Saturday, December 19, 2015

Kids VT - GMFFC

This article, written by Sarah Yahm, was featured last June on the KidsVT website. Sarah Spent a good part of the day interviewing one of our favorite GMFFC campers, Zach Favreau.
The full article is available HERE
----------------------------------------------------
Zach Favreau fishing the Brewster River (Sarah Yahm photo)
The difference between fly fishing and reel fishing isn't just about gear or technique; it's about philosophy. That much becomes clear after talking to 14-year-old Zach Favreau. "With fly fishing, you're a lot closer to the fish and you can almost see it from how they see it," he told me. "Instead of just sitting on a shore, you're in the stream, in the fish's environment."  
Tying Flies at Green Mountain Troutfitters
(Sarah Yahm photo)
Zach, who lives in Georgia, Vt., agreed to spend a sunny Saturday morning in Jeffersonville teaching me about the sport. He learned to fly fish four years ago at the Green Mountain Fly Fishing Camp, a weeklong summer program for kids ages 11 to 15 in Groton State Forest.
Camp founder and director Chris Lynch, the manager of Green Mountain Troutfitters in Jeffersonville, barely advertises. Yet all three of his summer sessions are usually booked up by January. The camp attracts kids from all over the country, and almost all first-time campers return for another year. 
These kids are passionate about the sport, sometimes keeping at it for 15 hours a day with only small breaks for meals, says Lynch. Many campers voluntarily get up at 6 a.m. to fish before breakfast. They end each day at 9 p.m. after fishing from rowboats on Noyes Pond, right outside their lodge.
During breaks from fishing, campers learn how to tie their own flies. No actual insects are involved; "flies" are made out of a mix of natural and synthetic materials. The idea is to create something flashy that will make a fish believe it is catching a real fly.
The key to tying a successful fly is to create something that looks like it came from the natural world. In the backroom of Green Mountain Troutfitters, Zach used a fly-tying vice, thread, beads and several specialized tools to show me how to tie a "woolly bugger," a black-and-green fly that resembles fish food. 
The woolly bugger is particularly versatile, Lynch explained, because "it could be a leech, it could be a bait fish, or just something that gets in the fish's face and makes him angry and want to strike." After about 10 minutes of working on it, Zach held up a tiny, delicate piece of art that he might very well sacrifice to the river right after he casts it.
"It's better not to get too attached," Lynch explained.    
Choosing which fly to use is just as important as tying the fly. Successful fly fishermen and -women develop a sophisticated understanding of the river ecosystem. In other words, in order to trick a fish into biting their fly, they need to think like a fish. Zach says he and fellow campers have to learn what bugs are hatching, how the temperature and volume of the water affect the fish's behavior and where fish are most likely to swim and feed.
After putting on hip waders and boots, Zach and I walked down to the Brewster River. He waded up to his waist into the center of the stream and began casting in a slow deliberate circle, showing me the spots where the trout would most likely be. "You see up there?" he gestured to the darker, shallower section of the water underneath an overhanging rock. "That's where you want to put your bug imitators."
As I stood half-submerged next to Zach, feeling the late spring sun on my back and listening to the water rush past me, I started to understand why this sport might elicit such intense dedication.  
We didn't catch anything, but that didn't bother Zach. Hanging out in the river on a beautiful summer day seemed to be its own reward.
"The fish are just a bonus," Lynch explained when we peeled off our wet boots inside the shop. "A big part of it is just for the places that it takes us."

Monday, December 14, 2015

Central Vermont Trout Unlimited

Just below the Cady's Falls dam on the Lamoille River is a large piece of land on both sides of the river owned by Lamoille Valley Property Owners Assoc., or "Ten Bends" as many know. Ten Bends has approximately 3 miles of river frontage on the Lamoille, which is a significant piece of a river of about 85 miles in total length.
The board of the LVPOA voted 2 years ago to expand all vegetative buffers along the river to at least 40'. With that, I presented a plan to plant 8-10' hardwood trees within the buffers to help stabilize the river bank, filter harmful nutrients from adjacent ag land and eventually provide significant shade to the river. Not to mention numerous other advantages the riparian zones would offer fish and wildlife.
To date, we've planted 50 sugar maple, red maple, and ash trees on over 500 feet of river bank that was previously void of any hardwood vegetation. In just a short period of time, the positive results of these efforts have been amazing(image below.)
When I approached the president of the, now defunct, Lamoille River Anglers Association for assistance with funding, I was immediately turned down with no opportunity at all to formally present the project to the group.  
It wasn't long after that I was approached by Central Vermont TU about expanding their conservation efforts up the Lamoille Valley. They were aware that the grassroots conservation efforts of myself and Green Mountain Troutfitters had positive  impacts and needed proper support. I can't thank these guys enough! 
A couple weeks ago I presented the next phase of tree plantings to the board of Central Vermont TU and was awarded funding to get another 150 trees in the ground in Spring 2016!!
If you'd like to assist with these plantings in the Spring, drop me a line here and I'll keep you in the loop!
Spring 2015 planting (top) - Three months later (bottom)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Filling Up!

2 sessions already half-full with the third on it's way!!

Sign your child up soon!!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Bugs & Brews Anyone?

We need to start stocking our fly bins for next season and you should come hang with us for some vise time! 

Let's twist up some bugs, sip some brews & have some laughs!
What else are you gonna do on a Tuesday night??

Drop us a message HERE if you're planning on coming out

Tuesday, 11/24 @ the shop

We'll be there by 6-6:30

If the driveway's full, park at the town garage and walk up!


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

2016 GMFFC Registration Open!

Registration for 3 different sessions of Green Mountain Fly Fishing Camp is now open!
These camps have become very popular for kids throughout Vermont, the US and even as far as London, England! Last year's camps were completely full by mid-January, so don't delay in getting your child registered asap! 
If you would like registration information, please send us an email HERE and we will get right back to you with next steps.

For rates, dates and general info, check the camp website at 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

All Buttoned Up

It's crazy that another season has come to an end, but what a great season we had! Thanks to all of our customers for the support both on the water and in the shop!
Although we'll be closing the store for the winter, you can still shop online at our web store HERE. Also, after we take a couple weeks off for steelheading and stick season, we'll start posting announcements for open fly tying nights here at the shop. We have a ton of tying to do in the off-season, and we'd love to have you come and hang with us, so keep checking the blog for updates!
Our fly tying videos will fire up again in a few weeks. If you'd like to request a certain pattern or schedule a tying lesson, drop us an email and we'll make it happen. Please direct custom fly orders to the above email as well and we'll get them done as quickly as possible!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Much Needed Rain!


The biggest news currently is the arrival of some much needed rain to most of the state. As of yesterday afternoon, NOAA was only forecasting .25 to .50" in Lamoille County. Before I went to bed, the forecast had changed to 1-2" and we got an entire night of heavy rain and it's still raining pretty hard right now! Hurricane Joaquin is headed through the middle of the Bahamas and forecasters aren't sure if it will push East and stay off the Eastern Seaboard or if it will bring heavy weather to New England and beyond. If you come this way, please go easy on us Joaquin!
First Trout on the Fly!
The fishing has been great lately despite the low water. Even if the water is low, it's always a delight to have cool water temps and happy trout. This week we've caught fish on a variety of flies like pheasant tail nymphs, princes, copper johns, buggers, stimulators and blue wing dries. There are plenty of other patterns that will work, however, so get in here and stock up on locally-tied flies! 
The week ahead looks like a wet one, so keep an eye on the USGS Gauges before you head out.
Things in the Great Lakes have really turned on, so I'd expect the crowds on the Salmon River to multiply greatly by the day, if not the hour! Once zombie season is over, the crowds diminish drastically and prime steelhead time gets underway. If you're looking for tackle and advice on Great Lakes steelhead fishing on the fly, give us a holler and we'll set you straight!