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The Next Generation-X

26 Nov

The spawn is pretty much over for our fine Brown friends and a new generation is growing under the rocks on the Trashy Treasure.  Mitch and I took a well deserved break from life and headed out to find Leroy and his friends to see if they wanted to come out and play.  The water was oddly low and clear despite two solid days of rain.  We think the flows combined with Leroy’s post spawn lethargy is why the fishing was unusually slow.  It’s kinda scary when you can call a 50 fish day between 2 people a slow day.  We did manage to hook a few nice fish, 1 particularly Dark fish both of us hooked and lost.  It amazes me every time I get to fish this stream, a rare opportunity exists  to catch and/or see fish stretching across the whole life cycle.  I bet I caught 20 fingerling browns and 10 bows in about 1 hour on the last day of the trip swinging soft hackles.  So despite not getting to see or hold old man Leroy or Red it was nice to see all the children out feeding on top and bottom.  Best assure we will be back when Leroy and Red have had time to rest.

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Purification

20 Mar
How can something so dirty, smelly, foul, rancid, putrid, ripe, so downright awful make you feel so much better?  1 word TROUT….ok 2 words WILD TROUT…….maybe 3  BIG FEROCIOUS WILD TROUT!!!!! (ok that was 4 words).  Another successful fishing trip is in the books.  Wasn’t a huge numbered 2 days as compared to previous trips, although I won’t complain about a 50 + fish 2-day trip.  This was one of those trips where on occasion I found myself saying this is F-ing awesome. 

Day one found me on the stream around noon-ish looking at great flows, higher than the norm but a pleasant sight to see since this stream has epic nymphing/streaming potential.  After a closer inspection it did have a little greyish hue to it, which is not uncommon for this stream after a good rain.  The CFS had been on the downslope for 5 days now so why it was still cloudy is beyond me and it was not something I had planned on dealing with.  Usually that color means this stream is shut down.  Now one assumes the color is because the all of the ground in Wv feels like a saturated sponge causing a lot of runoff still coming into the stream.  The day started off a little slow, I think because of my desire to nymph.  Once I tossed aside the nymph rod hit my stride on slinging streamers it was GAME ON!!!!!  Every fish I caught day one had a big fat full belly.  I had one brown came out of the water after a fly that was so fat he just belly-flopped on the surface instead of that smooth swing and a miss roll back into the water (if I caught around 50 in 2 days I bet I had twice as many swings and misses).

As you can see from the rocks on the wall this isn't the first spewage to be dumped into the stream. Maybe it's their version of hatchery feedings.

I really have no idea what happened to this picture.

Another WMD victim.

The next stage of my trip I found myself contemplating where to sleep.  My choices were to either make the 40 minute hop over the mountain and stay in a nice hotel with breakfast.  Stay 10 minutes down the road in a shit hole that I have personally vomited in and know of at least one other that has done the same.  Or, since I brought my sleeping bag, camp out in the back of my car in the Wal-Mart parking lot.  I chose the latter.  Why?  Well….I’m cheap and it’s not that I’m strapped for cash it’s just the principle of the fact that I know I can sleep perfectly fine in the car.  It’s cool outside, I’m dog tired and probably could have slept under a bridge (which I don’t recommend).  My wife was in Canada and with her upcoming trip to Italy we had planned practicing how or if Skype would work so I needed to stay close to a WiFi source (thanks Wal-Mart for making your password so easy to figure out).  So despite my parents and wifes approval I spent the night sprawled out in the back of the Prius with my sleeping bag and blow-up pad in the Wal-Mart parking lot.  Slept like a baby after getting off the boob that had just been burped.     

Is that a Tarpon Fly in your mouth? I think so.

After getting micky-D’s breakfast I hit up a stretch of water that I have nicknamed Raul’s Miracle Mile (much more than a mile).  Last November Ryan managed something like 200 fish in 2 days of fishing this section with quite a few being over 16 inches and a few pushing the 22-24 inch limit.  So Ryan when that train full of bad karma finally smashes into you we will be sure to have this section of stream dedicated to your glory’s.  Thankfully the water had cleared about 50% and dropped about 6 inches so it was NYMPHING TIME!!!  After 3 days on the South Holston and Watauga rivers then my first day on this trip throwing streamers was getting old.  Plus my arm and wrist were starting to feel the effects.  Within 15 minutes I managed to pick up several fish.  When the bite cooled off I switched over to the meat rod and swung a WMD through a few zones .  I picked up a nice kyped up male that was sitting about 10 feet downstream directly to my left (rookie mistake not letting my flies completely swing out).  The next 7 hours basically played out like this.  Nymphing for a while until the bite stopped, switch rods and bounce a streamer, then move upstream and repeat.  The last hole of the day turned out to be the best.  After switching to the streamer rod, which I think at this point had a white/red muddy buddy on it, I had a massive rainbow come from the bottom and completely circle my fly.  One of those hold your beath mind blanking WFT misses.   He, which turned out to be a she, did this about 3 more times, each time a little less aggressive.  So I switched flys….olive muddy buddy….WMD….Black Muddy Buddy…..Orange/Yellow Tarpon fly, Yellow Muddy buddy, some angel hair pike fly.  Just before I decided to pack in up for the day I ended up tying on a 3-year-old fly that I got from where I have no idea.  I would describe it and show you all a picture but I think i’ll keep it to myself for a while.  Basically it was a black streamer with a REALLY heavy body.  1 cast and a slow strip is all it took and WHAM (an old school batman WHam SHazZam).  Great acrobatic fight with a short bulldog session and in the net she went.  Now I’m alone and it’s a bitch to photograph fish by yourself, especially a big fish.  The mark I made on the net later taped out at 24-26 inches but without a good picture I guess I have to go with a lower number like 22 since I have no evidence.  Regardless of its size a great fish.

Why would you walk down this road? A. To buy something illegal. B. To brush up on your arson skills. C. To get to the car quicker in order to fish longer. D. All the above.

 

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Banishment Lifted

29 Jan

The select and privileged few that know of our friend Teddy and of his historical virgin trip to the land that time forgot in the southern mountains of WVa will understand the meaning behind the banishment that was placed on our friend.  For those who haven’t had the pleasure of hearing one of my best drunken nights on the town stories I’m sorry, unfortunately I cannot speak of this outside our circle as I will risk banishment myself from the valley of the big browns.  Basically it was a lonely night in a town of nothing but trout, beer and a bowling alley.   Basically Teddy’s territory was marked and by those in attendance he was banished from the land or risked being locked away in the sanitarium with the likes of those depicted in the movie Wrong Turn.   But after 5 years of banishment he made his return with a beer in one hand, a fly rod in the other and a  little more self-control (and by little I mean probably less).  And he did have a few supervisors privided by the state to watch his every move thankfully they did well since it was my responsibility to head up this excursion.  Although untimately I bailed out in exchanged for sex and sleep (I can’t remember the exact order) after 3 twelve hour work shifts in a row.  ENJOY!!

Teddy in the flesh

Kevin, who was responsible for monitoring Teddys ETOH consumption

Breakfast Beer

Who was the 4th person on the trip??? Kevin Teddy Jason (L to R)

Carp Sessions

7 Sep

When Holiday weekends roll around, I usually sit around drinking beer, sometimes I catchup on household choirs, or I loaf in the sun at the lake property. However this past Sunday (might I note it was a holiday weekend) my amigo Matt called and invited me carping, so against my better judgement (fishing on a holiday weekend) I grabbed my gear and hit the road to “Lago Carpachino”. As usual, Bojangles was a little slow on the cajun fillets, so I was a few minutes late to the party. Matt and his friend Paul had already launched the skiff and were already stalking some fish when I pulled up.

The morning started off slow and  there were a few shots here and there, since the sun was still low on the horizon visibility wasn’t the greatest. As the sun burned off the morning dew we were able to spot some feeding fish. As usual, we would line them, make a sudden move, miss a take, and so on. Blown shots are part of the sight fishing game, and when it all comes together you are usually rewarded with some sot of visual stimulation like a vicious take, or screaming run. Carp favor the redfish in many ways, but  they will refuse a fly just like a permit or bone.

Matt tried his hand first, and didn’t have the best luck (although he wasn’t given the best shots). I tried my hand next, and struck out on a few fish. After a few blown shots, Paul spotted a small pod feeding off a shallow point near an overhanging tree. I made several casts only to have the fish I was targeting turn the other way. I decide to target another feeder, so I placed the fly directly in his path and made a couple of small strips. The fish seemed interested, when all of a sudden another carp came from shadow of the tree and snatched my fly ! I quickly strip set, and played the fish to open water. While he wasn’t a 10 pounder, he was definitely a worthy fish. After a few hard runs I brought him to the boat, snapped some pics, and released him.

Matt was up again, so we head to another flat and quickly spot feeding fish. Matt lays out a nice cast and a large carp eats his fly, Matt strip sets like Bill Dance sets a hook, and after a violent head shake the carp swims off with a new lip piercing. Several more casts, several more eats, and no fish to hand. I was feeling bad for Matt, he hasn’t really fished much this year, so he had some rust to work out. Since it was approaching lunch time, we headed back to the ramp because Paul had to leave. We grabbed our gear, told Paul good-bye  and  headed to prep Matt’s boat for launch.

About 15 minutes later we were back on the water in Matt’s boat heading for another flat. Once on the flat I crawled up on the poling platform and started scanning for fish. As I poled the boat across the flat a few mudding carp were spotted, but the carp seemed to spook before Matt could cast to them. We weren’t having much luck, so we decided to head to another flat. When I was poling out, Matt spotted three carp cruising near shore. He made a quick cast and it was “Fish On”. Matt’s carp made several runs before coming to net. Again not a huge carp, but a worthy specimen nonetheless .

With a couple carp to boat, numerous shots and eats, it was time t call it a day. The holiday hoards had officially converged on the lake and it was asshole to elbow with jet skis, ski boats, etc!

Ryan

Triple D’s and More on the Davidson

27 Jun

Raul and I (BayE) hooked up last Wednesday so I could get my Davidson River cherry popped.  We met up at Dave’s shop in order to perform an Intervention with Dave.  We begged and pleaded to him to attend a Fly Casting rehab center for guides.  Our efforts fell short to say the least as we were run off the property by Dave in a fit of rage holding a hula hoop in one hand and a coffee cup in the other, cigarette dangling out of his mouth and his pants starting to fall down.  He was spouting out vulgar profanities as we raced off the property in the Subaru.  Our belittling didn’t stop there as was made several attempts by phone to once again convince him of his need for rehab.  Remember Dave it’s only because we love you. 

During the entire drive to the Big-D I was reminded of the shit show I was about to witness.  Small stream fishing with fish just barely outnumbering the fishermen 10-1  (probably 1500-2000 fish in the section we fished i would assume?)  Nothing can be worse for a fly fisherman to have to endure as compared to a day of combat fishing, especially on a small stream with tight overhang.  Throw in a little low gin clear water full of some”naturalized” and wild trout, and you have a nearly impossible trout to fish to.

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We arrived to a parking lot FULL of cars, school is out, the parking lot is at the hatchery, picnic are, playground, stream access, hiking trail, and bike trail access points….did I mention yet it’s 128.6 degrees outside?  Well it was.  We rigged up the rods with some good old PIA 7x and hit the stream.  To our surprise 90% of the cars we not fishermen, but campers/hikers/bikers.  We found a couple great holes and the fishing commenced.  My cherry popped quickly with 2 nice browns giving up after great fights to get their picture taken.  We fished around for a few hours catching some dinks here and there until the call of the wild pulled us up near the hatchery’s water outlet.  A place were the men are separated from the boys, were the vultures circled for an easy meal, were heros are made and legends are written into the history books.  WOW what a big giant hole, gin clear of course, full of monster trout with NO ONE around!!!  Except Roll-Cast Linda (another story another day.)

After casting to what seemed like mouthless trout, minus a couple of brook trout brought to hand, the skies turned grey and started to rumble.  The rumble turned into loud cracks from bolting lighting somewhere in the close distance, then it started to rain.  Then rain some more.  And more.  And More.  And more.  Then it rained a little harded.  Then a little harder.  Then the wind picked up and so did the lightning, still it rained even harded, but in a different direction.  Did we leave?  HELL NO. 

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What happens to a stream after a torrential downpour of rain?  It gets muddy.  But what happens to the stream during the rain?  You get a window of slowly rising water along with a gradual change in water color.  All of this equating to hungry fish getting fed and we were going to be serving up some shit that would get them hooked!!!  Well at least that is what I thought.  I had my rig ready and so did Ryan and of course the Asshole that Ryan is would take on the first customer, which would leave me playing net man leaving my pole behind. 

I can go on and on at this point about the next 40 minutes of fishing but let me try to sum it up the best I can.  We are soaking wet, my double fly/indicator rig is so tangled it looks like something a cat coughed up. Ryan is fully rigged and rippin lips faster that I can net his fish, take his pictures, regroup myself and attempt to fix my rig.  He hooked at least 6-8 fish over 20 inches and a few reaching the 25 inch mark, that all fought like TANKS!!  I want to call him an asshole but I won’t, even though I would have given him my rod if I were on my 4th 20 inch fish while my “Friend” is struggling to restring his rod to participate in the fish frenzy.  With that said I was happy just to be the net man, glad to see those big fish brought to hand. 

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*BayE*

Artsy Fartsy Wednesdays

23 Jun

Went floating last week with my buddy Steve.  Steve just happens to be a pretty famous artist (who knew?), so when he sent me some pics I expected some real cut your ear off for your art type of shit.  I was not disappointed.

Next time we might actually attempt to steal a fish’s soul by capturing it on film…stay tuned.

– Nymph-o

Another Visit to the Bronze Cafe

21 Jun

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Another day carp hunting turned into another day left empty-handed but educated on those feisty FREDS.  They day was not a total loss since the mighty bronze were hungry as usual.  I spent the majority of the day driving back and forth from bridge to bridge trying to spot tailing carp from the higher vantage point and plot out my plan and path of attach.  The water was still a little to muddy to spot the mud wakes from stream level, having a spotter up high on the bridges would have been key.  Like having someone poling a flats boat and playing spotter.  Another superb day on the stream, not another angler in sight.  I still keep forgetting to tye up some Snicky Snicky Ghar Gar flies……those things are everywhere and ferocious.

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Smallies042.jpg picture by Bentrod2010

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Some new creations for the new fly boxes.