Friday, April 27, 2012

Fido in the field = Rolling Thunder

With winters grip holding tightly today and water levels very high, we opted to do some work on the river. I'm not sure how smart this was but we did save some work for a day with lower water levels.

As the weeks have past, most of my days have consisted of fishing, dog training and all of the other healthy stuff that makes up the wildlife.

Dog training and dogs is something we live here, with a focus on the Field Retriever and Flushing Dog training.

With air temps nice and cool for running Retrievers on long retrieves, I contemplate the option of running a wonderful k9 companion at my feet. These retrieves will be put on by the Lake Champlain Retriever Club (LCRC) and hosted by Peaceable Hill Pheasant Preserve and Hatchery. Both the club and the preserve are on my links page at This event is the annual LCRC singles competition and the event is a lot of fun and judged on the dogs' ability to remember were a single retrieve fell, regardless of distance. Retrieves can end up falling at distances as long as 400 yds.

I always love the people and the dogs in the field dog world. The bonus is the location, as I am a dog handler at this top notch preserve, owned by great people.

Whether your a hunter or just a dog lover, check this stuff out at LCRC. These dogs cant do anything but think about retrieving 24-7.Great stuff!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Good fishing /Good weather

Now that the mix of snow,and rain has stopped.River levels are now much more stable,and temps are starting to rise.

As the past few days fishing has been good despite cold water temps, it will still be a few days at least before any Dry Fly opportunities on the Ausable again.

The past couple of days I have had my best luck fishing Stonefly Nymphs deep in size 10.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Back on track

As the region continues to see off, and on snow flurries or rain for the third day.River temps have dropped back in to high 30s on some waters,as we seem to be now back on are typical North Country spring schedule.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Fish Eyes

With snow blanketing the banks of the West Branch of the Ausable,the Fish seem to have moved closer to the bottom and tighter to the banks.This I would attribute to water temps having dropped into low 40s,and air temps having dropped into the30s.Yesterdays off, and on showers have raised the water a little.However  wading levels  are still very comfortable.

Through many seasons, I have come to prefer the most high quality polarized glasses I can get my hands on,and for  most Guides are #1 piece of equipment are polarized glasses.For spotting Fish,and also safety.

Now as the water has warmed, and Fish have been more active this past week, I have spotted many Fish suspended in the water column with today that not being the case.I find many times when I do not see any Fish suspended in the water column or any other activity,this is a good indicator of Fish having stopped feeding.This being usually due to drastic change in weather.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Dont forget your rain gear

As the Clouds thicken, with an occasional sprinkle showing up, the Rain to be expected this weekend  is very welcome. Although fishing has been good this week, a good shot of rain should get insects a little more activel which should equal fish being more active.

With the West Branch of the Ausable water temps running between the low 50s to 60 degrees and the Saranac Rivers running 60 to 65 degrees, things are setting up nicely for fishing in the region this weekend.

For those of you hesitant to fish in the Rain, consider this. I have had many very successful days under rainy conditions, especially warm Rains; more then I can possibly remember.

Fish under these conditions tend to be much less wary and even more so with a rise in the water level.

Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Mighty Saranac

With things very dry, a shot of rain before the weekend would be very welcome. Now that air temps have stabilized, fishing seems to be getting active again in most places.

I have been receiving reports from many other waters, while expanding my operations to some of the other major rivers in the region. That said, my main focus throughout the season will still be out my backdoor; the West Branch of the Ausable and the Saranac Rivers.

For those of you not familiar with the Saranac Rivers, they are fishing quiet well as we speak. This river is well spoken of in many well noted books on Fly Fishing. I highly recommended considering my fishing guide services for the Saranacs, as this river system is Black and White and much different than the Ausable. One thing that stands out  most is the feeding habits of the Trout. What they eat and how they eat in the Saranacs can be very different than many Trout rivers.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

On the West Branch of the Ausable, both water and air temperatures have been cooling the last couple days, driving fish deeper. Water temps are holding between the high 40s and low 50s. Insect activity and fishing seemed to slow with the cooling weather.  The river is a little low and a good level for wading.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Temps Rising/Fish Rising

With today's air temp in low 80s, I found the first few rising fish this year on the upper West Branch of the Ausable.While more and more adult Insects fill the air each day, these few fish seem to be rising sporadically and to nothing specific. River temps having climbed now to around 55-60 degrees and air temps may drop overnight and are expected to be around 55- 60 degrees tomorrow. This should result in cooler water temps tomorrow.Viewing these rising champions that survived the winter will always make me feel on top of world; no matter how much they are a part of the cycle of  seasons.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Temps of  rivers in region have warmed nicely in last couple days and it showed that on West Branch today, with early Black Stoneflys sporadically flying in the air. It's still early to fish the Dry Flies on most waters in region.

With flooding last year and a mild winter,  winter survival rates seem to have been very well, as there are plenty of fish out there.

Often it will take many natural insects on the water to bring up the biggest fish.That being said, just get out and fish.

Friday, April 13, 2012


With air temps as high as the mid 60s and sunshine all day, the West Branch of the Ausable was in nice shape for the weekend.

Many others waters in the region should shape up nicely for the weekend, as water temps rise after today's beautiful weather.

Enjoy  your weekend.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


With a tale of a giant Fish entertaining my thoughts, I stepped into the Ausable under nice easy wading levels again mid 30s to mid 40s water temps; only a little more sun and less weather than day before.

After hearing a  Fish story from a very credible source not to long ago, I was awed again with not only the size of the fish nor the story itself. It was the location of where this took place that got me. It has always amazed me how some of the least likely looking spots are fish magnets for years, unless habitat is altered, not to the benefit of the watershed.This being said, it would be wise to fish thorough, especially water your unfamiliar with.

Knowing that the fish in this story attacked a 17 inch Brown Trout while the Brown was hooked and could have swallowed it, I went looking for a fight.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tough it out

The West Branch of the Ausable was still holding steady water temps from mid 30s to mid 40s. With 3 days of snow and rain, the river is up a little higher.                                                                      

For as cold as it looked, I was very comfortable; no wind and 5mm Neoprene Waders, air temps between 40-45 degrees, could not pull any excuses for whining of being cold today. A key element to comfort on the Ausable this time of the year is a whole Fly box dedicated to Streamer Flys of sizes #4 through 2/0 and a Sink Tip line. Sink Tips are not a great option for Nymph fishing in my opinion, so stick with the big gaudy Streamers. Even though it may pain some of you, the rewards can be wonderful.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Labradors and Leeches

   After another night of mix precipitation, as the idea of Brook Trout along the edges of a quiet small pond had been fresh in my head. How these ideas become has always amazed me. This comes after long conversation with another fishing guide the night before. Not being able to take it any longer, I jump out of bed and throw a pair of boots on, grab the closest fly box and a favorite k9 friend. Stepping into the woods to take a short hike to this hidden Brook Trout pond, I can't help but notice how the forest looks so much more alive with the much needed moisture. With my Labrador Retriever friend running himself silly, I tell him to heel and have him sit on top of small beaver hut next to me. Lowering my profile so as not to spook any fish, I know pursuing Brook Trout  without a boat is short lived. However, when water temps are between the mid 40s to low 50s, they can be all over ponds and many times along shorelines and near structures.  Fly selection can be rather simple with a couple of favorites occupying  most of the space in my fly box; one that I turn to all year, whether pursuing these fish in ponds, or small streams is the Hornberg.   

 One thing that I notice often with Brook Trout in ponds and streams is once water temp is above 45 degrees, they usually prefer a very active fly; not active in one location though, stripped away from them fast is preferred.

With water temps in these ranges on many ponds, fishing these waters can be a great option and even better with a big ol Labrador Retriever by your side.

I would love to know how many leeches per square foot can be found in this pond. You won't find me swimming in this pond and yes if you show me a leech, the Mouse comes out.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Weather Watchers

While many of us locals are embracing the early spring weather, the sign of snow and rain in some locations is much needed. Grounds have been very dry in the North Country and over the weekend a couple of small brush fires broke out in the Adirondacks.

A little wind, snow and rain are some of the important elements to successful Landlocked Salmon fishing. I have mentioned this in the past and these elements are all in place today. With two freshly tied Magog Smelt flies in my hand, I shall live the wildlife!

See you on the water.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

On this wonderful Easter Sunday (like most Easter Sundays for me) I spent most of the day fishing.

What a great time to introduce fishing to some one new. With kids being very abundant during these family gatherings and in most cases quite enthusiastic, they can be great fishing partners. While early season fishing trips with kids may not always be blessed with sunshine and 80 degree temperatures, they can be comfortable and most of all fun.

Thanks Mom and Dad for the gift of fishing.

Happy Easter 

Loss of a Saltwater Ambassador

I was saddened to hear of  the sudden death of well known fishing show host Jose Wejebe, who died in a plane crash on Saturday, April 7, 2012. Wejebe was host of the popular fishing show 'Spanish Fly.'

As a kid, I always preferred to watch fishing programs over cartoons and other kids shows. There was nothing like finding a program that focused on the education of the sport, as opposed to strickly fish catching. Jose always put on a good show, demonstrating enthusiasm toward the sport, while educating viewers. We have lost one of the great saltwater fisherman and you will be missed. R.I.P. Jose.

Friday, April 6, 2012

River Change

With water temps in the mid 30s and 40s on the West Branch of the Ausable, the levels are nice for wading. It is also a great time to learn the river again, as there are many changes. Such changes are obvious every couple of years. For me as a guide, this means identifying new dangers, both on the land and water; safety is my #1 priority.

I have noticed that many fishing spots on the local rivers have a depth no greater then 5ft at this time of the year. While these places may be appealing to trout at various times, the deep, slow pools tend to be my first choice during this time of the year. These pools often hold giants and may be of more importance on the West Branch. Why? Stay tuned.
Note: Watch out for Thornapple bush on the river. It loves waders, as I sit here and pull a 1 inch thorn from my hand!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Where to Fish Today

With a thin coating of snow on the ground, I awoke to the always tough decision of where to fish today.  The weather has been rather mild and sunny but snow squalls, while brief, are still common for this time of year.

For those seeking  throwing, streamers such as Magog Smelt and Mickey Finn's are not bad options; preferably with a long shank streamer hook for a bigger profile. Landlocked Salmon can be a good option when the weather is not so mild. These silver bullets tend to hit quite well in foul weather, such as wind,snow,and rain.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Adk Weather

Sporadic weather and an immediate snow squall, combined with wear on my fingertips begin to push me off the West Branch of the Ausable. I am left with a common early season strike but it feels like my line got hung up on the bottom. One cannot be fooled by these subtle strikes, which are most likely Browns on the West Branch. Many believe Browns do not jump. While true to an extent, I have witnessed early season giants come clear out of the cold (35 F) water on multiple occasions. This idea is not a rule, as there are no rules here in the Wildlife.                                                                                  

This time of year is a great time to hone those streamer fishing skills with a guided trip, while also getting what many believe is the best opportunity to catch the biggest Browns. With over 20 years of guiding experience, I am able to offer clear and professional instruction and would be happy to provide you with guiding services. Whether a tune up in a particular skill area, or a trip to get to know the local waters better, feel free to call or email me with any questions. I would be happy to customize a guided fishing trip for you. For additional information, please visit or email me at

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mud Season

Its funny how most of us call this time of year Mud season. However, this years' mild weather, lack of rain and snow have subdued this reference. The stick cased caddis crawling on the bottom of Ausable don't seem to mind the early spring, as when the afternoon sun hits the water, these cream larva seem to just want to burst out of their cases. A closer look reveals a few Early Black Stoneflys fluttering on the waters' surface; much like their big brothers (Giant Black Stoneflys) that show up end of August, beginning of Septemeber.

Did you know a Stonefly is where many Trout get 75% of there protein source? Stonefly =T bone steak.                                 

Getting some good reports of  some big lakers caught in Placid, and some of the other bigger lakes.Keep you Posted.   

Monday, April 2, 2012

So much water, so little time

With another evening bringing a dusting of snow, the 5mm neoprene waders should do the job keeping me warm today. The fishing options for today include the West Branch of the Ausable. However I enjoy taking advantage of small windows of oppurtunity, such as the mighty Landlocked Salmon, as they stuff themselves full of smelt while running up the mouths of streams and rivers throughout the north country during this time of year. These fish can be very acrobatic when hooked, not to mention they are just stunning to view.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

2012 NYS Trout Season Now Open

The first day of NYS trout season on the West Branch of the Ausable brought easy wading levels, good water clarity and water temps in the high 30s - low 40s. The order of big flies fished deep and slow in slow moving pools and is strongly recommended. Size 2s and bigger are not out of the ordinary, however I prefer hanging up on the bottom here and there. Big flies = big fish!