Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Starting to like nice out there

Hi Folks, Fly fished for smallmouth with clients yesterday afternoon out of my motorboat.  Beautiful afternoon with air temperatures around 70 degrees. The surface temperature was 68 degrees. The foliage is beginning to change and looked pretty nice on the water yesterday.  When we began the day the lake was flat, by the end of day we had rain showers move in and wind pick up from the south.  We fished the surface the entire afternoon with lots of action.  We had well over 20 smallmouth come to the fly.  However, most of the fish were not large adult bass but the young guys.  Pretty fun watching the fish rise in the clear water to eat the fly.  The pattern of the afternoon was setting the boat up in deep water 20' to 30' and casting at sharp drop offs from the shoreline where there was downed wood.  Shade line was another key component.  The fly of the day was a #8 chartreuse foam crease fly.  The long profile of the fly made a difference in drawing interested as we never had one fish rise to a traditional popper.  Well, finally some much needed rain.  Looks like rain all day, perfect!  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, September 28, 2015

Longing for a change in the weather

Hi Folks, Ran fly angler down on the big water of the Winooski yesterday morning.  Not a lot of options in the world of river fishing currently with the extremely low water.   Water temperature was 57 degrees at 7:00am with some fog.  It did not take long for the big bright sun to show itself.  The ginat high pressure that is enveloping the East currently is about as bad of fishing weather as you could ask for.  Not to mention a super moon and it make fishing tough.  The lunar eclipse last night was pretty cool.  I think there is a percentage of night time feeding with this type of weather of pattern.  All the same we did manage to catch 3 trout yesterday morning.  Two small wild rainbows and 1 nice colored up male 13" brown trout.  We missed two other fish and that was it.  A few caddis started to hatch about 11:00am and there is still plenty #16 olive caddis pupa on rocks.  We got our fish to eat a swung #16 x-caddis and a #20 peacock soft hackle.  Still between two accomplished fly anglers the fishing was slow.  It looks like a change in the wether today with some much needed rain on the way.  Off to run the boat for smallmouth.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Dry as Dirt

Hi Folks, Guided on the main stem of the Winooski yesterday morning under heavy fog and then big bright sun shine and then visited a small tributary stream in the late afternoon.  I am not digging the current weather pattern and we just a lots of rain.  Bums me out that I have to still get up early to fish due to the damn sun and lack of rain.  Fishing in the middle of the day right now is not super productive. Giagantic high pressure seems to be stuck over New England.  I long for a cool damp day on a trout stream.  Water temperatures have cooled off and the Winooski was 58 degrees at 7:30am and the small brook I was on was 56 degrees.  We tangled with small wild rainbows yesterday morning hat were pretty agreeable to eat #14 Adams parachute off the top and a #14 prince nymph below the surface.  Brook trout were the fish of the afternoon and they were fairly agreeable in eating a #14 x-caddis when we did not spook them.  Water is so low and clear that stealth is critical.  With the low water the fish are extra spooky.  Still seeing a few #12/#14 Isonychia shucks on rocks, but mostly now the bugs of the day are #16 olive caddis, #18 yellow/tan caddis, terrestrials, and #20/#22 BWO's.  Off to chase trout again today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, September 25, 2015

wind blows from the east, the fish bite the least, not

Hi Folks, Guided two spin anglers yesterday for river smallmouth bass. Nice cool morning with a steadily increasing wind from the northeast. The water has cooled off a bit and was 65 degrees.  Still very low and clear and man really need some rain.  Leaves are starting to turn.  It seems with all of the dry weather that the leaves will drop off the trees quickly this year.  So, typically you hear anglers state that when the wind blows from the east the fish bite the least. Maybe true to a point, but weather is always a factor in fishing.  We still landed 8 smallmouth bass yesterday under bright blue skies and a northeast wind.  We did slow down our approach and the fish were fussy to a degree.  All of our takes were subtle and we had a portion of bass that dropped the Senko instead of eating it.  The 3" worm was much more productive than the 4" worm and it appeared that the fish did not want to move far to eat.  We had success drifting our presentations  in close to cover and structure like downed wood and large rocks. It is my job as a fishing guide to figure things out, even in tough weather conditions.  Does not always work out, but never due to a lack of effort.  Trout fishing over the weekend and will be getting out early due to bright sun and low water.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, September 24, 2015

