Monday, May 23, 2016

Sorry If We Missed You!

Looking out the office window
I want to first apologize to anyone that came out to the shop to find nobody here this past weekend. Mike and I have been super busy with tours and classes and it's been a struggle to find shop coverage. We're happy to be so busy and we're doing our best to keep up, so please bare with us. We sincerely appreciate the support we get from our local and visiting community if anglers!
Coolest Couple Ever!
Floating and wading tours this past week have had great success thanks to the great conditions we're having presently. Bright sun has really been keeping rising activity down throughout the day, but the fish are still chomping below the surface! Whether they're swung or dead-drifted, Pheasant Tail nymphs have been the hot nymph. Mike's guys hammered'em drifting PT's along the seam and I found fish that only wanted them swung through the fast water. Either way, have some bead head PT's in your box! We've got'em locally-tied right here in the shop!
I floated possibly the coolest couple ever the other day and the fish karma was definitely on their side. The fish were really chasing streamers and the sunny conditions made for some very cool visuals! Sitting in the front seat of our Star raft is like being on top of the world. You can see everything and watch the fish chase and hammer your fly. Such a good time!
One of many from the day
Last night's scattered t-storms brought water levels up in some spots. The Lamoille had bumped up on the upper river, but flows hadn't yet made it downstream as of writing this post. Air temps are on the rise, so we really need some more widespread rain to keep things fishy. Water temps on the Lamoille are right around 60 up high and a couple degrees warmer down river. We've been catching stocked brookies in the Lamoille which is strange. They must have gotten thrown in the mix.
Small Stream Wonders (D. Harben Photo)
The tributaries are producing a mix of stocked and wild ones as well. Flows on the tribs have been getting a bit low, so fish are more readily jumping on dries and small nymphs vs. the larger stuff. 
One thing that is for sure is there has been a lot of people out and about fishing lately! Between seeing folks in the shop and on the water, it is very much apparent that the season is in full swing!
The bassin' scene is in a transition between pre-spawn and fish that are in full spawn mode with no interest in eating a fly or lure. Matt has had some great success on the still water, so give a buzz and go fishing with him!
We could use some help in the shop so, if you know of anyone that may fit the part, please let us know! 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Purple Prince Nymph

The Prince Nymph is arguably the greatest nymph patterns of all time....and you can't go wrong with purple!

Tied by Steve Stanley

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Warming Trend

Dalton H. hooked and landed this beauty of a wild, Lamoille Watershed brown on a GMT Rainbow Bugger\
Finally, Spring and warmer weather abide! It seems like every degree the mercury rises, the fishing gets better and better. Flows are currently back around their seasonal averages, but will continue to drop over the next several days as sunny, high pressure dominates the region. The changing weather front this week certainly brought in some heavy winds with some really heavy gusts. Those conditions are great times to swing wet flies and cripple imitations since the heavy winds can bring hatching insects crashing back down to the water. We have seen a fair amount of bugs on the water recently, but not much surface activity to go along with them. But flows have been a little higher the last few days which could definitely put a damper on rising fish. 
Zach with a nice smallie landed on a Crystal Zonker
We've been on the water every day with classes & guided trips, and the majority of our hookups have been on nymphs and crystal buggers. Bubba just dropped off some Guide's Choice Hare's Ear nymphs and Purple Prince nymphs that will be a nice choice to throw right now. We've also gotten some reports of other nice fish being caught on GMT ties, like the nice wild brown above that was hooked on a Rainbow Bugger and the smallmouth (right) caught on a Crystal Zonker.
Are you interested in learning to tie flies? We'll teach you! Give a holler and we'll set it up!
Matt's been out with clients this week chasing bass and, if you know Matt, he is always in the fish! He reported today's trip was a little slow, but they still caught plenty of fish! If throwing flies isn't your thing, let us set you up with an outing with Matt. I am positive you will not regret it!
Happy client of Bass Fishing Vermont
On Saturday, we had about 40 volunteers show up to plant trees along the Lamoille River in Hyde Park. This is part of multi-phase riparian project that will be completed over the next couple years. The goal is to reclaim crucial riparian zones along the Lamoille River that have been lost due to erosion and poor farming practices. In one of the most amazing displays of volunteerism I've ever experienced, the group managed to plant 135, 10' hardwoods, water them and protect with beaver guards in just over 2 hours!! A huge thanks goes out the all the volunteers for their hard work and to Central VT Trout Unlimited for funding the project! Also thanks to the Lamoille Valley Property Owners Assoc. for their commitment to a healthy Lamoille Watershed! Do you have or know of areas that would benefit from this type of project? We want to hear about it! Please let us know here.
Tree Planting in Progress
Have you registered your team yet for the Ditch Pickle Classic on 6/25-26?? We are up over 100 anglers currently registered and I'm thinking we're going to bust last years numbers wide open at this rate! Don't miss it...just don't.
We've got 5 colors of logo T-shirts in stock and they are sharp looking!
The items of the week, however, are the new "Cow Trout" hats available in 4 different color combos. These are going quick, so get on it and grab one for your dome today!...or two!...or one of each color!
Please take a moment and head over to subscribe to our YouTube Channel. We're adding new videos weekly, so give us a follow!--------------------<"(((((><

Friday, May 13, 2016

Weekend Shop Hours

We are facilitating a large tree planting tomorrow 5/14 on the Lamoille, so we will have abbreviated shop hours tomorrow of 10am - 4pm.
Sunday we are open 9am-5pm

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Fishy Goodness Continues

Beautiful Wild Brown from yesterday - Lamoille Tributary
Despite the bright sun (which nobody is complaining about,) fishing conditions are pretty darn good right now just about everywhere. With low flows and bright sun, you have to really be as stealthy as possible on the tribs where the spook factor is high. This upcoming rainy stretch will change things up a bit, so we'll have to see how much rain we get.
LL Salmon Season is here! Bubba picked up a snakey one today!
I've gotten reports of heavy fishing pressure on Lake Champlain tribs that get spring spawning migrations out of the lake. I've done plenty of sight-casting to trout and bass in shallow water. But if I see a fish flashing or digging a redd, I move on like any ethical angler would do. We tend to see these Great Lakes'isms during the seasonal well known runs and it's too bad. Unfortunately, the kissy-telly nature of social media has only enhanced this type of etiquette, bringing more pressure and poor etiquette to areas that don't need it to say the least. I'm even hearing of guys practically camping out on some of our LL Salmon fisheries and squeezing out other anglers. What a load of bologna that is.
We just took delivery of a Jackson Kayak Kilroy for this years Ditch Pickle Classic winners circle! If you haven't yet gotten on board for this year's Pickle, you might be crazy ;-)
Fish The Pickle on June 25/26 and this JK Kilroy could be yours!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Keep it Simple

Wild Lamoille River Brown with rosy spots!
We're on a beautiful stretch of warmer weather and it's certainly having a positive effect on fishing conditions! I fished a stretch of the Lamoille in Hyde Park yesterday and the river was high, clear and 56 degrees at 2pm. There were mayflies and caddis about, but the very windy conditions made it tough to catch them! I had a solid tug on a bugger and picked up the above fish a few casts later on an Ice Chub Minnow. Awesome fight from that fish and beautiful markings!
The fishing this week should be on fire. Things have finally warmed up a little and, although flows are below average, there's still plenty of water. Local trout are starting to look up too. We got a report of steady rising activity last eve on a middle stretch of the Lamoille. The hatchery truck was spotted in the Lamoille Valley today too, so get ready for the zombie apocalypse.
If you rely on second hand fishing reports to guide you in your local fishing endeavors, try a different approach. We have tons of water in Vermont, great access to the water and little fishing pressure. You don't need crazy fly patterns tied in third world countries and you don't need to learn the latest nymphing techniques to catch fish. Many of us just need to dumb it down a bit and keep it simple. 
Here's the "Keep it Simple Stupid" fly selection...
Beadhead Prince Nymph in sz 10-16. (the 10 is a good isonychia imitation)
Beadhead Pheasant Tail Nymph in sz 12-18
Copper John in sz 12-16
Parachute Adams in sz 12-18
Tan Elk Hair Caddis in sz 12-18
Bubba's Hopper in sz 10
Yellow Stimulator in sz 10-14
Wooly Bugger in sz 4-8
A simple selection like this will never let you down or confuse you next time you're at the fly shop or read a report recommending fly patterns you've never heard of. By all means...BUY LOCAL FLIES!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Shop Closed Tomorrow 5/8!

A big-ole pile of Green Up efforts!
We had a smaller turnout than last year for Green Up (River Cleanup) Day, but that certainly didn't appear to hinder the haul! We had folks picking up trash from Wolcott all the way down to Cambridge and I want to say a huge thanks to all those that kicked in to help on a beautiful Saturday in Vermont! Also thanks to Gary, Janie and the rest of Central Vermont Trout Unlimited for helping get this together and for feeding all of the volunteers afterwards!
Greening up really makes you feel good but also makes you angry at the same time. It blows my mind to see how people trash our environment. I was amazed at how much garbage I came across on such a short stretch of the Brewster River above the shop, only to find that it was all coming from a house on Rte 108, like they just throw their garbage off the back porch...dirtbags.
Fish The Pickle on 6/25-26!
Water levels are looking really good just about everywhere. We got out and fished a Lamoille tributary yesterday after work and didn't have a ton of action by any means, but were able to pick up a couple wild trout on prince nymphs and copper johns. One very common mistake anglers make when fishing our smaller trout streams that harbor wild, smarter trout, is fishing in the wrong direction. Fish face upstream into the current. If you are wading/fishing downstream, the fish are seeing you long before you even stand a chance at making a good presentation. Game over before it even starts in that scenario. Sneak up on'em and your chances off success grow exponentially.
Sorry for the hassle, but the store will be CLOSED TOMORROW, 5/8!
Open 9-5 next week!