Didn’t catch any huge fish, didn’t catch a huge numbers of fish but had a great day on the water. My client Carl is a super guy and the first time we fished, his friend Wayne joined us. Wayne passed away this summer so this trip was about remembering Wayne! Carl even decided to give up the wacky worm on his spinning rod and give fly fishing a try. Wayne was a huge fly fishermen, fly tier and gave Carl a hard time about not fly fishing.
Carl fished the fly all day long! In fact we went retro.. Carl fished a classic St. Croix 6wt glass rod with some old reel I had never seen. The slow glass rod caused us some missed fish, bad casts and even a few “wind knots” but over all it preformed well. Flinging top water poppers on a retro outfit was pretty darn cool.
Tomorrow off to the Catawba with Jim from Hendersonville. Jim has fished with several times before and I just can’t get him to understand that the Catawba tailrace is a brown trout fishery. He catches some brown but his big fish always seems to be a big bow. Hope he wears out some big browns tomorrow with no generation planned.
The catch and release portion of Delayed Harvest over until October, which means it’s time to chase smallies with top water poppers! The season is getting started with a BANG! Here’s a nice “double” from last weekend…..
Lots of healthy 12″ fish crushing the popper and the occasional bigger fish also. Here’s our guide Chad Stevens with a nice smallie from last weekend. These hard fighting river smallies are a blast on the fly rod.
Our guiding calendar is filling quickly so if you want to experience the thrill of chasing river smallies on the fly book your trip today!
We recommend 9ft 6wt fly rods with a good stiff 7-1/2ft 2 or 3x leader to battle these fish. Our recommendation for poppers is fairly simple… size 4 and 6 poppers in white, black and chartreuse is a great start. Here’s a link to our great popper selection.
We’re also booking trips on the Catawba River tailrace below Lake James for trout on the fly. The recreational flows being released from the dam are perfect for a great mix of dry fly and nymph action. From beginners to life time anglers the Catawba tailrace offers something for everyone.
Here’s a nice rainbow (mostly a brown trout fishery but the occasional bow mixed in) from a recent trip. This bow was a nice surprise since 99% of the fish we catch on the Catawba tailrace are brown trout. With the limited access to this river it’s very tough to wade fish. This is where our oar frame rigged rafts come into play. These rigs are the perfect vessel for navigating the shallow riffles along the way. With swivel seats in the front and rear, loaded cooler on board and anchor system as well as dry bags for your extra gear these boats provide a very comfortable way to access the river.
Here’s a picture of one of our rafts at the put in….
So as you can see we have some great options. From trout to smallies, from Morganton throughout the mountains of western North Carolina our guests are sure to have a great day of fishing.
It’s been a hot summer and that means TOP WATER SMALLIES!! Here’s a some pics from the past few weeks.
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.
Spring Time top water smallie on size 4 white Shenandoah Popper, great fun on a 6wt flyrod.
Headed out for an afternoon float after church on Easter Sunday. Like most trips early in the year we brought along the hardware just in case we couldn’t get em on the fly. Surewas nice to be back smallie fishing even though it’s been a great winter and spring chasing trout. Float fishing on free flowing water, throwing big popping bugs for smallmouth bass…. oh how I love thee!
We didn’t wear em out, we didn’t get skunked and sure could have caught more on subsurface flies and hardware but just watching them engulf the popper does something to my inner being. It’s only going to get better from here.