give em' some deer hair man

Hi Folks, Ran the boat all day yesterday with fly fishing clients chasing smallmouth on the first day of Autumn.  Still feels like summer out there to me.  Cool morning with fog, but once it burned off we had big blue bird sunny skies.  Surface temperature of the lake was 66 degrees at 8:00am and warmed to 70 degrees by days end.  Yes, we still still need rain and a cool down.  However, as the weather stays consistent like this the smallie fishing will continue to be excellent.  Very little wind yesterday with a slight south breeze.  We surface fished for most of the day using big deer hair bugs, old school.  The lake we fished was off color and is dirty looking most of the time.  We used bright colored deer hair flies in red and white and chartreuse and red.  Both bugs had inverted hooks so you could cast them up on to weed beds and drag them off.  Deer hair is a bit more wind resistant than the traditional cork and plastic poppers I like to use for smallmouth.  Hauling is important in casting them. We found pods of aggressive fish and then we would fish areas that were like the dead sea.  The common characteristic of each productive spot was sharp drop offs from 5' to 20' with rock shoreline and good over hanging tree cover. We landed 8 bass between 12" and 19".  Probably missed or lost twice that amount.  To all of you trout fisherman, when bass fishing you need to really stick the fish.  Big hook sets, especially since you are casting a 12lb. to 16lb. tippet.  It was fun watching the smallmouth and largemouth chase down the fly.  Good strong fighting fish.  I am off to chase river bass today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Bone Dry

Hi Folks, Guided a double yesterday mixing it up between small stream fly fishing for trout and large river fishing for smallmouth with spin gear.  We really need rain!!! Another dry fall.  Water temperatures in the brook we fished were 56 degrees and in the afternoon the bass river was 66 degrees.  We worked really hard for trout only landing 5 native brookies and we missed a few fish.  The low water has the trout tight and the spook factor is in full effect.  We got them to eat terrestrials, but ha to try a variety of flies.  The bass fishing was very good with us landing 16 smallmouth and 3 stocked rainbows on 3" and 4" Senkos.  All dead drifted.  The river fishing will remain consistent for smallmouth as long as the water temperature stay above 60 degrees.  I am off to chase bass ad pike out of the boat today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, September 21, 2015

Connecticut Lakes

Hi Folks, Been away for a few days chasing trout and salmon in the furthest most northeast section of Vermont and into New Hampshire.   Mostly fly fished tail water streams.  The entire upper CT. river system is a wilderness place with thick woods and not a lot of people.  The rivers that run between the lakes hold rainbow, brown, and brook trout along with landlocked salmon.  Lots of the fishing is predicated by river flows and discharge from the tail water dams.  Lack of water means less big fish moving out of the lakes into the rivers for us river fly anglers.  The trout and salmon move back and forth to either chase bait fish or reproduce.  Water temperature has been consistent and holding between 60 degrees and 62 degrees.  Awful warm the last week with it finally cooling off on Sunday and becoming more Fall like.  We still need rain and our rivers are low all over the northeast.  Hard to get salmon and brown trout moving without water flow.  We fished a lot of heavy pocket water which was productive under bright sunny warm conditions.  Tough wading.  Small yellow caddis seemed to be the most effective sub surface fly.  A small #18 yellow caddis pupa caught rainbows and salmon.  A #16 Goddard caddis was extremely effective on the surface producing a nice male hook jawed brown and several rainbows.  The good old #14 yellow bodied and orange bodied stimulator was steady in the pocket water drawing trout to the surface in the heavy water.   We certainly worked for fish, but the low water allowed us access to spots we could not normally reach.  A high light of the last few days was a close encounter with a black bear at dusk.  Nothing like being 50' from a large bear crossing a river.  Pretty cool.  Looks like with the current weather that the best fishing will be afternoon as our nights are now cold.  Mid day to late afternoon will be the way to go.  As far as hatches, lots of #18 tan bodied caddis on rocks as well as #14/#16 olive caddis pupa.  Still some #12/#14 Isonychia, but the predominant may fly will be the #18-#22 BWO.  Don't rule out terrestrials and the streamer fly such as a ghost pattern, mickey finn, muddlers, and zonkers.  Bust week coming up for the catfish as I we be guiding all week for smallmouth and trout.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The art of fly casting and smallmouth bass

