Mon Apr. 27, 2015…. Thursday through Saturday i did a 3 angler Guided Trip, Ted Birke, Byfield, MA, Dr. Hy Muss, Pittsboro, NC, Dr Ken Karb, Greensboro, NC, a multi day trip and we had almost all types of weather except snow. Thursday was cold, blustery with winds to 50mph, rain then cleared off and windy. Right on the backside of major flooding, so water was still high and barely fishable even by the most loosely applied standards.
Thursday was decent, maybe 20 fish or so for the afternoon, including several browns in the 20″ class. Friday we started with frost with temps in low 30s …..which felt painfully cold, and we fished Watauga gorge and it was sunny and very windy. Temps reached 60F but it sure didn’t feel like it. We caught a mix of rainbows and brookies, along with a few redeyes and even a couple smallmouth bass. We had to work for them, and ended up with probably 30 fish, and we fished hard. Water was high and still colored but fishable. And you could definitely see where the flooding had raised the water probably 12 feet above our heads where we were standing in the river.
We fished several spots/areas and even found one spot where with the flooding about 12 to 15 fish had gotten stranded in a small, isolated pool of water in the woods at least 10 feet from the edge of the river, solid proof of what I’ve often believed, that fish move to the banks during really high water or a bank on the inside of a bend as that is where the softer easier flow is. These fish had gotten in there then the water receded quickly and left them in this small 10 x 8 pool of water. Ken and I corraled a number of them, caught about 10 of them and returned them to the river.
We quit on Friday about 430pm and headed back to have dinner. Saturday we got up early, temps in the 40s and rain, some of it heavy. We had breakfast and hit the water about 9am, and by then the rain turned to light showers which we essentially over by 11am. Never rained another drop, though it was still cloudy and cool most of the day.
Water was up again and colored, but we did pretty well, netting about 50 to 60 fish total on a variety of flies but my new muddy water squirrel and fire bead soft hackle pt fly, with the squirrel fished as the lead fly (tung head) and the fire bead pattern as a dropper, was easily the best combo netting easily 75% of what we caught. We had enough other fish on to top a 100 fish day and most of those that came off were also on this combo. Been a killer setup during the last two weeks of high , stirred conditions. The several 20 inch browns of Thursday, all of them ate the fire bead soft hackle fly.
We fished til about 4pm and called it a day and everyone headed home. I stayed and scouted a few other waters in prep for this upcoming week’s trips, and in so doing caught probably 8 or so in the few places I scouted. Water is still very high, and we need a few dry days this week. Any rain of any magnitude right now will be , unfortunately, a blow out in short order as the ground is saturated.
Headed out early this morning to guide Dr Art Kriner and Dave Wiebking on a wade trip to remote Wilson Creek gamelands. Looks like the best weather day in are while.
Have a great one…..Tight lines
Jeff Wilkins FlyFishing
3703 Windspray Ct
Summerfield, NC 27358
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