Sunday, 27 January 2019

return to Vermont pt-3 wild places

PT 3 - wild places the hunt for trout with brother dan

my last trip to vt id wanted to hook up with brother dan so the 3 amigos could fish together but due to dans work schedule it didnt happen so as ken had to work one day i was over and dan had a day off we finally made it happen and dan wanted to take me out after wild trout in the hills and hell i was up for that 

brother dan is a very cool fella and a heap of fun to hang out with  dan picked me up from brother ken and we headed over to dans place for some breakfast  got to say the Americans do a fine breakfast and dan was no exception and i really enjoyed his sausage and cheese wraps and coffee 

dan has a very laid back style of cooking breakfast just chop it chuck it in the pan and eat standing up talking about fishing its how he rolls much like ken must be a Vermont thing  most enjoyable. 

so we headed of into the wilds and to be honest i cant remember the name of the river but we drove for a while stopped for coffee and drove some more before turning onto a dirt road and parking up next to one of those bridges that come straight out of gone with the wind really cool to tackle up next to one of these .

my outfit for this was a rod ken keeps stateside for me an orvis clearwater 3wgt  the rod is a 3 piece 9ft rod so couldn't fit it in the luggage anyway lol  coupled with a 3wgt floating line and 4lb fluro leader with various small flies both dry and wet 

i really love this kind of fishing very shallow and wet wading sight casting for fish or throwing a fly into a likely looking shady spot and just waiting for the take .

the river itself was an amazing place its like you were the first person who had every cast a fly there  completely remote and untouched by humans no sounds of cars no other people no rubbish and the only sounds you hear is that of mother nature i actually felt truly blessed to visit and fish a place like this and it only got better 

we continued to walk and fish up the river  but the fish were proving to be elusive 

brother dan teaching me his how to get your fly out of a tree technique 

 some places are just beyond words i mean imagine fishing a place like this 

dan went slightly high and spotted some fish in the deep pool in the shade so i switched to a small gold head and cast where dan was pointing and i was blessed with seeing fish chase the fly but not engage  ok frustrating but hey these brook trout can be shy if there not on it 

dans fish spotting spot 

as much as we tried we could not get these fish to hook up but you know it didn't bother me much how could it in a place like this any fish is a bonus 

so we stayed in the deep spot at the foot of the waterfull for a couple of hours but it wasnt to be and we headed back down the river 

 dan said he had fished this stretch before and had rainbow trout but we decided just to head back to the car as it was a far walk and we were both pretty knackered after wet wading a rock strewn river for a few miles 

next time though .

below is a few videos that dan shot just shows the beauty of the place 

so zero fish but a great day but it wasnt over yet indeed not  after getting heading back towards ken we decided to go tackle the river tanks in the river just below where ken lives  now ive fished this before but not further up so this was a new bit of water for me but dan had fished it before so he knew where he was going 

 fishing these places for smallmouth bass is totally 100% different  than anything you'll experience fly fishing in the uk from fast shallow rivers to deeper rock strewn deep water where you perch on rocks and chuck weighted streamers at the tanks that lye below and im telling you pound for pound there is no finer fish to catch on a fly than these things seriously they go like rockets  .

for this bit of the river with deeper runs it was the domain of clousers and leaded streamers to get down to them  

notice the banged up lead eye 

granted not the biggest of smallmouth ive ever caught but i was fishing a 7 wgt and this matched these tanks sportingly on the river great fun 

lost as many as i hooked as usually they just dive for cover and once they get in those rocks they can be tricy to get out  as dan says "gotta swim for em bro" altough wasnt needed as you can see in the video further down  enough pressure and he popped right up 

got to say a massive thanks to brother dan for hooking up absolute pleasure to fish with you at last and good to see you hooking up with the bass see ya in may we will do it all again (and breakfast)

so my american trip for this year came to an end with me and brother ken hitting the cinema in burlington to see the nun my connecting bus service up to Montreal was was at stupid o clock in the morning so we thought we would waste some time at the cinema

 anyway my tally for the week was over 100 fish which was ok but this year ill be focusing on species and topwater at the end of may so im really looking forward to that 

finally a massive thanks to my american family for again welcoming me as the strange relative from scotland who appears most years brings candy  washes in the lake  watching horror movies with ken and bangs on about speaking properly when talking about chips (a chip is not a bloody crisp)

and as always to my brother from another mother ken "pike picker" capsey who always goes that extra mile to be a complete dick redneck

love ya bro   

a cave in scotland

Saturday, 8 December 2018

from the vice


size - 10inch
hook - 7/0 sakuma manta
thread - invisible dino thread dino thread
body - pike skinz predator fibre from jerkbaitmania
eye - 12mm hard eye
varnish - clear varnish

coloration done with permanent markers /eyes are epoyed into place with z poxy 30 min 

size - 10inch
hook - 7/0 sakuma manta
thread - invisible dino thread dino thread
body - pike skinz predator fibre from jerkbaitmania
eye - 12mm hard eye
varnish - clear varnish
tail - custom from me 

coloration done with permanent markers /eyes are epoyed into place with z poxy 30 min 

 size - 10inch
hook - 7/0 sakuma manta
thread - invisible dino thread dino thread
body - pike skinz predator fibre from jerkbaitmania
eye - 12mm hard eye
varnish - clear varnish

coloration done with permanent markers /eyes are epoyed into place with z poxy 30 min

size - 10inch
hook - 7/0 sakuma manta
thread - invisible dino thread dino thread
body - pike skinz predator fibre from jerkbaitmania
eye - 12mm hard eye
varnish - clear varnish
tail - custom from me 

coloration done with permanent markers /eyes are epoyed into place with z poxy 30 min

these flys are pretty fun to make but remember to only use very small amounts of fiber  the thickness of a pencil lead is about right  this gives the fly great movement in the water and ultra lightweight to cast .

cheers from the cave 

Sunday, 25 November 2018

a couple of videos

been working quite a lot of 12 hour shifts so not managed to do pt 3 of my vt trip yet but its in the making just now 

i have however managed to do a couple of tying reviews the first is using pike skinz and pike skins dubbing brushes from jerkbaitmania ill be doing a follow up video using some pretty cool new hybrid brushes from jerkbaitmania so watch out for that one pretty hot stuff .


click pic to enter shop

please go have a look at jerkbaitmanias website as they have some pretty cool stuff for the predator fly tier 

the second tying review was using dyckers soft fibers which are similar to ep but a bit cheaper and i really enjoyed using this over ep , good value packs as well 


click the logo to enter there shop

as always review videos and step by steps will be on the review / step by step pages at the top of the blog 

(a cave in scotland)

Monday, 15 October 2018

RETURN TO VERMONT PT 2 - lake champlain and lake carmi

 lake champlain and lake carmi

as ive said many times before ken makes an outstanding breakfast probably due to his younger days as a server in burger king (when i found this out mid trip i then proceeded to say "do you want fries with that " everytime he asked for something much to my amusement" ) , anyway we decided this day we would head out to the big lake "champlain" where i had an amazing time last trip with all sorts coming to the boat so i was kinda pumped for doing this , ken had checked the weather and although windy it was due to flateen off early evening so we decided it would be pike time . i still hadn't got a champlain pike yet so was something i was keen to get into and ad to my list .

we made up the rods before we took off , so much easier just to break em down and store ready to throw together and get fishing asap , i also love kens boat , perfect for zipping about in the shallow water and have some great memories of the last trip on this so was kinda cool to be in it again and ken has it fitted out to be fly fishing friendly , great boat . 

ken had chosen the launch spot the aptly named "rock river"  

of course there was a bridge over it so as every fisherman all over the world does i went and looked over it , had to be very carefull though crossing the road as the cars come from the opposite direction , which is actually really bizarre for the head , if youve been to the states youll know what i mean . thankfully i got to look off both sides without becoming road kill . 

actually talking about road kill , ken is hilarious when driving  as youll be going along quite nicely chatting away when he will make a weird guttural sound and slow down turn to you and say "did you see that"  , this is the point that you realize he has seen dead meat on the road so its kinda  like a tye it or fry it situation and if its a fry it well that whats on the menu for the night , i have become quite good at diverting his pea sized brain away from roadkill so thankfully we wont be having flattened skunk at this evenings bbq ...............close call though 

one thing i have noticed with ken is that his boat launching skills have improved no end and most of the time he actually gets the boat in first time and usually on the slip , he also has upgraded his engine so looking forward to this one 

so the boat in the water and straight away im seeing loads of small baitfish on the surface and occasional splashes where predators are hitting them , fascinating to watch if i had bought the 3 wgt with me i would have chucked on the small minnow flies i tied but i didnt and ken was keen to get out on the lake chasing pike , just the place looked very fishy ......oh well next time maybe 

as i was standing in the water , looking at the baitfish i saw this bloody snake coming straight at me , sorry i dont do snakes i was out the water in a flash leaving one croc in the mud , nope aint doing snakes , so after it had slithered away into the rushes i retrieved my croc and jumped straight in the boat  ,much to kens amusement and i believe he uttered the words , stupid rock tosser  

a couple of shots of the rock river apparently theres quite a lot of carp in here , imagine if this was the uk it would be lined with people with bivvys and being charged 50 quid a day to fish it lol anyway mabey on my next trip ill get a chance to fish for them .

so lake Champlain , let me tell you if you didn't know , the place is big let me give you a few facts 

size -435 square miles of water 
length - 120 miles 
width - 12 miles at its widest point
depth - average depth is 64 feet but the deepest point is between Charlotte vt and essex ny where it goes down to 400 feet 
amount of shoreline - 587 miles
islands - 71
watershed - 8,234 squre miles

there are - 318 bird species on or near it 
has over 90 species of fish and is considered one of the top 5 bass waters in the usa 

oh and theres champ (the U.S equivalent to nessie) but thats a different story

so we headed out to kens favorite hunting grounds on missisquoi bay which by the way is around 14 miles wide at its widest point and an average depth of 15 feet , although the water was a lot shallower at the moment due to lack of rain so we were fishing in the 6 to 10 ft bracket .

we headed out and it was clear to see ken was on the ball and putting us on marks he fishes himself by lining up shore marks , something i also do myself , constantly watching the shore and looking over his shoulder . 

ken cut the engine and we slowed down to an almost stop then flies hit the water , ken did say the water was very colored and indeed it was a lot more colored than my previous trip to the point i could only see the fly a few feet away in the water.  

almost straight away ken was into a fish (the boy knows his stuff ) 

after a lively and spirited fight a fine slab of vermont snotrocket was in the boat , things were looking good

i had opted to use one of the new Shakespeare agility 2 fly rods on this trip , i actually bought it as a back up for my pikesabre but as it happens i was so impressed with it i just used it for most of the trip the rod itself is pretty much an upgrade from the previous agility fly rods they had out , this was the #10 wgt which i coupled with a fast sink #11 line ,handled it brilliant with big sinking subbugs , in fact every cast i was into the backing and this was into the wind , a serious bit of kit absolutely recommend it either for a back up rod or a first pike fly rod , you cant go wrong for the cash.    

after ken fish i changed over to a classic big 12 inch red head flash fly , hoping to get a reaction from the flash rather than seeing it as an item of food , im a great believer in winding up the predator even if it aint hungry , get something past it to annoy it and 9 times out of 10 it will smash into it .

this is where things went dreadfully wrong 

we started drifting over big weed channels so i put the fly at full line length in between the weed a gap of about 3 feet all the way down the weedline even with the wind i was impressed i got it where i wanted it , when the fly was around 20 foot from the boat , BANG the rod arched over and i knew straight away this wasnt a pike , as i got the fish under the rod i looked over to see a massive paddle like tail of a largemouth bass , ken was "dude thats frikin massive" as he said that the line went loose as it dived , for a moment i thought it had come back up so i stripped the line and came to where the braided loop should have been .

im still having nightmares about this because the loop was completely gone along with leader , and i dont know why , i tye all my own loops and have never lost a fish yet , i test all before i go on the water in fact i have a routine when i rig up , i have no idea at all , suffice to say it lost me my biggest largemouth this is going to haunt me for a long time . nothing else i can say about it  

as i was re rigging ken hooked into another pike , they really fight these champlain fish

they also have a great silver/white color about them , as per normal picture taken and the fish was released without harm and with a big swish of its tail it went back to the depths surley my time would be next .

things then started to get a little hairy weather wise , the predicted calm down of wind didn't really happen but everything looked perfect the sun was starting to set it was still warm you'd think the predators would be all over the flies .

but no something didnt feel right we chopped and changed flies from surface flies to bottom flies , bright colors to natural colors nothing was going down , the wind was starting to really push us and ken made the call to head back into the shore , safety always comes first and you dont want to be in trouble on a lake this size , the ride in was quite lumpy right till we got into the mouth of the river so the call was right , although we did chuck a couple at the river mouth but ken said he did have fish from this area but as he said it was usually when there was more water in it .

but hey we certainly tried 

so we hitched the boat up and headed back to kens via the local shop for movie snacks (we are both big horror movie fans )as we stood by the checkout the lady asked ken if that was all , ken said yes and of course i said "are you sure i thought you wanted some trojans for you and boris the animal later" always makes me laugh ken not so :-) 

where ken lives is actually quite rural and very dark , not much in the of street lights and to be honest i kinda like that , so as we were travelling back along a darkened road ken was like "holy crap look a ufo " i turned to my right and there was some quite bright lights just above the treeline a fair distance from us . "ken bro thats a fecking helicopter" "its not look at it " "bro its got a flashing light at the back and underneath and besides if a ufo was here they are looking for intelligent life to abduct , your quite safe bro " "ken - so you fancy carmi tomorrow bro . dumb redneck



last time i was here i had an absolute blast on this lake had trophy sized smallmouth bass great yellow perch and rockbass so this time i was looking forward to tackling the pike on there 

targets acquired or idiots loaded up , take your pick .

carmi what can i tell you , well 
around the lake is 7.5 miles with an average depth of 20ft and around 33ft at its deepest  so actually quite a tasty predator water , besides pike there is a whole host of other species in there as well .

ken did say that this was around the time he started fishing carmi for pike so hopes where high  

ken doing his location finding thing . we hit a few of kens favorite spots and fished large white bucktail  flies on sinking lines , this was one of kens patterns which he showed me how to tye , well actually he was tying it and when he finished i stole it , well he already had one so he didnt really need two did he , and it looked great in the water , a pattern ill be making a few up off for those rare days i get on the water over hear . 

indeed carmi is a beautiful lake and to be honest looking around it could have been any one of a number of lochs in scotland , i always notice that Vermont is so like Scotland in so many ways , well except for the cool food like pumpkin doughnuts , seriously pumpkin doughnuts are so good and java monster coffee , hell we drunk so much of this and the other energy drink that actually turned our pee luminous green , whic was somewhat worrying 


anyway i digress , so we went from spot to spot trawled the bottom got in among the weed but not a touch , we then headed across the lake to a more rocky bottom spot and hear we actually had a few hits mid water but couldn't connect so after a while and with the sun starting to set we headed across to the other side again where i had some great smallmouth before , 1st drift ken had a nice smallmouth but that was about it , i had noticed that the water was a lot more coloured than last time i was here and i was thinking mabey id left it a little too late coming over but as ken wasn't catching i really didnt feel that bad i mean this is his backyard .

but hey thats fishing and to be honest floating around with ken all day is a blast the fish are a bonus 

so we called it a day and headed somewhat deflated back to the launch and back to kens to discuss plans over a bbq (thankfully not roadkill) and have a bash around on his quad all good fun 

so today was a bit of a none start which was a bummer for me but hey thats fishing and to be honest we had tried lots of different things and methods , but i suppose if it aint happening it aint happening nothing you can do about it but i was out with dan the following day as ken had to work chasing wild brook trout and wild rainbows in shallow water .

ken has his own unique way of getting the bbq started and i suppose its making the best of his best  natural resources 

so we enjoyed the rest of the evening eating bbq around the outdoor campfire discussing what was happening and what the plans would be for the coming days and trying to avoid being bitten by weird flying stuff  and off course when we had done we retired indoors to annoy alexa with my funny accent , she dosnt quite understand when you call her a dick :-) 

kens wife Naomi had also prepared pizza for us which actually was better than the stuff you get delivered so we chilled out and started to watch hellraiser , actually quite funny because ken was asleep within the first 20 mins of the movie , i resisted the urge to shave his eyebrows off which believe me was quite hard 

so another day done and another to look forward too .

part 3 ill be heading up some remote places with brother dan looking for wild trout stay tuned for this next week 

tight lines