Friday, October 30, 2015

Nearing the end

Hi Folks, Ran north yesterday morning to the river of big fish to chase landlocked salmon with the fly rods.  Water level was below the seasonal average flow which was had to believe after all of the rain we received on Tuesday night into Wednesday.  All of the rivers in and around Stowe were pretty high and on the way up the north there was flood water in farm fields.  For whatever reason, the river was in fine shape and the temperature was 45 degrees.  The salmon are in full on spawning mode.  I saw a 25" plus female rolling on her bed, pretty impressive.  Left her alone and only watched.  Did manage to land 3 10" to 12" juvenile salmon that I think were all wild.  No clipped fins.  Also, caught a lake run brook trout that was about 12".  Every fish ate a either a #12 double tungsten stone fly nymph or a #16 olive wire caddis.  Did see a angler land a nice 21" plus male salmon on a #12 double golden tungsten stone fly nymph.  She told me that she had a ton of casts over that spot prior to the fish eating.  Sound like late season salmon fishing to me.  The fish had a big hook jaw as it was probably seeking out a female to pair up with.  Great season on the river of big fish and good to see that fishery appears to be doing very well.  The last two days of the season and I have a trip tomorrow and it will be a wrap.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Hi Folks, Guided up on the river of big fish with the fly rods yesterday morning.  Pretty chilly start to the day with air temps. in the 20's.  The water temperature was 42 degrees and low.  The Landlocked Salmon are now in full on spawning mode.  You can see them in the river on gravel.  Big females with aggressive males holding behind the hens jockeying for position.  You can see the females twisting and turning as they roll to lay eggs.  We leave the females alone.  We swung streamers and had a pretty good fish whack a #10 Mickey Finn on the swing.  Happened pretty early in the morning.  They come out of no where (in front and behind big rocks) to eat streamers.  After that, we could not move a fish on a streamer so we resorted to nymphing.  We hooked two good salmon a #14 prince nymph and lost both fish.  Had a few other strikes but the fishing was not fast and furious.  Pretty tough getting them to eat when they are spawning and I am not a big fan of foul hooked fish.  Does not count if you don't get them to eat the fly and remove from their mouth!  The state should probably close this fishery down in mid October to let the salmon do their thing unmolested.  Three days left in the season and I have two more days on the water.  Been a good October.  Remember to clean your gear and leave the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, October 25, 2015

winding down

Hi Folks,  Had a fun afternoon yesterday guiding on the Lamoille with aspiring fly anglers.  Water is really low.  Not good heading into winter.  We need more rain as the river is significantly lower than the seasonal average flow.  Water temperature was a chilly 44 degrees.  No hatching bugs and very few to be found on and under rocks.  Everything is pretty much hatched out for the season.  Lots of leaves in the water that can play tricks on you when drifting your fly.  We landed on fish yesterday, but it was a real beauty.  A nice 16" female brown trout that appeared to be full of roe.  On her way to spawn as we were fishing just below a tributary that is home to many spawning trout.  We got her eat a dead drifted #10 olive/black wooly bugger with a tungsten bead.  With the current water conditions, it probably not a bad idea to give the fish something big and easy to eat.  good time of yea to dead drift a streamer or even breakout a sinking tip or line to keep presentations down in the water column.  As the water cools the trout will  not be willing to move as far to eat a fly as they were apt to a month ago. One week to go in the season and I will be trout and salmon fishing with clients.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, October 19, 2015

ice in the guides

Hi Folks, Nice chilly day on the water yesterday as I guided a spin angler for trout on the Lamoille.  You know it is cold when ice forms in the guides of your fishing rod.  There was some ice in sections of back water areas off the river.  The walking in waders on the banks was a bit treacherous with a bit of snow and frost on the ground.  Water temperature was in the low forties and the level was slightly below the seasonal average flow.  Lots of leaves and junk in the foam line that catches your lures and flies.  We landed two very nice trout yesterday.  I beautiful 14" brown trout and 1 13" rainbow.  Both were wild fish that ate a small brook trout imitation Rapala.  We focused on slow deep water pools that had large boulders situated along the bottom.  Both fish elevated from the large rocks to eat the lure.  Lots of casts but worth it to catch two nice quality trout late in the season.  Looks like a bit of warmer weather  on the way with rain for midweek.  Still have few trips left and will be chasing trout and salmon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fly fishing in the snow

