Winter 2017 Fishing Reports/Shows/Discussion

This is a slow time of the year, but there are still some winter fishing opportunities. Plus, there are winter fishing expos (I believe the Hokies bass fishing team has a booth at the Richmond Fishing Expo next week -Jan 20-22 in Doswell at the Virginia Expo Center.)

I am going to attend the Maryland Saltwater Sportsfishing Association fishing expo in Frederick, MD this Saturday, and then the weekend of the 21st I am going sheepshead fishing in Charleston, SC on the Mount Pleasant Pier. I am hopeful to do some trout fishing if the winter is mild.

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What are your winter fishing plans? Is anyone heading down to tropical waters? I hear the sailfish bite is hot down around Miami.

Also, the bluefin tuna bite went off around Morehead CIty, but the big winter clipper that just passed through will shut that down for a bit.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Is anyone heading down to tropical waters?

Sure would like to find a pal or group of people to do this kind of thing. Never have been successful talking the SO into this. I have tried... but even with some good trips behind us she is like... meh.

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I never met a project that couldn't justify a new tool.

Was thinking about making a trip to the New this upcoming weekend to try for some musky. Have yet to go this winter and don't really know what condition the river is in or if anyone has been moving any fish. If the weather and water look favorable we'll probably fish below the dam and at Bisset. May put in at Whitethorn and run up to the islands and drift back if we have time. Does anyone know if the new ramp is in at the other park in Radford? I'll post a report if everything works out and we make the trip.

I'm floating a stretch of the New throwing dead chickens at Musky on Monday. Will post a report.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Forecast looks favorable for Saturday morning so I should be a go. Will probably put in a good half day plus, concentrating on deeper pools that hopefully hold some fish. I'll post a report when I get back. Traditionally we've had more action on jakes, jerkbaits and swimbaits, so that's what we'll likely spend the better part of our time throwing. Looks like they have been keeping the flow pretty low, so that may impact where we can put in. Rivers here in my part of the state have looked great the last few days. Hopefully we can move some fish.

River has been really low all winter. Be cautious of where your running if you're trying to run a jet boat or prop (generally not ever a great idea on the new). I came back and fished it about a month ago had about 15 follows and finally got one to eat after following everyone's bait in the boat (big plastic) he settled on my glide bait, was a nice healthy 46" fish made my trip worth it.

Thanks for the info. I run a prop with a river runner and typically try to stay in deeper areas near access points - usually puts me below the dam to the 81 bridge, below Bissett to the first set of shoals, and above and below Whitethorne (mostly above due to downstream shoals - but I like the area past the bend where the cross ties and houses are). We usually drift past an area then run back up and repeat. Not ideal but I'm not really set up to drift and don't know if I'd want to attempt that in the winter. I know the river fairly well from my time at VT but I live about 2 hours away and don't get to put a lot of time in during the winter. I'd like to expand my horizons somewhat but again don't have a lot of time and my musky experience is limited to my own trial and error.

Nice fish - glide baits seem to work well and may give those a try. Seems like they hammer them for some reason once they commit. How do you work them at the boat when you get a follow? I'll probably have a glide bait, bulldog, and a swimbait (savage gear line thru trout I rigged up with a leader; looks insanely realistic in my swimming pool but who knows) on my rods when I put in. I usually throw some big cranks and jakes as well depending on what's going on. Thanks again for the info - I'll try and post a report when we get back.

I actually got this one to eat at the boat and he came over a 'boulder' shelf in then water from deep to about 8"-a foot of water when he ate. with glide baits I keep giving them that pop cadence while figure eighting. This seems to work well in the Winter funny enough he barely hit this bait I actually thought he had missed it but gave him a quick second and felt a little tension and proceeded to nail in the little piece of treble in his mouth. Those line through trout are great baits I'd run everything fairly slow this time of the year, I always have a hard time getting them to eat the line through but it seems to get a ton of fish to follow, if they don't eat it follow up quick with a glide bait or something slightly more erratic like a crank bait. Any glide bait you have that cuts wide and slow is great this time of the year. The one I was using was a bait my friend makes similar to a Shum shum if you know what that is.

Awesome and thanks for the info. Do you ever throw Double 10's?

Where is Lawson?!

In the warmer months I throw them quite a bit. They cover a bunch of water and seem to move a lot of fish.

Well we made the trip but sad to say we didn't have much luck. The temperature when I left my house at 6:00 in Wise County was 54 deg - when we got off the interstate at Radford it was 37. We put in at Bisset and fished the big hole downstream of the ramp along the far back for several hours with not so much as a follow. We threw glide baits, bulldogs, jakes, super shad raps, swimbaits, all to no avail. Water had some color to it, but no idea what the temp was as my depth finder wasn't working. It stayed overcast and cool until we got off the water at around noon. Saw another boat go by that fished below us - talked to them as we were taking out and they had been trying some flies with no luck either. They mentioned that Whitethorne was packed and they were gonna try upriver, so we decided at that point to call it a day and head home. I don't know why we couldn't move any fish, as the conditions seemed right and we usually at least get to see some chasing baits. All in all a day on the water nonetheless, hope to get back in the coming weeks. Thanks to everyone for the info.

Bummer, that's musky fishing for ya had plenty of days like that where everything seems perfect and the fish just won't cooperate. Hopefully you'll have a little better luck next time!

Musky fishing has been very slow the past few days. Talked to my fly guide friends this weekend and the water has simply been too cold. Not many fish moving. Other guide reports told us of a lot of boats on the river yesterday with not a single follow reported by the folks we talked to. Regardless, Mike Smith and I hit a nice spot today above Claytor Lake for approximately four hours. Air temp was 47, water temp 40. His first cast, using one of my flies, and a mid 40 inch fish shows up below it and follows all the way to the boat. No eat, Mike blames me for screaming bloody murder when I saw it. I blame him for forgetting to figure 8. We fished hard the rest of the day with not another sighting, but that's Musky fishing. Any day on the New is better than a day in the office.

Edit: Included a photo of the fly that fish was super hot on. T-Bone style in a color combo I call Tequila Sunrise. It showed up exceptionally well in the off color water we had today.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Nice looking fly. It seems that the fly anglers almost have an advantage over conventional anglers in the winter by the reports I see. I spoke recently with a musky fly angler and they thought you had a lot better bait control and depth control with a fly. Makes sense to me, particularly in a river where the depth and bottom composition are routinely changing. It's hard to make a crankbait do much more that run at it's proper depth, and bottom bouncing lures are hard to work correctly through the weeds and snags - at least in my limited experience.

Good to know the no-shows weren't just in our boat. I'm by no means a polished musky angler, but we can usually get a few to say hi boatside. I wholeheartedly agree, however, that a bad day chasing musky beats a good day at the office. There's nothing like watching your bait come in and seeing that dark shadow rise up behind it. Definitely worth the additional time and effort it takes between hookups.

I appreciate all the info from everyone. If anyone gets any reports of things picking up, let us know so we can dream about fishing while we stare at our computers.

While I've caught my share of muskies, I don't agree that fly fishermen have the edge in winter for them. When the fish are spooky, nothing much can unspook 'em, and when they're hot, a decent presentation with a proven lure will give you a shot. Yes, you need to have several lures ready to go to mitigate depth and bottom obstruction issues, and obviously, some baits that work in the summer are not indicated for winter fishing, but in the long run, I believe it is local knowledge (muskies will be where muskies are, year in and year out in my experience, in the same general areas and specific holes or lies) and perseverance that puts them in the boat. There are more muskies in the New these days than ever, but most anglers after them are limited to the range of their jet or prop boats, which of course, rules out a lot of river, and unfortunately adds to pressure that can limit your chances of moving the fish. Unfortunately, because, in the day, there were only a few anglers targeting them and they didn't see musky lures on a daily basis, something that's changed dramatically in the last several years with the publicity and popularity of the sport getting out. That said, the New offers a damn good chance of encountering a musky without putting in the ten thousand casts of lore, even for beginners. As a guide, I encountered more muskies while fishing for smallmouth that we ever got into when guiding for muskies, but while we caught dozens of medium to small fish, the big ones are usually only caught when targeting them. Either way of fishing specifically for them, either lures or flies, though, means a lot of effort and persistence. Muskies ain't easy, but what a payoff!!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thanks, tying flies in various colors is probably more addicting than fishing. As far as who has an edge, working a fly shallower may be a slight edge over lures, but there is no way us feather throwers can put in the number of casts and consistent retrieves that spin fishermen. It is painful to throw musky flies all day. 4 hours of heaving a 350 grain shooting head on an 11 weight and a fly literally the size of a squirrel will put a Kam Chancellor size hurtin' on your arm. It's hard to keep the focus and consistent retrieves and figure eights all day long.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Everything I hear about the New is that the Muskies are HOT during the winter. I would try to contact New River Hokie here on TKP. He has not been around much because work is a bear right now. I will send him an e mail with a heads up. He fishes that area a lot.

Where is Lawson?!

Thanks for the info. I'd love to get an insider take on what's going on right now. In the end I'm sure I'll have a good day on the water. Musky fishing is the Kodiak hunting of the freshwater world. First time I had a 40"er follow me to the boat I was done chasing small fish in the winter, unless I was gonna use them as bait.

I will be making at least one trip to NC to see if I can figure out some winter redfish flats fishing. Also seriously considering 4-5 days in New Orleans for monster reds.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I know you probably have a connection down in New Orleans, but my friend and fellow guide, Jim Richmond, has a really great old Cajun guide down there who has put him onto many huge fly rod reds on more than one occasion. I'll be glad to get the name if you'd care for it. And by the way, Jim is still guiding on the New, and I would highly recommend him for anyone wishing to take a guided trip on the New. While Jim specializes in fly fishing, and the contents of his fly boxes would turn any fly fisherman, or fly tyer for that matter, green with envy, he can also guide spin/conventional fishermen as well. A fly fishing and tying expert, Jim has decades of experience and is the quintessential "old school" independent fishing guide...big boat he can really handle, fantastic home made buffet shore lunch, the whole magilla.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I think we are going to go DIY! We did back in April and it took a day or two to figure out, but this time I know what sections of water to go to. The guides down there are EXPENSIVE.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Yeah, I get the DIY approach. I'm not financially able to pay the freight often myself. I'll reach out to Jim and see if I can get any hard info that might help you. As for expensive, though, while you don't always get what you pay for, you almost never get what you don't pay for. Or to paraphrase an old fishing buddy, you can't afford a cheap fishing guide.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Do you have any recommended guides in your area? I have a place on the northern neck but sometimes come over to the middle peninsula. Have had a lot of fun on the Piankatank through the years, they have some great spots and the fishery seems healthier.

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I never met a project that couldn't justify a new tool.

I can only go on anecdotes and on the water meet and greets, but I've been impressed with Cptn Chris Newsome. He specializes in light tackle and fly fishing all around here, from the Rapp to Mobjack. www.bayflyfishing.com. He knows the water and I've watched his clients catch fish and having fun. I'd fish with him.

Edit: Please feel free to email me when you're thinking of coming to the Mid Pen. Maybe we can hook up, but even if not, I can tell you what's been going on that I know of. Always glad to meet and fish with fellow Hokies. There are FAR too many 'hoos around these parts.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I can verify that Chris Newsome does a good job, I have used him a few times. He brought me to some nice rock that I caught on the fly. Is there a decent way to exchange email addresses?

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I never met a project that couldn't justify a new tool.

I have posted my email address several times on various TKP fishing threads, so far with no negatory results, so I'll just go ahead and do so again. Name's Tom, reach me at newriverangler@hotmail.com. Send me an email and we're good to go, if I get it, I will respond. Always glad to yak about fishing, something that I actually know something about! And by the way, other than Chris, there is only one other guide I have run across and met at the local ramps, Capt. Ed Lawrence of Speculator Charters (going from memory here, could have spelling wrong). Don't know anything about him other than he targets specs and seems knowledgeable about local waters. It won't be all that long before the croaker show up again and then the flounder...I'm already tired of winter.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I would love his contact info if you can find it

Will anyone else be at the Frederick MD MSSS show?

The Richmond show is awesome but my buddies have showed me too many pictures on 7 pound sheepshead to resist

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Ill be at the Richmond show.

Where is Lawson?!

Speaking of showcases and expos, has anyone ever been up to Harrisburg for the Great American Outdoor Show? I think it is held in February every year. Took a day trip up there with my dad last year and had a blast. Get a lot of good deals on equipment (both hunting and fishing). The Show is like four 4 times the size of the Dulles Expo Center it is unreal. They have a massive arena just for fishing equipment and trips.

I have not been to the Harrisburg show, but I have heard good things. It falls the same week as my day job's big conference so no dice for me.

10 days until I am fishing in Charleston! I would welcome any tips from you guys, especially if you have fished Mount Pleasant Pier.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

As a teenager and through college I'd go every year with my Dad. It's amazing. I'm going to start taking my kids next year probably. Great deals. It's really something you need more than one day to experience. Enough to make your head spin. I highly recommend.

Hit the creeks off the ICW north of St Aug this pm. All small stuff...6 trout, 5 reds, a flounder, and at least 8 bluefish. All but 1 on the Storm shad. Wondering if my gulps are just too old and need to be replaced

Storm shads are awesome!

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

They are. Darned bluefish killed two of them today.

Quick Poll Question- what is your favorite make of braided line?

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

My first attempt was spider wire, and not knowing anything about braided line, I wrapped it too tight, made an enormous rats nest and swore off braided line.

A buddy finally showed me how to use it properly and now braid is all I use.

He was using Power Pro at the time and that is all I have tried since.

Power Pro Super Slick

Seagard

Where is Lawson?!

Suffix 832.

If anyone bass fishes and is looking for a club we would love to have some more Hokies. Check out our Facebook. "Notorious JIG". We fish throughout Virginia.

Any fly experts I need some advice my girlfriend wants to learn to fly fish and while I'm slightly skilled I'm not very versed on buying the right gear and all. I'm not even sure what weight rod and tackle I use myself it works for smallies and bream. But anywho I'm looking to buy her a rod and some tackle for smallmouth and bream and largemouth and was hoping to get some expert advice on good beginners stuff for her nothing too expensive as we usually fish in rivers out of kayaks don't wanna lose anything super expensive.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

What are you calling not too expensive? Right now Cabelas has a 7/8 WT CGR for $60. It's fiberglass but it's a heck of a rod for the money. Pair it with a Lamson Liquid with a decent 7 or 8WT WF line and you're golden. 7/8 is a bit heavier, but the fiberglass makes a nice bending rod that's forgiving to cast.

