Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Eno Never Disappoints

I have some friends that are somewhat new to fly fishing and I've been filling them in for months on how great the Eno is. They decided to accompany me this morning to see if the reputation is deserved. I tried going to a place that I went a few weeks ago. I couldn't find it and after a few twists and turns we ended up on a section I've never fished before. The parking lot was small and the place didn't look like it see's too much action. I wasn't sure if that was good or not. Jen headed down stream, while Claudia and I worked our way upstream. It wasn't long before small fish started to play with the flies. We were using poppers and I imagine the fish were small or they were fisherman wary bass. The bass in the Eno have a skill of swimming ever so gently up to your fly and kiss it with the slightest touch. I had a few decent hits but I couldn't seem to hook anything. As we moved up stream I saw a spot that looked promising, made my cast and had a fish take the fly almost simultaneously with it hitting the water. The water was so clear I couldn't tell if it was a fish or what. It was a strange view, it almost looked like my fly was being dragged around beneath the surface by an invisible force. I set the hook and saw a nice green flash. I figured it was a roanoke I became excited and really tried to work the fish. As it swam in front of me I could see the big blue mark on it's gill. The signal of a bluegill. My mind had a hard time processing this, because this fish was bigger than any bluegill I have caught before. As it came closer it seemed to get even bigger, it didn't fight that much until it was about a leader length away. Then it was a project landing the fish. I really needed a net. I usually don't catch anything that requires a net in the Eno but this was an exception. I finally wrapped my hand around the fish's gut and pulled it out of the water. It was a thing of beauty.This was by far the biggest sunfish I had ever seen. It was a really healthy fish. This fish was wide as it was tall I did some research and found this fish is a red eared sunfish alos called a shellcracker. After releasing the fish I tried around the area where it was caught. Nothing else even sniffed my fly. Claudia and I decided to check on Jen.Right as we walked up Jen was pulling in a little sunfish. She had caught quite a few and found a honey hole. I had Claudia work the back of the hole to see if she would have luck there. It wasn't long until she had a sunfish of her own.The fishing slowed down a lot. The water seemed to get shallower. I decided to be a good samaritan and pull and old raft upstream that was deflated and draped over a tree. While dragging it back I kept asking myself why I picked it up. The raft was really heavy and waterlogged. We all had a really good time exploring the area and catching some fish. The Eno never disappoints. This is probably my favorite place to fish in the Raleigh area. I'm going to hit this river again in a different spot next month.


  1. Wow - nice trip. I catch Redear quite a bit, but I have never caught one like that!

  2. that was a big sunfish! my biggest was a bluegill about that size.