Wednesday, May 31, 2017

That's the way we like it!

Hi Folks, Guided the Lamoille watershed yesterday with two fly anglers.  Perfect weather day for fishing with overcast, damp, cool conditions.  Water levels are still above the seasonal average flow. Matter of fact this afternoon was a wash as we experienced severe thunderstorm with hail after heavy rain last night.  Our big rivers are currently blown out.  It will take a couple of days to settle out.   Been an awful wet spring though we have needed it after two dry years.  Water temperature was 56 degrees yesterday.  Lots of hatching bugs.  A large number of #16 caddis coming off along with #10/#12 March Browns.  Saw some #14 Grey Fox and a few #14/#16 sulphurs at dusk.  We located a few rising fish at dusk as the rain began,  Prior to that we nymphed up a number of rainbows.  We landed 7 trout but had 20 fish eat the fly.  The nymph rig was a #12 Dave's Red Fox squirrel nymph with a #16 caddis pupa dropper and #10 bead head black/olive wooly bugger with a purple #16 olive caddis pupa dropper.  The dry flies where a #10 Wulff pattern and a #14 x-caddis with a pupa dropper.  We had trout eat every fly with the caddis pupa being the most consistent.  Nice to see a large number of wild fish.  June should be awful good fishing!  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home, Willy

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Denial is a river in the kingdom

Hi Folks, A really fun Memorial Day weekend of fishing.  Mixed it up a bit and concluded the weekend in search of Landlocked Salmon on a fly.  The river of large fish was above seasonal average flow and the water temp. was 59 degrees.  Wet weather pattern currently. Like the water up for this type of fishing.  We swung lots of smelt imitations and did a bit of nymphing.  There was a massive hatch of a #16 green bodied caddis, but very few rising fish.  Nothing with any regularity.  Also in the mix was the large #10/#12 March Brown may fly.  We did hook one nice silver salmon that made short work of us.  In addition we played with some pre spawn smallmouth that had run up into the river.  Lot of pressure on the river from both spin a nd fly anglers.  We left mid day as the rain set in.  We did encounter some rather large smallmouth that came up to the fly and said "I dont think so."  Cant catch all of them all the time.  Off to trout fish in the wet weather.  Should be good.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, May 28, 2017

warm water action

Hi Folks, Been keeping out of trouble the last few days running my boat with guests on several Vermont lakes.  Visited 3 different bodies of water the last two days in pursuit of smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and northern pike.  My anglers have been a combination of fly and spin.  Water temperatures have been between 58 and 64 degrees.  Water levels are up everywhere.  It has been a pretty wet spring.  Our big rivers are above seasonal average flows.  We need the rain as things have been dry for the last couple of years.  We have been working mostly shore line areas for bass and pike. The most productive areas have been the sharp drops where depth goes from 2' or so to 10' plus.  For spinning lures the good old perch Rapala has been really consistent.  Pike have been receptive to a large clown nose tipped Husky Jerk.  4" and 5" watermelon Senkos have been consistent.  The fly fishing has been really good.  I have had clients casting a 9' 9wt with a Rio sinking pike line.  Easy casting line that keeps the fly in the zone longer than a floating line.  A white 1/0 cone headed White Deceiver has been a steady fly pattern.  A 3/0 chartreuse and white Deceiver has also been steady for the pike.  Not much for a surface bite with the fly.  Though most of the strikes you seen as the fly moves up in the water column.  Vermont has a good diversity of fish to pursue whether it be with the fly rod or conventional tackle.  Off to to trout fish in the am.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Saturday, May 27, 2017

wet weather, wicked good bite

Hi Folks, Been running my motorboat in the guiding operation the last few days.  Been a bit wet here in Stowe with rain puffing up our rivers.  The still water fishing spin and fly has been outstanding for smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, northern pike, and chain pickerel in recent days.  Water temperatures have been between 57 degrees to 62 degrees on the two lakes I have visited.  Lake levels are up and the fish are located in the shallow margins.  Been mostly fly fishing for these game fish with one spin angler in the mix for good measure.  The largemouth have been holding in very skinny water in preparation for spawning. I have not noticed any visible spawning beds but the bucket mouths have been stationed right next to submerged logs in a mucky bottom.  Yesterday on my trip we had a fair number of large chain pickerel hiding in and amongst the bass and they were more than willing to slam a fly.  The smallmouth have been stage in a little deeper water adjacent to spawning water.  Rocky shorelines with thumb nail sized gravel and point areas.  We did find some decent sized smallies on a rip rapped shoreline holding in about 10' to 12' of water.  The northern pike have ben distributed throughout and more than willing to eat out flies.  Probably landed a dozen pike on the fly yesterday.  Productive patterns have been a #6 fire tiger crease fly, #2/0 orange and Yellow Sea Ducer, a #1 deer hair red and white head with a bunny tail, a #1/0 white Deceiver, and a #8 red and white popper.  Most of the fish being caught have come to the fly towards the surface and we have been able to watch the strikes.  Erratic movement of the fly and retrieving all the way to the boat has been a very successful tactic.  The bass have been methodically eating the fly while the toothy critters absolutely hammer it.  I am bass fishing this morning and then trout fishing this afternoon.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Thursday, May 25, 2017

rising trout and a non-native menace

Hi Folks, Been guiding and stomping around our trout streams the last few days.  Our rivers are in great shape.  Flows are right around the seasonal average and temperatures have been consistently between 55 degrees and 59 degrees.  Found rising trout the last couple of nights feeding on egg laying caddis.  Good number of fish rising last night in really skinny water.  The fish were moving around a bit and we had to be patient and stealth and figure out their rising pattern.  The fly was a #16 CDC caddis.  We had 7 trout eat the dry.  Nymphing was slow for us, but it has been pretty steady on the stocked fish in the Lamoille.  #10/#12 olive wooly buggers, #14 pheasant tails, #14/#16 olive caddis, and #12 prince nymphs have all been effective.  On another note, our streams are being run over and consumed by Japanese Knotweed. A real non-native invasive threat.  It is part of the knotweed and buckwheat family. Seems to do really well along our rivers and spreads like wildfire.  It has no redeeming qualities that I can determine.  Certainly displaces all of the native plants along our buffer zones.  I know in some countries it is illegal to grow.  Not sure how it can be eradicated, but I know left unchecked it will be the only plant life on our stream banks.  Well, looks like a damp weekend, but the fishing should be very good.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Lamoille in great shape

Hi Folks, Guided a fly angler yesterday on the main stem of the Lamoille.  Beautiful blue bird sunny day.  A little breezy.  Water levels are excellent holding right around the seasonal average flow.  Water temperature was 57 degrees. Great hatch of #14/#16 Hendricksons yesterday with a massive spinner fall at dusk.  In addition, a number of large #14 midges over riffles.  Saw a few #12 March Browns and a smaller #18 mayfly which I could not identify.  We did not see any rising fish. I thought for sure at dusk that the spinner fall would bring risers to the surface after the bright sun had gone down.  We nymph fished all afternoon.  We used a variety of double rigs.  A #14 Dave's Red Fox Squirrel nymph with a #16 pheasant tail was the most productive.  We could not get the wild trout to play but we did get the stocked rainbows to play.  We did hook 1 larger trout in a heavy falls/plunge pool that we could not land.  Really nice to see the trout fishing coming around and more to come.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, May 19, 2017

pre spawn bass with some toothy critters

Hi Folks, Ran my boat yesterday for the first time in 2017.  Ran beautifully! Always a certain amount of work and prep that goes into getting the boat ready and keeping it maintained for the fishing season.  Nice day to be on  the water with air temps, exceeding 90 degrees.  Really sunny and a stiff breeze from the west southwest.  The water temperature was a consistent 62 degrees.  Color was a bit off.  We did not see any bass spawning beds but the largemouth were in much shallower water than the smallmouth.  We located most of the largemouth in soft bottom areas with old dead trees on the bottom.  Saw a number of pike and pickerel chase flies yesterday and we did manage to land half a dozen of the toothy critters without bite guards on our tippets.  Unfortunately, we did lose the fish of the day and maybe could have been the pike of the season when we had a giant hen pike take a black bunny bugger in about 3' of water.  Needless to say she bit us off and left us standing oin the boat in shock!, Damn it!!!!  All the same the fishing was pretty darn good as we landed 7 different species on the fly using black and white bunny buggers and some red and white deer hair divers.  Looks to me like the next month should be really good on the warm water front as the bass prepare to spawn.
Trout fishing should be spot on now with fish beingg stocked and wild fish awakening from their winter hiatus.  Hendricksons, March Browns, and Grannoms all in the mix.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy

Friday, May 12, 2017

Here we go again

Hi Folks, Spent my first day on a Vermont trout stream today.  Visited a Lamoille tributary. Nice sunny day with a few passing clouds and actually really pleasant. I have been away in Montana trout fishing.  Pretty incredible place.  Anywho, The water temperature today was 52 to 53 degrees. Still experiencing some cool nights. Water flows are excellent. Nice to see water in our rivers. Been awful dry for the past couple of years.  I am fine with the slow start to the season with high water from rain and snow melt.  Water temperatures are just starting to rise to the magical 50 to 55 degree mark.  Witnessed an excellent #14 Hendrickson may fly hatch today.  Large number of bugs hatching with lots of crippled duns from the breeze.  I did not see a single fish rise.  I am not sure how long the hatch has been going on for, but these fish were not interested in nymphs either.  I have experienced this before with the Hendrickson hatch.  Maybe the water needs to warm a few more degrees?, not sure. Also, being sunny maybe the fish did not turn on until dusk if there was a decent spinner fall.  I did see a few #14 caddis hatching and noticed a number of pupa casings on top of rocks.  Quite a few #12/#14 Midges hatching as well. Flies for now are any #14-#16 Hendrickson pattern, #14 American Grannoms (caddis in black and green),#12-
#16 pheasant tail nymphs,  #12-#14 Dave's Red Fox nymphs, #14-#16 x-caddis, #8-#12 olive/black wooly bugger dead drifted.  Coming into the time of plenty for fishing in Vermont.  Lots of possibilities for different species.  Off to walk a river with a guest in the morning.  Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home.  Have Fun, Willy