Friday, July 31, 2015

escaping the heat

Hi Folks, Been guiding fly guests on small brooks the last couple of days.  A mountain stream is a great place to escape the heat and humidity.  Due to the tree canopy and coolness of the water the stream basin always seems about 10 degrees cooler than the surrounding area.  Mother Nature's air conditioning.  So water temperatures have risen significantly over the last few days, especially in the bigger rivers.  The Lamoille and Winooski currently are un-fishable from a stand point of the water being too warm (over 70 degrees).  However, the small streams that feed these larger rivers are still maintaining temperature.  The brooks I visited read water temperatures of 60 to 63 degrees.  Not bad considering how warm and muggy it has been the last few days.  We have been catching native brook trout on dry flies.  Mostly #12 and #14 green bodied stimulators.  Good representation of the profile of a Hopper body.  It is the time of terrestrials for fly anglers.  We did land a 12" wild rainbow yesterday while small stream fishing which was good fun on a soft 3wt. fly rod.  The brooks are teaming with brook trout. I think there was a trout  in every pool we cast to.  Afternoon rain storms yesterday brought the water up a bit, but the front that came through removed the humidity from the equation.  Off to small stream again today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have fun, Willy

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hot, hot, and more hot

Hi Folks, Arguably one of the warmer days of the summer yesterday on my boat with clients.  Guided for bass with spin anglers in the afternoon.  Been a hot muggy week and it looks to continue for a few days.  No wind to speak of yesterday and the surface temperature was 78 degrees.  The fishing was really slow until about the last hour of light.  Just too bright and warm and the fish seemed extremely non-aggaressive.   Good reason to fish early in the morning when it is warm and muggy outside.  It was like a light switch effect last night that when it turned on the fishing really picked up.  We landed 4 smallmouth bass and 1 largemouth bass.  I had guests from the Emerald Isle who had never done any fishing so it was lots of fun teaching them the whole process.  They did great and only became more proficient as the evening progressed.  Initially we could not even get a fish to eat a Senko.  We scaled back from 5" to 4" Senkos in watermelon red magic and began to get bites.  The fish were really tentative on eating the rubber and you really had to give them time to take in the soft bait.  Early hook sets resulted in a half pulled off worm from the off set hook and no fish.  Patience in letting the fish swim with the rubber was imperative.  We located all of our bass in and around milfoil beds that were in 10' to 15' of water on a hard bottom.  When fishing gets tough, then always slow it down.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home. Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

of mighty and minuscule

Hi Folks, Ran a fly client in a canoe yesterday afternoon for smallmouth bass. Really has warmed up this week.  Hot and humid all week it looks like.  Not great trout fishing weather, but sure mighty fine for tugging on smallmouth.  The surface temperature of the lake we fished was 74 degrees.  Very little wind to speak of.  It seems to me that when the surface temperature eclipses 70 degrees and the air is heavy, the top water bite really takes off.  We cast a #6 chartreuse rubber legged popper and never changed flies.  We fish of all size classes eat the fly.  We hooked a legitimate 20" plus smallmouth off a rock ledge with some weeds that was a monster!  Lost it on the second jump.  The interesting part was that the bass sucked in the fly like a small fish.  You had no clue how big it was until it came out of the water and then it was game on.  I bark at guests all the time about treating every fish the same in how you hook and play them.  Builds good habits.  Also, very important to put maximum pressure on a big fish.  Meaning find the taper of the your fly rod and bend it.  So, we did catch a lot of other bass in varying size ranges.  Interestingly enough, the small fish crushed the popper and the big boys and girls were subtle takes.  Funny hooking 20" fish to 5" fish.  good sign for the lake as you know it is helathy with all age and size classes.  Off to chase smallmouth again this afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, July 27, 2015

