Thursday, June 30, 2016

Let it Rain, Let it Rain, let the fish rain down on me

Hi Folks, Finally got some much needed rain over the last 24 hours.  A good boost for our rivers.  I guided a brook yesterday that looked completely different now that it has some water in it.  Water temperature was a pleasant 60 degrees and the clarity was good even with almost 3/4" of rain.  We did a bit of walking and fished a variety of water types from classic riffles to pools to heavier pocket water.  This particular brook has big brown trout and native brook trout.  We presented a #12 Royal Wulff and a #10 green foam hopper with a #16 pheasant tail nymph.  No luck with the brown trout but we did catch some nice looking brook trout. It appeared that we hooked one brown on the dropper nymph but we were unable to land the trout.  Most of our action was on the dry fly.  It was interesting that the brook trout that are generally aggressive were a bit more tentative yesterday morning.  I think that the changing water levels must have had a part in their behavior.  I am off to do a double today with small stream fishing this morning and bassin' this afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tight lines mister

Hi Folks, spent the last two guiding full days for smallmouth bass.  Mixed it up guiding out of my motorboat then rive fly fishing today.  Still really dry but as I write this we do have some rain hitting the roof.  The lake surface temperature was 73 degrees and the river temperature was 70 degrees today.  Water is low everywhere including lakes and ponds.  Yesterday was a great day to be in a boat with no wind and partial cloud cover. The larger smallmouth have been holding in deeper water. We located them in 12' to 15' of water plus.  The bigger fish were off long deep rock points and off sharp drop offs from the shoreline.  We could not get the fish to eat off the top so we resorted to finesse fishing with some rubber.  A 5" crawfish colored Senko and a 5" Watermelon Red Magic Senko worked very well.  It was interesting that a lot of the fish hooked swam at the boat after getting airborne.  Really had to reel to keep the pressure on and the rod bent.  We landed 15 bass and missed or last as many.  Pretty nice that we had the entire lake to ourselves for most of the morning. Today I wore out some boot leather wading for smallmouth.  A large number of #8-#10 golden stone fly nymph shucks on rocks.  A fair number of #14 egg laying caddis this morning that were dipping their bodies into the water to drop their eggs.  Saw a few fall fish eat the bugs off the surface.  We did not have a lot of luck with surface presentations though we did catch a decent bass on a #8 foam mouse fly, and another one on a #8 yellow bodied frog popper.  Most of our damage was done with a #8 olive crystal flash bugger, a #6 olive bunny bugger, and a #8 Girdle bug under an indicator.  We caught most of our bass in slower sections of pools while we landed some giant Fall fish  in the heavy riffles.  Lots and lots of crawfish and juvenile fish milling about in the shallows.  We worked for fish today as the wind really blew from the east.  However, we still managed to catch over 15 fish between 2 fly anglers.  Hopefully we get some much needed rain as the front passing through will give us some nice cool nights to bring down water temperatures.  Off to small stream fly fish in the morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, June 27, 2016

You just never know

Hi Folks, Guided a river smallmouth trip yesterday with spin clients.  Awful darn hot on the river with a big bright sun.  The air temperature was already 78 degrees at 6:00am yesterday morning.  The water temperature was 70 degrees and low and clear.  I know I sound like a broken record but we really need rain as we are in a drought.  We fished slow pools that had lots of cover from downed wood and rock.  Dead drifting 3" green and crawfish colored Senkos.  We landed 8 smallmouth plus 3 trout.  Missed a few fish and lost a bunch that had just short struck the rubber and never really got hooked.  I was pretty surprised to see us catch two stocked rainbows and 1 12" plus native brook trout.  Not our intended target and especially in the warm water.  As you can imagine, each trout was holding in a heavy riffle with the warm water temperatures.  Pretty interesting that the trout takes were fairly aggressive while the smallmouth picked up the Senko and would swim off with it slowly.  I guess the beauty of fishing is you are never fully sure what you can or will catch on a particular day.  I am of to run the boat for smallmouth bass this morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Looks and feels like summer

Hi Folks, Guided one of my regular summer beats yesterday afternoon for the first time this season.  Chased river smallmouth bass with the fly rods with aspiring fly anglers.  I love teaching people who are new to fly fishing.  Very rewarding to watch them catch their first fish on a fly.  The river we waded was extremely low and clear.  You could see the fish come to the fly.  We still need rain and ands lots of it.  The water temperature was a hot 75 degrees.  Lots and lots of cased caddis on tops of rocks.  They were a #18 yellow/tan bodied pupa.  Looks like they are ready to blast off as a high percentage of the casings were on top of the rocks in the riffles not below.  We mostly drifted dry flies and a #10 green foam hopper was the fly of the day.  Had some success with a #12 yellow bodied stimulator as their were a mess of #12/#14 yellow sallies hatching towards dusk.  We caught 3 smallmouth and 3 fall fish and missed a few.  When you are learning to fly fish their is a lot going on with line management after the cast and when a fish strikes.  All part of the learning curve.  We located all of our fish in large deeper pools and they were holding tight to cover and out of the hot sun.  Looks like a real scorcher today.  Fishing early and then hunkering down.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, June 23, 2016

That's the big one!

Hi Folks, Ran the motorboat yesterday with spin clients chasing warm water species.  I just put a new bow mounted trolling motor on the boat with 55lbs. of thrust.  Nice upgrade for my boat.  The lake we fished was stained and the surface temperature ranged from 71 to 73 degrees.  On and off rain showers which are very much needed.  We still need rain and lots of it.  We are on the verge of drought if we are not already there.  Nice calm morning, but the top water bite was not happening.  Good species diversity yesterday as we landed smallmouth, largemouth, northern pike, perch, and pumpkin seed.  All of our big fish came below the surface on 5" green and black magic red flaked Senkos Texas rigged on red hooks.  We did catch a 1lb smallmouth on a floating jointed yellow perch Rapala.  Caught the northern on a gold double bladed spinner bait. Fishing the rubber off large milfoil beds in a combo soft/hard bottom was magic.  The fish were holding on the deep edge in 15' to 17' of water. Landed two really nice bass that measured 17" and 19".  Caught several other smaller fish.  The 19" bass was a beast and both took drag off reels.  Very fun.  Well looks like summer is here and the fishing will remain an early or late in the day option.  I am off for today and tomorow in order to attend a funeral and I will be back in the game come Saturday.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Summer trout office

Hi Folks, When it gets hot I take my clients small stream fishing with the fly rods for trout.  last couple of days have been guiding the small water for native brook trout. We have almost 6,000 miles of trout streams in Vermont and large percentage that is small water.  These streams maintain temperature even on the hottest of days when the Lamoille and Winooski are too darn warm. Nice way to get a little hiking in while fishing.  The small brooks I guide are all wild trout streams.  Native brook trout and wild rainbows and brown trout.  The last couple of days the brooks I guided where between 56 and 59 degrees.  Nice to get a little rain last night and have the weather cool off.  However, the water table is way down and we really need some sustained rain.  Our river levels flows are at an August level.  We worked for trout initially yesterday as we came in behind someone who had fished where we were within a day or two.  So, we moved to a piece of water that was fresh and the results were very different.  Over the last several days we have had well over 50 brookies come to dry flies.  Even managed to hang several 10" plus fish which is big in the terms of the environment we are fishing in.  A #12 Royal Wulff, #14 yellow stimulator, #10 rubber legged Royal Trude, and a #14 Ausable Wulff have all been productive.  With the low water the spook effect is on.  Up stream presentations with careful movement are important.  On the lake front, the large burrowing may flies are hatching.  It is an evening event into dark.  Challenging fly fishing involving long casts and lots of patience.  I off to chase smallmouth tomorrow early.  Looks like rain.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, June 20, 2016

Mother Natures Air Conditioner

Hi Folks, Spent Father's Day afternoon guiding small stream trout.  Awful darn hot and sunny out there.  Fishing in a high gradient brook with good tree canopy is the way to go on those bright warm sunny days.  You can literally feel the temperature difference when you walk onto one of these brooks and get out of the sun.  Very nice. Water temperature was a pleasant 59 degrees.  Clarity was excellent, though levels are very low.  We really need rain! We had well over 30 brook trout eat our #10 rubber legged Royal Trude.  Every pool that was knee deep had a Brookie in it.  It is fun in the clear water to see the trout emerge from their holding station to eat the dry fly. The key component is to not spook the area prior to delivering the fly.  Move slowly and with stealth and do not over false cast on the pool.  Had so much yesterday that I am going to do all over again today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Get out of the sun, son!

Hi Folks, Ran a double yesterday with a fly wade trip in the early am and beautiful Winooksi river float in the afternoon. Starting to warm up outside and the sun has been awfully intense and bright.  Finding shade is always a good idea in trout fishing.  The Lamoille was 62 degrees yesterday at 5:30am and the Winooski was 67 degrees at 8pm last night.  The small Lamoille tributary was 59 degrees.  We still rain and lots of it.  Getting a little bony on our rivers.  Yesterday the bug of the day was a caddis fly.  In the morning we got trout to eat a #16 olive wide caddis pupa and in the afternoon we found rising fish who were more than willing to eat a #16 x-caddis,  On the small stream a #12 royal wulff was the dry of choice.  Our first cast of the day yesterday yielded a very nice rainbow that we did a long distance release on.  We proceeded to hook or have another 10 fish eat our fly before we moved to the small stream.  The brook trout fishing was consistent with the fish holding in the larger pools as the secondary water is too skinny.  Fun watching those bright colored beauties crash on a fly.  The Winooski was fun and the wild rainbows in the river really put up a good tussle.  Dead drifting and swinging the x-caddis proved productive.  It appeared that the trout were keying in the caddis as they were emerging and eating the bug in the surface film.  Nothing better than dry fly fishing.  Off to chase small stream trout this morning and this evening.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, June 16, 2016

which hatch to match???

Hi Folks, Been on the trout water the last couple of days floating the Lamoille last night and guiding a wade trip this morning.  Still need some rain.  Been really nice with the cool nights and beautiful summer days.  The Lamoille was 63 last night and 59 degrees this morning at 5:30am.  Looks like things will warm up a bit over the weekend so being on the water early or at dusk will be the way to go.  There has been a number of insects hatching lately. Last night we saw a number of #6-#10 golden stone flies, to #10 brown drake, to #16 egg laying caddis, and ever present #14-#18 sulphurs.  There was a good hatch of #14/#16 tan bodied caddis this morning that the trout were rising to gobble.  The best fishing last night was with the dry fly.  A #10 adams parachute,  #12 royal wulff, #10 orange stimulator all produced surface takes from wild rainbows to stocked rainbows.  We did nymph up a juvenile wild brown trout on #16 nymph.  Missed a few fish with the good old #8 cone headed black wooly bugger.  Fun floating in far as the amount of water you cover.  The questions always is how long do you stay in one spot? With the Lamoille being a smaller stream and the levels low, it is interesting how the boat has to do be manipulated in order to prevent spooking fish.  Good fun.  This morning the fishing was pretty darn good.  The fly of the morning was a #14 orange usual and a #14 x-caddis on the dry fly front.  How fun is it to see a rising fish and cast to it with a good drift and get a take, magic! We nymph several nice trout of the get go with a #16 olive wire caddis pupa as a dropper of a #12 tungsten red threaded prince nymph.  Fishing pressure has been light.  Got to like it.  Off to trout fish tomorrow early and late.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Fly fishing in the rain

Hi Folks, Guided a wet one yesterday afternoon.  Fly fished on the upper Lamoille where the water was a nice cool 57 degrees.  Levels have stabilized and yes we still need more rain.  It looks like the cool weather will be moving out and more summer like conditions moving in.  The saving grace is that our night time air temperatures will be cool which allows the rivers to cool off a bit each night.  Fished some pocket water and riffles to pools yesterday afternoon into dusk.  There were a number of #14 egg laying caddis, but no trout rising to them.  We caught a couple of small wild rainbows on a #14 Ausable wulff in some pocket water and landed stocked trout in the riffles to pools nymphing.  The nymph rig was a #16 olive caddis with a #14 zug bug.  The stockies ate both patterns.  The rain started out lightly and then really increased.  The fishing seemed to slow when the rain picked up.  Was hoping for risers at dusk but not yesterday.  I did see some large Drake spinners two days ago on a still body of water I was guiding for bass.  I think it is safe to say that it is now time to look for the large may flies on all of our cold water lakes.  Will be drifting for the next few days.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, June 13, 2016

that's the way we like it

Hi Folks, Had a nice day guiding on the opening of bass season Saturday.  The lake we fished had a surface temperature of 60 to 63 degrees.  Pretty calm conditions with a slight breeze by midday as well as rain.  Interestingly the water temperature was 10 degrees cooler than when I had visited this week 8 days prior.  We worked for our fish as the bass were not super aggressive.  We landed a 6 largemouth, 2 smallmouth, and a 2 pike.  We finessed the bass with 5" green colored Senkos as well as of one the pike.  The largest pike of the day was caught on a stick bait with a white buck tail tag.  All of the largemouth were in and around milfoil beds in 2' to 5' water.  The smallmouth were holding on the first significant drop off from shore along hard rocky bottom.  The pike were cruising on the outside edges of big milfoil beds.  Good opening day of bass season.  Off to chase trout this afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Patience is the key

