Sat. Apr. 22, 2017 … Finding myself at the home 40 on a Saturday, which is a rare thing this time of year. But we got rain , lots of it, and lots more coming later today , Sunday, and early Monday. Last two days of trips I’ve not done, today I was headed up to do a float on the New River and it was high and dirty after the storms of yesterday, last night, and today. Not complaining though, we need the rain. This shot of it will help a lot, as will the cool temperatures that will come on the backside of the frontal system passing though tonight and tomorrow.
On Wednesday I did a guided float trip, Ron Davis, Winston-Salem , NC, TN South Holston float, Ron and I did the long low water lower end float from Chinquapin to Bluff City and it was raining cats and dogs when we put in. Only one other boat and no other anglers to speak of all day long. It was great, we put in and it took a bit to get into the first fish but man it was a dandy brown, followed by others and by a few large ones that broke off as well.
We had great fishing, heavy rain, then sun, then clouds, then sun for the latter half of the day. We caught almost all our fish nymphing, and there ended up being a pretty good sulphur hatch toward the end of the float, and a massive spinner fall, and we did well. Cast to several rising fish over 20″, they were on an unbelievably difficult flat and we got takes from 2 of the 5 20 inch plus browns that were rising….missed one and broke the other off.
Both were fish in the 23 to 25″ range. Pretty incredible you can fish a river in our area and catch browns that size , wild browns too, on a small dry fly. Our last few fish were nymphing before we got to the spinnerfall, and the best one was rainbow in the 18 to 20″ class. Its a high or top shelf experience to be sure. We fished all the way down and hit our takeout at dark. Great day, some great fish caught.
Got in late Thursday night, just in time to get some shuteye before guiding a Friday trip, Jeff Chalmers, Jim Bolling, Oak Ridge, NC. I met Jim and Jeff early and we headed up, a warm day for sure and it was warm early. Threat of showers but that was gone as we headed up the mtn and to where we were fishing.
We fished two waters , one large and one small, and the first we got into a tan caddis hatch and did well, landing a bunch on nymph rigs, and swinging flies and also twitching and skating flies. We fish hammered a skated and skittered caddis very well. We landed probably 20 to 25 fish and lost about as many to hooksets and fishing just coming off.
We fished there til about 1pm or 130pm and then headed to the small stream. Did well there also, but it was all nymphing. Landed probably 20 to 30 more fish making it an outstanding day. If we’d have landed every fish that we had on or hooked briefly it would have been a 100 fish day.
We caught the trifecta today, browns, rainbows, and brookies. Water levels were great but a lot of places are getting real skinny with the lack of rain. We did see a lot of bugs, and a few fish rising, but not a ton. The overly warm temps have been affecting that somewhat, with prime water temps occurring early in the am and late pm….anytime that happens in spring its the result of what we’ve been having….warmer than average temps way sooner than we usually have them.
Relief is on the way though, a big rain is coming for Friday through early Monday. A huge front is making its way East and the forecast is for several inches of rain. Things could get real ugly Sunday and Sunday afternoon. Hail, heavy rain, and possible tornadoes are all possible with this weather moving in. Not complaining though, because as I indicated we need both the rain and the cooler temps that will follow.
Hope your weekend is grand….tight lines!
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