Pulling the boat around

Hi Folks, Ran the boat yesterday morning with a group of my regular repeat spin anglers.  An entertaining crew to fish with who seem to manage always catch some nice fish.  Good breezy morning with a steady wind out of the south west and shifted to the south east.  Surface temperature varied depending on where we fished. It ranged from 68 degrees to 72 degrees.  Cooler in the river system part of the lake and warmer in the main lake.  Good overcast conditions, but not much for top water fishing.  We had one largemouth bass eat a top water and we did not land it.  Most of our takes came on 5" Senkos in green wit red flake, goby, and green with blue flake.  Though we did land one bass on a pike lure, a #5 fire tiger spinner.  The river section was the most productive yesterday as the fishing was tough in the main lake due to the wind.  We did not miss many fish yesterday as we landed 1 largemouth bass, 7 smallmouth bass, 1 walleye, 1 very large rock bass, and several yellow belly perch.  Really capitalized on our opportunities.  The prize of the day was a whopping 18" smallmouth that made a great leap upon being stuck.  The fish pulled my 16' Grumman's bow around with 3 anglers plus me in the boat.  Strong fish.  The fish were holding on current edges in and around large rocks.  Looks to be hot the next few days.  Trout fishing in the large rivers will not be an option due to warm water temperatures. I will be guiding smallmouth the next couple of afternoons.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Hanging with the fish

Hi Folks, Been on the Lamoille the last two days teaching/guiding the art of fly fishing for trout.  Pretty amazing that the Lamoille is in the shape it is for July.  The water temperature yesterday morning at 7:00am was 63 degrees and the previous day at lunch time it was 65 degrees.  The level is still above the seasonal average flow.  The other thing that stands out is the lack of people on the water and it seemed that no one had been enjoying the water.  No sign of fishing pressure.  Lots of #16 olive caddis on the bottom of rocks, #8-#12 stone fly shucks on rocks on the shore line, and we saw a decent number #22 Trico spinners yesterday morning at 10:30am.  No rising fish.  This time of year on the Lamoille if not all the time, a olive/green caddis pupa #16-#20 will catch a trout.  In addition, a #16-#20 olive bodied x-caddis swung will draw lots of interest.  The last couple of days the trout we have landed all took a #16/#18 olive caddis pupa dead drifted and swung.  I love it as a dropper nymph below a #14 prince or a #12 double tungsten stone fly nymph.  All of the trout have looked pretty good that we have landed the last couple of days.  The high cool water suits them well.  Off to chase smallmouth this morning.  Damp humid morning, should be good.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, July 24, 2015

of big and small

Hi Folks, Guided a double yesterday chasing smallmouth bass in the morning and small brook fly fishing in the afternoon for native brook trout.  Real contrast in fishing environments.  I like mixing it up and it was has helped to keep me busy over the years offering a wide variety of fishing experiences. A nice cool morning with a stiff northwest wind blowing 10mph to 15mph posed a few issues with boat control.  We fished a large river that drains into a lake.  Surface temperature was 66 degrees and the water clarity was stained.  No surface bite, but i was not surprised as the water was somewhat cool for this time of the year.  A few boat problems yesterday morning, situation rectified, was moved past quickly with a large 17" smallmouth coming into the boat.  We resorted to dead drifting and slowly working 5" watermelon red magic Senkos.  We landed 7 bass.  The largest fish of the morning was a fine an fat tailwalking 19" smallmouth.  A day that we worked for fish, but caught quality fish.  In the afternoon, the small brook we visited was 60 degrees and the clarity was off.  We cast a variety of #10 to #14 stimulators and had native brook trout rising to the fly pretty consistently.  I did notice that the larger flies drew lots of interest but not necessarily a take.  When we down sized the fly, fewer trout rising to it, but they would inhale it.  Dead drifting was important and the moment the fly dragged, it was game over.  Well, of to chase trout today in the rain.  Nice damp and cool out there.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Rough and Tumbly

Hi Folks, Guided a tributary of the Lamoille yesterday afternoon for trout with the fly rods.  Water is still u but he clarity was fine.  This particular stream is pretty tannin as is and has lots of large rocks and boulders to contend with when wading.  Water temperature was 63 degrees. Decent for July. A few #8-#12 golden stone fly shucks on rocks and we saw a few sporadic #14 may flies hatching.  No rising fish.  We carried two rods, one with a dry dropper rig and one with a #12 double tungsten stone fly fly pattern under an indicator.  We spent most of our time on primary pools.  We hooked 7 trout from browns to rainbows to small native brook trout.  Most of our takes were on the nymphs, though at dusk we did have 3 fish come to the dry fly.  It was interesting that in the high water I think the trout did not want to move much.  It appeared that they were holding tight to cover which makes sense for a fish that is lazy and energy efficient.  So it meant lots of drifts into suspected holding water in order to draw interest.  I am off to chase bass this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home, Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

