Where Fly Fishing is a Professional Passion…..


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.


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…


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.


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.


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.


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

Tight Lines…


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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.


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.


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.


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.


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….


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…


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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 Wilkins FlyFishing
3703 Windspray Ct
Summerfield, NC 27358

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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….

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.


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.


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.


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….


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fin piece

Rough Start to Month Now Creating Some Banner Days…

Sun. Oct 11, 2015…..What started early last week as torrential rain and incredible flooding ended with several great days, including three days that included some of the best small stream fishing of all year, one day of some of the best Delayed harvest stream fishing of the whole year, and one of the top 5 days on the Soho of the entire year.  So yeah, its been a great recovery from all the bad weather.  Had an interesting week with the weather issues, one of which was a large tree falling on our house, one thing we are still dealing with as far as extensive repairs.  But when I see what is going on in SC, we have it way better than those folks.  Our prayers are with them.

Screenshot_2015-10-03-12-43-16-1 (1)

Here’s a recap of our most recent fishing this week…..

On 10-8-2015, Thursday, I did a guided trip with Larry Pritchett and Tom Goldston, High Point, NC, Tom Currin, Atlanta, GA,  on the TN South Holston, we fished the South Holston and one NC water and caught about 80 or so on the South Holston, then about a dozen on the NC water that we fished. The SoHo was fantastic, we fished a variety of stuff wet and dry and did very well catching fish on a variety of flies. The theme was definitely SMALL….lots of blue winged olives and midges on the water, creating the need for some 18-22 flies for sure….saw a few sulphurs but not as many with the midday release coming.


To do what we did in a little over a half day of fishing and several ( I think 5 of them) 20″ plus rainbows to boot, the best one being a 22 incher, I’d say it was a great day. We fished til the water came up, then we decided to take a quick lunch break, and then we headed downriver.


By the time we finished lunch it was 2pm, so we decided to head to the NC side for some fishing since the water was an hour away from coming up anyway where we were. We did fair where we fished, not as well as I would have expected, but the water was still up and we still landed about a dozen fish, which is a good afternoon by some standards. We’ll take it! In any case it was a great day by any standard. Weather was phenomenal, the fellowship was the same, and the catching…..well it was that too.

On Friday I did a hike in backcountry group Trip with  Brad Ball, Stephen Starnes, and Steve Lucy, we did a hike in water in the upper Nolichucky (TN) drainage and also a Madison Co NC water…..  Its incredible the variation in NC, TN, and VA during the past weeks’ flooding.  TN was mostly spared, VA had some high water, incredibly so in some parts, surprisingly little in others, and NC had a lot of variability as well.  Some NC waters are in great shape, some are still high, some are fishing well, some are totally blown out.  Not the water we fished on Friday though…..it was ideal.


We landed between 50 and 60 wild fish on dries……water levels there were perfect, much improved area wide….dry fly fishing was fantastic, in fact a nymph was never tied on…..stimulators, caddis, parachute hare’s ear….all produced numbers of fish. All rainbows, all WILD, truly special. A great hike as well, and some beautiful scenery.


Its really amazing though how fast high elevation waters clear out after a hard rain and lots of rain.  Water levels were great, and about as absolutely perfect for high terrain small water as you could ever have.  That is probably why we did so well.  Great water, great fishing though, I imagine that is a theme I’ll be talking a lot of in the coming weeks.  Its Fall and we have water….what a blessing that is.  We have available every month a Printable and Free Fly Hatch Chart ….  Click here to view or download an October hatch chart.

On 10-10-2015 I guided  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.


Great end to the week though, and starting the process of making up a lot of cancelled /rescheduled trips with clients…..have had more of that the last two months than I can remember in decades.  One reason my availability of days is limited ……I’m urging clients I have a good many Nov and Dec dates still open but they won’t be for long.  I’ll probably blow through November’s availability in the coming days so anyone wanting to do a trip before Christmas its not too early to nail a date down.  Fishing should be great, and of course, we guide/fish all winter long so we don’t have ‘an off season’ , a ‘slow down’, a ‘slow time’, or a time when we are ‘less busy’.


Have trips all week, starting with a three day SoHo trip Mon thru Wednesday with one client from Fayetteville, one from SC, and three from Delaware.  Mid week I have a couple small stream trips , and another small stream trip on Saturday.  Busy week, its the busy season, and look forward to some great days.


NC Wildlife Commission has put out a revised DH stocking schedule that covers stocking schedule for waters they were unable to stock this week due to high water and flood conditions.  They will often do this when conditions make it likely that large numbers of stocked fish would be lost because of high water.  Most places fared quite well, and while they stocked some on 10/1 before the high water it appears that the fish on most waters that we stocked pre flooding did quite well.  Click here to view a revised schedule.

The NC Wildlife has created another public fishing area on the South Fork New in Watauga Co wherein anglers can access an area that has opportunities for wild brown trout, smallmouth bass, rock bass, redeyes…..click here .  Also, the NC Wildlife stocked a new water at Hanging Rock State Park, the 12 acre lake there with 1200 catchable sized rainbows.  For more info on this new trout water click here .


Have a blessed week, will be posting more reports all week…


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fin piece

Chilly , Fall is Here…..

Tues. Sept. 22, 2015 –  Yesterday was so fall like, added an extra layer in the morning…..enjoying the heck out of some new SIMMS stuff….the Fall run jacket is incredible.  Felt really good this morning too, it was in the upper 50s when we put in and breezy.  A cool day, and with the ridges around the river showing color, I’d say for the most part that fall has arrived.

On Tuesday I did a float trip with Gloria & Ken Okorn, Mechanicsburg, PA, a New R Va Smallmouth float, Ken is also a guide in PA and has become one of my best clients and friends.  His knowledge is vast….I learn much from him when I get to spend some time with him.  We put in early and floated a 7 mile (approx) stretch of river and while it was slow to get going we caught a few early, one here, one there, just enough to keep it interesting.

Gloria nailed a good fish just above the first major set of rapids, in the tailout where smallmouths so often love to hold.  We fished through, saw a huge musky and took a few shots at him but he didn’t stick around after showing a slight bit of interest.   Gone.  I have seen that fish (reasonably sure its the same fish) for months now when occasionally float this longer stretch of water.  A rematch vs him will occur I assure you.


We fished our way downriver, caught a nice fish or too on a popper, then moved past some more rapids where I thought we’d do well.  It was chilly, windy (temps in high 50s to start, struggling to make 60 by afternoon, a real change) and it wasn’t till half way through the float where things started to pick up.  We did well in one spot, a deep ledge/channel and nailed many fish there.  We went from 10 fish or so to about three dozen in short order.


Our last stretch was good, we caught maybe fifteen more and several the best fish of the day, and lost a couple of really nice fish that came off just before reaching the boat.  We didn’t catch any pigs today, but several up to 14″ or so and maybe between 40 and 50 total I guess so a good day.  Always a pleasure to spend the day with Gloria and Ken.


Have a busy weeks end with several guided trips, and then next week we will be making ready for a busy fall schedule as our local NC waters/delayed harvest waters will be stocked for the first time.  Many have voiced the concern that low water might present a problem for stocking but if that is the case we’ll be right in the know on it and will be fishing regardless.  Its cooled off a lot, and we have had some rain and are expecting more in the coming days so all looks good.


Here’s one of our past clips re- living September ……such a great time to target these brown bass…….they are incredible and I love them as much as my brown trout….


Have a great one…..good fishing…!


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New River smallmouth appetizer……..a large black swampfly (dragon fly or Anisoptera)….that visited us and hung out for a spell on my left driftboat oar…..  Jeff Wilkins photo Sept 2015

Cooler Weather…….Fishing is Great….

Mon. Sept. 21, 2015 – We had a string of some of the most gorgeous days that we’ve had all year.  Fortunately, I was able to be out on the water with clients getting into some great fishing.  Small fly season is upon us, and I would especially second that if you are fishing tailwaters…..better have lots of midges, blue winged olives ……that fishing is here.  I was out this past Saturday with a good client whom I get out with a lot, Dr Ken Karb.  Ken and his two sons, Dan and Ben, and two of their friends Kevin and John met us on the river and we enjoyed a great day on the South Holston.

We got a really early start with the expectation of it being a Saturday and nice weather and great fishing maybe there would be a few people to contend with. My plan was to be there first where I knew we would have a shot at good fishing and we were there first. And we were able to fish a long stretch of water and have it pretty much all to ourselves. We got in and there were rising fish pretty much from the time we started.   Our release schedule would be a one hour pulse midday with generation coming midafternoon. Our plan was to fish til rising water and call it a day. We caught fish early on terrestrials and new midge patterns of various kinds (top secret), and we also caught a good many fish on dries.


Sept is transition time on the SoHo, and with flows, temps, recent warm weather we are still in that. What does that mean? Sulphurs, good some days , spotty others, a few blue wings here and there, midges galore, and still the occasional fish eating a terrestrial here and there. Lots of fish, lots of sight fishing opportunities….we did really well. Ken and his son Ben were tops with over 20-25 fish landed each, everybody caught double digits, so I’d say we had a really good day. I’d say 75 plus but just a rough guess. In any terms, very good. We caught a lot of fish on new patterns (always working on those….I always keep a few in the background, stuff I don’t sell and ones that have to work when it gets tough).


We caught fish on pretty much everything. Until we get some chilly weather this will be the Soho song for a while. But cooler temps definitely have fish moving. Big fish……saw several double digit fish cruising (double digit meaning 10lbs or more)those are in a prespawn movement pattern, they will spawn come late Nov to Dec depending on weather ……super spooky , you aren’t going to nail one of those on a bright sunny bluebird day on low water like we had……need a nasty, yucky day to do that. In any case though, we had an outstanding day.


Busy week coming up with several trips, both wade and float, and cooler temps and some rain should only make good better.  The cooler weather has definitely brought out some flies, notably blue winged olives….a normal fall thing,  Caddis will follow on some waters, lots of them, and also craneflies.  The terrestrial bite will get one last hurrah before its over too, lasting well into and past our first frosts.  So these are good flies to have.  Sulphurs, while still hanging on a little day to day on some of the TN tailwaters, like the SoHo and the Clinch, will be going away soon as well…..at least in the sense of there being any ‘hatch’ in comparison to the magnitude of what occurs in summer months.


Tommorrow we’ll be doing a float trip with Ken and Gloria Okorn , Mechanicsburg, PA, and we will be floating the New River in Virginia and doing some smallmouth and musky fishing.  Should be a great day……rain, gray, and wet.  Perfect if you ask me.

Have a great one!


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Fallie Smallie…….

Thurs. Sept. 17, 2015 – Feels great outside, what glorious weather we’ve been having.  A busy week, did another trip yesterday with Larry Tomar, Frank Kincaid, Greensboro, NC, New R smallmouth float trip, we did a 7 mile all day float morning til dark……did ok and caught fish on both flies and light tackle. The Shenk’s Minnow patterns I’ve been using have worked well and continue to do so, we caught a few on crayfish patterns too.


First half of the float we had numerous sight fishing opportunities, and caught some pretty good ones and saw some too, along with several huge musky….we didn’t fish for muskies but will be soon as the cooler fall temps have them definitely on the move. We saw probably 4 or 5 of them in the upper half of our float. We fished topwater too and caught a few fish that way as well, particularly late in the day.


Flows are really low and the water is ultra clear, about as clear as you will ever see on the New R…….with no significant rain in the forecast that is likely to continue. We hope to be able to eek out the remaining smallmouth floats we have on the calendar and then hope for some rain. We need RAIN!!!!!!! Great day, great weather day, guess we caught between 40 and 50 I’d say…..Frank and Larry were a blast to spend the day with.  Looks like fall……feels like fall……and it will be here soon!

Here is a graphic on the upcoming leaf season/fall foilage report.  This was put together by the Dept of Biology at Appalachian State.  You can check out the details here and get the full scoop.


Have a busy week’s end coming will be doing a guided trip with Dan, Ben, and Ken Karb tommorrow on TN’s South Holston river.  Looks to be a great weather day.  Sulphurs still here and there, fall Olives are building, and there’s still some great midge fishing and fishing to bank sippers with terrestrials.  We plan to be right in the middle of that tommorrow.  And looks like some rain coming too for Sunday through Tuesday….we need it.  Any amount, we’ll take it.  And hope for more!

Good Fishing to You…


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Feels Like Fall………

Wed. Sept. 16, 2015 …..With the cooler temps and nights I’d definitely say we’ve taken a huge step toward fall.  Its Wyoming and Montana weather at its finest….nippy in the morning requiring a jacket but by late morning you are peeling off the stuff….and by afternoon you are fishing in a shirt or short sleeves and enjoying temps in the upper 70s and almost no humidity.  The humidity has been virtually non-existent…..its been great.

I’ve had a busy week so far, taking care of a lot of stuff in prep for our busy fall and winter seasons, but I did a guided trip with a regular client of mine, Ted Linczak, of Summerville, SC.  We did a New R Smallmouth float trip, we put in and it was chilly…..brrrrrr…..fall is in the air.  Lows in the low to mid 40s will wake you up for sure.  We were in the water around 930am or so and while it was not as easy fishing as past trips we started down a favorite bank and were into fish, in fact, the fishing to start would prove to be the easiest fishing of our day.  We caught fish pretty regularly, including a few good ones, all of them on a Shenk’s White streamer, a favorite late summer /fall streamer that works on bass and trout alike.  Its tantalizing wobble drives them nuts, I guess.  We caught maybe a dozen or so in the first spot, saw two smallmouth that were well over 20″ but they would not eat.  We also saw some musky……that gets the heart beating pretty good for sure.


We fished some areas of grass too and while we saw fish we didn’t catch any in the grass like we had on previous trips.  The fish were very spooky for sure.  Saw a few more large ones but they were quite spooky and would not eat.  We blew through some of the rapids and went on to slower /deeper water where we were on more fish.  We would catch one here, one there, get a couple of hits, and so on.  We caught fish but we really worked hard for them.  We hit a couple of stretches where we got a few topwater bites, and ended up catching several fish on top, including probably the best one of the day, toward the end of the float.  I guess we boated maybe three dozen total, including a couple redeyes and redbreast.   Great day , always is with Ted, we had a good time, enjoyed the weather too.  What  a nice day……and the leaves are really beginning to turn as well……it will be Fall before we know it.

Had a busy Wednesday finishing up some of our extensive web site maintenance as well as some of the rebuild of our shopping cart.  Very tedious, but its coming along great.  I’ll be doing a Thursday float trip with Larry Tomar and Dr Frank Kincaid.  Looks like we’ll have a near perfect weather day and hopefully some great fishing to go along with it.  I’ll round out the week with a TN trip to the South Holston with Dan and Ben Karb, and their dad Ken.

Have a great evening!


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Busy Summer….Fall Almost Here?

Fri. Sept 11, 2015 – This report has been a long time coming………months in fact.  Just coming off the busiest summer I have yet known, and its been great.  Shared or made more memories with long time clients, plus met a few new ones along the way.  We have had an awesome summer……from  great terrestrial fishing (epic at times), to a ton of float trips with epic hatches and dry fly fishing, and some of the best smallmouth action we’ve ever enjoyed.   I have done a lot of wading with clients, but my rear end has some weeks assumed the shape of a rower’s seat as I have spent hundreds of hours this summer behind the oars……its been great.   We topped it off with another great Wyoming trip, and have been putting the finishing touches on late summer with some continued terrestrial action, numerous South Holston and Watauga floats, and tons of smallmouth floats.

I apologize for not being on the spot with timely reports but only so much that I can do…..have put in a lot of 15 hr plus days this summer.  Just not enough time……up really early, load the vehicle and the boat, guide/fish all day, prepare for the next day….repeat.  Many weeks of back to back to back to back to back…..5 to 6 days straight, all summer long.

And Fall looks to be just as busy…..if you are looking to do a trip before 2016 now is the time to book, my bookings are up 20% and our Sept , Oct, and Nov will soon be taken.  In case you haven’t looked at our site, here is a recap since Wyoming on our trips….

Wyoming 2015 

8-11-2015 FISHING REPORT – Wow….. we had some great dry fly fishing so far, fishing several of my fave high meadow waters and larger waters fishing well too. Had some great dry fy fishing, including one nice cutt last night about an hour before dark that ate one of our size 12 Rubberleg Stimis….one of my favorite cutthroat patterns and one I am never here without. Here are a couple of pics…..after today we’ll be off the grid many , many miles by horseback into the high mountain wilderness in Bridger Teton National forest. I am awaiting arrival of our group and will be picking them up this afternoon at Jackson Airport.


8-13-2015 through 8-20-2015 FISHING REPORT – We made the 6.5 mile trek into the high country where we made camp on the headwaters of the Buffalo overlooking a high meadow with the Soda Fork in the foreground and Old Smoketop in the background. The weather was lows in the 20s at night highs in the 70s in the day. We enjoyed great fellowship, fishing , some great fireside stuff as well. We fished three different waters , well four so far, including several small to medium streams and one high elevation lake called Divide Lake. We have had good streamer fishing and dry fly fishing, but the best fish have been on all dries. 90 % of the fish caught were on dries. We caught some truly amazing cutthroats and brookies, some of the cutts were the largest to date on any of my Wyoming trips. We trekked out of the high country on horseback, back to the trailhead, and then through Jackson and down to the Blackpowder Ranch for the rest of our trip. We finished the day catching some cutts on the Hoback. We will be fishing the Wind River on Thursday and several smaller creeks on Friday……




8-21-2015 FISHING REPORT – we are completing our final day of the trip today and fishing three headwater streams of the Hoback, some of it on private land/water where we are staying. Yesterday (8/20) we fished two long sections of the Wind R near DuBois and did pretty well, scoring some nice rainbows and browns with a few whitefish thrown in. We caught fish on streamers, nymphing, and dry fly fishing so it was a mixed bag. We finished up and headed over Togwotee Pass and back to Jackson where we topped off a great day with dinner at the Bird, a well known local hangout that serves the finest burgers in the area……


Great trip , great bunch of guys, we caught some great fish, shared some great fellowship and laughs, ate some incredible meals together…..a real blast…..they were great. On this year’s trip Dr Pat Burney, Dr Hy Muss, Ted Birke, Dr Ken Karb, Shaun Redgate, Dr Houston Kimbrough. Thanks guys! Already taking reservations for 2016’s trips……..You need to join me for 2016!

Arrived home pretty late, had two extensive layovers in Minneapolis/St Paul and Detroit, there was a severe weather system/front/tornado warning and we stayed just ahead of it. Very bumpy flying w/lots of turbulence……great to be back home on NC soil. A couple days rest and a busy end of summer and fall lies ahead. Great trip though, always somehow with the fishing/fellowship/fun seems to top the last one. But that is what happens when great folks are along, and I can truly say my customers are the best.

Since Wyoming….

8-25-2015 FISHING REPORT – Guided Trip, Bob Stanford, Greensboro, NC, David Slaydon, Reidsville, NC, New R (Giles Co, VA) smallmouth float trip, met David in Wytheville and we were off, we floated a 6.5 mile section of river and did very well. We fished both flies and light tackle, water conditions were excellent, tons of grass in the river and the fish are on the feed for sure, for first trip since back from Wyoming it was excellent , I expect we landed close to 75 smallmouth altogether, including several chunks in the 12 to 14 inch range. Lots of quality fish…..a long day but a great one….Sept is going to be great, and I expect good fishing til the end of the month.


8-26-2015 FISHING REPORT – Guided Trip, Ted Linczak, Summerville, SC, TN South Holston wade/float, we did a morning to midday wade trip then followed that with a float. Morning fishing was good, we nailed several good fish on terrestrials before switching to dry/dropper rigs and nailing a bunch more. Standard morning SoHo fare…midges and blackflies. We also just before the first water rise briefly switched to a sulphur and Ted nailed several more. We then headed way downriver to another spot and fished a dry /dropper rig and caught a couple more browns, then switched back to terrestrials and landed a couple more. All in all probably 25 fish or so til 2pm when we drove upriver to float. A good morning by any standard. Make a good cast, right fly, the fish would eat. We only had one large fish that gave us the snub…..but he did look several times before slowing sliding off into deeper water. We put the boat in and had the entire 5miles to ourselves. No other boats…sulphurs, rising fish, fish were pretty picky but that’s normal. They’re wild fish, that is what wild fish do. We still caught a good many, while bugs were coming off thick the fish were challenging but as soon as the flies thinned out some our success went up. Normal. We had several takes/misses. Normal. We had some refusals. Normal. We had some takes. Normal. We caught fish. Normal. We fished on downriver and looked for risers, when we found some, we got them to eat. Bugs were almost gone by 630 or 7pm but if you could find a riser, and we did, about 3/4 of the ones we saw would come up for the fly. We caught a couple nice browns, then floated on in hopes of finding one more spot. And that we did, there was a heavy high water spinner fall toward the end of the float, and we found a pod of rising browns. Ted nailed three out of that pod , ending the day on a good note with around 10 fish or so on our float . We finished up/pulled the boat out under cool temps and a dramatic sunset. Great day, Ted was great as always. Finished the day feeling sick, some sort of cold thing…..felt pretty rough.


8-27-2015 FISHING REPORT – unavailable, Jeff is sick/under the weather……bummer!

8-28-2015 FISHING REPORT – did not guided a trip, was feeling pretty bad still and opted for doing a major shopping cart site overhaul, some regular web maintenance you have to do, lots of fun since I do all my own webwork….actually that was a joke, its quite tedious. But in an attempt to keep stuff fresh, updated, functioning properly, its a must. I do several planned/scheduled site overhauls a year for that purpose. Worked out well since I’ve been under the weather the past few days…..great time to be stuck inside for doing it. We are constructing the framework, and our new shopping cart site will carry the Gold seal Certified status with McAfee security, the highest security an ecommerce site can have. Our new shopping cart site should be live in a few days , here’s a sneak preview….click here.

8-29-2015 FISHING REPORT – Guided Trip, Greg Byrd, Jackson Byrd, Raleigh, NC, New R smallmouth float trip, we got an early start after meeting up in Wytheville, VA. We were on the water early and fished poppers to start and caught a few fish. Then we changed to streamers and also fished light tackle as well, we did pretty well from then on even if the popper bite wasn’t great. A little wind played into that I am sure. We floated a 6 mile stretch and landed probably 30 to 35 fish or so, we hit a stretch near the end where Greg did quite well on JJ specials, one of my favorite smallie patterns. We floated to take out and it was dusk. Great day, and great to spend it with Greg and Jackson…


8-30/31-2015 FISHING REPORT – Guided Trip, New R smallmouth float on 8/30 , and South Holston float on 8/31, my son Ben and Capt Judson Brock, Muddy Fly Guide Service…Wilmington, NC, you can check out Judson’s site here . Judson and Ben are roommates, fellow fishing fanatics for sure. We had great smallmouth action, caught a ton of fish stripping streamers early and all throughout the day, along with slinging some light tackle, and then had a three hour epic popper bite the last three hours of the day. Also had a good shot at a pair of muskies, one a 40 inch plus beast that blew out of a deadfall and would not eat. Bummer, that fish has played with us all year but his day is coming. Caught some nice fish, I’d say we put 75 smallies in the boat on today’s 5 mile float trip. I also witnessed some of the best fly casting I’ve seen all year as I watched Ben and Judson both boom some 7o to 80 foot throws with ease. I was stunned. A privilege to host two casting gurus…..we had some great fishing toward the end of the float some surface takes 60 feet or more from the boat. It was flat calm, not a puff of wind, and the fish were right where they were supposed to be doing what I hoped they’d be doing…..eating our bugs. We smoked them on my friend Anthony Hipps’ fire tiger soft body popper. We had a great day ……



9-3-2015 FISHING REPORT – Guided Trip, Curtis Reeves, Archdale, NC, TN South Holston, we fished several ‘PhD’ sections of water….’PhD’? that means sections of the river, and honesty, that is what I’d call most of the river that isn’t a riffle…..which is most of the river….the places folks fish but don’t catch fish because the water is super clear, flat, slow and it demands the most technical of presentations to catch a fish. We fished hard, fished terrestrials to risers, dry/dropper rigs to some other risers/cruisers, and sight fished to some bigs as well. We landed I think somewhere around a dozen fish, maybe a few more. Had a bunch hooked that came unbuttoned, but I’d say we had a good day. The fish we caught and where we caught would be the equivalent of 30 or 40 fishing in fast water. Great day, and great to spend it with Curtis…


9-4-2015 FISHING REPORT – Guided Trip, Anthony Hipps, Lexington, NC, New R smallmouth float, we opted for a later start and it paid off, we nailed some fish right off on top using poppers, some were cruisers and bank cruisers and others were in the grass…..smashing bait. We would see a fish erupt and then cast to them…. caught several this way. It was great, then we moved downstream to a stretch of fast rapids and Anthony smoked em pretty good on his two streamers of the day, the Hellcraw and his version of a Shenk’s white streamer. It worked great, we caught a pile. Then we moved to the next grass flat……nailed several more good bass on a popper, did well on that, landing several really nice smallies. Then to the next stretch of rapids where Anthony caught several really good fish, one in particular that was in a stretch of boiling white water that is hard to get to….I pointed to the spot, Anthony made a cast and nailed the fish. Then landed it, and cast to the other side of the boat and nailed another big smallie. It was great, we fished on through some more rapids and I watched him put on a streamer clinic with the Shenk’s streamer…..nailing fish after fish. We got back into some flat water and then put a popper back on and it was game on. Nailed a nice fish right off, off a deep bank, then moved on and spanked them on every rock bar we set up on. It was great. Great day with one of my best friends in the fly fishing community, and one I consider a ‘brother’….great day with over 50 smallmouth in the boat….


9-5-2015 FISHING REPORT – Guided Trip, Adam Norris, Winston-Salem, NC, New R smallmouth float, ,met Adam, his dad, and his 9yr old son Jonah in Va and we headed out. Got a midmorning start and nailed a few early on poppers, but then it got really windy. We fished some rapids and caught a few on streamers. The wind was supposed to be light and variable, and it was variable but light it was not. It gusted to 20 to 25 mph effectively ending our popper bite but then it laid down within the next hour. Meanwhile we caught some fish on a white streamer, then moved on to another large grass flat that I knew held some fish. We did very well, catching several nice ‘toads’ on poppers, including the best fish of the day, a chunky , stocky fish of about 2.5lbs or so. We caught several more, missed a few, one that appeared to be a really nice fish, but then moved on and pulled up on a mid river island to have lunch. After a nice shore lunch, we walked down to a mid river bar and set of riffs and caught several fish on a popper, then several on streamers….the white streamer and a JJ Special. After several fish we then hopped back into the boat and hit a long stretch of rapids/white water and fished a little caught a few here and there. We then hit one of my favorite flats and went to the tail end of it where it spills into a large mid river rapid and we saw fish rising/jumping….we threw poppers on those guys and nailed probably 6 to 8 nice smallmouth. It was great, all of them ate a popper. We then headed downriver and fished 3 mid river ledges that are all surrounded by deep water and smoked them….catching fish at everyone. We finished the day with a few more, including one at one of my favorite end of the trip spots, two casts and we nailed a nice smallmouth on a popper, one that was close to fish of the day size. It was great. With light fading, we decided to head on to takeout since we had enough light to see to get through the one last rapid before the boat ramp. Great day, Adam and the guys were great to spend it with…..an absolute blast. I’d say we put over 40 in the boat today…..




9-9-2015 FISHING REPORT – Guided Trip, Peter Valenti, NY, Bob Schwirzke, Fayetteville, NC, TN South Holston wade/float trip, warm summer like weather I met Bob and Peter where they were staying on the river and we were off, we waded a long shallow stretch renowned for having lots of sippers……browns and rainbows sipping midges in skinny water. We caught a bunch of fish on dry/dropper rigs as well as terrestrials….probably 25 or so..we had a couple of stretches that were dynamite….which was great when so many struggle on this great river on low water in Sept. Sept is transition month on the SoHo. Transition from summer to Fall. Weather is changing, the morning was hot and humid, just like mid to late summer. The water came up on us at 1pm, and our plan was to float the afternoon which we did. We dropped the boat in and it had become cloudy with a frontal system and storms headed in. Fewer rising fish, fewer bugs, but with a little time we saw more of both. It got nasty, thunder, lightning, rain, heavy rain, rained for 4 hours…..but we caught fish. We did really well nymphing, a contrast to weeks past, and we caught a bunch of fish on deep tandem rigs I like for floating. When we found a few pods of rising fish, even in the nasty weather, we caught some risers. There were sulphurs coming off, and that is what we got those fish on. We fished on and the rain continued, with us reaching takeout by dusk. Great day, Bob and Peter were great as always. It was so foggy you couldn’t see 10ft past the bow of the boat……



9-10-2015 FISHING REPORT – will be floating a section of the lower New with fellow guide Tom Smith, we met up early in Wytheville, Va and were quickly off to our short float. Heavy rains all night, and even right up to the time we met but surprisingly the river was in great shape. Same level as it has been for a month, clear…..and we put the boat in and were off. Tom and I traded off time fishing and on the sticks (oars), and we had a very enjoyable day, putting about 30 smallies in the boat. Not as much topwater action as past months , we still caught a few, and lost one giant on a popper that mashed a Hipps popper and was on for a couple of seconds and then came off. We got wind and rain midday and it rained, at times moderate rain, and the topwater bite was way off but it gave opportunity to do some long leader hopping presentations with an indicator and some crayfish patterns, a deadly technique when you are faced with changing weather and the fish won’t come up. I had a rod rigged up and Tom and I smoked them on this rig/technique, catching a good many nice fish and one that was over 20 inches, a fish of probably 4 to 4.5 lbs…..proof enough along with several other larger fish that the technique is deadly. We hit one spot where we caught a few more on poppers but we did far better with the bottom bouncing techniques. We fished on to our takeout and just missed getting soaked as a gray, threatening sky was moving upon us. Got the driftboat out just in time to miss it. Great day, though getting wet has been a daily thing here lately….


Hopefully we’ll get back up to speed with more regular reports like we used to, that is the goal anyway.  Looks to be a very busy fall coming up, I’ve been very , very busy booking trips.  Will likely be one of the busiest fall seasons ever.  We are starting to get rain again regularly, which should help our trout waters.  Long range weather forecasts look normal, with a sharp cool down coming early next week, in which the lows will be in the 40s with some mountain areas hitting the 30s.  That will get the leaves turning for sure, then it looks like seasonable temps after that.  The cooler temps will bring on the caddis and blue winged olives everywhere, and will close out the smallmouth fishing too in the coming weeks…….at least the best fishing with flies, and certainly topwater fishing…..but it will also bring muskies into the spotlight.

Great fishing to you….!


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