Monday, August 31, 2015

contrasting worlds

Hi Folks, Spent a nice day guiding and fly fishing for small stream trout and still water smallmouth bass fishing.  On the trout front, the water is wicker low and we really need rain.  The spook factor is in full effect with the low clear water.  The water temperature of the brook was 59 degrees. We worked up stream with a variety of dry flies.  The smaller patterns were the most productive with a #16 x-caddis catching a beautiful wild 12" brown trout and a 10" plus native male brook trout.  We landed half a dozen brook trout on a #16 yellow bodied Humpy.  Due to the low water the fish were really holding tight to cover (i.e. large rocks).  Large pools seemed futile to fish in as the trout would get tight with the fly line flying over head each time you attempted to land the dry in the water.  Still a good morning with challenges and rain is really needed.  In the afternoon, went smallmouth fly fishing in a canoe on a body of water where the level can fluctuate.  The water was being dropped as we were fishing and it seemed to move the bass around a bit.  I think they were re-orientating themselves with the new water levels. We landed 6 really nice smallmouth with the largest fish pressing 4 plus pounds.  Lost and missed another 6 fish.  The flies of the afternoon were a deer hair mouse, #6 black hula popper fly, and #6 bright orange popper, and a #8 frog popper.  We found smallmouth in a variety of places and did not appear to be a pattern.  Looks like summer for the next few days.  Get on the water early and often.  Off to chase small stream trout.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home. Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Wading the Gnarly plus ski resort fishing

Hi Folks, I have guided in two completely different environments over the last couple of days. Spent yesterday on a small mountain stream fly fishing for native brook trout and wild brown trout.  I was not in Stowe and can't tell you whether I went north or south.  However, the tactics are the same regardless of where I small steam fish in Vermont.  High gradient streams coming off big elevation (i.e ski mountains) are nice cool places to be on hot summer days.  The water is low but the temperatures are perfect ranging from 56 degrees to 58 degrees.  All up stream fishing i the clear water.  Important if you do not want to spook too many fish.  We landed 17 brook trout yesterday on a #14 Royal Wulff and two wild Brown trout on a #16 X-caddis.  Interesting to watch the difference in how the brook trout aggressively engulf the dry while the brown trout rose more cautiously and sipped the fly.  Took patience in not sitting the hook prematurely when you knew and could see the fish elevate to the dry. Decent number of #14-#22 fly ants out and about this evening.  This morning we fly fished big water for smallmouth. The water is so low that you can wade to pools that probably almost never get fished. Still the wading in the big rocky rivers is gnarly.  Need to be on your game. We landed 18 smallmouth.  Nothing on a top water.  Nice foggy morning and the water temperature was 72 degrees.  Swinging #6/#8 olive cone headed bunny buggers, #8 white zonkers, and #6 white clauser minnows all drew interest.  Most of the takes were fairly subtle.  The smallies were holding in and around big rocks of main current seams in at least waist deep water.  Important to keep the fly moving but not too fast but not too slow.  Steering it around suspected holding areas.  Could use some rain.  Hopefully the night will stay cool and the fishing will continue to be steady.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, August 28, 2015

big nasty pocket water

Hi Folks, guided yesterday afternoon with the fly rods on the Winooski.  Beautiful weather afternoon with nice cool air temperatures and a slight northeast breeze.  The water temperature was 67 degrees.  Still a bit warm for my liking.  We waded a stretch of river that is all pocket water with huge rocks to negotiate.  Not easy wading and requires some caution in walking around.  We located wild rainbows in the primary pools as the water level was low enough that there did not appear to be any trout holding in secondary spots.  The low water allowed us to access areas that might not always be waded so easily.  For bugs, there were a few #12 Isonychia, some #18 micro caddis, a few remnant #8/#10 stone flies, and few #20 sulphurs that came off at dark.  We hooked 8 of the nine fish that ate our flies on a double nymph rig that consisted of a #12 flashback pheasant tail with a #18 caddis pupa dropper.  We found one rising fish and got it to eat a #16 x-caddis.  We missed a few fish due to rod positioning on the hook set.  It is important that the tip of the rod follows the flies in the drift.  The hook set needs to come straight up with a sweep of the rod.  Still the hardest part of river fly fishing is getting the trout to eat the fly.  I have to say that a percentage of the fish we landed looked summer stressed.  Big heads with skinny bodies.  A product of the warm water they had to survive in over the last few weeks.  I am off to chase small stream trout this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Steady and consistent

Hi Folks, August is nearing an end and the I have to say the smallmouth bass fishing has been really good for most of the month.  Just consistent with my clients landing lots of fish over the last few weeks.  I guided a trip yesterday morning with a family and the spin rods.  We landed 13 smallmouth bass.  Nice cloudy morning with threatening rain showers and very little wind.  Water is still low and clear and the temperature was 69 degrees.  With the low light the fish were on.  Seemed a lot more active without the sun beating down on them.  I sound like a broken record, but the 3" crawfish and baby bass Senkos have just been really productive.  The trick with the Senkos is figuring out how long to wait before you set the hook.  The bass attempt to swallow them, but they carry them for a long time in their mouth like a cigar.  I am always amazed at how long an angler has to set up the hook set when fishing Senkos.  They work as well if not better than bait.  Even had some stocked rainbows and browns eat them.  Looks like a cool down is in order.  Cool days and cooler nights should turn the trout fishing back on.  Still tons of #22 Tricos hatching in the morning, along with random #12/#14 Isonychia showing up, and the ever present #14/#15 olive caddis.  Lots of #18 cased yellow bodied caddis on rocks in riffles currently.  Terrestrial patterns should be everyone's fly box right now.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Sitting down on the job

Hi Folks, Ran two trips yesterday with both focusing on young anglers fishing.  River fished for smallmouth bass in the morning and trout fished a small mountain brook in the afternoon with the fly rods.  Always fun introducing young anglers to fishing and watching the catch their first fish, priceless. The river temperature in the morning was 71 degrees and the brook temperature in the afternoon was 59 degrees.  Water is low and clear.  Spook factor is in full effect.  We caught 17 smallmouth in the morning dead drifting 3" crawfish colored and baby bass colored Senkos.  The funny moment oft he morning was when two of my young anglers decided they were tired and sat down to fish.  While casually sitting they proceeded to land 7 smallmouth.  The fish were stacked up under a log at the head of a pool and the kids kept dropping the Senko just up stream so it drifted right into place.  Good fun.  In the afternoon we cast #14 Royal Wulff into deep plunge pools and the brook trout were all over the fly.  I think we saw a fish in every piece of water we cast to.  The brookies are looking pretty colorful.  The water is so low that it is not very tough to figure out where the fish are holding.  Good definition in the streams.  With kids, fishing needs to be fun and kept light.  Very rewarding for me to see young boys and girls catching their first fish.  I am off t chase rive bass.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, August 24, 2015

Just about perfect

Hi Folks, Incredibly good day of river smallmouth bass fishing yesterday.  I had a morning trip and and afternoon trip and between the two we landed 37 smallmouth bass.   Warm day with the water temperatures well up into the high seventies by days end.  Flows are at a seasonal low and now below the average for this time of the year.  Tons of bait fish in the shallows along with crawfish and juvenile smallmouth.  The afternoon fly fishing for smallmouth was as good as I have seen in sometime.  We fished a stretch of river that is very big and the pools are spread out.  Due to this factor and the low water, the fish were concentrated in each large primary pool.  We found that a high percentage of smallmouth were holding on the up stream side of large rocks.  We cast a #6 tungsten red cone head olive bunny bugger and as the light got low we worked #8 frog poppers.  The takes on the popper were really aggressive.  Big splashy boils  on the fly! We hammered them on both flies.  We caught 1 small bass and the rest of the 23 fish landed were all in the 1 3/4 lb range to almost 3 lbs.  Healthy fat jumping smallmouth that looked like they had not see a hook all season.  Off to do it all over again today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, August 23, 2015


Hi Folks, Guided a fly angler yesterday morning on a very tricky tributary of the Lamoille River.  Nice consistent cold water temperatures in this particular stream. The water temperature was 61 degrees and the water clarity was good.  This stream is extremely rugged and the walking can be down right treacherous and the casting has to be creative due to the lay of the land.  Fly fishing for trout is not about our convenience, but more about the trouts.  In other word the fish hold in interesting spots at times and it is up to us to get the fly to them.  Interesting how much of difference having yellow lenses on polarized glasses makes.  I was able to spot most of the trout coming to the fly prior to them actually eating it.  My client had a brown lenses which is good in bright sun but not low light.  Being as Vermont is a pretty cloudy place, I have always preferred the yellow lenses for fishing in the Stowe area.  Pretty nice advantage being able to spot a trout coming to your dry fly.  We had 7 trout eat our #16 x-caddis including all 3 species.  Only landed 1 fish.  The most difficult part of fly fishing for trout in my opinion  is getting the fish to eat the fly.  Hooking and landing the fish comes with doing.  So, nice to see a cool down.  Should cool down our streams a bit.  I am off to chase smallmouth this morning and tonight.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, August 21, 2015


Hi Folks, A little cool down in store for the Stowe area, yeah.  A rainy Friday is just what the doctor ordered.  Guided river smallmouth yesterday morning and the water temperature was 74 degrees at 6:30am.  Pretty low and clear.  The rain (.5" predicted) should help with levels and flows.  Also, looks like things will cool off once the front pushes through.  The bass fishing has been really consistent.  My trip yesterday was a spin/fly trip with the kids casting 3" and 4" Senkos and Dad on the fly rod.  No top water bite once again.  Interesting that in the clear water the smallmouth would not commit to eating a streamer in the slow pools.  A couple of follows with turn offs at the end.  However, in the fast riffles we had 3 smallmouth pound a black streamer with an orange cone head.  The faster water simply does not give the fish ample chance to get a good look at the fly.  The Senkos are silly easy.  The bass eat the rubber and do not let go.  We landed 8 bass on the Senkos and had numerous other eats.  Dead drifted Senkos just produce!  The bass fishing should continue to be good and the trout fishing will pick up if things cool down.  Small streams and mountain brooks will be the ticket in the mean time.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Too darn warm

Hi Folks, Hard to believe that you can ever complain about being too hot i Vermont considering how our winters are in Stowe, but yesterday was too hot.  Ran a trip in the morning and the afternoon chasing smallmouth bass.  Spin and fly fished from my boat and wading.  Found the warmest water temperatures of the season yesterday with the lower Lamoille pressing 79 degrees and the lake I was on was 77 degrees at 6:15am.  Warm water like that even makes the bass a bit sluggish.  The top water bite was not happening.  I think the fish did not want to rise to eat due to the warm water temperatures.  Great spinner fall of #10 Epherons last night with bugs everywhere and the only fish rising were Fall Fish. Still the bass fishing yesterday was very good.  On the lake front we got landed 7 smallmouth fishing 5" Senkos in and around milofil beds in 15' to 20' of water.  In the the river we landed 16 smallmouth swinging a #6 red cone head olive bunny bugger into large pools.  There was a percentage of fish holding in the heavier water due to the warmer than average water temperatures.  Off to chase smallmouth again this morning.  We old use some rain and a cool down.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Early bird gets the bass

Hi Folks,  Guided a spin trip yesterday morning for smallmouth bass.  We got on the water around 6:30am in order to avoid the heat and sun.  The water temperature was 70 degrees and level was low.  Excellent clarity.  Right as we entered the river we were lucky enough to see a female black bear and her cub cross the river.  The first 2.5 hours of the morning was pretty cool.  Once the sun rose in the sky things heated up significantly.  Saw a great #22 Trico spinner fall.  However, no self respecting smallmouth is going to waste energy eating the tiny may fly.  I did see a few subtle sips by Fall fish eating the spinners. We landed 18 smallmouth bass and missed or lost another dozen fish including a legitimate 4 lb bass that jumped and tail walked its way to freedom.  We hooked a large percentage of our fish in one big primary pool with some good rock cover.  Not a bad top water bite with the fish readily rising to take a floating perch Rapala off the surface.  When that bite slowed down we dead drifted 3" craw fish and baby bass colored Senkos with great success.  The fishing slowed the last hour of the morning as things heated up.  Pays to get on the water early when it is hot.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Let it sit

Hi Folks, Ran a full day yesterday with a fly fishing client for smallmouth bass.  Wicked hot and humid  day for fishing.  Surface temperature was 75 degrees with a slight south breeze.  Really important to find shady areas to fish when the sun is beating down on the water.  We landed 7 smallmouth, a pickerel and several pan fish on a #6 frog popper.  We missed and lost several fish and a couple of good ones as well.  The key when the weather is hot is too let the fly really sit for a long time on the surface of the water before making it pop. In some instances you can let the fly sit for well over 30 seconds prior to moving it.  Incredible how many strikes happen after the fly has been sitting still on the water for some time.  Most of our strikes yesterday were pretty explosive.  Really important to give the fish the time to eat the fly but also really strike the bass on the hook set.  We were using a 16 lb. tippet so there is some room for really putting it to them on the hook set.   The theme of the day with locating fish was shade.  We found fish on sharp drop offs, downed wood, and the edges of weed beds.  I noticed a lot of smallmouth coming out of the water in various locations and it appeared that they were eating small bait fish.  You could see balls of bait suspended over rocks and boulders. I am pretty sure they were feeding on the minnows and the inertia from the acceleration onto the bait was propelling them out of the water.  Well, another hot one coming up today.  I am off to chase river smallmouth.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, August 17, 2015

Flying Ants

Hi Folks, Back by demand are the Flying Ants.  A welcome sign every late summer.  Been awful hot the last few days and looks to continue to stay hot and muggy.  Water temperatures have warmed significantly.  Big river fishing for trout is out and the small streams are now warming and low. Carry your thermometer.  Leave the trout alone when the thermometer reads 70 degrees plus.  Also, noo fishing for trout in thermal refuges.  In other words where they stack up at cold water spots.  Leave them alone at Kennefield brook confluence on the Lamoille or the Ridley brook confluence on the Winooski or the Brewster confluence on the Lamoille.  Bad ethics and Karma hounding these stressed fish.  However, this is perfect weather for chasing smallmouth.  With the arrival of the flying ants, everybody looks to the surface for any easy meal.  Hard to believe, though it is the case, that big smallmouth will slurp ants with a reckless abandon.  The equivalent of us eating Raisinettes at the movie theater.  Flying ants or Alertes meaning swarmers or reproducers move nests this time of the year.  It is usually prompted by heavy rains i.e. thunderstorms.  I typically see them in the afternoon.  The female ants are larger being tied on a #14/#16 hook while males are tiny being tied on a #20/#22 hook.  Incredible that on certain occasions trout will key in to one or the other but not both.  Might have to do which is most abundant.  I do not think the smallmouth really care.  so, I am of to spend the rest of the day guidng for bass.  Will be hot, but we wll find some shade and willing participants.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Dog Days of Summer

Hi Folks, Been guiding on the bass front the last two mornings.  Warm and muggy again with summer returning.  Thunder showers have kept water levels up a bit, but clarity has not been an issue.  Temperatures have climbed again with our big rivers eclipsing 70 plus degrees.  No trout fishing to be had under these temperatures in the Lamoille or Winooski main stems.  Even in the early morning the water is still 70 degrees plus because the nights have not cooled off.  Small stream fishing and high gradient brooks are where its at if you want to catch trout presently.  So, water gets warm, let tug on smallmouth.  I actually prefer hot humid for bass fishing.  Just want to get out of the sun.  Been river fishing for smallmouth and averaging 6 to 12 landed fish an outing.  Probably miss or lose twice that number.  Why?, we fish Texas rigged rubber worms and the hook set is really critical.  It is weedless and the hook is buried in the soft plastic.  Often we have a fish on that is not even hooked.  They just really hang on to the salt and flavored impregnated rubber baits.  Finesse fishing with dead drifted rubber is really effective on highly pressured fish and fussy smallmouth.  They do not want to always chase a popper and or actively worked fly or lure.  Well. terrestrials everywhere currently, hoppers, ants, beetles, you name it.  #12/#14 Isonychia season is upon us.  Carry your Pheasant tails, Zug bugs, Iso nymphs, and Prince nymphs.  Complete each drift as the Isonychia is a swimming may fly. The old Leisiring(sp?) lift is a very effective techniques currently.  On the dry fly front a #12 Grey Wulff or Adams or Adams parachute imitate the Isonychia really well.  A crippled #12 grey colored dun is not a bad idea on fussy fish.  Still plenty of caddis out there with a #14/#16 olive bodied x-caddis being my first choice and then  an assortment of #18 to #20 micro caddis.  Keep cool and keep the rods bent.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, August 14, 2015

Early and Late

Hi Folks, Ran two trips yesterday with a morning adventure on my boat and and afternoon of wading the Lamoille for trout.  The surface temperature in the morning on the lake's surface was 71 degrees.  Pretty calm initially with a slight south breeze as the morning progressed.  We caught two bass on our first two casts of the day.  A largemouth and then a smallmouth.  Hooked each fish on the same milfoil bed.  The top water fishing was really good for the first couple hours of the day.  We worked a frog pattern Heddon Tiny Torpedo.  We would cast it over the weed beds and work it back to the edge where the fish were crushing it.  Some really good takes.  We had well over a dozen fish come to the surface presentation.  A combination of healthy, strong fighting smallies and largemouth.  Once again on top water fish for bass, patience on the hook set.  Have to let the fish eat the lure/fly prior to striking. Once the top water bite subsided we resorted to finesse fishing with a 5" Senko.  Picked off a few bass with the rubber, but I always find it tough sub surface fishing after a solid morning of top water action.  We did get a couple of slimy pickerel to eat the rubber.  My client loved it as it brought back child hood memories of tugging on the toothy critters.  Managed to not get bit off by the pickerel as every hook was right in the top of the mouth.  My afternoon trip was to the Lamoille which was almost 3 times it average seasonal flow.  A spring level with good clarity.  Water temperature was 67 degrees at 6:30pm.    The fishing was really slow until 7:00pm and then we caught 5 rainbows.  3 stocked fish and 2 hard pulling wild bows.  It appeared that the fihs were hunkered down in deep primary pools and moved into the riffles at dusk.  Of course, there was a few #18 micro caddis hatching to assist in turning on the trout.  Saw a lot of #12/#14 Isonychia shucks on rocks and a few #20 BWO's hatching.  Only saw a some sporadic rising. Tons of hoppers in fields.  Can't go wrong with a hopper dropper combo right now.  My choice for the dropper nymph would be an #16/#18 olive caddis pupa or a soft hackle in yellow or green or even with a peacock herl body.  Looks like a hot spell is on us again so big water trout fishing will be out.  Small streams and smallmouth fishng are in order.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Fussy Pants

Hi Folks, Ran two trips yesterday with a river foray in the morning for smallmouth bass and then canoe fishing for bass in the afternoon.  Unstable weather day.  River temperature in the morning was 68 degrees and the water level was up and slightly off color.  We landed half a dozen river smallmouth and several large Fall Fish.  The bite was really subtle.  A lot of takes with the fish dropping the 3" baby bass Senkos.  You had to be really patient on the take prior to setting the hook and make sure that the smallmouth did not sense any pressure from you.  Pretty much the same deal in the afternoon.  I took out one of my regular clients who is a very good spin angler.  We worked hard for 3 smallmouth and 1 good sized pickerel.  A lot of takes from fish but they would not hold onto the rubber.  No top water bite or crank bait bite what so ever.  I can't say there was any pattern the day either.  In the afternoon we did fish in the rain and wind.  On and off heavy showers with a steady 10mph Northwest wind made conditions even more tricky.  The surface temperature was 71 degrees.  I can only speculate that the unstable weather impacted the fishing.  The high light of the afternoon was watching a family of Loons, two adults and two young, feeding on fish.  We watched the adults dive and catch small bass and bait fish and then feed them to their young.  Pretty spectacular even though it messed up the area where we were fishing.  Well, off to chase bass this morning in the boat.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

see them, cast to them

Hi Folks, Did a little river fish guiding yesterday afternoon for smallmouth bass.  The river levels are now low and the extremely clear.  All about to change with the 1" of rain expected to drop from the skies over the next 24 hours.  Been kind of dry, so the rain is a welcomed event.  River temperature was 73 degrees and it was an afternoon of mixed clouds and sun.  We hooked and caught fish in every piece of water we fished.  Dead drifting 3" baby bass Senkos worked really well.  You could spot a smallmouth and cast up stream of it and watch the fish move to the rubber.   We landed over a dozen feisty river bass and missed or lost as many.  When we fished in the sun, it was interesting to watch the fish move from out of cover (under wood or rock) to eat.  Also, had a few large fish deny us  as well.  My take is that they had been hooked before and not really keen on eating in the bright sun.   Taking the day off from fishing and will be back at tomorrow for the rest of the week.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, August 10, 2015

Time of plenty

Hi Folks, Guided yesterday morning with the fly rods in the Lamoille.  Water temperature was a pleasant 61 degrees and the level is now at the seasonal average flow.  Actually, a little rain would not be a bad thing.  Saw a large number of #22 Trico spinners over a big riffle around 9:00am.  One they hit they water, nothing happened.  I did see a few trout rise to a #18 caddis, but no sippers on the tiny may fly.  We dead drifted a #16 hare's ear parachute and had 7 wild bows eat the fly.  We had takes on the dead drift and and the swing.  All wild rainbows yesterday morning, but no really big fish.  The fish were all holding in heavy riffles in and around large rocks.  The fishing really slowed once the sun got high over head.  Lots of hoppers in the surrounding farm fields and it should be any day now for flying ants to make their annual arrival.  Will be chasing smallmouth all this week with a few small stream trout trips in the mix.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Fog Lights needed

Hi Folks, Ran the boat yesterday morning with a spin angler.  Big time fog in the early am and really did not lift until around 8:30am.  Pretty interesting driving the boat.  Electronics are helpful.  The surface temperature was 71 degrees even though the air temperature was in the low fifties.  Pretty flat and calm for half the morning until a slight wind from the northeast kicked in.  We had two fish rise to eat a popper , but that was it.  We slowed things down with a 5" watermelon and really began to tug on fish.  We landed 4 smallmouth bass and 5 largemouth bass.  The common denominator was milfoil beds.  Every fish we had take was holding in and around the edges of big milfoil beds.  Water is really clear where I fished and you could see the fish cruising.  We did see a bit of nervous water with the bass chasing bait fish and and a cast into such an area resulted in takes from the predators beneath.  With the cooler weather in place for a few days, the river trout fishing should remain consistent.  I am off to test that theory this morning with clients.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-natve species at home. Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, August 8, 2015

When the sun goes down

Hi Folks, Guided on the Lamoille yesterday afternoon with the fly rods.  Nice day that felt very much like Fall.  Water temperature was 67 degrees and the level was about at the seasonal average flow.  Not a bad temperature for the Lamoille in the afternoon considering that it is August.  I would prefer to fish the morning always this time of the year as the water would be 5 degrees cooler and the fish a lot more active.  Saw my first #12/#14 Isonychia shuck on a rock.  The Isonychia is a significant may fly hatch that will occur for the next 6 weeks.  A constant food source for our river trout.  Good to carry a few Isonychia nymphs in your box as well as a few Grey Wulff patterns to imitate the dun.  We swung #14 Zug Bugs initially yesterday and had 5 fish eat the fly.  Also, a #18 olive wire caddis was effective on the swing.  The fishing picked up at dusk with multiple insects hatching and the trout began to rise.  There were 3 different types of may flys hatching as well as two different sized caddis.  Took a little deciphering to determine what the trout were eating.  There was a few #10/#12 Epherons and #18 Sulphers hatching, but the fish seemed keyed into the small #18/#20 caddis that was coming off.  The trout were coming right out of the water to eat.  It appeared that they were eating emergers in the surface film and their momentum was carrying them out of the water after rising to eat.  We postioned ourselves up stream after failing to get a take on a dead drift and began to swing a #18 tan bodied x-caddis.  We got several trout to eat with this method.  The takes were fairly obvious as the fish would eat the fly as it was swung with a tight line.  It can be tough at dark with rising fish and being able to see the fly let alone detecting a take.  Still worth the challenge as the river really came to life.  Off to chase smallmouth this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Oh, that feels nice

Hi Folks, Finally a nice cold front moved in the hot muggy weather moved out.  Love the cool nights and pleasant days.  Good for water temperatures.  Guided the Lamoille main stem two of the last three days and took my daughter fishing yesterday.  I watched the Lamoille go from 69 degrees Tuesday morning to 61 degrees this morning.  What a change in the fishing results with the cooler water temperatures.  The bass stream I visited yesterday was 68 degrees and loaded with smallmouth.  Could sight fish them.  Tuesday we struggled to get fish to eat.  Hooked 3 trout and did not land a one.  Fished in heavy riffles under the bright sun and in coming thunder storms.  Today, partly sunny/cloudy with a cool north breeze and we had well over 30 trout eat the fly.  We landed 20 plus fish.  All rainbows with a mix of wild trout and stocked trout from 7" to 12".  Everything on nymphs.  We nymphed double rigs with a #12 black double tungsten stone fly with a #18 olive wire caddis pupa.  Pretty even distribution on both flies.  We tight lined fished with high stick mending and used indicators in heavy pocket water. Good day on the Lamoille, especially for August.  No rising trout or anyone eating dry flies, but we crushed them.  Pretty impressive how hard the small wild rainbows hit the fly and how tough they fight. Put the stocked trout to shame.  The bass fishing was pretty simple.  My daughter Lina hooked fish on garden hackle no problem.  I flipped some 3" baby bass Senkos as well and we had a field day tugging on fish.  Good fun.  Lina liked catching fish, but not a big fan of touching them.  No worries.  Well, trout fishing the next few days.  Should be good.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Very Nice

Hi Folks, Spent a full day on a Lamoille Tributary with an accomplished fly angler.  Great day on a trout stream! Water temperature was 60 degrees and the water level was slightly above the seasonal average flow.  We walked a beat of river I have not been all season, but started fishing 25 years a go.  Nice to see it fished as well as ever.  Big bouldery pocket water and a bit of technical fishing with lots of micro currents.  Tricky mending.  We landed 15 brook trout, 4 wild brown trout, and 2 junpng wild rainbows.  Good fun on a slow action 3wt.  The rig of the day was a #14 green bodied stimulator with a #18 bead head hare and copper and a #16 x-caddis with a #18 bead head pheasant tail nymph.  The distribution of takes was pretty equal from the dry fly to the nymph.  We probably missed or lost another dozen fish.  We did have a really large brown trout come to the fly twice in a big plunge pool.  Fish emerged out of the heavy water to look at the dry and the second time we drifted into the spot the fish ate the nymph and we missed it.  Oh well, still pretty cool seeing the fish.  Nice in clear streams being able to spot fish as they move to the fly.  Off to chase trout again this morning.  Looks like a bit of cool down on the way.  Good for trout fishing.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, August 3, 2015

what the heck

Hi Folks, Guided the lower Lamoille yesterday morning for smallmouth with the fly rods.  The water level came up while we fished and the color was off with a dirty tinge.  Must of been a stray thunder storm from the previous night.  The upper Lamoille was looked fine yesterday.  The water temperature was 71 degrees.  Did see a Bald Eagle in the morning and several Ospreys.  Nice bonus when fishing.  We worked hard to catch fish yesterday morning and I would say all do to the conditions of the river.  We landed one really nice 2lb smallmouth off the get go and then that was it for the bass for the day.  We missed the fish initially on a blue and white #4 crease fly and then we got him to eat a #4 chartreuse and white Clauser Minnow.  We slowed down our tactics and dead drifted a large #4 Girdle Bug under an indicator versus working a popper and a streamer. We landed a huge fall fish that I have to say put up a great fight and solid bend in a 6wt.  We then lost another fish we never saw that I suspect was a  Fall Fish and also fought pretty well.  The last cast of the day did produce 1 last large Fall Fish on cone headed olive bunny bugger.  Still not the target species but better than a sharp stick in the eye.  I am off to chase small stream trout.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Geting away from the crowds

Hi Folks, Ran the boat yesterday afternoon for smallmouth bass with clients. Visited a small pond/lake that does not see a lot fishing traffic.  Undeveloped, pristine, and quiet. Beautiful day as the humid air has finally pushed on out.  There was some thunder storm activity around the region yesterday but managed to avoid them.  Good steady wind from the south that pushed the boat around a bit.  The surface temperature was 75 degrees.  We worked shady shore lines in 12' of water that were lined with lilly pads and downed wood.  All a hard bottom.  We had two large smallmouth gobble up a yellow perch Rapala off the surface.  We landed one of the two after a pretty good battle.  The rest of our fish were caught with a 5" Goby sparkle Senko on a #2 off set worm hook.  The prize of the day was a fat healthy looking 18" smallmouth that did not want to come to the boat.  It appeared that the bass in this particular were on steroids or something.  Incredibly hard fighting fish.  Of course, all of the ones we caught had no sign of being pricked previously.  Off to chase river bass this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, August 1, 2015


Hi Folks, Guided a double yesterday with a little river fly fishing in the morning and canoe fly fishing in the afternoon.  Very enjoyable day for me as I took complete beginners in the morning and then the seasoned fly angler in the afternoon.  Love the teaching facet of my job.  I would like to thank everyone who hired for July as I set a record for revenue and trips as I completed 35 fishing trips.  Fun time.  So, yesterday morning I guided was 66 degrees and the level was up and off colored.  My crew did a great job learning the basics of fly fishing.  We put a fall fish clinic landing lots of the silvery big scaled chubs.  No trout or bass to speak of, but did not matter as these folks were tickled to tug on fish and learn how to operate a fly rod.  All dry fly fishing as we drifted large #10 parachute patterns.  Was a decent #22 Trico spinner fall, but the only thing rising were fall fish.  In the afternoon, I guided a long time client who can cast with the best of them.  Our total focus was how to present the fly.  Surface temperature was 75 degrees and there was steady north/northwest wind until dusk.  We found the lee and shade.  We landed 10 smallmouth bass, several perch, and had several large pickerel on that broke us off.  & of the bass were solid  2lb to 3.5lb  smallies that I thought might break my clients 5 wt. on a few occasions.  We overloaded the 5wt. with a 6wt. bass bug tapered fly line.  Makes casting wind resistant poppers much easier.  The fly of the night was a #6yellow bellied frog popper with rubber legs.  We found most of our fish off submerged rock island and ledges that had weed growth.  The smallies like the deep side of the edge.  We focused on getting out of the sun and fishing shady areas (really important.)  However, the largest fish of the day was caught off a downed piece of wood on steep sloping bank.  Most of the takes with the popper happen within a few feet of where the fly lands.  Once again the big fish were slurping in the fly.  Subtle takes.  Well, off to do it again this afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy