Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Quest for Shad

Ever since I've moved to Raleigh I've heard about this fish that swims all the way from the ocean up into the nearby rivers and small creeks in the surrounding area. They call them the Southern Salmon or poor mans tarpon. More commonly known as just "shad". They can get up to 5lbs and are supposedly really fun to catch. I wouldn't know. I've been trying to catch these things for 2yrs. I've been reading about them and from what I've found your best bet is to have a boat and to fish up near Weldon on the Roanoke River. They also come to the Tar River and Neuse that flows from Raleigh's, Falls Lake.

This year I decided to really target them. The hot season for the shad run is in March, I recently finished my first fly tying class and I've found some flies that are supposedly great for shad. I tied some up and went out to a small creek near Tarboro. It had just rained a couple days before and the water was really high. I heard from a local that it was about 4ft higher then normal. Needless to say I was skunked. I really wanted to avoid driving anywhere far from Raleigh. My family has planned a small vacation and I'm leaving for the west coast in a couple weeks so time is shrinking on me. I tried again last weekend on the Neuse right down from the dam. Again I was skunked. The weather was beautiful and I read reports of people catching shad in Weldon and the lower Neuse where it hits the sound and goes into the ocean. I think maybe it is still early. I'm going to try to coerce my brother-in-law into going fishing with me probably the last time I'll have this Saturday. The last shad attempt. I've found a stretch of the Neuse that they have to go by. Unless we get a torrential down poor. It could happen, rain is in the forecast for tonight. Either way I want to try. This has been the hardest fish to catch, and what makes it worse is to hear the stories and reports of other people catching up to 30-40 fish.

We'll see what happens this weekend, my fly arsenal is listed below. I will definitely update the site with pics, whether I finally get a shad or come home empty handed.

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