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By woolly bugger
#702588
#109

Cooler day, in the mid to low 40s, cloudy. Gas $3.25

It was spitting rain when I pulled into an empty lot. I layered up and headed down the trial. The flow was around 110 down from 190.
I rigged up a double rubber legs dirty drop shot rig and went to work. Hooked into a beastly looking fish right off, but it managed to throw the barbless hook. To be truthful, I don't think I had a good hook set to begin with.

Moved all around, up and down and didn't see another fish until coming back down and hitting Fred's pool and hooked and landed the same fish I caught the other day. It was just as unruly and uncooperative, but I got a better pic this time.

Came back around to the start at dusk to see if anybody else was interested in playing. No luck.

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#702590
#110

54 degrees. Partly cloudy.

Getting in a few more hours before I head out to Harkers for some Albie fishing next week...  d:b

Hit the lower reach, hooked several, a few came to hand, and one let me get a photo...


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By woolly bugger
#702591
#111 Gas $3.29 Weather snotty

Day 1

Sunday was a blow day and the boats had been pulled. Sarah said there was a possibility Monday and to check in around ten, there was a chance for a half day.  Rhody and I were drinking coffee and shooting the breeze when the call came at 8:30, she was ready and to come on down. We weren’t quite ready and rushed to get things together and we left the slip at 9:30.

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It was a little breezy, but the day was looking good.



We chased after the fish and played the albie version of whack a mole all afternoon.

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I had a fish on but failed to get a hook set. We never really got into fish but it was a good time getting to know the guide and get our sea legs. Despite all of the boats out that day there weren’t any good reports. The two-day blow had messed things up.

Well there is always tomorrow.

Back at the cottage we had some beer and Rhody cooked up a batch of his famous Shrimp and Grits.

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By woolly bugger
#702594
#112
Day 2

Up at five – breakfast and coffee and off to the dock by 6:30.

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It sure was a pretty morning as we left the dock and out to the bight.

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With calm seas we searched for our prey along Atlantic Beach and it wasn’t too long before we were hooked up.

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The fish stayed up early but in the afternoon, it was more albie whack a mole.

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And after a day of salt and sun we headed back to the barn.

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Riverbum greeted us at the dock and we drove around to his friends place to scrounge up some shrimp for dinner. We watched a beautiful sunset as Steve cleaned his catch.

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Back at the ranch Rhody cooked up another superb batch of awesome Shrimp and Grits.
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By woolly bugger
#702595
#113

Day 3

Due to an error on my part Riverbum, Rhody and I were scheduled for the day. No problem, plenty of room in the Jones Bros. 23-footer.

The weather was getting better each day and it looked good for going to the east side. We were created at the dock with another gorgeous sunrise, and we beat Brian and his Sage rod designers out of the gate.
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The east side was calm with 3-4 foot swells but the ride across the shoals was a bit snotty.

With Rhody in the bow and the bum in the back with chased after the birds and were hooked up by 8:30
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And just as quick as they appeared they were gone, and the hunt continued.
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We may have stayed east too long and there was action on the beaches, but it was also a cluster of run ‘n gun whack a mole.
We ended up with a low count, but it was still a grand day on the water.

The Fishhook was open (closed S-T due to staff shortage) and we went there for dinner. Tidal Waves and Oysters were ordered, and it was a grand meal
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By woolly bugger
#702607
Day 4 #114

Driver and I got down to the dock just as Sarah and Brian arrived. It wasn’t long before we were headed out into another spectacular sunrise.

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Capt. Sarah spotted some interesting bait balls on the way to the east side and we stopped to try for some drum but wall we caught were bluefish and a grey trout.

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Cloudy skies greeted us but the seas were calm.

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The lack of birds was worrisome, and we planned to head west if fish weren’t spotted.
Back across the shoals Capt Sarah spotted some birds working and we headed over to check out the action.

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Things slowed down after that activity and it became Whack an Albie.

Driver had an interesting encounter with a bird that got wrapped up in his line.

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Back at the dock my fried brain needed a moment to check my ciphering.

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In the meantime, a dude came over to look at Driver's custom T&T rod and he states that he was a T&T designer and that was his rod. He had been out with Capt. Chuck Aikens and he caught nine. Later we learned that the Riverbum had gotten into them with his friend Steve, and he caught 3 before they had to leave. All of this happed while we were oceanside enjoying calm seas and searching for fish. It’s a big ocean and you can’t be in the right place all the time.

I had told Brian earlier in the week that “This was the best thing that I had done for myself this year.” I booked a full week in November 2022.

Capt. Sarah is great, she worked hard to get us on fish and was aware of everything happening on her boat and offered assistance anytime someone got tangled or broke off.  She gave us tips and instruction when needed and boated our fish effortlessly.
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By woolly bugger
#702615
#115 temp in the low 50s Gas $3.24
The rain made the river unfishable on Friday, but it was looking better on Saturday, so I took a chance and hit a lower section of the river. It was still heavily stained and flowing strong. I still thought streamers would produce. They didn’t.
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By woolly bugger
#702618
#116
Back to the usual beat. It’s definitely fall and layers were required. The wind was wicked at the start but diminished when I got on the water. Full shade on the water in the afternoon now. I tied on a clouser and went to work.
I was feeling defeated after an hour without a strike, well maybe I had a grab or two. Then I started getting into some fish.
DSFK
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Abandoned vehicles
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The wind and water made conditions cold enough to bring out the nytril gloves.
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A good evening of fishing with a handful of fish on a streamer.
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By woolly bugger
#702621
#117 Sunny 48 degrees

mo·men·tum
the strength or force that something has when it is moving
forward momentum

The clouser I’m fishing is bigger than any that we used for the albies. The trout seem to like it. I got a good handful plus 4 or 5 more grabs in a couple of hours.

I was on my way down to the last run when I stumbled and as I tried to catch myself my momentum carried me forward and after falling to my knees I continued forward and broke my fall with my arms going in up past my elbows. As I regained my footing I scooped up a couple of gallons on water and I felt them run down and fill up my booties. :smile

I was about mile from the car and almost quit, but I went on down and fished the last run. I didn’t even get a bump.
Hiked out before the sunset

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By woolly bugger
#702622
#118 40 degrees mostly sunny but I was in the shade...

Needed to stretch my legs, thought about boing low, but didn't want to run into people...

Lost some flies... two to sunken logs and one was a bad knot... fingers were cold...

Beavers have been busy, gnawing, blocking the trail and building a damn dam...

Had several better fish gulp, swipe and unbutton, before the one that hit the fly and found the weakness in my knot.

Finally caught a overachieving pune and called it a day as the sun was setting...

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#702628


#119 Gas $3.14

45 going in 40 coming out and windy

With the wind the only logical choice was to throw a streamer, but I kept seeing the trout rise to miniscule BWOs and after several blow ups and bumps on the streamer I rigged up a 6x leader and tied on a #20 fly only then did I realize that all of my floatant and magic dust  was missing from my vest as I had removed all that stuff when I started concentrating on streamers. Anyway, I gave it shot and I did get a couple of fish to rise to my fly but it was difficult to see my fly on the water and the wind was brutal at times. I crossed over into some sunshine on the far bank and rerigged with a #2 clouser and headed to the last run of the day.

I hooked up and landed what is the best fish I've caught on this section in over 28 years.  d:b




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I fished on for a while and got a couple more grabs and bumps but it was a one fish day.
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By woolly bugger
#702629



#120 50s

I looked for another unicorn, nobody was interested, I got hung up on some submerged structure and my versa leader broke at a wind knot. Instead of repairing it I switched over to fish the bwo/midge hatch, size 24. Lots of fish were sipping in the slack water. It required a lot of patience, perfect drifts and some luck. The bugs would come in spurts, with mini frenzies followed by spells of inactivity. I got chilled standing still in the run and quit after catching enough to stop for the day.

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These fish were just as rewarding as the one I caught the other day. Perhaps even more so, since I was casting to each of them and watched them take the fly.
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