Wednesday, October 26, 2016

River Monster

Hi Folks, Visited the land of big fish yesterday morning.  Pretty chilly out there with snow falling while we fished.  Water has cooled off with the river temperature 48 degrees.  Level was great after a weekend of rain and snow.  We swung streamers that were weighted and unweighted.  For any of you lifters out there, and you know who you are, no need to dredge flies to get the salmon to elevate to eat.  We caught two nice salmon, 20" and 25" and both fish rose to eat our flies.  We lost another really good fish and caught a nice strong fighting lake run rainbow.  All on a #8 Mickey  Finn, #8 Black Ghost, and a #8 Magog Smelt.  It appeared that the fish were on the move as we hooked all of our fish in tail outs of primary pools.  The salmon were holding in front of large rocks and boulders.  Need places to rest after blasting through heavy water.  Magnificent fish that fight like crazy.  It is a real challenge to land the big ones.  Rod angles and how the fish are handled is key in landing salmon.  Halloween bring its to an end.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home, Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Going out with a gulp

Hi Folks, Guided probably my last trip of the 2016 season on Friday. Record setting season for the catfish with over 140 trips over the last 6 months.  My legs, ankles, and feet feel it.   There is still 9 days left in the fishing season so hopefully get on the water a couple more times.   Fished my home river the Lamoille and it showed that there are some really nice fish still to be caught.  Weird weather day with the afternoon starting out with air temperatures in the mid 60's and then dropping to the forties with rain by days end.  Lots of leaves in the water.  We located some rising fish and they were of the gulping variety.  You can tell the difference between a big head and jaw rising to eat versus that of a small trout.  We cast a #20 BWO Klinkhammer style fly with a #18 pheasant tail dropper nymph. We had 6 trout eat the fly and landed two fish.  The two big boys we were unable to land.  There is nothing better than watching a large fish rise in slow water gulping and then make a perfect cast and drift to get it to eat! Raining and snowing in Stowe currently.  Good for the rivers as we really need the precipitation before the ground freezes.  October has been prettyd darn good river fishign for trout.  In particular for wild rainbows.  Despite the drought, the fish look to be in good shape.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

working a beat of water

Hi Folks, Another beautiful fall day on the river guiding.  Been a nice foliage season with unseasonably warm weather and lots of sun,  Still very dry.   The Lamoille was 56 degrees.  Not too many leaves in the water.  My strategy in river fishing has always been to have a beat of water to fish.  At least 3 to 4 riffles to pools that are 1/4 to 1/2 mile  from start to finish.  It was interesting in this dynamic yesterday how only 1 riffle to pool held all of the fish. The other 3 produced zero strikes while we had well over a dozen fish eat in one riffle.  All 4 spots were good water so it was interesting to me why the trout were concentrated.  Probably the low water.  Anywho, great hatch of #20 BWOs yesterday with rising fish.  Good rising activity in the late afternoon.  We landed 4 trout yesterday with the largest fish being jumping 14" silver sided wild rainbow.  Our nymph rig was a double fly set with a #14 prince and a #20 BWO dropper nymph.  The trout were all over the little dropper.  When the fish began rising we cast a #20 BWO Klinkhammer style fly.  The fish demanded a good drift. Nothing better than watching wild trout eat tiny dry flies.  The trout fishing for October has been consistent.  Primarily been catching wild rainbows and considering the water conditions the trout look great.  Looks like rain later this week, sure hope so.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, October 16, 2016

eating the small stuff

Hi Folks, Another day on the river guiding with the fly rods.  Fished on the lower Winooski.  Water temperature was 51 to 52 degrees.  Looks like a bit of a warm up this week which should warm the river temps. slightly.  Not much for hatching bugs yesterday and the river is still incredibly low.  I was able to take clients onto a stretch of the Winooski that would not be safe wading normally under average flow regimes.  We had 9 trout eat the fly and landed 4 wild rainbows.  Our best fish was a solid 15" bow. The fly of the day was a #20 BWO nymph under a #8 olive wooly bugger.  Lots of casting and dead drifting.  We fished 3 large riffles to deep pools.  Big primary water with wintering holes. Looks like a bit of rain moving in this week.  would be nice to fish in overcast damp conditions.  Only a couple of weeks left in the season.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, October 15, 2016

starting to cool off

Hi Folks, The beat goes on with the fall foliage guiding.  The leaves are now past peak, but still looking really nice.  Lots of leaves drifting in the current that collect on flies.  Water temperatures have dropped off the last couple of days with the high in the Lamoille yesterday being 52 degrees.  Did see a hatch of tiny #22 BWOs yesterday afternoon but only one rising fish.  Pretty sunny day.  Water is still incredibly low and I am fishing in riffles and pools from positions and I have never cast from.  My client and I yesterday crossed the river in a few places where I have never crossed.  The fly of the day this week has been a #20 peacock soft hackle dropped behind a #16 olive caddis pupa.  Fun catching larger trout on tiny flies.  The rainbows we have been catching have been good looking fish. Even had a guest catch a bonus brook trout earlier in the week. Most of our takes have been coming towards the end of the drift.  The trout have been holding in the heads of pools.  As long as the nights remain cold, then the fishing will be best during midday.  Will be trout fishing again later today with guests.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Pretty good fishing

Hi Folks, Been a productive few days of guiding with the fly rods on the Lamoille watershed.  Leaves are now just past peak.  Been pretty darn nice foliage season.  Now with wind the leaves fall from the trees into the rivers and cause some issues with the your flies getting hung up in them.  A few nights of frost have dropped river temperatures.  The Lamoille and its tributaries dropped from 56 to 57 degrees to 49 to 51 degrees.  Water warmed a bit yesterday as the air temperature was 72 degrees by late day.  The water level is silly low.  I have never seen this low of water levels in 26 years of walking Vermont trout streams.  Not much for hatches the last few days.  However, the nymph fishing has been terrific.  We have been focusing on large heavy riffles and plunge pools.  I am not locating any trout in secondary water.  A #8 olive wooly bugger with a #20 BWO dropper nymph and a #12 prince nymph with a #18 BWO dropper nymph under an indicator have been the fly set ups.  Catching pretty much all wild fish.  The wild bows have looked very healthy.  Got really nice 15" rainbow yesterday that ate the #20 nymph and then we had a larger trout chase it in out of the pool.  Pretty exciting.  My clients have been hooking at least half a dozen fish each half day outing right now.  A lot of subtle takes.  As long as the air temperatures maintain during the day the trout fishing will continue to be consistent.  Looks like rain for Thursday, yea.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, October 10, 2016

weather is changing

Hi Folks, Been a busy weekend of guiding for the catfish.  Mixed it up from lake fly fishing for bass and pike to fly fishing for trout on the Lamoille watershed.  Water temperatures are really starting to drop as the winter approaches.  Cold nights now have the Lamoille and its tributaries reading water temperatures in the low to mid fifties.  The lake I guided Saturday was a pleasant 64 degrees.  The wind was a factor all wind as it swirled from various directions.  Was a challenge lake fishing on Saturday.  With the wind comes downed leaves in rivers which can be a bit of a pain.  Still seeing lots of #20 BWO hatching midday day to late afternoon as well as sporadic #14/#16 caddis mid morning to mid afternoon.  We have found sone sipping trout who have been more than willing to eat a #20 spotlight emerger and as well as a #20 BWO parachute.  Bass fishing Saturday involved lots of casting.  The fly patterns of the day were a #6 orange and yellow Lefty's Deceiver and a #6 Sculpin head bugger in yellow and white with rubber legs.  We located a good pod of largemouth bass in 1' to 3' of water among dying off weed beds.  Had a few smallmouth bass chase out of deeper water but not commit to eating the fly.  One decent pike ate a fly and promptly broke us off.  Good number of fish but no real big boys.  Trout fishing yesterday on a Lamoille tributary was very good once we located the fish.  Due to the drought, the fish were stacked up in a big plunge pool.  We did not have many fish come to the fly until we got on the bigger piece of water.  Then it was game on as we had 6 nice trout eat our nymph rig.  Landed two strong fighting fish with the best being an almost 15" wild rainbow.  The rig was a #8 olive bead head wolly bugger with a #18 olive green cooper john nymph.  Both flies got responses.  Interesting was how some of the takes were subtle and some very aggressive.  Depended on where in the pool the flies were cast as the eddy fish took the fly very gently and the the trout in the heavier water crushed it.  Certainly a lot colder today with frost warning now in effect.  Off to trout fish.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, October 7, 2016

sipping tiny bugs

Hi Folks, Been a great week of guiding with the leaves turning and the trout sipping tiny may flies off the surface.  Spent the last few days on the Lamoille where the water temperature has been 58 to 61 degrees.  Been midday fishing lately.  Seeing #20 BWOs hatching midday.  Cloudy conditions and low light are preferred for hatching activity.  I love seeing the little sailboats drifting in the current and disappearing into the mouth of a hungry trout.  The rise forms can be deceptive as they often looks like a small rain drop on the water.  Upon closer inspection you can often see the nose of a good sized trout sucking in a bug.  Why make a splashy rise form when you can eat so effortlessly. This type of fly fishing requires good casting and presentations as the fish typically rise in slow water.  They have a PHD in studying your drift.  We still need rain and our rivers are really low.  Foliage is at peak and as long as it does not cool off to significantly the trout fishing should remain consistent.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

wondering on the Winooski

Hi Folks, Guided mid morning to mid day on the Winooski yesterday.  Had the same anglers as the previous day with very different results.  The water is still incredibly low.  Short of hurricane type rain, I do not see our rivers rebounding this season.  Need good fall rain and a heavy snow pack this winter.  Water temperature was 58 degrees.  Not much for hatching bugs.  A few sporadic #20 BWOs but no trout responding to the small mayfly.  We fished a couple of different spots with very little action from any fish.  We missed 4 fish between 3 anglers.  Pretty much the same conditions as the previous day when the fishing was really good, interesting.  We mixed up the flies from #12 Prince nymphs to #18 BWO nymphs, to a #8 weighted wooly bugger, and a #16 olive caddis pupa.  The four strikes were on the Prince and were good whacks from the fish. All of the takes were in a heavy riffle at the head of a deep pool.  Tough to maintain focus when fishing for several hours with very few strikes.  One of things I like about fly fishing is the focus it requires to do well.  Well keep the fly in the water and good things will happen.  Off to guided the Lamoille today.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Monday, October 3, 2016

wild Winooski

Hi Folks, Finally a day guiding fly anglers this fall with really good fishing.  We landed 14 trout of 21 we had eat the fly.  13 of those fish were wild Winooski rainbows with one 11" stocked brown in the mix.  Water temperature was 58 degrees and the level is still very low.  No bugs to speak of.  The fly of the day was a #12 Prince nymph.  We swung the nymph into the head of one large riffle and could not miss!.  Incredible how many trout were holding in one spot.  Letting the fly drift all the way through the run was important until in settled in the seam below.  We were fishing on the lower Winooski were the water is rather big.  We landed 3 legitimate measured 15" to 16" rainbows.  Good strong fish.  We tried several other fly patterns with no success.  Seemed like a good fishing day with the weather being overcast and damp.  Same pattern today and I will be on the Winooski once again.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Bouncing around

Hi Folks, Just guided two full days back to back and mixed up the fishing.  Feel like bounced all over northern Vermont.  Spent Friday morning on the lower Lamoille chasing smallmouth bass and then moved up river to cast to trout.  Water temperatures varied from 66 degrees down river to 62 degrees upstream.  Two very different pieces of water.  The bass fishing was slow as we made lots of casts to catch two smallmouth bass and very large Fall Fish.  We caught the bass on a #8 black popping bug and #6 olive cone headed bunny bugger.  We did miss a couple of fish on the surface and had a couple of strikes on a purple/black bunny bugger.  The trout fishing up stream was slow.  We had two nice eat a #12 Hare's Ear parachute but no hatches to speak of and no rising fish.  Both trout were holding in fast heavy riffles.  The smallmouth were in big deep pools.  Yesterday I rowed my drift boat all over a large lake for bass pike.  We were greeted with a consistent east wind.  Not the best situation for fishing.  Using my drift boat due to a failed starter on the motorboat.  Boats-borrow another thousand, ugh.  We did locate a mess of largemouth bass on the edges and in heavy weed beds.  We changed flies a lot.  Finally the fly of the day was a #2 White/Blue Lefty's Deceiver.  Stripped and paused drew takes from bass and lots of follows with turn offs.  Never saw a pike all day.  Challenging fishing for October in my opinion.  Water is crazy low and 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