Is it May or March?……
Sun. May 7, 2017 ….Just catching our breath from a busy week, a busy fishing week despite some incredibly difficult weather all week. We floated most of the week due to the other waters being blown out and muddy….many of them all week long. One round of heavy rain, a day or so clear, then another round. Things have been, put simply, very wet. Eventually we’ll be glad we got all this rain, as it will help our summer flows immensely.
On Friday I guided a float trip with Gregg & Zach Williamson, Oak Ridge, NC, a TN South Holston float, met Gregg and Zach late morning and we put in around 1030 am, as the fishing on the Soho has been better midday on. We started with nymphing rigs and scored several nice rainbows to start using the usual drop shot nymph rigs, Gregg landed several nice ones and Zach followed with a few of his own.
By about 100pm we saw a fish or two rise, had one come up on a dry but the fish just rolled on it. We moved downstream and took a lunch break at my usual spot, preparing ourselves for what I hoped was some good dry fly fishing to come. That is exactly what we got. Caught a few swinging wets and emergers, then the rain came , and it rained on and off, and the fish started working pretty good on the surface.
We would spend the next several hours catching nice browns on dries, I didn’t keep count but it was a lot of nice fish for sure. After the hatch started to wane a bit, I moved around a little going from fish to fish as we saw more rise, and pod to pod. It was fun, I’d anchor up, we dust the flies, and the guys would nail a rising fish. We repeated this over several spots….it was simply great, and lots of fun.
We had planned on getting to our takeout by 630pm ish or so, so we fished there and floated through and threw meat the rest of the way. Zach caught a bunch doing that, some good fish too. It was pretty great. We arrived at takeout about 7pm and put an end to a great day. Weather was iffy today, we were really lucky blessed. Great day for sure.
On Saturday I did another float trip with Ron Davis, Winston-Salem, NC, NC Mtns, Ron and his client Michael Mill from Alabama joined me for a day on the South Holston. We knew when we got up it was going to be one of those challenging weather days. Heavy rains on Thursday night and Friday all across the region made for some very unsettled conditions.
We had rounds one and two then, and round three to come on Saturday. We had decent conditions when we first got on the water and by mid afternoon conditions deteriorated rapidly….and quickly became one of the nastiest afternoons I’ve spent on the river in a while. We put in around 11am and started catching fish right off, scoring several rainbows on deep drop shot nymph rigs, and worked our way downriver hoping to get in some sulphurs down river as we have several days the past week.
The weather went downhill quickly……what we eventually got, after taking a lunch break, was temps in low 40Fs, winds 20/30 gusting to 40mph, and at times a driving rain. We got two browns in the area where we’ve gotten lots of rising fish the past week, way below what it has been. A good many bugs but the fish didn’t come up on them as well in the bad conditions.
We floated to the area above the gorge on the upper part of the river then threw some meat the rest of the way to takeout, ending up at the ramp around 815pm. Probably some of the most challenging weather I’ve fished in and the guys still, fortunately, put probably 15 to 20 fish in the boat. Its May but it felt like late February today. Snow flurries and a dusting happened on the mountaintops nearby.
Had a chance to get a much needed rest today, some quality time at home and with my wife and doggies….. Have another busy week coming up, May is here and one of our busiest months. May is so much so it often books a year in advance. June and July are very similar. Much of our best fishing happens during these months. Coming up I have a trip guiding Stanley Grand, Scranton, PA on Monday 5/8, Ted Linczak, Summerville, SC, Tues, Wed, and Thurs 5/9 through 5-11, and Tony Pugh, Asheboro, NC, on Friday 5/12. Then comes Mother’s Day……so a busy week ahead. Looks like cool and wet will continue. But as Simms ads proclaim….”#forgettheforecast and #mocktheweatherman”….for that is why we buy all that high dollar gear. Not to sit in the car or at home…..and rain delays, well, they are for baseball.
Have a great one….tight lines!
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