Pro Tip: Secrets of Springtime Smallies

Smallmouth bass are some of the most fun fish to catch on a fly. They hit hard, fight hard, jump, and are more than willing to take a fly. Catching smallies on the fly is something that I love to do, and the springtime is my favorite time to do it.

Smallmouth bass start switching into spawn mode at about the same time as the. . .

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10 Tips for Fall Streamer Fishing

Drew Fall Brown

The author with a fine autumn brown trout that he stalked and caught on a streamer.

photo courtesy Drew Price

It’s the season to get into some really big wild brown trout. They are setting up for the spawn right now, and this is some of my favorite fishing of the entire year. If you do things right, you could land the biggest trout of your life, so here are a few things that you can do to improve your odds: . . .

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Trout Survival After the Floods

Vermont's Williams River Raging

When you see a trout stream transformed into a frightening, raging torrent—as the
Williams River was—you have to wonder how a trout could survive such power.

photo by Len Emery

My home state of Vermont was recently ravaged by flooding from the rains of Tropical Storm Irene. Tiny creeks became rushing torrents, midsize rivers hit record levels, and the state’s largest rivers flowed over parts of their floodplains that rarely see water. The devastating impacts of this flooding on the residents of the Green Mountain State have been widely broadcast, and recovery will take a great deal of time. I wondered about the impacts of this flooding on the local fisheries, so I began to research what happens to fish during floods.

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How to Fly Fish for Longnose Gar

Personal best gar

Drew Price with his personal-best longnose gar, which measured 48 inches long.

photo courtesy Drew Price

The first time I ever saw a longnose gar, I was a child visiting a public aquarium, and I was mesmerized by the fish’s unusual shape and elongated mouth. Lake Champlain has a sizable population of Lepisosteus osseus, and when I first started seeing them hanging out in shallow bays, I knew I had to figure out how to catch them on the fly. I did some research and then got to work figuring out the best way to deal with their myriad teeth and bony mouths. Now, when conditions are right, . . .

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Gar-mageddon at the Ditch Pickle Classic

Ditch Pickle Opener

Ken Capsey with one of the skinny, slimy monsters that saved his team in the Ditch Pickle Classic on Vermont’s Lake Champlain.

photo by Drew Price

For a while I didn’t think that I was going to be able to fish in the Ditch Pickle Classic. I kept hitting up buddies to fish it with me, but everyone seemed to be out for that weekend or didn’t want to fish it. A last-minute cancellation left pike-nut Ken Capsey without a partner, too, so we joined forces to hit up Lake Champlain’s first and only fly-fishing bass tournament.

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South Florida Exotics on the Fly

It had been a grueling drive from Vermont to South Florida with my friends Marty and Tim Sienkiewycz to fish with the self-proclaimed “Bonefish Whisperer,” Cordell Baum Jr. , who was waiting for us right by the road when we arrived just after noon on a Monday. Since we were raring to go, we all strung up 5- and 6-weight rods to head out for some. . .

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A Memorable Opening Weekend

The Governot of VT goes fishing

Drew Price (left) with Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin (center) and Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Pat Berry on Opening Day.
photo courtesy Drew Price


April in Vermont is always a total crapshoot when it comes to fishing. The water is high and dirty from runoff, and depending on the year, it can be pretty unpleasant to be out there. In the past, I have mostly ignored opening day for those reasons, waiting for later in the month when the players would be out and about. But for the past couple of years the weather has been much more cooperative. Water levels have been good, and we have had some pretty spectacular days for the beginning of April. This year’s opening weekend ended up as one to go into the record books for me.

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Accidental Salmon

Accidental Salmon 1

The author’s brother working a streamer deep and slow. Note how he keeps the rod tip 
low to ensure there’s no slack and he has constant contact with the fly.

 photo by Drew Price

Freezing rain. That was the initial forecast for early Saturday morning. I thought it could be the end of this early-season trip in search of a pike or two. My brother Pete and a few other friends had told me about a spot with some decent pike during the winter. I have been dying to get into a water wolf, since it has been since October since I last landed one. I know that the season is coming up quickly, but it is never too early to have a pike on the end of a fly line. My buddy Kevin was concerned about. . . 

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Fly-Fishing Vermont…in February?

DP Dam

The author fishes below a huge ice dam on Vermont’s Otter Creek.

 photo by Drew Price

I haven’t caught a fish since early December, and my nerves are starting to show it. This winter in Vermont has been long, cold, and snow-filled—not the best weather for winter fishing. I have been working a lot, tying a lot of flies, and dreaming of tossing those flies at willing fish. I want…no…need to fish. Every time I have had a free day to head out with a couple of buddies, . . .

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