Good Fishing Mid-Week, Then Very Wet!
Sat. Apr. 1, 2017 …..Happy April Fool’s Day! Busy week, wet to start, then a short dry period in the middle, then some major flooding rains for Friday….which put a damper on most fishing anywhere Friday and many or most today. Today is the opening day for Hatchery Supported Waters (Green and white signs, no these are not delayed harvest and delayed harvest isn’t hatchery supported…they are two totally different things). I bet a lot of folks were disappointed to find many waters high at best, blown out and muddy at worst, but all were in less than perfect shape All. We got a ton of rain on Thursday night and Friday. Two to three inches with isolated amounts in the 4″ to 6″ range. That’s a lot.
On Tuesday I had scheduled a guided trip with Dr Pat Burney, Greensboro,NC, and we headed to 4 different places and all were blown out with the heavy rains that fell overnight…..water colors ranged from pumpkin spice latte to caramel macchiato….pick your flavor. But not fishable so we called it a day, reeled everything in, and returned to the fort.
I recovered my pictures from our 3-22 and 3-23 Trout Bum trip that I did not get to post because the camera /phone took a swim while doing some net work…..but thanks to Samsung technology and a new snap in battery the phone not only still works like a charm but I was able to recover the pics…..here’s one of the recovered pics from that trip, this one of Lloyd Allen’s fantastic rainbow from the Watauga Gorge….
On Thursday I guided a trip with Rob Rau, Summerfield,NC , Private water, and Rob and his friend Alan Stowe joined me for a day of fishing Dunlap Creek. We met up bright and early and were on the water pretty early. Great weather, it was cloudy/drizzly and overcast all day temps in the upper 40s…..perfect weather to catch fish. River was running at 114cfs which is ideal and we did very well, landing close to 50 trophy rainbows and one brook trout , the rainbows ranged in size from 13 to 26 inches, two of the rainbows were over 10lbs, one close to 12lbs.
We did well on a variety of flies, especially nymph rigs using orange spawns and a bead head copper prince Jeff…..a new fly I have been using lately….a hybrid copper john rubberleg prince kind of thingy. It works wonders on big rainbows, and these guys ate it up.
We caught fish on a variety of other patterns too. It was great, incredible numbers of fish and large fish, one of the better days here in the last two seasons. We fished til late afternoon /early evening and then headed back fully satisfied from all the huge fish that were caught. For sure it was an epic day.
On 3-31 I had scheduled a guided trip with one of my regular out of state clients Dr Jeff Hutchison, Columbus, Ohio, and we ended up not being able to fish anywhere due to high and muddy conditions as a result of the heavy overnight and early morning rains…..a ton of rain. We looked at 5 or 6 different waters and all were at or near bank full/flood stage.
Not even close, completely unfishable. Period. ……the type of high water if you get in you risk your life doing so. A real mess…..Wilson Gorge, one place we headed to take a look at was about as high as I have seen it and it was almost out in the road on the lower end and still rising. After a quick look we left so we could get out while we could before the road went completely under.
For Saturday April 1 I had scheduled a guided float trip, Adam Norris, Lewisville, NC, a New R musky, trip but I cancelled due to swollen river conditions from the unbelievable amount of rain overnight and during the early morning hours. Some areas got 4″ plus of rain, nearly every water in the area was blown out on Friday and likely still that way Saturday. What started as a clear river running at 1200 cfs at Galax had swollen to nearly 7000cfs by 7pm Friday….and below Claytor it is rising as well and should approach 10000cfs. New River will be blown for several days/a week but the smaller waters should recover by late Saturday. But as messy as it is, we needed the rain. And we will need more after this one. Its been that dry since late January. But one sure thing, a dent was made in the deficit, a considerable one.
Very busy week coming up, I have a guided Trip on Monday with Sarah Wrenn from Charlotte, NC, Tuesday a trip with Brian Pilcher and his group from Oak Ridge, NC, a Thursday trip guiding Mac Cheek and Alex Thorup, a Friday trip guiding Tony & Joseph Pugh, and Saturday Mike McKee from Chapel Hill, NC, and his friends Dave Link and Jim Beeson. Should be a great week of fishing.
Have a great weekend, what is left of it. I guess in a few short hours my Tar Heels will be tipping off. I wish them the best.
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