Hi folks, Ran the boat with a client yesterday afternoon chasing smallmouth bass with the fly rod.  Nice  80 degree day with big sun and a slight northwest wind.  Nice day to be outside though not a ton of traffic on the water.  The surface temperature was 74 degrees.  Still very much summer like out there.  My client wanted to learn to fly fish from a boat.  Can be a challenging environment to learn to cast from.  You handle larger fly rods and flies than you normally would trout fishing, you have to be able to cast for some distance, and most importantly handle the fly line.  Still water fishing is about covering water and making lots of casts.  My guest picked it up fairly quickly and we were able to catch some fish on a #6 chartreuse rubber legged popper.  Presentation is not quiet as critical bass fishing as it is in trout fishing.  However, the hook set and managing the line is more tricky.  We put 5 smallmouth in the boat and missed several others.  The fish were holding in deeper water from 15' to 20' off shoreline edges.  In particular, where a downed tree extended into deeper water.  Being patient with the popper is always necessary.  We stayed out of the sun which is always a good idea when surface fishing.  The recent rain puffed our streams up.  The Lamoille and Winooski are coming around the trib. streams are all in good shape.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Salmo trutta and much needed rain

Hi Folks, Been guiding the last couple of days with the fly rods chasing trout in tributary streams.  More specifically trying to catch some decent Brown Trout or Salmo trutta.  We finally got some significant rain.  I received almost 3/4" of rain at my house in Stowe.  The Lamoille and Winooski were high and dirty yesterday.  Good problem to have after all of warm dry weather we have experienced.  The stream I have been on is a very difficult wading stream that has excellent stabilty, tree canopy, and always maintains temperature.  The last couple of days it has been 57 degrees to 58 degrees.  Even with all of the rain this particular stream stays clear.  In large part due to the lack of run off of top soil, gradient, and its source.  We worked up stream in stealth mode and cast a number of different patterns such as a #14 green foam hopper, a #16 x-caddis, a #14 green bodied stimulator, and a #14 Hare's Ear parachute.  We had fish eat the parachute, caddis, and stimulator.  We did not land any giant trout but caught some very beautifully colored brown and brook trout.  Really important in this dynamic to make good drag free drifts.  Eliminating the fly line off the water helps to eliminate drag.  Short accurate casts are a necessity.  We also nymphed several heavy plunge pools with limited success. This is one of those  streams where you know that you could hang a trout of a life time on any cast.  The trout fishing should only get better as things really start to cool off.  I am off to chase bass out of my boat today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Cooling down, slowing it down

Hi Folks, Ran the boat yesterday with a client chasing smallmouth bass with spin gear.  Weather front moved in bring a increasingly steady east/northeast wind.  Wind blows from the east, the fish bite the least, maybe. I am a fishing guide my job is to figure out how to catch fish even in adverse conditions.  Surface temperature was 72 degrees and yes we still need rain.  Air temperatures have finally cooled of a bit and it does feel more like September.  We dragged 4" watermelon red magic Senkos off the bottom and picked up 7 smallmouth.  No really big fish, but enough steady action to keep the rod bent.  Had a lot of fish pick up the rubber and drop it.  Had to be a weather thing.  We did witness a few bass busting bait on the surface as you could see pods of small baitfish in open water that the fish were attacking from below.  We tried some swim baits over those areas without any response from smallmouth. When the fishing is slow, time to slow down the approach.  Looks like a some wet weather on the way.  I will be mixing it up the next few days between big and small water trout fishing.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, September 11, 2015

A sign of things to come

Hi Folks, Ran the boat yesterday afternoon with clients for some early fall fishing for smallmouth bass. We were not disappointed.   I love the month of September for smallmouth fishing.  A fine time of year to hang a real big smallie.  We had a nice afternoon with no wind and a surface temperature of 74 degrees.  All of our water levels are low and we still very much need some rain.  We fished in and around standing milfoil beds and found most of our fish in a little deeper water off the beds.  All of our big fish came out of 12' to 15' of water.  We worked the surface with minimal results.  Had half a dozen come to the surface to eat, but without questions the slowly fished Senko was the method.  We worked 4" and 5" Senkos in Red/Watermelon magic and Goby and landed 9 smallmouth bass and 1 largemouth bass.  We missed or lost just as many.  What was nice was the average size of the fish we caught was large.  We had 5 smallmouths over 15" all the way to 18.5".  Good strong fighting fish.  Still some #14-#22 flying ants around.  Looks like some cooler and maybe even damp weather on the way.  I am off to chase smallmouth and walleye from the boat today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

standing in a river

Hi folks, Been trying to keep cool the last couple of days guiding.  Been river fishing for smallmouth bass with the spin rods.  Record hot temperatures and high humidity have made it a bit on the uncomfortable side outdoors.  Perfect time to stand in a nice Vermont stream and tug on some fish.  The water temperature has been 72 degrees to 75 degrees.  The water is still low though we did get some heavy rain yesterday afternoon and last night.  The bass fishing on Monday was a little slow as we only landed two fish.  However we made up for it yesterday by landing 19 smallmouth and had a 12" stocked rainbow eat a 3" crawfish colored Senko.  Massive number of #14-#22 flying ants last night.  They covered the river and there were plenty of fish rising to eat them.  Mostly Fall Fish, small bass, and a few trout were gobbling up the ants.  We caught all of our smallmouth on 3" and 4" Senkos.  We had the fish take the rubber on a dead drift or even when the rubber was dropping after the cast.  We had half a dozen aggressive takes reeling back in the soft plastic bait.  We did fish a popper but the fish were not tuned in to it.  We missed a handful of fish on the surface but the best bite was below the surface.  We fished slow water and big eddy areas and we stood in the stream for most of the afternoon.  Pretty relaxing and comfortable.  We got off the water as the lightening and thunder moved in.  Will be running the boat the rest of the week.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, September 7, 2015

Brothers bass

HI Folks, Guided with the fly rods for river smallmouth yesterday.  Took out 3 brothers who are all fine fly anglers and even finer gentlemen.  Could not have been with a better crew for a super fantastic day of fly fishing.  Man, it is still hot and muggy out there.  The water is incredibly low and I can't remember seeing the Lamoille so dry.  Once again, we need rain.  We got on the water at sun rise under heavy fog.  Lots of valley fog this time of the year.  Good for keeping the sun off the water.  Water temperature was 75 degrees and low and clear.  We were able to spot several fish eat the fly.  We begin the morning popping the bass and landed a 2lber within 5 minutes of fishing.  It just got better from there.  We landed well over 30 smallmouth casting a combination of #6 chartreuse rubber legged poppers and stripping back #4/#8 Clauser Minnows and cone headed olive bunny buggers.  Due to the water levels most of the fish are holding in slow deep pools.  One of the more enjoyable moments of the day was casting into a large foam covered eddy that had a large rock and stump. You would cast the fly into the foam and strip and wham!  We pulled 4 nice bass out of this dynamic.  We could see smallmouth emerge from large rocks to eat the fly.  Incredible how much water we could access due to the low water.  Looks to stay hot this week and I will be chasing bass starting with this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, September 6, 2015