family effort

Hi Folks, Guided a large trip yesterday morning with the spin gear for smalllmouth bass.  Nice morning with water levels still slightly high from Sundays thunder boomers.  Water temperature was 68 degrees and the water clarity was pretty good.  I do not do any large groups, but when, I have another guide help me out.  Important for safety and quality control when taking more than 4 people in a river environment.  We worked a few hard baits off the get go, but no smallmouth responding to Rapalas or poppers.  So, the incredible edible Senko in 3" baby bass was the soup du jour.  We fished slow water than appeared to be frog water.  My fellow guide could not believe that the fish were holding in it  I informed him that what makes the stretch of river so good is that the average angler would walk past such a place and focus on riffles to pools.  Bass are lazy and do not want to fight current anymore than they have to.  This stretch of river has a lot of downed wood and varying contours in the stream bottom. The fish cruise up and down it looking for food. It seems like they zero in on the Senko when it plops on the water as you can often see them dart towards the rubber as it sinks.  Everyone in the family of 6 caught a fish yesterday.  We landed 18 bass and probably missed or lost another dozen fish.  The trick with the Senkos is to be patient on the hook set and they really set it.  Lots of fun with the family dynamic, especially when it is not a competition.   Looks like a cool down so I am going to take advantage of it and guide trout this afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, July 20, 2015

Thunder and Lightening, high water,and humble pie

Hi Folks, Guided the last two mornings river fishing for bass.  Big time thunderstorms and heavy down pours have dirtied up our streams significantly.  The Lamoille and Winooski are currently blown out and will take several days to come down an clear.  I guided a spin/fly trip on the lower Winooski yesterday morning and the fish had absolute lock jaw! The water temperature was 72 degrees and the level was slightly above the seasonal average flow, but the clarity was fine.  We drew 3 strikes all morning and that was it.  We got blown off by the thunderstorms but I can't say that the fishing was going to pick up.  We cast floating Rapalas, dead drifted Senkos, swung Clouser Minnows and dead drifted stone fly patterns.  I can only figure that instability to the weather contributed to the slow fishing.  Interesting after having a banner day bass fishing on Saturday we cant catch a fish in prime smallmouth water to save our lives.  This morning with the big rivers blown out, I guided my clients with ultra light spin rods for wild trout.  The brook we fished was 59 degrees and the water was slightly up and off colored.  Still pretty clear.  We focused on primary pools.  We had multiple follows from browns and brook trout.  We hooked 3 brown trout and 4 brook trout.  Lost every fish at our feet.  We had a 15" plus brown  trout on that made two spectacular leaps prior to tossing the hook.  All of the strikes were lightening fast as the trout seemed to emerge out of nowhere.  Good option this morning with all of the big water temporarily decommissioned.  Chasing bass again tomorrow.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, July 18, 2015


Hi Folks, Man, the bass fishing has bee really good for the last 3 days.  Lake and river fishing for smallmouth.  Ran my boats with clients yesterday and guided a crew of 4 for big river smallmouth fishing today.  Water temperatures are above 70 degrees with the lower Lamoille reading 72 today and the lake I was on last 73 degrees.  Hot humid air has been persistent for a few days and last night and today were cloudy, perfect! Chasing smallmouth in clear lakes is tons of fun. Long casts are necessary in order to avoid the spook factor (big profile standing in boat).  The good old floating perch Rapala was the ticket .  We did mix in a little 5" Senko action for good measure.  The smallmouth were all over the Rapala as sat motionless or with little twitches.  Most of the takes were pretty much like slurps and gulps.  The biggest fish of the night was 17.5" with several other 15" plus bass landed and lost.  Popper fishing was okay.  Every fish was around beds of milfoil in 12' to 15' of water.  We were able to spot quite a few fish cruising and you certainly could see fish rising to slurp in the Rapala.  Fun sight fishing for smallmouth.  On a interesting note, their were multiple rising rainbows gulping something on the surface in deeper water.  Much of the surface activity was happening in 40' to 60'  of water.  No idea what the trout were eating.  The river fishing for bass today was ridiculous.  The water is still up and we waded and walked a pretty rigorous section of the Lamoille that is riddled with giant boulders and rocks. We hooked well over 50 fish between 4 anglers.  Mostly chunky strong river bass, though the prize of the day was a 3lb. walleye.  It was interesting that the first hour of fishing in the early am was fairly slow.  Only two takes on a popper. We actually did not land a fish on a popper until mid afternoon.  The two walleyes of the day were caught on a perch colored Big "O" crank bait.  We focused on large primary pools.  It appeared that there were pods of smallmouth holding together in certain spots in each hole.  We would hook 4 or 5 nice bass on 6 or 7 drifts in pretty much the same location.  It was true in 4 of the 5 holes we fished.  The 3" and 4" Senko in green and green flake was  the ticket.  The fishing was pretty much consistent all day.  What river bass might lack in the size compared to lake fish, they more than make up for in their hard fighting abilities.  Off to do it all over again tomorrow.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, July 17, 2015

A contrasting day

Hi Folks, Double up yesterday with a morning fly trip for trout and and afternoon fly trip for smallmouth.  Very different results in very different environments.  Been nice over the last 3 days where I have guided 6 trips and they were all repeat guests.  Well, a nice cold front moved in and it was a bit chilly on the tail water we fished yesterday morning.  I actually wore waders instead of wet wading.  The water temperature was 53 degrees and the water was off color.  We did see a #14 midge hatching with regularity but not any fish rising to eat it.  We could not buy a trout yesterday morning.  We dead drifted nymphs and large dry flies as well as swung some streamers.  The water we fished "screamed trout," but not such luck.  Anyway, no better way to handle getting skunked than by going fishing again.  In the afternoon, broke out the canoe with a guest I have guided for over 17 years.  He is an excellent fly angler and knows how to smell out a fish.  The surface temperature was 74 degrees with a steady north wind that laid down by dusk.  Good #4/#6 Hex hatch at dusk.  I am convinced that the Hex hatch really prompts a lot of the surface feeding by bass for the next couple of months.  They seem to know to look up in the water column for food.  Not to mention this is the time of plenty with bait fish, terrestrials, and the variety of water born insects that have hatched.  We cast a #6 frog popper with great success.  We landed well over 15 smallmouth with one massive beast that was hard to to turn with a 7wt.  Good number of 13" to 15" smallmouth as well as yellow perch and sun fish and 1 very large nasty pickerel that hammered the popper.  The huge smallmouth made an impressive jump and tail walk.  We located all of the bass in and around weed bed and wood.  Always rock in close proximity.  The fishing really picked up as the afternoon progressed.  It is always a real advantage for the fly angler who can cast and make long casts.  You can cover more water and put distance between the fly and the boat and eliminate any spook factor.  Double hauling is a must!! So practice your casting.  I am off to chase smallmouth this afternoon in the boat.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A little summer cool down

Hi Folks, Doubled up yesterday with a boat trip in the morning and a river trip in the afternoon with the fly rods.  Big cold front pushed through yesterday morning.  We experienced it first hand as we were on the water as it all went down.  Surface temperature of the lake we fished was 74 degrees.  The wind increased from the north as the morning progressed.  The top water bite was excellent as we landed 7 smallmouth.  A fire tiger popper was very productive.  We located bass on edges in 10' to 15' of water. Working the popper aggressively is what it took to bring the bronzebacks to the surface.  When the front pushed through by 8:30am the fishing did slow.  You could feel the air cool off.  In the afternoon, the river we visited was up from the previous nights rain.  All of our rivers are currently puffed up and off color a bit from the rain.  Water temperature was 67 degrees.  We landed 5 stocked rainbows and 3 small bass swinging a #8 tungsten cone head muddler.  No hatching bugs, but lots of #8-#12 golden stone fly shucks on the rocks and a fair amount of #18 cased caddis on the bottom of rocks.  Off to chase trout this morning and bass this afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

All about line management

Hi Folks, Doubled up yesterday with the guiding operation chasing river bass.  Hot humid day with afternoon showers.  Water temperature has reached 70 degrees and the clarity in the water was pretty good.  We used spin gear in the morning and fly fished in the afternoon.  In each case, I had anglers who are learning the craft of fishing.  We fished smallmouth in the morning using rubber and dry fly fished in the afternoon with big #10 foam terrestrial patterns.  In each case the key ingredient was managing your line.  With the spin gear it was critical in order to detect some of the subtle strikes but also so you could get a good hook set.  With the fly rods, beginners struggle mightily with controlling their fly line.  Too much slack makes it tough to achieve a good drift and even harder to set the hook when a fish rises to eat off the top.  We worked out the kinks and managed to land quite a few fish between morning and evening outings.  All of the smallmouth were holding in slow moving pools that had downed wood and the larger fish were positioned in large eddies.  I am off to do it again today with the boat this morning and the river in the afternoon.  Looks like a big cold front has moved in and could make fishing interesting today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home. have fun, Willy

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

working with the future

Hi Folks, Guided a father son trip yesterday with spin gear.  Pretty hot humid day for Vermont with some midday thunder boomers.  Water temperatures have warmed and I got a reading of 73 degrees yesterday.  After all of the June rain, our rivers have settles out nicely.  So I notice not many kids fishing these days on their own and only a handful with adults.  I guess their are a lot of other activities to keep entertained these days and fishing takes a back seat.  I always enjoy taking a young kid on the water and having the first chance to teach him or her about the art of fishing.  My theme is always keep it fun.  They are the future of our fisheries!  Anyways, we had a good day on the water landing stocked rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, and even a large sucker.  One of the trout e landed got chased by a very large bass that was driving the trout out of its lair.  Funny that we tugged on trout as we were targeting smallmouth bass.  Keep it simple with kids and not too complicated.  Water is clear right now so think about your approach how you dress.  Earth tones are best. Off to chase river bass this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Summer bassin'

Hi Folks, Ran the boat yesterday with one of my repeat groups for bass.  Summer is now upon us and getting on the water early is the ticket.  Important to be out there while the water is cool and the light is low.  The fishing can be extremely tough in the middle of the day on hot sunny summer days.  If you want to trout fish then the morning really is the only option unless you visit a small mountain brook.  Water temperatures in the Lamoille and Winooski will eclipse 70 degrees on hot days and the trout need to be left alone.  So yesterday morning the surface temperature of the gin clear lake we fished was 72 degrees at 6:00am.  Had the pleasure of fishing with a father and his two boys who are totally into the fishing.  The nice thing about this clan is how well the boys get along and the lack of competition amongst them in fishing.  The oldest brother caught the most bass, but the younger brother caught the largest and it was cool with everyone.  Always good when fishing with a family of three to have everyone land a fish.  So, we landed 1 largemouth bass and 11 smallmouth bass.  We had to finesse fish using 4" and 5" green Senkos.  The 4" seemed to be more effective.  We worked 7' to 15' of water around big boulders, wood, and ever present milfoil beds.  A lot of the takes were subtle.  The more aggressive takes were pan fish or small bass.  It is interesting when learning to fine tune rubber fishing how important it is to be able to differentiate between fish bites and cover or structure your bait can become hung up on.  Sometimes a very subtle difference.  Laying low today with the family.  Will be back at all this week coming up.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Nice mix of fish

Hi Folks, Ran the boat yesterday with guest chasing smallmouth bass.  I had the pleasure having one of the two anglers on the boat catch their first fish of their life.  The surface temperature was 72 degrees and it was hot sunny day.  Very little wind.  We mixed up our presentations from poppers, to a craw fish pattern deep diving crank bait, to finesse fishing with 5" Senkos.  Not a lot of love on the surface, but the largest fish of the day did take the crank bait off the top prior to it being retrieved.  I set up the boat in 20' to 35' of water and we cast into the deep drop offs from the shore line.  The crank bait landed smallmouth, rock bass, fall fish, and rainbow trout.  The incredible edible Senko worked its usual magic on the smallmouth.  We landed well over a dozen fish.  Off to chase bass again this morning.  Going to be another hot day so get out on the water early.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, July 9, 2015


Hi Folks, Incredible day of trout fishing today on the upper Winooski.  Especially since it is almost the middle of July.  Water levels are still above seasonal average flows, but the temperatures are beautiful.  The water temperature pretty much maintained 61 degrees from 5:45am to noon today.  Clarity was great  we watched a lot fish move to the fly before the take.  Nice cloud cover all morning.  No hatching bugs, but lots of fresh #10-#14 golden stone fly shucks on the boulders.  Most of the hatching by stone flies occurs after dark.  I do not think there was a spot we fished today where we did not hook a fish.  Between two anglers, well over 40 fish were landed!!!!  Probably had 60 come to the fly.  Not an everyday event.  We landed wild rainbows and stocked rainbows all morning long.  As well as 10 stocked 10" to 11" brook trout.  The fish looked in really good shape.  No doubt the high water and cool temperatures have made our trout fat and happy.  Pretty confident that where we fly fished today, the trout had not seen a fly in long time if even all season.   We stuck to the same rigs for most of the day with a #12 and #14 green bodied stimulators with #18/#16 bead headed green caddis pupa.  We did try some larger sized #10 orange and green bodied stimulators and got lots of looks from fish but not lots of takes.  The smaller sized dry was the ticket.  We had trout coming out of the water and back down on the fly.  You had to be patient on the hook set like in bass fishing.  The ratio fish eating the dry to the dropper was fairly even.  We even had trout taking flies on the swing and a #8 cone headed root beer crystal chenille zonker hooked some of the larger fish in deeper  pools being dead drifted and moved slowly.  The fish all ranged from 7" to 15".  About a good of day trout fishing as you could ask for without catching a brown trout.  Off to chase smallmouth.  Hope it stays cool for the river fishing.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

morning time

Hi Folks, There is no question that I prefer morning fishing in the summer. Especially fly fishing for trout. Had the pleasure of guiding a New Zealand angler yesterday morning.  He just took up the activity was looking to hone his skills.  Water temperature was really nice for July reading 59 degrees at  6:00am.  Water was clear and we actually could sight a few fish.  We dead drifted a large #10 orange stimulator.  Did not have to change flies though we did nymph a few spots with a #12 double tungsten stone fly nymph.  All of our strikes came on the dry fly.  Lots of fun watching a trout emerge in clear water to sip/gulp a dry fly.  There were a few micro #18/#20 caddis hatching and few random rise forms.  We landed 4 11" to 14" stocked rainbows on the stimulator and missed another 6 fish.  The fishing did slow as the sun got up over head.  If you want to fish bigger water for trout this time of the year then morning is the way to go.  You have a little more leeway on the smaller brooks.  Still Hex fishing to be done.  Terrestrials are a must in the fly boxes currently as well as plenty of tan and olive bodied caddis from #16-#20.  All of the Wulff and Humpy patterns are great for small stream fishing.  Get up early and get after them.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Summer afternoon

Hi Folks, Guided a group of fly anglers yesterday afternoon on the Lamoille River.  The water level is still twice the seasonal average flow, but dropping quickly.  Water temperature was 68 degrees and the clarity was pretty good.  Nice hot humid summer afternoon and a fine day to wet wade in a river.  A few #18/#20 micro caddis hatching at dusk and some rising fish, but nothing with any consistency.  We nymph fished for the most part casting a #12 double tungsten stone fly, a #18 caddis pupa, and a #18 and #16 olive bead headed hare's ear nymph.  We even swung a #10 heavily weighted olive wooly bugger.  We landed 3 rainbows had 7 fish eat the fly.  Lots of casting and drifting.  We did discover a lot of #10/#12 golden stone fly nymphs under rocks as well #14 light cahill nymphs on rocks.  Looks like both insects were preparing to hatch any day.  Off to chase trout this morning.  Best fishing right now is either early morning or late in the day.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, July 5, 2015


Hi Folks, Good weekend of fishing in the rivers and on the still water.  Guided the last couple of days chasing smallmouth bass with a few trout in the mix.  Not only was June wet as we received almost 11"  of rain for the month, but also chilly.  River temperatures have maintained as the Lamoille was 64 degrees on Saturday morning and the other river I visited was 58 degrees.  Not bad water temperatures for the beginning July.  The Lamoille was pretty slow Saturday morning so my clients and I moved to another stream.   The surface temperature on the lake this afternoon was 71 degrees with slight north wind that laid down towards dusk.  The river fishing for bass has been interesting in that we have been catching a fair amount of trout using bass tactics.  The incredible edible Senko in 3" has been very productive on stocked rainbows and browns.  Been a few rising fish in the morning eating #18/#20 tan bodied micro caddis.  Dead drifting the rubber has been important as it appears the river smallies have been not quite as aggressive to eat.  I think it has to do with the below average water temperatures.  The surface fishing for bass had been fairly slow all week until tonight.  We fly fished and cast a spin rod a bit for smallmouth tonight on clear lake.  We focused around milfoil beds over hard bottom and any downed wood we located.  The bass were in deeper water early on and then moved into skinny water at dusk.  All of our surface flies had a yellow or chartreuse belly.  I think it makes a difference this time of year due to the #4/#6 Hex hatch.  The Hex is a big yellow bug.  We saw a few bugs coming off and few rise forms.  Not sure if they were smallmouth or rainbows eating off the top but I suspect they were bass.  So the theme of the night was patience on the hook set.  When surface fishing for bass always count 1 and set or feel the fish or see your fly disappear.  We had some explosive strikes and some subtle takes.   My guests had been dry fly fishing for trout and it took a bit of adjusting our hook before we started to capitalize on the numerous takes we were getting.  The largest fish of the night was almost 19".  We took the popper away from it the first time and when it was finally hooked we watched in rise slowly and open its mouth and close it on the fly, very cool.  This time patience on the hook set produced fireworks.  The fishing was very good tonight and lots of fish coming to the fly.  Really picked up a dusk.  We were greeted early on with a large pickerel breaking off a popper.  Luckily we found the fly floating after the break off with about 2" of tippet still tied onto the popper.  Fun weekend.  Off to chase trout tomorrow.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Fly fishing for the Vermont cycle

Hi Folks, Guided a double yesterday with a trip to the Kingdom in the morning for some small stream fishing and spent the afternoon on the main stem of the Lamoille.  Really nice water temperatures for early July.  The small stream was 54 degrees and the Lamoille at 6:00pm was 58 degrees.  All of the water levels are still up but the clarity is just fine.  We fished up stream in the little brook all morning due to the spook factor and all of the over hanging brush from the tree canopy.  This particular stream is in fine shape and has all sorts of downed wood throughout.  We almost caught the cycle in one pool, a wild brown trout, a wild rainbow, and a native brook trout.  It did not take long before all species had been landed on #12 orange stimulator and a #12 royal wulff.  The wild rainbows in this brook really like to get air time.  Fun to see them holding in skinny braids and emerge to slam dry flies.  In the afternoon I ran a combination spin fly trip with dad on the fly rod ad the boys working the spin gear.  Everyone landed a wild rainbow trout.  Lots of adult #18 tan bodied caddis along the river bank.  We did see a few #12 may flies hatching at dusk, but no rising fish.  We nymphed with a #12 prince with a #18 caddis pupa dropper.  Landed one bow on the nymph rig and missed another fish.  At dusk, had several small wild rainbows come after a large stimulator in riffle and landed one.  On the spin front we caught trout on the good old Rapala.  Casting and retrieving in large riffles to pools.  Nice to be back on the big water.  Off to trout fish again this morning.  I have guided a trip on every 4th of July for 21 years.  Happy 4th to everyone! Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home. Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Just another wet day

Hi Folks, Ran the boat yesterday morning with a client chasing bass.  Rained again and we received enough rain yesterday to blow out our rivers for several days.  The lack of snow this winter is being made up for this summer with tons of precipitation. It was inevitable after a dry  month period that mother nature would catch up with us with the rain fall.  WInter was deceiving with the snow pack because it never warmed up so the snow hung around.  We did not receive above average snow fall this season regardless of the inflated snow reporting by ski resorts.   Anyway, surface temperature on the lake was 68 degrees with a slight south west wind and steady rain for half the morning.  We worked for fish but did manage to land 6 largemouth and smallmouth.  All between 14" to 16" with one little guy in the mix.  No top water bite even though the light was low and calm to start the day.  We landed fish with a fire tiger jointed rebel stick bait and a the incredible edible 4" and 5" Senko.  We focused on sharp drop offs with weed beds.  the fish all seemed to be holding on the out side edges of the weed beds in the deeper water.  We did get broke off by one pike and had another fairly large fish chase a fire tiger spinner bait the was covered in weeds.  Challenging fishing that took patience and focus.  Always a good idea to slow down the approach when the fish are nott exactly jumping on every cast.  However, not a bad morning all things considered.  I am blown out today so will be small stream fishing tomorrow for trout with guests.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

lots of action

Hi Folks, Guided with the boat yesterday morning for smallmouth bass.  On and off rain still has our rivers up, but they are becoming more user friendly by the day.  Nice calm morning with some fog.  Surface temperature was 66 degrees and there was very little wind.  With the calm conditions we spent part of the morning casting surface presentations.  The fish were not looking up.  We did not get one take on a a top water lure.  So, we put on the rubber an things changed pretty quickly. We landed 20 smallmouth with 5" and 4" Senkos in watermelon red magic.  The 4" seemed to be more effective.  Now, would you prefer to catch 1 or 2 larger fish or lots of small to medium fish?? I always like to to ask this questions of guests.  We caught lots of fish yesterday, but just no monsters.  We did work some deeper water as well as the skinny water, but the results were the same.  We located most of our fish on sharp drops off from the shore line where the depth went from 5' to 15'.  Well, off to run the boat again this morning in search of Moby Dick.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy