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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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Not So Secret..Secret Weapon

25 Dec

Freshly Tied SteelHead Crack ready For Sale.

Yes he CAN fish also.

1st Steel on the Spey

The Hulk with another Large Specimen.

Late Season Carping

13 Oct

Cooler temperatures are slowly creeping in, and the carp will soon move to deeper water as surface temps cool. Given my busy work schedule, never ending upkeep on my house, and the start of deer season I was due for at least one more day on my favorite lake chasing golden bones.

In our neck of the woods we prefer to chase carp salt water style, we use modified Jon boats to search freshwater flats for feeding fish.

This past Friday I met Matt ” Carp Whisper” Pike at the boat ramp for a late season trip. We hit the water around 10:45 a.m.. Since Matt has fished very few days this year, I offered to man the trolling motor so he could have the first shot.
We made a quick run across the lake to our first shoreline flat, a flat that beat Matt’s ass the month before. Minutes after I drop the trolling motor in, I spot a pair of carp actively feeding. Matt made a quick cast, only to have it ignored. Then the pair spooked as they saw the boat. Just as they spooked there was another pod working the bank. Again Matt cast, immediately a fish strolled over, ate his fly, and before Matt could strip set, the carp had spit the fly. As we troll along the bank, I spot a nice carp pushing 10 pounds cruising the bank. Matt makes a cast in big boys path, the carp turns and takes the fly. Matt stripe sets, and in one motion the fish does a 180 with his back out of the water and he heads straight for the bank. All of a sudden the tippet snaps. All this happened so quick, Matt didn’t have time to clear the line. Matt was bummed out at this point.

We head to another near by flat, but with the cooler water temps, the fish were few and far between. However the ones we did see were feeding aggressively. After inspecting a few more flats, we finally find a few mudding fish for Matt, but no cigar. So we decide to head back to where we started, as I was climbing off the poling platform I spot a mud cloud with a tail sticking out of it just a few feet from the boat. Matt makes one cast and a few strips into the retrieve the rod is nearly jerked from his hand. This is uncharacteristic of a carp, their takes are usually subtle. The fish continues to bulldog and hug the bottom. After a few short runs we netted (to our surprise) a decent little catfish. Yeah it wasn’t a carp, but it was a worthy catch. We snapped a few photos and release the little guy.

So now it was my turn on the stick, I wanted to go scout some new spots. So on our way to some new water we wanted to fish, a particular  area of shoreline caught our eye. Matt looked at me and was thinking the same thing I was, so he turned the boat and we headed over for a better look. I quickly stripped line off the reel and prepared for my first shot of the day. As we passed a dock there were two carp feeding in about 2 feet of water. I made a cast and my fly landed between the two fish. It was almost if one carp was trying to beat the other carp to the fly. It all happened so fast, cast, strip, strip, set, FISH ON ! No sooner than I clear the fly line, the carp heads for the dock pylons. It was all I could do to turn him. He wasn’t a beast, but he still had shoulders. After a few minutes of coaxing him from the dock Matt snatched his ass up with the net.

Just an average laker

Mr. T says.... I pity the carp!

A little bloody from his new lip piercing!

the release

Unfortunately that was the last fish of the day. Like I mentioned before, we didn’t see the numbers we usually see because of the cooler water temps, and the ones we did see were in deeper water, which is a lot harder to fish. All in all it was a killer day, we caught fish, had killer weather, and the lake wasn’t crowded.


Another Visit to the Bronze Cafe

21 Jun

Smallies036.jpg picture by Bentrod2010

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.







Smallies042.jpg picture by Bentrod2010








Some new creations for the new fly boxes.

Sunday Shorts: Pirates of the Flats

20 Jun

Every Sunday we will be posting some of the Fly Fishing Media Noir found on the web of worldwide fly fishing madness.

06/20/2010:  Trailer for the upcoming fishing series Pirates of the Flats which will air on ESPN2 in January. The show stars Tom Brokaw, Michael Keaton, Thomas McGuane, Yvon Chouinard, Lefty Kreh and Val Atkinson as they fish for bonefish in the bahamas.

Bronze Bonanza-Extravaganza!!!

19 Jun

After scrapping plans to head south, thanks to my wifes work schedule changes, I headed to the local Bronze watering hole.  Set up the old 8 weight in hopes of battling some monster carp, small mouth, suckers, and some snicky snicky Ghar Gar.

P6180001.jpg picture by Bentrod2010Found a pretty cool hat while dumpster diving.  Here is where you can get yours!!




















There were plenty of bronze lips kissed and set free, but no other species were brought to hand.  I still can’t remember to bring Snicky Snicky Ghar Gar flies with me when I head to these spots, sad because they chased streamers left and right.  The water was still a little off-color to fish for carp, although I did find a monster 30-35 incher mudding just off the bank where I entered the water.   I set myself up to swing in a crayfish pattern, my first cast swung short and the second swung right into his mud bath but when I though he took wasn’t when he took and my set only scared him off to the opposite bank into deeper water where Couldn’t see him mudding.   The bass were active all day taking topwater hoppers and buggers of all sizes and colors.  Just like Arnold “I’ll be Back.”


Friday is Picture Day: Stonewall LMB’s

28 May

Every Friday we will throw some pics up from our vast library of all things fish.  Each week will have a theme, very similar to the weekly all you can eat theme special at your local exotic dancing establishment.

05/28/2010:  THursday I headed over to Stonewall Jackson Lake to hook up with some largemouth bass.  The day was slow, as it always is at stonewall.  After changing flies to something be bigger in order to keep the crappie off my fly I finally managed to hook up with some good-sized bass.  So after about 50 crappie, 8 bass, and what felt like a 3rd degree sunburn on my face I headed home.  Well not home but to the West Fork after some bronze and then home.  No sight of any dead fish in the sections I was fishing, the crappie were out in full force in a variety of sizes.  I figure someone dumped something in the water they were not supposed to and it killed a bunch of fish or it has something to do with all the natural gas wells that were capped at the bottom of the lake before it was filled that are now leaking.

P5270055.jpg picture by Bentrod2010

P5270062.jpg picture by Bentrod2010

P5270060.jpg picture by Bentrod2010

P5270059.jpg picture by Bentrod2010

P5270056.jpg picture by Bentrod2010