Thursday, December 30, 2010

Great White Caught on a Fly

This post was inspired by a followers comment about fishing for sharks off San Diego. A juvenile great white was caught on a fly in July. The fly looks a little funny from the pic. It's an interesting story none the less. For the full story Click Here.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Back from San Diego

I made it back from San Diego luckily without having to spend the night in an airport. Winter storms shut down most of the airports on the east coast the morning of our flight. We rescheduled our flight and figured there are worse places to be stuck then San Diego. It was fun seeing family and the last two days we were able to relax and didn't spend our time driving around all over the county. The weather was great and the family had a good time. I was even able to visit some of the fly shops there. I found one I never knew existed. Both shops were great and had good advice. I never knew there were bonefish in San Diego. I guess you can't sight fish for them. They hang in deep water near one of the far ends of a bay where the water stays warm year round. The shops did give me advice on trout fishing in the area and sight fishing for surf species such as halibut and corbina. I didn't bring my fly rod and the weather wasn't fishing weather at all. I still wish I took some time to wet a line some where. Oh well, there's always next time. The two shops I checked out were So Cal Fly Fishing Outfitters and The San Diego Fly Shop. There was a sale ad the SD Fly shop. I picked up a pair of convertible quick-dry Exofficio pants for $35.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fishing Goal in Jeopardy

This year I decided to create a couple fishing goals for myself. The first one is pretty much impossible right now. That was to catch 12 different species that were longer than 12inches. You can click on the fish names to see pics of the ones I caught. The species were:

  • Trout - Brown, Rainbow, Brook all over 12inches only counting trout once.
  • Crappie* - measured fish with my foot but I think it was 12.
  • Striped Bass - I think it's hard to catch a Striper under 12 inches.
  • White Bass - Caught these for the first time this year. Luckily found a big hive of fat ones.
  • Carp - Again a first. I've hooked a few before but this year I landed one.
  • Catfish - Every year I always seem to some how hook a catfish. This year I caught a channel and a bullhead over 12 inches.
  • Largemouth Bass - I finally caught a bass well over 12 inches. It was great catching this guy on top water and on film no less.
  • Smallmouth Bass* - Not sure this guy is over 12 but pretty close.

The 12 inch fish that I targeted but never caught over 12inches or at all.
  • Gar - Only went after them a couple times and finally saw one. But I couldn't catch one to save my life.
  • Bluegill - For some reason I thought this was gonna be easy. Then I thought about the last time I saw a bluegill that was 12inches. I don't think I ever have.
  • Redfish - I never made it to the coast to go after these guys. This was a big disappointment for me.
  • Chain Pickerel - A friend caught one of these in the Eno and has pictures. I think he's the only person that has with a fly.
  • Bowfin - Still looking for my first bowfin. I know where they are just haven't learned how to catch them.

My other goal was to catch at least one fish each month of the year. Usually Jan-Feb are my most difficult times but this year I got lucky. Mostly with the help of friends and great circumstances. I'm dangerously close to missing this goal. It's unbelievably cold this Dec. I leave for a week to go to San Diego for Christmas. So that gives me about 5 days to fish to get that last fish of the year and complete my goal. I wasn't going to include fish out of the pond by my work but I'm lowering my standards now and letting that be a possibility.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Even though we had our first snow of the year and probably one of the coldest weekends this year. I decided to try some nymphing on the Eno. I needed to get outside anyways. It's been a good two weeks since I was fishing last. The scenery at the trail head was picturesque to say the least.
I wasn't sure what to expect. When I saw the water I was amazed at how clear it was. It looked like a stream in the mtns. My friend and I jumped in the water and started working nymphs through any run that might hold a fish. When the sun came out the weather was really pleasant but once it went behind a cloud and a breeze hit it was tough. The water was very wadable with the exception of the dead moss on the rocks. It made some places more slippery than in the summer when algae is everywhere.I kept going upstream to a pool where there usually is big fish. I tried various nymphs and clousers. I didn't get even a nibble.I think it was just too cold and the recent snow put the fish down. The water wasn't that cold but the melting snow had to make the water temp drop pretty rapidly. After an hour I decided to call it a day. It was nice to get out and at least I tried.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Best News Ever

So I'm working from home yesterday and getting ready to go with my wife to the Dr. The appt was right around my daughters nap time so my wife asked if I would be ok staying with her while she went alone. I wanted to go because today was the day we found out the sex of the baby. Finally, we could tell everyone and stop being asked every time we see anyone, "is it a boy or a girl?"

My wife left and I tried to not glance at the clock every minute or listen for the door to open. My daughter woke up way too early from her nap which is too often a occurrence lately. I try to entertain her and work the best I can. Anyone who has a 2yr old knows how effective that is. What is the human fascination with jumping on the bed? I know I loved it as a kid and my daughter can't get enough of it. The bad part is she comes dangerously close to flying off half the time.

Good thing we heard a key in the lock just as my daughter was getting more rambunctious. My wife comes in and I try to act interested but not make a big deal. We both know the answer I want to hear. She says "Well what do you think?" By a small attempt to hide her smile before she said anything gave me hope that she was gonna say a boy. I said "it's a boy?" My wife said yes and I really didn't think I wanted a boy that bad but when she told me you would have thought I just won the lottery. YES!!!!!!!!! I yelled, and proceeded to beat my chest and call every family member that would listen. I also did what anyone does in this day and age and updated my facebook status.

What awesome news and as lucky as we are to just have kids in general is a blessing. I'm glad to have the opportunity to experience what raising a girl and a boy is going to be like.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pretty Funny Fish Story

A friend sent this to me this morning. I thought it was pretty good. The title is How Fishing Almost Destroyed my Childhood. Enjoy

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Neuse in November

A friend who knows the Neuse like no other invited me to go fishing this weekend. The weather looked to be great and after warming ourselves with some coffee we hit the water. The conditions were my kind of fishing. The sun had warmed up the air the water was low and clear. Perfect for wading.My friend had talked about using a new retrieve for bass. When he showed it to me I realized the way I fish for largemouth might be totally wrong. I had been using his so called new retrieve all year for bass. It was hit or miss. It was the same type of retrieve I use for striped bass.
Quick 4 inch strips with various pauses in between. I guess largemouth usually like a slower retrieve. The structure was perfect for holding fish. I went with a wooly bugger type pattern. I got some hits and eventually hooked a few fish. The hits were very subtle. As the temperature warmed up the fish became more aggressive.

Many times I would cast and before I even started stripping line a fish would be swimming away with my fly. By the time I brought them to hand the fish had engulfed the fly.The fish were definitely trying to fatten up before winter. The gills inhaled the fly so deep a few times I had a hard time removing it. The fish seemed to be in eddies and the trick was to start stripping immediately after the fly hit the water. If there was a log, bounce the fly off of it or get as close as possible. The fish seemed to be just under or near cover. There was some surface activity and I thought about using a popper but I was doing well with streamers. All of the fish were bluegill except for a small bass. The gills were pretty fat and some had a nice color to them. The trees were also displaying their last bit of fall color. The morning was pretty perfect. Things went how they are supposed to go, or how I think they should go. The flies that are supposed work did, every fishy looking spot seemed to hold a few fish and I never had a random snag from a tree on the bank. It's been awhile since I have caught this many fish in a short amount of time. That is what's great about blue gill. They are aggressive and plentiful. Today, life if good.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day Striper Fishing

Fishing is always better with friends. This Veterans day some buddies and I got out and chased striped bass on Kerr Lake. This was going to be a first for all of us. We had fished for stripers before on the Roanoke but never targeted them in a lake. At the boat ramp everyone was eager to get on the water.The weather was warmer than anyone expected and the trees were showing off their fall colors in their last attempt before winter. No one really knew where to go so we started to search for birds. There were some seagulls hovering here and there but we were looking for frantic action. Birds diving, water disturbed with fins and flying minnows.The fish indicator marked fish at various depths. We all worked water and hoped for the best. In the main channel there was always a nice brisk wind. Once you tucked in a cove the atmosphere was calm. The water had a murky brown color to it. After having no luck my friend John and I moved to a different part of the lake. The water cleared considerably but there was no birds or sign of life. There also wasn't any other boats, on top of that the fish indicator was silent.I dropped my line in anyways. You can't catch'm if your line isn't in the water. Our efforts were fruitless and after awhile lunch started to really sound good.Chicken and biscuits hit the spot! We headed back to where we started to see if the others have had any luck. When we found the cove there they were fishing we saw small shad jumping every where about 30ft off shore. There didn't seem to be any fish pushing them to the surface. It was hard to tell why they were so active and jumping out of the water. We figured big fish have to come and eat these sometime so we hung out and cast different flies among the shad. In the meantime we watched bald eagles and other birds.

Then just as we least expected it and were just kind of sitting around chatting and switching flies I heard a splash. I pointed to where I saw it and when John looked over three more simultaneous huge splashes disrupted the water. I went to tie a fly on faster than I ever have in my life. John started the engine and tried to get us closer to the splashes. It seemed in just 10 seconds there were about 20 splashes and gaining intensity. The boat seemed to take forever to get over to them. As we got closer we saw our friends quickly approaching from the other side. They could see the splashes from across the lake. John hucked his fly out and my line was in the water shortly after. The fish seemed to be every where. On my second cast I had a fish on and it ran to the right of the boat right under John's line. He was quick to get his line out of the water and nice enough to net my fish. Then there was the adrenaline rush of scrambling to get the camera and have him take the picture, all the while fish are busting all around us and we are basically wasting time with this taking picture nonsense. While John's taking the picture we over hear our friends whooping and hollering at fish they are either hooking or missing.
The fish snaps my line after the picture and I tell John "just to go back to fishing." I frantically work to tie on another fly and he casts like a mad man. The splashes start to subside and no one wants to say it out loud but we all know this might not last much longer. Maybe a minute or two more. We start doing things out of excitement rather than logic. If we get right on top of the few splashing fish that will make us catch them right? That wasn't the case, as we got closer the splashes became less and less. Eventually we were staring at calm water and minnows jumping here and there again.

What an amazing experience though and it was the kind of thing that makes you come back just to experience it again. It was nice knowing the fish like the white and chartreuse clouser I tied. Then came the best part of the trip. Getting together and sharing stories of the day.Asking each other questions like what kind of flies were working or how many fish did you get? Hoping they caught some but not more than you. It was a fun day of fishing not catching and I'm ready to come back and do it all over again.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Knowing when to Stop

A buddy of mine sent me an email about fishing this weekend. I decided to take him up on it and literally as I was looking at the water levels report he called me. The river was up higher than normal but not too bad. We planned the logistics and decided to meet the next morning. After I hung up I checked the weather report. There was a 30% chance of rain and it was going to be cold. Not very attractive conditions. I still woke up the next morning looking forward to getting on the river. I gathered my things and as I got in my car I noticed the temp read 46 degrees. That's not very cold.

As I headed towards the river I noticed dark clouds along the horizon. The temperature seemed to drop every 5 min. I pulled into a gas station not even a mile from the river, the temp was now 41 degrees and a steady sprinkle had started. When I met my friend and started gearing up the rain increased and the river level was a lot higher than I expected. We tried to make the best of it. I watched the wildlife and checked out the fall foliage. I went to take a picture and the low battery alert flashed on my camera and the display went black. I worked sections that I knew held fish. All the time watching water levels around certain rocks to give me a gauge to tell if the water is rising. The rain seemed to get worse whenever I headed up stream. Whenever the fishing isn't very good you always seems to notice things that wouldn't bother you other wise. My hands felt numb from stripping wet line. My jacket really wasn't water proof and the top layer was soaked. I started to feel a over all chill which I hate. I tried to wade and just keep casting to keep myself warm. Whenever a breeze hit me it made it more difficult to forget the cold.

In the middle of thinking about how miserable I was and tying on another fly I dropped my rod in the water. That's when I knew the cold was making it hard for me to concentrate. I watched my rod sink and at first I expected it to stop. Then a flash of what really was going on hit me. The water was about 2ft deeper than it normally was and if I didn't grab the rod soon I would probably have to get my torso wet to get it. I jerked my arm in the water and snatched the rod without lifting up my jacket sleeve. Now I had a soaked cold arm to go with the rest of me. That was it, I told my friend I was calling it a day. In the past I would have just fought through it and made myself miserable all day. When I got in the car it started to rain harder. I turned on the heater and noticed 40degrees on the temp gauge, I was happy I left. It could be a sign of getting old but I'm happy that I'm learning when to pack it in, instead of torturing myself.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tying more ugly flies

The club recently had presentation on striper fishing. Myself and some of the other members decided to plan a trip. One of the go to flies is called a tutti-fruity. The recipe is:

* Streamer Hook
* Chartreuse and Pink bucktail
* dumbbell eyes
* flashabou

I had everything but the chartreuse bucktail. I decided to try some doll hair mixed with white bucktail. I like the results I just have no idea how it will fish.I kind of like this mottled version too. I really like the chartreuse doll hair in the fly I just wonder how well it will work in the water.I liked the material so much I decided to try a gatorade clouser type fly and a deceiver type.You'd think I'd dress up the flies some and just take pictures of the good ones. I really hate tying and these are about as good as it's gonna get. The black thread in one of the flies I figured could work as a lateral line. I might just cut it out. Depends if it works.I think I have a good batch to get started.
The trip is planned for Nov 11. Until then I'm going to mess around and see what I can tie. I'll probably do more traditional patterns after these.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall Colors and Low Water

Last weekend reminded me that fishing trips never go exactly how you expect. The mountains can be tricking so figuring out what you're going to pack can be a challenge. It can be 70 degrees one day then snowing the next. The weather report showed the highs in the 70's which usually meant it was gonna be chilly in the shade but nice in the sun. The weather turned out to be perfect. So nice in fact that I could have worn shorts all weekend. Of course I didn't pack any. The drive up was in the late evening and the trees looked as though they had already peaked with their fall colors.
The next morning we were happy to see that wasn't the case.It's really hard to get the colors of the trees. I forgot to bring my better camera that has a polarized lens. I think that is the only way to capture the true colors of how beautiful the trees are. You can see the difference if you wear polarized glasses and take them on and off. The trees look kind of dull without them. Since the weather was so nice the family decided to take a few hikes and take in the scenery.My daughter loves hiking and spending time with her cousins. I tried to get a shot of some of the leaves behind her and my wife.My daughter can only ride in the stroller for so long. Eventually she gets restless and has to hike on her own. Near the top of the mountain we were able to find wooly worms. There is a superstition about their coloring.The more black they have in the front determines how bad of a winter we're going to have. According to this guy we're gonna have a cold start to winter then a nice stretch and a cold ending.Eventually, I couldn't stand it anymore and I had to hit some trout water. First, I went to one of my favorite stretches. The water was really low. I looked for signs of fish in the water. In certain places that were usually a few feet deep it was now just inches of water. Even with most of my concentration on fishing I kept getting distracted by the trees.I tied on an egg pattern first and worked the deep pools I could find. I'd see a flash every once in awhile but nothing seemed to stick. I changed up to a softhackle dropped off a thingamabobber. On my next two casts I saw the indicator twitch and finally go under. The fish on the other end couldn't have been more than 4inches. As I brought it to hand I noticed it was a creek chub. These fish are everywhere in the New River. They will hit dries and nymphs and can become a nuisance. I started to move fast and work as much water as quickly as I could. Almost every decent spot I fished yielded a chub. Many of them were larger than any I had caught previously. I still wanted a trout. The features of the river had totally changed. The last time I visited this stretch was in August. In just a couple months the water had dropped a couple feet and a lot of structure was just gone. It was tough fishing. The water was so low my profile was high above the water. I didn't feel like stealth fishing and crouching down. I spooked a few browns but it didn't bother me that much. Mainly because there seemed to be only one fish in a general area. My favorite stretch had now become a chub factory. I covered a ton of water and around every turn I was more discouraged with the conditions. I decided to leave and try a Delayed Harvest Section.The Watauga has always been good to me. This river sees a ton of pressure. It had been a few weeks since the last stocking. That usually meant clever and spooky fish. The river is very scenic and fallen leaves outlined the banks. I was losing daylight and fished quickly. First I started with a white wooly bugger. I had some follows and slashes at the fly but I couldn't hook fish. I kept moving and figured I'd get to a certain point then head back and fish a nymph under a indicator. The nymph worked and I was able to hook a rainbow in a riffle that curved around a rock. The fish hit the nymph so hard there really wasn't any technique to catching it.The next fish took a little more finesse. There were a ton of leaves falling and many times you'd have to clear your line from drifting leaves. My indicator would stop on them all the time. I was in a calm section with hardly any flow and right near a leaf the indicator stopped. I pulled up on it and instead of the indicator coming towards me, it went under water. Now here's where experience comes into play. That's not right, if you lift up your line your indicator should come towards you up out of the water. What happens many times in the rhythm of fishing two things will happen simultaneously and your next decision will decide whether or not you catch a fish. If I sat there and just figured my eyes were playing tricks on me I would have missed the next little bob of my indicator. Knowing better I held the line firm and when I saw the indicator give the slightest bob the second time I set the hook. It went under and like most stocked DH fish it didn't fight hard at first. Then as it got closer it decided to make a run for it. Of course I didn't have my net and this guy was just a little big to just grab.
I was able to just slide my hand down the leader and un-hook the fish. The light was fading and I decided to call it a day. It wasn't my best day of fishing but at least I got a chance to get out and wet a line.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Harris Lake

The plan today was to try to get the evening bite at Harris Lake. My friend John has a flats boat with a platform. I was hoping we could use the platform to sight fish for bass and carp. The weather couldn't have been better. 70 degrees not a cloud in the sky and hardly any wind. I tried a top water popper first and had a couple hits on my second cast. The strikes were not ferocious. I figured it was a bluegill or small bass. That was enough action to encourage me but that fizzled out after my next 100 casts yielded no results. We worked coves and ledges trying to find fishing holding on the drop offs under water. I switched from the frog type popper I was using to a clouser I created using just flashabou and peacock herl. With in five casts or so I had my first Harris Lake bass and the first fish I have caught using my 10wt.I recently bought an Albright 10wt and today was my first test run of how the rod would cast and fight fish. The rod doesn't cast as well as I'd like but with a price tag of $30, I can't complain. John kept working the surface with poppers and a gurgler minnow. I tried various clousers, poppers even the pole dancer. The fish just didn't want to cooperate. Even with the slow fishing the atmosphere on the lake was more than peaceful. The leaves are starting to change on the trees and we seemed to be the only boat on the water.We kept fishing until Sunset. Even as the last glimmers of light shined above the trees we didn't see much surface activity. I'm starting to wonder if all these stories I've heard about aggressive fall bass is just a fisherman's rumor. I'm still waiting for my experience but until then I'll just have to enjoy boat rides on glass calm lakes and sunsets like this.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fishing Slump

I have been in a fishing slump lately. I haven't gotten out much and when I do get out the quality of fishing isn't very good. I'm never out as long as I want to be the conditions are strange. I have plenty of excuses. The bottom line is I haven't had a good fishing trip in awhile. I might hit a lake with a friend this weekend and do some sight fishing for bass and carp. I'd definitely post a report. Until then I'll have to live vicariously through movies like this.

Sore Lips from Justin Ide on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Nice Fish Philosophy

This is an interesting take on why people fly fish. It's not a new philosophy but I feel the way it was explained is done very well. Enjoy.

Fly Fishing is a Joke from Henry Harrison on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Low Water and the Haw River

Usually when I visit the Haw it is running at about 150cfs or above. This morning it was under 100. It allowed me to check out places I never had access to before. There is an island that I always figured if I could just get to the other side the fishing was probably great. The light was still pretty low and it was hard to see in the water but it was so low wading was pretty easy. That's not normal for this river. I was able to get to the other side and slowly make my way around the island. The view looked just as good as I expected.The pools looked like perfect places for bass to lurk. I tried to be as stealthy as possible when approaching pools. With the light of the morning I couldn't quite see in the water. I cast into a calm pool expecting a huge explosion any second. There was a little nibble but not the explosive take I was hoping for. The next pool had to hold a bass. Unfortunately it was the same scenario. Pool after pool seemed to hold plenty of sunfish but no bass. The water looked great but I guess wasn't great habitat for bass.It got a little frustrating but it was hard to be annoyed with the weather being perfect. I saw my first Haw River bald eagle and plenty of osprey. Even though the bass weren't too active the sunfish sure were. I tried to use big flies but that didn't deter the sunfish.I'm going to come back this fall and see if I can get some pictures of the birds diving into the water for fish. The day was pretty ho-hum fishing wise. I did get into a tussle with two bass but after a few seconds they came off. With fall quickly approaching and the leaves starting to change color the days on the Haw are only going to get better.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I was told recently that there was a coupon in the latest Orvis catalog for 12 free flies. I couldn't find the coupon and resorted to sending out an e-mail to all my fishing buddies to point out where exactly the coupon was. Sure enough on Page 67 of the late summer catalog there is a page that states if you bring this to your local Orvis dealer you in fact get a dozen flies. I was really excited about this and started calling friends and began shopping to sort out what flies I'd choose. It was then that my wife finally said you are obsessed with fly fishing. If I would have known better I would have just kept quiet. But I insisted on an explanation of how she felt I was obsessed.

First off she pointed out what most people call driving I call looking for fishable water. We can't go anywhere with out me peering over the bank of a road or rubber necking at a farm pond we're passing. She always fears we're going to die in the mountains because it's fishable water overload. The next thing she pointed out is the comment I make every time I see these waters. "I should have brought my fishing pole". She noticed lately I haven't been saying that as often and that led to the next part of incriminating evidence.

My car looks like I'm trying to drive around a mobile fly shop. At anytime I am prepared to catch trout, salmon or a 300lb grouper. I usually always have two rods in my car as well as probably 100 flies. Some cars have the scent of pine or vanilla, my car has the distinct smell of wet wading boots. It is amazing how I can find anything in the back of my car. It's a wagon so the back is just a pile of fishing gear. I have maybe four fly boxes and they are kind of organized. Two are for trout and the other two are for Bass and larger fish. When you open these boxes however you better not do it during a strong breeze. There's no telling what flies have come loose and are just waiting to escape.

My wife then went on to point out the new decor of the house. In my daughters room and recently in our room there is an obvious fishing theme trying to take over. Above our bed is a poster of Traditional Trout Flies of the Southern Appalachians. Is that strange? By our washer and dryer there is tying materials. There's enough in there to tie maybe 10,000 flies. Whenever I tie it looks as though a cat has ran free through a bird aviary. Then she pointed out the most obvious.

The computer, my bookmarks are filled with 90% fishing related things. I have a fishing blog and am following 20 or so other blogs. They don't really range in topic, most if not all are about fishing. It made me really start to think about things. Ok I admit it, maybe I am a little obsessed. But is there anything much better to be obsessed about?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Time Well Spent

I've been trying to save my money lately. Buying lunch can really add up so I've been trying to either bring my lunch or just not eat. Fishing seems to distract me just enough so I can get through the day and not think about my stomach. The work pond hasn't had very good fishing lately. I tried the usual popper that at least gets some lookers. I had a few fish swim up but they just hung behind the fly and never committed. I switched flies a few times but nothing seemed to do the trick until I put on a Chernobyl Ant. There were 3 bass cruising by shore. This is the best time to catch a fish. The competition seems to trigger the instinct in the fish and they race to the fly. I caught one of the feisty bass instantly. On my next cast I had a bluegill come up from the depths and hammer the fly. The next two casts were the same. This specimen in particular I thought was beautiful. The fish looked really healthy. There are some catfish that cruise the pond and hang out near the surface. I dropped the ant maybe a foot in front of the fish's nose. It hit the fly but spit it right away. It would be pretty cool to catch a catfish on a surface fly. All the players were out today. I saw a huge carp while working the banks on the other side. I think my lunch's are going to be well spent.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Couple of Firsts

The great thing about the Triangle Fly Fishers club is there are plenty of people to fish with. Recently I was contacted about fishing the Eno with a member who hadn't done well there. We talked the night before and I informed him that he is definitely going to catch sunfish. It's almost impossible not too. I could tell there was some doubt in his voice. It's amazing how much the river has changed in just a couple months. The brush is so high and thick the river and trails are hidden. It just started to rain literally as I was parking the car. We gathered are gear and scrambled down a steep bank into the river. It's not hard to find fish on the Eno. Cast towards any structure along the bank and you're sure to get some action.That was pretty much my only advice. It took longer than I thought but with in five min Greg had his first Eno sunfish on.The both of us continued to catch panfish while there was a light rain. When the rain stopped the fish became less aggressive. I noticed most of my casts had to be right against cover. If the fly didn't land with in 6inches of structure usually I didn't get a hit. Submerged roots and trees are common along the banks. These locations are full of fish. It was in one of these places where I caught a fish that looked a little strange to me. I've been trying to catch a Roanoke ever since I started fishing the Eno. The coloring of this fish didn't match a Roanokes but the body was stockier and a little different then the average bluegill and sunfish. I think this fish is a warmouth which would be the first one I've ever caught on the Eno. In one section I caught 3 of them. I didn't catch another one the rest of the day.

It was a normal Eno trip. 7-10 sunfish and always some surprise. That's what makes the Eno really fun. You never know what you're gonna get.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Weekend In Boone, NC

My mother in law is visiting form Utah and this weekend the family headed up to Boone for some fun. The goal this weekend was to try a section of trout water I have never fished before. It was a wild section that a buddy had told me about. Supposedly it was hardly ever fished and had pretty easy access. My brother in law Russ hardly ever gets out on fishing adventures with me. Fortunately he was able to sneak away early in the morning and we were off to chuck some feathers.

On the way up to the creek we noticed the water was very low. The area around Boone has not received very much rain. The rivers and creeks were the lowest I had ever seen them. Watching the creek get smaller and smaller as we gained altitude did not make me optimistic about our day. Some of the sections almost looked dry. After some navigating we found our location geared up and started rock hopping. I hiked up and got my first good look at the creek.I'm not a huge fan of low pocket water fishing. You have to be very stealthy and you really only get one or two casts at a pool. That's if you don't spook the fish first. Many pools were too shallow to hold any fish at all. This made the fishing even more difficult. Russ and I were almost racing to pools. What ended up happening is we would take turns at some of the better ones. There were some surprises. I found one pool that was right out of a dream. I've been hearing a lot about pink flies working in wild water. I decided to try a fly called Eggi Wan Kenobi.There was a rock in front of me that looked like a good spot to hold a fish. I cast over the rock and saw what looked to be a 15inch trout. That trout would be decent on any water but in this creek that was a monster. It moseyed over and sucked in the fly. I set the hook saw a few flashes and the fish breached and just snapped the fly off. It was my fault. After seeing the low water I tied a horrible knot figuring most of the fish I'd catch would be six inches at most. I quickly tied on another Eggi and cast into the pool again. There was no action and Russ was closing in. I cast at the far side of the pool where I was sure there was a fish. My line jerked and I set the hook. A short fight later I was landing my first wild trout in this creek.It was decent size considering the creek we were fishing.The day went on pretty much the same. Skip any water that wasn't eight inches deep and cautiously fish pools. There were some pools that made you just enjoy how perfect they were. The way the moss covered rocks were laid out. The water slowly falling from the head of the pool then flowing through the rocks but slow enough to mirror the surroundings.It's beauty like this that makes you happy to just be there. Fishing is secondary.Even with pools like this the fishing was slow. I spooked a lot more fish than I caught. It was nice to know about this creek. I'll be coming back again. The water levels can only get better. Some sections were one log jam or moved rock from having the flow of water stopped.

The next day the family went to Tweetsie and I had fun with my family going on some of the rides.My daughter seemed to dig the go cart ride. At Tweetsie we have to ride the carousel. It's one of my wife's faves as well as my daughter.I can't wait until my baby is old enough to go fishing with me. She loves the outdoors and it's only a matter of time.

That afternoon I got out to one of my favorite sections. It looked a lot different from my last visit. The trail was totally over grown and there was no sign it even existed. I figured this was a good thing. Hopefully less people had fished there. I had to bush wack and slide under some briers and brush. I came to the edge of the river and just stared into the crystal clear water. The first fish I could see were the schools of chub that are common in the summer. As I watched longer I noticed in this one pool right in front of me there were sunfish, trout and even a smallmouth bass. I tried my best to move slowly and try to rig my line up but I spooked most of the fish in the pool. I waded out into the river and tried the sections that are usually productive. I caught a beautiful sunfish right away. Softhackles seem to work the best on this river. I think it's because of the heavy caddis population. Even the Eggi Juan Kenobi didn't work as good as your average run of the mill softhackle. The fishing was slow but I was able to manage one trout. I was happy trout survived this hot summer. Russ told me the water temperatures had been pretty warm. This brown bolted out of my hands and didn't seem fatigued at all.It was a great weekend. There was some quality time with the family spent cooking together and having fun at Tweetsie. Then there was time for fishing and Russ was able to get out with me. The fishing was definitely quality over quantity.