Where Fly Fishing is a Professional Passion…..

Fishing Has Been Red Hot…..

Monday May 1 2019….Been a busy time, so busy in fact I have been in the river or in the boat on the river ever since my last post.  Except for Sundays and a few days lost to high water we’ve have been cranking.  Its been outstanding, one of the best springs we have ever had.  Lake fishing, small streams, tiny creeks, larger rivers, tailwaters, we’ve done well on all.  Its a by product of a wet year last year and wet year so far this year.   Every month we offer a FREE printable hatch chart with the bugs you can expect to see on the water and what flies you might use in your fishing.  Click here or below to print the chart, or visit our This Month’s Fly Box page here.


Here is our first report for three weeks…..here’s the scoop…

On April 11, I guided a trip with Thane Barnes, Stokesdale, NC, NC Mtns, fishing was crazy good and today would prove to be no different, met Thane very early and we were in the water a little after 7am and catching fish right from the outset. Conditions are/were great, water temps in the low 50s to start where we were and reaching 60F by late afternoon. A couple rising fish here and there, but we stuck with tried and true double nymph rigs and a variety of two fly rigs and caught fish all day on them. Caught several citation sized browns, one fish that was over 20″, and lost a rainbow that was huge. Caught somewhere around 60 fish today, it was outstanding. Weather was cloudy and cool to start, but second half of day sunny and mid 70sF. Great day to be outside. In late, out again tomorrow, and abbreviated report as it usually is when that is the case with several days trips in a row.

On April 12 I guided Dr Art Kriner, Greensboro, NC, Dave Wiebking, Kernersville, NC, NC Mtns, we arrived pretty early to our fishing and in driving through rain most of the way, including some downpours, we expected to have the rain be an issue affecting our fishing. We did fish through one downpour and some showers but for the most part we were able to get in the trip. We had decent wade fishing, probably catching 30-35 fish. The water was high, a little off color, and we ended up mostly nymph fishing. The first area of the day produced a 20 inch brook char, the largest fish of the trip. We caught brookies and rainbows, no browns. We did have one brown on, and it was a large one, maybe 20″ or more, but it came off within a rod’s length of the net. Busy week so its an abbreviated report….but here are a few pics….

On April 13 I guided a float trip, William Smith, Chapel Hill, NC…….. William was joined by his friend Ted on the trip, we met early on the NC side near Jefferson and hit the South Holston. With the 1400 sluice flow it was great for a float, which is what we did. Fished the upper river, caught fish on everything, dries, nymphs, wets, etc., we did not sling meat but could have. I usually find that effective at higher flows, but we did well enough with everything else it didn’t matter. We started a little slow, one fish here, one fish there, and not surprising with the boat traffic. Sunny to start, quickly it clouded up and rained on us a bit on and off through lunchtime. We had sunny weather the rest of the day. Put a mix of rainbows and browns up to 14″ in the boat, no large fish, but a lot of fish…Probably 4 dozen or so. Ted managed a double, two browns at once.

On April 15 and 16 we had trips scheduled with Dr Pat Burney and his son JP, and grandson Diego, and were able to do neither because of heavy rain and blow out conditions.  It was gnarly, even some snow up high on mountain tops.  NC Mtns got between 1.5″ and 3″ of rain Saturday/Sunday depending on location.  East TN and SW Virginia fared likewise.

On April 17 and 18 I guided two float/wade combo trips,  Tim Ramsey, Charlotte, NC,  and his friend/client Jim Kristufek…on Day one we wade fished first half of the day and got some absolutely stellar weather, sunny, warm, no wind to speak of, and caught a good many fish, probably 3 dozen or so, a mix of browns and rainbows. Used mainly dry/dropper rigs and caught them on the little stuff. We took a lunch break early afternoon, and then did a short flat water, low water float and caught a bunch of rainbows, some quality fish up to 17/18″ on midges……it was great, we stayed til dusk it was so good. Lots of risers…… Thursday we got out really early, hit a stretch of the river for a short low water float and did well there as well, landed maybe 25 or so and some quality fish up to about 15″ or so, a mix of browns and rainbows. It got extremely windy around 1pm so we headed for takeout and had lunch quickly on the boat and then took the boat out and headed to a wade fishing spot for the afternoon. Not many rising fish in the windy conditions, so we rigged up some long light nymph rigs with double rigs and caught a ton of fish, probably 25 or so, and ended the day with some nice fish up to 15-16″. This afternoon was one of the windiest days on the river I ever remember….it was insane during the afternoon. Two good days of fishing though, caught a lot of fish.

On April 19 I had a trip scheduled with Dr Jim Kramer, Greensboro, NC, but we had flooding/blow out conditions.  The rain and runoff was significant enough to postpone my April 20 trip with Tyler Johnston as well.  The water is a hassle or inconvenience for obvious reasons but an extra charge of water here and there is giving us great fishing because its maintaining great stream flows.

On April 24 I guided a float trip with Ted Linczak, Summerville, SC, TN tailwaters,  started early, all day water, so we did 15 miles on the South Holston…in other words a very full day. We opted to sling meat the whole day, as Ted loves that, and I will say its pretty high up on my list too. We did very well, boating well over 60 fish and many nice fish also. It was great. We missed a bunch, had a good many also come unbuttoned at boatside and near us….great in that I got to test out some new fly patterns…..one of which absolutely killed them. Killed them…..no other way to put it. There was one stretch where we caught a fish on 10 consecutive casts. That’s hard to do with a streamer. It was great, and I got in real late so this report is somewhat abbreviated….busy week! Fishing is red hot folks…

On April 25 I guided a wade trip, Ron Rhoades, Greensboro, NC, NC Mtns, met Ron bright and early, it was very warm, kind of nice to leave my place in shorts and a short sleeve shirt. Been a while for that….but we were on the water early and man was it good. Like I always say, if you are willing to adjust, work around high water, you can reap a bounty if you are willing to work for it. Ron reaped a bounty today, we fished a couple miles of water and only saw one other soul on the stream all day long. Man was it good, we started off with nymph rigs, usual sauce for the high, clear flows we were fishing. The fish had the feedbags on….and they should. Its April you see, and they eat all day long. All day long. All night long. All day and all night long. I knew when the first several casts produced fish it was going to be a great day. And it should be. Great day, decent weather, high water, the right flies rigged properly and presented to the right water in the right way. That should produce a great day. And it did. In any case, we tallied two nice fish right off, then the next run we fished gave up 7 or 8. It took Ron all of 15 minutes to be in double digits for the day. I fished the usual suspects, the all around high water Pats fly, along with several HE and soft hackle droppers. Most of the first half of the day was like arrive to a spot, make a cast catch a fish. Spend 15 minutes there and catch a bunch of fish. Move to the next one, rinse and repeat. Again, a reminder this is after all the “terrible flooding that washed a lot of fish away”…..all that is nonsense talk. IF you hear that, remember it. Because it isn’t true. That hasn’t happened. Great fishing has though. And Ron managed probably put 60 -70 reasons in my net as to why the recent flooding has done nothing but give us plenty of water and great fishing. In a month or so we’ll be glad we had the water too. We had a quick shore lunch on the creek bank, and after that, right back to business and picking up where we left off. We caught several red hot wild rainbows , a couple of wild browns, and a few brookies. A lot of waters where there are a mix of wild and stocked fish I have over the past two years of high water been seeing a ton of wild fish. Streambred, wild rainbows and browns. All this water helps that. We ended up fishing til about 4pm and calling it a day, just ahead ofthe rain moving in. Great day though, over 60 fish and had a lot on as well that got off, including 3 very nice and one 20″ wild brown that pulled loose after about a minute and a half fight. Rain is coming in…..and it won’t do much to put the fishing off. No deluge expected, just a little “maintenance” level stuff that will keep nice water levels in our smaller waters.

On April 27 I did a FLY FISHING SCHOOL @ SUMMIT CENTER in Brown Summit , NC, and it was full/soldout.  We partnered with  Rob Arends and the folks at GOP in Greensboro to do a one day fly fishing class and it turned out great. A very comprehensive one day course for 10 students. We packed a lot of information into the 8 hour day, including: casting, knots, equipment, fishing strategies and fly selection, for coldwater, warmwater and saltwater species. Beginners learned the skills that will allow them to catch fish on their own, and intermediate level fly fishers can advance their casting skills and fill in some holes in their technical knowledge. We provided all equipment & materials, as well as morning snacks/coffee/drinks, plus a very nice gourmet chicken entree with cheese scalloped potatoes, sweet carrot medley, and a zucchini medley for lunch and drinks.  We used the 6 acre lake on the site to do some casting and fishing for a few hours as part of the class.

We had a full class, thanks so much to Tori, Chris, Ben, Anita, William, Jeff, Joe, Jim,Daniel for coming, and for Rob Arends , General Mgr @ Great Outdoor in Greensboro for his help in doing the class. We had a great time, folks learned a lot, we made new friends and some new fly anglers today. Ton of casting success too, there were some great casters in this group. IF these folks stick to it they will become GREAT fly anglers. Great casting! We had NW wind, bluebird skies, as a result of the passing cold front…always tough conditions for fishing warmwater but we caught fish anyway, many of which were nice bass. All in all a great day…and a great class.

On April 29 I had scheduled a guided float trip with  David & Adam Carter, Greensboro, NC, 2 angler TN tailwater float trip, but had to cancel due to a wheel bearing /rotor on the truck go out just prior to trip and had to reschedule. On a different note, our fly company APPALACHIAN FLY COMPANY is going well and we are selling a ton of custom flies.  Here are some pics though from a client who buys a lot of custom flies from me….he and his daughter Anna wrangled this stud small stream brown trout on one of my custom crayfish patterns:

On April 30 I did a guided wade trip, Brian Graham, Winston-Salem, NC Mtns, and we had stellar weather, stellar fishing. I have tried to reiterate that to all I know , customers , friends, anyone wanting to do trips because of the great setup we had (lots of rain, etc.) for great fishing and today was yet another reason why. We had a banner day, met Brian early at 0′ dark thirty and we hit two different waters, and we did well on each. Caught some with nymph rigs and streamers, plus raised a nice brown with a dry but that was the only dry fly fishing we tried. It was Brian’s first time out fly fishing, and I’d say he had a great day. He landed citation sized brookies and rainbows and had a shot at a brown that was in the upper 20″s /near 30″ but we could not get him to eat. The others, well, they did eat. Brian landed between 40 and 45 fish, and had one brookie that was a stunner….about as obese a brookie as I have ever had someone catch. It was huge. Great day though, the weather and fishing and fellowship was fantastic. Water temps are in the 50s meaning plenty of bugs, plenty of fish, and great fishing….. Here are some pics…

We have a ton of trips coming up including a 5-2-2019 trip with James Brewer, Robbins, NC, Dan Rominger, Stokesdale, NC, 2 angler TN float trip. a 5-3-2019 wade trip with David Qualls group, TN Tailwaters, a 5-4-2019 float trip with Drew Seitz and his father, a TN tailwater float, a 5-6-2019 TN float trip with David Slaydon, Reidsville, NC, and Bob Stanford, Greensboro, NC, a three day trip with Dr Jim Kramer of Greensboro, NC….May 7,8,9, and finishing up that week with a 5-10-2019 trip with Ron Davis, Winston-Salem, NC.  Looks to be a busy time!

Our summer calendar is beginning to fill up…if you want to book a date to fish time to do it now.  I am booking days and sometimes multiple days daily.  May is full, June will soon be full and so will July.  Summer and heat does not end our fishing….some of the best of the year , especially dry fly fishing, happens during that time.  Weather and fishing are here…..time to get after it!

Tight lines…


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