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By woolly bugger
#702632
#121 Gas $3.16 58 and partly cloudy

I smelled the smoke from the Pilot Mt. fire as I drove up to the river. I was hoping it would be under control, but it continues to burn in the dry windy conditions.

I went in down low and was searching optimistically but didn't see a fish all afternoon. Skunk number 3 on the year.

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The sunset was spectacular, assuming that the smoke from the fire helped with this display.

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overnight the Grindstone fire at Pilot Mountain climbed the knob...


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By woolly bugger
#702634
#122 58 - 48 partly cloudy Gas $3.14


Last day of November was mild. It's a challenge to get the layers right as most of the fishing is done in the shade.

War birds in the sky, three of them jetted overhead as I was gearing up.

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I headed on down to the lower run and swung and stripped streamers. I had a blow-up and a couple of grabs which came right at the end of a strip.


Beavers are extending their damn dam

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There weren't many midge / bwo sippers out today, so I continued the streamer game and then began my hike out. I stopped at one of the last riffles and watched the water. There were a lot of fish actively feeding on the surface. Mostly punes I figured, but not wanting another skunk I rigged the rod with 6x and a pink parachute bwo. The fish liked the fly and the catching began. For the next hour I whacked a good number of fish and then after the official sunset the hatch diminished and no more fish were seen rising. Browns on dry flies on the last day of the eleventh month.

:Roll Eyes


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They are all so pretty...
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By woolly bugger
#702647


#123 70 degrees and sunny.

It was hot, the weather, not the fishing.

Riverbum wanted to go fishing and we met up on the river around 10 and hit some low spots. There was a bit of hazy cloud cover to begin but that burned off and it turned into a hot bright high UV day. The Bum went with a streamer, and I was throwing a tandem stonefly rig. We worked the water methodically and came up empty handed, well almost. I did catch one fish.

After about three hours, we broke for lunch and went with plan b as in bwo and we headed upriver to find finicky fish rising to impossibly small flies.

The bum got on the board and caught a few, missed a few while I managed to bring several to hand.

here is what the day looked like..

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By woolly bugger
#702648
#124 64 with a slight overcast.

On the drive up I got a text from Dougfish, he was fishing and had commented on the trail work that had been done by sending a photo of the river and a beer. I said I would be there in an hour.

There were two vehicles in the lot, one was Doug's, and as I hiked in, I found a net lying in the trail. I figured it was the "other" guy’s. I saw him up above Doug and hollered out, "Is this your net" as I held it up. He replied in the affirmative and I walked over and placed it on the bank before continuing down to the run Doug was working. His name is Will and he's from Durham.

There were plenty of bugs on the water and a lot of fish were sipping them in the flat slow glide. I tried to catch on with the fly I had on from last night, and one took a swipe at it on the first cast, but after that initial positive sign the other fish ignored it.

I finally gave up and declared it "Beer Thirty" and we took a break, changed flies ate a snad, and drank a beer.

Then it was back to casting and trying to hook these picky fish on a #22 bwo parachute. I missed a bunch and finally hooked one in a pectoral fin. Later redeemed myself with several in the lip. Then a bunch unbuttoned and I finally inspected the fly. The mustad hook had bent open, and as Croaker would say, "You were fishing on credit"

After a good handful of fish it was time for another beer and we watched the river boil with rising fish. Will passed on the way down to the lower run and we chatted for a while, he was fishing a #16 BWO, way to big, so I gave him one of my #22s and he was on his way.

Doug was swinging a soft hackle and I continued to get fish to rise to my fly, some got hooked and some of those came to hand.

Dough had to leave early, and I walked out with him, stopping at the diagonal run where I fished yesterday. It wsn't haappening this day and after working the area blind casting for a while I headed back down to where I started, "Don't leave fish to find fish"

I caught three more and then called it quits as the sun had set all activity on the water ceased.

it sort of looked like this....

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By woolly bugger
#702649
#125 68 degrees partly cloudy

I needed to finish an audio book, so I took a drive and ended up on the river.

Was feeling a bit sluggish, and didn't hike too far, I thought I'd catch a fish and go home.

I caught two on the surface #18 CDC bwo...

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By woolly bugger
#702654
#126 40 and cloudy

spent a couple of hours tossing a tandem rubber legs - drop shot rig and came up empty handed. I thought about going in for some BWO action, and started in that direction, but the hour was late and I headed to some closer water.

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By woolly bugger
#702657


#127 52 and heavy overcast

It looked like a BWO day for sure and I got on the road. I was on the trail by 1:00. There was a car in the lot.
I saw a lot of sippers on the walk in along with several new redds.

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As I approached my destination, I saw that there was a fisherman in my run. He was euro nymphing. I hit the holes up above him with the rubber legs that I had on yesterday. I caught a couple.

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I moved on down and the kid in the run came up on the trail wearing his ORVIS waders to talk to me. He is from up state and was fishing his new ORVIS euro rod trying to figure it out. He was switching ORVIS leaders and trying dry / dropper after having issues with "feeling" the fish when euro fishing. I mentioned the George Danials / Tom Rosenbauer video and he said he had watched it, I told him to watch it again...  and I moved on down.

The beavers have been busy and there is a good chance they will complete their dam across the entire river if the flows remain constant.

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I caught a couple more on the rubber legs before switching over to the tiny stuff. I tied on a #22 BWO parachute and cast to the sippers in the slack water across the run. A handful rose to the fly and sipped it in.

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I moved up around the kid who was working one spot for a long time and hit another run that was lit up with rising fish. Most were taking emergers but they readily took the parachute, and I caught another handful in short order.

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Things began to slow down, and I was having difficulty seeing my fly on the water. I checked the time, 4:50. I hiked out.

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The kid was about 15 minutes behind me.
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By woolly bugger
#702660
#128 low 50s, sunny skies...


Oh crap, two cars in the lot; one VA and the other NC...

I was headed down the trail and hadn't seen anybody, stopped at the first good riffle and watched the water for a while. There were a few trout rising and as I moved closer, I could see tons of tiny BWO mayflies on the water. The trout were mostly sipping emergers and only occasionally taking a dun. I cast away and got three to hand in no time at all.

Then they started getting picky and I may have pushed the fish out to the far side. My catch rate slowed way down and I changed flies while battling the wind and trying to get a decent drift. It was maddening as they would rise and take a natural just inches from my fly. I caught a couple more before heading on downstream.

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Before I got to the next spot, I saw two anglers working their way upstream so that put a halt to my plans
I turned around and headed back to the spot where I had just come from. I spent a lot of time just watching and only manages to get a couple more to take my fly.



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Checked out a few more spots on the way out but it had shut completely down.

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Back at the lot, I ran into the anglers that were below me, Will from Durham and his cousin Ben from Raleigh. The other day I had given Will one of my #22 BWO parachutes, which he said he had caught a couple of fish with but broke it off on a hook set.
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By woolly bugger
#702664
#129 Gas $3.12 Mid 50s to 45 as the sun went down.

I've always had cold toes even in the milder fall days my feet are freezing by the end of the day. I've looked at all sorts of electric socks but wasn't ready to strap a li-ion battery, with the potential to catch fire) to my calf inside my waders. Then there would be the issue of comfort, feeling wires inside the sock would drive me nuts. Recently a friend posted a photo of his app controlled heated socks and touted their design, comfort, and the ability to control them with an app. Now I've looked at all of these things coming out of China and have been skeptical but decided to take the plunge and ordered a pair and gave them a tryout on a relatively warm day, but the water is still cold, right?

The batteries are housed in a hard plastic shell with an on/off/power-control button, so the socks can be operated without the app. They came 1/2 charged and took a while to reach full capacity using the included dual usb charging cord. I plugged it into an iPad charger for several hours.

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These are a medium weight acrylic blend with plenty of stretch and held weight of the battery without slipping down.

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With the app, it was easy to turn the heat on and off and even raise the temperature as needed. I was in the water for about three and a half hours with the heat set on low most of the time, only raising it up to check out the app and feel the warmth. My toes stayed toasty. I just hope that the socks last and the wires don't break with all the use I plan to give them.

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Yesterday there were plenty of bwos on the water, today, not so much and I didn't see any trout rise. I moved on down and tied on a streamer and worked my way back up to where I hoped there would be a hatch in the evening. I caught three browns and lost two clousers to wood on the bottom.

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I switched over to a dry fly after losing the second streamer and waited for a fish to rise. I spotted a trio way down below reach and a couple within possible range. I moved into position and made my cast. I caught one on a dry fly and called it a day, it was 4:40.

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The socks had performed well and were comfortable and had about 1/2 charge left. They are supposed to be washed by hand or machine washed in the provided garment bag, although hand washing is recommended. I'll probably use a wicking liner sock with them in the future. I don't plan to wash them after every use.  d:b 

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link to socks https://amzn.to/3H6c8s4
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By woolly bugger
#702666


#130 Gas $3.05 mid 60s, not a cloud in the sky

It was almost too late to go, but I went anyway with plans to hit the closer sections of the river. When I arrived at the first spot, I found a fly fisherman standing in the main run. I took some time to watch him while I rigged up, before moving on down to a hit or miss spot. Today it was a miss.

I ran down with rubber legs and then again tossing a streamer.

I bailed that section and hit one last spot.

I was beginning to think this would be a skunk day, when I got a little bump. A pune took the clouser.

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And that was all that happened as the day was winding down.

I headed back up to the head of the run and gave it one last shot.


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By woolly bugger
#702674
#131 Gas $3.05 68 degrees, mostly sunny.

Driver and I met up on a lower reach of the river and he went in after a fish with a new creyfish fly. He had a score to settle.
I rigged up the euro with a new tie for me, the Get Down Pat's, a tungsten bead, lead wrapped, jig hook version of Pat's Rubber Legs.

I worked the likely spots for quite a while before connecting with a trout.

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We didn't see another fish and the Driver headed out to another location while I stayed behind and covered some more water. I caught another trout and then headed out to fish up with the Driver.

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He was coming out as I arrived and he headed on home, he had caught one. I fished for a while, but it was impossible to see the sighter in the low light, so I called it and headed home.

We were hoping for some BWO hatches, but with the hot and sunny weather it may not happen.
User avatar
By woolly bugger
#702676
#132 Gas $3.12 65 and overcast

The cloud cover was perfect, and I was hoping for some major BWO activity, but as Dougfish said, it was way too warm for December.
There were a bunch of vehicles in the lot, so a number of fair-weather anglers were taking advantage of the conditions.

I had a streamer tied on, so that's what I started out with in the first riffle I came to. Third cast and I hooked a nice brown.

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On the next cast I watched a fish take a swipe at the fly and then after a few more cast I had another grab. I landed another trout and had one more bump before I covered all of that section.

I moved on down and spied the young guy working the water above Doug. I wanted to high-hole him and hit a couple of spots, but after studying him for a while I realized he was moving upstream.

When I got down to Doug it was beer thirty and we drank and watched the water as fish began to rise. I hit the head of the run with the streamer to see if anybody was interested. Nobody took a look today and I switched to a dry fly to fish to the risers below. They were punes and picky at that so after a good effort I decided it was time to try the Mad Elf that Doug had brought for me.

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Dough continued to fish, and I waded out to chat. I was listening to him and watching as he began to reel his right-hand retrieve reel counterclockwise. I thought that was strange but so is right-hand retrieve. What do I know? After a while he realized what he had done as his line was now totally back lashed all the way down to the backing. He took it to the bank and sat down and spent the next fifteen minutes straightening his jumbled line out. I wanted to take a photo, but he was adamant that I now show this fiasco. So I told him I would just write about it.

I played around with the slow water risers for a while as Doug ventured back upstream.

Nothing was happening up there, so we hiked out.
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