Where Fly Fishing is a Professional Passion…..

Archive for July, 2011

Dog Days are Here Again…..

Sun…..July 31, 2011……  Enjoying a day of rest, boy is it hot…but today we have some relief on the way in the form of rain/thunderstorms as the weather folks are saying a front is moving our way.  That is good, we need some rain and that will give a lot of our smaller waters a shot of fresh water.  If the stream you fish doesn’t get high and murky or muddy, the fishing can be stellar after a rain.  The fish often go on the feed and we do quite well during these times.  Also, this time of year you want to fish early am hours to get into the best fishing as it takes water a long time to lose its heat and the morning is when you have the coolest water temperatures.

Have had some good days this week, mostly terrestrial fishing but we’re still getting into some regular sulphur hatches on the South Holston still, so that opportunity continues to be available.  We even caught some this past week on high water as the high water sulphur hatch is now in full swing too and the fish are loving it.  Did some “R & D” fishing on the Smith yesterday with longtime friend, fellow guide, videographer Tom Jackson, T5Video, Lexington, NC, and we had some decent action on terrestrials.  The fish are definitely in full summer mode right now…..and lots of fish shallow and on the banks.

Click here for a free printable August hatch chart for our smaller waters.  Look for our upcoming newsletter as I am almost finished with it and will have it out early this week.  Have a busy week coming up for trips, we’ll be on small streams, the Holston, and the Smith River, and probably a smallmouth day or two if the weather cooperates.  Will hopefully have some great reports right from the river for you as well.

Thanks and enjoy your Sunday…!


Summer Sulphurs -7-29-2011-Jeff Wilkins Fly Fishing

Jeff

Jeff Wilkins Fly Fishing
336.944.3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

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Whew……A Scorcher…..

Sat….July 30, 2011………With Tom Jackson on the Smith River and we have been catching fish on some new beetle and ant patterns, Tom just landed another….a brown. I think that brings the tally to 15 or so. There are quite a few fish on the banks, margins, tailouts, and shallow bank riffs. These fish are looking for a meaty terrestrial to drift by. So far not much of any insect activity sans a few craneflies, small bwos , and midges. It’s been challenging fishing under bluebird skies……the fish are mega spooky. One bad cast and they not only quit feeding, but they pack the bags and vacate the area.

So far today the beetle has been the bug of choice. That was the bug of choice yesterday too while I was guiding Shaun Redgate of Forest, VA, on the South Holston. We killed them on one of my beetle patterns.

More to come……

Jeff

Jeff Wilkins Fly Fishing
336.944.3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

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Beetle and Ant ……That’s The Rant…….

Sat….July 30, 2011…….Quite a hot start to the morning, it was nearly 80F when I left this morning at 600am……looks like hot today and maybe some relief tomorrow in the way of showers and t storms. On the Smitty today with Tom Jackson doing some R& D fishing with a box chocked full of new beetle and ant patterns. Have caught about 10 fish so far, all on dries…..nine on beetles and one on a carpenter ant. Also managed a rainbow on one of my budding CDC midge emergers. Tom and I ate purposefully fishing several spots that have tough fish as they are always good to test new flies on. If you catch fish I have found its good confirmation as to the merits of a fly pattern. These fish are tough……! One reason so many folks don’t have fond feelings for this river. But I do, because most of what we catch are wild browns and we almost always get them on dry flies.

Enjoy your Saturday and more fishing reports later when we finish…

Tight Lines….

Jeff

Jeff Wilkins Fly Fishing
336.944.3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

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Beetlemania…….

Fri……July 29, 2011…….What a day, great day today guiding Shaun Redgate, we got the first fish within 5 casts with a beetle. For the next hour I watched Shaun stick fish after fish on a beetle. It was fun, and we got some smashing strikes. We fished several other places and got on some sulphurs, Shaun caught a good many on one of my sulphur emergers. We finished the day with about 15 fish , a mix of browns and rainbows….and all but one were on a dry fly. We are getting some of the best beetle fishing I have seen in a few years. It was a hot day today, 96F on the water……but I guess when you step into 49F water it doesn’t feel so bad.

Have another trip tomorrow with Tom Jackson. We will be fishing in VA and I will be testing some new patterns. Hope your week was good and your weekend is even better.

Jeff

Jeff Wilkins Fly Fishing
336.944.3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

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Beautiful Morning, But its Muddy……

Wed……July 27, 2011……What a gorgeous morning it is as we ate in the New River Valley just south of Wytheville. The morning is cool and nice if only the water were clear. It’s been a while since the middle New has been clear, and looks like it will be a while longer. The past week’s thunderstorms have kept things pretty stirred up…..and they still are. My guess is it will be mid week next wk before things clear up.

More to come….

Jeff

Jeff Wilkins Fly Fishing
336.944.3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

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Update on the VA Lawsuit…..

image

Tues……July 26, 2011……..Just a quick update, have been in contact with Beau Beasley, VA author, fly fisher, and outdoor writer, and friend ..and he has been keeping me informed of what is going on with the Jackson River case involving three folks who are being sued by a landowner for floating through water already deemed and posted by the state of Virginia as legal to fish, wade, and float.  To read about this unfortunate situation you can check out it out online and read Beau’s article here on Midcurrent……   http://bit.ly/mSECZ4

Will keep you posted as things develop.  Heading out tomorrow to do some smallmouth scouting as the water conditions have been less than great and bringing my sons along so we can cover a lot of water.  Should be great fun.  Have a Thursday lesson and a guided trip Friday and Saturday…..and the heat is coming back….!   Sweet….!


VA Lawsuit info

Mon……July 25, 2011…..Just a bit more info on contacting the VA Attorney Generals office:

Ken Cuccinelli
Office of the Attorney General
900 East Main St
Richmond, VA 23219
804-786-2071
Ken Cuccinelli

If you fish in VA or will in the future this case demands our response because of the far reaching implications of a ruling against public access. It could affect other waters as well. Stand with me and defend our interests and those of the people of VA to use and enjoy the Jackson and any other rivers where injunctions invoking Kings Law may be sought to limit use.

Thanks to you all..!

Jeff

Jeff Wilkins Fly Fishing
336.944.3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

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Jackson River Lawsuit……Here We Go Again….

Mon……July 25, 2011…..A quick news bit of major importance…..a place where I personally have fished and guided on the Jackson River is suing three angler, one a guide, one a gentleman from Charlottesville, and one a pastor…..sounds like a really rough crowd…lol. You know how destructive those fishing guides and pastors are.

Simply put, I am sending this out because the place I and many customers have patronized for many years with thousands of dollars in business is suing these three people for wading/floating through their property. The section they are floating is deemed legally navigable, floatable, and fishable by VA Dept of Fish and Game.

I don’t want to alienate anyone or cause harm but there comes a time when its time to have a backbone and say enough is enough. I am contacting the place who is suing and letting them know that I , both individually and business wise will no longer patronize their place unless they drop the suit. Nor will I recommend their place for accommodations under any circumstances. The suing party is North South Development. Another way to contact them is below:

Cliffview Inn and Golf Course
106 Goldenrod Drive
Covington, VA 24426
888-849-2200

You can catch all the details about this at the great flyfishing website http://www.current.com in an article by Beau Beasley. It’s under the conservation tab.

The anglers in this case , who are being sued for $10000, are soliciting the public’s help in delaying their legal costs. Inquiries and donations may be sent to:

Virginia Rivers Access Fund
C/O FORVA
Po Box 1750
Roanoke, VA 24008

Another thing that can be done is to contact the attorney general and urge him to join as Party defendant in North South Development LLC, et. al. v. Garden, et.al.

Jeff

Jeff Wilkins Fly Fishing
336.944.3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

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Prime Terrestrial Time is Upon Us……

Sun…….July 24, 2011….Celebrating a good week on the Lord’s day with a day off to rest….which is always good!  And a good day to do that, it has been a sweltering week to say the least.  Fortunately the spotty thunderstorm activity in the mtns have kept some stream levels up, the New , The Johns, the upper Holston in VA, all the smallie waters have been getting a regular shot of new water…..some getting so much that we have high, muddy, and unfishable conditions.  A bummer it is, as the popper fishing was stellar…and it will be back once the water clears.  The damsels and dragonflies are flying in number now and the smallies know it.  Looks like another hot day today, and then we ‘cool’ off to the low 90s for the entire week.  Rain chances improve tonight and tomorrow to 50% as a weak cold front approaches from the north.  We need some rain here, we are down about a half inch for the month and 4 inches for the year.  For us, this heat means one thing……BEETLEMANIA.   Well, not just beetles but large ants, inchworms, you name it, whatever falls in the water is fair game.  Have been getting into some great terrestrial fishing on the tailwaters and smaller waters alike….it is really good, which is what summertime fishing is all about.  I am predicting we’ll not only be doing a lot of this fishing in the coming weeks but will catch some big browns this way……hope your weekend was grand……and hope your coming week is as well.

SoHo Brown that found one of my carpenter ants suiting his tastes....

 


Whew…..What Scorcher….

Sat…….July 23, 2011……What a hot one it is already…you know its going to be a hot one when it is 80+ at 645am. Did a early am lesson with Franchone Bass and we did some casting basics plus line management exercises in prep for a kayaking trip coming up.

Got run off the river a little early on yesterday’s trip with Dr Bill Berry of Raleigh, NC. We were smallmouth fly fishing and were run off the water by thunderstorms. If your plans include smallmouth and the New R this weekend you may want to consider other options as it was quite muddy over much of its length.

Have a great weekend…!

Jeff

Jeff Wilkins Fly Fishing
336.944.3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

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Challlenging Day of Fishing…….

Fri….July 22, 2011…….What a contrast from yesterday….today’s fishing was a challenge. Guided Dr.Bill Berry from Raleigh, NC, and we fished smallmouth. It was blistering hot, and while these kinds of days yield good fishing, today was an exception. We caught a few at the start, and one really good fish, maybe a dozen smallies and a dozen redeyes altogether. All on poppers, we took a lunch break and then headed river. It wasn’t long before thundered began to pile up and soon we found ourselves heading back to the car …..It rained cats and dogs, enough to get he ditches running hard and red. It was a blowout. Within minutes the river was getting stained and in a half hours time it got Orange muddy. A mess. We tried one other spot, the water was clear but rising and we got in and hadn’t fished 15 minutes before another storm ran us off the water….oh well. Hadn’t had one of those do that in a while but its summer and part of it.

Doing some instruction tomorrow with Franchone Bass and trying to get finished before it gets blazing again. Have a great weekend and stay cool…

Jeff

Jeff Wilkins Fly Fishing
336.944.3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

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All Great Days Must Come to an End…………

Thurs……July 21,2011……Challenging fishing in some respects and while today wasnt a quantity day it was a quality day. Spent the day with Brad Ball, Stephen Starnes, Rick Trautman, and Wayne Vaughn. We caught a mix of browns and rainbows up to

23 inches, beginning in the morning with some great terrestrial action….caught some nice fish on beetles then a large ant pattern I love to toss this time of year. With the hot temps today, the morning water temps became optimum for a hatch of sulphurs….caught one 20" plus brown on a sulphur emerger. We had decent fishing and bugs before the water came up at 200pm. What a day….

Headed tomorrow to guide Dr. Bill Berry of Raleigh, NC, and some smallmouth fishing . Going to be a scorcher, ought to be a good day to get some smallies on topwater. Have a great evening…

Jeff
Jeff Wilkins Fly Fishing
336.944.3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

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20 inch Plus Brown on a #18 Sulphur……

Thurs……July 21,2011……..Warm morning temps brought us some good dry fly fishing with beetles, then by 1100am we had sulphurs….. Spotted this beast of a brown and put one of my new sulphur emerger patterns over it and sluuuurrrrrrp …..after about a 10 minute battle the fish finally came to net…….sweet, more to come…..I hope!

Jeff

Jeff Wilkins Fly Fishing
336.944.3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

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Good Morning on the SoHo…..

Thurs…….July 21, 2011……Good morning on the SoHo fishing some new beetle and ant patterns…..4 14 to 16 inch browns in the first 45 minutes……not bad and not a bad start to the day…! Lots of fish in the skinny water on the banks on one of my favorite stretches…..and beetles and ants can be king here……Stay tuned ,more to come…

Jeff

Jeff Wilkins Fly Fishing
336.944.3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

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Sunrise and Cool Mountain Water………

Thurs……July 21, 2011…………Sunrise on the South Holston…..how sweet it is . Looks like a hot day today, near 100. On the river with a couple folks this morning, we will be putting some new flies to the test. Not so good a schedule today, but we will deal with it……Just great to be standing in 48F on such a hot day. More to come, hope your day is grand….

Jeff

Jeff Wilkins Fly Fishing
336.944.3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

Sent from My Verizon Wireless Android HTC Thunderbolt 4G


Summertime…..For Sure….!

Tuesday…..July19, 2011….Wow if you had any doubts about whether or not summertime is in full swing this week’ s heat should remove them. Sweltering……that is the word. Time to be standing in some cold water somewhere. Had a great time the past week on the SouthHolston …..caught some really nice fish too.

Have been working on some big fly orders, and also working finalizing details of our Wyoming trip in August. Also taking a break to post this report. Hope this finds you well.

Smallmouth fishing is in full swing, the NC side of the New both forks are in good shape, finally, and the conditions have gotten the weedbeds going and the fish have been crashing poppers with gusto. That will continue to get better and better. The VA side of the New is murky to muddy in some stretches, but conditions are steadily improving. We have had good luck with JJs and white streamers.

This is also a great time to fish higher elevations, called "trout hiking"……just keep tabs on water temps are try to stay in water temps that are under 70F. Action is best early in the morning when water temps have had a chance to cool overnight. Try dries, dry/droppers, and terrestrials too. Beetles, ants, and inchworms will work well.

On the TN tailwaters both the Watauga and South Holston have good wading schedules. On the Wag its recreational releases on 1pm to 6pm, and the Holston on from 8-9am and 1 to 9pm. On both streams you can get in a full day by staying ahead of the water. Blackflies, midges, and nymphs in the mornings, terrestrials midday, and sulphurs in the afternoon before generation on the SoHo. On high water, the sulphurs will be heavy, as they were during the afternoon releases on Saturday.

Local bass fishing is pretty slow unless you fish early and late. We get into some really good fish this time of year, and usually on topwater. If you have never fished a popper for bass you are missing out . My oldest son Ben got a 5lb bass a few days ago…….A lot of good fly fishing for panfish is possible right now also…..and a popper /droppers rig is great for that.

Today’s photo is a Cicada I found on the drive to our place. There are some of them out, and where you find numbers of them, fish love them. Areas South and East of the Piedmont have more numbers of them……..

Have a great evening and stay cool…..!

Jeff

Jeff Wilkins Fly Fishing
336.944.3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

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Good Day……Became a Great Day

Sat…….July 16, 2011……It was already a good day when we moved upriver to go sight fishing for some cruising browns. Was guiding Larry Pritchett and his son Lawrence who was celebrating his 28th birthday. Larry managed one brown on one of the toughest stretches of the river…nice fish of

18 inches. We then got on a mid river island and sat out the one hour full release. About 430pm the water came down and for the next two hours we had one of the heaviest sulphur hatches I have ever seen, guided, or fished. I watched the guys go back and forth catching fish…they caught about 20-25 more fish on dry flies making it a 50 fish day. Pretty incredible. Can’t wait to post pics, got some great ones……

Headed to have a nice quiet dinner. Have a great evening…..!

Jeff

Jeff Wilkins Fly Fishing
336.944.3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

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Great Nymphing……Murky Conditions…

Sat…..July 16, 2011……With pulses on the SoHo we are fishing but its been a lot of Nymphing….but its been fabulous with some fish by Lawrence Pritchett up to 20.5". Caught two large browns and lost a huge one. So far Larry and his son Lawrence have put 25 fish in the net in about 2hrs of fishing…….more to come….

Jeff

Jeff Wilkins Fly Fishing
336.944.3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

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Cloudy n’ Cool…..What a Change

Sat……July 16, 2011…….It’s raining and quite cool in the High Country, area wide temps are on the low to upper 50s. Got a later start n banking on later hatches with cool weather and clouds and a much different release schedule. Guiding Lawrence and Larry Pritchett today, should be fun. More to come….

Jeff

Jeff Wilkins Fly Fishing
336.944.3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

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Back Up and Running …..Finally…

Friday…..July 15, 2011…….Finally have our new internet service complete and been playing catch up.  Had cancelled the smallmouth trip scheduled this week so I put together a trip from the spring,  another rescheduling from the spring, Brian and Linda Fitzgerald of Thomasville, NC.  We fished the SoHo two days and had pretty good dry fly fishing, although the bulk of the action is pushed to the latter part of the day with the release being upped from 280cfs to 350cfs.  That has had the overall effect of lowering water temperatures, which was the point with the TVA increasing releases to keep the river temperatures cool enough on the lower end to protect the valuable resource by keeping the lower river water temperatures from becoming elevated while the TVA was doing some dam maintenance.  But the flip side of that is that it has been keeping water temps under the ideal for sulphurs until mid to sometimes very late afternoon 4pm or later, so a lot of folks have been missing the hatch altogether.  Water temps of 52-54F are the target range for the hatch.  Less than that, and chances are you are seeing no hatch.  The 35ocfs release also has the same effect on some early morning midge and blue winged olive spinner fishing that is so consistent, and that is so reliable for providing some early morning to midday dry fly opportunities….they are small flies and at 350cfs there’s more flow in the river thereby reducing a lot of the opportunity to the widest stretches of river….flats… and the fish are holding in different areas than they have been in many cases.  The extra flow enables them to feed on the margins…the edges….islands, bends, tailouts……just the way they respond to higher flows anywhere.  We fished two days on the SoHo, had some good dry fly action from 3pm on and caught probably 30-35 fish each day up to 16″, and the last day- — yesterday, we spent on the upper part of the New River on the NC side on some stretches I normally don’t fish til late July or early August…but we did ok catching probaby 30 smallmouths on poppers, about two to three dozen redeyes too, all on poppers for the most part.  The river on the NC side is clear in both forks, at least enough to fish, the North fork has a nice stain/color to it, and the South Fork is trout stream clear once again…..the first time in many days for these waters and the VA side is still heavily stained to muddy as you go downstream.  …..

Guiding Larry and Lawrence Pritchett tomorrow, should have more reports then.    Have a great Friday and weekend…!

Linda with a nice flatwater brown

Brian with a nice rainbow on a Jeff's #18 Dorothea emerger

NC New River smallie on a Frugal frog #6

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Good Ending to an Enjoyable Day……

Thurs……July 7, 2011………What a great weather day, we managed to get in a full day with no rain or storms. Guided Will and Gray Reames from Nashville , TN, and while we caught some decent browns on some of my new midge dries. We caught probably 10-12 browns to 14 inches. Fishing was quite challenging in that there weren’t many fish rising. Mornings typically have some midge activity along with some blue winged olive spinners. We had few bugs but I knew of a few feeding lanes where I felt confident we could get a fish to rise to a dry. And so it was……the fish really liked one of my new midge emergers. Things started to slow and I took the water temperature and it read 50.5F. We were anticipating some sulphurs eventually ……but I knew that unless the water temp warmed at least a couple of degrees we would not see any sulphurs. Since it was after noon I decided maybe we would be best off taking a lunch break and banking on an afternoon hatch.

It was a good move. An hour later upon our return we had bugs….and rising fish! I pulled out the thermometer and it read 53F…..exactly the range it needed to be. We went on to have a good hatch and some good fishing til about 6pm when things started to settle down and we called it a day. Will even managed three fish on a flat where the fish are near impossible. We hooked two others that broke off on the take….. But to catch ‘a fish’, one fish there was a huge victory. 3 of them is pretty sweet.

We headed back to Sparta to where I dropped the guys off, at their place in Roaring Gap, NC. I wasn’t glad to see the New R and most of its upper tries…..Fox Creek, Big Wilson Creek….bright brown/Orange muddy. It was a mess, and unfishable. Not good as I had a group trip planned for next week, some smallmouth action, and that may well be in jeopardy as it is unlikely at this point that it will clear by then.

Have a great weekend and be looking for our upcoming Newsletter…….

Good Fishing!

Jeff

Jeff Wilkins Fly Fishing
336.944.3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

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Another Day on a Great River….

Thurs…..July 7, 2011…….Early start, beautiful sunrise and nice temps met Will and Gray Reames in Sparta and we headed over to fish the SoHo. Things were pretty quiet this morning, we just took a break for lunch. Caught about 10 fish mostly on midge patterns. We are headed back out in a bit to catch the sulphur hatch…..stay tuned….more to come

Jeff

Jeff Wilkins Fly Fishing
336.944.3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

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Bound for the West……

Wednesday……July 6, 2011…….Greetings friends, have been taking advantage of some downtime to get caught up on some things….we are expecting to be online again sometime Friday and hopefully we will end up with mega fast service ….sure helps when you do as much online as we do.

This has been an unsettled weather week, but fishing has been pretty good despite it. Most small waters are fishing well, water temps are 60-64F area wide which means bug activity is early and late with terrestrials firing the bill during midday hours. Sulphurs continue to come off the SoHo, that is a water temp thing so when you find temps of 52-54F you more than likely will find sulphurs. Will be guiding Brian Reams and his son there tomorrow…..they are from Nashville,TN.

A lot of the New, both forks on the NC side is muddy due o afternoon t-storms. The forecast holds the rest of the week so we might be looking to next week before those places are fishable again.

Been wrapping up some more of our stuff for th August Wyoming trip. We should be hitting it right as the runoff is late and lasting longer than in most years. The Jackson area got 720 inches of snow….yes that isn’t a typo, its 720 inches.

We will be horsepacking it 15 miles into the backcountry north or the Turpin Meadows wilderness. We will fish the Buffalo, the Soda Fork, the North Fork, and Divide Lake, a high mountain jewel that is teeming with 18-24 inch cutthroats that love eating a huge dry fly…..

More flies to tie for tomorrow’s fishing, better get back to it. Have a great evening…!

Jeff

Jeff Wilkins Fly Fishing
336.944.3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

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