Friday, September 30, 2016

Leaves starting to pop

Hi Folks, Guided the Lamoille yesterday afternoon under big blue sunny skies.  The leaves are starting to turn and the surrounding hillsides were full of color.  Water temperature was 62 degrees and yes the water is still really low.  We had well over a dozen rainbows come to our dry fly dropper nymph rig.  We landed 4 wild bows from 7" to 12".  Our best fish of the day was lost as it wrapped up on a piece of downed wood.  It was one of the few trout that ate the #18 pheasant tail nymph.  Most of our takes were on the #12 Hare's Ear parachute.  We fished heavy pocket water.  All of the trout were holding in the heavier water. Probably a product of the low water and bright sun.  Looks like some damp cool weather coming at us, I hope so.  Off to chase river bass today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, September 29, 2016

working hard

Hi Folks, Been working hard on my guided trips this week for fish.  Smallmouth fished out of my boat on Monday.  Water temperatures ranged from 58 to 65 degrees.  A steady south/southeast wind impacted the temperatures and the fishing.  We fly cast for most of the day and then resorted to spin fishing once my guests arm was about to fall off.  We half a dozen large smallmouth come to a #8 red/yellow deer hair bug.  The fish were holding on drop offs next to large weed beds in 12' to 15' of water.  When we started casting a 4" motor oil Senko on the spin rod we were getting strikes every other cast.  Landed a dozen feisty bass.  Guided a couple of trout trips the next few days where water temperature on the Lamoille was 61 degrees and on the Winooski 63 degrees.  Both rivers are really low.  Been seeing a fair amount of olive caddis larvae on rocks and decent numbers of #14-#16 caddis hatching in the morning and egg laying in the late afternoon.  We did locate a nice brown trout rising the other morning and got him to eat a #16 x-caddis and then he promptly snapped the tippet.  We have been casting dry dropper rigs with caddis and #12 adams parachutes as the dry and #18 pheasant tail and olive caddis pupa as the dropper fly.  Most of our fish have been eating the dropper nymph.  Been making lots of casts to get fish to eat.  The low water and warmer than average temperatures have made the fishing challenging.  We really need rain.  Off to chase trout today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, September 26, 2016

Fish fry

Hi Folks, Was an interesting last few days of guiding and fishing.  Big cold front moved into town with rain on Friday.  Every bit of rain helps but we need more.  Cold outside now with our first frost warnings of the season.  Trout fished the Friday and Saturday and it was pretty darn slow.  The fish did not seem to be too interested.  Water temperatures slowly dropped into the low to mid fifties.  I was on the main stem of the Winooski and a couple of tribs. The water levels were up but the clarity was fine.  Did not see any bug activity.  We got a couple of misguided fish to eat a #8 olive and black wooly bugger in slow deep pools.  On Sunday I change directions and went still water fishing for lake trout.  The surface temperature of the lake I was on was 67 degrees.  Stiff cold northwest wind.  We got 3 bites from lake trout and decided to change directions.  I think the lake trout are in spawning mode and the bite is a bit more challenging presently.  So, we went caught a mess of beautiful yellow perch for a fish fry.  A lot nice yellow beliies that we located in 25' to 30' of water over grass beds.  The electronics were really helpful.  The moment we drifted off the grass beds we lost the bite.  We caught the fish on smelt imitation swim baits on rods that were fiberglass and spooled with braided line.  Not the target species but I have to say some of the nicest looking perch I have seen in a long time.  Off to run my boat today for smallmouth.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Big fly little trout, tiny fly big trout

Hi Folks, Spent yesterday morning fly fishing on a Winooski tributary for native brook trout and wild brown trout.  Water temperature was 60 degrees and the water is low.  We really need rain.  Still warm and muggy with somewhat cool nights.  Maybe some rain on Friday.  Worked a dry dropper rig with a #12 Ausable Wulff and a #18 BWO dropper.  Interestingly enough of the 7 landed brook trout and 1 brown trout, all of the big fish ate the dropper nymph and the smaller fish ate the dry fly.  The trout were aggressive as I located fish in every spot the fly was cast.  The takes on the dropper looked like a rising fish as the trout exploded onto the surface as they came up on the tiny dropper.  All of the trout were in full on spawning colors.  Love this time of year for fly fishing.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  have fun, Willy

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Enjoying the Lamoille

HI Folks, Guided a large party on the Lamoille yesterday morning with the fly rods.  Water temperature was 60 degrees and the water level was below the seasonal average.  Rained some last night and is damp today.  Lots of #14/#16 caddis hatching.  There were a bunch of caddis already hatched out along the banks of the river.  Egg laying typically takes place in the late afternoon.  We did find a few rising fish.  Got them to eat a #14 Adams parachute.  Of the 6 anglers myself and my other guide took out, everyone landed a fish.  All rainbows and a mix of stocked and wild fish. We caught a percentage of fish with a dropper below the parachute.  A #18 pheasant tail and #16 caddis pupa worked well.  We located all of our fish in big riffles and pools.  Looks like a nice weather pattern for fishing and the trout fishing is only getting better.  Interestingly, the stocked trout looked like they had been through the ringer, big heads and skinny bodies.  A sign of thermal stress.  Fly patterns currently are #14/#16 caddis (goddard, x-caddis, and henryville special), #8-#10 olive and black wooly buggers, #18/#20 BWO's, #12/#14 prince nymphs,#14 bug bugs, #8 mickey finn, #8/#10 black ghost, #14-#20 ants, and #12/#14 green bodied hoppers.  Just remember it is not always about the fly but more about the presentation.  Trout like to eat a good drift!!!!  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, September 17, 2016

streamer fishing

Hi Folks, Who said fishing guides don't like to fish?  Just dont always have the chance  during the season when you guide everyday.  I do not fish when guiding except with my eyes.  If I am fishing with clients, then I certainly would not be paying attention to them.  So, yesterday I got the opportunity to cast a fly on a Winooski trib. with a couple of friends.  Water temperature was 58 degrees.  Cool nights lately have dropped our water temperatures down enough now that the trout fishing is game on.  The water is still very low and we need rain. There was a small brook that dumps into the river we were fishing yesterday that was bone dry.  Not much for hatching bugs so we resorted to casting streamers.  I did not have much luck yesterday myself my friend Brian might mouse mouse carpenter and FX both caught wild trout streamer fishing.  I am the official photographer.  We we worked buggers in plunge pools and heavy riffles to draw interest from trout.  Casting into the heavy water and stripping back was the ticket.  The best fish of the day was a beautiful wild 20" female brown trout that ate a white and grizzly hackle wooly bugger.  A slim profiled muddler worked well also.  Streamer fishing is not always my first choice but extremely effective in getting a trout's interest.  Looking forward to fall and some good trout and salmon fishing.  Off to go to guide trout.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Fishing in the rain, fishing in the rain

Hi Folks, Guided a spin trip for smallmouth in a local river yesterday morning and then went fly fishing myself for trout.  Nice to see rain and I did not mind getting wet.  Still need more rain but anything at this point is good.  Nights have been cool and water temps. are dropping.  The smallmouth river was 67 degrees and the small stream I fly fished was 59 degrees.  Good steady wind yesterday.  We landed 4 smallmouth using 3" crawfish Senkos.  Most of the takes were subtle and we missed a few fish due to the wind and our inability to be able to watch the line in the drift.  Tricky when the line is being blown around and you get a visual on it when the fish are picking up the rubber.  All of the fish were in deeper pools in and around large rocks and downed wood.  The trout fishing was pretty darn good.  Worked a few holes looking for a large brown trout.  Caught 5 brook trout with the largest being 10" and 1 wild brown that was 12".  Caught the fish on a #12 orange bodied stimulator with a #18 pheasant tail dropper nymph.  The brown and larger brook trout ate the dropper nymph.  Fun in clear water watching trout come to the fly.  Polarized glasses are really helpful.  Coming into my favorite time of the year to fish.  Chasing trout the next few days.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Preparing for Fall

Hi Folks, Like the feel to the air out there currently.  Could the heat be over and fall is truly on the way?? Hope so, we need more rain but we did get a heck of a storm Sunday morning that puffed up our rivers.  They have all come back down and are fishable.  Water temperatures the last couple of days have ranged from 60 to 66 degrees.  The Lamoille was 65 degrees Saturday morning.  I traveled north after guiding Saturday and fly fished the upper CT.  Tail water release where the water was a pleasant 61 to 62 degrees.  Meet up with some old college friends.  Love getting together with friends from the past and getting to hang out on a trout stream.  Good camaraderie.  The trout fishing seems to be coming around.  The fish I am seeing have certainly have experienced some summer stress.  Big heads and skinny bodies.  Catching fish with tiny #18/#20 yellow/tan caddis pupa.  Also, a blind fished #16/#18 crystal ant has been very effective.  There are lots of terrestrials presently from green/olive hoppers to flying ants.  The smallmouth fishing should go off now with the cooling nights and lower sun angle.  Looking forward to some landlocked salmon fishing.  We need rain!!!  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, September 10, 2016

getting a little wet

Hi Folks, Guided from the canoe with the the fly rods Thursday night.  Actually got rained on for a bit.  On and off heavy showers.  Still not enough precipitation as it is really dry out there.  Surface temperature was 71 degrees.  We worked a #8 black popper and and #6 olive bunny streamer.  Landed 3 smallmouth and 1 nice pickerel.  The pickerel came off a large weed bed and we watched is swirl on the fly and then return and suck it in.  Fought pretty good.  It was at least 2' long and did not break us off as we had it hooked on the top of the mouth away from all of its sharp teeth.  The smallmouth bit started out well and then the rain moved in and shut it down.  No real rhyme or reason to it.  The fish we caught were all holding on large points and rocky islands/humps that were adorned with weed.  Pretty aggressive strikes initially and the last fish literally sipped in the fly like trout.  Weather effects fishing and it is matter of only working with it.  Off to chase trout today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, September 8, 2016

still feels like summer

Hi folks, Been darn hot the last few days.  I have been guiding smallmouth again due to warming water temperatures.  Did have a nice little window of cooler night air temperatures and water temperature earlier in the week that allowed a trip to the main stem of the Lamoille.  Water was 63 degrees compared to yesterday afternoon when it was a hot 71 degrees.  The lakes I have run my boat on have been 72 to 74 degrees.  Still really need rain!  Lot of #14-#22 ant activity with hatches of ant swarms every afternoon.  I have witnessed large bass even eating the ants.  A lake I was on two days ago was glassy calm and you could see millions of ants on the surface.  Really easy pickings for any fish.  More and more #12 Isonychia shucks on rocks and a #12 flashback pheasant tail was the fly of the day on the Lamoille.  Large number of cased #18 tan caddis shucks have been on tops of rocks in riffles preparing to hatch.  Starting to see more and more #14-#16 olive green caddis larvae as well. With the bass fishing a wide array of poppers in smaller sizes from #10-#8 have been effective.  Finding more of the larger fish in open water in and around underwater islands, humps, long points that feature big weed beds.  Lots of weed growth with the hot weather and low water, photosynthesis at its finest.  Will cool down one of these days.  Not many people fishing these days which is nice for me.  Off to chase smallmouth in a canoe.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, September 5, 2016

smiles tell the tale

Hi Folks, Been a fun filled week of guiding young people river fishing.  Nothing better than getting teenagers and kids interested in the great out doors and fishing.  Big cold front arrived Thursday night dropping air temperatures and water temperatures significantly.  The Lamoille received  a good amount of rain this week and the river is now in decent shape to fish.  Its tributaries are in perfect shape.  The river I guided the last two days was 68 degrees yesterday morning and 72 degrees on Thursday afternoon.  A lot of morning fog currently as the nights really cool off.  Fishing times will begin to shift to mid day and late afternoon if the weather continues to cool off.  For bugs I am still seeing fresh #6-#10 stone fly shucks on rocks, lots and lots of cased caddis on tops of rocks in riffles.  #18 tan/yellow bodied caddis, #12 Isonychia shucks, some tiny #18-#20 BWOs, #22-#24 Tricos, and lots of terrestrials from hoppers to ants to beetles.  Bass fishing was decent the last two days.  We worked for fish as cold fronts always slow them down a bit.  The incredible edible Senko in 4" motor oil has been been consistent.  A dead drifted #8 bead headed black wooly bugger has also worked well.  Still need rain.  I will be putting a full day today chasing smallmouth in a lake.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

get em up or get em down

Hi Folks, Been a busy last week of guiding especially the last 3 days.  Had a cold front push through last Thursday and that impacted the fishing for a day or two before things really settled out yesterday.  Been mostly chasing smallmouth bass though I did guide a trout trip yesterday morning on a Winooski tributary.  The trout stream we visited was 58 degrees and gin clear.  A tough little stream with only wild fish.  It reminds me of a spring creek to a degrees and you must pay attention to how you move around it and stay out of the water as much as possible.  It is a stream that demands excellence from a fly angler and is perfectly suited for dry fly fishing.  We worked it yesterday morning with a #18 crystal ant (been flying ants everywhere!) and in a few fast riffles a #14 Royal Wulff.  We landed 5 wild rainbows and missed a couple of nice strikes on the dry flies.  We had one nice trout follow the fly downstream only to take a look and deny us.  Interesting when you can see a fish come to your fly and turn off.  There were a few #22 Trico spinners a few #16 tan bodied caddis hatching.  Only saw a couple of sporadic rises. Nice morning of trout fishing and it will only improve as the weather continues to cool off.  The guiding business has really been on the smallmouth fishing front lately.  Been both river fishing and lake fishing.  From my motorboat to canoes.  Water temperatures on the surface were cool on Friday and Saturday and then warmed back up again yesterday.  Friday in the river the water was 68 degrees and on the lake Saturday it was 69 degrees and yesterday a perfect 71 to 73 degrees.  We have caught smallmouth everyday, but yesterday was the best overall.  I think after a cold front moves in the fishing is a bit tough and as the weather stabilizes it picks right back up.  The question lately has been do we try to catch them on the surface or down below with rubber.  I will always choose the surface.  With the flying ants and bountiful numbers of bait fish the surface fishing is a good option.  It just takes more patience than the rubber which tends to draw lots of interest.  We did catch some nice quality smallmouth yesterday and Saturday.  The largest fish came on 5" Senkos.  Real hard pulling smallies that took drag off reels.  The key ingredient was weed beds, specifically milfoil.  We fished 12' to 15' of water in and around milfoil beds.  Well, have your ants ready and hope for some rain.  Off to chase trout.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the  non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy