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10 May

Last weekend Ryan, Chris and I teamed up for the 2nd time to redeem ourselves at the 4th annual Greenbrier River Float and Fly Smallmouth Tournament.  Redeem ourselves we did.  TEAM SCOF ended up winning the whole dam thing, and by a big margin.  Our team scored around 175 inches (12 inches or bigger scores), second place was around 75.  I ended up taking top spot for overall individual inches at around 90 (lost about 35 inches with 2 spit hooks) and Ryan came in a close second with 80-ish, but Ryan gets the team prize for figuring out which fly was gonna WORK.  Chris, well Chris lost his MOJO.  The day before the tournament we fished the New River due to clarity issues on the Green and Chris was a big fish landing son of a bitch.  He hung in there though, didn’t complain and quit on us to early.  Weather wasn’t the best, very little sun and some occasional hard rain.  Perfect fishing weather.  I would venture to say that over 3 days of fishing we caught probably 300 smallmouth and 150 rock bass with a few other species mixed in there.  Dam RIGHT IT WAS A GOOD WEEKEND!!!!

Charlie Murphy



12 Apr

One of the hardest parts about fishing for anything in the Pike family is finding someone who wants to partner up and go fishing.  Throwing big heavy flies with 8-10 weight rods and sink tip lines will wear out anyone…..quickly.  So taking turns with someone who is going to go at it behind the oars and throwing the rod is the most important key to increasing your chances.  

Zona Tea.....never leave home without it.

With that said I met up with Jason (JMM) Sunday to hunt for the biggest and the baddest family of predators that can be found in fresh water……PIKE.  Jason is another one of those God Dam Yackers that thinks since he can row a Yak he can row anything.   I don’t even think they call it rowing in a Yak, I think it’s paddling?  The only thing I want to paddle is my wife or an expensive stripper.

At least that’s what I’ve experienced before when letting a Yaker row.  I can’t bad mouth him though he took to the oars pretty easy and did put me on my first fish.  We will see how he does with some water flow.  The best part about this kind of trip is that it’s really not a lot of hard rowing, you can just sit back relax and drink a few beers as long as you keep the boat in position to fish. You do however have to pay attention not to get hooked in the face by a 0/2  – 5/0 steel hook that is probably moving so fast it will embed itself down to the bone (glasses are a must). 

Jason prepping the next rig.

With limited to no experience between the 2 of us chasing this mythic beast we both planned on not catching a dam thing and we were ok with that.  Just get out and put the gear and the flies on a test run.  We knew this section had musky that wasn’t the issue.  We just really had no idea, despite all our readings and presumptions, if any of this would work. 

Eat Me.

Despite the dirty green water I was fortunate enough within about 70-ish casts to hook into and land a Musky.  Despite the lack of size when these fish hit….THEY HIT with a purpose.  Violent and quick.  I let out a short 20-25 foot cast directly at a pile of sunken debris about 3 ft deep.  The fly hit the water and I might have gotten 2 short strips in and WHAM.  Fastest thing I have ever seen.  The fish basically set the hook on its own and I began my violent boat shaking, screaming celebration as the fish took 2 zig zags across the river before it gave in to the power of the 8wt.  I haven’t smiled that big since my red fish trip last year.  Couldn’t have done it without Jason working hard keeping me entertained and keeping the boat in line.  I can’t wait to get out again and hook into another one.  Hopefully one that will test the full capacity of the gear.



Spanish Sausage and Large Mouth Bass

31 Mar
Teddy’s frist Large Mouth on the fly.

Got a call from Teddy just as I was about to head out the door in search of Mr. Bronze-Back at the local watering hole.  Teddy was up for an afternoon small mouth challenge as long as the water would cooperate.  Unfortunately after taking a look at the water I was a little leery about fishing the high dirty water.  I phoned NASA to search through my files of fishing spots and decided on a local farm pond that I haven’t fished in a few years that I have personally seen 2-fister large mouth bass come out of. 

Not pictured here is the Swan. It was a big as my Prius and looked to be as mean as a pitbull.

That goat sure did have his eye on Teddy.

Teddy sure did have his eye on that goat.

This is one of those fishing spots where you just can’t go and fish.  Time must be spent talking to the boss of the land, even if the boss in out back in the shed smoking sausage (smelled delicious) and cussing like a drunken sailor.  Big Frank is an old sailor but he was not drunk, that’s just how he is.  He talks as loud as he can and speaks exactly what is on his mind.  The nicest guy in the world, would give you the shirt off his back even if it was his last one.  But he’s also the type that you don’t want to piss off or you will find  yourself ground up in the smoke house.  Rest assured Frank was happy to see me and to meet teddy.  We were greeted with handshakes, hugs and spanish sausage to take home with the invite to come back anytime to fish or for food.  On the way to the pond we enjoyed the many sites:  Cats with kittens, big farm dogs on watch over the cattle, a 3 legged goat, chickens, ducks, a swan, and 10,000 noisy guineas.

As you can see we didn’t catch much, only two bass with 2 or 3 bumps. I wish I had a trout stream this close to my house but I won’t complain about a private pond full of bass and crappie.   It won’t be long before it warms up and lakes like these start to turn over.  Top-water large mouth…..I can’t wait.

Only real men row with shovels.

Couldn't resist the WMD!!



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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Pass the TOmato Juice….I’ve been Skunked!!!!

21 Feb

The smell of skunk still lingers and it will take at least until the next trip for the smell and thought of getting skunked to air itself out from the mind, body and soul.  I’m even considering a Intravenous transfusion of Tomato Soup to help speed my recovery.  I can’t recall the last skunking that I took on a trout stream, but from what I do recall of it I think it came from this same stream a few years back.  Don’t get me wrong about the NBP, it’s a beautiful stream and a great float trip.  The upper and lower sections both are plentiful with trout in the wild and stocked varieties.     

Despite getting punched in the face by Mother Nature’s occasional gale force winds and then getting kicked in the NUTS by Mr Trouts lack of cooperation, it was a good trip as far as company and a comfy boat ride goes.  Blue bird skies, warm temps, good food, cold beer, plenty of laughs, a 2 day old fresh stocking of fish, no problems with the boat, or running shuttle (thanks to JMM).  We did have a few chasers and a take or 4 here and there but nothing to hand.  Personally I blame it on Teddy for;  1.  Not drinking any of the beer I brought (wife probably told him he couldn’t).  2.  Spending 99.9% of the trip on the Lean-Bar (see reason 3).  3.  Rowing the boat around like a 1 armed kid with turrets syndrome scaring the shit out of me  (was his first time).  So basically like I said I blame 90% of the skunk on Teddy and around 10% on myself, but I’m sure I can think of ways to lower that 10% (CFS drop from 680 to 370 less than 24 hrs of our arrival and water temps in the 37-40 range).  

STOP HERE if you expect to see anything of the Trout variety below…………’s not all about the fishing…….or is it???   

On the Road to Shangri-La.

Yet did we know that smell was not only from the plant but from the skunking we were about to get.

The Prius gives birth to the Nanner.

Access to Shangri-La.

Locked and Loaded.

Famous "Is this thing on?" GoPro camera picture. Anyone who owns a GoPro gets at least 4 or 5 of these a trip.

The first stop.

Teddy playing the Re-Rig Game.

Your's truely after rowing a class 8 rapid.

Picture perfect section of water that usually produces 15-20 trout.

Lunch time with Mr Mountain House

Built in Prius Rod holder.

The End

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)

Carpe Diem

4 Jul

Seize the day was the quote tossed around during this PERFECT day to be on the water.  Jason from met me on the lake late in the afternoon to hunt for some Freshwater Red Fish (Freds).

4755525966_933c588436_b.jpg picture by Bentrod2010

And yes, before anyone starts their holier than thou bullshit, all of us know this section close to the marina is off-limits to fishing because of all the spectator carp feeding that is done and the number of boats being docked. Well off limits until the marina workers come out and toss a bucket of food out intentionally just to help us catch one.  I’m not really sure how close is to close or how far is far enough away from the marina, all but one were caught on the opposite side of the bank.  Anyways, as we positioned the boat half way between the marina and the bank we began to see and hear carp rolling in the marina, around the boat, upstream, downstream, and close the to bank.  It was surely a sight to see and hear.  Monster fish, were all around us and they were looking for an easy meal!!!

4755480842_9d1668a81a_b.jpg picture by Bentrod2010

Jason took on the casting position first since I’m a host like no other and I was perfectly content to position the boat.  (Note to self, bring a longer anchor rope, 20 feet isn’t enough).  Initially we thought our only chance of catching one of these massive carp would be to row near or into the marina to get them used to the boat then coax them into deeper water with a little meox mix before fishing to them.  We were wrong and we found that our right away. 

killbilliesNBP003.jpg picture by Bentrod2010

Jason fired the pellet fly out as far as he could with the big 8weight sage, he only needed about 5 seconds before his fly was sucked under and the fight was on.  He gave it a good old fashion trout set hook set and the 15 pound garbage truck on the end of his line headed straight for the marina away from the boat and spit the hook back at our faces.  Although brief it looked like he had a hell of a ride by the size of the smile on his face.  Despite the improper hook set technique overall he did a fine job managing the line and getting the fish on the reel.  STRIP STRIP STRIP BITCH STRIP!!!  The Jerk set only wastes time.



We cut our trip short after only about 4 hrs of fishing, boating 6 big carp was enough work for one day and we loaded up the USS Nanner Boat.   Next we set our sights on the North Branch of the Potamac River……..more to come.

West Virginia Carpin'

A video short of the trip by