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….
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.
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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