Hi Folks, Been keeping out of trouble guiding trout the last few days.  Did a double yesterday floating the Winooski in the morning and wading the Lamoille in the afternoon.  Nice weather cool down and our water temperatures have dropped in the the high fifties.  Perfect!  The rain earlier in the week has put a nice charge of water in our streams. Ample water now for floating the drift boat.  Yesterday morning was interesting as the fishing started out very slow for the first couple of hours.  Probably due to the cold night with air temperatures in the 40's and mountain snow showers the previous day.  The fish needed a chance to warm up and get the metabolism cranking.  We witnesses a fabulous hatch of #14/#16 Grey Fox and with the windy conditions many of the duns struggled to get off the surface.  It was a true light switch effect as the fishing just turned on.  I have found over the years that on the Winooski there are many large deep pools for trout to hide in and if the are hunkered down then they are very difficult to get to with a fly.  However, when a big hatch takes place, it prompts the fish to move up into the riffles to feed.  We landed 10 fish in the morning and missed a few.  Two of the 10 were brown trout with the largest measuring 18".  We caught most of our fish on a #16 brown bodied cooper john and a #10 double tungsten black stone fly.  One very nice wild rainbow did succumb a #14 purple haze nymph.  Interestingly enough the fishing was the best from mid morning to mid afternoon. Almost like fly fishing in early May with the weather and the bug activity.  The afternoon fly fish on the Lamoille was with aspiring anglers who did a fine job.  Not nearly the number of bugs hatching with a few #16/#18 sulphurs coming off at dusk and some #18/#20 micro caddis showing up on the seen.  I did not see any Brown Drakes at dark.  We worked for our few strikes but did manage to get a few nice rainbows to eat a #8 bead headed olive/black wooly bugger.  Looks like a great weather pattern over the next week for trout fishing.   I am off to fish the still water this morning for smallmouth.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

All alone with the fish

HiFolks, Ran the motorboat yesterday with guests in pursuit of smallmouth bass with spin gear.  Nice calm morning of still water fishing with on and off showers.  We had the place to ourselves as we got on the water very early.  Water temperature was 69 degrees.  The water color was slightly off with the recent rain.  Really nice weather pattern currently for fishing with cool nights and damp weather.  Our rivers have a little bit of water in them now, but we could still use more precipitation.    Fishing yesterday morning was steady.  We attempted to get fish to eat off the surface initially and also cast shallow running crank baits with little success.  We slowed things down with 5" crawfish colored Senkos and Watermelon Red Magic 5" Senkos.  We landed 10 smallies and lost another half a dozen at least.  Most of the bass were located in 12' to 15' of water off big rocky points. Lots of subtle takes and line control was essential.  Pretty nice having good fishing on a huge body of water and being all by yourself.  Love Vermont! Will be guiding trout this afternoon.  Hopefully we will see a few #10 Brown Drakes and some #14/#16 sulphurs.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, June 6, 2016

Bony drift with stone flies

Hi Folks, Ran an all day float on the lower Lamoille yesterday chasing river smallmouth bass.  Finally received some much needed rain.  We could use another soaker. Along with the rain, arrived a cold front.  Good with cooler nights and a bit of water in our rivers can only make the fishing more productive.  Water temperature was 71 degrees.  A fair amount of #8 to #12 golden stone flies hatching.  Lots of shucks on large rocks as well as some winged adults.  You generally do not see the winged adults as they are hatching because it is most often a night time occurrence.  I think yesterday with the cool wet conditions and low light we were able to witness the large bug hatching.  The fishing was pretty good as landed well over 20 smallmouth, 2 walleyes, and numerous fall fish on the fly.  We mixed up fly selections between surface and sub surface patterns.  We did get a few top water takes, but most of our fish ate either a #6 olive sculpin pattern, a #6 black bitch creek, and a #8 cone headed black wooly bugger.  I have to believe that we cast to many fish that have never seen a fly.   It was hard to develop a pattern as the fish seemed to spread through out the river and not necessrily in ther summer haunts.  Post spawn mode and a time of transiton. We floated river that I am not sure anyone has ever taken a drift boat down.  Pretty wild experience as we were in some pretty tricky water for rowing with all of the large rocks and boulders.  I know that a fiberglass or metal boat would have been banged up going through this water.  Running the motor boat tomorrow for smallmouth.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, June 3, 2016

Floating with Purple Haze

Hi Folks, Ran the drift boat yesterday down the Winooki in the early am.  Just enough water to float with the levels still well below the seasonal average flow.  Water temperature was 67 degrees at 6am.  Saw a number of #18 black caddis on the trees along the banks as well as sporadic hatching #16 olive bodied caddis .  A decent hatch of #14 dorothea sulphurs.  The fly of the of the day was a #14 pheasant tail nymph that had a purple rib wrapped through it.  It was given the name purple haze by us and we had it as a dropper off a #8 black wooly bugger under an indicator.  We landed 12 nice trout including a beauty of a wild brown on a deep water gorge section.  There were a few fish rising in the early morning but we caught and hooked every fish nymphing.  The boat is nice on the Winooski because there is more than an ample water to float as well as several sections that cant be reached by a wading angler.  Nice morning of trout fishing.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy