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By woolly bugger
#701416
March 3, 2021 #7
Gas $2.55

Drove on up expecting to see a crowded parking lot.

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Don’t know where everybody was, maybe they are working? I can’t wait for things to get back to normal, where, during the week the parks are mostly empty.

Hiked in a mile and fished a couple of spots I like. Mayflies emerging and even saw a trout rise. Whoop Whoop! Lots of little black stones and Quill Gordons too.

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I’m still fishing the same rig with a stimulator and rubber legs dropper. I keep telling myself to sharpen the hook on the dropper, but forgot again. I missed a lot of fish today. They managed to get off before I could get a hold of them. The ones that took the dry were ever so cautious and slow, drifting back with the fly and rising ever so slow with a lethargic sip at then end or a refusal.

Mostly brook trout up to 9” with the majority being 5-6” along with a few rainbows that were colored nicely. I flubbed many photos, with fish slipping out of hand or jumping out of the net. It was just one of those days.

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I hopped around a bit, skipping over sections and ended up at the start of the gorge section. . I only saw one hiker during the day. She hiked to the homestead and back.
As the days get longer and warmer, I’ll be pushing further up the creek.

I climbed out at the branch that leads up to the bridge on the trail. This area will soon be covered in savory nettles.
It was 5:00 and as I walked down the path I ran into a couple of young hikers on there way up. They were making good time with their hiking sticks but I wondered after they passed, would they get up to the parkway before dark?

I tried out the Lifestraw Go, It’s really nice to have an unlimited amount of water! Keeping the pack light and refilling as necessary. I’m not big on maintenance, but I took it apart and rinses as instructed, letting it dry after use.

Here is the photo dump of the rest of the day…

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#701464

they cut the water back to 81 cfs today... I just randomly checked early this morning, passed a lot of in-town fishermen, spin and fly.

The parking was empty, but another guy pulled in just before I headed down to the river.

Midges, and a few BWOs and an occasional Little Black Stones were coming off, and I saw six fish rise during the day. Went dirty with a rubber legs and caught good numbers of browns and a few rainbows...

bonus pic from the house.
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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#701474
March 13, 2021 #9
Partly cloudy, 60 degrees

Second day with the dam flow cut to 88 cfs and the word is out.

I was almost half-way there when I realized that I forgot to pack my chest waders and the wader pants in the car were the old leaky pair and were quit wet on the inside. I thought about it for another mile or two before I turned around.

I was listening to Hard Core History Addendum E12 Wolf Pack Hunting with Tom Hanks so I didn’t mind the extra drive time.

Arriving at the parking area the lot was almost full, mostly hikers, I assumed. As I was walking in a spin fisherman was coming out. I asked how he did, “I caught one,” he replied. “Any size?”, I asked. “About a pound”.

Then, as I crossed a branch trickling in, a fly fisherman along with his gal, who was carrying a camp chair, were walking out. I asked how he did, and his reply indicated that he didn’t catch any.
I was hoping that there were a few spots that they had overlooked and there didn’t appear to be any sighs that they had fished my usual runs.

Kayaks and canoes floated through my water, wasn’t to worried. I hooked a fish after the first group passed and then caught another one as the second group approached.

Caddis were popping off and I even saw a fish rise. And a large stonefly landed on me. Also saw a little black stone.

The small browns that I caught appeared to have a clipped dorsal fin and tail damage. They put up a strong fight but I’m thinking that they are the stocked triploids.

After fishing the lower reach, I switched over to a streamer and worked my way up to the top. The streamers didn’t produce, although I think I saw one fish take a swipe at it.

Here’s the photo dump;

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Triploid?

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#701485

March 14, 2021 #10

Gas: $2.59

Partly cloudy, 65 degrees

I had lost a number of rubber legs and only had a few left in the box, so I tied up four before heading out.

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I thought about going back down low but was afraid there might be others fishing there, hit a pool a bit further up with dead baby as a back-up. Flow was 365 which is a bit pushy for some of my favorite spots.

I rigged up and waded out into the major run, hitting the first seam, which has never produced, and then moved out a bit further to primo water. It didn’t take too long, maybe 2-3 cast before I hooked up. Really felt good to be back on the river.
In the next twenty minutes I caught 3 nice fish, two 10 inchers, one clipped fin triploid and the other a streamborn brown and hooked into another toad of a fish for good measure.

I netted the first fish and keeping it in the water remove the hook and then reached for the TG-6 only to see the dreaded empty battery notification. The cell was in my pants pocket so I had to reach inside my waders to retrieve it. With the fish still in the water I got it set up, I hate that the iphone won’t unlock with wet fingers, and I have to use the 6 digit code. Lift the fish and snap a quick pic and release. Oh that was a grand feeling. I almost left right then and there, could it get any better?

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I found this guy crawling on the net after releasing the fish, I guess I was matching the hatch.

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Jut a few more cast and bam. Fish on! The were feeding up in the shallow tail of the riffle just before it drops off into the deep pool.

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Bam.

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After this fish some other guy came down the bank and I stopped fishing and moved on. He had his chair set up and was chucking worms.

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I took a drive up to puneville and whacked some of the stunted residents.

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I fished the same rig all day long, until this happened – FUBAR

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And with that I called it a day, or should I say the end of three days back on my home waters.
User avatar
By Transylwader
#701487
Girdle bugs? How come it took you two decades to finally bust out the sin flies?
Tres cervezas? Careful of the twats in blue, always looking to peg some buddy for a DUI.
Nice bruin. But not nearly as nice as a 3" native prawn brook trout. :smile
User avatar
By woolly bugger
#701503

March 15, 2021 #10

60 and falling in the afternoon, partly sunny to cloudy later in the day.

Couldn’t stay away, and after finishing up some work and having lunch I started looking at the river gauges. I figured this might be the last chance for a while, so despite the projected arrival time of 3:00, I hit they road.

When back looking for the toad that I missed yesterday, but nobody was willing to play today. Spent an hour bouncing off the bottom looking for Leroy.

Headed on down to another spot and hiked in. Too much water is some spots, so I hit a run that doesn’t look like fish should be there, but I know better. Cast after cast after cast and not a hit. But I kept on and then the line stopped, I came tight and at first thought it was bottom, I was hung up. I held tight and applied some pressure and then bottom started to move and pulse with angry head shakes. Yes, big fish on! It took a while to play this fish but finally it came to the net. After removing the hook I reached for my iPhone, it wasn’t in the usual pocket, damn. I felt for it in my pants pocket and it wasn’t there either. Damn, damn. I was pretty sure that I had left it back at the car, but was really disappointed that I couldn’t photo this fish that was 20+ inches. Streamside measured by the opening of the Brodin Tailwater net. I reluctantly released the fish. No the puzzle of the phones whereabouts worried me and after I while I had to head back to “find” it. It was right where I left it.

With plenty of daylight left I ventured up to another spot. After a few drifts in a fast deep run I caught a rather good looking rainbow, one of only a few that I’ve seen down this far in the river.

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Well at least I got a photo of a fish…

Then I worked the water on the far side of the river, casting the double nymph drop shot rig forty feet across the braided currents into a sweet spot. It took several times and was difficult to throw enough of a mend to get a good drift, but I found my target.

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That made my day! Two great fish!

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#701561

3/25/2021

60 clouds turning to drizzle to downpour

I had some actual work to get done in the morning so I didn't get an early start. Trouts was casting in my run. I walked on down to the edge of the water and then cried out, "License Check!" Scared the begezeeies out of him! There were a few fish rising and he reported catching a couple on a griffith's gnat.

We talked for a moment, then it started to rain and Trouts split.

I worked a rising fish for a while before he wouldn't rise no more.

Switched to what has been working and then promptly broke off two flies. Damn Damn.

Caught a few fish but they weren't' as active as the other day.

Lost the dropper and then broke off a fish. that was the last of the rubber legs.

I hung out in the rain and took some photos, saw a turkey fly down from the ridge into the field.

Then I tried to get a fish to rise. It didn't work, then it started raining harder and I left.

here is the photo dump:

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Micky D's Spicy Chicken Snad isn't half bad...

User avatar
By woolly bugger
#701582

March 30, 2021 #14

Gas $2.69

44 ~ 70  Sunny

Itieuglyflies (ITUF) posted up a TR saying that the James River Shad run was in full swing. Being fully vaccinated, I replied, noting that I first fished the run with him 4 years ago almost to the day and lamented the missed 2020 run.

Texts flew back and forth and soon was faced with getting up there the following day. I pushed some work out the door and loaded up the car after searching for the reel with the sink tip.

Since his boat leaves the dock at 6:15, I drove the up in the afternoon. No trains blocked the road this year and I met him shortly after he arrived as he was prepping the boat for the launch.

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We were on the water by 6:15, the first to launch from this ramp. ITUF navigated in the dark, avoiding the early morning skullers already on the water.

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After anchoring up, we waited for the first light of the day. ITUF caught one on his first cast and I followed a few casts later. Let the catching begin.

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Other boats began lining the shore above and below us, at one point there were about 10. They were all fishing, but we were catching.

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The catching was pretty much nonstop, but it did slow down to the point where we took a lunch break. Who knew Patagonia had a provisions branch? https://www.patagoniaprovisions.com/

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The Lemon Caper Mackerel packed in Olive Oil are damn tasty.

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Then it was back to catching until we really didn’t want to catch any more. Sore arms and cut fingers were the result of over 116 fish caught.

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As the tide began to come in we headed back to the ramp where there was a short line of boats coming and going but it didn’t take too long to get in and I was on the road home by 3:30
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By woolly bugger
#701606

April 5, 2021 #14

Gas $2.55

74 – 64 Sunny to partly cloudy

Got off to a late start. Too late for a long drive or hike. I headed up to the new local. Another angler was putting up his gear. He fished the lower reach. All on dries. Brookies only. I headed up the trail well past where he had stopped. I clipped off my dropper and managed to get a couple of pune brookies to his the dry. 

There was plenty of water in the creek and I ended up tying on a pincely dropper. Lots of quick releases and very few fish photos were taken as they either escaped from my hand or wriggled off the hook. Brook, brown and rainbows.

Wildflowers dominated the photo work. Soon it will be time to savor the nettles.

I was having some issues with my trout net. The "rubber" bag is getting stiff and would no longer "open" with the weight of a small trout. I went online searching for a replacement. I ran across the Brodin Eco-clear, which, according to Brodin is made from a environmentally friendly soft plastic which won't harden over time. But the damn thing doesn't line up with the holes in the net frame and I've got some work to do to make it fit right. 

Photo dump.

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Started at 4, got back to the car at 7:30
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By woolly bugger
#701640

April 12, 2020
Gas $2.45

Sunny 74 degrees

The lot was almost full, odd for a weekday. I started too low. The water was up from the recent rains. Finding fish was a problem. I kept going higher, skipping over a lot of water. Things started getting better and fish steadily came to hand. I missed or lost almost as many. Many photo flubs. Six hours, 5.9 miles, 527'.

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Atlantic mackerel is the small fish with the mild flavor and big, meaty texture of a large fish. But there are many other reasons to give it a try. Unlike large apex predators like tuna and swordfish, these mackerel are small, schooling fish that occur in great abundance, providing a truly sustainable harvest. They're caught by hook and line, with little to no bycatch, by traditional fishing families in northern Spain. Since Atlantic mackerel are low on the ocean food chain, they don't have the high levels of mercury and other toxins that can concentrate in larger fish. And they are an excellent source of protein, vitamin B-12, and other essential nutrients, with 500 mg of Omega 3 fatty acids per serving.


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By woolly bugger
#701653

April 18, 2021

Partly cloudy, low to mid sixties.

Gas $2.79

the TVA is doing some work on the weir so there are low flows now for a while. I cleared the deck of chores and headed over the hump hoping to find some little yaller bugs and rising fish, but a call to the fly shop indicated that the bugs aren't out in force yet and their advice was to go small, really small, with light tippet, like 6.5 or 7x.

There were a lot of drift boats in the parking lots, foiled plans I guess, many were wading and I didn't ger my first-choice spot and settled for an old favorite arriving just after 9, thinking I should have gotten to the river at 8 to get my preferred spot.

I hit some spots with a dry before switching over to nymphs and shot. Fish weren't easy to find but I managed a bunch of rainbows, some of which looked great, and others more like stockers, along with an occasional brown. Fishing with tiny flies (#20, #24) and 6.5 times tipped leads to lost fish. I had a couple of big head shakers on the line for a while, but the fly lost its purchase.

I saw risers now and then and there were some sulfurs coming off along with several bows and tons of midges and I switched back and forth between dry and nymphs. I managed to catch a few of the rising fish and enticed others to take the fly.

By 4:30 I was done with the wind and wading and since the fishing was relatively slow, I packed up and headed home.


Photo dump:

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It looked like these troutbros were casting dries or soft hackles on the flat water randomly and surprisingly enough I saw them catch one!

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Barn of the trip for Richard Herington!
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Nice vise, G. https://i.imgur.com/5umX8w3l.jpg

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