Where Fly Fishing is a Professional Passion…..

Relief In Sight….

Thursday, Jan 18, 2018…. Another shot of cold and another big snow event that took all the weather folks by surprise.  I had a feeling it was going to be a big one, it developed the way those always do, tons of artic air blowing in from the NW….a Low situated over the Ohio Valley….all moving to us and then another low forming just SE of Charlotte.  What does that mean?  Plenty of cold air in place, an already frozen ground, and lots of moisture to work with.  Snow.  Lots more than forecast.  Which is great for our water levels everywhere…..even if it squelches some fishing plans here and there.

We ended up with close to a foot, 8 to 9 inches more than what they were calling for.  I had a brief window of a few hours  in which to get out and do a bit of local fishing at one of our lakes.  One favorite spot in winter offers shots at sightfishing cruising largemouths, lots of them, as they bust bait balls of shad.  I tie some special flies and 90 degree jigflies for this fishing and they are sometimes lethal on these fish.

Sometimes I catch up near the top, on top, sometimes deep….but often times you can see fish as they are cruising around waiting for the right moment to ambush the balls of cruising shad.  Its a hoot…..especially in my own backyard practically and in any kind of weather.

 

The fish do this every winter.  This particular lake has a warm water discharge from Duke Energy’s power station so the water in the main lake is absolute gin clear (you can see down 20ft) and its in the upper 60sF to around 70F…balmy for mid January.  I like to fish where one of the main creeks enters the lake …..and the water is a little turbid or dingy.  Where that stained and cold 37-40F water meets the main lake the shad hang out and hide in the turbidity while the largemouths cruise the mixing area where the bait is.  Some times you’ll have eruptions on the surface with shad….and largemouths…some up to 6lbs going in all directions.  Not a bad plan ‘B’ for fishing if things are nasty up the hill in the mtns.

Looks like the thaw happens slowly today.  With lows in the single digits last night and teens in the nights to come it will take a few days to get rid of the snow and ice.  River flows will be great in the high country and improving conditions and good fishing to come.  Will it be by Friday or Saturday?  I’d doubt it because its still so cold at night so the thaw will take a few days but certainly by Monday I’d say yes.  Gotta go to know.

Our tailwaters do and will continue to be a good place to fish til then, after then, always.  Period.

Have a great one…

Jeff

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