Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Spiders, snakes, bees, flying ants, and wild trout

Hi Folks, Summer is winding down and I have been spending a lot of time on the water. We are coming into one of my favorite times of the year for fishing in Vermont. We have received a bit of much needed rain and we could use some more. In addition, a nice cooling off daytime and nighttime air temperatures. Made the epic journey slogging up a wilderness stream with 2 guests Sunday. We walked for 11 hours. Needless to say we saw some amazing trout water. We also walked into lots of spider webs with big spiders. Nothing like having a big old spider hanging off your hat. Saw a garter snake, no big deal and got stung by a random yellow jacket. You do need to pay attention for wasps nests this year whether they be the ground variety or a hanging one. The water temperature was 60 degrees. Each guest landed the Vermont cycle of a brook trout, brown trout, and rainbow trout on a fly. We also missed a lot of fish. This particular fishery is not easy. With the clarity of the water, an upstream approach is necessary. We spooked several large fish before we could even put a cast on them. Upstream mending is important and the fly line needs to be removed from the water on the drift as the fly approaches the angler. The hook set is a sweeping lift of the fly rod. Wild fish are not apt to give you more than one chance. We tried a number of combinations of fly patterns. A #14 green bodied Stimulator and a #14 foam flying ant were the patterns of the day. Late summer and early fall offer up some great hatches for fly anglers. #12 Isonycia, #14 green rock worm, #14-#22 flying ants, #22-#26 Tricos, and #18-#22 BWOs. Massive swarms of flying ants the last couple of days.  These ants are moving their nest. It is a consistent phenomenon every late summer, it just does not happen everyday afternoon. What makes it significant is that it really gets fish oriented to the surface. You fish an ant pattern consistently and catch fish. Its profile could also look like a caddis or a beetle. More and more Isonychia activity everyday and I am seeing lots of green rock worms on rocks in the riffles. Still plenty of #18- #20 micro caddis about. #12-#14 green bodied hoppers are all over the fields. Still doing a bit of river fishing for smallmouth bass. It has been pretty consistent. The recent rain puffed up the big rivers but they should settle out nicely. Sight fished a bunch of smallies yesterday with kids. The old reliable 3" Senko in dark green with red flake was the producer. All of the fish were cruising in slow deep pools or holding in and around downed wood. You could watch the fish move 10' to track down the rubber lure. Off to do it all over again. Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home. Have Fun, Willy