Keith's 1997 Fly Fishing Log

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  1. February 28. Christopher (my three-year-old son) and I went to ----- ----------Creek. Christopher rode in my backpack and we caught three brown trout, 8 – 10 inches. Christopher helped release the fish. We caught them on a #12 elk hair.

  3. March 7. I fished the -------- River in ------ --------- State Park. This was one week after the stocking and I caught several dozen Brown, Brook and Rainbow trout. I started with an elk hair, but quickly added a bead head dropper as the fish were not looking up. I had the best luck with a bead head woolly worm. Later in the day several fishermen reported that they were hitting the surface, but I was headed home.

  5. March 10. Christopher and I headed to ----- -------- State Park for some afternoon fishing. We fished some of the pools in the ------- River and caught two 12" brook trout on a woolly worm. Christopher reeled them in and handled the net to land and release them. Then we threw rocks and sticks into the water. On the way home we saw six does along the road near the church.

  7. March 11. I went to the ---- River in Virginia. It was a splendid day. The water in the Catch and Release section was at a good level and very clear. I spooked a few flinging a woolly worm, so after a few LDRs I switched to dries. There was a pretty good hatch (Blue winged olives, I think!) going on and a few fish were rising. Soon I hooked up with a feisty rainbow. In all I got about six rainbows in the 10" to 12" class and 4 or 5 browns, one of which was 14-15". Also saw one wild turkey.

  9. March 16. The ------- River at was so crowded that I thought I would give the "Wild" section of ---- -------Creek a try. It may not be stocked and there might be fish in it somewhere, but I didn't even see any on the section that I fished. I spent an hour searching, there was some good looking water, but most was shallow and sandy. So I hiked back down to the stocked section a took a nice brookie on an Adams parachute..

  11. March 24. ------- ----- in ------ ---------- State Park. This is delayed harvest water and is stocked with Brook, Rainbow and Browns. The weatherman said that it would be partly cloudy with a chance of afternoon showers, ha! I arrived at the park gate at 7:30, a half-hour before they officially open, just as they opened the gate. It was raining hard by the time I parked the car in the main parking lot. I fished from the horse trailer parking lot back up to the picnic grounds. As it was gray and overcast and raining I selected a fly that I could see easily, a #14 Royal Wulff. On my first cast into a little run I hooked a 12-inch brookie. A few minutes later after adding a bead head dropper to fish a deep run, I caught a 14-inch rainbow that put up a good fight. The next fish took the dry, so I clipped off the dropper. In three hours of fishing I caught around twenty fish. Not bad for a cold rainy day.

  13. March 28. Christopher and I went to the ------- River in ------ ------- State Park. I didn't get to do much fishing, Christopher said that he wanted to fish from my backpack. He didn't last long before he wanted to get down and throw rocks. So we played at the stream side and looked at nymphs on the bottom of the rocks. Later we managed to raise what appeared to be a good sized rainbow, but the tippet broke! When we got home Christopher told his mom that we caught one fish, but it was so big that it broke the line!

  15. April 3. I finally got to go on my Easter ---- ------ Creek trip. ---- ------- is special regulation catch and release single hook stream. I just love to fish this creek in the early spring. What a gorgeous day, +75, clear, not a cloud in the sky. I was the first car at the trail head and after a 20 minute hike (500+ vertical feet) I was on the stream. I was fishing by 8:15 and there were plenty of bugs coming off the water. With all that activity I didn't even think about nymphing, tied on a PMD and went to work. The fish came to the fly one after another till about 10 when the full sun was on the water and the hatches slacked off. I was still getting hits on the dry but felt that I probably would have done better if I started nymphing. As I was walking out I spotted only one other fisherman.I couldn't stay for any evening hatch, so I left the stream around 3:00. As I reached the trail head two fishermen were starting down the trail. I was back in Winston by 6:00, tired but happy. This could have been a hundred fish day, if only I had counted! Most of the fish were rainbows and measured in the 7-10 in. range.
  17. April 11. It was such a great afternoon that I just had to get away for a few hours of fishing. I headed up to ---------- to fish the --- above the power generating station. As luck would have it they were doing some work on the dam and had divers down, so they weren't generating. There was a tremendous flow being released through the dam and the river wasn't fishable. I tried, but with the river up two or three feet it was pretty tough going. I took some pictures of some wild flowers, a sure sign of spring. Saw a pair of wood ducks.
  19. April 16. ------- Creek in the Pisgah National Forest. 5:00am hit the road, fishing by eight. It was almost cold this morning, but picture perfect. I hike in from 90 toward the falls, I started fishing at ------ ----- Trail. On my third cast I hooded a nice brown, this set the stage for the day. The fish, both brown and rainbows came readily to my elk hair. I fished up to the falls, then hiked around them and fished for several more hours. The stream from Raiders to the falls has a steep gradient and is strewn with large boulders and looks quite wild, above the falls it returns to a more classic freestone/plunge pool stream. I hooked several rainbow that cleared the water by at least three feet and a couple of browns showed off their aerial skills as well. After catching and releasing over forty small browns and rainbows and one chub on this "wild" stream I headed back. I reached the car at 4:30 and was eating dinner at the TU meeting at 7:00
  21. April 25 It's back to ------- to fish a part that I haven't been to before. I hike in from up above Falls, a 200+ foot beauty and continue down stream for a half mile. On the way I'm a little discouraged by all of the sand and sediment in the stream bed. The stream tumbles down over many small drops and falls. The fishing started slowly and nothing was rising to my elk hair. I paused to check out what was crawling around under the rocks. Most rocks seemed to be partially covered by sand, but the ones that were free showed case caddis, and many other small nymphs crawling about. Soon after I took a couple of nice browns on the dry. I added a bead head dropper to the elk hair and took three nice browns out of one deep run. As the day went on I fished the shallow riffles and runs with just the elk hair and the fish came readily to it. In the deeper pools and runs I added the dropper and hooked up with many nice browns. This section is tough going and one must be prepared to rock hop as a hooked fish is likely to make a run down stream over drops and falls! The hike up is a heart pounder, 600 ft up to the ridge line, then one mile back to the trail head. I'm going back next week with a 4x5 camera to take some pictures of this magnificent gorge.
  23. May 1 . As I drove up the road I noticed that the "Word" must be out. They must have stocked the river today. There were cars parked everywhere along the road. However nobody was in the Catch and Release Section. I got my permit and hiked up to one of the big pools and rigged up. I tied on an elk hair with a bead head dropper. On my first cast, I watched the elk hair disappear and as I lifted the rod I was into a 14" rainbow. He had taken the bead head. I am new to this nymphing business and do prefer drys, but I must admit that catching fish is what its all about. But, I'm not going to talk about how many fish I caught. There is one spot on the river at the head of a run where two currents converge, a perfect holding spot, where I have on three or four pervious occasions hooked a large fish. It's not an easy spot to cast to, there are overhanging branches, and a tree is down across the stream. The first time I hooked a fish, he got into the down tree and broke off. Then second and third times it was a case of LDR! and yesterday it was knot failure.

  25. May 3. Christopher and I went to Stone Mountain to explore and do a little fishing. Mostly we explored the area around Widow Falls, running up and down the bank of the stream, throwing rocks into the pool and catching crayfish and checking the bottoms of rocks for nymphs. I did manage to get my line wet and on my fourth or fifth cast we caught a 14in rainbow on a stonefly nymph size 8.

  27. May 8. My friend Len and I went up to ---- ------- Falls. We drove in from the top, I think it takes a little longer to go up --- and then back down than coming in from the bottom. At the trailhead I found a horse shoe, would this be a lucky day? It was a spectacular day, starting off cool and warming gradually, around noon the clouds started to roll on in and it threatened to rain. A ton of small sulfurs were coming off the water most of the morning with a lot of mayflies and a few other assorted flies. Neither one of us ever saw a fish hit the surface, rather they were working the subsurface currents. I missed several as they softly took my caddis beadhead nymph. Finally I took a number of small sized fish, Len had similar luck and described the fishing as a little slow. Well, we had great scenery, wonderful weather an invigorating hike and we even managed to catch a few fish. On the hike out I told Len "You should have been here a couple of weeks ago, they were really hitting then".

  29. May 13. I was working in Oakland on Monday and Tuesday and had the opportunity to drive north to Cassel, between Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen, to fish for some wild rainbow in Hat Creek and the Pit River. After a four and a half hour drive I arrived at Clearwater Lodge just in time for a little fishing on Hat Creek before Dinner. I managed to hook a couple of large rainbow, but the quick trout managed to elude the net. Dinner at the lodge was fantastic, fresh corn, black bean salsa, cheese rolls, and jerk pork chops fed the appetites of a dozen guest and their guides. After dinner I tried my skill (luck) on the trophy water below Power House #2. When I arrived at the parking lot the caddis hatch was in full swing and a dozen anglers had taken the "best" spots. I reluctantly donned my waders (I'm not use to fishing in a crowd) and found a spot along the bank to cast to rising rainbows, which were snatching caddis flies left and right. After failing to attract any hits with an elk hair I switched to a #16 rusty spinner and immediately had a hook up with a large rainbow who ran ten yards, jumped and threw the hook. On the very next cast an even larger fish took the spinner…and the tippet. That was the smallest spinner I had and the fish refused a #14. Soon the hatch was over and I returned to the lodge for dessert.
  31. May 14. Breakfast was at 7:30 and consisted of fresh fruit, pancakes, sausage, cereal and lets not forget orange juice and coffee. After eating, I met my guide Ben, a 26 year old, after checking my fly box and adding a few extra nymphs and local patters, we headed out for the Pit River. We chose a remote section below Power Station #4, which required a steep climb/slide down to the river. Due to the dams the water temperature was in the high fifties and the fish were holding in the fast pocket water. We rigged up with a stimulator with a caddis dropper and after a few cast I caught my first Pit River Rainbow. The strong current made this 14" fish a difficult fight as he darted all over the river looking for a rock to hide under. Minutes later I landed another 14 inch rainbow. The difficult wading required a staff to combat the strong deep waters. We worked our way up the canyon and I hooked up with at least a dozen healthy rainbow the largest was around 17". I must have missed fifty strikes and two trophy bows cleaned my clock. These big fish in the strong current were too much for me to handle. One quickly broke off and the other on his second run was headed to Mexico. Just another reason to plan a return trip to this fantastic region of Northern California.
  33. May 23. The big Pit River fish that got away has been playing on my mind. I had to go back to the Dan and catch that fish. The weather was perfect and I had a feckless day on the Dan. I applied my newly learned nymphing techniques and caught a number of larger browns that I would have missed before. But when I got to the place were my nemesis lay I switched to a dry fly and on my first cast I caught his younger brother down in the tail of the run. On the next cast I hooked him again, first he ran upstream, then quickly doubled back and ran to the tail of the pool and under a rock in very strong current. As I franticly reeled in I though he was still hooked, but alas I lost him on a submerged branch. Maddening!

  35. May 28. I flew into Seattle and drove downtown to catch the Bainbridge Ferry, I was headed toward Forks for some Steelhead fishing with Bob Pigott on the Soleduck (Sol Duc) River. The trip took four hours and I arrived at the Bear Creek Hotel at 10:00 pm. A note inside the room said "Meet Bob in the restaurant at 5 am." Rain and more rain was the forecast for the day. After a quick breakfast Bob and I drove to the take out and then I got in his truck for the ride to the put-in. The McKenzie style drift boat was very comfortable to cast from and after a few pointers from Bob I was casting his 8wt. Sage rod with a shooting head. Now from what I am told Steelhead are not an easy fish to catch and Bob told me that sometimes they get skunked. After several hours of casting I finally hooked one, he tore line off the reel like and then the line went limp. Later the sky lightened up and it almost stopped raining. We were at the take out by 2 pm and I was on the road back to Seattle by 2:30. I had to work that evening. Although I didn't catch a fish I think that I may be hooked on steelhead. For a few moments I felt the power and fight of this great fish.
  37. June 4. Bull Head creek, section #7 Stone Mt. State Park. I can't believe that this is the first time this year that I have fished this special stream. I guess that the delayed harvest on the Roaring River has had am impact on my fishing habits. There were four other anglers on the stream, so I don't think that fee increase has had too much of an effect on stream pressure. Even with all the recent rain the water was clear. I applied some of my newly learned nymphing techniques and had a great afternoon. Twelve dollars - twelve browns in the 14 -16 in range. I fished a beadhead caddis pattern and in the deeper pools I added a caddis pupa. Bull Head is catch and release barbless hook special regulation stream. You pay twelve dollars to fish a beat of the stream. There are eight sections.

  39. June 10. I had such a good time on Bull Head that I had to go back and spend a little more time up on Section 7. The bright sunny day did not work to my advantage as I spooked a number of trout. I did manage to hook a few, and had a great day on this splendid stream. I had consistent results with a beadhead caddis pattern. This will probably be the last time I fish this stream until the Fall. At twelve dollars a pop its not a stream that you are going to jump on at 5 PM and fish till 8. (something that quite a few did when it was only $4.)
  41. June 15. On Father's Day I took my 3.6 yo son to Stone Mountain State Park. It was fairly crowded so we decided to fish Bull Head. He carried the rod (GL3 8ft 4wt.) up the path to the warm up pool. He wanted to cast, so I let him, ducking and cringing were the order as the fly whizzed over my head and the tip crashed onto the rocks. Ouch! After our warm-up we headed up the trail to the end of section one. We fished a nymph into the pools and hooked our first fish, a small brown. CW reeled him in and I netted his catch. We carefully released him after admiring the beauty of living things. We waded out to "islands", as CW called the rocks in the stream and fished for several hours. We had a blast. We left the parking lot and before we reached the Visitor Center CW was fast asleep.

  43. June 19.Smith River, Patrick County Va. This is a tailwater and Len and I fished the Special Regulation Section that runs for three miles below Towns Creek. There was quite a bit of run off coming from Towns Creek and the water looked like coffee. We fished streamers, woolly buggers, and nymphs. The fishing in the stained water was tough. Finally we had some success. Len caught 4 12-14 inch browns and I caught 5 8-12 inch browns. I hooked two of the larger fish in the last twenty minutes of fishing before the scheduled dam release at 2 p.m. I guess the severe weather the night before caused the runoff. I have never seen it muddy before, and I'll have to go back soon to enjoy this stream in better conditions.

  45. June 26. The weather called for a 60% chance of afternoon thunder showers. At 12:01 the first crash of thunder echoed down the ----- Valley. The only thing that I hate more than Snakes is Thunder Storms. The rain just kept coming down harder and harder, after 20 minutes of nerve racking lightening, I decided to seek shelter. I did manage to catch and release a good number of trout prior to the storm's arrival.

  47. July 3. I went back to the -----River; the water was in its usual clear condition. I also think that it was quite a bit lower than my previous trip. The lower level and clear water made wading a lot easier, although a wading staff would still come in handy on this stream. I wish that I could say that the fishing was equally improved. I didn't see any top water activity so I fished with a caddis beadhead pupa and caught 4 or 5 browns in the 10" range and later switched to a dry mayfly pattern and caught 3 or 4 more, all in the 10" size. The parade of Canada Geese (photo below right) feeding may have spooked some fish.
  49. July 4. Baden Lake, CW and his friend Scott dapped the surface around a dock with a Royal Wulff and caught a mess of Sunfish. The fishing was fast as they hit the fly within seconds! A great way to fish with small children.

  51. July 8. A spent a great morning on the --- River, -------- Valley. The first fish came to my yellow strike indicator, so I switched to a dry and caught a number of Brown trout of about 8 inches. Later at a deep run I changed to a hopper with a beadhead dropper and a nice 12-inch Rainbow smashed the hopper. Next pool I tried the same hopper, it enticed a 10 inch Rainbow. The fly was pretty torn up, but I fished the upper part of the same pool. It failed to attract the big fish that I have seen there. I switched to the biggest fly I had, I think that it's a stonefly, 6 legs, antenna, deer hair body and turkey wing. On the first cast the big Rainbow slashed at the fly and after a brief fight he came to the net. Later I caught a 12-inch Brown on the dropper.
  52. Dan Rainbow takes a beadhead
  53. July 18. I took my friend Dan up to the ---- River in Va. It was his first trip to the --------Valley. We started just above the power plant, I pointed out a holding spot under a bolder and Dan was into his first and smallest of four fish for the day. I then moved on up and fished the upper part catching and releasing six small browns. The cool water and shade made this an enjoyable trip on a hot summer day.

  55. August 1. I have been fishing with a pair of Streamside 3 mil waders for the past five years. They are a little worn and patched here and there. Pinhole leaks are common around the knees, so I decided to get a new pair. I really like the way neoprene feels and flexes, but boy are they HOT in the summer, so I bought a pair Simms Guide Model Gore-Tex Pants. I headed up to Bull Head on a cool morning to try them out. Sections 2 and 4 were occupied so I chose 7, just as I wet my line the ranger past me slinging trout chow into the water. Pods of trout began a feeding frenzy and ignored my offerings. The waders were great, plenty of room in the knees to climb up through the gorge. The flow was low and the trout ran for cover at the hint of a cast. I caught a dozen smaller fish and really enjoyed the day on the stream. I am really sold on my new waders.

  57. August 22. It's hard to believe that I haven't been fishing much in this hot weather. I use to love to go fishing in a cool trout stream in the summer, but the kids are keeping us busy and it's hard to get away. I did manage to take the morning off and fish ------ Creek. This stream is designated as Wild Trout Waters. I fished the lower part near the power lines and caught four 7-10 inch brown trout and a number of launchers. Their ruby red spots looked electric, no paint or film made by man could ever hope to capture the magnificent colors of these wild trout. Fishing this stream requires maximum stealth, low water means spooky trout. One misplaced cast will send trout scurrying for cover. The cool weather 70's felt great. It's surprising to see how small -------- Creek is in it's summer flow. In the spring it seems that the water is a foot deeper. And a thundershower can raise the creek three or four feet in minutes, just ask Rusty who got caught in a major downpour and had to swim across the last several crossings.

  59. September 5. I took the day off to explore more of the ------ River up from the hydro plant. On several occasions I have fished up to the first old beaver dam. This past spring that dam was washed out and it is now easier to wade up from that point. Earlier this year I did get up there but didn't catch a thing even though the water looked good. I started fishing at the point where the trail crosses (ends) at the stream. Nothing came to my dry flies for a while, then where you might expect an eight-inch trout my fly disappeared into the open mouth of a 14-inch brown. I am always amazed when I hook up with a large trout in unlikely water. He fought desperately to get under a rock, which would surely cut my 6x tippet. As I made my way up to the first dam I caught about a dozen 8 -10 inch brown trout, 4 in the 12 - 14 inch range and one 12-inch brookie. Up above the dam it seemed that there were fewer fish, a couple of chub grabbed a bead head caddis emerger. Between the first and second beaver dam I did find two 12-inch brown trout, but over all the lower section seems to have more fish.

  61. September 19. The BRTU semi annual trip to the Balsam Lodge in the Nantahala National Forest had a few extra spaces, so I decided at the last minute to tag along. On the way to the lodge I stopped and fished the lower part of the ----------- River, just above ------- Creek. Regulations are Catch and Release Fly Fishing Only. The river is quite beautiful at this point, however due to highway ---running along the river and the close proximity of the campground, I am sure that this section gets a lot of fishing pressure. I did manage to get a few rainbows to rise to an elk hair caddis.

  63. September 20. After a pleasant night at the Lodge, Allie and I headed to the upper part of the ------. The stream at this point is much smaller and steeper as it runs through a gorge. I spent several hours trying to figure out what would entice these trout to strike. I finally tied on the smallest caddis nymph that I had and immediately hooked up with a little rainbow, soon followed by a 7-inch rainbow. After lunch I searched my fly boxes for a dry fly that would work and found the Secret Weapon. That was the ticket and I caught around 20 rainbows in the 7 – 10 inch range. I lost my Secret Weapon to a tree and was forced to try several different flies. I took a 14 inch hook jawed brook trout and later another 12 inch brookie. This is a fantastic section of the river and I'll be going back to explore more of this river.

  64. October 29.Wow! First day to fish in five weeks and I took my son up to Stone Mountain State Park for some delayed harvest fishing in the Roaring River. At first we didn't have any success, then we switched to the Secret Weapon and took fish after fish. Rainbow and brook trout were heavly stocked and we saw many many more that we caught. Great fishing with a four year old!

  65. November 2. What a beautiful day, rake leaves or go fishing? I put off the yard work and headed back to Stone Mountain for some more of that delayed harvest fishing. Everybody had the same idea the river was packed with fishermen. All reported good luck with many catching a number of 16-inch trout. I hate to admit it but I had greater success the other day with my 35-lb. son on my back. I caught two nice brook trout; these fish are richly colored and look native. I also caught a 16 in rainbow, who after a brief run gave up as hatchery fish sometimes do. NC Wildlife enforcement was on patrol and checked the licenses of all. It was great to get away for the afternoon, but I find that I really don't enjoy catching hatchery fish as much at the wild trout in remote locations.
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Last Update November 3, 1997