Friday, October 24, 2014

Wood Stove Season is Here!

GMT Bud-Hole Surfer
We've had some substantial rain over the last couple of days that has every piece of moving water rocking and rolling. Combine that with much cooler air temps and the fishing starts to slow down drastically. We have groups out on the water the next few days and it's gonna be raw out there! We've been tying some new streamer prototypes that have been well received by the local fishes. The GMT Bud-Hole Surfer ended up in a beautiful brown trout's mouth less than 30 minutes after it came off the vise this week! Just yesterday, one of our GMT Conehead Zonkers fooled a 26+" brown trout on a local tributary! We're still adding new flies to the site consistently, so check it out HERE and get your orders in for the holidays and/or that destination fishing trip! We can tie for any occasion! 
We're also going to be adding a new tying video every 
Tuesday, so keep an eye on our Vimeo Page and our Fly Tying Videos page to keep up with the new releases coming down the pipe.

 


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

80 in October!


The past couple of days here up north have been absolutely beautiful! The foliage seems to just keep offering up amazing scenery. Typically our rivers and streams recede more slowly after rains this time of year but, after a good soaking last week, we are right back down to pretty darn low flows. This spike in air temps has all sorts of insect activity booming. I got home to an invasion of lady bugs yesterday which seemed to be crawling out of every nook and cranny! We're still picking away at the trout, and this spike in warm weather is just what trout anglers want this time of year as it gets the fishy mojo moving again. Typically our main stem river trout are moving into their slower, deeper wintering spots right about now, but 75-80 degrees when the norm is 55 will get those fish moving so take advantage and get out there! Princes, PT nymphs, copper johns and buggers have all been working. Not a bad time to be throwing some meat too. We have a fresh batch of GMT Fat Head Sculpins in the bins here, so swing by and grab a couple or we'll ship'em to you for just a buck!
Tomorrow we have a system coming into the region that could deliver up to a couple inches of rain and even more in certain locations, so we could see blown out rivers over the next several days to come. 
We're releasing a new tying video each Tuesday featuring patterns that we tie right here at the shop, so stay tuned to the blog and make sure to be following us on Facebook and Instagram.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tuesday Tying Video & Little River Flows


The big news is that we finally got some rain! The bigger news is that there is a very important meeting taking place at Thatcher Brook Elementary School this evening at 6:30 regarding future management of the dam on Waterbury Reservoir and Little River. Contrary to what the media originally blew this up to be, it's actually an informational meeting to bring the public up to speed on the re licensing process and to allow the public to comment. Here is a great bit of background info that I pulled from the MadDog TU Facebook Page ...
"The current debate over the Waterbury Reservoir is not just about the reservoir, but also the Little River below it. We believe it is possible to preserve the Waterbury Reservoir while at the same time improving the ecological health of the Little River.
Today, the federal and state governments are considering the factors for relicensing the operation of the Waterbury Dam. This of course includes how much water will be kept in the reservoir behind the dam, but part of this is how much water will be released, and at what rate, to the Little River below. While the level of the reservoir is debated, the Little River below the dam should receive equal consideration.
For decades, the reservoir height and generation of power has been at the command of Green Mountain Power. This has meant that GMP effectively controlled the health of the Little River below for its recreational users, park visitors, and local wildlife. The on-again, off-again flow of the Little River harms wildlife, particularly fish, and makes for a muddy mess. This doesn’t have to be. We can have a recreation-friendly reservoir and a healthy Little River downstream.
Anyone who has spent time on the Little River below the dam is familiar with the daily flow routine. For much of the day, the river is nothing more than a muddy trickle. Then, for several hours, the floodgates are quite literally opened and this muddy trickle becomes a raging torrent. These changes in daily flow levels are unhealthy for wildlife.
Every day, these higher flows scour the River clean, flushing out smaller fish and macroinvertebrates (the insects that fish and other wildlife feed upon). Larger fish that migrate from the warmer Winooski River into the cooler waters released from the reservoir get stranded when the water is suddenly turned off. This unstable cycle compromises the health of the Little River.
Decades ago, the Little River was a prime fishery, with even a record brown trout caught in the 1960s. Today, some say that the Little River is only a marginal fishery at best. This is no wonder considering the fluctuating water flows. The good news is that, with the right flows, the River will recover.
To get technical, just for a moment: The current “nongenerating” flow – water that runs through the dam even when its not generating power – is about 13 cubic feet per second (cfs). Much of this is from leaks in the dam. To visualize, a cubic foot is about seven and one-half gallons, so 13 cubic feet is about 97.5 gallons of water. So, it is no wonder the River is a muddy mess.
If not for the leakage of 13 cfs, GMP is only required to release 3 cfs when they are not generating power. Three. That is 22 gallons of water for the health of the River. Then, for the few hours every day that GMP apparently generates power, the released water cranks up to near 500 cfs. Thirteen to 500. This simply has to change.
Since this process began, the informed, reasonable and scientific recommendations regarding the best flows for fish habitat on the Little River varied depending on species and life stages. This varies between 80 to 150 cfs in the spring, and 60 cfs in the summer and fall. In an effort to achieve this, these recommendations include a natural run-of-river flow. While the exact numbers recommended may not be achievable, it is hopeful that something close, or as natural a flow as possible, can occur.
Recreation on the reservoir and a healthy Little River can co-exist. A stable reservoir level, one that allows swimming, boating, water skiing, and other activities, can still provide a steady, healthy flow of water for the Little River. It means that after the stable reservoir level is achieved, all the water that flows into the reservoir is then allowed to flow out into the Little River in a run-of-river fashion. This would provide for healthy wildlife habitat and begin to restore what used to be a healthy fishery.

Gary West
Central Chapter of Vermont Trout Unlimited Representing the lower Winooski Watershed

Clark Amadon
MadDog Chapter of Vermont Trout Unlimited Representing the upper Winooski Watershed"

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fall Fishing Bliss & Our Next Tying Vid


It's a good thing this low water spell coincides with some amazing trout fishing weather. If this was July/August, our local trout would be singing the blues for sure! Our next shot at possible showers is coming Saturday and some spots could see over an inch if it all pans out. 
The trout fishing really has been stellar and we've had guided trips out every day amid some of the best foliage scenery I've seen in a long time. Still hookin'em on a mix of dries and nymphs including princes, PT's, copper johns, x-caddis and ant patterns.
The fish are starting to tune in on small insects more and more, so keep those 18-22 pt nymphs and other micro mayfly patterns handy.
The leaves are really beginning to fill our streams which will become more and more of a challenge as the season progresses through the fall.
We've been working constantly adding new products to our online store, including a new series of tying videos that are coming along great! We are dedicated to stocking only locally-tied patterns produced within the walls of GMT and the state of Vermont. On our new web store will provide a one-stop-shop for our customers to buy gear, tackle and locally tied flies, as well as a vast selection of tying materials and videos of our most popular patterns. Also, Vermonters will only pay $1 for shipping within the state!
Dalton Harben Photo

Friday, September 26, 2014

GMT Tying Videos, Take One


Here's the first take of a new series of tying videos we'll be putting together here at Troutfitters....the GMT Proto-Popper.
Enjoy and stay tuned for more!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Rain, Rain, Come Our Way!

A recent outing with GMT guide, Steve Stanley
The major spike in air temps we are having today is going to get our local trout amped up and on the feed!  We are definitely in need of some water in the system.  The Lamoille is running close to 100cfs lower than its mean flow for this time of year and the Winooski has even crept down under 100cfs. One of the saddest flow readings I've seen is the Dog River...a paltry 15cfs! Some of our primary spawning tribs on the Lamoille don't have enough water for fish to enter, so a good soaking rain is more than welcome for our area to say the least.
Photographing inventory for our web store
We're still catching fish on a mix of prince nymphs, PT nymphs, caddis dries and ant patterns, but setting up properly and making accurate casts is crucial in these low flows.
I've recently been working intently on some new plans for GMT, one of which is an all new web store where our customers can purchase gear, tackle, flies and logo goods. Primarily, we'll be adding all of our locally-tied fly inventory to the site and offering ONE DOLLAR ($1.00) shipping to Vermont residents for all orders under $25 and FREE shipping for orders exceeding $25! Our fly angling community is spread out in Vermont and we'd like to make sure our customers spend less time driving and more time fishing. So whenever our Vermont customers need staple items like flies, leaders & tippets, they be able to get it delivered to their Vermont address in as little as a day...for just a buck! Stay tuned for our web store to launch sometime this Fall.
The dates for the 2015 DPC are set, so mark June 27/28, 2015 off the calendar and start your team prep!


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!