Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Healthy Watershed, Healthy Fish

One of several tree plantings Chris is spearheading along the Lamoille River in Hyde Park
Vermont has been a roller coaster of weather lately! Mid 80's and bright sun yesterday...mid 50's and heavy wind today. We've had some spitting rain showers, but we really could use a good downpour to fluff things up a bit. Although river flows don't seem terribly low, many are running well below their average for this time of year so get out and do your rain dance! Luckily a big cool down this weekend will keep water temps in check for the time being. 
We're expanding our tying materials selection weekly! Get in here and see what we have!
The Winooski has been fully stocked, but the Lamoille (other than the N. Branch) hasn't seen any hatchery stockings as of yet. I really wish we didn't need to rely on hatchery fish but, unfortunately as many of you are aware, our larger freestone rivers lack the habitat that wild trout need to thrive and reproduce. Much of the habitat degradation that we've seen for centuries in Vermont is largely due to poor land management practices and a lack of education and funding to encourage acceptable land use practices. I'm constantly surprised by members of the local angling community that don't understand what a sustainable fishery is. Many of us think that simply practicing catch & release is enough. What good is it to release a fish that you just laid out on jagged rocks to get that perspective shot of the rod laying next to the fish so all in social media land know just how big it was? It's almost as good as lipping that lunker bass in front of the camera with one hand or beating up on the same piece of water every day. I see and hear of a lot of this kinda stuff going on and it's a shame that some of us have missed the point. Vermont's fisheries need ego-free assistance. Drop us a line to inquire about upcoming conservation projects that need your help within the Lamoille Watershed.
This weekend is the official kick off to tourist season and it also tends to be the time that several different types of fishing opportunities come into throughout New England. Get in here and stock up on tackle and a great selection of locally-tied flies!
The 2015 Ditch Pickle Classic has already seen over 4o teams register, which means that we will more than likely be exceeding our 54 teams from 2014! The deadline to register in time for a custom Tunaskin is 5/25, so get on it!
This week's tying video...Boehm's Gurgler...

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Here Fishy Fishy

Well, we finally got a much-needed dose of rain followed by a much needed dose of cooler weather. I tend to hate cold weather these days, but I'm also not a fan of 85 degree days in early May! Most moving water (other than the smallest streams) is blown out or at least mostly unfishable today throughout most of our area. The ground really soaked up that rain fast and things are finally starting to look lush and green. 
First wild rainbow of 2015!
I got a temp of 62 at 10am yesterday on the Lamoille in Hyde Park. That's a warm water temp to have in May, but it looks like we have more seasonable conditions in store for the next week or so. Insect activity is starting to pick up and so will the fishing. Yesterday, there were some larger mayflies here and there, but nothing substantial. The tribs have been producing a few fish here and there, but no decent reports from the Lamoille as of yet. Sounds about the same over on the Winooski side according to guys I've spoken to. This is all going to change soon, so load up on flies and get out there!
Guided trips started this week and went well despite some questionable conditions. Give a holler and get your date(s) booked for the 2015 season!
Getting mixed reports of steelhead action up North. Some guys saying it's over, while other seem to think it's just getting going. I can say that I got a report today that the river was loaded with suckers. That typically means the steelhead run is waning. This spike in flows could trigger any remaining stragglers to get moving up river, but we'll just have to see.
We're excited to have just picked up a new line of landing nets made right here in Vermont! Sunny Brook Nets are made with Vermont hardwood handles, clear rubber bags and sell for only $99!! Get in here and check them out!
Sunny Brook Nets - Made in Vermont - Sold at GMT!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Now We're Talkin'!

Tuesday Tying Video = Repeat Minnow

Like a switch was flipped after a dreary stretch of weather, this recent warm, sunny dry spell has been a nice change, although streams not receiving any snowmelt are already looking a bit low. We've also have some very low humidity and high winds which have triggered fire warnings throughout the past week or so.
Green Up Day 2015
We had a very successful GreenUp (River Cleanup) Day on Saturday in partnership with Central Vermont Trout Unlimited. I'd say we had around 20 people or so show up to lend a hand cleaning up a watershed that many of them don't live within. It's such a breath of fresh air knowing that we have good people like this in our area that really care about clean and healthy rivers. We split up and tackled several areas of the Lamoille Watershed on foot and via float, including the Lamoille River from Cady's Falls down to Johnson, a large stretch of the Gihon River (which gave up the majority of the junk ...thanks Gihon crew!), parts of Kenfield Brook and several areas in between. Afterwards, we met back up in Ten Bends for some burgers and dogs thanks to Gary and TU! We'll be teaming up with CVTU on some future projects within the Lamoille Watershed, so look for details to find out how you can get involved.
25 hardwoods ready to plant. Who wants to help?!?!
On a similar note, I just received 25, 8-10' hardwood trees that will be planted along the Lamoille in Hyde Park. Hit me up HERE if you'd like to lend a hand planting and possibly watering this week.
The fishing up here in the northern tier is just starting to "heat" up with the onset of much warmer weather and lack of rain recently. There IS still snow left on the mountain and those streams that drain higher elevations have seen a spike in flow over the past few days since we haven't had very cool night time temps to slow runoff. Bugs have also started popping off with more consistency, so look for things to pick up in pace pretty soon.
Put down your phones when driving and have fun out there!


Friday, May 1, 2015

Green Up Day 2015

  • When - Saturday, May 2nd 2015; Meet at 9am at bridge in Ten Bends development in Hyde Park
  • Where - Lamoille River and tributaries (Hyde Park, Morristown, Johnson areas)
  • What - This year we've joined forces with Central Vermont Trout Unlimited for a Lamoille Watershed Green Up
Meeting spot - Saturday, May 2nd @ 9am - Be there!

Some of the details...
  • Bring wading gear
  • Pick a beat from the list below ahead of time and make a plan of attack
  • Bring work gloves
  • We'll be BBQ'ing afterwards back at the meeting spot in Ten Bends
  • Bring your fishing gear!
If you'd like to join us and help clean up our river, drop us a line at...



Areas to GreenUp...

Lamoille River, Hyde Park (Cady's Falls -> Ten Bends)
Approx. 2.25 river miles
This is best for floating with canoes 
(2-4 people)

Lamoille River, Hyde Park/Johnson - (Ten Bends -> Waterman Brook) 
This is best for floating with canoes and includes the Waterman Brook parking access
(2-4 people)

Lamoille River, Morrisville - (Oxbow Park)
Approx. 3.6 river miles
This would be on foot around the Oxbow Park river frontage
(2-3 people)

Kenfield Brook, Morristown - (Duhamel Rd.)
Approx. 1/4 mile
This would be from the mouth of the brook upstream beyond the Duhamel Rd. bridge, including the recreation parking access
(2-3 people)

Gihon River, Johnson - (Former "PieZannos" Parking)
Approx. 7/10 mile
From the mouth of the Gihon River upstream to Pearl Street Bridge
(2-3 people)

Gihon River, Johnson - (Powerhouse Bridge)
Approx. 1/4 mile
Parking at Powerhouse Bridge and working downstream
(2-3 people)

Lamoille River, Johnson - (Dog's Head Falls -> Railroad St. Bridge)
Approx. 8/10 mile
Areas of interest in particular are access points at Dog's Head Falls and Manchester Falls (across from lumber mill)
(3-5 people)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Things Are Coming Around

Water levels on our smaller streams have dropped significantly and the Lamoille is running at it's seasonal average around 14oocfs. Because things have been pretty cool, we're not seeing a whole lot of bug activity yet and trout are still in winter sluggish mode, but I have heard from some guys catching brookies and the occasional brown. It's best to avoid the spawning tribs for now if you care about wild fish.
Steelhead are being caught around the state with mixed results. Things up north are still pretty chilly and, believe it or not, there's still snow on the ground in many northern locations! There are undoubtedly steelhead in the system thanks to a prolonged period of high flows. I'd expect now that flows are dropping and temps are rising, the steelhead game will turn on fast. On a similar note, the reports I've gotten from Great Lakes steelheading are off the hook in case you get that itch. We've got all the flies you need for steelhead tied right here in Vermont! For egg patterns, all you need is Sucker Spawn in various colors and some nymphs like the Squirmy Caddis. You could always swing something like a Crystal Zonker as well.
Also reports of Lake Trout cruising the shallows of some of our bigger lakes. Now's your chance to get on them before they go down deep until the Fall. For flies, pick up a couple Stanley's Half'n'Half or Noah's Big Belly Streamer and go at it! It's always tough to beat a Clouser Minnow as well!

Remember that all flies sold here at GMT are tied right here in Vermont! We'll be featuring many of our patterns in our Tuesday Tying Video Series and posting the videos to our Vimeo Page, Facebook and our website HERE!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Hurry Up & Wait!

Noah's Big Belly Streamer
Hurry up and wait is typically how trout season starts around these parts. Everyone is antsy to get out and get fishing for good reason...winter is brutally long here in the North Country! The reality is that things really don't come into full swing around here until early to mid-May, and then it gets really good!
We've gotten reports of fish being caught, most of which are steelhead. Personally, I'd rather see high, unfishable flows this time of year so that our spawning fish can get it done undisturbed. Our tribs are generally the first to clear up enough to fish, but many of them should be left alone.
Kashner Caddis Pupa
The shop is coming along really nicely and we're still adding more tying materials weekly, as well as stocking our fly bins only with patterns tied right here in Vermont! We've recently brought in some patterns from a 16 year old Franklin County boy named, Noah Gates. Noah ties some great patterns, so check them out on the site and get an order together for him!
We've also just gotten some of our favorite patterns in from Chuck Kashner of Vermont Fishing Trips. Chuck has some tried and tested patterns that must be in your fly box, including one of our all-time favorites, the "Kashner Caddis Pupa." Remember all flies in our store and on our website are tied locally and we ship within VT for only a buck!
The 2015 Ditch Pickle Classic could possibly be the most fun you have all summer! Register today!

This week's tying video features a technique called the complex twist. Check out the CT Sculpin here...

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Mucho Agua Out There!

Brewster River - High and muddy 4/14/15
It looks like I spoke a little too soon with my report yesterday, saying that the Lamoille would likely hover around 2000cfs for a couple days! Yesterday's insanely beautiful warm weather, combined with last night's rain has most of our rivers and streams in the north country and beyond completely blown out and unfishable. Every piece of moving water I saw this morning was really high and dirty. The Lamoille is over 4000cfs so it's just going to be a waiting game. Do yourselves a favor and keep a close eye on THIS before doing any fishing over the next few days.

Here's the next video in our 2015 tying series, Stanley's Minnow