August Fishing Report and Question thread

Any questions and tips for fishing post below!

My phone was ready for a freash thread.
Waiting on the rain to subdue and try to get out and do a little saltwater and freshwater action this weekend in between all the rain.

The NuCanoe is going to get a nice upgrade this weekend as well.

Forums: 
DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Comments

This technically happened in July, but I'll get this thread started here.

My wife and I were supposed to go fishing with one of my best friends, but a huge mistake by me paid off in a big way. I got the dates confused and didn't realize it until it was 4:45am and we were in the truck ready to go. My wife, thankfully, got in her car we headed to the river.

We ended up doing a different float than I had planned and on the first cast, not 50 yards from the ramp, this old beauty came up and swallowed my Whopper Plopper 110.

I put her on the hawg trough, and sure enough she was over 20". Her eyes were cloudy, and she seemed really old, so I got her back in the water ASAP and she swam off strong.

I didn't cast the rest of the day - I just worked for my wife to catch fish. We ended up just under 20 fish caught, but caught 5 over 15. This 17 1/2" was her best of the day (and her first topwater fish), on a Whopper Plopper 90.

Needless to say, my buddy was a little upset he missed out. The New can reward you big time, but it is even better when they are attacking lures on top.

Yes sir that's some nice fish my buddy has also hit the Whopper plopper craze and gone all in haven't bought one yet as I prefer fly poppers since I'm not a big fan on treble hooks after having one imbedded in my skull years ago but man that's a nice big smallie! Do you fish out of a guide like raft?

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

I'd be interested to know what kind of boat you're using as well. I'm in the market for something to float the river with a couple of people and gear, as a johnboat or canoe gets tough in low flows or high gradient water.

Upside of "guide type" rafts is boat control more than any other factor for fishing purposes. My big guide raft would float fully loaded, with three people, in about six inches of water, water I saw canoes avoid, but it was the ability to haul the oars against current to hold on eddies, and the ability to ferry almost straight across the river, even in decent flow, to hit holes, something that canoes and jonboats couldn't do without motors, that made fishing from it so great. A good jet and bow mount can fish a lot of river, but for a float trip, you just cannot beat a good guide raft.
That said, there is a downside. They ain't cheap, some are a ton better than others, some easier to row, some with more room, etc., but the biggest downside of a raft is that, well, SOMEBODY GOTTA ROW! The reason I was able to eke a living out of doing so was not just my familiarity with the river, the fish and how to catch them. I had clients who could catch fish from a muddy ditch, but it was my boat and my arms and shoulders they paid me for (well, than and I did lay out a helluva lunch spread).

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Everything about this is right. I miss rowing the NRS Cat and standard rafts. You can explore literally any part of the river. Fished out of plenty of jet boats and still would take the raft as often as I could.

Like you said though you lose all of the upside when you don't have someone to row. You can fish from the captains chair but less effectively and you can't hold current and fish.

Shameless plug...

This guy is a buddy of mine, so I may be biased, but these things are badass!

RiverRoadJetBoats.com

Based out of Lynchburg, I've taken one thru class 3 rapids. Only a couple inch draft - have seen one jump a sandbar.

BTW the greatest VT o-lineman of all time may or may not have bought one.

"It's always great to beat UVA, that makes us all smarter and better looking for a couple days".

I'm more in the skiff world right now but I wish I knew about Sabine Skiffs for a jet. They've got a narrow beam and are definitely small but you can still oar them in the river, you're not gonna hold in a strong current but its still more technical than your average jet.

X2 on everything Fish mentioned. Having finally got my feet wet running over a dozen multiple trips on Mike Smith's NRS, rafts are pretty freaking badass to guide out of in the New. Would be really hard to float and fish out of one alone however. That being said, if you practice and have pretty good balance, you can float down many stretches of the New standing up in a stand up kayak and absolutely crush fish, fishing solo.

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

Well I love the plopper - I will admit that (BTW, if you only want one, get a 75). But that being said, like every lure in your bag, it has a place and time. But I love that throwing it can land you a big smallie or musky. I also can cover a lot of water with it and do it quickly- which is also why I love it since I am behind the oars on almost every float. The only time we switch and I let my wife, dad, or friends row is when I'm throwing a popper on a fly rod for the cicada bite. I'm honestly not sure which I prefer - both are a blast to do.

But that brings me to the raft question. IfishVT answered everything you need - but I'll give you my specific raft and situation.

I bought a PVC raft from NRS called the Outlaw. It is nowhere near the cost of their hypalon models (rubber) but works really well for me - I make about 20 floats a year and it handles all the rapids that the New has around Blacksburg. The package has changed since I bought it, but you still can get everything you need for about 4k. It has some faults, but I love the drop stitch floor (no need for platforms) and how high it sits in the water. I bought a utility trailer and framed out a platform for it to ride on, which makes getting on and off the water quick and easy.

Well done!

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

Beautiful fish! Still can't believe I've never been on the New.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

We really should fix that.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

When you are down this way - let me know zsowder AT vt DOT edu

And that honestly goes for anyone - I usually have 3 day weekends in the fall, so just send me an email and we can try to get on the New.

Good to know! I have season tickets for football. So I might take you up on that.

Much appreciated all - I'd love to take you up on that (you too iFish). Between work and weather, I'm starting to get DT's + need to get out this fall for some good action.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I missed my chance to fish with Beaver spring before last when high water, then "falling out" with fishing buddy derailed the trip.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I'm up for try #2 Fish!

I thought the rain was bad that year - this spring was even worse. And as I say that, the New has once again turned to brown and was running about 13k cfs on the Glen Lyn gauge a few hours ago.

Hopefully we can get a TKP float happening this fall!

Nice post, nice fish, nice pictures! Glad somebody's getting out.
Fun fact: Ken Penrod taught me a trick with measuring smallmouth that the Hog Trough makes easy. When you measure a big fish, always flip it over and measure both sides. Seems stupid, but occasionally, you get an extra 1/4" or so of length. Don't know why, it just is...sometimes. I didn't learn this until I was almost done guiding, but in the two seasons I did it, I turned three 19-3/4" fish into 20" fish. Magic?
Another fun assertion: Male smallmouth get as big as females, so a big old fish could easily be a male. Both can live as long as 15 years. Other than in the spring, in pre and spawn mode when filled with eggs or sporting the typical cherry red vent indicating spawning, it is difficult to tell the sex of the bass. Maybe it's because the males do all the work once the eggs are deposited, or whatever, no idea. This comes from old time guides, however, and I've not done research or talked with a biologist about it, so hopefully it isn't bullshit.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thank you!

Ken is a character (I read his weekly updates) - but he knows fishing! I will have to try that next time with the Hawg Trough. We have caught 2 19 1/2" fish in the last two summers, so I wish I would have known as well!

Interesting stuff about the sex of the fish - I just usually assume big fish=big female. This fish just felt "saggy" - like it had held more weight at one point in its life, which is why I assumed it was a female.

Penrod is a character, indeed. I learned a lot fishing with him the four days I was privileged to do so. I had a 19-1/2 come close once with the flip, but still 1/8 shy of 20. Never got more than a quarter from any other.
I know what you mean about the saggy thing, and if it were spring, I might assume the same even in the absence of the cherry ring, but I've yet to be able to, or met anyone else able to determine sex on a smallmouth after the spawn, so I'll continue to go with the "can't tell" notion until informed otherwise. Don't we have any Fisheries Biology kinda folks around here?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Looking for advice on headboats in OBX. Looking to bring family of 11 (5 of which are kids). Any recommendations? We will be in Kill Devil Hills. TIA.

Miss Oregon Inlet is about the only option. They will just go out in the sound to catch panfish. The Country Girl out of Pirates Cove can take 12 people put to deep water fish, but it is costly. Other charter boats are only licensed to take groups of 6.

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

I'm headin out on the Country Girl in October! So amped for it!

Quick question I usually dont mix flouro and mono lines but I got flouro tippet for my fly leaders and heavy stiff mono for the back end of the leader will a blood knot hold mono to flouro or do I need to go with a surgeons knot since theyre different in many ways?

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

So long as there isn't some incredible difference, blood knot will be fine. I have tied 50 to 30 before with a blood and it wasn't the prettiest, but it worked.

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

Took your advice and went to get a bunch of tippet material got 30 pound, 20 pound, and 15 pound for the end of the leader but the 15 is flouro where as the 30 and 20 is the stiff mono they had on 30 yrd spools so I'll give the blood knot a go for popping bugs this weekend. Just saw someone mention to be wary of mixing the two for those reasons on an article after I bought it all.

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

You are correct to be wary of crossing mono and flouro, but I have only had it make a difference in heavier pound test. In the 15-20 range, it won't be a problem.

I saw the flies were delivered per the tracking, did you get them??

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

Yes they're hear and look fantastic I am hoping to try the bangarangs tomorrow on the pond and the cicadas next week on the new.
Thanks for them again!

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

Sounds good, let me know!

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

Keep in mind too that flouro tends to sink and may not be best for a slow topwater presentation. Ymmv.

Just have to make it through this work day. Then hooking up the boat and headed to Charleston/Georgetown. 2 days of fishing around Cape Romain, Bulls Bay, and Winyah

Fished Winya years ago for flounder. Lots of fishing in that area. Good luck.
How did your "breakdown" cruise go? You were going up into Santee or Cooper? Any trailer or boat issues?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

That cruise is next weekend. I took the boat out two weeks ago and ran a full tank of gas through it to make sure everything was working well. Everything worked out except my trailer lights...the mount screws backed out and they started spinning so short term fix is duck tape long term fix gonna need some better screws and lock tite.

So you've basically rebuilt an entire boat and trailer in the time I've been screwing up with my trailer springs. Just learned today that I got the wrong size springs and will likely be having to eat the screw up because the springs I bought got dunked once and, well, even after serious spraying off, already have rust on them. I'll try to hawk them on Craig's list or something, but I know I'm taking a bath. When it first happened and the whole shebang was sitting tilted in the driveway, my wife suggested I call the mechanic and turn it over to him. Oh, how I wish I had. The time, frustration, and even pain, the blood sweat and skeeter bites alone would not have been worth whatever he was going to charge me. Next time, I listen...I promise.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

If you've never been through dam locks, I'd highly suggest it. Made a 27 Mile run up the Cooper river to the Pinopolis locks and hung out on Lake Moultrie Saturday. I'll upload some pictures but man, its kinda wild going up and down those things.

A few more pictures here: https://imgur.com/a/wBRdwRs

I did some locks on Lake Okeechobee in a jon boat, but I don't think they were as impressive as those you went through. Thanks for the pictures.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Just googled it to see how far we went cause i remember losing 70 some feet on my lowrance depth. Apparently its the tallest single stage lock in the world.

Very cool. I watched a container ship go through the locks in the Panama Canal. That was an engineering marvel!

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

High school band buddy had a catamaran built in Chile and sailed it to Hampton. He said the Canal passage was really a cool thing to do. Heard another story just the other day about a guy who did it and was totally unimpressed. I've seen photos of those ships going through and I'd really love to see it.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

A Chilean catamaran, interesting. Sounds like a new fly name... Also, I'm a quarter Chilean so I'm partial to anything from down there.

It was insane watching this monstrous ship barely fit through it. It's way taller than the viewing deck and then they drop the water and it just lowers down to eye level. Panama City has a cool historic district too but is definitely 2nd/3rd world. Slums and a lot of trash in some areas. I found a guide service called My Friend Mario that would drive you all over the city for a day for like $70. Couldn't beat it.

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

His boat was built by a famous sailboat builder, Chris White. It's a 47' cat with aerofoil sails. For any sailors interested, Google "sailboat Pounce" for the story. Plush to the max inside, it's a hell of a boat if you like that sailing thing.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I see your fishing trip to the redfish hotspots of South Cacki and challenge you to a redfish dual, as I'm leaving first thing the morning for North Caroline with my boat and kayaks in tow. Wanna place a friendly wager on who catches more and bigger reds?

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

What part of NC you heading to? I'm interested how it goes. I haven't been out in the kayak in a few weeks but
last time I was on the paddleboard I had to practically dodge the reds. I fear that with the non-stop rain the baitfish will be driven towards the inlets, thus leaving my creeks barren.

OBX and I may also be shooting down to Cape Lookout for a few days after.

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

Charleston forecast was awful so right before I left I changed plans and went south. Hit Hilton Head inshore. Managed to get drum, sharks, skate....then ran across a big school of Jack Crevalle. Didn't manage to get any back to the boat but hooked up and held on 4 or 5 times didn't have big enough tackle to keep them out of the rocks. Had a blast, boat worked out well was able to take it through fairly rough water without and issues.

Sounds like you managed to salvage the day quite well. I've had the same experience with those jacks. Man, what a pull.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

you find your RPMs?

No I have not, I was running that boat really heavy that weekend though so I'm going to get out on the Lake this weekend and tinker with everything and see what my RPMs level out at.

Heading to North Carolina tomorrow (Emerald Isle), gonna do a lot of surf fishing, hoping to catch some reds. Any tips? Or maybe some other fish I should target that would yield more bites this time of year?

I recommend the southern tip of the island - the point. There's a small public parking lot but if you get there early morning you can often get a spot. I haven't fished for reds on the island, I stick to the kayak back in the creeks as it is much closer to my house. If you're coming in 24 E, there are some good bait shops with knowledgeable staff that can talk you onto some fish.

Thanks! Haven't had any real luck yet, some small croaker and lizard fish. I did have something (small shark I imagine) bite my hook off Sunday night

Brother in law in town all week. Looking to catch some catfish on the New from the bank. Any suggestions on where we could find decent public access with some chance of hooking into catfish? Don't expect anything huge but if we could get a couple 20-25" catfish I think he'd really enjoy it. Ability to drink a few beers without being pestered by law enforcement also a plus.

River above Claytor seems to be blown out bad by the rain. Downstream towards Radford looked better, at least judging by what I could see from 77 and 81 this morning.

Thanks!

I don't know about bank fishing that much - but I do know that the river will be way up for the next few days at least. All the summer bank fishing spots might be blown out. I would find another plan if possible, unless you just want to catch a buzz by the river.

To put it in perspective, normal cfs at the Radford gauge is about 2200 this time of year, and we are at 20k right now. I've always heard that the safe levels to float is about 5k on the Radford gauge and 7500 on the Glen Lyn gauge. I would absolutely not get on the river to wade right now.

I'm sure others (especially IFish) may have more to add, but I just wanted to make sure you knew about the current river levels.

Here are the gauges you can monitor to see how the river is acting:

AEP New River Flows and Forecasts

Radford Gauge

NWS Hydrologic Prediction Services *They are not always accurate in their predictions

Glen Lyn Gauge

Wow. I mean wow. It didn't look it from 81 bridge. We just checked it Thursday and it was like 2600 or something. Why the eff have I had such shitty luck on weather this year? Father's Day trip to Williamsville, blown out. This week, same shit.

FFS, just ready for football season.

Any bank access on Claytor worth checking out?

It shot up like crazy last night and today. Thursday morning the river was running green, but by about 6pm it was chocolate milk.

The only place I know to fish from the bank at Claytor is DeHaven park. I've never fished it, but I know that some do and have decent success. There is a good bit of riverfront that you can fish. My buddy has a house a short distance from there and we do ok - a good night would be 4-5 cats. If you can get your hands on (and keep them alive) some alewives/shad - your odds will go way up.

Nah, you can't get in, or on the New safely at those flows. With my big raft, I pushed the envelope occasionally in the early spring after the big ones, but that raft was the tits and was made for that and more. That kind of water, though, you're not gonna catch any fish even if you survive. They'll find you in Bluestone Lake when the water goes back down.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Radford gage says 5,000 this morning. Still too much to wade safely? Might drive down to Parrot or McCoy this evening just to see what's going on. Thought I'd ask you guys what I might expect at this flow.

Thanks!

If you're gonna wade Parrot, I think you'll be pushing it some at that flow, but the main thing is what they're doing at the dam when you actually get there. If you cannot see the bottom really clearly, don't go out there. I won't go into the details of years past and drowning victims, but suffice it to say if you drowned wading at Parrot, you wouldn't be the first. The Indians called the New the "River of Death", but with modern knowledge, watercraft, and bridges over the river, it is just irresponsible to become yet another statistic.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thanks Fish. We decided to pass on it today. Might check again Thursday evening, but more than likely we're just going to skip fishing this week and entertain ourselves in town.

I've probably waded the river less than 50 times and it's definitely given me enough opportunities to need a new pair of shorts. I don't mess around with it. Appreciate your words of caution and I wholeheartedly agree.

An interesting place to try might be at the confluence of Little River and the New just below the dam at Radford. There is a huge parking area associated with the boat ramp, and you should see the paths to get down to the river there. It is just above the ramp. I know of folks who often catch walleye there at night at some times of the year, and cats should also be available, but I personally have not done it for 30 years or so, and we just caught a buzz that night, couldn't buy a bite all evening. As I recall, the cold beer and the bucket of KFC were the stars of the trip. Still, the proximity of oxygenated water and truly deep water nearby makes it attractive.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I always forget about this. Thanks for reminder! We might check it out.

Setup some fish lights green LEDs on our dock on the east river to try out the next few weeks will hope to see something tonight not really looking at catching anything couldn't keep the gulp away from the crabs today

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

what fish lights did you use, DIY? I have thought about getting some of these going on my dock. I'm across from Urbanna.

.

.

#extendbronco

https://hydroglow.com/ is what I bought. I got the FL-50 which was on Amazon for $130. It's been a great light and it penetrates deep into the water. I live on the York so it can be pretty murky. I bought a pretty cheap outdoor timer with a photosensor on it so it comes on at night. I almost immediately saw minnows and bait fish swimming around in the light at night but since I just put it out a few months ago it was right after the striper ran through so I haven't had any luck actually catching fish in the light. I'm pretty optimistic when fall comes around. This is an "over water" light. I have heard bad things about the under water lights. You either need to anchor them to the bottom which risks them getting grime, mud, etc. all over it, or you need to float it at the surface which is a pain because the tide and current will mess it up. Either of those options also get in the way of any boats docking or fishing lines you want to throw out.

All of my neighbors just buy cheap flood lights and point them down at the water. In my opinion that works good enough. In the spring and fall I can go to any of their piers and catch a striper within 10 minutes. The trick, though, is that you need to pull the fish out of the water quick enough to not spook the other fish. Typically I will fish it and catch 1-2 in 10-15 minutes then leave and come back in 30 minutes and do the same thing. I rarely pull more than 2 fish out before spooking them. I can also catch an armful of perch and occasionally take a spear to gar.

804

Green lights in Horn Harbor kept fish all year round according to my friend who lives there. Give it some time to work, and if you have the water, they'll be there for sure. Let us know.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I know a fella across the river who has them on his pier and swears by them and can catch stripers all the time there but I rigged up a string of construction lights and put green 60w equivalent bulbs in the fixtures waiting a bit more before we go see what's around might end up wiring some floodlights on the base of the pier as a more permanent method

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

Yeah, any light left on all the time will eventually draw some sort of a crowd, but those green light things seem to be the ticket. The guys in Horn Harbor caught stripers all winter long, and had trout around in all but the depths of the winter, so they must work well. All concerned say it takes time to develop consistent action, and that you just have to leave them on every night if you want maximum production. If there are reds around, they'll drop by for a snack as well.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Had some croaker in and around eating the little crabs all swimming around under the lights last night but no bites unfortunately didn't have any peelers to hook on but gonna wire them in with a photocell and try again in a few weeks after more nights to test it out. Issue is we don't have a deep channel to put the light in it's rather shallow as well last night we went out when the tide was low and outgoing too probably best action on a cloudy night with a high incoming tide. The lights were super bright as well.

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

Yep, the deeper the water, at least really close by, the more productive the lights will be for you on a consistent basis, I would think. High tides will definitely help out, but it's gonna work better with that depth.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

We have an 8-10 foot channels at high tide off the pier near the lights so I think a bit more patience a few weeks and we may see more results I also need to use that time to find out what baits work best under the lights my gulp was a no luck bait last night.

Also tried jigging gulp on some piers and only got a bunch of blue crabs which I steamed for a nice snack instead

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

I've had steamed crabs the last two days myself, but it didn't cost me any Gulp. When the crabs are getting the Gulp, though, it's not a good sign. Unfortunately, that's been the case in my dock trips so far this year. My trout fishing neighbor says he's starting to get a few trout on the flats, finally, but still no reds. Not one.
Hope to get my boat back this week, then I've got Flyguy's problem of tail lights to deal with, then the sonar unit needs to be reinstalled, then, if it isn't Christmas, maybe I'll get out.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Location X, NC day one report....

I just got home from the bar so excuse any grammatical errors or rambling. I meant to leave RVA on Saturday morning at 6 am to arrive at designated location mid day and fish an early afternoon high tide. Non-working trailer lights derailed that plan. Didn't leave till noon. Whoever invents trailer lights that won't die after being dunked in saltwater once a month will be a rich man. Regardless, I still got to my vacation spot Saturday evening and drank alot of beer at the bars resulting in the typical hangover.

Today I fought through the hangover and headed out mid day to catch the high tide and fish through the afternoon. Showed up to the put in with towering thunderheads looming above about to block out the sun. The radar showed yellow and red blobs about to crush me. Fuck it, I went anyways. Somewhere the storms literally evaporated. I had maybe10-15 minutes of no light but then the skies opened up and there was sun everywhere. Couldn't have been more of an odd turn of weather events in my favor. There was plenty of light despite being surrounded by storms. It turned out to be a really weird light however. The backdrop to the west was a looming thunderstorm of giant white clouds and this reflected off the water hard and made it very difficult to see into the water despite the sun. I don't recall seeing anything like it when specifically sight fishing, but everything around me, the water, sky and backdrop was all white/silver. Very odd and cool, despite making the fishing difficult. The wind was slick cam.

Over the first 2 hours I was able to locate about a dozen redfish. I had six eats and missed on all of them. Two weren't my fault. One over aggressive fish turned and ate a piece of grass stuck to my leader and ignored the fly two feet away. First time that has ever happened... Another literally nosed my fly in the middle of the water column but wouldn't eat. Just pushed it around for a few seconds. I guess he was checking if it was real or not.

The next hour suddenly turned really good, with tails popping up at a very consistent rate. I couldn't see into the water at all due to the aforementioned light, but for some reason the reds all obliged me by deciding to tail. Now I see probably one or two tailers every other time I hit Location X, but for about a 2 hour time frame, I saw 20 plus redfish tails happily wagging in the sound. It was incredible. I was able to get accurate casts off to 6 of them without spooking and had four more eats, landing all of them at 22, 25, 27 and 29". It was AWESOME. Eventually another front rolled through and blocked what little usable light I had left and I paddled back to the truck, but not before stopping and helping a local "qualified captain" get his stuck 23 foot CC off of a sandbar, due to the falling tide that he had completely ignored. Not his fault, he blamed it on the time of day and the wind (3 mph). His wife owes me a fruit basket if you ask me.

What a day. This is by far and away my favorite spot to fish in the world and it just seems to let me completely relax, while also giving me heart wrenching jolts of redfish induced adrenaline on a consistent basis. I hope all fisherman are able to find a spot like this and I hope they all guard like a treasure as I do for this little flat.

Monday looks fishable and Tuesday is a maybe before the winds kick back up. All of my photos are on my go pro. Will update the thread with pics as soon as I get them uploaded. Fingers crossed I get a few more days in.

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

Thanks for the report! Always an enjoyable read. Glad you are getting after 'em.

Day 2...

I fished the mid morning through mid day low tide to incoming tide with a friend of mine. I saw 10,000 mullet and five reds. Shots at two of them, but they both spooked. I think we would have done better had we waited till the afternoon and a better high tide, but we went out on my boat and drank all afternoon and evening and cruised around instead. We did find a bunch of clams, will eat them tonight. This afternoon has potential but the wind is supposed to kick up. It's so rare that the wind, tide and sun/clouds all cooperate at the same time.... oh well, that's the game.

Here's one of the reds from Sunday's tailing session...

https://www.instagram.com/p/BmLasRGHml3/?taken-by=knotthereelworld

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

Mercy, what a beautiful fish.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Thank you!

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

Days 3 and 4 and 5....

Took a friend I have been teaching for 3 years now. Goal is to get her on her first fly caught redfish. Wednesday morning was too windy and she couldn't control the kayak. We went called it early and decided to day drink on the boat. Yesterday was even windier but we decided to try wade fishing a section, only the second time I've tried wade fishing for them. Saw two reds but they bolted. Did see a white sting ray which swam right up to our feet. Apparently albino sting rays are incredibly rare. Neither of us had our phones for a photo.

The wind died down some in the afternoon and I paddled a 4 more stretch of water I haven't fished prior. Mullet everywhere and I swear I saw a juvenile barracuda about a foot long. Waiting for confirmation from my aquarist buddy if that's possible up here and I have a feeling it is. Saw 3 reds and had shots at one. He spooked.

Today was perfect. My buddy and I got to the flat and started paddling out. Suddenly I hear the whine of a two stroke motor and some jackass is out riding doing donuts on the flat for a solid ten minutes. Not fishing, not commercial fishing by herding, just driving around like an asshole at wide open throttle. My heart sank. We waited an hour and then went to fish it. Only saw one red over two hours. I blame him.

Paddling back in I check one other area I usually don't fish and I see a bunch of mullet get busted. Mullet are all over the flats, so its not unusual to see them. The reds are mainly eating crabs and smaller minnows, so it is unusual to see them actually get nailed. I heard a pop and looked over to my right to see a shark pushing a big wake. Well what the hell, maybe I'll cast to him. I gave two strong pushes with the paddle and froze. Not a shark, but a giant fucking bull redfish. I mean huge. 40 plus inches. I couldn't stop my knees from shaking. I steadied myself and grabbed the 8 weight, which was rigged with a 2.5 inch long shrimp pattern, hardly a full meal for Mr. Bull. Needless to say I followed that fish around the flat for 5 minutes with his back out of the water, but with 3 well placed casts, he wouldn't eat and finally shot off. My chest still hurts from the anxiety of seeing him. Oh my god it was incredible. I don't think my knees will shake that bad if I ever propose to a woman.

Been a funny few days down here not connecting to any fish despite some favorable conditions. I've got one more shot at pretty good weather and tide tomorrow. Here's a photo of another one of the reds from last Sunday....

https://www.instagram.com/p/BmTZn5lH281/?taken-by=knotthereelworld

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

I have seen barracuda caught n the ocracoke flats before, its rare but it happens.

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

I talked to my buddy at the Aquarium on Atlantic Beach and he confirmed there are Cuda around all the way up to Duck/Corolla. He said there are also juvenile snook!

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

juvenile snook

Thats nuts, they all likely die every winter if they stay there.

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

They do indeed unless they can find a warmwater discharge.

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

I have caught two cuda, one off Avalon and one off of Bogue. They smell foul. It takes days to get the scent off you and the pier if it hits the deck.

At least houndfish don't stink so bad.

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

Day 6

Was able to get out for the morning high tide yesterday. Good wind, good light, scattered redfish. I had to cover some serious ground and despite using the wind to my advantage, still had one heck of an arm workout paddling. I saw 15, had shots at eight, hooked four and landed three. One broke the 20 pound tippet, which is super rare. Must of had a nick in it or something.

I continue to learn something new every time I go out there and I need to start writing my daily notes down lest I forget it all by day drinking the rest of the day.

I am heading further south this evening due to reports of huge schools of 40 pound bull reds in the Neuse. The weather has totally screwed my guiding in Va, and I cannot get a trip booked. I've got the time and I've never been in that system, so I may as well try.

Will update with more pics as I get them off my GoPro.

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

Played golf Saturday morning and was steaming after a quad on the 17th hole. Went home, ate lunch, and my 15 yo was looking at me like "what we doing now?" Well, wanna go fishing? He jumped at it. Went and bought some worms and off to the pond. Tossed out a few in the wide open area and nothing. Not even the turtles were biting. Let's go up top, on the bridge/dam/spillway. We've bought little 3' ugly stiks just for funzo days when we're out of the house and not toooooo serious. Just want to enjoy the day. Plus little sunnies put up a nice fight on the short rods. Pulled out a few sunnies, then that went dry. Kid with grandpa behind us pulled in a 6lb largemouth (they had a scale and everything!) and we were getting frustrated. Then were getting big nibbles. My son was just chilling, and I told him to get a worm quick and drop in next to me. Not a minute later he's pulling a 3lb small mouth out of the water...until he spit the hook!!!! I told him he now knows what it's like to have a good round going, then make quad on the 17th hole.

Went back yesterday. Tried a new spot and he pulled a few perch. Then went back to the spillway and pulled some big sunnies and a big redear.
Redear!

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Just returned from OBX.... I'll let you guys know where I fish, since you're all Hokies. Shhhhh!! Keep it between us. South point of Hatteras Island from the beach. Get out there past the ferry terminal and drive straight out until the dirt road ends. We were catching a mix of Spanish and flounder from the shore. I try to fish tides...but with the family, it's more a matter of when I can get out there...and who wants to join me! The Spanish come in and the glass minnows start jumping - just cast right out there and BAM! Picked up a weakfish too - that was a bit of a surprise. Happy fishing to all!

JP

Working on a DIY submersible LED light setup for our pier everyone I talk to says underwater works much better than above water so I'm trying to pin a solid design down and then I'll try and make a youtube video on how I build them for anyone interested. The biggest challenge is not knowing just how bright stuff will be underwater until its all sealed and done.

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

Sounds like you're on the right track. Any light is better than no light, but I've also heard the underwater lights are the best way to go.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I mention this in the post above but I've always heard they are a pain when you are bottom fishing and often are too deep to do a whole lot for fishing up top. They can also get mud, grime, etc. on them although the heat from the lights does help with that some.

804

That was my initial thought on the only downside of submersibles is that they tend to gunk up but I feel I can set it up so every few months pull them out to clean up like I do our oyster floats anyway.
I'm gonna go with led rope wrapped around a pvc pipe with a sealed can around it trick is finding a way to get the cable out without creating a potential leaky point but I'm sure threading any and all connections with some sealant can solve that hopefully gonna build a 12V control box with a photocell on top to keep them off in daylight and I think I'm gonna build 3 of the lights to get a nice amount of area covered as well.

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

Sounds interesting. Keep us posted with your progress. I definitely agree it needs to be pulled out and cleaned.

804

I agree with Ifish, underwater definitely works well. The diameter of the light at the surface of the water at my buddy's place is about 6 feet I'd guess. Its probably in 6 feet of water.

Anyone have tips, or have had success flounder gigging in the OBX sound from the shore? I've got a gig...but we're usually to tired when the sun sets to get out there again. Skeeters are killer down there now too with all the rain that we've been getting.

JP

Did it once one night in about maybe 1980. Lots of prep, only one flounder, but they had been getting limits more often than not when the conditions were right. It was fun, though, and we saw all kinds of stuff scooting about as we hunted. I liked the moving/looking/hunting aspect of it and if I lived down there, I'd definitely be into it, since happy hour can be adjustable when necessary.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Did it years ago as a kid once cuaght or gigged nothing but saw alot of neat stuff but was miserable getting eaten by the bugs since on ocracoke the mosquitos gets horrendously thick and can be like little wasps so if you go be prepared with clothes covering everything not in the water and lots of deet.

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

Took a mental health day yesterday with my son and a buddy of his. Went out on the Miss Ocean City for some flounder fishing, relaxation, and a break right before his soccer season starts. 3 hours on the boat, and they sold 20 of 45 spots which made it roomy and nice for the trip. I ended up with the first croaker on the boat (and I think the mate said it might have been their first croaker of the season on that boat) as well as the only flounder caught all day. It was too small, but still a fun time. Both boys pulled up a few crabs and a few black sea bass.

I went with this boat because they are based in West OC. That means the parking situation is better and you get a longer trip for the same price as the one that are based on the island...the amusement tax kills them. So you get a 3 hour trip versus a 2 or 2.5 hour trip that also has longer transfer times. Gonna pick a day in the fall and hop back out with them for Rockfish for sure.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Hey Fish! Give me a call on my new cell! Sent you a text about the New R!

"Hey Bud, you wont have to hold the opponent to 17 points anymore."

Musky, I just saw this and almost never check my tracfone cell. I'll take a look.

EDIT: No text arrived. I'll call you in a bit.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Alright the week has arrived im off to fish the new if mother nature allows. Planning on hitting Eggleston to Pembroke friday but I need to try and figure out a good 4-5 hour float for thursday and was wondering if theres a good one or if theres a place I can put in up river of eggleston that isnt too far away?
Leaving O dark 30 thursday morning to try and beat the kids coming back to school traffic in hopes to be on the river by noon. Also looking for another good full day trip to do saturday if the weather holds up.

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

Tough to find a place above Eggleston to put in for a half day float. The shuttle will kill you if you put in at Parrot on the one side, and after you leave the river at McCoy Falls on the other side, you're kind of SOL. As for Saturday, you'll be bucking a crowd if the weather's reasonable. Take a pick of the many available, but you'll have plenty of company.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Well I'm not picky on location any half day float is fine long I'm just trying to find some good trips to look into taking. Thats why were doing the thursday friday trip to avoid needing to go saturday since I'd assume she gets packed on the weekends.
Looking at the DGIF website they say there is a put in at Big Falls 2.5 miles above eggleston is that put in any good?

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

The put in there used to just be a gravel beach area below the falls. Should be fine for a hand launch. I floated this a couple of times and there's some pretty nasty runs in high water, so scout the river before you go.

We used to float Whitethorne to above the shoals at Big Falls. It was a good float but we had to take out above the shoals at McCoy and accessed some private land for this. Wasn't the best takeout but there was some good fishing.

Yes, if you're yakkin' there are places along the river below the falls you can put in and it's a short run across the Eggleston bridge to the take out on the other side. Like said above, the river above from Whitethorne down is good fishing and not heavily run, but take out is the problem. Good luck.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Put in at McCoy below the falls and float to Eggleston is a good half day float.

That same put in to Pembroke is my favorite full day float.

Pembroke to whatever is the take out below it as another good half day.

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

Ripplemead?

Yup. It's short, so take your time and it will be a good half day float.

Top waters and senkos were the ticket today.

Last time we did eggleston to pembroke we put in on the gravel beach spot just above eggleston on river road I think and that to pembroke was a solid but very slow moving day.

Where is the put in below the falls in McCoy I cant find anything on it on DGIFs site? Can you just pull of route 625 below big falls and put in there possibly?

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

Yes there's a gravel inlet about 100 yards below Big Falls, lines up perfect with the island there on the river left bank., good put in for kayaks in the summer. School year when its nice out the place is packed and I usually avoid putting in there.

You can see it pretty clearly on google maps: 37.2475011, -80.6073071

I used to put my canoe in there to cross the river and duck hunt behind that island. It can indeed be packed by tubers/river revelers, not so much a problem for actually getting into the water, but it can be impossible to park.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Well I'm hoping its not loaded up by mid day thursday and if it is we will probably do the short stretch below pembroke as a fall back plan since thats a decent access as well. Hoping its not too crowded friday between eggleston and pembroke. That being said any trips with a portage or a bitch of a put in are my favorite.

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

Heading back to Blacksburg tomorrow for the school year. Plan on fishing all week before classes for smalljaws. Anyone willing to share on how the bite is? I typically go wade around at Parrott and further down.

"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.

No clue but check the water levels before wading.

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

It's a little high to be wading, but visibility is getting better. Please wear a PFD if you wade!

I mentioned this above- but I just now saw your comment. Fish seemed to be in the shade or in current - if you could find both you should get bit.

Finally got my new Fly rig out for the first time yesterday!

Went to the North Fork of the Shenandoah, west of Broadway, and caught a dozen or so Smallies. We fished mostly with some streamers (minnows)?

First time fly fishing... I feel like it was a pretty good day.

Is it football season yet?

Must have been before the storms. Wade fishing or floating. Water levels kept shooting up after these storms.

It rained pretty hard out there from noon till about 2:30, but it didn't blow out the river (surprisingly). That part of the river is in really good shape right now.

Is it football season yet?

I explored the Neuse today for the first time. Great weather with the storms staying south of me and a very light wind making it easy on my knees in my Carolina Skiff.

The reports and instruction I was given is that the river is on fire right now with tons of bull reds. My friend's father said he saw 300 forty pounders on Saturday but they wouldn't eat. They were busting bait on the surface, submerge and then come back up again a minute later. He showed me several good points they are often caught at and where he saw those schools. He said I could probably convince them with a fly since they were gunshy of the conventional crowd.

I checked out all of the spots with nothing to show for it. Lots of seagulls working scattered bait but no signs of schools of bull reds. I blind casted both fly and spin at several different spots and nada. I did see one dead floating fish. That river feels a lot like the mouth of the Rapp. A bit daunting to find some bull redfish if you ask me, except my mind is warped right now from sight casting slotties all week in 2-3 feet of water. Unless they show on the surface, there isn't going to be any sight fishing there. I may hit it again tomorrow, we will see. At some point I need to go back home and try to make some $$$.

If you're not tired of redfish, here's another one from Saturday morning that I caught off of the back of a big stingray.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bma8EN0nrKx/?taken-by=knotthereelworld

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

Broke out my new fly setup on the pond used the bangarang flies flyguy tied me and they were the best bait of the day caught a dozen on one of them then switched to a popper till dusk with some luck nothing huge but I went mostly to work on the casting and see how the new rod handled. Felt light with a smaller popper than I shouldve thrown but worked well.

Edit also remembered I installed the SeaDek on my kayak and it was easy to put on a little tricky with the pattern for my boat model but looks and feels very nice and durable.

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

Hell yea! Awesome man, glad they work.

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

Theyre awesome flies the baby bass pattern had em on fire before I went to dry flies. Gotta improve my loop knot to get a smaller loop but the knot was easy to learn. Tied my own leaders had a hell of a time trying to get the 30 pound mono backing to seat itself in the blood knot on the 20 pound inbetween backing and the tippet which was 15 pound flouro.

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

Good to hear they were crushing the baby bass.

You could always get 25 to put in between the two.

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

Newbee Boat Owner. Just bought a used 14' JonBoat and looking for a less than busy boat ramp on the Virginia side between Fredericksburg and Alexandria to put in for the first time. Any suggestions?

twitter.com/bmdvt90

Anything north of Fredericksburg is going to be busy on weekends. Hope Springs Marina on Aquia Creek in Stafford is a nice put in and good fishing around it.

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

The ramps I've used in that area are all busy on the weekends if good weather, if youre ever down richmond wat the James has some very nice roomy ramps not the best fishing but the facilities are nice.

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

Any recommendations for kayak fishing in/around Buxton mid October? Is it too cold sound side?

.

.

#extendbronco

Shouldn't be too cold. You may actually stumble across some bull reds that time of year. There are grass flats right behind Buxton. Just hope the wind isn't blowing, and if it is, hope its out of the south.

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

want to make me some flies?

.

.

#extendbronco

Absolutely

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

I'm a novice muskie angler at best - the ones we have caught in the raft have been "accidents."

But now that I am getting a little better at identifying muskie habitat, I want to start to throw for them some.

I have a glide bait (Rapala Subwalk), topwater (WP 190), crankbait (Jake), but I think that blades would be a good option as well. Anyone have any recommendations for a blade bait/bucktail for the New River? I have no idea in that area and don't want to waste $20 on something that won't produce.

If it helps, I'm using a true muskie rod (7'7" H/F), 65# braid and usually a flouro leader.

I did really well on Suicks for a glide bait, Grandma plugs for flash, and Buchertails for spinners. Also caught some on Mepps Musky Killers, an old but still effective spinner. I had both the large and small Suick and Granny plugs and did better on the smaller versions over the years I was guiding, but years earlier before everybody and their brother discovered the fishery, the bigger plugs were the ticket. I have tried the Cowgirl spinners, but found the simple one blade spinner worked best for me. Never did diddly on a topwater plug for muskies. Main thing is to have a couple of offerings in case of follow up/no bite. Muskies will often still be in chase mode even if they don't actually whack the first bait, and the first one I caught followed up two baits before hitting the third which was mine. I have a Rapala Subwalk, and I've never caught anything with it, fresh or saltwater, but it looks good.
We always used a steel leader, those teeth can cut shoe leather. I've landed them on 8lb mono, but it's only been when lucky enough for the fish to have the bait in the corner or tip of the mouth. Once, I had a 15lb fish swallow a little tube and it then rolled and the line came out the corner of the mouth and wrapped around his gills keeping the line away from the teeth. Usually, there's no finesse involved with muskies and I doubt they see the leader at all, and at the price of musky lures, the steel might be worth having on there, but there are probably other schools of thought on that. Good luck.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

The new was killer this week Thursday was perfect for fly fishing didn't catch a million fish but ended the day with 2 18 inch and one 17 inch on the bugs tied by flyguy which casted beautifully. Friday the wind acted up a fair amount with the surrounding storms but still managed a great day my buddy who's new to the smallmouth game landed an 18 and a half inch 3.5 pounder which was cool as can be to help him wrangle that guy in the boat. Had a muskie t bone a smallie off my friends bait which he had always dreamed of seeing one so it was a huge moment for him and made the trips even more well worth it. Had one absolute pig miss the popper on Thursday he was under a ledge came up to eat and when he went for it he was short unfortunately but I'll be back next year for him.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BmqjebqnzM_/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshi...

Edit also forgot to post the picture my girlfriend got of my fishing the cliffs.

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

AWESOME. Which stretch did you guys float?

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

Floated McCoy to Pembroke first day then we did Whitethorne to eggleston the second day the first trip was buggier water for my fly fishing stuff it was fun I'm still having trouble keeping tension on the line fighting fish I had to drop the rod on one fish and just pull the line in but that was situational chaos with a 18 incher trying to go in a rock hole in a rapid but luckily the leader and knot held and I was able to pull him out of there without hurting her.

The flies were great barely realize they were thrown hard for long days on end and they were nice and heavy which did wonders on my casting once I got the line head out the rod. Also on my third cast of the first day I had the fly hook through the head of my fly line right down the middle I bout had a heart attack when I saw that luckily I got it back through without cutting the hook out.

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

I know a lot of folks feel the need to get a fish "on the reel" when fly fishing, but it really isn't necessary unless the fish dictates it by size or speed. I've landed a number of big fish on the fly merely by stripping them in. Of course, then you have a puddle of line all over your feet and if it is a truly big fish and able to run hard, you can end up all fouled up, but keeping the line tight is as important as keeping the tip up. I have found, with fish too big to horse, if they're running into a place you just don't want them to go, you can bring the rod to the side and clamp down on the line. This will usually turn the fish away from wherever it was going assuming you have a strong leader and knot.
Glad you were able to save the bug and the fish.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

X2 on everything here. I specifically tell people not to use the reel if they are a beginner or not comfortable with it. Trying to reel up the line while a fish is on is a great way to lose tension and have the fish spit the hook. I've done it several times myself. If you want to learn to use the reel, it's good to practice in the yard first to get the hang of it. Have someone else play the role of "fish" and run around holding the line while the angler reels. Make sure the fish does plenty of surges. Try grabbing the handle when this happens and you may not want to reel any longer....

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

That all makes sense I just need more practice with the 7 weight I never had that issues with the 4-5 wt I used to use and no matter how high and back I keep it in a fight slack becomes a huge issue, I'm gonna go practice more on pond bass the next few weeks to try and get better at stripping faster since I havent ever had a fish too big to need it yet. The challenge with spooling the excess in the beginning of a fight is that I'm usually trying to get whatever it is away from what ever structure its in quickly so I avoid trying to fight with a reel for that reason but maybe that might be the way to go since I cant seem to keep up.

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

If you're having an issue with excess slack when fighting a fish, using the reel is NOT the answer. You need to get the rod up high and back, and strip the line in like hell while keeping the line lightly pinched between your index finger and the grip. I'm guessing you are likely hooking the fish and then somewhere along the way the line comes off your finger, then when you strip, nothing is there to hold the amount you gain.

Are you setting the hook with a trout set or strip set?

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

Probably a mix of both when I get a fish to eat a popping bug I usually pick up and pull back while stripping any and all slack up to get a solid hook up then strip line between the index and middle finger on my hand on the rod so I'm thinking I'm just not stripping it fast enough since I know I hold the rod as high as I can and keep the tip up since thats natural to me.

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

You shouldn't be having a ton of slack to be pulling back on to get tension. If you do, you have too much line out on the water.

You need to pick either a trout set or a strip set. I recommend strip set. When the fish eats, wait a second for him to turn, or say "let's go Hokies" and then hammer him with a strip set, then raise your rod up and get tension with the rod on the fish and play it.

If you want to trout set, do it hard after saying "let's go Hokies," and your finger pinched hard on the line. As soon as you feel the fish, began stripping/playing him. There shouldn't be a ton of line you should be stripping in at the same time. Lots of slack may occur if the fish moves toward you, but that should be the only reason you may have a lot. If you have a lot, you need to manipulate that and slowly strip it in as you are drifting the bug to leave a have a dead drift, but not tons of extra.

I don't recommend trout setting and stripping line at the same time. I only trout set when I trout fish and often times I have tons of extra line off the reel, but I am constantly manipulating it as the fly drifts, which is the same as you would a popping bug. I never trout set and pull in slack at the same time. I think it's a lot to do at once and if you have the proper amount of slack out, you won't need to do them both at the same time.

The point of saying "let's go Hokies" above is because the fish needs time to suck the bug in and get it into his mouth. This saying is the perfect amount of time for him to do so. This trick is also true for trout fishing with a dry fly.

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

Thanks for the advice I'll give it a go to see if that helps next time out whenever that is was hoping this weekend but the weather is being weird again so I may just run up to the pond for a little work on the hook setting.

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

Excellent advice. I'll have to change my inner vocals upon a strike to "let's go Hokies" from "there he is!" now, though. I use that pause in many instances spin fishing as well, especially with Senkos, and every time I am caught with a "high stick" bite so that I have time to reel down for a decent hook set. With big bass and poppers, you absolutely have to give them time to get that mouth closed around the bug before you set the hook. This was the biggest thing I had to work on with clients once they figured out the dead drift thing. Experienced fishermen have learned to react quickly and it can be counterintuitive to give the fish that moment, but missing a big fish is a powerful lesson. Also, on the dead drift, you usually have a chance to mend your line once early in the drift which can help keep excess line on the water from being as problematical.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

This has been an enlightening bunch of advice now that I think back that mightve been why I missed a few smallies last week trying to set the hook to quickly and getting what I thought were just misses. Its hard to wait on a set since I'm always so afraid of a gut hook.

