Wed. May 22, 2013….Had a trip scheduled today with Jeff Chalmers of Summerfield, NC, but we rescheduled to June 27, 2013. Been very wet here, and the storms continues. Looks like a cold front moving in and some really chilly air behind it, could see frost over the weekend over some of the valleys in the mid to northern NC Mtns, SW Virginia, and East TN. We had some horrendous storms last night, and got about 4″ of rain. Just keeps coming. Here is a report I posted on our main site….
Did a trip with several of my regular clients, Dave Link, Mike McKee, and Mike Wood, Chapel Hill, NC, Durham, NC, NC Mtns, we ended up fishing two waters both of which were high and muddy…and again pulled off a good day despite the horrid conditions. Thanks to the Lord! Just proof if you know where the fish are, where they go, and how they respond to changes in conditions you can catch them. The past week is proof of that if anything. Have an opening Friday 5/24, if ever you wanted to learn a lot about high water fishing in challenging conditions and turn some of those busted trips into some opportunity now is the time…..! I met up with the guys near Warrensville, NC near Big Laurel and we headed off to fish, the water was high and murky to muddy and we rigged up with some of my ‘muddy water specials’ including my hot pink worm pattern that we smoked them on…for the third time out this week that fly caught the most fish and all the largest fish.
We did our usual fishing soft water…banks, tailouts, foam eddies, eddies, edges….water you ‘d normally stand in. Stand in that water or those places when the conditions are like they have been and you will be standing in the fish and fishing where they aren’t. We fished dead drift, twitch /pause, twitch /strip presentations and all worked, particularly the twitching. Twitching helps the fish see the fly or ‘alerts’ them to it and can make them strike. I also on purpose use an over sized indicator or Thingmabobber because the indicator on top is a static point or pivot point where the indicator bobbing up and down over the turbulent surface in effect ‘jigs’ the fly/flies for you. Its deadly. We caught two 20 inchers , two citation fish in the first 5 casts fishing a pod of fish I know on a first name basis…lol. We landed a dozen fish from that pod. Mike Wood and Dave Link scored a 20 incher in that first stretch, Mike McKee caught numbers. But it was good, we moved down to another stretch and fished again and caught several fish….one here, two there, probably another 8 or 10 fish. We also caught some stripping streamers, a tactic that works when the water is up and murky.
Water temps were in the mid to upper 50′s , lots of bugs coming off…sulphurs, yellow stones, black caddis, tons of flies but with high water no one rising to them. That’s normal. High muddy or murky water you are wasting your time fishing on top. High or murky water you are wasting your time fishing on top. High muddy or murky water you are wasting your time fishing on top. Take my word for it.
We fished on through, hit another stream, had a quick BBQ lunch by the river, then headed over to another stream. The afternoon fishing was pretty good, water temps were 61F… great for fishing ….rising quickly though in the muggy 82-84F daily highs over the past few days. Coming cool weather this weekend will help that for the better. We immediately were into some more fish, hit two spots after lunch and Mike Wood landed a 25 inch rainbow, another fish on the hot pink worm pattern….not a San Juan….hint.
We fished two or three more stretches before calling it a day and caught another 20 or so. 40 fish or more by my estimation, a mix of browns, brookies and rainbows with 3 fish over 20 inches, two of them rainbows and one a brook trout that was 20.5″. That is a banner day anywhere, anytime, under any conditions…let alone high and muddy conditions that would have kept a lot of folks home. Have been showing folks all month that packing it in and heading home when the river is high and murky or off color can be a missed opportunity. Sometimes you have to give up what you wanted that was good to get something else that is better. I mean if catching a lot of fish and several big fish appeals to you. If you can do that who cares what the river looks like…..as long as you are in the fish? I mean you will never find conditions where you can get away with making more mistakes, noise, sloppy wading, bad casting , etc., all the normal ills that spook fish …..so why not take advantage of it?
Well, needless to say, I made believers out of a few more folks that fishing high water in less than what looks like perfect conditions can be quite rewarding and sometimes you’ll do better than you could have if the river were ‘perfect’ like you like it. Attitude and perspective are everything.
Headed home to see my bride, sons, and all the other kids (doggies)….will hopefully be out again tomorrow guiding Dr. Scott and Diane Bertrand and we’ll be on the South Holston as it appears that they are finally cutting some back on the release schedule and that will permit us to do some fishing. We will be sight fishing midges to cruising browns….and I can’t wait. Have a very busy guiding schedule coming up and we are right in the thick of one of our busiest seasons…..whew!
Have a great one!
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Visit Don Kirk’s Southern Trout online here ……lots of great info in the way of articles, how to’s , etc.