Hi Folks, Had a group of aspiring fly anglers yesterday afternoon on the Lamoille.  Was a cold day to fish with day time air temperatures barely exceeding 40 degrees.  The river temperature was 47 degrees and the level was jus below the seasonal average flow.  A few good snow squalls pushed through during our time on the water which was interesting.  Lots of leaves and junk in the water now as the foliage descends to the ground. A decent hatch of #22 BWOs, but not trout responding to the tiny may fly on the surface.  We fished slowed sections of river as the fish tend to hold in these areas as the water cools.  We swung buggers, bunny fur streamers and small #20 BWO nymphs with not a lot of action.  We missed 4 trout that ate the tiny may fly nymph.  Always slow it down when it cools.  Looks like things are winding down as the rivers cool off.  Any warmer days over the next week will be the ideal time to get on a river and chase river trout.  Not so sure the water temperature will exceed the magic number 50 degrees again this season.  Trout fishing again today and it will require some warm long johns.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Keep Jumping

Hi Folks, Guided the afternoon on the river of big fish yesterday.  Nice day with midl air tempratures and over cast skies.  Water level is slightly above the seasonal average flow.  Water temperature was 57 degrees.  A few rain showers greeted us at day's  end.  I have to say the Salmon fishing has been very good over the last 10 days.  Lots of fish in the river and lots of big ones.   It was interesting that as we arrived at the river we had multiple anglers tell us that the there were lots of fish around.  The river gets lots of pressure especially in the early morning.  Not many folks around in the afternoon.  We stuck to swinging streamers and change flies lots.  The most productive patterns were on the smaller size #10's and in shades of green and black.  The largest landed fish of the day hammered a swung streamer and then jumped 7 times.  We hooked it in a heavy riffle and it put up a great fight before succumbing to the net.  We hooked another beast on a nymph rig and client knew right away that we were not going to land that fish.  Our 4x tippet would not hold and broke about 2" above the #16 olive caddis nymph.  Nymphing can be productive for salmon, but holding these big fish on light tippets is tricky and I am not a big fan of leaving flies in a fish's face.  We did hook several other smaller fish under 20", but we travel to the river of big fish to land large salmon.  Salmon fishing should remain good for the next couple of weeks.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

Monday, October 12, 2015

Oh Baby Baby

Hi Folks, Guided on the river of big fish yesterday morning.  Due to the crazy amount of fishing pressure we left Stowe at 5am to get on the water in the dark.  Water temperature was 54 degrees and the water level was slightly above the seasonal average flow.  We swung streamers all morning as nymph rigs under indicators were not effective.  We had 4 salmon elevate to our swung presentations and hooked and landed two real beauties over 20" .  A female that was just over 20" and a really fiesty male who was all of 22".  Both salmon were silver fish that appeared to be fresh into the river.  The male salmon gave my client everything you could  hope for from of these fish.  A great take of the fly, then proceeded to jump and tail walk across the pool.  These fish like to get air time.  We used 6wt. rods with 2x tippet.  You could put some pressure on these fish to keep them in the hole.  It can be difficult to hook big landlocked salmon, but even more challenging landing them in heavy water.  I was pretty happy for my guest as he has spent some time from Maine to Vermont attempting to land a 20" plus landlocked salmon.  Yesterday was his day.  Looking forward to the next couple of weeks of fishing with BWO hatches and salmon fishing, things showed be fun.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, October 11, 2015

small flies and wild bows

Hi Folks, Guided on the Lamoille yesterday afternoon.  Big cool sunny day with air temperatures not eclipsing 50 degrees.  The water temperature was 48 degrees and my feet could feel it.  The water level was at a spring flow from the rain the previous day, but the clarity was  just fine.  One of the dilemmas this time of the year are floating leaves that the fly always catches.  We landed 5 rainbows with 4 of the fish being hard fighting silver bullet wild rainbows and one stocked trout that fought like a wet paper towel.  We missed 3 fish.  The method of the day was to swing a double nymph rig consisting of a #16 olive wire caddis with a #20 BWO nymph dropper.  Every fish eat the BWO nymph with the exception of the stocked trout who ate the caddis.  All of the takes came in riffles with the flies being swung to the end of the drift.  For the most part the takes were pretty subtle.  Interestingly, we did get a single take dead drifting an olive wooly bugger or swinging a white zonker.  Not much for hatching bugs yesterday as did see a few sporadic #16 cadddis about but no rising activity.  Water is cooling off so afternoon is the way now on a trout stream.  I am off to guide on the river of big fish. Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Peak, olives, and gulping trout

