2004 Fly Fishing Log
|23||November - Mitchell River|
|22||October 10, 2005 - PFF 10 -Noname Creek, VA|
Not wanting to suffer another poor day floating I headed
off to some secret brookie stream in the National Forest. I went with
FT, LIttle FT, and Brent. We split up and started fishing dry flies in
the small pocket water. Eager brookies jumped at the flies that I threw
to them. I caught for nice sized fish and over a dozen more small ( 3"
- 5") fish. We only fished for a couple of hours as everbody had
to break camp and head home from PFF 10.
|21||PFF October 9, 2004 - PFF 10 - S. Fork Shenandoah River - New Market VA|
Gary, Landlocked and I wanted to catch some Virginia smallmouth and while everybody else headed to trout water the three of us pontooned down the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. The water was up from the series of hurricanes that ran up the east coast and the fishing was off. I manages to entice three to the net. The float went by fast with the high water and soon we were at the take out. With the conditions not favorable to floating we headed back to camp and then went to the New Market Battleground to take in the sights at this Civil War Battleground.
|20||August 2004 - Kennebec River - Waterville ME|
After a successful saltwater trip we went north to try
our luck on the Kennebec. We fished below Shawmut on the Kennebec River
for Smallmouth. We started at 3:00 pm and fished until the full moon rose
in the evening sky. The boys started fishing jigs on light spinning gear
and I tried used a fly rod. But without a sink tip I was at a disadvantage,
the boys were landing bass left and right and after an hour I finally
gave in an switched to spinning gear. Soon the race was on to see who
would catch the most. Scott was in the lead but I was closing fast. By
the end of the day we had managed to land 40! Score: Scott and Christopher
tied with 13 and I managed one more to take the lead! Most of the fish
were 12-14 inches with a couple measuring 16.
|19||July 2004 - Damariscotta ME.|
The whole family and Scott went on a guided striper trip,
but my wife didn't fish. We left the dock and just after getting under
way stripers started busting bait right in front of us. Zoe caught two
and Christopher caught one, I caught one nice blue fish and a striper.
Scott caught one. Then just as fast as it started the fish moved on and
we went trolling along the coast. We had a blast catching bass two and
three at a time. Christopher ended up with the largest fish of the day
-- 37 1/2"
|18.||June 8, 2004 - Stone Mountain SP - Roaring River|
After the plaster had set and we removed the cast we went for a hike along a small stream into the back country of the park. At each stream crossing the kids searched the water for crayfish, salamanders and nymphs. We also found a couple of snakes and a newt and I collected a number of ticks on my legs. Frequent tick checks kept us free on the devilish creatures. We spend about four hours on our hike and when we returned to the Roaring River the kids splashed about in the river. I took the opportunity to wet a line. I had a strike on my third cast. I was fishing an elk hair caddis and it got sucked under in a plunge pool and that is when the trout struck. I missed it. But a few cast later I hooked a 12 in bow on nymph. That was the fishing for the day and we were soon headed back to Winston-Salem.
|17.||May 22, 2004 - Sayandikillu Creek, NC|
Water temperature was about 64 degrees, the air temp
was just plain hot and the hike in didn't help any. I was planning to
wet wade and cool off for a while. Thunderstorms were threatening and
I was sure that I was going to get soaked. I forgo to bring my socks so
the hiking and wading was a little uncomfortable and I thought I was going
to raise a blister on my heels. There wasn't much of a hatch going on
and I couldn't find any feeding fish. I began searching an found eager
browns in the runs and pools. They were mostly holding in the tails of
the pools and weren't easy to catch as it was difficult to maintain a
good drift to the very end. I manager to catch about a dozen form 6 to
10 inches long. I missed or had LDR on as many if not more and I saw perhaps
50 dart away to take cover.
|16.||May 15, 2004 - PFF 9.0 Day 3 - Shady Valley, TN|
The therm-a-rest was okay when I was younger now I think
I might be ready for a thicker air mattress! Another restless night at
the campground. Great sausage, coffee and eggs were cooked for the 52
PFFers and Gary, Landlocked, Damselfly, Howard and I planned to go to
the S. Holsten. I took off in the Maita and drove the switchback road
to the river. As I was cooking dinner tonight I had to be back a camp
around 4:00. Getting to the river early provided us with a good selection
of pull-offs and we all found decent water to fish and all caught some
nice trout. I pulled off at the head of a fast run and saw the sulphurs
coming off and the trout were rising, taking the emerging bug from under
the surface. I saw a large fish at the head of a run and worked into position.
It took me about twenty minutes to entice that fish to my fly and it was
very rewarding to finally catch it. I wasn't wearing any fleece under
my waders and my chilled knees didn't want to function I was going lame
and need to head for shallow water and the sun to warm my frozen joints.
Wish I had but on some pants! Caught about 6 before heading back to camp
and cook duty. Red beans and rice!
|15.||May 14, 2004 - PFF 9.0 Day 2 - Shady Valley, TN|
After a restless night I awoke with the chirping birds
and the rising sun. Coffee was on and we drank a cup before setting our
destination for the the day. First stop the crossroads diner, then on
to Siam Bridge to fish the Watauga. Judy, FlyChamp, Lanlocked, Gary, Gonefishin
and I fished above the bridge. I went to the fast water with a rubber
legged BHCJ and tore 'em up catching fish after fish in the fast riffle.
The other tried the slack water above without much success. After I landed
14 the group broke for lunch and a different stream. We drove to a little
out of the way wild trout stream that was about 12 feet wide and chock
full of nice rainbows that came readily to a dry fly. I tossed a #16 BWO
and caught about 6 in an hour. The early moring and hot day took its toll
and Gary and I called it a day and headed for camp. After some refreshments
I ran over to the Beaverdam and forced a Green Drake, finally catching
a small trout. Rained a little and I headed back to camp for Croaker's
low county boil.
|14.||May 14, 2004 - PFF 9.0 Day 1 - Shady Valley, TN|
Left town at 10:30 and drove to Shady Valley, turned left on 91 towards Elizabethton and drove by the "yellow house", a cryptic clue to the location of Psycho Fly Fishing's 9th gathering, the fifth one in Shady Valley and the first one on Irby's hay field. I slowed but keep driving as I saw no tents or cars and couldn't see an entrance to the field. In about a half an hour I was suiting up and headed for the river at Sycamore Shoals. It was raining a little and the drops helped cool the hot day. I went to the top run and tied on a BHCJ (bead head copper john), high sticking the run I managed to catch two 12" rainbows. I worked the water for a while longer but couldn't catch any more, so I move to the lower area and caught another bow with a woolly bugger. Then I moved on down to the trophy section. Only one other car was parked and two fishermen were in the caddis riffle. One wa fishing the far bank at the top and the other was way down at the end or the islands. I moved into position at the top of the first island and rigged up with a double nymph rig, a caddis pupa leading a PT. On the first cast, the very first cast, there was a very hard strike and as I moved to set the hook the line went limp, after inspecting the leader I discovered both flies were gone, my triple surgeon knot had failed. I rigged again as cast without success for a long time. Finally I caught a small brown from near the first island. The other fishermen have moved around making a opening for me in the lower section. I moved and fished all the way down and finally crossed below the second island and began fishing the fast run. I hooked something, at first I thought it was a log, then it began throbbing and before I knew it line was zipping off the reel as the fish ran across the current to the far side of the river. I thought the fish were surely break off with the line in the strong current and I was fishing 6X tippet! I put the breaks on, as much as I dared and then turned the fish down stream. Catching the current the fish ran downstream and I followed running along the slippery rocks. All this time the fish never showed, all I knew was that it was big, probably the largest trout that I have ever caught on the Watauga. The fish constantly leverages the current turning itself broadside in the fast water and ran with all its might across the river as I worked the fish down stream the current, although sill fast, slackened. I was finally able to reel the leader to the rod tip and get a glance of the large rainbow. Again the fish ran and peeled line off, again I worked it back and this time I had my net ready. As I pulled the fish in I scooped with the net and realize that the fish was at least longer than my net including the handle. I was sure that it was 24" long and later measurement of my net confirmed this estimate! That, I told myself, is the fish of the trip, I didn't need to catch another! But where there is one big fish there might be more so I continued fishing the run.
It was getting late and I didn't want to set up my tent
in the dark, so I left the caddis riffle and drove back over the mountain.
This time I saw a bunch of tents, tarps and cars but drove past the entrance
to the field. The hay was so tall that I had a hard time seeing the new
road from the Miata. With caution I drove across the field and parked
next to Gary's truck which was loaded with both of our pontoon boats.
Greetings, and toast, new faces and old friends gathered around the campfire.
After dinner we waited for the ISS to pass overhead. It was a fantastic
sight as the extremely bright orb raced across the darkening sky.
|13.||May 3, 2004 - Wild Water|
A friend of mind has been asking to go along with me so that he could take pictures of the little creeks where I fish for wild trout. Normally I hike in a lot further, going as far upstream as possible in the hopes of catching brookies. But we were in search of photographing the beauty of moving water, the small tumbling waters of a steep gradient trout stream. The cascades and waterfalls, those special places which bring the voice of the river to life. While his focused his attention on a small wonder of the river I moved upstream and fished the runs and pools above. I quickly caught two ruby studded brown trout no more that five inches long.
It rained a little in the early afternoon and as it stopped the winds tore at the tree tops and the air stirred down their trunks. These furious winds were the leading edge of a cold front which brought blue sky, clouds and a cold wind to the spring woods. My friend took many pictures and I caught a number of trout, some approaching 10 inches. Later as were were walking along the trail we both spied a nice trout feeding steadily on naturals. I worked my wat downstream and then crawled into casting position. The first cast was wide to the right and second cast was a little short and too far to the left. The third cast was right down the feeding lane and the fish slashed at the fly. I'm playing the fish in the photo (center ) below. The 14" brown fought with a vigor uncommon of hatchery trout. It zigged and zagged across the pool desperately seeking the shelter of rocks and ledges. The weight rod bent sharply as I brought the fish to hand. I didn't get a picture of that one as my friend had my camera high up on the bank.
There we a lot of mayflies hatching, a few yellow stones,
red quills and hendricksons according to my limited ability to identify
hatches. But the trout were rising and I caught a few more before it was
time to head back home.
|12.||May 1, 2004 - Roaring River|
High Country Outdoors' much anticipated Grand Opening was on Saturday and after soccer Christopher and I drove on up to see Harvey's new fly shop. Dave Duffy gave my son and I some valuable casting lessons and we had a great time at the opening, but the hour was late, so we bid ado an headed to the park for some delayed harvest fishing.
I was drifting a nymph through a run and had hook up with a nice fish but failed to bring it to hand. Christopher woked the water below me an hooked a small bow on his nymph. As the hour was late the bugs really started to come off the water. We switched to dry flies. Christopher got a number of fish to rise to his fly, but the reflexes of a ten year old wern't quick enought to set the hook. As we worke our way to the car the rager drove by and announced the park closing. Just when it was getting good. There were hundreds of yellow sallies in the riffles and trout were beginning to rise regularly. I worked all the water I could on the way back, protesting my sons concerns about the park closing. On the way home we stopped once again at High Country's Fly Shop, for I a left a fly box in the store.
|11.||April 19, 2004 - Roaring River|
|10.||April 10, 2004 - S. Holsten River TN|
JT and I decided to give the S. Holsten a try in the morning. There were few rises and JT rigged up with nymphs, I tried a midge. We stopped at a spot only because all of the better spots were taken. The water was skinny and didn't look too promising. JT found a large trout nymphing in a run, he was determined to catch it. I worked my way upstream and finally came to a deep fast run that I knew must hold a bunch of trout.
I waded across a chest deep pool to get to the head of the run and was able to climb aborad some dry rocks. The water was way deep all around and my purchase was small, so I had to be careful as I worked the water. I switched back to nymphs with a midge and #18 PT dropper my strike indicator was near the top of my 9 foot leader and I was using 6x fluro tippet. I missed a few and then had my first hookup of the day a nice fat bow. It jumped once then tried its best to get around a rock in the middle, then as I managed to pull it away it ran across toward me trying to get under a ledge which would have surely cut the leader. The bow ran hard back into the current and peeled line off the reel. Finally after what seamed like five minutes I netted the fish. The colors were fantastic; note the deep red of the gill plate. I was just glad that all my knots held and I was able to land it. These are some healthy fish. I caught six and lost a couple, then I suffered a hard hit and my leader broke. It could have been nicked by all the fish which sought shelter under the ledges and rocks. I decided that it was time for lunch.
After a burger JT showed my some of his favorite spots around Elizabethton. We stopped and fished a short section. I missed three fish in a row and then JT holler "This is how you do it cuz!" Sure enough he had a rainbow on the line. Later I caught one and JT caught a nice little brown. I had thought about heading home or maybe down to the Trophy Section. But I was tired and thought it better to leave for home.
|9.||April 9, 2004 - Watauga River - TN|
Wow I managed to get a day to go fishing, I called some friends and planned a two day trip to Tennessee. I arrived at the watauga on at 11 and headed to Sycamore Shoals. The water was still up the Doe and other tributaries are flowing high but clear. The wading was tough and the fish must have been glued to the bottom as I couldn't get a hookup out of a reliable run. I finally gave up and moved down to the lower deep hole and added some lead and dredged the bottom -- managed to catch 3 rainbow.
I stopped for lunch and then headed to the Trophy Section's caddis riffles. I had the whole place to my self a rare treat. I worked my way down below the islands picking off the occasional trout with a deep sparkle caddis pupa. There were a few fish rising but not enough to switch to the surface. A couple of boats drifted by and we exchanged the usual pleasantries. Then I began the long wade back up to the caddis riffles and when I go there I ran into Maniac, the Admiral and Damselfly. The fish were rising now at I tied on a ginger quill and caught a couple on-the-surface.
It was getting dark and the Admiral invited me to his camp site for a drink. I was dark by the time I hit the road and when I pulled the directions from my wallet I realized that they were for the opposite direction that I was headed. I called JT and he not only sounded mad, he stated as much. But by the time I got there he had calmed down and we shot the breeze till midnight.
|8.||April 7, 2004 - Roaring River Stone Mountain State Park|
I have time to fish the Delayed Harvest waters near home, but not enough time to really go fishing. Seeing a dozen trout in each pool isn't natural and somehow doesn't compare to fishing for wild trout on remote streams or the tailwaters of Tennessee and Virginia. On the other hand not fishing the Delayed Harvest waters, waiting instead for more time off wouldn't answer the urge to feel that tug at the end of the line.
I drove up the Austin - Traphill road and stopped at
McGrady's, the restaurant next to the future home of High Country Outdoors
Fly Shop, for a cup of coffee and to see if HC and Fishbum were hard at
work next door. They weren't so I drove into the park and down to the
Horse Trailer parking lot. Saw a pair of fly fishermen, asked how they
were doing and which way they were headed, up or downstream. They replied
that they had been catching them on an egg pattern and they might just
stay where they were. I told them I was going to move on up stream. Caught
a couple on a nymph (some type of caddis pattern) and then I saw a couple
of risers so I switched to a Secret Weapon and had three refusals. Change
my fly to a smaller BWO and that worked for a while caught 4 or five on
that fly before I tore it up with forceps while removing it from a brown
trout's tongue. Went back to nymphing for a while and while doing so I
noticed some rather large bulging rises. Big trout??? Tied on a dry and
wham! Fish on! Nice 14" brownie! Decided that I would only fish to
the rises that I saw and for the rest of the morning I waited, sighted,
and cast to rising fish. Casting 20 - 35' with the 6'6" 2wt was a
lot of fun and the hook-ups were rewarding, even if all the trout came
from the hatchery.
|7.||April 4, 2004 - Stone Mountain Creek - Roaring River|
Took my son and a friend up to the park for some Delayed
Harvest action. Was pleasantly surprised that there weren't many hikers
or fishermen in the park. We stopped at the little falls just past the
big parking lot. After getting the boys rigged up and casting to the trout
that they spotted in the creek I wet a line myself. The wind was really
blowing and I thought it was rather cold, that may have been the reason
there were so few fishermen on the water. I was constantly untangling
lines, retrieving lures and tying on flies. I somehow managed to catch
a few trout. The boys came running and were eager to help land the fish.
Four brook trout, one rainbow and a 16 inch brown.
|6.||March 26, 2004 - Mitchell River|
Quick run up to the river after dropping the kids off
at school, I was on the water by 10:00, quite a few fishermen were already
on the water. Parked on the dirt road and fished my favorite run. Worked
it quickly but didn't see and fish or get a hook up. Caught a couple of
ten inch rainbows on a GRHE. Then a larger fish rose three times to my
strike indicator. I switched to a Secret Weapon and caught that fish and
a few more on the surface. Best fish of the day was about 14" jumped
five times and ran all over the river. Then I moved on up into the flat
water and things slowed down a bit. I left the river by 1:00 with a total
of 14 fish.
|5.||March 20 2004 - The first day of spring - Watauga & S. Holsten Rivers TN|
We got Spot, a begal-terrier mix breed, from the pound last month. She is a sweet thing and the kids really wanted her. She gets along great with our other pound puppie, Doughnut. Only problem is that she digs at the fence and escapes, running wildly through the neighborhood. I've been battling the hole digging, but they keep finding new avenues of escape. Last Friday Spot got out and our neighbor hit her with her car. She ran home and the neighbor stopped to inform me what had happened. She suffered only a few cuts and minor abrasions, but her tail is broken and may have to be "docked". Anyway this injury prevented me from leaving the house too early as she needed some attention prior to my departure.
I arrived at wally-world around 11:00 and got my $51 out-of-state license. Hopefully I'll get my monies worth. I dove down the road to Sycamore Shoals and found that the water was up and the fishing difficult. I nymphed the runs and added weight till I knew I was getting to the bottom. But I failed to catch any fish. I moved on downstream to the large pool and noticed that the water was just ripping through. I packed up and headed over to the S. Holsten. I guess I could have waited an hour or two for the water to drop back down. If the fishing was slow on the S. Holsten I'd be back.
After the short drive I headed along the river on Big Spring Road and pick out what I thought to be a good section, there weren't a lot of fishermen on the river so I had plenty to choose from. I rigged up with a nymph and proceeded to dredge the runs hopping to pick up a couple of quick fish. No luck, made a couple of adjustments to fly and weight but still no go. I saw three fish rise, actually jumped out of the water chasing after some unseen bug. The wind was beginning to pick up and if there was a hatch going on I certainlycouldn't see it. I remember Midge's comments about the fantastic success he'd always had using midges on the S. Holsten. I tied one on and sure enough I was into my first fish on the day. The bow took the midge and as I set the hook it went airborne and ran around jumping three more times. As I reeled the fish in it made two decent runs before I released it. Had the camer with me too, but alas no film card! :( I now thought I was in to zone, but I was not to be. I tried various other sulphurs and small flies but no other fish came to net.
I left the river just before the rain came and I had
a slow and miserable drive back over the mountain. But now I have my 2004
TN fishing license and chalked up one TN trout.
|4.||March 11, 2004 - Mitchell River|
With the kids dropped off at school, I drove on up to the Mitchell River, stopping at the Mom and Pop store on Kapps mill road. I desperately needed a cup of coffee, and when I walked in the locals were eating breakfast on the counter. I asked for a cup of coffee and they informed me that they don't sell coffee but If i could provide a cup they would share what was left of the pot. I offered to pay but they declined. I usually stop in at this store for a bite to eat or an apre fish beverage. They do sell a few flies, leaders and such along with night crawlers.
I decided to fish the lower section along the paved road, I pulled into the first parking lot along side a couple of other cars. The wind was blowing hard and the morning chill hadn't worn off. I didn't have my fleece pants and just wore my jeans under the Dan Bailey waders. The water felt colder than it had on Sunday. I just jumped in and fished the pool right in front of the car. With a little work I hooked two nice bow's in this unlikely spot. Moved on down stream and caught another before running into an upstream fisherman. I got out and worked upstream towards the bridge. In one pool I caught fish after fish on a #12 GRHE. I continued fishing this small pool with success waiting for another fisherman to move down from the bridge pool.
I moved up to the deep pool under the bridge and adjusted my strike indicator to allow the nymph to reach the depths of this pool. I was quickly into a couple of nice fish and then I hooked a rather large bow. It was fighting hard and I was having trouble moving it with my 2 wt and 6x tippet. Switching from side to side I tried to work the fish across the current and into the slack water but when he hit the fast water he leveraged it to his advantage and as I applied the breaks the hook pulled free. (Best fish aren't always the ones you land!)
Moving on up I had forgotten how deep the runs are on this section of the river and I had to adjust my techniques to reach the fish. I added another shot to the tippet to get the fly down. I caught a few more but standing in the deep water without the benefit of fleece and wool the cold water numbed my feet and I couldn't stand it any longer. I thought about moving up to another part of the river but after checking the time I called it a day. 18 fish landed, many missed strikes and a few long distance releases. (LDR).
Next week I'm planning to take the kids out of school at noon and hit the river! Just got the boy a new pair of Orvis Boots for $10 at sierratradingpost.com.
|3.||March 7, 2004 - Mitchell River|
I just couldn't stand the thought of all the other fisherman
who would be out on such a nice day as today. Nice and sunny, perhaps
too sunny, and the wind was a bit much at times, and there were plenty
of fishermen on the river. I arrived early and chose my regular spot,
as I was string up the rod I saw a trout rise and I though I'd give a
dry fly a chance to start. Worked my way up through a usually productive
run without a strike, so I switched back to my nymph rig and was quickly
rewarded. I caught about a dozen and was nearing the end of a productive
run, when up ahead two fishermen splashed down into "my" water.
I could have hit them with the five weight, but I was fishing with an
Orvis One Ounce 2 weight and there was no way to "hit' 'em considering
that the wind was blowing downstream. Then I though about wading up to
them and giving them the old "Psycho" lecture. But instead I
worked the water and caught about six nice fish and then got out and walked
to some "fresh" water. Worked a nice hole and caught 7 or 8
nice fish one of which went ballistic, jumping three times and fought
like a wild fish. Then on one cast as soon as the nymph hit the water
a bow rocketed off the bottom and took the nymph straight up out of the
water clearing the surface by two and a half feet, he then proceeded to
spit out the fly and I just watched in amazement. Moved around and fished
here and there usually catching a fish or two in each spot. Finally gave
up as the wind really stated to pick up. By the time I left there were
only three or four cars left, I took one last look to see if there was
any sign of a hatch and then drove home.
|2.||March 5, 2004 - Mitchell River|
I dropped the kids off at school and then headed up to the closest trout stream, the Mitchell River. There were quite a few cars on the lower section and I choose to try my luck on the upper section. I found my favorite spot vacant so I pulled over and in a couple of minutes I was on the water. I was surprised not to have a hook up in the first run, but I was rewarded shortly with a couple of nice browns a little further upstream. The fish took a Copper John and I fished it for quite a while, catching and releasing a dozen trout. As I moved up into a slough I lost the CJ to a tree and tied on a GRHE, I quickly found out that this was a good choice as I caught fish after fish by casting up against the bank in the slow moving water. Most were ten to twelve and occasionally fourteen inches. The larger fish fought hard jumping and pulling line off the reel.
I caught well over two dozen trout, Brook, Rainbow and Browns in about equal numbers.Hope to go back soon, but this isn't really fishing. It's just too easy, but still a lot of fun. When the water warms a little more I'll head off to the wild trout streams. But for now I'm hooked on the delayed harvest waters close to home.
|1.||February 29, 2004 - Stone Mountain - Roaring River|
This is my first day of leap fishing; I mean to say I don’t ever remember fishing on February 29 before. With the melting of the snow and the warming of the weather I talked my son into a day of fishing at Stone Mountain. There were a good number of fellow anglers on the stream and we had to drive a while to find a secluded spot. We rigged up and I realized that I forgot my rod! We would just have to share. I helped him put his waders on only to discover that not only were they too small but he would need a new pair of boots too! I let him wade the stream without boots. Just as we were ready to step into the stream another angler and his son came wading up the stream. I explained to the father about his boots and he said that his son was wearing the same size as he was and that he was receiving hand-me-downs!
After that we were ready for a snack and headed back downstream to the car. Christopher was ready to get out of his neoprene waders and after shucking them we decided to go for a hike up one of the feeder streams and we crossed the steam a couple of times. As we hiked along one section we startled an owl who (no pun) flapped away in a panic. The sound of its wing beating in turn gave us quite a start and we turned to watch it find a safe purchase. On the way home my son asked me if I could be great at any sport which one would I choose. I answered, “Well, fishing is a sport and I did catch that fish by the bridge in three casts, so I guess I’m already great at one sport”! He replied, “No, there is room for improvement, you could have caught the fish on the first cast”.