down on the fly.  It took some patience on the hook set as we did prematurely remove the fly a few times before the bass were stuck.  Pretty easy to do when you are getting lots of action.  In the afternoon I took two beginner fly anglers to fish a tail water where they happen to have some property.  The flow was low and the water temperature was 51 degrees.  Not much for hatching bugs and the gravel in riffles was pretty devoid of life.  This is due in large part to the flow regimes of this particular river which is an all or nothing release.  We dead drifted #10 heavily weighted olive/black wooly bugger under indicators.  We landed 1 solid 14" brown trout and lost the fish of the day if not the spring.  A very large brown trout that I would have estimated to be in the 20" plus class.  The large trout tossed the fly when it came out of the water.  Sounded like a beaver tail slapping the water when the fish jumped.  So bugs to look for currently are #10/#12 Mach Browns, #16 olive bodied caddis and , #14/#16 Grey Fox Variants.  I am off to run the boat for bass.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, May 24, 2015

March Browns

Hi Folks, I guided the Lamoille yesterday afternoon with the fly rods.  The river looked like a summer level as the water is still very low.  We really could use some sustained rain.  The temperature was great with it holding at 57 degrees all afternoon.  Nice big bright sunny day.  Let me tell you when the sun became low in the ski the fishing really tuned on.  Pretty interesting how slow the trout fishing was while it was bright and sunny out.  They really do prefer low light.  Fantastic hatch of #10/#12 Stenonema vicarium or commonly know as the March Brown.  It is a a big bug that hatches mid morning to late afternoon with big spinner falls at dusk.  Not much happening in the way of rising fish until the light got low even though the bugs were coming off pretty steadily.  March Browns are clinger nymphs and like to hold in heavy riffles.  We nymph fished with a #12 pheasant tail and tried a #10 olive black wooly bugger with minimum success.  We drew 4 strikes nymphing.  Once we started seeing fish rise then the fun really began.  We landed a dozen wild and stocked rainbows on a #12 parachute brown dun.  The fish rose aggressively and we missed a few trout as well.  We had rising for for a good 2 hours as they transitioned to eating March Brown spinners and then there was a #16 olive bodied caddis hatching in late afternoon.  Good drifts did make a difference in getting the better fish to eat.  The smaller trout were willing to eat the dry fly swung after the dead drift.  We did have some success in the later afternoon with a #12 Rusty Spinner.  I am off to chase smallmouth this morning and then trout fishing in the afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Recon MIssion

Hi Folks, Guided two of my long repeat guest yesterday afternoon on a Lamoille tributary.  It just so happens that they purchased a 74 acre parcel that is part of this particular watershed in prime trout water.  Nice to know the land will be in good hands and conserved and preserved for future anglers to enjoy.  Our streams are incredibly low.  We really need rain or it could be a long summer of trout fishing.  Water temperature was 56 degrees and extremely clear.  Big time cold front came through with a frost warning last night into early this morning.  The wind really blew hard and steady from the north/northwest.  We saw a really good hatch of #16 Blue Quills late in the afternoon with some #22 Olives.  Lots of duns in eddies and tail outs of pools.  Unfortunately, not a damn fish responding to the hatches.  During the afternoon we did see a fair amount of #10/#12 March Browns hatching.  We did not have a single fish eat our flies.  Now we did walk around my clients property for awhile and not necessarily fished the whole time, but still makes me wonder? I like pursuing wild trout and try to stay away from the stocked areas.  However, it seems to me the stocked trout fishing is a bit more productive currently than what I have been witnessing on my area trout streams.  It looks like a bit more warm weather for the weekend and I will chasing trout this afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Hi Folks, Ran the boat this afternoon with a client chasing pre-spawn smallmouth bass.  Interesting weather day with the arrival of a cold front.  Big steady northwest wind and the air temperatures dropped by 20 degrees from the previous day.  If you don't like the weather wait a minute!  Water temperature was between 61 degrees and 64 degrees.  We searched out the warmer water all afternoon and tried to fish in the sun.  Like the sun for early spring fishing for smallmouth as the bass are seeking out warmer water to crank up their metabolism in preparation for spawning.  With spin equipment we landed 7 male smallmouth bass.  We hooked fish on a perch rapala, a crawfish colored shallow running crankbait and a 5" watermelon red magic Senko.  The crank baits were the most productive lures in the stained and choppy water.  Tough fishing soft plastics in really windy conditions.  It appeared to me that the bass are staging to spawn and that the next full moon will really get reproduction going.  I did not spot one spawning bed in places I have seen them for 20 years.  We could still use some rain as our local rivers have dropped significantly since our last rain fall.  Trout fishing should really come into its own with the current weather pattern.  I will be on the water for the next week straight guiding and I am looking forward to chasing some trout.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, May 18, 2015

Getting there slowly but surely

Hi Folks, Guided trout trips with the fly rods this weekend.  It was a weekend of river fishing with aspiring fly anglers.  Our rivers are coming around slowly but surely.  Levels are just around the seasonal average flow and temperatures have ranged from low fifties in the morning to high fifties by late afternoon.  Starting to see #14/#16 Hendricksons hatch, but I have not found any fish responding to them on the surface.   Lots and lots of cased caddis on tops of rocks in riffles that are preparing to hatch.
I found the trout fishing to be fairly slow this weekend.  With the exception of the trophy zones, many of our trout rivers have not been stocked as of yet.  Interesting to me how few wild trout actually exist in the Lamoille and Winooski.  Not a high density and they do not always come to the fly very easily.  Rainbow trout should become more of the mix everyday as they finish up spawning.  We are coming into one of the better times of the year for fishing as the options will be limitless for pursuing both cold water and warm water species.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, May 16, 2015

where are the big ones???

Hi Folks, Ran my boat yesterday with clients and fly rods in search of northern pike.  Fished a lake that is fed by the Lamoille River.  The water was stained and the temperature was 56 degrees to 58 degrees.  Partly cloudy afternoon with a slight northwest breeze.  We caught all of our fish in less than of 5' of water.  The colors of the day were red and white.  We cast 2/0 red and white bunny buggers with fast action 7 weight and 9 weight outfits matched with both sinking and floating lines.  We landed 3 northern pike, a pickerel, 2 largemouth bass, and loads of large yellow perch and rock bass.  No big fish though we did lose a good sized bass that tangled up in some wood.  Not a bad day on the lake, just did not see any big pike.  On the trout stream front we finally received much needed rain which puffed up our streams.  Water levels are right around the seasonal average level presently and dropping fairly fast.  Clarity on the Lamoille yesterday was good.  For hatches, look for #14/#16 Hendricksons, #16 Blue Quills, #14 bright green bodied caddis, and #16 Grannoms.  Still some lake run rainbow around to chase, but they are spawning and preparing to start dropping back.  Off to chase trout today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-natve species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, May 8, 2015

On a trout stream

Hi Folks, Spent my first day on a trout stream this season yesterday afternoon.  Visited a Lamoille tributary where the water temperature was 61 degrees.  Pretty warm for this time of the year.  Of course, the 85 degree air temperatures with bright sun contributes to the higher than normal water temperatures.  The river levels are really low.  We need rain big time.  Pretty scary how low the water is for this time of the year.  No sign above the water of #14/#16 Hendricksons.  Did not see any duns or spinners at dusk.  Lots of puffed up nymphs below the surface on rocks and they look ready to begin hatching.  The only sign of life was from a few #14 brown stone flies and did not see any trout respond to them.  We dead drifted and swung a number of different patterns from #12 double tungsten stone fly to a #10 muddler minnow, to a variety of #12/#14 nymph patterns like a pheasant tail, hare and copper, and a Dave's red fox squirrel nymph.  No strikes or follows from any fish.  Not shocked as I would have said that the trout fishing would be slow to start this year after the winter we just experienced.  I wonder what impact the sudden increase in water temperatures have on the fish.  The water jumped in a good 10 to 15 degrees in a few days time.  Well, looks warm for the next few days and then back to season average temperatures with some much needed rain in the forecast.  Will be running the boat for pike in the next few days.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Cat is Back

Hi Folks, Started the guiding season today with the boat and fly rods.  Visited the Champlain Valley looking for northern pike. Nice warm day with a slight wind from northwest.  Surface temperature ranged from 60 degrees to 64 degrees.  Incredible that the water had warmed almost 15 degrees in a weeks time.  We fished the shallow margins with 8wt. and 9 wt. outfits.  One Rio Pike sinking line and a weight forward pike line.  Heavy leaders with 30lb tippet and steel bite guards.  Lots of casting in pursuit of northerns with a fly.  We had one pike follow.  Did manage to land 3 largemouth bass on a 2/0 chartreuse/white Deceiver. We missed a couple other bass.  There were tons of pan fish and bull head in the shallows and you could spot them all day.  Occasionally there were some large boils of water that appeared as if a predator was having a bite on the easy pickings in the shallows.    On the river front, the water is already low.  We need rain big time!!!  Ground is dry and even though there still is some snow melt from the high elevations, that will not last long with the warm temperatures forecast for the near future.  Rivers are warming and it will not be long before it is #12/#14 Hendrickson season.  Plenty of #14 brown stones around right now.  In Orleans county there a few quality rainbows being landed.  It is time spent chasing those beautiful lake run steelhead.  Looks like the fishing is heating up, lots of options.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy