Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cold Water, Happy Trout

This unseasonable cool weather has me shivering to the bone, but the fish certainly love it! Not a whole lot of water out there but, with drastically cooler temps, low water isn't as much of a concern for trout fishing. The fish are spooky, but also more than willing to eat a well presented fly. Haven't seen a ton of Isonychia's, but prince nymphs and zug bugs are working just fine under a bobber or stimulator. I have seen decent numbers of smaller tan caddis and blue wing olive activity should be picking up steam as the fall progresses. Prince nymphs, zug bugs, para adams, stimulators, ants, smaller pt nymphs, hoppers should all be in your box right now. You should also have a decent selection of buggers and other streamers. We're adding new locally-tied patterns daily and tying like crazy to keep up with the staple patterns. Why buy flies from Sri Lanka when you can buy them directly from the local source?
Every week, we expand our fly tying selection a little more. If there is anything you'd like to see in the shop, please let us know and we'll get it here! Hareline,
Locally tied streamers
Spirit River, Metz.
As September progresses, we have more and more anglers coming into the shop to gear up on flies and tackle for fishing the Salmon River and other Great Lakes tributaries for the fall salmon run. Personally, I avoid the Lake Ontario salmon runs because it goes against everything I love about fishing which is mostly related to solitude and connecting with some of nature's most brilliant achievements. During peak salmon season, a massive influx of anglers swamp fisheries like the Salmon River, spending precious tourist $ on gasoline, lodging, booze, tackle and whatever else needed to float the boat of their fishing getaway. That kind of pressure on a resource such as a migratory river can lead to fights, ridiculously poor etiquette, garbage lining the banks, tackle hanging from trees, you name it! The burning desire to land that big fish can bring out the best of an angler, or the worst "whatever it takes" attitude. I once watched a guy fully dudded out with landing gloves, quick release tools and all the
fanciest fly fishing gear money could buy trying to hook a large brown he sighted in the pool. After hundreds of casts to a fish that obviously wasn't going to eat, he finally drifted over the fish's back, snagged him and proceeded to do a full-on photo shoot on the bank before releasing the now half-dead trout. At least Facebook land still thinks he's a great angler. I've seen it all and, although I often ask myself the "what if's" when ever I return from fishing the Great Lakes, I quickly remind myself that's not why I planted my feet in Vermont.
We're blessed with only a handful of rivers in Vermont that see salmonid migrations, so let's do our part to keep them from turning into a dump. Let's remember that whereas many of the Great Lakes salmon runs are measured in the thousands, our salmon run in the NEK is measured in the hundreds. So, if you are the type of angler that fishes the same river or hole for that matter every day, you are potentially pounding on the same fish over and over. It may make you look like a champ on Facebook, but it's poor etiquette.
There's plenty of great opportunities out there currently, so get out and live it up!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Fall Fishin'

Isonychia Shucks are Plentiful
The weather has turned raw and cool the past couple of days.  Water temps are just right although flows are on the low side.  We have been targeting tribs with higher gradients that have lots of pocket water and waterfalls.  These areas are way more forgiving in low water than the flat glassy pools.  I will be the first to admit we have spooked a trout or two this week.  It is inevitable with low water like this.  I have been fishing long leaders in the 11/12ft range.  Also fluorocarbon tippet is a good idea in these conditions.  Not only is it hard for the fish to see but it is stiffer which helps when you are throwing a larger fly like a stimulator or hopper.  Softer tippets tend to kink easier when throwing hopper/dropper rigs.  So, as far as the Lamoille River I would say iso’s have been the main game.  The rocks have been covered in shucks although I have not seen a ton of adults on the water.  Nevertheless, #10-14 prince nymphs and #10-14 para adams have been working.   It’s funny because some people throw zug bugs, others princes, some throw pheasant tails, purple nymphs etc. for this hatch.  They all seem to work, maybe because the fly is swinging so fast the fish are less picky about color,  I don't know, but no matter what, remember to swing your nymph all the way to the bank!!!!!   In the a.m. the bugs have been smaller with bwo’s, trico’s, and random flying ants on the water.  The fish have been tougher in the a.m. but still willing.  For us in the morn hands down the best fly has been ant imitations.  On the tribs most of our action has been on hopper or stimulator patterns.  Two other nymphs that have been productive under a dry are #12 natural and #16 green copper johns.  So, all in all conditions are good, just a bit spooky.  Wear drab clothing, stay out of the water whenever possible, make sure your leader is no shorter than 10ft and you should be fine.  Despite the low water we have had enough rain here and there to encourage fish migration and we tangled with some lake run fish recently.  With 1 &1/2 months left in the season now is the time to get out there.  We have some very cool weather in store and I would expect to see some stronger Bwo action on local rivers.  We have been stocking up on locally tied flies and the bins and displays are filling up so swing by fill up your box for what is really my favorite time to be fishing in Vermont.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cool Down Coming

A recent GMT client fishing a Lamoille tributary
We've had a few scorcher days here in the north country, but that's about to come to an end starting tonight as lows in the 50's lead into highs in the low 70's tomorrow and Friday. Our next shot of rain comes in with a warm front this weekend, and boy do we need some water in the system as things are pretty stale around here. The bigger rivers are certainly pushing up and over 70 degrees, so give'em a break until it cools down again. 
The warm temps this week brought out a sporadic emergence of flying ants which can cause our local trout to act drunk and disorderly. You should definitely have some flying ant patterns in your box and we have some here at the shop fresh off the vice!
On recent outings, we've seen some trico hatches in select areas and we've had success throwing ant patterns, green-bodied copper johns and buggers primarily. Hoppers are also a good option in this hot, bright weather. 
We've listed our dates for the 2015 Green Mountain Fly Fishing Camp sessions, so please click to see which session(s) work out for your child next season! 
Also please note that the 2015 Ditch Pickle Classic will be on 6/27 - 6/28, so reserve your spot by sending us your team names to ditchpickleclassic@gmail.com 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Perfect Fishing Weather!

The dog days of summer are coming to an end.  Shorter days and cooler nights are making it feel like fall on the water. We apologize for the lack of reports but after weeks of camps, tying, and guiding I finally have a minute to write about current conditions.  In short, things are just about perfect right now.  Terrestrials along with stoneflies have been mostly what I have been tying on for clients.  The only exception is in the morning when you might see Bwo’ or Trico’s.  We have had some mornings like that and the fish sure do key in on the small stuff when little bugs are hatching.  Otherwise, large gaudy hoppers and stimulators should pay off on the surface.  Flying ants are on and this hatch is not to be missed.   Generally, they will gather over most waterways but those waters near the urban areas tend to see the most of these insects.   Stop in the shop if you need any local hand tied ants  fresh off the vise.  On another note, we did squeak in an overnight trip to the upper CT river and it was nice to wear waders in cold water and fish over  tons of well  conditioned  fish.  We caught all 3 species of trout in our first 15 minutes there.  Truly an incredibly diverse fishery where one minute it can seem all too easy and the next minute your digging through your box scratching your head.   Well, around here, terrestrials, stoneflies, caddis, isonychia, Bwo’s, Trico’s and  white flies, should be on the menu for the next month or so. Flying ants, drowned ants, hoppers, stimi’s, para adams#10-18, Tricos, Zug bugs & Princes #10-14, Bwo’s #18-20, elk hare caddis #14-18, are all good patterns to have on hand through Sept.  Get out and enjoy what can be some of the best fishing of the year.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Brookies & Bass to Beat the Summer Heat!

With a 5 day sleep-away camp every 10 days over the past couple months, this summer is absolutely flying by!  We leave Saturday for the 3rd and final 2014 session of GMFFC!  The first 2 sessions were a blast and we're really looking forward to ending the 2014 camp season on a great note!...Well, fly fishing camp that is.  After we get back from this session, I'll be kicking off the inaugural session of Cady's Falls Mountain Bike Camp from 8/4 - 8/8, so no rest for the weary this summer!
Things around here have been pretty consistent weather-wise, which has been great for the warm water bite.  Bass really like prolonged periods of consistent weather.  This super hot spell should amount to some t-storms tomorrow and tomorrow night which could amount to up to 3/4" of rain or more.  This is good as we really need the rain to freshen things up!
Best bets are for bass, pike, panfish or any other warm water fish of your desire.  This heat wave puts the red light on the bigger rivers and even some of our smaller streams that just can't maintain cool enough temps when flows are as low as they are now.  Best bet is to just stay off trout water until things cool down or find some mountain stream brookies.
Good luck out there!

Friday, July 11, 2014

GMFFC Session 2 Starts Tomorrow!

Fishing Noyes Pond at GMFFC
We're off to our second Green Mountain Fly Fishing Camp session of the summer at Seyon Lodge.  The shop will be closed until we return on Thursday, 7/17 but we still have fly and conventional guides available!
If you are looking for a fly fishing outing, please call Steve at (802)999-4807 or Lawton at (802)338-0649 to make arrangements.
For big bass on conventional tackle, please call Matt at (802)598-5523.
We have a front that could potentially camp out over our region early next week, bringing some wet weather with it.  Later in the day Sunday into Monday looks to be the wettest possible stretch, so keep an eye on USGS gauges before heading out!  Everything looks great right now, but the big water could warm up throughout the day so keep the thermometer handy!
Keep the fly box loaded with PT nymphs in 12-20, Prince nymphs in 12-16, ants in 12-18, stimulators in 8-12, caddis dries and nymphs in 12-16 and buggers of all shapes and sizes!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

First on the Fly!

Here's my 8 year old son, Noah with his first ever fly-caught fish...a sunfish!  So proud of you buddy!  Sure beats video games!