Great start to 2012!!

Walt and I spent the day floating the Catawba River tailrace below Lake James. One wheel generation at 1560 cfs (cubic feet per second), nice fast flow perfect for streamer fishing. Weather forecast called for clouds and rain moving in late and the clouds caught up with us at the take out.    Jan 1 and we’re having to suffer through high temps in the high 50′s and low 60′s with very little wind.  Ahhhh  living in the south does have some advantages.  Don’t let me fool you though, low temps tonight in the 20′s and wind up to 50 mph.  Back to today’s fishin…

Few minutes into the float, pulled the oar frame raft into an eddy to allow Walt to add a split shot to help get his Catawba Bugger down into the zone.  2 casts later BAM, boated a nice brown and we had been on the river less than 10 minutes.  Nice start to the day, to the trip, and to 2012!!

Managed a few more fish before our first tangle with the big nasty tree monster.  This was one mean tree monster, not only got the fly but managed to rip the loop out of the end of a fly line.  Found a nice eddy below an island to hold up in while we tied a new leader on.  Of course being anchored in an eddy is a perfect time for me to make a cast.  First cast missed fish, second cast brought me face to face with my first brown trout of 2012.

We managed to turn, hook and land several fish from the typical bank side eddy locations and as many or more out of mid river holding spots.  Mid river structure upstream and downstream of riffles produced the most action.  Many times today we had fish chasing and or eating our streamers within 10 feet of the raft.  This just adds to the streamer excitement.  Flashers, chasers and followers all part of why we were streamer fishing.

Very nice way to start off 2012!

Do keep in mind the Catawba tailrace is subject to changes in flow rates at any time.  With so little public access areas for wade fishing and the amount of water discharged during generation the wade fisherman is at a huge disadvantage.  Float fishing offers anglers access to the remote areas but this is NOT a place for inexperienced rowers or paddlers.  Please be careful!

Here’s a few links from our Catawba River Info Page that we thought might be helpful to the visiting angler.

Duke Energy Information Line 800-829-5253 then select options 1, 1, 2, then 1 for Bridgewater

Duke Energy Flow Arrival & Recession Times

Duke Energy Scheduled Flow Releases

USGS Gauge @ Bridgewater

Catawba Fishing Report

Spent a couple days  on the Catawba tailrace below Lake James.  The dam reconstruction seems to be complete, the state has restocked the river and things are looking up!  We have updated our Catawba River Page with the latest info.

On Friday we had lots of fish rising to blue wing olives (BWO Size 18-20), and Hendricksons My clients did very well stripping black wooly  buggers when we were not seeing rises.

Keep an eye out of more updates coming soon.

Wilson Creek Fishing Report

Conditions on Wilson Creek are perfect or darn near perfect!  Water has a slight stain (really water downed ice tea), average flow and most of the leaves are gone.

The Delayed Harvest section has been fishing very good.  Beadhead Copper Johns (Olive and Red), BH Hare’s Ear and yellow Woolly Buggers have been the most productive flies. Dry dropper rigs have been doing very well but make sure your dropper is 20″+ behind your dry to be effective.

In the Catch and Release Water (WILD) the browns are moving to spawning grounds.  Not spawning yet but getting fat on their way.  Yellow stimulators, our Wilson Creek Caddis and Beadhead Caddis Larvae have been very productive.

Tight Line and great fishing.  If we can help let us know.

September Fishing Report

The rains have come and gone, the rivers are back up to normal maybe even a little above normal levels.  With the cooler night time temps the trout fishing has begun to heat up!  Our guides reported very good results from their trips on Wednesday.  Wild trout slamming Gray Foxes (parachutes and traditional), Olive Elk Hair Caddis and Hare’s Ear dry flies.

Customer stopped in the shop yesterday to show off his 16″ Wild brown he caught Tuesday working a black wolly bugger downstream.  Very nice fish indeed.  He asked us to not tell where he caught it, but we’ll give you a hint…..  tributary to Wilson Creek.

Smallies are still crushing the top water poppers and should continue for the next few weeks.  This is THE time of the year for those big number days as the smallies fatten up for winter.

Our guiding schedule is filling quickly but we still have a few smallie float trip dates available as well as some trout wade trips.

Here’s our guide Chad Stevens with a nice brown….

Undercover!!

Here’s a quick link to book your trip today!

Back in town

After a few weeks of traveling the southeast, I’m back in town and looking forward to getting back into the local streams.

We have several things in the works including beginner classes and Delayed Harvest trout trips starting in October. Still a few openings for float trips but our dates are filling up quickly.  EZ Link

Smallies are still very active and although we’ve had a very busy summer still a few dates open but the top water bite will end soon. Get your trip in before it’s too late. EZ Link

Monty with a nice top water smallie!

More top water smallie action….

It’s been a hot summer and that means TOP WATER SMALLIES!!  Here’s a some pics from the past few weeks.

Glenn with a nice smallie

Happy Grandpaw with a nice smallie

Happy grandson with a nice top water smallie

I get to fish every now and then!

Catch, Photo and Release!

Father and son DOUBLE!!

Even the small fish fight well

Love those big smiles!

All of these fish were caught on top water poppers using 5 and 6 weight fly rods!  We still have a few days open and can accommodate up to 6 anglers per day.  Book your trip as soon as possible since summer will be over before you know it and the top water bite will be gone as well.  Here’s a quick link for your convenience…
BTW not everyday is ideal….  check out this happy family on a 3 boat float.

Some days are a bit rainy, this day was very WET!

Nolichucky Gorge June 2011

Had a blast floating and fishing the Nolichucky Gorge with my buddies this weekend.  Some of the highlights…

Mack aka Richard falling 1-15/16ths out of the boat.  First person to ever be ejected from my boat and he was rowing!

Chad on a Fanta Orange high!

Loosing my Sage SP 9ft 6wt into the river at Murphy’s Ledge, then finding it just down stream.  Of course it broke on the next fish I hooked!

The look on Jeremy’s face when Chad got them into a little trouble.

Overall a fun time with a great group of friends!  Chunking flies as a added bonus.

Just a few pics from our day.

 

Here’s two videos from the weekend… short version and long version. Hope you enjoy!

Chucky Gorge short version

Chucky Gorge Long Version

Two Boat Trip with Carolina On The Fly Forum Members

When Dail aka Quailman first talked to me about doing a four person two boat trip back in February, May seemed awfully far away.  Well as the date got closer I could feel his excitement in every PM and e-mail.  His son Nick, friend and fellow COTF member Chanler aka Shallowskiff and his buddy Josh filled out the group.  With water levels being higher than average Chad and I opted for a longer float to allow them to see more of the river and with two boats we would be able to flip flop the lead boat.

At the put in the ribbing began with Chanler telling us how he was high maintenance but since Dail and Nick both smoked we split up the boats by smokers and non-smokers.  Good for me since Chad’s boat would have several more pounds for him to row. :-)

Unloading the double rigged trailer

Rafts loaded 2 high on double trailer

The day started out fairly slow but once the sun popped over the mountain the smallie began rising to our top water poppers.

Working the ledges

Working the ledges between mid river rocks

Josh with a nice top water smallie

Of course we had lots of ribbing from boat to boat and lunch was a side busting event with Chan and Nick deciding to take a swim in the cool river water.  BTW I took some pictures but I’m sure you don’t want to see them! :-)

Chad working the oars

Nice sandy beach for a lunch spot

Fished the top water poppers all day long with some slow periods and some very productive periods.  Didn’t catch any really big fish but Josh took the big fish of the day.

Josh missed a smaller fish, threw back and caught this nice bass

A great day on the water for sure!  Like most trips I got a little sun, joked a bit, worked the oars and had a great time.  Josh, Chanler, Dail and Nick are damn good fishermen and a true pleasure to spend a day on the water with.

Smallie Trip with Carl and Wayne

Couple of salty dawgs came up Friday for a float trip to catch some smallies with me. We floated, caught smallies and had a darn good time! Covered about 6 miles of river and the last 1/4 mile in a rain storm. Here’s a few pics of their day….

Wayne and I getting the boat ready to put in

Top Water Smallie Action

Making Lunch Riverside

Wayne Fighting One

Laid Back Carl with a smallie!

Wayne with a smallie!

Just before the rain

Carl got out of the boat in the wrong spot! BTW I tried to warn him! :-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wayne fly fished and Carl threw the “sin” stick all day.  Fly out caught the spinning rod but the spinning rod had more fish on just had a hard time keeping them hooked.  This was one of those days I come home wore out, wet and smiling!  These guys were a real hoot and I had as much fun as they did.  We joked, ribbed, heckled, and had a darn good time.  Yea it rained on our last section of the float and we got wet to the bone but it was a blast.

Don’t get me wrong, 99% of our clients are a pleasure to spend the day with and many of them are “characters” but these two entertained me all day long.

Thanks fellas if you happen to read this.