Hi Folks, guided on the lower Winooski yesterday afternoon under cloudy skies with occasional rain showers.  Perfect fall fishing weather.  With cool damp October days come big hatches of tiny #20-#24 BWO's.  They come off mid afternoon and typically in areas where the stream gravel is fingernail sized.  They love to collect in big giant eddies and large trout love to swim in circle and gobble up the little may fly.  Water temperature was 51 degrees and the level was up a bit from the 1/2" of rain we received the previous night and in the morning.  It looks like all of our rivers came up even more last night as the effect of the rain was slow to raise our river levels. We swung cone head muddler minnows in yellow and black with a #20 BWO dropper attached.  All of our fish eat the tiny nymph. Had one really big rainbow chase the streamer right to our feet only to turn off.  We hooked 7 trout and landed 3 fish.  Once you hook a trout on tiny fly it typically does not come off unless your tippet breaks.  The trick is getting the fish stuck.  We located several nice fish rising in eddies gulping BWOs.  Really tough fish to catch as you need to feed your fly line in the eddy to get a proper presentation and then time the trout as it swims in a circle feeding, good fun.  The rain has only helped our streams as it moves fish around.  Fishing is best now in mid afternoon unless you are chasing lake run fish.  The foliage looks to be pretty much at peak.  The next few days should be good fishing as things warm a bit.  For those who are lake fishing currently, pay attention to bird hunters as duck and goose season is now open.  Birds mostly move early and late so work with the hunters and fish midday.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The river of big fish and candy apple bobbers

Hi Folks, Ran up north with a couple fly fishing friends yesterday to chase landlocked salmon.  The foliage is darn close to peak in the northern part of Vermont. Beautiful day that started out pretty cool.  Water temperature was 56 degrees and the flow was up.  This particular river has one of the best runs of large of landlocked salmon in New England.  The rain from last week puffed up the river and the flows currently are ideal for moving fish.  Between 3 of us we hooked a dozen large adult salmon.  The largest fish of the day was 27" with lots of salmon in the 18" to 22" range.  The fish were all over streamers yesterday.  We swung a variety of smelt patterns and attractor streamers like a Mickey Finn and an Orange Blossom.  It turned out that the smaller patterns in dark colors were the must productive.  I did well with a black and green feather wing streamer and a black marabou streamer with a gold body. We did swing a few nymphs as there was a good number of #14/#16 caddis hatching throughout the morning.  I lost a couple of salmon on a #16 olive wire caddis.  One break off and one tossed fly.  4x tippet is too light on these big fish.  We were using 1x and 2x with the streamers so you could put the mustard to these strong jumping salmon.  I don't think there was a salmon that did not jump at least half dozen times when hooked.  The funniest fish of the day was the apple bobber salmon.  I was fishing a hole with a big eddy and in it was what appeared to be a apple spinning around.  However, when I hooked it by accident, low and behold there was a 2' salmon attached below that proceeded to jump and fight.  I lost the fish at the bank, but did recover the flies, including the 1 in its mouth and the bobber.  Pretty wild.  We also recovered some broken line that had 4 flies attached with lead weight.  Very illegal and looked like a snagging rig to me.  Let me tell you, every fish we hooked yesterday ate the fly!!!!!!   No need to snag and foul hook these beautiful creatures.  Tight line swinging the fly was the method and the takes were solid.  So, I will be trout fishing and chasing salmon for the next few weeks.  Season ends October 31.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Foliage season

Hi Folks, Leaves are starting to look pretty nice in the Stowe area.  Not so sure they will hang around long after all the of the dry weather we experienced this summer.   Guided two trips yesterday on the Lamoille watershed.  A cold Friday night really dropped water temperatures.  We got a good amount of rain last Tuesday and Wednesday that really puffed up our rivers.  It was really needed and I did not mind missing a few days in order to allow things to settle down.  The Lamoille trib. I was on yesterday morning was 50 degrees and the main stem was 54 yesterday afternoon.  The morning fishing was a bit slow.  I think it is important to let the water warm up this time of the year and fish the afternoon.  We did get a couple of trout to eat a nymph, but we made lots of casts. The afternoon was a different game. A massive number of egg laying #14/#16 olive bodied dark winged caddis were flying up the Lamoille late in the day. Found a good pod of rising wild rainbows and had some fun with dry flies.  We cast a #16 Goddard Caddis and a #16 olive bodied X-Caddis.  The trout ate the fly on the swing and on the dead drift. The fish were located on long slow flats that held lots of finger nail sized gravel.  You could see the trout eat in the film and come right out of the water to eat the caddis.  With some water in our streams it has allowed some fish to move out of summer holding areas i.e. spawning salmon and brown trout.  We could still use some more rain, but I can work with what we have currently and next couple of weeks should be good time to be on a Vermont trout stream.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy