Sunday, August 15, 2010

TFF Smallie Trip 2010

Whenever I see the New River I get a little excited. The river is not that wide but it has a lot of features and looks like it could hold trophy fish around every bend.After checking out the campsite and cabins I made haste to get in the water. I'd felt warm water before but the river was like bath water. I didn't have a temperature gauge but I wouldn't be surprised if it was 80 degrees. The wading was pleasant but there was a lot of moss. This made fishing a little annoying. Moss that was dislodged up stream from other people swimming or playing in the water filled the surface and if it got on you line you had to stop and clean it off. You'd only get about two casts in before you were cleaning green sludge off your fly. People complain about didymo but this moss is horrible. I didn't catch any fish the first day.

The next morning some friends and I recovered from the night before and headed out for a day float. We put in a few miles up stream and there wasn't the same moss that plagued the campground section. The flow of the river was low but decent. We were off in search of a lunker. My friend let me use his kayak and I was really lucky. With the low water I was still able to flow over the faster class 1 type sections. Others in the group had a float tube and I could only imagine how frustrating it would be to stand up walk with your tube then plop down back in the water. You would have to do that about 100 times on this float.The fishing seemed to be best near the banks. I picked up my first smallmouth dead drifting a sneaky pete right under over hanging brush. The fishing was slow but we all caught fish or had action every 20 min or so. The sneaky pete was definitely the fly of the trip. In just this one float I caught, rock bass, blue gill, smallmouth and even a river chub.The flow was just fast enough to where I couldn't just sit in the kayak and fish. If I tried to do that I'd drift quickly by where I wanted to cast. I ended up jumping out of the kayak far enough away from where I wanted to cast. The water was low enough to wade in most places. There were some section that allowed me to stay in the kayak and slowly drift. This was my favorite fishing by far. I would drift at a perfect speed near the bank and I could give about 3 good casts before moving on to the next section. This was very productive. I picked off bass or had a hit in every location that looked to hold a fish. There was one scenario that makes me love fishing in general. Sometimes you imagine a situation in your head and it works out exactly like that on the water. I was drifting by a rock cliff and I thought to myself this has to be where a bass is at. I cast where I wanted and almost knew exactly when the fish was going to his. With in 3 seconds the fish was on.I didn't get too many pictures of fish. My camera was in a dry bag and it was a pain getting it in and out.

The dry bag paid for itself. After several close calls I managed to keep the boat and everything in it dry. There was a calm section and I saw my friend reach back in his kayak and get a drink. I had a cooler in the back of mine and it wasn't strapped down. I though hmm a drink sounds great, I reached back and the boat shifted the cooler. I reached back even further and the boat went at about a 45degree angle at first I thought there was no way I was going to cap size but then I saw my bag with the camera fall in the WATER! I went in soon after and the boat did in fact capsize. My friend chased my cooler and other belongs having a hard time because he was laughing so hard. I came up refreshed but had a bruised ego. Luckily the cooler floated, the camera stayed dry I got pretty much everything I had but the anchor for the boat. We looked for it for about 5min but couldn't find it. The day light was fading fast another buddy had a leaking pontoon and we had to get to the take out.

The take out ended up being a lot further than I expected. Even though I was thoroughly exhausted and hating the river by the time I got to the take out I had a great time. I did a short wade the next day. It wasn't very fruitful. The only fish caught were rock bass. The trip definitely had it's ups and downs. This is what makes trips great. You create memories and stories you can share forever. I look forward to the next one.


  1. looks like a fun trip that had all the adventure to go along with it.. I have never had the chance to hit warm water fish in a river.. looks like a toonin kick!

  2. Nice fish, nice waters, nice pictures... What more can I ask for?

    I'll have to highlight you sometime soon!

    Best regards,
    Albert A Rasch
    The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles: Sporting Classics!