Nice Day to Be on the Water….Challenging Fishing !
Mon. Aug 26, 2013…. Incredibly nice day to be outside….is this August in Carolina? This morning felt more like Fall. Did a guided Trip, Dr. Jim & Martha Kaley, Greensboro, NC,we did a half day on the lower Smith….love it that this water is 35 min from my doorstep. It was pretty good early, a lot of rising fish, tons of egg laying caddis, craneflies, some bwo spinners, a few mahogany duns (slate drakes) and the fish were tough.
We caught some fish early on terrestrials, my favorite ant pattern…a ‘Jeff’s Ant’ outperformed every beetle in the box, though we caught some on beetles. The fish were one and done today. You got one shot. We had one spot early in which Jim and I stalked two large fish cruising that were working the shallows…one cast, we got both of them to eat. 2 for 2. And in a spot where I’d go out on a limb and say 98% of folks fish the Smith couldn’t catch a fish…its flat, slick, bright sun, on a scale of 1 to 10 its a 9.9 in terms of difficulty. And we got both large cruising fish we saw to eat an ant.
We caught a handful of fish on dry /dropper rigs as we worked our way back downstream. We hit one more spot right before lunch, Jim nailed another fish on the beetle while Martha and I stalked a lone sipper that was rising on the bank. It was in a tough spot too, I gave Martha instruction on where to place the fly, she made two false casts and dropped a near perfect cast right where it needed to be. Bingo….the brown rose slowly and sipped the Jeff’s ant in confidently and we had one more brown to net. Released that fish and we saw another fish rise, and Martha again placed a good cast right on the mark and the fish sipped in one of my CDC tailwater duns. The water began to rise so we hopped in the SUV and headed down to where had a streamside lunch under the shade of some nice trees.
After enjoying our lunch in the cool shade and with a nice breeze from the river we then packed it in and headed downstream to another spot. When we got in there were a few fish rising, Jim nailed one nice brown on a zebra midge dropper and several small browns, probably a half dozen of them in short order in the same spot. Martha and I went to one last tailout and stalked some risers, and man were they tough. She caught one of them, on a beetle. And that was the last fish we caught before the water came up on us again.
We went to one other spot hoping to make one last cast but in this area its so far below Martinsville the water had become muddy from a couple creeks that come into the river. So we ended on that …..it was challenging fishing today, plenty of chances, some that we took great advantage of, some we missed, we broke off a good many nice fish (which you’ll do fishing long range with light fluoro tippet) but all in all it was a nice day, always a great time with Jim and Martha, who have been clients of mine for many years.
Have a couple of open days coming up if I get some trips or lessons I’ll be doing that if not I will be resting a bit of a neck /shoulder ailment. Getting old stinks for sure. I think maybe in addition to SAGE, SIMMS, and ROSS for sponsorships maybe ALEVE and IBUPROFEN would be a good one as well…lol.
Have a great evening……!
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Beetles and Ants are hard to beat when things get slow or you aren’t seeing a lot of noticeable activity. They can be both a game changer and trip saver. I never go out without them this time of year. And they’ll be good til the first frost.