Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Lake Champlain Report Week of 7/7/14

I have been out and about along Lake Champlain this week and here is what I am seeing:

The lake is in good shape  at just under 97 feet and is now hitting 70 on a regular basis. The water clarity is good and the weed growth isn't too heavy yet. Plenty of bait around and the Hex hatch is on. The biggest issue in the past week has been the wind and thunderstorms. They make sight fishing difficult at best and dangerous to be on the water at worse.

The carp are on! The Hexegenia hatch has begun and the carp are in feeding mode. This is a great time to get out there and chase one of the finest gamefish that Champlain has to offer. Sight fishing for these big bruisers is awesome! They will take a wide variety of flies from Clouser Swimming Nymphs, Hex patterns, crawfish patterns, San Juan Worms and many of the carp flies that are out there in sizes 2 through 10.

Panfish are hot hot hot! Big pumpkinseeds and bluegills are on their nests right now. Throw a 2 to 4 weight rod in your boat for some light rod fun! A 10 inch panfish on a light rod is a blast! They take small nymphs (bead heads are best in sizes 10-14), dries and poppers. Hit it up! 

Bowfin and gar are both out there and on the prowl too. Big predators that most folks don't chase but are really amazing gamefish in their own right. Gar flies around 8-9 inches will do the trick for the gar and you can't go wrong with Mr Bow-regard for bowfin. These guys love the heat of the day so don't be afraid to chase them then! Great chance to sight fish in the sun!
Smallmouth  finished up the spawn (yes, this late!).Same applies to the bucketmouths. Tons of flies work for these guys but with the heat we are having one of the most fun methods is to use a topwater fly of some kind- popper, slider or diver. That crash is a lot of fun! This works best at dawn and dusk.

Smaller pike and pickerel are in the shallows but the bigger fish have moved out to deeper weedbeds. Try a sink tip line and typical pike flies like bunny bugs, Deceivers, Clouser Half and halfs in sizes 2/0 to 6/0. Flies in the 6 to 8 inch range seem to be getting it done best right now. 

Drum are out there too and can be really tricky to coax onto the fly but when they do it is money! Keep and eye out when you are near rocky structure. They will be starting their spawn shortly so don't be surprised to see them daisy chaining. Buggers, clousers and crawfish patterns (they do like Hex patterns too!) in sizes 2-8.

I am running a Learn to Champlain Carp special right now that includes on the water instruction for $175 and includes a selection of proven carp patterns. Email me at for more details!

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