Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Kayak Hatch

Had a great outing with friends yesterday. 
We hit the New River and it was one of the most enjoyable trips I've had in a long time. The water was perfect for wading. Not too deep or fast and the clarity was amazing.
Even with the kayak hatches every now and then the fishing was still good.
It was a rare day. Didn't lose any flies, no regrets for not trying a certain fly and I experimented many different types of ways to fish.  The results paid off.

This fish I caught right next to where we parked the car. The section had a ton of traffic from people tubing and kayaking. It was making it hard to cast and I just got tired of it. I walked back to the car and noticed a fish right near the bank. It took a few casts but the fish eventually couldn't resist. It ended up being my biggest fish of the day. This trip couldn't have gone much better. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Good Morning

I read an article recently that talked about how women are better fly fisherman then men. When I read the article I thought to myself this is crap. Just another ploy to get more women into the sport. This morning the Triangle Fly Fishers had a beginners fly fishing event and I decided to help out. There was a woman who came that had never fly fished let alone waded before. She mentioned fishing mostly lakes but it was hard to concentrate on what she was saying as I helped her untangle line from her rod. I'd like to think I'm a very patient un-judgmental person but I also come to a opinion when I first meet people. I figured I'd be spending most of the morning with this lady. 
The water looked great and as I talked to the group and as if on que a fish hit a few feet off the bank as I was telling them about not having to cast far. Half of the group stayed with me and the others went upstream. Since this lady had never caught a fish before with a fly rod I felt some pressure to get her something on the line. I decided I wasn't going to fish until she caught one. What came evidently clear with in the first 20min is women are better fly fishermen then men. They just seem to listen better and apply what you're telling them correctly. This lady had never cast a fly rod before and in 20min she was casting 20-30ft and caught her first fish.
She caught another fish with in minutes and I decided to move on to check on the others. Later I returned to watch how she had progressed. She was fishing under a tree with her husband, a seasoned fly fisherman. He was giving her pointers and every now and then I looked up to see her rod bent with a fish on the other end. I was still amazed at her progress with this being her first time. Near the end of the morning she was roll casting. I can't remember how long it took me to roll cast. I know each person is different but I've gone with 3 different women who never touched a fly rod before and all of them were casting and catching fish quickly on the first day. I'd love to say it was my tutelage but I know better. 

The rest of the morning was the usual for the Eno. Sunfish left and right and beautiful shadows along the trail.
This river is really a local treasure and it doesn't get the appreciation it deserves.
It has the features of a mountain stream but it's with in 15min of downtown Durham. Even though it's a State Park many people living in the area don't know it exists. While hiking the trail I came across this flower.
It was the first time I have ever seen a flower like this before and it only grew in one area of the trail that I could find. 

Out of all the hiking, teaching and exploring I managed to fish. I was even lucky enough to hook the elusive Roanoke Bass.
I'd say it was a good morning.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Beating The Heat

Last weekend we tried to escape the heat in Raleigh by heading to the mountains. The weather is always 10-15 degrees cooler there and I figured the kids could play in the creek to cool off. 
We spent our time splashing and rock hopping. 
My daughter was getting a little too adventurous. Her and a friend went way down the creek and started to get into situations where they weren't sure just how to climb back up. She has no fear and as much as I admire that it scares me at times. 
I've always been a fan of those blurred water fall images. I decided to try taking some. I kept playing with the shutter speed until I got something I liked.
I love how this waterfall turned out. The blur of the water is cool and I love how you can even make out the clear pool below. I got pretty lucky with this next shot.
The lighting was just right. I was using a rock as a tripod so I wasn't really sure how these pictures turned out until I got home.

The Boone, NC area is a great place if you love to hike. The Blue Ridge Parkway has so many trails I think it would take you a life time to try them all. One of my favorites is the Rough Ridge Trail. It is great for kids who like to climb things. The trail runs through almost a trench that's lined with vegetation and rocks.
The trees can provide some protection from the wind that can get quite strong. There are several over looks along the trail with some stunning views.
The sky always seems to look better here.
I never get tired of coming here and as the kids get older they seem to enjoy it more and more. It was pretty tiring hiking and playing most of the day but one afternoon I did get a chance to wet a line.
This is one of my favorite sections of river. I just seem to find peace here and there's plenty of room to cast and just enjoy the scenery. I watched birds skim insects off the surface and caught smallmouth and rock bass here and there.
I can't see how the weekend could have been much better.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Saltwater is Bad

It's taken me two reels and several sets of rusted out hooks and line nippers to realize saltwater is bad. When I used my reel in Florida I stuck it under the outdoor shower after figuring the warm water would dissolve most of the salt. Usually I'd take the reel apart and soak it in warm water over night but I was being lazy. I hadn't used the reel since until this last weekend on a fishing trip. I went to pull line from the reel and it wouldn't budge. Not a good sign. I then tried to back the reel the opposite direction it jerked and twitched but slowly started to turn. Then I tried to go the other direction again and the reel seized up. This time I couldn't go in either direction. I tried twisting the drag setting and it fell off in my hand. What the hell? I put some serious pressure on the reel and I'd like to think it's because of my strength this happened but I know better. The reel just broke in half. The screw holding the spool on was rusted and just broke in half. Saltwater destroys things at an amazing pace. If you use a reel in saltwater I'd say you have about 1 maybe 2 days tops to rinse that thing out well or it's done. I swear the salt starts killing your reel on the drive home. Hooks aren't safe either. Make sure after using flies in the salt you don't put the fly where it's touching the rest. You could end up rusting the other flies just by association.

The other way salt can be bad is when it comes to what's swimming in the water with you. The NC coast has been crazy lately. 6 shark attacks in the last two months and just this week they found a 11ft alligator coming up on the beach. I'd like to say it's been a abnormally good year for fishing that's why all these predators are around but from the reports I see that's not the case. My honest guess is that we might actually be having a good turtle nesting season. Almost all of my NC friends go to the beach and I haven't seen one in the last few years post a pic of a sea turtle less it nesting. My buddy posted one this week. Even with all the scares it's not keeping people out of the water.