Hi folks, guided a double yesterday chasing trout in the morning with the fly rods and spin fishing from my canoe in the afternoon for smallmouth bass.  Still very much summer out on the water and I am still fishing early and late in the day.  The water temperature on the lower Winooski was 66 degrees at 6:30am.  Water is low and yes, we really need some rain.  A few #16 caddis hatching in the morning with some random rising fish and Cedar Waxwings working bugs over riffles.  We landed 3 small wild rainbows and 1 stocked brown trout.  We got the fish to at a dead drifted #16 olive wire caddis pupa and a #14 Klinkhammer.  The fishing was decent until the early morning fog burned off.  Every trout was located off heavy riffles that dumped into large primary pools.  Once the sun rose the trout fishing really slowed.  In the afternoon, the lake surface temperature was 74 degrees and pretty flat calm on the water.  Good afternoon of bass fishing with 11 good sized smallmouth to the canoe as well as a robust 25" plus chain pickerel.  We landed 7 of the fish on a 4" watermelon red magic Senko and 5 of the fish on a fire tiger popper.  The popper accounted for the largest smallies of the day including two 3.5lb to 3.75lb hard pulling bronze backs.  We caught bass in a variety of spots from weed edges to downed wood to open water that had large rocks.  Really aggressive strikes on the surface.  Only one fish missed and lost which is pretty impressive in an afternoon of fishing.  Good job of capitalizing on opportunities.  Off to chase river bass.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, September 4, 2015

Action Shot

still very much summer

Hi Folks, guided the last couple of morning chasing river smallmouth with spin gear and fly rods.  Our rivers are low.  However, the northern reaches of the state seem to have a bit more water than central to southern Vermont.  Certainly warmer than average air temperatures though it has been cooling off significantly at night into the low fifties.  Lots of heavy morning fog which is nice for keeping the sun off the water.  Mornings and late afternoon are the the times to fish presently.  I was leaving the water yesterday at lunch time when another outfit was just arriving.  Not an easy time of day to catch fish in big water in the middle of a hot sunny afternoon.  The bass fishing  has been very consistent.  I have been wading to water that is generally inaccessible due to flows.  Water temperatures have ranged from 67 degrees in the early morning to 72 degrees by midday.  We have been dead drifting 3" baby bass Senkos with the spin gear.  Landed 8 smallmouth yesterday morning and lost and missed twice that number.  With the low water the smallmouth have been a bit fussy.  Lots of pick ups on the rubber only to drop them with the slightest inclination of resistance from the angler.  Really important to recover slack when you draw a take from a smallmouth, but it must be accomplished without the fish sensing you.  The fly fishing for bass has been even better.  Popping was pretty darn good the other morning under early morning fog.  I have found that smaller poppers in #8/#6 have been most effective.  Poppers with yellow, chartreuse, and black bodies have all been effective.  When the surface bite slows streamers in olive, black and white have all worked.  Move them in short darting movements and work them in and around large rocks.  Fun watching a big bronze back emerge from a boulder and crush a streamer.   Trout fishing is currently relegated to early morning for the big rivers and small mountain brooks.  Be seeing lots of #22 male flying ants the last few afternoons.  A #14/#16 olive caddis pupa dead drifted or a #12/#14 Isonychia pattern will produce fish in the big rivers.  Smaller dry flies like #14 ant, #14/#16 yellow or green bodied humpy, #14/#16 adams/hare's ear parachute or a #14 Royal Wullf will catch small stream trout.  So, get up early and go fish or wait until late afternoon until our weather changes.  Really need rain.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

New and different

Hi Folks, Spent a really nice morning in the kingdom with a client fly fishing for native Brook trout.  Pretty magical place we fished on a high gradient stream in a thick tree canopy.  A whole another world.  The brook temperature was 57 degrees and the water was low and clear.  We landed 27 brook trout between 3" and 12".  All on the same dry fly, a #14 Klinkhammer.  I think there was a trout in every piece of water we fished.  All up stream fishing and the larger pools held the most fish and the big ones.  Fun experience for my Floridan client who ad never fished in such an environment.  Unique and out of the ordinary fro someone from down country.  The brook trout were lit up with color, really impressive.  Looks like some warmer than average weather for the next few days, but still cool at night.  I will be chasing smallmouth the next few days.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy