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Good Nymph Fishing…..

Sat. Jan. 21, 2017  A finished report from yesterday…..had a great day with my client Ron Davis and we fished the Watauga to start and did pretty well.  Cool in the morning but mild for January, and wet…..there were lots of olives coming off with the cloudy and mild weather.

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We had a good day landing a couple doz good many browns and rainbows on nymphs. We did well nymphing with a double rig using a tung head caddis and micro caddis dropper. Caught some beautiful browns and rainbows, all wild fish.  We fished a long stretch of water and then took a lunch break, then headed over to the South Holston for some fishing in the afternoon, knowing that eventually we’d probably have rain to deal with.

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Never did get the rain, we did get into some fish…..all rainbows, and caught the first couple on dries.  After that, we caught the rest of our fish on nymphs, zebras, strippers, etc, and the last fish, a brown, we nailed on a dry.  Rain held off til we could get off the river, so all in all a great day.  The warm weather is coming to an end though, and as much as folks like it, I’m not a fan and am looking forward to a more seasonable weather pattern.

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Have a busy week coming up, a few trips, but watching the weather for sure.  Saturday’s rain was not quite as bad as called for but still plenty wet.  The main round of weather coming late Sunday night, where we could have the potential for severe weather and heavy rain.

Enjoy the weekend……Tight Lines….

Jeff

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Nice Day Before the Rain…..

Sat…Jan.21, 2017 Been a great day so far, met my client Ron Davis and we are fishing the Watauga in TN and doing pretty well. Lots of olives coming off with the cloudy and mild weather.

We have had a good day so far landing a good many browns and rainbows on nymphs. Nymphing with a double rig using a tung head caddis and micro caddis dropper. Caught some beautiful browns and rainbows.

Now over to some afternoon fishing on the South Holston…..

More to come….Tight lines….

Jeff

Jeff Wilkins FlyFishing
3703 Windspray Ct
Summerfield, NC 27358
336-944-3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

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Continued Warm, Great Nymph Fishing….

Fri. Jan. 20, 2017  Warm weather is continuing, warmer than I prefer.  Mainly because its not normal or ‘seasonable’.  I always get questions as to why I don’t like warm weather in the winter……the main reason is just that.  Its not the norm, fish like stable or ‘normal’ or steady….whatever that is.  Or at least fishing for them around here is most easily accomplished if things are steady.  If cold, stay cold…..if warm , stay warm, if wet, stay wet…you get the picture.  It is when things fluctuate wildly back and forth that things can get out of whack.  Fortunately over the years I have learned many ways of dealing with that to keep my clients and myself consistently in fish.  But ‘normal’ is good for business.

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I did another trip on Thursday 1/19 with a longtime client Larry Tomar.  We opted at Thursday in lieu of Friday due to the promise or possibility of rain.  That would prove to be a smart move, as we got heavy rain overnight (Thurs night) that would have likely affected fishing today.  I  met Larry at o’dark thirty, we met up in the dark and got back in the dark…..just like we usually do! Hey that is what serious fishing is…

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We arrived to cool but warming temps sunny skies but that quickly gave way to clouds and a mackerel sky. Things were slow to get going but the water was in great shape, a little on the high side but full, clear mostly with a hint of stain, or great nymphing conditions. Tons and tons of sz 18-20 winter stones (Allocapnia, sp.) coming off…..tons of them. TONS of them. That is why a small dark nymph works wonders pretty much everywhere right now.

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By late morning though, the “Legend’, as Tomar is know as in these parts, cranked things up and we started catching fish regularly. We hit a couple of streaks where we caught one here one there, then we’d catch several back to back….also had on a large brown (wild fish) that I would have guessed at 25” or more, probably a solid 8lb fish or more… Larry made a cast and drift along a waist deep boulder studded bank, the indicator shot under , and the fish was on. It made several runs along the bank, came to the surface and made a large alligator roll, then another, then a short burst downstream and the fish came off…..we were both crushed.

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Not too much afterward we landed a fantastic rainbow which made up for the brown coming off a little…..a little. We fished one other spot before breaking for a midafternoon lunch where we killed them. Caught a lot of fish on stones….which were coming off like crazy, plus several good fish on my cranefly mop fly. The large brown we lost I believe ate the cranefly mop….big fish love it.

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We had a quick lunch, then fished several more spots til dusk, putting an exclamation point on a great day… Warm weather was odd after how colds its been..and we saw many trees that are already covered in buds…just waiting for spring, which will get here soon enough. Looks like a few days of warm and potentially some heavy rain coming for Sunday/Monday morning and then its back to more seasonable weather and maybe some snow as well.

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Headed out on Saturday to guide a client from Winston-Salem, NC and we’ll be hitting the TN tailwaters.  Looks like cloudy with rain coming midday to late day and that to me speaks of good morning nymphing and some blue winged olives by midday or 1pm.  We will see if that is what happens.  Will be a great day with an old friend regardless….just like most of my trips.

Have a great weekend…..

Jeff

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Wet, Mild, and Springlike…..

Tues…Jan. 17, 2017  Temps near zero, nearly a foot of snow and then less than a week later 70F and sunshine…..typical of winters here in Appalachia.  At least that is how our weather can be sometimes.  Water levels are in great shape though, and snow always has a way of doing that for the water table.  In fact, many areas are at or near normal level for the first time in a long time.  A lot of our river gauges locally looked like the one below on the South Fork of the New with the solid blue line at the bottom.  This solid blue line indicates ice, or rather, that the river is frozen all the way across.  Many waters were like that before the thaw.

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Local waters have fished pretty fair as of late, and TN tailwaters have as well.  Time for the junk fly box (y2ks, squirmies, squirminators, mop flies, eggs, etc.) on NC waters, double rigs working well when you use a large fly or junk bug on top and a smaller fly (midge) as a dropper.  Low flows (spilling) on the Watauga continue where a constant 160cfs has been the flow….a great level to fish.  Midges, small bwos, and black winter stones (snowflies/willowflies) have been on the menu; if on the upper river scuds are always a good option.  On the South Holston the TVA was sluicing, a constant 200cfs, but that is often erratic and you can enjoy it while it lasts but sometimes they only do it for short periods.  Like this week.  They were back to running full bore today (Tuesday 1/17) as they are “testing a unit”….that is code for “you don’t know what release you ‘ll get til you get it”.   Fishing has been ok though, small bwos and midges, and the upper river still some post spawn browns around that you might fool on an egg pattern or junk fly.

Some videos below you might find interesting…..the first two from one of our loyal equipment suppliers, Simms Fishing Products.  The second is from our favorite rodmaker, Sage Fly Rods.  I get a ton of stuff from both of them and I enjoy using every bit of it.  They do a great job of taking care of Pro Staff & Guide Ambassadeur folks.

Sage MOD from Sage Fly Fish on Vimeo.

Client Ron Davis and I put many serious bends in his new Sage 490-4 MOD (two photos below) on a late fall float trip on the South Holston.  One great thing about the rod, incredibly light and well balanced it is and with a soft delicate tip like the LL, SLT, ZXL….feels a lot like them but with more oomph in the rear end.

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Also this 4 weight of Ron’s had a full wells front, which I had never fished on a 4 weight but liked a lot.  It was a great rod, and several nice South Holston browns and rainbows were landed on it ….fishing to rising fish….with dry flies….or as any rod should be broken in…right?20161028_144344

Local waters got another shot of rain last night, SW Va and East TN and some areas of NW NC got a good bit, up to 1.5″ in spots……

Have some musky trips, local trips, and tailwater trips coming up this week, should have a few good reports.

Tight Lines…..

Jeff

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Big Thaw, Excellent Opportunities…..

Thurs Jan 12, 2017 ….Our first post of the new year, thanks for a great 2016 even though it had several challenges including the loss of my mother, who went to be with the Lord in mid October after a long battle with a serious illness.  One new thing for 2017 is regular posting again to this blog, which I had largely put on hold with so much family stuff going on.  But it was still a great year in many respects, and some epic fishing…..never ceases to amaze me year in and year out how it seems to get better and better.  God is so good.

As many of you know, I retired the Blue Toyota Highlander in November, and I’d done so many trips in it , myself and with clients, that I probably should have had a memorial service for her….she was a great ride.  If you only knew how many great fish and fish stories and trips she was a part of.  I put 428,000 miles on it and it was still running strong, and sold it to a gentleman in Raleigh so know she can live out the rest of her days there…..of which I expect there will be many.  Team Toyota lives on though, as I replaced her with a new trophy ride, a white 4wd Toyota Tacoma tricked out with some neat stuff too…….the only way it won’t go is if you dig a hole with a bulldozer and cover her up.  rps20170112_110731

I will say though, when it comes to getting a lot of miles out of a car, regular maintenance is the obvious thing, but also we faithfully use some Lucas products …one of them being a fuel additive, and I am convinced that it accounts for dependable service.  Consistently getting 400k out of vehicles and still running great at that point is no accident.  Here it is…

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Here is an up to the minute day by day report, in case you haven’t been out.

1-2-2017 FISHING REPORT – Guided Trip, Curtis Reeves, had a 75-80 fish day with Curtis , phenomenal

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1-5-2017 FISHING REPORT – to 1-7-2017 FISHING REPORT – high water followed by bitter cold temps and heavy snow, temps in the single digits to around 0F. The type of weather we have every few years that is cold enough to freeze things over.

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Tailwater fishing like the Smith, Holston, Watauga are fine, however. We do have some fishing available in those places, so there are some fishing opportunities. Big warmup and a thaw coming……overall this snow and rain we had before it will provide for some excellent conditions and excellent fishing as well. We have openings….Let’s Go Fly Fishing!

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1-9-2017 FISHING REPORT – Frozen conditions, but improvement coming

1-10-2017 FISHING REPORT – Conditions improving, some pics from recent cold weather, which despite reports all over the place the Piedmont and Foothills got the most of the winter storm, with areas north and west getting less snow and north and east (northeast) getting a lot as well. Yes I have been out and yes things are looking good

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1-11-2017 FISHING REPORT – Some waters are fishable and in excellent condition, smaller waters clear first, larger ones last, high elevation larger waters last to thaw and clear ( Toe R drainage, South Fork New, North Fork New)…..small streams in counties Ashe, Alleghany, Watauga , Avery, Mitchell, etc., and others are fishable and conditions are better than they have been in a very long time. Water levels look great, clarity from slightly stained or green…..which is code for “fish should be easy to catch”.

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I surveyed at least 8 waters , 5 of which were what I’d say were in great condition, conditions in which I could step in with a client a catch a lot of fish. “Waiting til spring” or ” hoping for things to improve” = a lost opportunity at some of our best fishing of the year in relative solitude where I can fish for days on end and not see another angler.

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1-12-2017 FISHING REPORT – Open/Available/catching fish not a problem, have been doing this deep winter flyfishing thing for over three decades and can put you on fish…..many of my regular clients know that cold weather offers some incredible fishing …..if you doubt, let me make a believer out of you. Don’t believe me, let me prove it to you.

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Tailwater fishing has not missed a beat, in fact on the Watauga the TVA has continued ‘spilling’ a constant 160cfs which is excellent, and I’ve had several 50 to 60 fish days there with clients so far over the past month.  On the Soho, the TVA is now sluicing 200cfs and midge fishing is excellent in the am hours as well as nymphing with scuds and other patterns with some bwos in the afternoon on the upper river if you know where to look.

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In any case, our fly stock boxes are filling up from all the flies I have tied, and we are up and running strong out the gate and looking forward to a great 2017.

I’ll be on the water in the morning………. have a great one!

Til the last cast has fallen….

Jeff

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Wet, Wet, Wet, But Good Where Fishable….

Dec. 1, 2015 ….Been very busy the past few weeks, and its been wet.  Record wet in many respects.  I think mid to late December will mark the first time I have done trips that are new trips not rescheduled from previous months dating all the way back to midsummer.  Its been soggy for sure.  35 inches of rain since early September….that’s a lot.

But we’ve fished a lot, floated a lot, hit the days here and there on our smaller waters when we can.  Where we have been able to work around high water, its been good.  The only total blow outs have been on some of our private waters and lower elevation streams where the combination of high water and waters that have some mud/sand bottoms have kept things pretty stirred up.  Some great TN tailwater floats though, its been a great fall for that.  The browns are partly to mostly through their spawn on the tailwaters and small streams alike.

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December is here….where has the year gone?  A lot of our clients are aware that we post recommended flies for our area for each month of the year but many are unaware that we also have a downloadable hatch chart on our This Month’s Fly Box page of our main site.  You can go to that page every month and download/print a hatch chart for the month and fly recommendations for that month. If you’d like a printable hatch chart for December click here .  We are certainly progressing toward winter though, I am finding a lot of stoneflies in leaf clumps in the river, some of them our large Pternarcys, sp.  flies.  These are large, size 4 to 8 flies and one reason in winter I use double fly rigs with a large stone or dead squirrel or wooly bugger as the top lead fly in a two fly rig when I am nymphing. These bugs aren’t often in the drift but in cold weather , late fall through mid winter while there are still leaves in the river….that is the time they are a legitimate food item.  A high value target for sure.

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GUIDED FISHING TRIPS

We have been doing a lot of trips, small waters, DH waters, wild waters, and tailwaters.  When the water’s been up, we’ve been doing the TN tailwaters.  Had some great floats lately, and have had a good many times when we floated two stretches of water in the same day, getting in some nymphing and streamer fishing on high water early, then floating again and getting into some dry fly fishing in the afternoons and casting dry flies to rising fish….not bad for late November.  And on some of our floats we’ve been getting into some big browns floating the big water flows using deep sinking lines and large articulated flies more akin to bass and saltwater.  Here’s a recap of our recent trips…

11-16-2015 FISHING REPORT – I guided  Zachery Daniels, Boone,NC, NC mtns, met Zachery and his girlfriend Ashley , both App State students , in Boone and we were quickly off on our way. It was chilly, hi 20’sF , but quickly warmed up and turned out to be a nice day, albeit partly to mostly cloudy….which certainly helped the fishing where we were as it sometimes makes fish easier to catch. We fished a variety of nymph rigs, and I always know that cooler weather and winter is coming when both tiny flies and certain large patterns work well, often together. Like large stonefly imitations. Stones are active when our leaves are dropping and for long thereafter as they are one of the insect species that “shred’ the leaf material and use it as a food source. So, when leaves are dropping the large stones as well as certain other mayflies, caddises, etc., are moving about going from leaf clump to leaf clump and doing the work of leaf shredding. We fished these rigs on and off all day and did well, landing a good many fish and the last area we fished we sighted 6 different fish and five of them ate one of my large stones. The most effective one was an older Charles Brooks type of fly tied in the round, a very basic , crude stone , almost so much so that it offends my creative side that wants to make a great looking fly. Catches fish. Caught fish when the others failed. Also, it was a body weighted, non bead head fly…..go figure. That’s all we (I) fish any more for the most part, bead heads, right? Guess I’ll be pulling out more of those patterns again and putting them back in service. Today they saved the latter half of the day so to speak. We fished til late afternoon and called it a day, it was Zachery’s second time fly fishing and Ashley had never fly fished in the mtns before. She did very well, Zack had the large fish of the day, a fish that was in the 18 -19” range. It was a good day….

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11-19-2015 FISHING REPORT – Did a TN South Holston Float trip with fellow guide/friend/customer Tom Smith, they are pumping water allowing for a nice all day high water float……Jeff’s birthday, he’s getting to the age its time to downplay birthdays….and in fact forget how old I am. Had a great day today, Tom and I floated two sections of river and even with all the rain still did quite well. You’d have been hard pressed to find fishable water today as the high country got 3 to 5″ of rain and everything was blown out. One benefit to South Holston floats is there is rarely a time it isn’t fishable , we did the top 5 miles of river twice. We had great conditions for ripping streamers. We nymphed, streamer fished, got in on a two hour sulphur hatch in the early afternoon, then ripped more streamers til dark. It was great. Landed probably 30 fish or so is my guess. Landed over half our fish on streamers, some large 4 to 6″ long baitfish patterns, and broke off a large brown that was in the two footer class. The river was about 6″ high with some color below Hickory Tree which made for some interesting streamer fishing. Great day though, Tom was great to spend it with.

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11-20-2015 FISHING REPORT – I guided  Tim Bauer, Winston-Salem, NC, TN South Holston /Watauga Float trip, another outstanding float on the Soho, we did very well, met Tim near Pilot Mtn and we were off, putting in around 10am or so. We dinked around up near the put in for an hour or so and caught some rainbows, then moved downriver as we approached midday. We caught several more fish on nymphs and a couple on dries, and had one 18 to 20″ fish come up and try to eat a yarn indicator the size of a tennis ball. Never seen that on this river, always figured these fish were too sophisticated for that. Think again. We started to see more and more rising fish, switched to just dries, and caught a few more fish including several nice rainbows and browns, the brown, a 16″ fish, was the best of the first part of the day. We slid over to the side, in hopes the hatch would get going, had lunch, and sure enough, like so often in the past, the bugs began to pour off and soon there were fish rising everywhere. It was phenomenal, one of the best dry fly days for a while……caught a good many fish on emergers, lost a few, broke off several good ‘uns (Tennessee talk), it was great. Tim has been fly fishing for a couple years and first trip on the Soho, I think forever a hatch chasing dry fly addict he will be. We had some great fishing. TVA has been dumping extra water, like 150cfs on top of normal generation, so we made the run downstream through the closed spawning area and resumed fishing below Hickory Tree. With the extra water, we also get a short ‘whitewater’ run as at present flows a couple of the rapids morph into some class III’s…….great fun and get a little wet too. But it was great. We resumed fishing below Hickory rapids and found some more risers, had one large pod of risers that were feeding like crazy. Nailed two from that bunch, and had one large fish that ate the bug and broke off. Im guessing of the 20in variety, quite a catch on a dry in high water. We fished a few more spots and thought it a good idea to run the other rapids before it got too dark. We floated on out and found two more risers to cast to but they did not take. But great day, caught a lot of fish……great weather, Tim was great to spend the day with. I have two open dates coming up Nov 23 and 24 and it is probably going to be outstanding. If you want to get in on some great fishing high water floating on the Soho, it is fantastic and right now is the time…..with some streamer fishing for bigs an option too. Brown trout spawn is in full swing. If you see redds be careful !!!!!! not to walk on them and we recommend leaving spawning fish alone. Plenty of other fish to harass, not all of them spawn at exactly the same time.

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11-25-2015 FISHING REPORT – I guided  Dr Jim Kramer, Greensboro, NC, TN tailwater float trip, did two floats on the South Holston, had great streamer action right from the start, in fact its the only way we fished the first half of the day, ripping a bunch of nice browns on big articulated streamer patterns fished on a heavy sink tip line. We used a variety of streamers but the two best were one of my articulated 6 inch Olive and white streamers, and Kelly Galloup’s Barely Legal in White…..I didn’t keep count but we put a bunch of fish in the boat (two dozen?)…..and really good ones up to 20 inches.

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Had several beasts follow to the boat as well….25 to 30 inch fish. We did the first float and then took out and headed upstream and did it again. The second float we got into some good dry fly fishing, and an excellent sulphur hatch which brought many fish to the surface. We did well, landing several nice fish on dries before we switched back to streamers for the second half of our second float. We landed a 22″ brown near the end of our float, plus a number of 14 to 16″ browns. We only caught one rainbow all day long. We fished til dusk and floated our way to take out. An epic streamer day for sure with a nice sulphur hatch and dry fly fishing to boot….hard to beat.

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11-27-2015 FISHING REPORT – I guided  Craig & Graham Endean, Clemmons,, NC, NC Mtns, met Craig and his son Graham bright and early and we were off and on our way. We fished two waters, started off with nymph rigs….double nymph rigs….and were into fish right away. They were working so well we fished them hard and never looked back.

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The water was still up the four waters we drove by, and the two that we fished. The water is still up from recent rains but that makes for excellent nymphing as we were doing. Craig and Graham were first time anglers, and they put 45 to 50 in the net today, a number of which were in the 17 to 19″ category and several of which were wild 16 to 18″ browns. It was great…..the fishing, I’d say, was lights out. We fished til a little after 4pm and called it a day.

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11-28-2015 FISHING REPORT – I again guided Dr Jim Kramer, Greensboro, NC, NC Mtns, the first of several trips with Jim lately, fished the big water today, water still up where we fished a little farther away Western NC, but we had an excellent day. We tossed around the idea of floating and ripping streamers again for larger fish on the Soho, but they cut way back on the generation/releases which eliminated that opportunity. But we went to plan B, and for a plan B, maybe it should have been a plan A. It was great.

Water was high, high enough to make for some touch and go /sketchy wading, but we had great fishing fishing some new ‘anchor’ rigs I’ve been using, ‘yarn n anchor ‘ is what I call them, and we did quite well. We fished nymphs all day, and while the urge to chuck some big ugly streamers passed through, we stuck with what was working which proved to be a good move. I lost count of the fish we caught, a mix of browns and rainbows, with a couple bigs (20 inchers) thrown in and a few bigs that we had on that jumped and threw the flies. It was a little work wading in thigh to waist deep fast water most of the day but in the end it paid off. Used a few new concoctions , a ‘Dead Squirrel Mini’ with a tunghead and tied on a jig hook, it was murderous on them. Like the above, I don’t know how many fish we caught, but in my thoughts and Jim’s words…..”close to 100.” I’d agree. It was excellent.

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11-30-2015 FISHING REPORT – I guided Ted Linczak, Summerville, SC, TN South Holston float, heavy rains overnight messed up several parts of the river, lots of tribs coming into the main river were rolling with mud and discolored the river. We floated a short stretch for a little while, and had one strike on a streamer but that was it. We then moved upriver and floated a 6.5 mile stretch. Chilly, rainy, breezy…that was the mantra for today, and lots of dirty water dumping into the river. From the upper boat ramp at the grates downstream the water was significantly colored. Normally great nymphing and streamer fishing, but not nymphing if high water……we only saw a couple of risers, so we nymphed several runs I knew would hold fish.

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We stuck two good rainbows that came off, got a few streamer bites, but settled into one of my favorite runs above a midriver island and finally got into some fish on nymphs using a Y2K /zebra midge combo…..we caught fish on both. We caught a couple, moved downriver, and repeated that. We ended up catching 5 rainbows all together on a stretch that has been producing numbers of fish. My guess the conditions put them off. It will recover once things settle down. We fished our way downriver chucking streamers, has tons of follows and short strikes, and had one really nice brown on, but it came off.

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Ended up landing 3 browns total ripping a big articulated olive/grizzly streamer. With water conditions and weather was it was I feel fortunate to have landed fish at all, it was definitely off for sure, but glad we caught 8 fish….and feel darn lucky to have caught those. Ted was great to spend the day with always. 20151130_142148

Have a 2 day trip coming up that starts tonight/tomorrow with my client from Monday Ted Linczak and 4 clients from Pennsylvania, Ken Okorn, Chet Hagenbarth, Don Albright, and Bob Moyer.  Looks like we could be in for some heavy rain late today, tonight and tomorrow.  Will have to play it by ear as far as conditions.  We will be on the South Holston and while they are projecting a limited release due to expected flooding conditions for Thursday they are showing wide open generation.  Some good floating days coming if they do this.

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Looks like a wet week, it will be interesting to see how all the other waters react to even more rain.  I’ve been in Abingdon, VA and spent Monday evening there and am scouting this morning to see what other waters look like with more trips coming after this one.  Could be a few days of no fishing but we’ll see.  We get inquiries on spawning browns on the SoHo……there are places on the river with some spawners that are not in closed fishing areas………we do not target spawners but instead think it best to leave them alone to provide us with more of the great browns we love so much.  Plenty of other places on the river to fish.

Christmas season is upon us, our new shopping cart site is up and going and can be viewed here.  As always, we offer Gift Certificates that can be redeemed for trips, instruction, and custom products.

Tight Lines…!

Jeff

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Chilly…….Great Fishing…..I See A Pattern Here….

Tues. Oct 20, 2015…….  Had some great days so far this month, and I must say the cooler weather has done wonders for the fishing, at least our trout waters….smallies ….?  Not so much.  In fact, smallie fishing is winding down and soon we’ll be doing mainly trout and the occasional musky trip.  Winter largemouths too on local waters……Just ripe with opportunity if you live in our area.  Had some great trips the past few weeks, and this week has started off with a bang.

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I guided a second day of flyfishing for two clients from Greensboro, Dr Steve Klein and his wife Marie.  We had a great time, great fishing, great fellowship, and a great shore lunch of turkey basil chili and southern cornbread, along with some kiwi and strawberries, and topped off with a bourbon pecan square for dessert…..great stuff for fall for sure.  And the fishing, well, shall we say….was absolutely terrific.  Here’s a recap of our trip on Monday…

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Marie, Steve, and I  met bright and early near the river and had coffee, then we were off to the water to fish and quickly suited up and were on the water mid morning.  It was chilly, low to mid 20sF and heavy frost.  Several cold nights have plummeted water temps into the mid 40s, warming to near 50F by afternoon….and the fish have been quite active and we’ve done very well.  Had a great day and caught fish on a variety of patterns.  The water has returned to pre-flooding lows where we were fishing, a real surprise to me given the such incredibly high water conditions of a week and a half ago.  Pretty amazing it could get that way so quickly.  But it is what it is and the fish are eating.

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Just pulled a page from my tailwater tactics and flies playbook and we fished light , long, and small.  Worked like a charm.  Challenging fish became willing fish and before long we’d tallied more than 40 fish and several that were citation sized.  Some incredibly fine rainbows, and a couple of wild browns, one that was 18″.  Had a shot at a brown that was in the 26 to 28″ class but could not entice him to eat.  I’ll be back for him though……and I’ll get him to eat.   A great day, I’d say Steve and Marie got a great start at this sport tallying about 60 fish in two days of fishing after never having fly fished before.  Pretty good I’d say…..had a great time and they were great to spend it with.

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Great two days with Steve and Marie and while chilly we couldn’t have asked for finer weather.  Just like Montana and Wyoming weather, sans the leaves.  But they too will be done soon, and most of the higher elevation waters are seeing  big relief in terms of fewer and fewer leaves as the month wears on.  Leaf peak is right now on areas to our immediate west, southwest, and south….and it too will be over soon.

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Busy week ahead…..more reports will be forthcoming.  Enjoy your week.

Tight Lines…

Jeff

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Chilly with Lots of Leaves….

Sun.  Oct 18, 2015….A chilly weekend for sure, we had a chilly day yesterday as a Canadian airmass arrived late Friday.  Night time lows in the 20sF made for some crisp weather.  Had another pretty good day Saturday as well, a good end to a great week.

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On Saturday I guided a trip w/ Dr Steve Klein and his wife Marie, Greensboro, NC, NC Mtns, chilly start as I mentioned, met up with Steve and Marie early and we were off on our way.  It was cold and a very heavy frost, first of the year, lie on the ground and in many cases heavy enough on grassy areas to look like a dusting of snow.  High 20sF were the lows, it was chilly to start but warmed up nicely by late morning and turned into a nice day.

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Some gusty winds the first part of the day made for difficult fishing as a major leaf drop, hopefully the last one for this area, occurred.  So many leaves in the water that for long periods it was almost impossible to fish without snagging them.  And it turns the fish off for brief periods as well.  It subsided though and we were able to get into some fish, Steve and Marie were out for their first time fly fishing and it was a success.

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We landed a good many rainbows and had an enjoyable time, and finished up early afternoon.  I went to another area afterward and found a few myself, trying out some new patterns as I have had /been running so many trips Ive had no time like that in a very long time.  That is how I develop patterns I fish with….so its valuable time.

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The next issue of Southern Culture on the Fly is now out/available.  A great local publication with a good bit of info and articles on our area, which is kind of nice for a change.  Click here or logo below to view the latest issue….

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Have another busy week this week, beginning with a second day of fishing with Dr Steve and Marie Klein, we’ll be fishing an NC water and I expect a great day.  Will be looking forward to that plus the rest of the week which will have several trips and lessons as well.  Leaf peak is right now in alot of places, with some areas above 3000ft past peak now and areas under 3000ft peaking in the coming two weeks.  Have a great week…

Tight Lines…

Jeff

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Great Friday…..Superb Fishing…..

Sat. Oct 17, 2015…..Great weather great fishing……I see a pattern here. Guided Trip, Johan & Marcus Aspegren, Oak Ridge, NC, NC Mtns, on Friday and met up early with Marcus and Johan, we fished two stretches of water and did very well, fishing early was great, it was chilly, temps in the low 40s and you could see your breath so it was quite crisp.

The gray, low sky was perfect and the fish definitely have the feedbags on. We did really well the first half of the day, and especially while it was cloudy and drizzly, when a cold front was making its way into the mtns. We netted about 40 or so browns and rainbows by lunchtime.

The sun eventually came out, warming things up ten to fifteen degrees or so…..we caught more fish but I’d say probably 10 or so, ending with about a 50 fish outing. Certainly made believers out of the guys in the gift of cold and cloudy conditions……the fish were much easier to catch. We fished til late afternoon and called it a day. You could really feel the chill of this cold front coming in, it was chilly and blustery with stiff NW winds up to 25mph.

Highs Sat are supposed to be upper 40sF and lows the next several nights in the 20sF. That will really turn the fish on.

Will be guiding Steve and Marie Klein today and should be a good day. Chilly yes, but it’s fall it’s the mountains and that’s normal.

Have a great Saturday. …

Jeff

Jeff Wilkins FlyFishing
3703 Windspray Ct
Summerfield, NC 27358
336-944-3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

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Awesome Past Week…..More to Come

Fri. October 16, 2015….Hard to believe the month is half over, its blown by.  As busy as I have been all year and its been great….fishing has been superb.  A lot of up at 4am, out at daybreak, in at dark, repack, do it again type of thing.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Fishing has been outstanding and we’ve had some great days the past week and a half……here’s a quick update….

10-10-2015 FISHING REPORT – Guided Trip, Dave & Marianne Link, Raleigh, NC, NC Mtns, met Dave and Marianne early in the NC Mtns and we were off to where we were going to fish for the day. Water levels still up, but much improved over the past several weeks. Fall is here, and the fish are definitely feeding up with winter coming…..and it was on from the first cast. The water was about 6 inches higher than normal, which made for zero dry fly fishing but the nymph and streamer fishing, as it will usually be in high water, was lights out…..as good as it gets. Dave is an experienced angler and we’ve done many trips in the past, but this was Marianne’s first fly fishing trip. She landed about 15 fish, a mix of rainbows and browns……it was great. All of our fish came on double streamer rigs and double nymph rigs rigged right angle style. Great day though we fished in all day rain….. the kind of day I’d choose if I am fishing…..which helped us have an over 50 fish day , way beyond it in fact, lost count…… realistically more in the 70 to 75 range. In any case it was great. We finished up about an hour before dark and called it a day.   Sorry for the blur below……all day rain will do that to the outer surface of a camera lens….

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10-12 through 10-14-2015 FISHING REPORT – Guided Trip, Our Annual SOHO Fall Group Trip, 5 Anglers , Kim Arthurs , Brian Arthurs, Wilmington, Delaware, Bob Schwirke , Fayetteville, NC, and Ted Linczak, Summerville, SC, TN South Holston

Day One…we got up really early as fishing has been lights out early on where I took the guys, we had a fair morning landing about 15 fish before the water came up on us at 9am. We were in the river at daybreak, and it was alive with activity. Several nice fish, including a SOHO 20/20, which is a 20″ plus fish on a size 2o or smaller fly, it was a large rainbow landed by Kim Arthurs. Our plan was to fish til water came up, then ride down stream and hit one more spot, then heading off to an NC water to fish the rest of the day. We caught our morning fish on midges. We were done on the Soho by 11am and we ran back by the house, picked up lunch, and were on our way. We fished the afternoon and landed about 35 fish, all rainbows. We called it a day about 6pm and then headed back to the house for a nice dinner.

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Day Two…..We had very chilly temps, 30sF and you could see your breath. It was cold and fishing was hot, we were in the water at daybreak and were into fish right away. We used a variety of nymphs and midges and a few assorted dries and caught fish on all of them. Not as many risers early, not as many as yesterday, but still fish were very active. All sorts of rigs worked, from two nymph rigs to dry /droppers to dries. It was incredible, Im guessing the guys landed somewhere north of 80 fish before the water came up at around 1pm. We then had lunch , moved downriver, and fished a couple more spots, catching a few on nymphs before the water came up on us and we called it a day about 330pm. It was a great two days, great fishing for sure, and the guys were fantastic.

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10-15-2015 FISHING REPORT – Guided Trip, John Keller, Stokesdale, NC, NC Mtns, met John and his Dad bright and early and we were off. We fished on the NC side of the mtns and had some great fishing, it was very chilly early, definitely fall like for sure. High 30s to start and warmed to around 65F -68F in the afternoon. Just like weather out west. It was great. Fishing was great too. We caught fish just about everyway you can…..nymphs, streamers, double nymph rigs…..it was all good. I didn’t keep count but if we didn’t top 100 fish today I’d be really surprised. Caught a good mix of rainbows and browns, some very nice rainbows in particular. We fished two different stretches of water and had great fishing on both. Water flows were excellent, about as good as it gets or as close to perfect as it can be for October. All that bad weather in the past weeks was a blessing in disguise.

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Have a great weekend……headed out the door as soon as the last keystroke of this report is typed.  Have a trip today with Johan and Marcus Aspergen and we are fishing NC mtns today, tomorrow I end the week with a trip with Steve and Marie Klein.  Expecting a great end to the week, and looks like some chilly weather coming…..our first frost.  BRRRRRR……..I couldn’t be happier.

Tight Lines….

Jeff

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