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By woolly bugger
#701910

It was much cooler today, and the clouds persisted, distant thunder was herd, and a few rain drops fell. I was surprised that the lot was empty when I arrived around one o’clock. I rigged a new tippet / dropper on the euro and then hiked on down to my spot. The feeder creek was staining the river and the flow was up a bit. Fished with the euro for a bit until I FUBARed the rig. Funny, I did well on the first two outings, but now, that I’ve gone past beginners’ luck I’ve gotten into some massive tangles that require clipping everything off and starting fresh.

Fortunately, there was some bug activity, and the fish were somewhat cooperative. I didn’t stay late, as that hadn’t been productive. The only company I had on the river were the pileated woodpeckers, cedar waxwings, a great blue heron, and about a dozen kayakers.

I broke out the gopro and got some shots but later in the day the camera was angled too low and I missed the best action of the day.



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Not the first, but the worst euro tangle of the day.

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While releasing a fish underwater, I ended up getting stuck.

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Yesterday, Jason and I saw a nice sized brown jump out of the water chasing a natural at the head of a run. I had tried to nymph it up, but that didn’t work. Returning later in the day it succumbed to the comparadun.

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Can’t stay away, I actually like the river at the current flows. Sure, the wading is a bit tougher, but it fishes well. Going back for more today, despite the forecast for 90+ degrees…
User avatar
By woolly bugger
#701921

My streak of having the whole place to myself ended on Sunday, there were three vehicles in the lot. A blue honda, brown F150 with VA TU license, and another trout bro truck with magnetic rod holders on the hood, I don’t think I’d leave them out while fishing, but that’s just me.

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I was afraid that my spot would be occupied, and I wasn’t sure where I’d end up fishing, so I didn’t take the euro rod. Just as I was ready hit the trail a fisherman came out, he was from Roanoke and got into a few fish during a sulfur hatch with a #18 parachute, but he said they were very picky.

The walk across the field in waders feels like crossing a desert, and the smell of the rotting hay made it smell like a barn.

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I opened a barley pop and waded into the cold water to cool off and watched the water for fish and bugs. The water had cleared from yesterday’s rain.

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I spied a fish rising to a dun and when I finished my beer I waded into position and cast, the fish rose and was landed. That’s the way to do it.

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Unfortunately, the goPro wasn’t rolling at the time and once I turned it on the fishing or catching slowed way down. It was brutal. I did get a number of fish to rise to the fly but in three hours I only caught a handful.

It was a high UV day (11), so I buffed up. I was at the dermatologist the other day and had a few suspect spots frozen. So I’m trying to keep further damage at bay.

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With a sparse hatch of caddis, micro bwos, midges and sulfurs, I wished I had brought the eother rod as very few fish were rising. I did manage to work and connect with some difficult fish. On was under a fly snatching rhodo in an eddy just up from a snag and I worked one fish with 7 different patterns, and it ignored every single one while snatching naturals that floated right besides, in front of and behind my fly over and over. It was maddening! Not only did I change flies, but I changed my position as well hoping to get a better angle and drift.

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The bro truck was gone when I got back, never saw another person on my beat. Don’t know what reach everybody else was fishing.

Rain over night has the lake rising, but I think they will maintain the current flow for a while.
User avatar
By woolly bugger
#701939

tough evening on the river, went back to euro the runs...

i worked and worked and only caught one. only plus was zero tangles.  <-;: oh and the sunrays piercing through the trees into the misty river.

then I worked some rising fish for the rest of the evening... i


Highlight of the day...


I suck, my flies suck.

so I go from 40 fish a couple of days ago to just two, how sad is that?

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guide raft came down around 6, was surprised at the late start... followed by boom box yahooing kayakers...

User avatar
By woolly bugger
#701948

74 - 84 mostly sunny, gas $2.64



Damn, if I don’t write down the events of one trip before the next, my thoughts just get jumbled, and I forget some of the things I wanted to mention. Oh well, here’s what I think happened on Thursday.

As I crossed over the 674 bridge, I noticed Smith River Outfitters’ raft anchored up by the water intake facility. The trailer was parked just past the crossing. Do they launch there?

It has been a bit cooler, and the humidity is low, so it felt good with a little breeze as I walked across the field. As I entered the path to the river, I roused a bedded down dear 10 feet away. So quick did it move that I just got a glace of its tail through the undergrowth.
I didn’t notice any risers, so I started of euroing, and hooked a typical pune brown trout on the first cast!

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I’m surprised that I don’t pick off more fish in this run, but it’s been one and done here, so I moved on down to the deep pool. I’ve not figured out the best way to euro fish this spot, but I always pick off a couple rainbows and a brown or two as well.

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After catching a handful of fish, I took a break.

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I’m going with the Dogfish variety pack for summer, I’m enjoying the session IPAs and the others as well.

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SRO floated on down, stopping in all of my runs and holes along the way. It took them a surprisingly long time to get from the bridge down to my spot and then they anchored up in the long flat down below for a long time.

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There they are going downstream at 5 PM.

Then these clowns floated down in their smithfly or flycraft or whatever. They were flailing away with bobber rigs, thrashing the water repeatedly with a bright red bobber the size of a clown's nose, with the raft sitting on top of fish the whole time. The guy in the bow actually caught a fish and then it was a brofest, fish bumping, yahooing, picture taking, fish killing event.



I wasn’t happy about these floaty boats coming down my river. :smile

I waited for an evening rise or spinner fall, but that didn’t happen. I was off the river by 7:30. I think the tally for the day was 10 or 12 to hand with 50/50 euro vs dry fly. Funny how they can be so damn picky on the dry but well eat those frenchies with gusto.

I checked the lower boat ramp, and both the rafts were still on the water as I drove home.
User avatar
By woolly bugger
#701950



Back to the river…

Filled up at $2.99 temps warming up 84 at least…

I tried to get to the river early but it was afternoon when I pulled into the empty lot.

I euroed up some fish, perhaps a dozen or so. Missed a few, the takes are every so delicate, most of the time I’m just watching the sighter and notice it pause, can’t tell you how many times I set on the bottom, or how many times I cleared the fly of rock snot.

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Some sulfurs came off, the fish showed no interest in the emegers, or duns. There were a lot of #22 bwos hatching along with some caddis.

The SRO raft was on the water, I didn’t see it as I was headed home by 4.

User avatar
By woolly bugger
#701960

how many days in i row is it now...

:cool :cheers

two cars in the lot, a dude from raleigh showed up and asked a ton of questions before heading up towards the dam. I never saw the other fisherman. Most fish came on the euro... bwo, caddis, sulfurs in small size and numbers. it was HOT, until wading into the river.

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major plastic hatch caused a lot of grief, I watched and waited a lot.



I noticed that the water was up about an inch and a half when I stashed my beer in the river among some rocks that I had used to hold them down. One of them slipped out and floated in downstream. When I got home I checked the usgs gauge and saw that they upped the flow 100 cfs to 350 at the dam and 423 at the next gauge  — I didn’t think they would be making adjustments on the weekend, I guess they needed to get a jump on the rain coming on Sunday. Made for a little tougher wading but it’s still fishable.
User avatar
By woolly bugger
#701968

6/21/2021

Partly cloudy 87 degrees

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly!

Rain is on the way and that’s a good thing as it's been terribly dry the last month. I was thinking about the success I had had the other was with the increased flow, Brian said that they had opened the low flow valve and wanted to get back before the rain set in possibly forcing them to release more water.

I arrived at the lot with one KIA suv with VA tags in the lot. I placed some stickers under the windshield wiper before hiking in across the desert. Damn it was hot, and I questioned my decision not to wet wade.

As I walked the path to the river, the cool air felt refreshing. I unpacked my vest and sat down to eat lunch. “The Big Kahuna” sandwich from Lowe’s Foods was the choice for today.

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The Ugly;

So I’m listening to the birds and watching the water and then I notice a creepy crawler on the back of my hand, a friggin tick. Damn it, I hate those bastards. In disgust I picked it off. Gave me the heebee jeebees for the rest of the day. Its better to find them sooner than later, but I couldn’t help but wondering if any of his pals were around. And no, I didn’t take a photo. Thought about it after the fact.

I rigged up the euro rod, tied on about 6 feet of fleuro, and another foot and a half for the dropper. I used my freshly tied perdagon as the point fly.

The day was spent switching between euro and dry fly fishing, it was slower than the other day, but I managed to get into double digits.

The Bad;

The other day I fished a Zebco reel and rod out of a run and today I found another one. I saw a blue object at the end of a run and went to investigate. Another Zebco! I pulled it out and began navigating my way back to shallow water. I took a big step to land on rock, and I slipped and crashed down into the cold water. My legs folded under me and my back was in the water. I struggled to regain my footing as the water seeped into the waist of my waders. Back at the gravel bar I emptied out my vest pockets that had filled with water, fairly sure I didn’t lose anything. I blame the damn Zebco on this folly.

The good;
The last fish of the day came on a dry. There were several sulfurs coming off around 4 or 5 o’clock but most of the fish ignored them. I should have quite right after this fish, but I stayed still hoping that some magic would happen as the sun went down. Cool mist started forming on the water and warm breezes blew in from the field as the water changed colors in the dimming light.

Photo dump and a bleeping video….

I took the Zebco, along with the other one that I had left in the parking lot, to Local River Outfitters, hoping that they would find some use.  The shop was closed, but the owner was still working and came to the door when I knocked. We chatted for a while, and he lamented that the sulfur hatch had not been as good as past years.

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Bonus Points if you can ID this bug!

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#701970

One of the reasons I picked up the euro rod was for fishing on the soho, I’ve been eying a couple of places where I thought it would be especially effective. Phil had also purchased an euro outfit also, so we made plans to fish it together.

I headed out the door, stopped at the local Sheetz to fill up @2.89 and headed up US 52 after a while I realized that I had left my waders hung up to dry after my spill the other day, so I turned around and headed back home. That put me behind 50 minutes. Damn it!

I found Pill rigging up his rod and I geared up. He reported that the river was crowded downstream, which was unusual for a Wednesday. Phil worked a nice long run and I moved downstream and picked pools and runs as the river braided through various deep channels. I’ve not fished this part of the river in decades. It’s also a great spot for a river clean-up as I spotted scores of tires along the riverbed.

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Working on my techniques with a freshly tied sparce perdigon I hit a little run and pulled out a couple of rainbows.

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The flow is so low and the water so clear that my perception of depth was way off and I found myself stepping into waist deep runs that looked shallow.

I’m beginning to like this way of catching as I know I never would have caught these fish any other way.

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After a short while I headed back up to Phil and we sat and talked as he ate his lunch.

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I moved up to the top of the next pool to fish a deep run that I remember as being productive in the past, the last time I fished it was during a thunderstorm and I was reluctant to stop fishing. I worked my way up and realized that it was just as deep as I remembered and I didn’t have enough freeboard on the waters to make it into the desired casting position, I did catch a pune and saw a good sized fish flash on a nymph. I retreated and told Phil I was going down river to look for some different open water. As I drove down I noticed three anglers in the woowee hole. Drat. On down to rockhold I wanted to hit a drop off at the end of a run that I thought might be productive. But when I got there it had filled in and I caught nothing. There were only a few sulfurs popping off and I didn’t see any risers so I continued to nymph and caught a number of rainbows and a few small browns.

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I moved again and worked a lot of water and caught nothing. I even ended up in the now vacated woowee hole and still caught nothing. I was becoming quite frustrating and I was ready to quit. I kept my waders on when I got in the car and then drove up to the dam to see what kind of bug action was going on there.

As I walked in a bait fisherman warned me that the water was coming up (I told him it was only a one hour pulse), and then he said, “don’t go down to the second powerlines, those people down there are hateful!” I nodded and thanked him for the intel.

I waded in at the first powerlines, an opening in between stacked up fishermen, and when I looked downstream I saw five or six of the “hateful” fishermen. The fish were taking emergers in a boiling rise and a few fish were picking of duns as they floated by.

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I tried puff daddies, and emergers and duns and cast and cast and cast, I missed a couple of eats, I was tired and my cast were getting sloppy. I probably needed a new leader too. None of the others were slaying they either, and the “hateful” fisherman quit early. I finally I got a rainbow of a comparadun.

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And with that I called it a day.

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Zero euro rats nests, will try the rubber band second fly holder, lost a few perdigons on the bottom.
User avatar
By woolly bugger
#701978

Cooler today, partly cloudy

Gas $2.89

Here is my message to all you haters…

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After a day recovering from a long day on the SoHo, I needed to get my fix, so back to the local for the day. Started off low and fished from the ramp down to the bottom of the island. I caught a couple of chubs before I found some trout. I didn’t hover them up either, only two to hand for this effort.

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Then I moved on up the river and down the track.

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Bugs were on the water and I got a few to rise and caught several on the euro outfit.

By 6, I had enough abuse and hiked on out.

Say hello to me new friends…

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#701982

Partly cloudy.
86 and rising. gas $2.64

I was planning to go back down to the trestle pool again today, but when I pulled up there was an angler all geared up and ready to go, I asked where he was planning on fishing. When he told me, I replied, “I guess I should have come earlier”.

I headed out to the old familiar water across the field. It was damn hot, so when I unpacked my vest I popped the top of a Summer Break.

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It took a spell to find fish. I began picking off punes left and right and a couple of better fish too.

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With food like this around, I still don’t completely understand the reason that the trout are stunted in the upper river.

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DSFK

I was eating my lunch when this guy came along and anchored up on top of the fish once again. First cast and he was in the trees. He retied and then flailed away before moving on down. I quickly moved down to the lower pool before he got in there and fubared it too. I saw that his daughter had on water wings or the like and when they floated by, I called out that she was required to wear a life jacket. He replied that she did. Ok, I replied and wished them a pleasant afternoon.

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This rainbow was so richly colored up that I first thought it to be a brown.

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I worked a short but deep run that I had passed over before not realizing its potential until I had waded through it. I studied the structure and placed a cast and was rewarded with a nice brown.

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Time for a break.

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Back to catching

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There were tons of these tiny bwo coming off along with a few caddis and sulfurs.
The fish appeared to be keying in on the yellow bugs, but a few were sipping the small stuff.

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Around 4 or so, I noticed a drop in the water as my beer was left high and dry. A quick call to the damn dam revealed that the flow had been cut from 268 to 80!

The bugs activity slowed down and the fish shut down too, although a few more were caught. Every time I got ready to leave another fish jumped and I stalked them, most of the time they never rose again but occasionally I got one to rise to the fly. This game went on for an hour or two before I finally called it quits sometime after 7

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A deer came down to keep me company and get a drink of water.

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‘till next time

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#701987

I wasn't planning on fishing because I had gotten used to the higher flow, but when dougfish said he was going I went just to fish a bit with him.

He started low and I was going to go there also but there were trains on the tracks so I headed in across the field where dougfish had stashed his cooler.

I had a refreshment and studied the water looking for bugs and risers. I found a couple of fish that were coming up semi regularly but I couldn't see what they were taking. I threw a half dozen different emergers at them with no success. I switched over to euro the deep pool and didn't catch anything.

Dougfish found a beer that I had lost a few days back when an additional dam release (one low flow valve added to the mix) floated it away. I told him, "finders / keepers" but he doesn't care for IPAs.

After dougfish left I worked a slow shallow run and finally picked off a good looking but small rainbow, definitely not a stocker.

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#701992

Since most of the river was mud, I was forced to fish the upper reach close to the damn dam.

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I've never been up here with these flows other that the time RiverBum and I tried to fish with if running even higher.

One other guy in a BMW wagon was fishing there just below where I put in.

My freshly tied caddis larva took about half of the fish I caught, which were all rainbows except for one pune brown.

I was in a waist deep run and fished until my knees froze up, if I go back I'll be wearing some fleece pants for sure.

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