Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring Specials now Running!

Barry was please with this catch last weekend!
So the fishing has been pretty awesome lately. A lot of great fishing is happening right now and it will only get better from here! Now is the time for big trout, bass are showing up and ready to be caught, pike and pickerel are on the prowl and carp, bowfin, and gar will all be great targets in the coming month. In addition to my normal 4, 6, and 8 hour trips I am going to make two offerings exclusively during the week:

The first is the "After School/Work Special". I will meet you at a location that is within an hour's drive of Burlington to target the species of your choice between 4 and 4:30. I will guide you until dusk for $125! This is a great offer- you will get 3.5-4 hours of fishing in (almost a half day) for that price!
These guys are in town for a while! I'll get you into them!  

How would you like to learn how to cast a fly rod or become a better caster? Need to work on your roll cast or double haul? Need some help with knots? Like to do it with a friend? Well, this is another week day special- 2 people for 2 hours to learn to cast and/or tie knots for only $60! For anyone who is just getting into fly fishing this is a great way to learn inexpensively!

For more information please feel free to email me at or call me at 802-324-5651


Drew Price

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Clients on the Water!

So I have been pretty fortunate that I have already had a few bookings during such a great start to the season. Things have changed a bit with all the water we got, but adapting to changing conditions helps make a better angler!  The best part of this job is the people I get to meet and fish with and the past few clients have been some of the most fun folks to be on the water with!

I had been talking to Kenny since February. He was gung ho to get out and get into some early season trout and that "fish fever" got worse after seeing the great opening weekend I had. So we pulled it together and got out after some trout. I could tell you all about the experience, but I would rather let Kenny put it in his own words:

"After 5 days of fishing all over northeast VT with no luck I met up with Drew who took me to his super secret wild trout river. We even dressed in camo. He worked with me on some techniques and some casts. I found him to be great teacher. We spotted a rainbow feeding near shore next to us and Drew went above and beyond to make sure we hooked up with this fish. After few failed attempts we went for our lunch break where Drew was working on our tactic to go back after the fish. On our way back out I had little mishap wrecking my reel and Drew gladly let me use his Helios Ion 5wt. With in about 10 drifts we hooked into the fish we had been sight fishing for. Totally awesome!! Drew said to me "Let's go downstream to another hot spot". On about third hole hooked into my biggest brown ever and it put up great fight! Can't thank Drew enough for such a great day. For anyone looking to get out for some big fish Drew is the man.."
The smile says it all!  Glad you enjoyed yourself Kenny!

Thanks Kenny! I really appreciate it! Looking forward to the next time we get out on the water together!
Awesome Tom!

I also got out with Kurt and Tom to chase some more trout. Conditions were getting pretty tough. The water was very low and very clear. It was definitely not typical early season conditions with the usual high and cold water. Despite the tough conditions I got Tom into a nice wild rainbow. It was a gorgeous fish but unfortunately the only one landed for the trip. There were others spotted and I helped both of them with dialing in their casting and techniques. Looking forward to getting back out with both of them sometime later this season too!
20"... not bad for the first of the year!

I was out playing around a bit today and guess who I found?

Yes folks, it is that time of the year. I will be running some great specials soon so keep an eye on the blog here! Please shoot me an email to if you want more details or want to book a trip!  Lots of good fishing ahead folks and it has begun to get good!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tuesday Tip: Dead-Drifting Streamers for Big Trout

 Check out the technique article I did for the Orvis News Blog... It will give you the techniques I used to have such an awesome opening weekend!

 The fishing in Vermont is truly epic for this early in the season. I have a few open days for next week, but I do have to admit that I am booking up. Hit me up quickly if you want to get out and learn these techniques in person!  Email me at!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Opening Weekend 2012

Kicking things off right!
What a whirlwind ride! Unbelievable conditions for the opening weekend of trout season in Vermont! The water is very low for this time of year across the state and it is warm with most streams in the mid to upper 40’s. Bugs are coming off in droves; stoneflies, caddis and mayflies. Yes, you heard right, mayflies are on the surface already. I saw both Hendricksons and Blue Quills on the water.

To kick things off right I made the yearly migration to Middlebury for the Fly Fishing Film Tour with my buddy Kevin. It was pretty awesome (as always) but if I had one gripe it was that there were too many trout films. I thought last year had a better mix of saltwater and warmwater with salmonid fishing and this year there wasn’t a single warmwater film and 3 saltwater. Is this a lame gripe? I suppose it depends upon your perspective but being a warmwater/alternative species kinda guy/guide I will always advocate for my corner of the fly fishing world! Thanks to Jesse Haller of the Middlebury Mountaineer for all the hard work he does to put F3T together and congrats to the New Haven River Anglers for another successful event!
Gov. Shumlin with a happy young angler

So I was asked to guide Governor Peter Shumlin for the trout opener again this year. I feel much honored to be asked to do this and I did my best. Of course he only had a limited amount of time to fish and the fish weren’t cooperating for him. I worked with him for a while and then he started helping out my friend Shawn Good’s 5 year old son Aiden cast. Aiden was pretty psyched to meet the Gov and had a great time fishing. I even gave him a few casting lessons with the fly rod- the kid is a natural! After the Governor left I got my first fish of the open season, a decent rainbow.

I went and checked out some of my old haunts after that. Things have definitely changed since Irene blew through. Some of the pools that were awesome are now filled in significantly while others are very deep. I saw a few nice fish and cast for quite a while at a big cruising rainbow to no avail. I met up with Kurt Budliger for a bit and fished together. I know he got a few good pics of me fishing in my special new set up… I will put up some shots of that when he gets a couple to me…
Nice 15" rainbow- a chunky one!

Sunday morning got off to a great start for me. I started working streamers like I always do this time of year. Within a few minutes I felt a bump and then my line started moving upstream. A nice rainbow was on the end of it. Pretty stoked, a nice 15” wild bow never hurts first thing in the morning. That fish was caught, photographed and released. Just downstream I had another ‘bow on for a few seconds before a long distance release. Not bad, not bad…
nice hen there...

Then things got interesting. I drifted through a nice deep pocket and on the third or fourth drift I got a bump and I raised the rod. A nice brown was on the end of the line. It took me downstream I played it pretty gingerly because I had 6 lb fluoro tippet (my favorite- Orvis Mirage). It made a few nice runs and put a very nice bend in my 5 wt. I landed that 22 inch hen with a big smile on my face. Gorgeous wild brownie. No complaints for sure.

After some photos and a splashy release I went back up to the same hole. I thought, hey, why not? Could be another in there. The first drift confirmed that supposition. The line stopped and there was weight on the end of it: a significant weight at that… This was a true toad. Once again I was careful in how I played this fish. It was a dawg and I didn’t want to lose it. It bulldogged me around a bit and then I beached it in the same place I did the first fish. It was a real corker with an awesome hump on it. It taped out at 24.5”. That is the kind of fish I was looking for! It swam off with a lot of heart in it. I will be looking for it again.

A walk downstream hooked me up with another rainbow that got off and I almost stepped on another nice brown. I walked back up toward my truck. I noticed that my fly was trashed so I replaced it. As I passed that spot again I could not help but drift through it again. After about half a dozen casts I was giving the rod tip a bit of action toward the end of the drift when another brown charged up off the bottom and crashed the fly! This one wasn’t quite as big but it had a lot of heart to it. It had my reel spinning pretty hard. The fish was landed and photographed. 19” is still nothing to laugh about but I could not stop giggling. 3 big fish out of the same spot in less than an hour is any angler’s dream. To have it happen this early in the season is rather surreal.

I headed to a different spot. I had a couple of grabs at the fly but nothing significant until I got down to a nice little bend pool I know of. As the fly drifted through the pool I saw a flash and tightened my line. Sure enough there was a fish there and it immediately shot downstream. A rainbow this time and a nice one at that. It was definitely a hot fish. 19” of rainbow can definitely put a nice bow in a rod. That was my last fish of the day. I can't complain about it- 99.5" of trout in only 5 fish is pretty awesome!

The trout fishing in Vermont is pretty hot right now. I have next week mostly free (April 22 through April 29). With the weather we are having the great fishing for trout will continue and other fishing will be on too. Pike, bass, suckers, bowfin, pickerel and others will be on the menu. If anyone is interested in getting into any of these please shoot me an email to I would love to get you out to take advantage of these awesome early spring conditions!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Convergent Evolution

Long, skinny nosed, fish eating fish  North America
Convergent evolution explains why 4 different animals from different parts of the world look very similar and exhibit almost identical adaptations. Animals will evolve over time to take advantage of niches in the local ecology and if that niche is similar in widely separated places like Southeast Asia, North America and Africa, different species will evolve to use those resources. One of my favorite examples is an adaptation that both fish and reptiles have used- the long, skinny, tooth filled mouth. Longnose gar here in Eastern North America exhibit this adaptation, but so do gharial in India, houndfish in the ocean, a variety of fish species in South America and Africa. All these different species evolved to take advantage of abundant baitfish populations. The long skinny "beak" is very effective at grabbing bait so a wide variety of animals have come to look and feed similarly. Looking through the fossil record will show the same thing has happened for millions and millions of years.
Long, skinny nosed, fish eating crocodilian India

The same thing happens with fly design. We develop fly patterns to take advantage of situations that we see on the water. That is one of the greatest things about fly fishing and fly tying; when you see a need for something you just make it up. It comes as no surprise that people chasing the same species in different parts of the country will come up with extremely similar fly patterns. Was this done intentionally to steal thunder or business from someone else? Nope. I look at some of the fly patterns that I have seen for muskies, pike, or other species and see flies that I have been tying for over 15 years. There are subtle differences in how they look, the materials they use, and the artistry involved in the creation of the pattern. 

Most of the time these flies all have a common ancestor. Lefty Kreh's Deciever, Bob Clouser's Deep Minnow, and the venerable wooly bugger and muddler minnows are all flies that have been used for years as the basis of so many new and different and wonderful and fish catching new patterns. The basic form has been used and changed to adapt to a situation on the water. It should come as no shock to anyone that someone fishing for a species in the Midwest and another fishing for that same species in the East come to a similar conclusion for the design of a fly. It happens all the time. 
Whole lot of convergent evolution going on circa 2008...

Does it mean that someone was stealing a pattern from someone else? Nope. It is simply a case of convergent evolution. It has happened for billions of years in the natural world and we humans could do well to take a lesson from that. Let's all just keep evolving fun flies to tie that keep catching the fish we love to catch and when two people come up with the same pattern, we need to laugh about it and let it pass.