A 6WT would be more friendly to cast all day, but would struggle throwing bigger flies for smallies and largemouth especially on a river.

One of these might be a decent option:
- http://www.sierratradingpost.com/temple-fork-outfitters-nxt-series-fly-r...

- http://www.sierratradingpost.com/temple-fork-outfitters-nxt-ii-series-fl...

Like I said if you want to spend under $150 I'd go with one of the above. If you don't mind a little more I'd go with the $60 CGR, and $100 Lamson Liquid or Remix (whichever is the cheap one) and then maybe some GPX or Rio Smallmouth line ($60-80 if you find it on sale).

Look at Cabela's RLS combo. I've had it for awhile now I don't fly fish all that much but it's a damn good set up for the $150. The line on it is solid, reel is solid, rod is easy to learn on its got 4.5 stars on 150+ reviews. I'd suggest using a different leader than whatever comes on it.

Concur. Even cheap rods these days are good enough for starting, and six weight is a good all purpose wt. The reel on that size gear is just to hold the line, so cheap is perfect. Not sure about the 9' for kayaking, but I don't do that so I don't really know.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I use a 2 piece, 8 foot, 5/6 wt TFO bug launcher got it as a cheap entry set up for bass fishing. It's nice but we fish on small rivers and I'm wondering if a shorter rod would make casting a little more accurate or not. The person I'm shopping for is short so I'm guessing a 6-7 foot rod is plenty long enough?

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Go 9 foot. Height of an angler has nothing to do with rod length. Longer rod = longer casts. I find it easiest to teach beginners on standard 9 foot rod.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Yeah, that makes sense. The only fly rod I have that isn't 9' is a 7' 4wt I used to use for small mountain stream brookie fishing where even that much rod is problematical with the overhang, etc.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

#TeamRollcast Baby!

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Our Flygal April Vokey. She wears it well.

I've been trying to get her to Lake of the Woods for 2 years.

Where is Lawson?!

Here on the coast, it's Dr. Julie Ball, but I don't know how to post her photo. Little help?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I'll be seeing Doc Julie next week. She is at the VA Fishing Expo this coming weekend. Please post! I thought you had the pic thing down?

  • Find her pic on the web and right click on it.
  • Select save pic as
  • name the pic and and save it to your picture file or any one that you choose.
  • Close the file you saved to
  • Go to this link: Post Image
  • The page will have choose image
  • Click on that and your PC files will come up
  • Choose the file that you saved the picture to and then click on the pick. Then click the "open" field.
  • The site will upload your
  • Going down the page you will see 2 "markdown" addresses. Copy the second one.
  • On TKP comment select the little VA box paste (Ctrl V) into the url field.
  • Click insert and the pic will be loaded into your comment.

Where is Lawson?!

Also, you can right click on a picture, select copy image address and then either put that on imgur or just use that address in the TKP image entry box.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Thanks again, Musky. Yes, I do know how to post a picture now from my pc, but to highlight the depths, or heights rather of my techno/computer illiteracy, I didn't know that I could get the picture from the web and right click on it, etc. My ignorance is basic functional illiteracy in the medium. Anyway, French took care of things for me so I'm off the hook. Wish I could make the Expo. Maybe next year.

Edit: Thanks also 07. Appreciate the help.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

The expo is just ok. Its something to do in January. Last year I was looking at a bass boat priced above $70,000 and the thing had a monthly payment of ~550.00 / month. I was thinking that that does not sound right until I noticed that the term of the loan was 20 years! Really?

I was going to post a pic of April in a bikini but I always get in trouble when I do.

Where is Lawson?!

Post away, Musky. What's a few downvotes between us fishin' folks, huh? Anything's better than NerdMagic's half naked rassler pictures he's so fond of. Not, of course, that there's anything wrong with that.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Fish you have encourged me!

Where is Lawson?!

My, my Musky. That IS encouraging! Love the way she handles that bone...

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

well qualified

I just saw this Fish, you rat bastard. Have a leg.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

Hey Musky, how are the boat prices at the show? Also, I've heard that if you're bold and direct (e.g. - you make it know you're buying a boat today), that you can potentially score a crazy deal (offering $30k for a $50k boat). Any thoughts?

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Always happy to help

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

She's a dentist. "Is it safe?"

Where is Lawson?!

April hosted a ladies weekend in SWVA 3-4 years back. I talked to her briefly online about it.

Needless to say April has taken a back seat to Rebekka Redd for me. Rebekka is all over the fly fishing world and has her own tv show. Also, she is still single and I know for a fact that she has in her possession a 2014 fly fishing calendar that I was featured in as Mr. May.

In the words of Dumb and Dumber... "So you're saying there's a chance?"

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Well that is nice! I mean the fish of course. She has a nice presentation.

We need the guy that posts the "Why Can't We Have Both" meme.

Where is Lawson?!

My new favorite brookie rod is a 6'3" fiberglass Echo 2 weight. I can cast it in a closet. Hooked a 15 inch largemouth on it last summer. THAT was fun.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

when I was maybe 7 (1962?), my dad would put me in the front of a homemade jon boat with an 8' flyrod with a yellow popping bug (red eyes and rubber legs). he'd skull paddle us around a farm pond on a friend's horse farm the last hour or 2 before dark and I'd catch bream and small bass. it's the first regular fishing i did.

you guys are the pros but I might go with 8'. It is plenty for most scenarios...farm ponds, shorelines, fishing around docks/lights. imo, 9' just provides that many more opportunities to break the tip.

a little OT, but what is the best way to display my dad's 1950's vintage bamboo flyrod? (and I have the extra tip that came with it as well).

he passed in 2007 and it is one of a couple of keepsakes that has special meaning to me.

You mentioned skulling. My dad used to make me do it. Guy asked him once if he wanted one of the new electric motors everyone was talking about, and my dad just pointed at me and said, "maybe when he goes to college". I essentially learned to fly fish with one hand. Even had one of those heavy old clunky wind up automatic reels to help with the unidextrous approach I was faced with. I can still skull the hell out of a johnboat though I seldom get a chance to.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

sometimes I stumble into the wrong thread and realize there are more words out there which I don't understand.

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

Skulling in my day was done from the front seat of a square nosed johnboat. You'd sit as far to the bow as you could scrunch, and use a very short paddle with one (in my case left) hand to move the boat with kind of difficult to describe back and forth motions designed to allow a free hand for fishing and a way to move the boat along the shoreline of choice while fishing it. It becomes second nature after done for hundreds of hours, and can really generate a lot of speed forward for the effort, and a lot of maneuverability as you cruise the shoreline. Great in lakes and slow moving rivers. Once electric motors came along and became affordable, skulling seemed to die out where I fished. I wouldn't be surprised, though, if it isn't still popular with folks further south, and it is a good method when cane pole fishing for crappies or bream.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

wow. I wasn't even looking for any explanations but this is a terrific description. Thank you for putting in the time and effort to educate me.

Leg.

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

Under the lets go old school fishing techniques column, anybody ever pole a canoe......upstream.

anybody ever pole a canoe......upstream

that sounds like a euphemism, honestly...

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Look up poling a flats skiff and you will see the more common "poling" technique. Try that while standing in a canoe going upstream in a white water river.

I'm not googling anything at work that will educate me more about "poling techniques"

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

My friend Dave who still lives in Giles Co. had a friend who paddled/poled the entire length of the New River...backwards (upstream). I forget his name though I could get it. The guy was an older fellow when he did it.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

WHY????

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

My question, exactly. The best answer I could get was "Because it's there."

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

yup. short, light paddle. prop/brace the handle in your elbow with hand near the blade. use kind of a flattened figure 8 motion. when right handed, paddle is in left hand/arm and fly rod or jig pole is in right hand. left leg is typically in figure 4 on the front deck and getting sunburned if wearing shorts.

lol...i had the auto reel as well...i think it was a shakespeare

Yep, Shakespeare from Western Auto.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

You mentioned skulling. My dad used to make me do it.

We might be 1/2 brothers!

Where is Lawson?!

I'm thinking I'll go 8 feet I take her fishing on a lot of small rivers where room is an issue unless you're after squirrels in my time using poppers in the summer I've found it to be tight with an 8' rod in a canoe

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

It's easier casting for a novice with the longer rod especially from a kayak. I have fly fished from a kayak and casting is a challenge.

I ordered some Z-Man minnows and 3/16 oz jigheads. I am hopeful that there will be some trout around Mount Pleasant.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Quick question for you avid fishermen out there:

does anyone fly fish? If so, could you recommend a good starter combo? I anticipate a lot of trout fishing in the Shenandoah Valley and parts of WVa. But I would also love to fish for small mouth during the summer months with the same set up if that is even possible.

Is it football season yet?

Lots of good starter combos out there. Expect to spend anywhere from $150-$250 for a solid rod, reel, line. Redington, Temple Fork Outfitters, Orvis.... lots of brands. If that seems expensive, trust me, it is worth the money. There's also a pretty big secondary market out there for older rods and reels. I think the page I follow on Facebook is called "Fly fishing buy sell trade"

You can get away with a 5 weight for both trout and smallmouth. The 5 will be heavy for brookies in blue lines in SNP and a little light for smallmouth, but you could do both. I'd suggest a 9 foot rod to start with.

Not trying to profit off of anything on this site, but if you need smallmouth flies, I tie custom flies and can sell you some stuff you won't find in any store. Hand tied by me and they work and last longer than standard flies. I've got some photos at the site below.

www.knotthereelworld.com

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Apparently it is impossible to find shrink wrap tube XFlock grips in any color besides black, yellow, pink, blue, and red. I am trying to do maroon and orange Xflock (either maroon with orange x's or a maroon rear grip and an orange foregrip.) Does anyone have any ideas where I can find a manufacturer? Most of the web just redirects me back to Mudhole and those same five colors.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Never heard of the brands you've listed but I know for work we buy our wire heat shrink from panduit I think they have verying colors dunno bout maroon but I think they have orange maybe

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I checked them out. They need to make a clear product!

Where is Lawson?!

https://postimg.org/image/8c7nk8dh3/

attempting to post a pic for the first time

oh well...fail

fail again

maybe the link works

seems to...a Monday morning north florida redfish

I got you fam.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

thanks!

Sweet Red! Slot?

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

yes...25"

Yum!

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

yes, it was!

Thanks for posting that, dave. I'm not depressed enough already with this dreary weather, but hey, rub it in, man, rub it in. Nice fish.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I do what I can

Curious on everyones favorite places to go in the late winter early spring around virginia this cold weather has me itching to get out on the water soon.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Trout fishing- White Top Laurel above Damascus was my favorite spot, but being up near DC it is out of the question. Bass are holding in Four Mile Run's warm outflow in Alexandria. The trout stockings are taking place in lakes and ponds (Lake Fairfax has a nice trout set up) over the coming weeks.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Been thinking about taking a day in the week and going to the Bremo output station for smallies in early June I'd go camp by there and wade fish the output and usually do 30-40 fish in an afternoon

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Hope there are still fish there with all of the coal ash being dumped in the river by the wonderful, environmentally friendly power company, Dominion Power.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

You should be mad at DEQ who does the regulations and permits for this. Dominion also isn't dumping pure coal ash in the river as I understand it. They are treating the water to standards determined by DEQ and EPA before it goes into the river. They have their test results up online if you want to believe them or not. https://www.dom.com/about-us/news-center/electric-projects-and-initiativ...

I'm absolutely furious at DEQ. If I ever meet the head of that panel, I'll probably go to jail. I went to the public meetings and said my piece and that guy actually laughed at me after I expressed my concern for my health and the ability for me to continue to guide in RVA with bad water quality. A week later, it was brought out that he was paid off by Dominion. Dominion is absolutely awful, and the terrible people at DEQ are just as bad for accepting their money.

Dominion may be treating it to the "standards," but that doesn't mean it didn't turn the water in the James an off color brown all summer long and trash the fishing.

Ending my rant here, this dives into too many politics.

Regardless, I would be very hesitant to go fishing near Bremo based on what was found about the soil and water in that area.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

The water in the James at least in the Richmond could be partially affected by the City of Richmond having combined storm sewer and sewage sewer. So when it storms a lot there is a mixture of sewage and stormwater that go into the James. http://www.richmondgov.com/publicutilities/projectCombinedSewerOverflow....
It's an old practice that is slowly getting removed over time.
I'm a Senior in Civil Engineering here at Tech specializing in Water Resources so this is really interesting stuff from a fishing standpoint and engineering standpoint.

I know that this sewage disposal into the river occurs but this was totally different. I've guided on this river in town for 5 years now and it wouldn't storm for weeks and the water above Richmond was an off color brown that no one could provide an answer to. It stayed that way for weeks in late summer last summer. The only thing that had changed was Dominion dumping the coal ash. I communicate with the JRA and both myself, the Riverkeeper and several other anglers I've talked to think it is the coal ash dumping. I hope it's not, because it will continue to hurt the river. Unless someone can show me a specific reason for the discoloration (and I'm happy to learn), I think it's on Dominion.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Its almost big largemouth and striper time on Lake Anna.

Where is Lawson?!

It's been well over a decade since I fished on lake Anna kinda weird I live so close and never go there I'm usually on the south and north Anna rivers all summer. When's the striper and largemouth bite start up? Is it fishable in a canoe?

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

What do you catch on the South and North Anna rivers? I've been told there are spotted bass in them.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

On the south mainly smallmouth and a few spotted bass it depends what stretches you're on I can get specific if you're curious but for spotted bass and they get good sized on the north Anna in the sandy and muddy stretches we caught a few 3 pounders last year.
Both rivers aren't going to produce many 18 inch or bigger fish they're small in size compared to other smallie rivers like the James I fish it very frequently in the summer and usually only see one 18 inch smallie come in a boat each year, lost the only one over 5 pounds I hooked this summer on a buzz bait he shook off in some rapids(I still lose sleep over watching the buzz bait come flying out of the depths when he shook it off)
Both rivers hold good smallmouth numbers and healthy numbers of spotted bass as long as too many people don't keep all the bigger bass they catch some stretches are worse because of that
Some of its deep holes have some stripers in the exact time though I'm clueless when it comes to them

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Thank you very much. I definitely want to float one or both sections and chase smallmouth and spotted bass. Could be an area I add to my guiding repertoire.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Depends what you're guiding for the fishing is good but the rivers are both insanely tricky to time right any rain can ruin it completely along with low water can make it a drag to float plus log jams make it an adventure always so if you wanna try it watch water levels very hard and check clarity before going both rivers take usually two days to let sediment settle after a rain

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

When floating the south, do you ever take out at greenwood church road? I've heard of people taking out before the bridge, but never done it myself. Always thought the next access was rt 54.

Not at greenwood church road no usually 54 that ramps easier to get out at

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

The only ramp I am familiar with creek wise is Sturgeon Creek. You could put in there and fish for bass / crappie. I know of an 8 ilb bass that came out of there. Anna has big fish everywhere you just have to find them and it is tricky. Stripers hang in the main lake and mouths of large creeks. Bass will heat up next month or should. They will be looking to get shallow.

Where is Lawson?!

My winter plan is simple, get out as often as I can chasing stripers on SML. Got out yesterday and had a good day. Started off under the gulls jigging 3/4 oz jig heads tipped with a white ice fluke. Casting swim baits paid off too. Late morning we switched tactics and got the cast net out. Was able to catch about 3 dozen quality baits (gizzard ranging in size from 5in to 12in) using my cast net designed for deep water (baits were in creek 30+fow). We ended the day with big baits on planer boards near the bank and smaller baits on weighted downlines. Caught fish on planers and downlines. Ended the day with 10 fish, not a bad way to spend a day off from work.

HokieObsession

Curious about that deep water cast net. Just heavier weights?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

The deep water net I use is a 10ft net with a strip of tape just above the weights. The theory is that the tape provides some drag and keeps the net open longer as it falls. We messed around with several nets years ago and you could see on side scan imaging that a normal net will start to parachute in water deeper that 10 or so feet. To counter-act the weight of the weights we started adding tape (first, clear packing tape then we moved to duct tape). Its amazing to see the effect.....when the net hits the water, it will actually spread out (even if you don't throw a true pancake) and stay open longer. When the bait moves deeper in the late fall (20FOW) I used to stand no chance, now with this technique catching bait year round is no problem.

HokieObsession

standard north florida shrimping net...there are folks here who will sew nylon webbing in the perimeter of a cast net to keep it open as it descends

Is catfishing any good this time of year?

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

The fishing report board at Greentop says lots of good catfishing all winter long in the James in Richmond. I'd think you'd want to make sure the water was clear.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

It is terrific around warm water discharges in the Potomac.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Late winter/early spring fishing for walleyes in upper Claytor Lake and the New River from Austinville on down to the lake was my go to when I lived there. Not as many walleye as a Canadian adventure might provide, but you have a chance to catch a trophy, not to mention the fillets that can be had if you're successful. Foster Falls, near Shot Tower Park (I-77) has a boat ramp and a decent (sometimes too crowded) fishery right there at the falls, and the waters down to the Rt 100 bridge especially can hold those fish as they move upriver to spawn. I always used minnow tipped feather jigs, swim baits and curly tailed grubs at the falls, then switched to suspending jerk baits, especially the Rattlin' Rogue, in brown back color for the float. We got walleye, muskies, and citation smallmouth doing that in late Feb and March. Since walleyes can be finicky/streaky biters, we had some days without much to show for our efforts, but when you hit it right...man what fun.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I starred up Julie for French and Fish

Where is Lawson?!

Anyone know if the boat prices are worth showing up for at the Expo (mainly looking to see if they truly offer any amazing deals)? I've never owned anything larger than a canoe, but with 3 little ones, I'd love to get something we can all go out on.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Honestly, when I have gone, I have focused on the seminars. I have not done any kind of boat shopping, so I will defer to others.

There can be some decent deals on tackle, but make sure you know what you are looking for and price points before you go. There are always some tables selling stuff that looks like great deals, but in reality it is pure junk. Worst case, if you don't find what you are looking for, you are a ten minute drive from Green Top.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Dog: "Okay, remind me again just WHY we are out here?"

I live in N FL for a reason...I have a 55 degree cutoff...50 with gloves.

Ahhh yes, snow and cold, two hands on the oars...reminds me of my early spring guiding days. I'll bet the dog tips better than some of my anglers did, though.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Jealous. I would be out there with you in a heartbeat.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

leg my man

1

Where is Lawson?!

Heading to Charleston around dinner time. We should be there for the sunrise bite. ZMan's for trout, oysters for sheepshead.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Sounds awesome. Reminds me of a trip I did once down in Hatterass. We fished all night, slept all day. Had a bioluminescent tide roll in on us under a near full moon. Catching everything from skates to flounder to blues to a few reds. Dang good time ... except for my liver. It still hasn't forgiven me.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

G'luck, French. As my old redneck buddy Cecil used to say, "Hope ya catch a sackfull". Safe travels.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

So my dad used to have a ultralightweight 5' 6" bait caster when I was a kid and now that I'm good with baitcasters I can't find an ultralight combo anymore does anyone know if uglystick or anyone else makes something similar? I would like to use it for panfishing/jigging/trolling for crappie/bream

And I have tried the slab daddy rods and reels the 9 foot rods are excessive and I was very unimpressed with their baitcaster reel it felt like a 2$ piece of junk

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Check Zebco

Edit: I was thinking closed face spincast when you posted. Google seems to indicate several baitcast options

I've found a few viable rods just tricky finding a reel for something that light luckily I live 10 miles from greentop, basspro and cabelas I'll probably go look this weekend if I can't find anything online

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

This is the week end to shop!

Where is Lawson?!

And if you wanted to spend more, I am sure St Croix probably makes something that would work. Uglysticks (especially TigerLight's) make good solid heavy saltwater rods, but I wouldn't think they have the ideal feel for targeting panfish. That being said, I had an old white fiberglass casting rod that I used as a kid and loved it for bluegills. I didn't switch until Dad started me chasing trout.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I want to find that ugly stick in store and see if it'll work the tricky bit is finding a baitcaster that can spool and cast light jigs I'm used to my med heavy 7" st croix with a lews speed spool LF5
That's my go to setup these days I don't use anything else but a fly rod but with 14 pound mono on those rods casting panfish jigs is a method for disaster I haven't checked if lews makes one for lighter weight tackle

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Is the baitcaster a requirement? I've got a 5' 6" ultralight Fenwick paired with a Shimano Saraha, and it's a wonderful setup for panfish + smallies. From what I've read, you're going to get more for your money in the ultralight reel market by going with a spinner.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Since I switched from spinning to baitcaster I'd say yes because of the advantages I've found using baitcasters, just my personal preference I still like spinning reels but I've found the baitcasters easier for myself, it feels more natural to me
But if I can't find one I'll get a cheaper ugly stick spinning ultralight for filling the cooler with bream I don't want anything too fancy I only fish rivers usually so don't wanna break or lose anything too fancy I feel nervous just using the st croix rod I got for Christmas but it was free I guess

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

FWIW, Shakespeare advertises a 5'6" micro cast rod

I agree with the spinning comment. I have 3 in my truck that I use for anything to fishing farm ponds to crawling along creeks and the new. I love using ugly stick ultralights. Best catch is a 6 pound channel cat.

I am not sure if the picture will work; if not I will post it when I get home. I got my first keeper sheepshead yesterday and managed another half dozen shorts along with one speckled trout and a handful of small sea bass and spot.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

What is the approach for those sheep? Are you just jigging/floating crabs around the pier pilings? Since the pic didn't come through, what is the size for keepers?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Oysters- on tautogs rigs on the bottom. Keeper is 14 inches. Super light spinning rods like your walleye rod with 20lb braid and 25 lb fluoro. We have caught all of them on incoming by fishing away from the pillings and chumming them to us with oyster scraps. We have gone through $40 in oysters.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Stopped by greentop today at 1 there were sooooo many people all week all fishing tackle is 15% off there bunch of odd specials too

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

[img]http://i.imgur.com/j0y1DmO.jpg[/img]

All on oysters- ended up with two keepers (14 inches plus) and a whole bunch of throwbacks.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

XXXX

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Hmm... trying to decide why French looks familiar...

Simply glorious.
Thanks for sharing.

Wow, I love everything about this picture. Beautiful fish, river, mountains. That's living.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

wow!

Snap! That is a dandy, and what a backdrop. Well done!

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Excellent bow! What did it eat?

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Nice! Any info?

Where is Lawson?!

Nope, but I have a question. Given your extensive experience with Musky, especially gear, can you discuss the pound ratings for musky rods? I have been debating on getting a musky rod to pair with my TLD20 for live baiting cobia. I wanted to use a longer, lighter rod (weight, not strength) with a cork grip instead of EVA.

The rod-ratings interest me, because they are listed as being substantially stronger than my rods for live baiting (I use a Penn 6'0 boat rod rated for 30-50lbs and a Tsunami Five Star rated 15-40 pounds.) Some of the rods I have been looking at (Tackle Industries, Shimano Compre, etc.) 7 footers are rated 40-80 pounds and up. Are those specifically braided line ratings, and how would you think they would hold up on cobia?

Please keep in mind I am asking because local tackle outlets here do not carry the rods, and I don't want to buy site unseen.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I have a Shimano Compre musky rod and I haven't had any issues with it. I have not fought a lot of large fish (yet), however that's not due to any deficiencies in the rod. I'm not exactly sure of the rod specs (I'll check when I get home), but I typically throw 50 or 65 lb Suffix 832 and throw lures on it weighing up to 3 ounces. It handles a long day of chucking big lures, and the few fish I've fought, it seemed like it had plenty of backbone to do the job. The handles and ergonomics of it are great. I also have a few others - a Pete Mania rod from Bass Pro and a Musky Innovations come to mind. Both of these do the job as well, though they're all set up a bit differently for working different baits. I'll check the specs when I get home this evening and let you know the particulars.

Thanks. The big issue is having the backbone to turn a cobia if it is green that is sniffing around the pilings. Plus, is the reel seat big enough to handle a TLD20 or a Tyrnos 30 reel? (Shimano.)

I am probably going to stick with my stand up rod and re-grip it, but the thought of having the longer rod intrigues me. I know some folks use musky rods with TLD 15's for salifish.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Not sure on the size of the reel seat, but it handles a Calcutta 400B with room to spare. I'll measure it when I get home if I can remember.

Mojo Rods

Your problem is you are in NOVA and the stores won't have what you want to see. Move further south and well...

For the past 3 years I have used Shimano Mojo rods exclusively for musky. They are 7'6" heavies. There is plenty of backbone there. Last year I 8'ed a 46" (~35-40 lbs) at the boat. After a quick trip under the boat and a stalemate she decided to haul ass to the shore. I turned her on a dime and back towards the net. Rod was great but after rethinking I should have had and 8 or 81/2. That would have been sweet. Length equals control with less work. Also, casting baits that are 3-5 oz helps with leverage.

Now consider this. I have never caught a cobia but understand the are long distance runners combined with bursts of speed where a musky is a pure sprinter. They are done in a couple of minutes but boy are they strong and pissed off. I imagine the cobia fight rests upon your real.

I imagine your Tyrson would fit well. They are all built to handle a Tranx for example. Love to have one of those but there are 500 bucks. Great reel though.

These Mojos are furnished by the lodge and used all season long. 4 years of use and they still looked brand new.

Where is Lawson?!

I have landed around a half dozen cobia on a cheap ($30) Tsunami Five Star Boat Road (6 foot rated 15-40) with a TLD20. I also have the Tyrnos and a Bass Pro Boat Rod that (I know now) has way too big of a foregrip (it is too big to fit into my rod holder.) The Tyrnos combo I am convinced is cursed- I took a 3 year break from the TLD and didn't get a single bite. Still,after having my Oceanmaster crack in the fall, I am weighing options for getting a better quality rod, and a 7 foot XXH musky rod with a cork foregrip has some appeal.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

ShimanoSt. Croix Mojo

If Shimano made mojo no one would be able to afford it.

Thanks pleck. You are right. My mind was stuck on the Tranx.

Where is Lawson?!

I agree with you, Musky, that usually muskies are sprinters that will wear down quickly...when fought on appropriate tackle. I have described, on this site, a much longer fight with a monster on Claytor Lake, but the fish was hooked on a quarter oz jig while walleye fishing with a 6'6" Lamiglas Certified Pro bass rod, Daiwa Capricorn reel loaded with 8 lb mono with no leader. Muskies being targeted with proper gear are hard chargers, can jump clear out of the water, and seldom give up without a memorable tussle, but as you note, nothing like a green 60lb cobia on a reel emptying run. Not only do they get much bigger than muskies, but the speed and power of their run demands a strong rod with plenty of ass to at least try to turn them if they're trying to run to Africa or for the nearest piling, at least until you can get the anchor up and start chasing. Interestingly enough, both fish come into the boat totally pissed off and willing and able to do damage to equipment or skin and bones of anglers. I haven't caught enough cobia to see damage done, but I've been in the boat with a bunch of muskies and have seen two fingers and a palm slashed close to the bone over the years.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Man I wish someone would come out with a good fishing video game for these boring months when the weather is no good

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Why not go fishing?

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Anyone ever fish the rivanna river I know it's in the enemies territory but driving by it it looks absolutely scrumptious

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

There are walleye in the Rivanna.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Any bass? Walleye are an unknow to me

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I've done a lot of trips on that river. To keep it simple, If you've got a canoe, just do it. It's one of my favorite canoe trips - quiet and peaceful, and the fishing is usually solid. That said, I've had many 4hr + days out there where I came back with less than 5 fish, but if you hit the timing right (think spring), 3-5lb smallies will move up from the James, and you'll come back with raw thumbs. Be careful. If you're not experienced in a canoe, and you're putting in at Palmyra and planning on going to Columbia, you better plan on camping one night (it's a long float), and there's a washed out dam that requires some skill to navigate.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I've heard rumors of monster smallies in it during the spring and have thought about going after them, but never have. Have you ever fished for them? Any chance you'd be willing to say specifically what time of the Spring? I promise to not divulge shared secrets, also happy to trade info if you like.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Early June would be my recommendation. Post pics if you go and have some luck. Apologies in advance if it busts. For me, that trip is always one extreme or the other - fish on or fish off. And yes, I've seen them in there; had one ruin my ultralight St. Croix. Lost my rod and the fish ... Fish barbless if you can stand it. :)

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Thanks! I usually hit it in June but I know that's way past the spawn. I'm looking for pre-spawn hungry, large females. Which is exactly the type of females I do not chase in a bar. I did some research and 60 degrees seems to be the magic number when the fish get moving. So whenever water temps hit that, the spawn should be a few weeks after.

You said the float from Palmyra down is an over nighter. Any idea how many miles it is? Thanks again!

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Problem is April is when turkeys are strutting so I have to chose fish or birds it makes for very long work weeks in between my weekends

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I do not hunt, though my family owns 30 acres that I have seen more turkeys on over the years than I could count. Maybe I should get into it. However, the point of my response is to suggest finding a line of work that allows you the flexibility to fish/hunt when you want. The jobs are hard to find, but I highly recommend it.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Speaking my language. April and October are the months I hate most about not being independently wealthy...

16 miles, with a class II or III drop. Go left at the old washed out dam where the drop is; find your line, paddle hard and you'll be fine. There's not a lot of pressure on this water b/c of these 2 things... :)

It's been a few years, but I liked putting in Friday evening at Palymra and camping at the bridge. It's only about 1/3rd of the way through, but I can't remember how many other good spots there are for camping after that. Plus it works well for an evening start.

#stilllaughing - "pre-spawn, large females"

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Awesome thanks!

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

By the way, if you are having a slow day on the Rivanna, try something pink.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

That goes almost anywhere pink grubs always keep you busy my girlfriend caught a 5 pound largemouth on a pink crappie jig last summer

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

LOVE pink. I bake quite a few of these at home these days - 4 and 5" senkos, and one with more of finesse style.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Ah Senkos.... if I could create a fly to imitate that action, I'd be a gozillionaire.

My other hot color on the Rivanna is brown/blue.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Bake your own senkos??? What you mean I don't need to buy Yamamoto??

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Ocho cinco?

Brown/Blue ... I need to try that one.

RE: Baking my own - yes, kind of a hobby + I can't really say it's cheaper, but it's pretty satisfying making your own stuff and then catching lots of fish with them. The senko's are an exact replica of the real ones in terms of the mold; density and softness will vary. If you've never tried a senko (I'm looking at 2 of you on this thread ...) and you're freshwater fishing, you need to give it a shot. Watch a youtube on rigging it wacky and then let it do its think. I'll be letting the kids do that a lot this summer hopefully.

Let's see if this works.
Lures

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I love senkos for smallies but hate paying 8 bucks for the Yamamoto ones I feel like making them might be cheaper that 1$ a pop plus smallies shred em fast usually 2-3 fish per worm and that's why I stick with tubes much cheaper and just as good

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Do-It Molds is the place to go if you're interested in making them (or lots of other fishing related goodies).

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Curious if you can really save money that way?

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

No, it's not a money saver unless you're using A LOT of plastic lures (or selling them). It's a hobby for me - I enjoy the process and getting to be a little creative.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I own some senkos but that's because my former roommate bought a bunch of them and left them here for me when he moved back to Europe.

I doubt I'll ever fish one, simply for the sole fact that, in the words of the great T.I., "I gotta stay fly..."

You won't catch me with a spin rod in my hand in fresh water.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I have never used a Senko. I think that makes me uncool.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I don't think I've ever used one either (strictly fly) and I hate the damn things. But they work.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Well, if you don't spin fish at all in fresh water, send your Senkos to someone who does. It's the right thing to do, you know?
For those of you who balk at paying what needs to be paid for stuff that works, try some of the "knock off" sinking worms...Bass Pro Stick-O or Yum Dinger gives you pretty much the same action for half the price. Yes, there is a sacrifice, as there usually is, but you have a ton of choices in colors and size (although the 4" is perfect for most smallmouth fishing). The trade off for the Bass Pro item is that it is not as soft as the Senko, but the Yum Dinger is soft enough to come pretty close to the effectiveness of the Senko. In general, I prefer the Yum, I just like the color spectrums better than the Senko, and my clients (and myself) caught thousands of fish on them, including a number of mid-summer citations. Wacky rigging works with them, but there is a better way to fish them. If you want the insider poop on using them, I'd be glad to share it. My email address is on this thread somewhere. I can state without hyperbole that the sinking worm was the staple of my summer smallmouth business, and while it wasn't every day, there were a number of 100+ fish days in the mix every year I was guiding. One of the best things about it is that every smallmouth of every size would eat it...which was also the problem, but better a day full of action with a shot at a biggun than the alternative. I didn't fish it much in the Spring, it was mainly my go to in mostly clear warmer water.
Kind of like Gulp, though. You rail at the price, then buy it anyway because the price of the baits is seldom the main expense when fishing, and if the damn thing works better than the cheap stuff, well?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

how would it work for inshore saltwater?

Good question. I have tried it out a few times, but there are better baits. The special rigging I mention is mostly effective on moving water, usually clear-ish, and usually in the warmer months. Reds and trout will hit it, but like I said, there are better ways to get them.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I will try to post pics of mid summer sinking worm fish...my posting isn't working well today.

Edit: after three tries, I give up. I really do hate the internet sometimes.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Do you want to email them to me at zsowder AT vt DOT edu? I can post them for you and I really would like to see this rig! I am a wacky style guy but I like new techniques.

Will do. Expect an email from me forthwith. While I don't have a pic of the rig, I will describe it to you. As for the pictures, somehow one of them got through as is reported below. Don't know why it shows up for that link but not on the site. Buttttt......you axed for it....here they come, along with a detailed description of the specially rigged Senko.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thanks for the email IfishVTIam! Definitely going to try it out!

Here are some fish photos from the rig, they speak for themselves:

Thanks for the help. I guess I'll go to my grave being computer illiterate.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Wow, that's a beauty! https://postimg.org/image/u0twpaazz/

If you don't mind sharing the setup, shoot me an email: smcfaden@gmail.com ... I'd love something to find something that catches numbers for the kids (got 3 little ones 7 and under)! No worries if not - totally understand. :)

Hokie fan | W&M grad

How you got that pic to show up, I'm at a loss. I tried to post it, but had 0 luck. The pic is a bad pic of a good fish, but still, a citation is a citation is a citation. I will be emailing you this afternoon with a full explanation of what to do to get those kids to get bit.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Guess I'll join in the fun here if you wouldn't mind emailing if you have the time I'm still learning to use senkos I tend to be a tubes and fluke man worms are new my email is jrd2936@email.vccs.edu

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Will do, hokienator. I need to make a file on this thing so I don't have to type all day, but I'll bite the bullet for a fellow Hokie fan and fishing enthusiast. Wish TKP had been happening when I was still guiding, I'd have loved to guide a bunch of Hokies!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thank you very much I'm trying to diversify my arsenal a bit for bass as I'm old fashioned top water and flukes with the occasional fat Albert jig always reliable but never hurts to learn as much as I can

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

You will by now have my email. Look, I don't disparage any bait that catches smallies. I have used most all of them, and there are times when they'll all work. What I am giving you is a numbers bait that works on reasonably clear and warmish water, without excluding the chance at a big fish at times those big fish aren't usually in the mix. I quit using flukes long ago, the fish got too used to them, and on top water, it is hard to beat the dog day cicada bite on popping bugs, but if you're looking for consistent action, it is hard to beat the worm if the water is right.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

there are times when reds will have their face in clumps of spartina and will be pushing the clump around. I'm thinking I need to throw something right into the clump that requires little action on my part, and doesn't immediately sink and get caught in the grass, but also isn't all that intrusive.

I suspect fly guy will say some type of crab imitation fly; but seems like a small weedless Senko could be effective. Maybe just a small unweighted gulp?

dave, my idea there is one I've already discussed, but will repeat. I like the Gulp jerk shad on an unweighted 4/0 offset worm hook, but it isn't the unobtrusive bait you mention. You can, however overcast the fish and work the jerk bait back to the clump, but I'm not sure how that'd work. The shad can be skin hooked to avoid problems with the weeds, and here in the local waters, I have taken good fish in six inches of water with the bait, so it doesn't seem to scare them unduly. The Yum product, however, is equipped with a bait slot that would allow you to rig it, Texas style, and work it as described above. Not sure that's better, just another option. Bass Assassins also come in smaller sizes, and would likely work as well with smaller hooks. Gulp products come in many forms, but their jerk shads are perfect for the unweighted, but skin hooked weedless approach you describe.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Redfish are garbage men of the ocean. If they are hungry and not spooky, they will put it in their mouth. Literally anything you can get on top of a tailing or rooting fish without spooking them, they will likely eat. Crab imitations do indeed work well. I'm sure a Senko will work. I know lots of folks down your way that toss unweighted DOA shrimp at them on the flats (on spin) and do quite well.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I love my old Zoom pumpkinseed lizard with a pink fire tail.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I like Zoom anything.

Where is Lawson?!

Everything but their zoom tubes they're too thick so I get them in bulk from another company much thinner which makes setting the hook easier and they're just as durable
Edit I use cabin creek tubes by far better and reasonably priced and very effective

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Agree with you about Zoom tubes. The Cabin Creek Gitzit is a decent tube, but I have had much better luck with the Mizmo Teaser tubes. Soft and deadly when used with an in-tube jighead with weedguard, and in my experience, much better production than the Cabin Creek products, but Cabin Creek worked much better for me than the Zooms, and so it goes. I never liked the Texas rigging of tubes, personally, and did better with the in-tube head, but finding the right jighead for the tubes was tough. Found private dudes doing jigheads to fit most every size tube, but it took a lot of networking to do so.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I have floated it many times in the summer. There are smallmouth, largemouth, carp, gar, catfish and sunfish in there. I generally float the put in above Palmyra, down to Palmyra. 6 hour float and it is gorgeous. Lazy river, you can get out and stand up in it just about anywhere. I highly recommend it. Here is one client's fish from the Rivanna. He also had another nice one at 15" that day.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

2nd this. Beautful fish.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Right now I'm trying to get my trips set for this summer might have to hit the rivanna in June if the weathers right gotta get clear water for the best stuff on smallies I'll need to find some public ramps to use

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Me and my dad with a simultaneous catch at Smith Mountain this past Monday...he loves a good selfie.

"I'm a Miller Lite guy, always have been, since I was 8." -John Daly

Doesn't get much better than a double up.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Doubling with Dad priceless...

Any good tips or resources for striper fishing? I've never done it, but would like to give it a try this year.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

A MAGICIAN NEVER REVEALS HIS SECRETS. But if he diiiid: we fish almost exclusively with bucktails. Seems overly simplistic but don't knock it if it works. We basically approach it like one would bass fishing (no trolling/planar boards/etc). If you go the bucktail route you'll wanna work it pretty quickly with the occasional twitch but don't try to get too fancy with it. And I can only speak for myself, but the shittier the weather the better. Like the day in the picture I posted was in the mid-upper 30s, strong wind and on and off rain...but to each his on. Those tactics may not work, but then again you may go and annihilate them. Just gotta go out and put the work in and see what works for ya. But if you do get on them, you'll have the time of your life. They attack bait and fight hard.

"I'm a Miller Lite guy, always have been, since I was 8." -John Daly

Thanks for the tip! I think I have a lot to learn. :) I don't know the basics - time of year, time of day ... do you need electronics to find bait fish, should I fish banks or a main channel, etc.. I smell a few rounds of Google in my future.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

You can get on them whenever honestly. But given that our approach to them is in the winter, I would say early morning would be your best bet. Yeah we use some electronics just to get a feel for what we're throwing at, often times you can just look for shad on top of the water when the stripers push them up (or just look for gulls...they're pretty telling as well). We usually try to go up into the river a little bit, but there are some pockets and banks on the channels that can house them as well. Again, just gotta put in the time. Like any other type of fishing, some days you'll be fishing, other days you'll be catching.

"I'm a Miller Lite guy, always have been, since I was 8." -John Daly

Thanks again!! Looking forward to giving it a shot. I'm jonesin' to get out on the water and having some fun with it.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

One thing to note- you can catch striped bass all year in freshwater, but their mortality rate is much higher during the summer when things heat up. In my freshwater days, I looked for other stuff to target during the summer months.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Yeah...and it's hot as balls and then with all the traffic during the summer just makes it hard to fish regardless until nighttime. Colors...forgot about colors. The past few weeks have been good for greenish-yellow and chartreuse colored tails.

"I'm a Miller Lite guy, always have been, since I was 8." -John Daly

freshwater or saltwater? Pulling gizzard shad with planer boards is very effective at SML, but you have to find water that holds bait, so electronics and temperature are keys. I am not that savvy. Saltwater striped bass are not complicated- storm shads tailored to the size of the local fish, jig head with a shad assassin, maybe even a bucktail. I can share some spots, but they are Maryland-centric. I have always done my best fishing on bridges at night with a moving (usually outgoing) tide and a vertical jigging presentation from a catwalk/bridge/pier.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I was thinking freshwater mostly - trying to stay reasonably close to home (Henrico/RIC). So probably the James or Lake Anna. Really just looking for something to chase in these colder months. Sounds like catfish and striper are good options.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I don't know much about fishing Lake Anna. I would imagine that planner boarding live shad, or jump fishing looking for schools of breaking fish and working them with bucktails would be a good way to go.

As for catfish- I know this is the time of year to get the monster blue catfish in the James. Some of the local charter guys guarantee citation fish or your money back. Warm water discharges are usually good spots. For me, the key has always been finding fresh gizzard shad or bluegill. White perch has never worked as well, and herring are illegal to possess up here in the Potomac. A nice sized chunk on a fish-finder rig usually won't take long to produce. Up here, the blue catfish are so thick that it is hard to catch bluegills any more to use as bait.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Did I mention I love this thread? Thanks again to all for the advice. Will post pics if I get out there and have any luck.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Didn't see French's post above asking about where.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I've had my best luck trolling fake shad and buck tails in the bay out around the cut channel in late December it's been a few years since I went last but we did that and even fishing eels with worms and bagged 3 citation stripers in one morning
Edit: found the pictures of 2 of them top one was 49 pounds second was caught on eel with bobber and weighed 50 flat my biggest I've ever seen

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

PIGS!

Where is Lawson?!

Yup fought the 50 lb one on mid weight penn tackle on bobber and hook it was an intense fight after a long day fishing my arms were gassed I barely could pick him up for a quick pic before a same release

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Go fish in the Bay around the mouth of the Rapp. Toss Chicken on a Chain colored soft plastics on jigheads around the oldest docks you can find on a falling tide. You will catch stripers.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Fishing in East Tenn has held up well with warmer water temps than past few winters. Febuary could be crazy good if temps remain a little warmer.

Fishing the Soho?

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I mostly fish the lakes..stripers, lakers, rainbows, browns. I dont fish the tailwaters as much lately.

First catalog of the year just showed up. I'm getting the fever! I need more cowbell.

Tell you what! Answer the following question correctly and win a spool of Stren Mono; which is the best I might add!

It is always a possibility but normally you would never see this?

Contest ends 2/6/17 or until the correct answer is posted.

Where is Lawson?!

UVA winning the Coastal?

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I've always got the fever! Best part about fly tying is you can give yourself more cowbell even when the weather doesn't allow you to fish.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I love those colors. I am going to have to get some pink flash.

Edit: Is there some purple in that blue?

Where is Lawson?!

I feel ya! I build these:

Where is Lawson?!

Okay fly people I want some advice me and my spouse have taken to fly fishing mostly for smallmouth so far just poppers. I've heard pros say you can't but good flies in particular poppers I buy my stuff currently from green tops fly shop in Ashland and I'm curious if there's somewhere I can order better flies from or should I look into tying to save money?

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Greentop has pretty good flies and a nice selection, plus the guys in there are great. I do not purchase their flies though, so I cannot really attest to how well they hold up.

You can order custom flies from me if you would like. www.knotthereelworld.com is my website.

Do you have anything specific that you are looking for? Happy to provide photos if you would like.

Tying doesn't really save you money, unless you keep it simple. It is very fun, rewarding and addicting.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Mainly I just fish with poppers for smallmouth I'm interested in other flies I could use but not quite sure on how to use them I've got a few weighted crawfish imitation ones that I think will work jigging them along the bottom
The poppers I buy from greentop usually can last atleast half a day if the smallmouth are on before they're beaten to where the popper part is lose from the hook and can get all twisted around

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

You should get more than a half day on a decently made popper. As for colors, flourescent yellow with black hackles and tail were good everyday flies for me on the New. Also effective were bumblebee colors. Size-wise, I liked them bigger than bream bugs but smaller than the big largemouth bugs. My go to poppers in the late summer were made to attempt to evoke (not imitate) the dead/dying dog day cicadas that many of the really big smallmouth find irresistible, even at midday. I tried to keep them mid sized, slightly elongated, not made concave for popping, because I didn't want them to pop. Off white/cream on the underside, light green on the sides and top, with a small cream colored stripe down the back for visibility in the shade we were trying to fish. I couldn't find this style of bugs available commercially, so I had to make them, and it wasn't all that easy, so I built them to last, and they did. Guys who make them are going to ask at least $10 for them, so there's an incentive to learn to shape and paint cork, along with the basics of seating the hook, tying the hackles, and adding the legs. I saved a ton of corks to get the quality I needed to carve and shape, but luckily my clients seemed to drink a lot of wine, and often of the high dollar variety, which seemed to have the better corks. While I occasionally enjoyed a little tying, I mainly did it for selfish reasons...it was the only way to have what I really wanted, had confidence in, and keep my clients happy. If I could've afforded to keep stocked without tying, I really would have. Now, all I tie are bucktails for stripers in the Bay, but Spro makes a better jig than I can tie, so again, I buy them if I can afford them.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

This is completely accurate regarding saving money and the addicting nature of the hobby.

I tie not to save money but because I can tie more durable flies than I can buy, and I can experiment with my own designs. Nothing is more rewarding to me in fishing than deceiving a quality fish with a fly I designed and tied.

That being said, I'd take hokieflyguy up on his offer to sell you some flies. The ones listed on his website are gorgeous. I've been thinking about ordering that 12 fly selection myself. Perhaps once I get a few other expenses addressed (kids oral surgery...ugh) I'll be in touch.

Congrats to the sub-thread's OP on joining the fly fishing fraternity. It's an amazing sport that will frustrate and reward...more of the latter if you stick with it.

I'm considering tying my own in the future but I feel the initial cost to get into it might be a tad steep at the moment but honestly I'm not sure what's best I used neon yellow with white and yellow with a touch of red poppers the biggest I could find for smallmouth last summer I did okay nothing over 16 inches so I'm curious if I should try other colors or types of poppers

Also curious on people's opinion on line on a reel I've had this flyrod for 3 years now used it very sparingly until this last summer and I'm curious how often I need to change my line since I still have my original line it came with I'm thinking of changing it to another color etc I only use it for bass fishing these days so I'm curious what's a good type to get my rods a 5/6 wt

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

You are correct, it isn't cheap to get started. Unless...

I got all my gear on the cheap from a fella whose wife made him choose one hobby over another. Poor guy. He chose breeding and training bird dogs, gave up fly fishing. I bought 4 complete fly outfits (St. Croix rods for the most part) ranging from a 6'-0" 2 wt to a 9'-0" 8 wt, all with new line and leaders. Also a pair of size 14 waders (my size luckily enough), three stocked fly boxes, and a huge Plano tackle box full of all the fly tying tools and materials I'll need for the next five years. I felt ashamed when he wouldn't take a penny over $200 for what amounted to over $1,200 worth of gear if bought new.

If you keep looking, you can find similar deals from folks who gave up the hobby etc.

That being said, my advice for a beginner is to hire a guide a time or two and pay close attention to everything he or she does. Ask questions about what you are doing and why.

If that isn't your thing, I'd start with a quality weight forward floating fly line, balanced with the weight of your rod. You can get into sink tips and sinking lines later if you feel the need. With proper care, I've had good luck with fly lines lasting 5 years and longer, but then again I don't get out as much as I'd like. Keep it clean and out of the sunlight when not in use, and use a fly line conditioner at least once a season and you should be good. You'll know when you have issues (old line, dirty line, etc) if the tip starts to sink when it shouldn't. Try cleaning and dressing it before replacing.

My favorite smallmouth poppers are made by a local legend where I'm from. He's internationally published, especially regarding smallmouth fishing, so I guess he isn't just local, but anyway...Harry Murray in Edinburg VA has a great shop and is very willing to answer questions and talk fish. His poppers and other patterns have worked well for me over the years. I recommend buying his books or attending his on the water class too if you can swing it.

That was a lot longer than I intended but hopefully something in there is helpful. Good luck!

Poppers are what I'm best at so far I've got a guided fly trip later this summer so I'm excited to learn from an experienced pro but till then I'm trying to use my fly more this year

Gonna replace my ultralight with my 5/6 wt fly rod on river trips this summer for bream and bass I have fully floating fly line I'm curious if I ought to get line that has a slight sinking taper to it or not? I only have one spool and not really trying to buy more I try to minimize stuff I need to bring fishing on river trips for portaging and log jams

Tying looks fun but need more income so I'll have to wait on that but I'm hoping to find good places to get good quality ties in the mean time I'm interested to try fly in the spring early summer so I'm curious what flies people use I use mostly crawdad imitators and flukes in the rivers I fish they're the best so should I look into clouser minnows and crawfish flies?

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

You want a floating line.

For smallmouth I fish white streamers, blue poppers, chartreuse anything and natural colored crayfish flies. Also some streamers in black.

You can fish a whole season for smallmouth with clousers, woolly buggers and poppers which can make it much easier to get into tying.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Your flies are very nice I'd be curious if you do a smallmouth collection I'm looking for new flies to try this year from spring through fall for smallmouth on the James and rivanna if I can get there. Do I need to get different patterns/sizes for the smaller river?
Also I've never tried subsurface flies for smallmouth yet so what's a good one to start with? Clouser? Crawdad? I've got a small crawdad weighted eye fly that looks good but if I jig it but haven't fished it yet
Also is blue the ideal smallmouth poppers I see everyone using that color but I've always used neon orange and yellow with white combo to good effect but again everyone says blue so is it really worth the switch?

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Thanks for the compliment!

Yes indeed, I do selections for smallmouth. Clousers work well for smallmouth, though the only Clouser I sometimes put in my selections is a foxy Clouser, which is less common than your standard Clouser. Most of the streamers I fish for smallmouth are either my own creations or other guides' flies.

Chuck Krafts Klawdad and Pat Cohens Crayfish are great smallmouth subsurface flies. I generally put one of each in my selections. I can do pretty much anything you want if you are looking for something specific. Most folks simply ask me to tie up what I would use and besides one top secret pattern, I share everything that I use. Most of the stuff I tie you won't find in a store/fly shop. I can tie pretty much everything that they carry though.

Sizewise, I generally don't switch to larger based on the river size unless I am fishing the New, because there are some serious toads in that river that will eat big flies.

I don't think there is an ideal color for smallmouth. Each smallmouth guide you talk to will probably have a different opinion. White is my go to color for streamers, but black, olive, gold and a litany of other colors also work. Blue has worked for me on poppers, as has chartreuse, yellow, black and orange. It all depends on the fish and what mood they are in each day. I carry a variety of colors of each fly with me when I go.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

As always, good advice. Hokieflyguy's got the goods here. Interesting side note, Chuck's Klawdad was developed to come up with a fly that would imitate not just the crawfish, but the jig and pig bait that is so successful. It was one of my go to baits for my fly rodders, and is a lot of fun to tie, as well.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

No need to change the line unless it is cracked and worn out. I regularly clean my lines and they last longer.

Color of the line makes no difference to the bass

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Thank you very much for the compliment!

Let me know when things settle down and you need the flies!

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Tying doesn't really save you money, unless you keep it simple. It is very fun, rewarding and addicting.

Amen.

I took it up as a hobby when I lived in Annapolis ('86-'88) and was commuting to DC as a fledgling agency staffer. Long hours, no time to fish. My fishing fix was watching Jerrry McKinnis on ESPN on Sat morning and making up and tying patterns while I watched.

I don't fly fish much but in Texas, I made a few shrimp imitations for speckled trout under the lights. Friend of mine had a little dock and I had a blast with a 6 wt rod.

Dug out my tying gear a few years ago here in FL because I couldn't get bucktail jigs made the way I wanted. There is about one month of the year where reds down here will hammer a black bucktail. I wanted one with some purple and copper flashing, and I wanted some in a rust color, also with copper flash. I don't use them much but in the late fall and winter, I usually have a rod in the boat with one tied on.

As I'm sure you and others can attest, catching fish on a lure you imagined and built is a bucket list thrill. Was/is for me anyway.

I am not a fly fisherman, but if someone wants to take me small-water smallie fishing relatively close to DC with spinning tackle from shore, I would be happy to join you.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

What rivers around there have good smallie populations I thought the Potomac was largemouth??

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Check out Ken Penrod's website for smallmouth info on the Potomac. There are several reputable and reliable smallmouth guides on the Potomac.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

If Ibget a guided trip this year, you and I will be going sight casting for cobia on the IMG. Sadly, if VMRC doesn't grow a back bone it will be a very expensive catch and release trip.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

As you know, I'm all for catch and release if that's the game. We have decided to try a different approach this year and forgo the tedious anchor and chum fishing that hasn't worked out too well for us. My boat being a one story job, sight fishing is hard to do, but a combination of sight fishing and slow trolling eels on in-line weighted rigs might be fun to try, as well as targeted drifts near likely spots, again, with live bait.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

In relation to the James how good is the smallie fishing since I live in Ashland I try to stay close

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Potomac had plenty- pretty much need boat or kayak at Riverbend or upstream. I am thinking small water. I grew up not far from where the North Fork of the Holston crosses route 80 in Hayters Gap. I spent many an hour standing on the bank throwing tiny torpedos and small white grubs catching smallies, rock bass, and sunfish. Upper Rappahanock looked promising near Warrenton but no idea where there is shoreline access. I never have gotten a feel for "big water" like the fast water above Fletcher's on the Potomac or the fall line in Fredericksburg.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Mark Kovach was another outfitter I heard a lot about on the Potomac. Great guy with some great guides working for him, but boats, boats, boats! Even with access, big water is always tough to fish. One must just break it down to small sections, or certain lies, etc., based on the conditions of the day and the time of year. Not only can you not fish all of it, there is no need to. I recalled this morning an old saw about "90% of the fish live in 10% of the water", and I believe it. Bank fishing just doesn't get you around enough, for my purposes, but we need to remember that the current state smallmouth record from the New was caught in early spring, from the same spot from the bank...twice! Once on a spinnerbait, once on a minnow, so it can be done. It also proved that if you catch a trophy smallie in the spring, even after an extended absence, if you release it where you caught it, it'll go right back to the very spot you took it from, which is why the kid who caught her the second time (it'd lost an ounce so he didn't get much recognition other than a free replica for releasing it) insisted on letting her go somewhere new so nobody would get her again from that specific spot.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

My roommate in grad school did radio telemetry on largemouths. We were n the Atchafalaya basin in Louisiana and he was trying to correlate movements with changes in temp, dissolved O2, etc. We'd shock 'em, put a radio tag in their belly and track them. Most fish had two or three locations where you can usually find them. Don't know why smallies would be much different.

He also kept a LMB in a tank in his office, would always wear a yellow shirt when he fed it a small bluegiil or similar. Fish would go nuts if you came in wearing yellow

That is so cool!!!!!!

Where is Lawson?!

I've been lobbying my wife for years to get a large fish tank (100+ gallons) in our house so I can have a pet bass. She is not keen on this, and asks why do we need that. My only response is to capture the enemy and study them.

Where's the beef?

And in the winter you'll have somewhere to test lures and new rigs it's a win win you can't exercise your pet fish

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I've had fish tanks for the better part of my childhood to age 32. Many pet bass, catfish, pickerel, sunfish and snapping turtles. When people ask me why I still have fish tanks, I simply respond that I'm a twelve year old at heart and love nature and studying aquatic life. Their attention is usually grabbed when they watch Dino the snapping turtle maul and eat several gold fish.

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Big water isn't difficult, just read the water and with anything, fish the edges. The fish will still eat the same lures. Fredericksburg has easy wading below 95 bridge. There's also a river known as the New in a little place called Blacksburg which has a lot of good wading spots despite what some may say.

The best small water river for smallmouth that I know of is the Rivanna in Charlottesville. Let me know if you are around RVA sometime and we can make the trip floating it in my kayaks.

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Excited to try the rivanna out this spring gonna do the 10 mile stretch since I'm going to do it in a day but the James the upper bit is very good still just gotta take your time to find the good parts while you float

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Big skunk today targeting blue catfish in the Potomac. Bait was a challenge. I had to use some HMart white perch. Even the catfish didn't want to eat it.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

High Pressure!
Edit: System

Where is Lawson?!

Well, a friend of mine who graduated with me in 2007 told me I need to come see Mardi Gras, as she lives in New Orleans. As of this weekend, the flight is booked, Feb 23-28th, and I just put a deposit down for one day of guided fly fishing. How I will afford this trip, I'm not exactly sure, but I didn't think it wise to turn down a free place to stay at an attractive, single woman's apartment, who wants to show me the local side of Mardi Gras, at the prime time for bull Redfish in Louisiana. I am pumped to fish, but my liver is scared. Will certainly update photos when I return. Will be at the tying desk until then working on some bugs for the bulls. Here's a few I have so far.

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all are gorgeous! give me that gold one at the bottom all day long

That color would indeed work well in Chucktown. Let me know if you need a few and I can do a custom order

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Great flies, great trip. The envy is oozing out of my every pore. Good luck on land and water!!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thank you!

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Handful of Egyptian Mule Drivers I tied up last night for Louisiana bull reds. If you all get tired of me posting fly fishing porn, please let me know.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I went to try catfish in Four Mile Run on Sunday. Skunked.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Gave it a shot.

Where is Lawson?!

Can anyone point me to a good place to trade a fresh water fly rod? I ended up with a nice 4wt outfit (Tibor reel/Sage rod) and would like to trade it for a saltwater rig. The Tibor has three spare spools, with various lines. I have several 8wt's, would like to pick up a 7wt or a 10/11wt.

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I never met a project that couldn't justify a new tool.

Fly Fishing Buy Sell Trade on Facebook is pretty good. I may have some stuff we could work something out. I've got a St Croix Legend Ultra 10 weight that I do not use and am willing to part with for cheap.

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sounds good, I will ask you about it in June.

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I never met a project that couldn't justify a new tool.

Sounds good!

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Alright folks with canoes i got my first canoe yesterday always used kayaks or borrowed canoes but now I have my own one and I'm gonna set it up for river smallie fishing and I'm interested to see what ideas other people have or what others have done to make them easier to use
For starters I'm going to replace the plastic seats with metal brackets and mount padded boat seats, folding ones, to make the long days fishing in it all summer easier on my back but that's as far as I've gotten
Trying to come up with someway to stow my rods while I fish so that my spouse in the front seat doesn't have to worry about my rod tips and lures but sticking them out the back gets my reels too muddy and wet
Any ideas would be appreciated

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

This isn't mine, but it is similar to my old setup with the trolling motor, motor mount, and the water wings to keep it stable (highly recommend those so you can standup without any worry of tipping over). You will need to register the canoe if you put a trolling motor on it.

http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n59/ldorius/Canoe%20setup/canoeright.jpg

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I'd put wings on it for stability but I do mostly river stuff don't really want something else to worry bout hanging out the boat plus I know if I lose balance while standing in a canoe to jump out so you don't flip
I got a trolling motor mount for it if I chose to use one on a pond but mainly I won't use a motor I don't need one on the James
I'll post updates once I put the seat brackets in

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Rods in small craft are a pain in the ass. How many are you planning on having? With rivers its a pain having anything hanging out of the dimensions of the boat because they usually will just find any tree to get stuck on. Depending on the number of rods and how comfortable you are that you won't bump into a rock or something, mounting a bunjee/bracket so that it goes along the inside or outside near the top of the gunwale. This keeps them out of the way of snags and won't flop around and hit the person in the front.

My outfit is simple 2 medium heavy 6'-6" st croix baitcasters and an 8 foot tfo fly rod but still even just those few can be a pain in the boat I may try the system below with the pvc and bungees I'm planning on making a mesh square pouch in the center of the boat hanging from the two wooden supports
I work at a company where we have a whole fabricating department so I'm going to try and build my frams with aluminum as I can to save weight

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Quick google search came up with this.

Holy Cow!

Where is Lawson?!

I'm not entirely sure I'd feel safe bringing that much gear I'd get flipped then rip my wallet for all that lost tackle

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Have at it my man! Its all yours.

Where is Lawson?!

That looks like an awful lot of work. A 35 inch redfish will give you a good redneck sleigh ride.

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I was shocked to see Bruce Ingram writing for BassMaster Magazine this month - but he reveals a really cool product for fishing in the river that is made here in Virginia. They are called the cooler outrigger by Wingman Outfitters in Roanoke. I don't have a canoe, but you better believe I would use this product if I did.

just don't get your fish cooler mixed up with your beer cooler

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

Very interesting!

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I wouldn't have an excuse of not enough beer anymore and my boats more stable it's a win win!

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

The guys in the article claim that the more weight you have in the coolers, the more stable it is. At that moment I began wondering how many cans of PBR might fit in those coolers!

Caught a decent pike and some creek chubs(idk what they are we call em minnows since they look like creek chubs but get well over 3-4 pounds in schools) on the Mattaponi above Zoar state park from the shore today

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Hope I wasn't the only one fishing today absolutely slaid the bass on yum dingers in the shallows and the pike were going bananas in the same stuff for worms had good success on bass with yellow spinners 41 fish in total in 2.5 hours this afternoon nothing massive but plenty of good 1-3 pounders

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Good for you. Where did you fish?

I worked on the boat trailer all day. 3/4 of the way done redoing the bunks. At least I was outside.

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I was on a private pond in Caroline county yesterday very shallow usually full of Lilly pads except in winter so you can fish it with heavy stuff now to pull through the weeds

Good luck on the boat trailer I use a bed extender to avoid needing a trailer

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Oh that's cool. Yea my 18 foot Carolina Skiff won't exactly fit in my 6 foot truck bed haha

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Was that an inline spinner or a spinnerbait? Sounds like a great day on the water.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Spinnerbait the pike were all after the worms

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I take it those were stripers?

Where is Lawson?!

Yes Stripers

FYI the walleye bite is on fire right now on the New. I am heading to the Motherland tomorrow for Sigma Chi reunion weekend. I've been invited to go chase the Walleyes on fly, but so far have declined as I'm expecting a heavy hangover on Sunday. If I do get out on the river, will post a report.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I did not walleye fish. Too much socializing and fishing for sorority girls. Sunday I hiked Cascades with the two weight. More people there than I have ever seen. Few brookies moved at my nymphs, but they were in a picky mood. None came to hand.

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Hokieflyguy! You should enter one of your flys.

Lure Contest

Where is Lawson?!

Thanks Musky, I will look into it!

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Anyone have any luck this weekend? I put in a little time on the James in Richmond near Watkins Landing, but no bass. Saw lots of catfish (water was crazy clear for the river), but none of the other fisherman I talked to caught anything at all either. Gotta say I was pretty surprised - the best days I've ever had for big bass have been on those unusually warm February days.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

My friend went on the James only 2 small bass I was in PA for family stuff walked some trout streams nothing else though I'm gonna go bass fishing in some ponds later this week hoping for same as last weekend
Edit: I'd say in another 2-3 weeks if the weather stays warm the James will be good

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Anybody got any tips for the New River smallmouth right now? Been whipping around a craw colored rat-l-trap and a underspin swimbait and just catching dinks if I get lucky. Been reading about blade baits or hair jigs but that is for non-moving water. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated for this nice weather.

"Fishing relaxes me. It's like yoga, except I still get to kill something." -Ron Swanson

I went to my first Virginia Tech bowl game while I was in the womb.

Try an xrap on longer pauses, slow retrieving a spinner bait is also a decent strategy for bigger fish this time of the year. I know it's been warmer in VA, no idea what water temps are but I imagine they're still fairly low. If you've got the patience jigs are still getting hit decently well.

Ill give those a shot in the next few days. Appreciate it!

"Fishing relaxes me. It's like yoga, except I still get to kill something." -Ron Swanson

I went to my first Virginia Tech bowl game while I was in the womb.

Small tubes in the eddy water, natural colors (green pumpkin, brown) if water is not muddy, black/blue if it is. Very slow, on the bottom, very small hops, lots of pauses. If you think you're fishing too slow, slow down some more. If you are fishing moving water, look for water deep enough to have eddy pockets, ledge, rocks, etc. down in it for the current breaks that will be holding the fish, and fish it with a suspending jerk bait. I prefer Lucky Craft Pointers to X Raps, myself, and again, sloooow down, give your pauses enough time to entice cold fish. If I could only have one bait though, I'd go with the tube, or a small-medium sized jig and pig. Too early for spinnerbaits. The big fish aren't likely to chase much, so go slow whatever you use, but if you want the pigs, I'd go with the tubes and the best eddies you can find. Fish spawning areas, they're going to be around them.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Appreciate the input! Ill be sure to post if I get any luck, heard down by the junction has produced some.

"Fishing relaxes me. It's like yoga, except I still get to kill something." -Ron Swanson

I went to my first Virginia Tech bowl game while I was in the womb.

I watched a guy in front of me catch a 22 inch smallie on a suspending jerk bait but I haven't had any luck on them. I think I'm too impatient for the cold weather and move the bait too much. Any bait fish in the river right now is going to be barley moving.

Impatience and jerk baits definitely don't go well together for spring smallmouth. My best tactic with them has almost always been to cast perpendicular to the boat, slightly upstream and then immediately jerk the bait two or three times to get it to dive to its depth range, then start the pause, twitch, retrieve motion. The fish will not chase that bait much, you absolutely have to not only slow down the retrieve, but not really "jerk" the bait so much as twitch it with the rod tip, then truly pausing, not for a half second, mind you, but for several seconds, before twitching and pausing again, trying not to move it more than several inches at a time. I once made a cast to illustrate the technique to a client, then in the middle of the retrieve, told a short joke (I don't know many except WVA jokes that are short jokes) while pausing. My client laughed about it, but at the end of the 30 seconds or so of the joke, I had a tap and hooked and landed a big smallmouth. While it was an extreme version of my explanation of using the bait, it did illustrate the importance of patience while fishing it. Cold water smallmouth are a different cat, so to speak. They will eat, the big ones have to feed, and they are feeling the imperatives of procreation and the physical toll to come, but they're cold blooded, and just don't, or can't, expend the energy to feed that they will when the water warms to a more comfortable level. Confidence plays a huge role here though, as usual in fishing, and you can rest assured that they'll eat that jerk bait if properly presented in the right water. Still and all, I'd be fishing the eddies more than the moving water right now, and if so, I'd be on that tube.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Once again, thanks for the tips and I'll give it a shot. With your help I've come a long way in fishing with artificial baits. I picked up a few different baits over the weekend. I'll give them a go this weekend on the New.

Thanks for the kind words, N R H, it has been fun corresponding with you. Wish you all the luck in the world. I'll be hitting the New in early May.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I caught three decent ones last week with a jig and craw trailer. Find deeper drop offs and ledges with rocky bottoms and mud or sand banks. I'm not sure why but that's where I've had my luck.

Anyone else going to get out later this week with temps holding in the upper 70s later this week? I've got 2 trips set for Friday after work then Saturday evening on different ponds

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Fixing leaks in the jon boat. Fatties will be looking to be shallow. Need the full moon!

Where is Lawson?!

Flight from RVA to New Orleans takes off at 4:30 p.m. today. Tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. I should be boarding a flats skiff and hitting the Biloxi Marsh with a seasoned guide. Taking the trusty St. Croix Legend Elite 9 weight, Allen Kraken 3 Reel with Rio Redfish line and200 yards of backing, leaders down to twenty pound tippet and my arsenal shown below. Also booked a guide for Friday. He said if the wind stays down, I'll only be casting to redfish 20 pounds and up. Apparently they caught a 47 pounder on fly two days ago. Weather for tomorrow and Friday is sunny, 75 degrees, with wind at five to ten mph. I may have timed this absolutely perfectly fishing wise, knock on wood!!!! The rest of the weekend through Tuesday should be excellent drinking/Mardi Gras weather. Will post pictures on here as quickly as I can. I'll have many more fish porn photos on my instagram accounts @knotthereelworld and @siessel4 by Friday evening if you all care to take a gander. Sorry I'm not sorry for any jealousy issues this may be causing. This is going to be hard on the wallet, but hopefully worth it.

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Have a great trip! Tight lines!

Where is Lawson?!

Saw DGIF released their smallie forecast for 2017 looks good for upper James! I'm curious for some opinions I'm looking to fish the Shenandoah river if I have time but being far away from it I'd have to do it as a camping trip like 2 day float n camp mid way trip I've never floated it before though so I'm curious if I should look at one fork or the other or where the forks join etc? Any tips would be appreciated!

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

The south Fork is an awesome river and a blast to float. 75 fish days are not uncommon and there are some big fish in that river

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Will have to give the south fork a try this summer!

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I grew up fishing all three. I enjoy them all even though they're somewhat different. North Fork is smaller and most of it is wadable. I usually fly fish this wet wading in the summer. The South Fork and the Main Branch (north of Front Royal) are larger (wider and deeper), and usually more productive in terms of numbers and size.

Floating the North in the late summer low water times can get dicey in spots.

You can't go wrong with any of them.

Stop by Harry Murrays fly shop in Edinburg VA. He has a map with all the public access points highlighted (some of which are not very obvious unless you know where to look). Even if you don't fly fish, it's worth stopping for the map and to read the board of currently productive flies. If you spin fish, match your lures to his fly suggestions and you'll do well.

Have fun!

Back home from Nawlins nursing a hangover, so this is convenient for writing a New Orleans fishing report.

Thursday I fished with Captain Brandon Keck. A young guy who knows his stuff, Brandon put me on a lot of redfish on a nice low wind day, and I frankly missed several of them. Casts are under 30 feet and you need to put the fly on their nose. I'd say 80% of the the casts were back casts due to wind and boat positioning and while I can cast pretty accurately fore, I didn't think it would be so much on the back and did not practice accuracy from that angle so that hurt a bit. My nerves didn't help looking at 20 pound reds mosying along the bank. Some of the fish are really spooky. The schools did not show up as we had hoped and the water stayed muddy most of the day. Finding clear water is absolutely imperative. If you can't see them, you aren't going to get good shots. We must have floated over 25-30 really nice fish that we had no idea were there until it was too late. I would have absolutely CRUSHED the fish blind casting a gold spoon on spin rod, but alas, I wouldn't pick up the devil stick.

We did find some tailers and I blew it on an absolute HORSE. The fish was easily thirty pounds with his monster tail waving out of the water. Biggest red I've seen in my life.The tail had to be 15 inches top to bottom. 2 spots on one side, it is permantly ingrained in my brain. Go to shoot the cast and the line is wrapped around my foot. Fish spooked on the shortened cast and he was gone. Sick to my stomach, it will haunt me forever. The entire day I hadn't let the line get caught on my foot. "That was your money shot." Brandon noted....

Twenty minutes later I did end up hooking into a really nice fish and landed him. 39-40 inches and 20 pounds minimum he estimated. They are so big you have to lay them in your lap! Not easy to hold for a grip and grin photo either. Finished off the day with 8 reds and also a five foot alligator gar that I fought to the boat but he came unbuttoned. That would have been a really cool one to get in hand.

Friday I fished with a guide named Paul (forget his last name) who works with Greg Dini's group. Based on the rumors I've heard about him from friends who randomly happened to know him and other guides I spoke to, he's a wild card. Background aside, I thought he was an excellent guide and cool guy to spend a day on the boat with. "You say you know what you're doing with a fly rod? Ok then, put on your headphones because we are going for a LONG ride to a spot with some big damn fish." We rode all the way out to one of the outer islands. It was 27 miles PAST the marsh. Over an hour ride and man was it worth it.

Again the water was off color and not clear. This greatly hurts your chances of spotting fish and getting a cast off in time. Luckily it cleared some throughout the day. Unfortunately the schools of hundreds of reds that had been there had left, but were there were thousands of monster sheepshead. 10-12 pounders pushing down the edges in groups of 2-50. After targeting reds for awhile and (landing another 20 plus pounder!) we said screw it and started casting at the sheepies. They were EVERYWHERE. Sheepshead are incredibly hard to catch on a fly rod. They can be as picky as permit, and from what I've read the eat is nearly impossible to detect. Besides that they have teeth just like humans and will bend or break a hook during a fight. My experience was no different. I cast to hundreds of them and ended up hooking 5 and landing two. I bet I had several more eats but you can only tell the take from a very slight tick or movement in the line. I told Paul to cast to them too because I'd be willing to bet a double up on sheepshead has happened very few times in the history of fly fishing, and at one point I lost a fish (broken hook) as he had just hooked up with one. We never got the double in the boat but it was wild and very challenging casting to those guys.

In the middle of it all I saw what I thought was a cobia. Turned out to be a 25 pound Crevalle Jack. They aren't supposed to be around this time of year and usually come in from the Gulf in April. 25 pounds is a medium size Jack down there, they usually are 40. We saw three throughout the day and Paul was stoked as they are his favorite. When I saw the first fish I put the fly on his nose at 40 feet and he slammed it. "You got him? Ok I'm going to eat my sandwhich now, this will take awhile." 25 minutes later, we got the fish boatside.

The last third of the day was super hard as cloud cover rolled in and my arm was absolutely shot. Overall I landed 8 reds with Paul, the sheeps and monster jack and we decided not to cast to 6-7 foot sharks. I was super happy as we used strictly my flies on both trips except for the sheepshead (mine were too big) and they worked! It's a great feeling to tie a fly and have a fish eat it.

My main target was the reds and all of them were 28-30 inches and up, a great fish on the east coast but middle of the road down there. I'm ruined. The flight home yesterday I was planning to buy a skiff, pick up and move down there to just disappear as a redfish guide for the rest of my life. If you get to go, spend the money on the fishing. It is expensive, but definitely worth it. I will be back.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Great fish and info. Congrats on some solid size sheephead and reds! Always wanted to chase JCs on the fly or light tackle but they never seem to run when I'm available to fish. Have you fished other coastal flats before? If so how does this trip rank? I've gone out on the gulf flats in Florida and done quite a bit around SC targeting reds and small tarpon haven't caught a whole ton of 20+ lb reds though.

I have fished a ton of other coastal flats before. Have caught Crevalle Jacks in NC, SC and Florida. Nothing like the size that is in LA. Most of the trips I do are DIY, and I'm sure I will do DIY now down in LA. This one was pretty damn good. The sheer number of reds there is astounding, it has to be the best fishery in the world for them. Certainly one of the best saltwater destinations overall in the States. The jacks show up in spring and summer and can easily be caught according to the guides. There are big reds in the Carolinas, but not nearly as many and not the same shots to get them in shallow water as in LA

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

HFG!

When you are tying and doing a tread wrap; what knot do you use to terminate the wrap.

Where is Lawson?!

Musky, I finish off every fly with a whip finish, whether it be by a traditional whip finisher tool or by hand. Anything larger than a size 10 trout fly and I also use brushable superglue on the thread wraps. I use that stuff often after tying in other materials as well. It seals into the thread and locks it down and makes a much tougher fly.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Thanks Fly! I ll give it a shot. Watching the wrestlers on espn3.

Where is Lawson?!

Sure thing. This is the brushable super glue I use. Stuff is gold for fly tying and I would imagine would be very useful for making jigs/lures as well. After 5-6 months what is left in the bottle gets gooey and unusable, but its not expensive stuff anyways.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I love those big jacks. We get the 30 pounders eating live baits on the end of the OBX piers, but they get more rare every year. It used to be that you would hook up with three jacks for every cobia and king. Now cobia are much more prevalent, and the jacks don't cruise by as often.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

They are one hell of a strong, aggressive fish. I've found babies in NC but never heard of big ones off the beach/pier. The 12-15 inch jacks feel like a big red when they are on. I'm hoping to get back down in the summer to LA and chase the 40-50 pounders

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

fantastic report!

Fantastic trip!

Biggest red I've seen in my life.The tail had to be 15 inches top to bottom. 2 spots on

Knee knocker!?

Where is Lawson?!

Most definitely. I spotted him before the guide did and was nice and calm making the cast, then when I felt the line around my foot, shit went to hell. Freaked out, guide started yelling instructions, got back into casting motion and fish was gone.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Pond fishing continues to be a hit on the second warm day of these weird warm spells last Friday and Sunday I went different places and the same tactics worked like a charm 20 fish in 2 hours Friday over 70 fish on Sunday
Lots of pike being very aggressive in the shallows chasing worms and beetlespins very hard the bream finally are starting to act themselves being annoying and all caught some nice bluegill and red ear
Bass were very feisty you would think you were fishing for smallies on a 100 degree day not middle of February no jigging the worms or beetlespins just straight pulling them in through grass and Lilly pads in very shallow water if they were there you'd see them going for it, it helps soothe my need to go smallmouth fishing for now
Had one bass bite right after he had swallowed a big bream still living pictures are below.
Only a few more weeks until the rivers get good I hope!

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

FYI, first picture is a pickerel I know you didn't specifically call that a pike but they get confused quite a bit. Black vertical bar through the eye = chain pickerel. Nice fish I wish the ice would go away up here so I could chase anything.

Sorry i call it a pike since it's the only pike guy we have around here in the ponds aside from musky so it's just habit usually it's too warm to catch any so it's just interesting to find so many in places you'll never see them unless you fish in the winter

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Gotcha. Totally agree with you on the annoying part of pike and pickerel. We out targeting bass here in Nebraska last summer ended up with 50 pike, couldn't keep them away from anything even had one break me off on a senko, so I picked up my crank bait rod and caught the same pike with my senko/hook in his mouth, they'll eat everything its crazy.

They're fun to me just aggravating when they steal lures and such but usually you never see them active so it's a nice change in pace from bass and all but I figure you guys probably see them as toothy bream for us bream are pesky when you fish anywhere around here especially with senkos and flukes when bass fishing

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

They're fun to catch to an extent. If I go out looking for bass and I'm having to unhook a toothy wild medium size pike every time I am not happy. However, they taste great if you know how to fillet the Y bones out and since there is more than enough of them in many of the Nebraska lakes I don't feel bad keeping them.

Wow I've never heard of a slot on any pike! I want to catch a redfin pickerel. I saw one mounted. A big one is 12". That would punch my last ticket in the pike family.

Where is Lawson?!

They are all in the pike family. Its a chain.

Where is Lawson?!

Correct as are musky, but you know that. I like to throw that clarification out for legal sake. Depending on the state a large pickerel can easily fall into the keeper size for pike but be out of the slot for pickerel or visa versa and you identify a pike as a pickerel and its under the pike keeper size. Both fairly unlikely scenarios but getting a ticket for misidentification would suck.

Nice!

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Saw some stuff on ned rigging for smallmouth online earlier anyone ever tried them I've got some 2.75 inch Ned rig stuff to try this spring on the James to see if they work at all

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

They work. I picked it up last year after the guy I fished with a bunch was having a lot of success on it. He went out and got one of the biggest freshwater drum I've ever seen on it and waxed small mouth all year long. There's not really a wrong way to fish it. Z-man make the best plastics (TRD Tubez/Stick Baits) for it IMO and they have good instructional videos and illustrations on their website/packaging

Zman was where I saw info on it seems it's a Midwest thing not really over here on the eastcoast as much yet but luckily greentop has a good selection of mushroom jig heads specifically for Ned rigs and the had the 2.75 trd craw colored worms so I'm gonna try it this spring only issue is most tackle guides said use them on lighter rods than I traditionally use for smallie fishing

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I use mine on a Bulldawg Medium Light fast action 7'0 which is a really whippy sensitive rod that I like all my soft plastics on (yes I know a lot people like the backbone of heavier rods to drive the hook in on soft plastics) it works really well but even on a medium spinning rod with light line (10lb braid w/ leader or 6-8lb mono) it works really well. My buddy that introduced me used his normal plastic rod which was a MH fast action Duckett around 7' Rod action is important but not vital, I've fished techniques on rods that people would never consider but when I was doing that I never had the money to have a setup for every technique now that I do (not really I just work for Cabela's so I get discounts on such things. PS if you live near a Cabela's I can send you a discount card next time we have the promotion) it makes life easier but I'd still be fine using a medium/medium heavy 6'6-7' for everything.

That's my issue I'm not filthy rich to have my setups done properly but I smallie fish in a canoe with not enough room for 5 rods so I tend to try and only bring 3 rods plus my fly rod in its case incase I have time.
My setup is an abu Garcia Silvermax med wt fast action 7' it's my soft plastics tubing flukes anything light for smallies I use that rod since it's much more sensitive than my other rods
Next rod is lews speed spool LFS on a 6'-6" st croix med heavy it's action has a much higher backbone so I tend to use that one for spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, crankbaits, hair jigs anything heavier I've learned it's risky using light weight rods when there are big 3+ pound smallies I've lost a few on lighter rods due to not having the backbone to keep them out of cover rock ledges and other cursed and evil things
I also usually have an ultralight to use when it's slow to catch bream and my light jigs but I may start leaving it behind for my med light pflueger spin rod combo I started river fishing with if it really will help with the ned rigs

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Hoping this rain holds off this week until Sunday to try and smallmouth fish the James this weekend

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I am trying to plan a camping and fishing weekend trip with some buddies in April or May and I was hoping someone might have a good suggestion for camp grounds with easy water access. We are looking for a camp site that's a little off the beaten path so to speak but car accessible within a two-hour drive of the DC metro area. The ability to fish from the shore would preferable.

I did a Google search for camp grounds along the Shenandoah and James Rivers but most of the results are for RV "camping" grounds.

Thanks for the input!

Where's the beef?

Lake Anna SP

Has just about everything you'd want. In Spotsylvania.

Where is Lawson?!

Anything specific you're looking to fish for?

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Naw not really. I have gear for bass, pan fish, and cats, so im flexible.

Where's the beef?

Try Watermelon Park. I think they have camping. It's out off of Route 7 along the Shenandoah. Just over the mountains from Loudoun.

Just caught two nice (fire truck red grouper) 27 and 26 inch and 8 nice lane snappers and 10 grey grunts here in Venice Fla. 12 miles offshore. Also King Macks are running .

Isn't it time for a spring report?

Where is Lawson?!

Smallies still holding off on spawning should be spawning by the time the thunder chickens start gobbling in the woods I'm hoping

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

The largemouth boys are starting to sniff around shallow. Won't be long until the girls start to fatten up!

Where is Lawson?!

My friend went last week on Thursday caught 2 smallmouth in an 8 hour float said they're still a bit off of spawning they were all very lethargic not very hungry but the bass in ponds were red hot as always on a warm day

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

IMG_0885.JPG

"Fishing relaxes me. It's like yoga, except I still get to kill something." -Ron Swanson

I went to my first Virginia Tech bowl game while I was in the womb.

Lure Parts On Line Coolest Lure Contest Winners

Coolest Fly:

See the rest Cool Lures

Where is Lawson?!

Good looking fly. I never ended up submitting

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Maybe next year?

Where is Lawson?!

Yea definitely. I should have jumped on it, but laziness will get after ya

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

With spring just around the corner it's time to refresh my tackle box and get stuff ready for the river trips this summer I usually buy my tackle as I need it with greentop right down the road but I'm curious if anyone uses any websites or warehouses to buy stuff in bulk that they know they'll need like hooks soft plastics and what not?

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

NATOR email me walleye 0 at gmail dot com

Where is Lawson?!

Fished a private lake yesterday and ate the bass bream and pickerel up with beetle spins and caught a gnarly sunburn
Fished the upper mattaponi today 8.5 mile trip walked away having caught 15 fish, 2 bass(both hefty size), 3 crappie(all pound n half or bigger), and 10 bream most good sized but the water was clear but still too cold all the fish were either at a creek mouth or in a deep slow eddy overall its too early for the bass to be on but it was a nice day on a very nice stretch of river all be it the bugs were near unbearable I consumed well over my daily protein levels by the form of gnats and mosquitoes will update with pictures tomorrow

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Nice crappie. What fly rod is that? I like the maroon reel seat.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

TFO 7/8 wt bugger rod and reel the fly worked wonders on the crappie it floats with just enough sinking to look super good the crappie were all big guys that made for fun fighting

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Nice!

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I will start a spring thread when I catch something worth posting. Three trips to Sandy Point State Park (Annapolis) produced jack and squat. I am changing over to shad fishing because the rockfish hate me this year.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Heading out this morning for a private pond chock full of crappie. Also small bass and pickerel, but we just go for the crappie, mostly. We won't get any monsters, but the crappie are always pretty good sized and extremely consistent. There, if I haven't jinxed myself with that, I'll report tomorrow.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

How did you do? I scored some crappie this past weekend on fly, only one was keeper size though.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Well, for where we fished, it was a banner day. The pond, Healy's Mill Pond, is private and access is strictly limited to residents and guests, with catch and release mandated (against all good management practices, I might add). After having been drained completely just a few years ago (dam failure), the pond has rebounded well. There may be a hidden survivor of the draining, but in the four years I've fished it, we haven't caught any big fish at all, but the numbers more than make up for that. We fished six hours, and never went more than a couple of minutes without a bite, nor more than five without a fish. I will admit that I don't count fish anymore unless we don't catch enough to lose track, but I do remember some numbers. We caught only one bluegill, a "keeper" if we were elsewhere and so inclined, and six or seven roach. We caught dozens of broomstick pickerel, dozens of largemouth, up to two pounds, and dozens and dozens of crappie, each and every one a keeper anywhere. Again no biggies, but the average was about 3/4 lb or so, with the biggest maybe going 14 oz. All crappies, roach and bluegill caught on Southern Pro Hot Grubs, Acid Rain color, on 1/8 oz chartreuse jig heads. The bass and pickerel came on the grubs and several on quarter oz buzz baits, which made for some really fun topwater explosions. Our small plastic conveyance is just too small for fly fishing, we've tried, so we stuck to six lb test and light spinning rods. Reflecting on what we considered a typical day on this pond, we figured we probably averaged 20-30 fish per hour between the two of us, but either way, it was productive and wore me out. Gettin' old. Anticipating no trophies, we took no phones or cameras with us, but all fish were healthy with the exception of a couple of the snakes looking like they'd been close to being the victims of osprey attacks. All in all, another great start to the Spring season for us.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

against all good management practices, I might add)

You are correct sir!

What is a roach? Never heard of that when talking fish.

Where is Lawson?!

Y'know, I'm not sure where I picked up roach as the name for them, likely from what people told me they were in my childhood catching them in the Northwest River in Chesapeake, maybe? The fish is really a golden shiner, I think. Either naturally in the system, or the result of discarded bait, they're indistinguishable to me from the golden shiners I bought at Roland Martin's Marina down around Okeechobee and used to try to lure 10 lb bass. They grow pretty big, 7-9" maybe, and readily hit both grubs or even popping bugs when mature. I used to not believe shiner minnows could be that big until I saw a picture of a 5 lb goldfish caught by a girl in Claytor Lake back in the 90's, and then saw two monster goldfish swimming with a pod of carp in the New River near Radford ten years ago. That's my non-googled response. Anyone more knowledgeable please set me straight if I'm wrong.

Edit: Looked it up on Google and it seems they're sorta like a carp, shiners not mentioned. Shows what I know.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Family and I are headed to Costa Rico for the week after Easter, and I would like to be an addd on to a charter for one of the two days we are at the beach. Looking for any and all recommendations. Its the tail end of sailfish and marlin season, so if I don't want pay a lot for a boat ride am I better off looking at a half day going for rooster, dolphin and tuna closer in or going after the big fish on a full day? (just had friends get back from going after big fish there and only getting to watch someone else reel in the only big fish caught) Any recommendations on a charter? All other tips appreciated, as I the closest I have come to fishing there is either Alaska or bay fishing in Florida.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

It is something I would love to do, but I don't have any experience with Costa Rica fishing.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Depends on where you'll be in Costa Rica. I can recommend either George Beckwith (DragonFly) in Los Suenos or Dave Dobbins (Fish LaManta) in Quepos. I've fished with both of these guys and they're good.

When I go back, I'd like to try the Tarpon Lodge on the Atlantic side. George told me, albeit many years ago, that it's pretty fantastic.

Where in Costa will you be fishing? I have twice been to Osa Peninsula (very remote Pacific coast) and fished one year offshore for sailfish and the next booked a charter near shore for roosters and jacks. Got one nice sail and raised 2 more, along with a marlin the first year. I'm a fishing lunatic and offshore just doesn't really do it for me. The nearshore/inshore charter trolling for roosters was awesome. My dad isn't a fisherman, he only fishes for Budweiser in the cooler, and he absolutely loved the roosters. My mother liked being able to just cruise and check out the coastline versus being 20-30 miles out and seeing nothing but water. Besides roosters, you can also get big jack crevalle, sharks, monster barracuda and other species. Small sails could even be in close too.

Unless you're an offshore fanatic, I'd go with the inshore fishing for roosters. They are one of the most badass fish in the ocean. The really good sailfishing has actually moved to Guatemala and is not as good in Costa as it was 5 years ago. There's alot more places in the world you can catch sails or marlin versus roosters, which are pretty much Central America Pacific Coast. Last but not least, the ride to the fishing grounds inshore is ALOT shorter than heading out to wherever the change (water temp) may be that day offshore.

Gratuitous fish porn:

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Thank you. That is a very helpful response, and great pictures. We will be in the Brasilito Bay, so farther north and not as remote. Any other tips still appreciated.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

That is just SICK!

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

Fished a 1 day small bass tournament at Buggs Island yesterday. Only caught 4 keepers and did not even weigh them. The lake has not rebounded from the LMBV that it suffered through 5-6 years ago. On a good note, all the fish fish caught looked very healthy. I did win a hat as a door prize. Just what I need is another ball cap! Been waiting to start a spring thread also. Like French, I'm waiting for something good. All I can claim so far is a 5 pounder. Not worthy.

I did book my ticket to Centre Island South (western Ontario) for early August. Can't wait.

Where is Lawson?!

FWIW, bass in my 2 acre pond are starting to really move and get more active shallow. Been catching a few, mainly in the wind blown corners on spinnerbaits. I had my pond drained down to a conservation pool for some work this winter, and the fish seem to have help up well. All bass I've caught have looked very healthy and fat, biggest one maybe 3 pounds. It should really start picking up with the warmer temps and some warm rains forecasted.

For anyone that likes to fly fish or may have an interest in learning, the Virginia Fly Fishing and Wine Festival is coming up on April 8 and 9 in Doswell, just north of Richmond.

I have had a booth for my guiding and tying business each of the last three years, but this year I wasn't able to be there Saturday, so I'll be simply wandering around the aisles all day Sunday. This is a huge show and a lot of fun! One day tix are $20. Super friendly crowd. I'll be rocking my maroon and orange Knot the Reel World shirt on Sunday. If you see me, be sure to say hi!

Article I wrote on the Fly Fishing and Wine Festival

https://www.richmondoutside.com/

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Sister and brother-in-law moving to Moorehead City NC. Anyone with a thumbnail of what inshore saltwater fishing looks like there? Looks good from Google Earth; I see passes, bays and creeks.

Early May at the Cape = cobia and Spanish

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I could write an essay on it. Cape Lookout/Morehead City area is my favorite place to fish on the east coast, and I fish a lot of places.

Spring huge schools of reds and albies. Late spring, Cobia and sharks. Summer reds, trout, flounder, cobia, sharks, spanish mackerel, blues and tarpon if you know where to find them. Fall is the very famous false albacore run with all of the prior species mixed in. Winter has reds and trout on the flats.

If you would like any specific info, please let me know.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

And if you have good coordinates, the best amberjack fishing in the world. I love those reef donkeys.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I have yet to get one, but it is on the list. They are hell on a fly rod from my friends that have caught them. I hear they are all over the NC wrecks

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

If you get on a live bottom and have some live bunker, live chum them. In late May, they will come up to the surface and then start throwing the flies.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Going to stay in hatteras late august a few days looking into a charter anywhere around hatteras or ocracoke even but before I get that far I'm curious what's catchable that time of year both sound and off shore wise? I'm not familiar with that area that time of year

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Offshore, best bet is to go out of Oregon Inlet for white marlin offshore. Any of the big offshore boats are great. If you can get The Pelican or Rigged Up, you will have a good day. Legacy is more family friendly and a very good fisherman.

Inshore that is a weird time. Cobia will be around the piers if you have light easterly winds, along with spanish mackerel. Southwest winds and you will want to fish on South Beach south of Cape Point with sand fleas in the surf for pompano.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

There are lots of options for redfish, flounder, trout, blues in Pamlico sound. Hop on google earth and look for grass flats behind Hatteras. They are there. Kayak out on a low wind day and throw gold spoons. The reds move around a lot but they are there most of the time. I prefer high tide falling, in the morning and I can often see the fish and cast to them. Doesn't always work out that way though... Trout will be there on cloudy days.

www.outerbanksflyfishing.com has a thread on spots to wade and kayak fish up and down the OBX. Great source of info for the DIY angler. If you want to fish in Pamlico, you will not find better guides in Brian or Sarah.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I will look into those recommendations thank you guys for the help!

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Gonna admit I'm still learning to fly fish and I'm self taught so I'm not very well versed in the serious ways yet but as a beginner I've always tied my flies to my leader directly and just now am learning of this thing called a tippet? Have I been insane to not use a tippet in my few years of time fly fishing? My main question is can I use a generic sized tippet like per say 6-10 pound mono or fluorocarbon to avoid using up a leader as quickly or will I need to switch up my tippet according to fly size to get it right? I'm aiming to do the least knot tying I can to simplify it I guess I'm skilled with knots I just prefer to maximize time fishing not tying knots the whole trip and some people seem to think tippets are critical and others seem to think they can be more generic

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

As a long time fly fisherman, I can say that I don't know jack about the finer points of tippetry. I can also say that the whole thing can be overanalyzed. Fly leaders come tapered to a specific diameter/wt/lb test. Out of the package, that's always been enough for me to get started. When you start breaking off or retying the leader to the point of getting into the thicker line, it may not work well with the fly you are using, so you add a tippet. You can make your own leaders by tying tippet upon tippet to go from the fly line to the fly, and I've seen leaders with five or six tippets on them, but I've never seen the wisdom of that. Lotta knots, and knots are a weak point. I have many times just stripped flourocarbon mono off of my spinning rod to complete a tippet on a tapered leader that had gotten too short. Not what the more "avid" fly guys would do, but it has usually worked for me. Yes, you will have to adjust your tippet according to your fly size, but also according to your fish size. Big fish, in my book, mean you need a stouter leader/tippet, but if you're throwing some ant sized creation to selective trout, you are limited to what you can actually get through the eye of the fly's hook and what will present the fly properly. It is a world of endless variation, and almost any enthusiast has their preference. What I would do to catch bream in a farm pond, or even citation smallies on the New, is different that what I'd do going for a musky or cobia. Some things you can get away with doing for some fish, but can't for others. You'll learn a lot from a good guide, also, but I'm sure you know that already. We do have some experts here, so I'll yield the floor.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thank you for some wisdom the world of tippets is confusing me more than it should. I haven't known jack about them till today and I feel swamped in info but I stick to bream and smallie fishing only so I feel I will keep with what's worked so far I'm a fan of few knots as possible so I may use a short flouro tippet in the future to test if it helps my presentation but with bream and smallies I've never had an issue of placing just using a leader. I feel it's similar to the flouro or mono debate everyone's different so they just stick to what you know. I'm going to fly fish ponds tomorrow so I'll do some testing to see how it works out hopefully I figure some stuff out on the water

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I will admit that I prefer flourocarbon to mono most of the time, for leaders in general and fly tippets as well. Flourocarbon is stiffer in really cold weather than mono, but seems tougher and is certainly less visible to the fish. Mono is more affordable, though, so I generally end up using it for spinning or conventional tackle unless visibility is a major concern, but just for leaders or for fly fishing tippet, cost isn't a big issue, so unless caught short, it's flouro.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I'll try to make my response as clear cut as possible...

The leader is the tapered clear "fishing line" that separates the fly line from the fly. Standard length is 9 feet. It can go shorter or longer depending on the situation. The tippet is the last piece of the leader, generally the smallest (but not always) that one ties the fly to. The point of a tapered leader is to properly distribute energy from the cast down through the fly line into the leader and tippet to unroll the fly out to the spot you are targeting with your cast. You can simply tie on say a 9 foot long length of straight 10 pound test as a leader and tippet and successfully fish with it. However, then it doesn't have the taper, and thus your casts may die, pile up or not unroll properly resulting in a poor presentation. The taper allows the caster to better present a longer, straighter cast.

Note: There are also furled leaders, which are essentially twisted leaders that you tie or loop a fly to. Some folks swear by them, I've never used one. They are more expensive than a standard leader. No need for them in typical warmwater application in my opinion and I would disregard them, but wanted to mention them in case you read something about them.

One very important thing to note is mono vs. flouro leaders and tippets. Mono is easier to see under water, flouro not so much. Mono will float, flouro doesn't. For bass/bream fishing, just go with mono. The fish won't care either way and if you are fishing topwater flies, they are easier to keep afloat.

You do not need to buy leaders or specific fly fishing leader material or tippet to tie and make your own leaders. You can use regular spool fishing line. I did some sizes below. The benefits to tying your own leaders are you get better at knots, you save money and you can modify the leader any way necessary on the water. When I go trout fishing, I do generally buy a leader because trout leaders require such a steep taper than a warmwater leader and it can be a lot of tying. For warmwater, you can easily make your own with normal fishing line spools and have enough line for thousands of leaders. I would recommend using the same brand of fishing line when building leaders to maintain consistency between the pieces of line.

You can tie your own leaders with a surgeon's knot or a blood knot. I HIGHLY recommend everyone in fishing learn a blood knot. Super useful, and very, very strong. I rarely have one break.

Most fly lines come with a loop welded into them, so leaders are easily changed out if need be. To build a leader, simply tie an overhand knot in the thicker line you would be using, or if you want to get fancy and have a smaller knot in it for less hang ups, learn a perfection loop. At the other end, tie a blood knot with the next smaller section. Below that do another blood knot to the last piece, the tippet. To the end of the tippet you tie a fly.

If you already have a prepurchased tapered leader and use most of the tippet up, you can still use this "butt" section of the leader. You can blood knot a new piece of tippet to it, or you can tie an overhand loop in the leader, an overhand loop in one end of your tippet and loop the two together. Then when you go through most of your tippet, simply unloop and then loop on a new 2 foot piece of tippet. This does create more knots in a close area in the leader and I have had loop to loop break at this junction on bigger fish.

Leader sizes below for making your own in pounds of mono breaking strength. Do 5 feet length for first piece connecting to the fly line, 2 feet for second and 2 feet for tippet. For bream, just do one foot of 10 pound and one foot of 6 pound.

Bream: 30 - 20 - 10 - 6

Smallmouth: 30- 20 - 10

LMB: 40 - 30 - 20

Saltwater: 50 - 30 - 25 or 20

Musky: 60 - 80 (4 feet long, two feet of each)

Trout leaders and tippets get more complicated with a finer taper, but the design remains the same. I'll leave that out for the sake of keeping things simple.

Orvis animated knot guide:

http://howtoflyfish.orvis.com/fly-fishing-knots/

A video that is pretty good:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsFFKuXlNQw

Make sense? Questions?

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Thank you thank you thank you I'm finally making sense of it all I got out this weekend and fly fished and by adding a 2 foot flouro tippet to my leader my casts were far prettier when I made my presentation cast, being cheap I just pulled off a piece of flouro from my ultralight I use to bream fish it's 6lb test and tied it to my leader with a surgeons knot and it made throwing my small spider bait I use for bream much easier.
Usually I struggle to throw the smaller flies with my current setup as I use a bass leader but by adding the flouro tippet it seemed to have rolled the fly much prettier than before.
My current fly line doesn't have a loop welded to the end so I may try a perfection loop with the remaining butt end of my leader as a nail knot is a bit intimidating atleast for me and my Boy Scout experience in knot tying

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Glad I could help and glad it made your casting better!

I find nail knots to be a pain in the ass. This is what I do if I have a line that doesn't have a loop...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fe6rvOTK-2I

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Well done. Good to hear from the experts.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays