Saturday, October 6, 2018

Foliage Fly Fishing

Hi Folks, I have been on the water everyday for the last 10 days guiding trout. Conditions have been changing on a daily basis. We finally got some serious rain that has put a nice charge of water in our rivers. The leaves are stating to really turn and reach peak. Lots of full day trips for me this time of the year and it is really nice being outside enjoying the scenery. The water has cooled down significantly. I have mostly been on the Lamoille watershed and with a few forays to a local Winooski tributary. The main stem of the Lamoille was 60 degrees last weekend and now is cooled . off to 56 degrees. The smaller tributary rivers and brooks I streams I have been walking have been holding between 52 to 57 degrees. We reached closed to an 1" of rain Tuesday in Stowe and it made for a blow out fishing. However, the next day I had guests in the high reaches of the watershed chasing brook trout on dry flies. We had limited water to cast to but were able to drum on some beautifully colored up native brook trout on dry flies. A #12 Royal Wulff, #10 Black Foam Royal Trude, and a #12 Electric Green Stimulator with rubber legs. The high gradient brooks come up quickly in big rain but also they come down very quickly and clear. Rising fish have been few and far between. I have not seen much for hatches of caddis and BWOs.  A few bugs here and there but not enough to get the fish looking up. Still plenty of insects on rocks in riffles preparing to hatch from tiny #18-#22 Baetis,  to #14 Green Rock Worm caddis  and another smaller #18 web spinning caddis. I spent the last two days on a Lamoille tributary and we had a lot of success with a #14 green wire caddis pupa dropper and a #14 green latex caddis larvae dropper under a #14 red threaded Prince nymph and under a #12 Adams Parachute. The fishing has been inconsistent all week but the last two days have been pretty good. Lots of young wild rainbows have been greedily eating swung caddis. Most of the takes coming on the down stream swing at the end of the drift as the fly settles on the seam line. Thursday was the day of the week for fishing with the big trout looking up. We had several 15" plus Brown trout eat a the Adams dry. Nice slow methodical rise forms. The Prince nymph accounted for an almost 15" wild rainbow that refused to give up. Yesterday was interesting as we worked a lot harder to catch trout with the sunny conditions and passing cold front. The trout seemed to be not as willing to move to far to take a fly. We made lots of casts for the 6 rainbows we landed. With the recent rain fall and it looks more to come the fishing should be decent. The water moves fish around and reshuffles the deck. It does not look like the water temperatures will drop too significantly in the near future. It has been a weird fishing year with the hot dry summer. It makes me wonder how it has impacted the Fall fishing. Just because we now have rain and cool water temperatures does not necessarily mean that the trout have returned to many of the big water holding areas. Never underestimate a wild trouts ability to travel great distances to find suitable habitat. They need cold water and many of our tributary streams offer exactly that. No reason to leave good habitat if you are a thermally stressed trout that departed the Lamoille this summer when the water got up into the high 70's. Landlocked salmon should be pouring into our rivers out of lakes. Just a lot of angling pressure. I am off to guide the Winooski watershed today. Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home, Have Fun, Willy