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

Yeah, and you don't really need to rear back and sock it to 'em with a fly rod, either. Just strip for tension as you raise the rod and you should be on. I have hooked a few fish over the years deeply enough on a fly rod to worry a little, but it seldom happens, and almost never with a popping bug. Carry those hemostats, though just in case one gets a bait far enough back that you need them to get it out, as much to save the fly as the fish. I've needed them mostly for trout because their mouths are smaller and they are a bit more fragile than a robust smallmouth.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

re: all topwater lures, I always remind myself to wait 'til I feel it...right after I miss the first strike

Thanks for the heads up Jesse. I may head down there Saturday afternoon and float Sunday and Monday and guide Tuesday. The easiest way to maintain tension is to continue bending the rod, whether it be straight back or off to the side. Unless you put a sharp bend at the tip, it isn't going to break. The rod acts like a giant spring, so if you are using 10 pound test or higher on a 3 pound fish, chances are you won't break the line.

I've had a hook go through a line once. The hole was never an issue luckily. What drives me nuts is when I scuff up a line on rocks or a log or something and then I feel it casting. So annoying. Years ago I hooked a tarpon in Key West and the first thing he did was go through and around 3 pilings with a brand new line. Absolutely shredded it. Tough way to spend $80.

I'm really glad the bugs worked so well and held up for you. They take a long time to build, so if one gets stuck in a tree, go retrieve it! I started making another 8 this am and only got 4 bodies and legs set in an hour and a half. Still need to paint, then epoxy, then epoxy again and then tie the tails to be ready.

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

If you do get down there hopefully the water stays clear it was nice and clear plus up a foot from normal so made floating a bit quicker which wasnt a problem. I wondered if it was the position I hold my rod once I set the hook so I'm trying to be much more careful with how I hold my rod incase thats it I'm going to try and use the gopro to record myself to see if theres something obvious that I'm not doing well.

That was my initial thought of oh shit I'm in the middle of nowhere and might have just wrecked my only new line I had but luckily I cant even find the hole anymore and didnt scuff the line up too bad on all the rocks and ledges.

They are still in great condition I like the extra weight to help my beginner self throw them better I definitely noticed the weight between the old poppers I used to use and that helped my distance casting out much much more. This weekend was the first time I was able to get the fly line head out and be casting on the backing section without any issues so that was a huge relief finally getting that far. They look far too tedious for my patience and they will never go to waste hoping these 6 I've got hold up for a while and bring in a few more toads.

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

You can strip a whole lot faster than you can reel. Just control the line with your off hand and hold your rod up. Yes, they sometimes run toward you, but even then the reel isn't going to help you land that fish unless you need the drag to fight it, and that's unlikely with smallmouth.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Had a muskie t bone a smallie

That's awesome!

"Hey Bud, you wont have to hold the opponent to 17 points anymore."

Really wish I had seen it I still haven't ever seen a living one in the water in the wild and my spouses dad was geeking after seeing something he never thought he'd ever see it was sweet

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

Another fun thing to do if you get a musky to take a smallmouth, or more often for me, a redeye. I've had clients fight muskies up to close to ten minutes without ever being hooked. They just don't want to let go of that meal. If you have one hit your fish and he doesn't break you off, be ready if he lets go of the fish, and immediately drop it right back in the water. More often than not for me, they'll hit it again and the fight is back on.

Once, my friend Cecil was popper fishing through the Arsenal and had an 18 lb musky hit a redeye he'd hooked on his popping bug. Through the magic of lucky fishermen everywhere, the popper hook ended up in the back corner of the musky's mouth. He then proceeded to fight and chase the musky all over the river until bringing it to the net for weight and pictures. Not bad for a 7 wt. fly rod fish on a bass bug.

Last thought (I promise!), I've caught two juvenile (really juvenile) muskies on popping bugs. Both times, the fish rocketed completely out of water and fought like a tiger despite not being bigger than 10-12" of broom handle. Those little muskies are about as beautiful a fish you'll ever see in the river. So colorful, so perfect, so damn mean!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

So the GF wants to do something this fall aside from watching football all weekend long so she wants to try stream fishing for trout and camping so this is just a where to start researching question since I'm new to the world of trout fishing. My buddy at work who loves fly fishing has been having good success in the blue ridge catching decent numbers of wild brookies and rainbows and says there are plenty of fish if you know where to go so I may tag along with him one day to learn a bit since I already have the tackle with my light 4 wt. One big question from me is just how difficult is it since its small streams I'm used to casting in tight spots and what not plus the whole hiking to find the best spots isnt an issue. Also I always see trout referred to as seasons to fish places so are there only certain windows where its legal to fish or is that only on certain areas like national forests etc? Not looking to partake in the nuts stuff you see where there are people lining the river bank on stocking day just looking for a few decent brooks or rainbows to catch n release and do a little camping hiking.

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

There is a large amount of info available to you if you do some research. I know flyguy will have some good suggestions. I will clue you in to one of my old time native brookie streams. Off of the Skyline Drive out of Waynesboro, Big Run is a hike down and back, but in the couple of dozen times I fished there, camping a couple of them, I never saw anyone but my reflection in the stream. Hit the fly shops and show your interest, maybe buy a fly or two, and they'll serve their interest and yours by tipping you to places to go.
I will also strongly urge you to learn about the CK Special. Best brookie fly I've EVER used.
Seasons are not an issue in Virginia anymore, crowds aren't an issue unless you're following the stocking truck. Wild trout that are protected don't appeal to the beer in a lawn chair crowd. And don't just settle for the little guys. There are some decent places in Va, W.Va., and Tennessee where you can fish for serious trout in bigger water. The great thing about trout, though, with a few exceptions (like the Smith through the town of Bassett), the old adage applies. Trout don't live in ugly places.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Mostly I'm just curious on what kind of rod and tippet with flies my buddy did really well on the Dry river with dry flies last weekend so ill be watching temps and go try that when a window opens to go. Its always tricky diving into new stuff I've gotten roll casting down which is what my friend said is a big part of the small stream stuff. I figured going off the path to learn on my technique via small out of the way places will help me figure out the game before trying for bigger stuff. Tricky bit is I have zero experience fishing for trout in moving water so I know nothing on baits tactics other than always work up stream and try to be stealthy as can be and try to match whats hatching. I've got a four weight that should be able to work at least my friend said his 4 wt worked well with small brookies so I may end up just needing some line but thats all and I'll need to sort out a bit of a bag of flies to add to the collection since all I own are bass flies and clousers.

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

Dry River or any small Brookie stream like that and my go to is my 7' 3wt rod with a 7' leader/tippet in 5x. Master the roll cast for small streams.

X2

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

Gonna be using the youtube to look into how people use that in streams the roll cast I know but using it properly to keep a fly upstream is something ill need to work on. Gonna use my 7 foot 4 wt and change out to 3 if it becomes an issue.

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

You don't need to just fish dry flies for small stream trout. It's fun if they'll participate, but I caught a lot more on nymphs, a la the aforementioned CK Special, an evocative nymph that covers several subsurface offerings. There are a bunch of good ones and learning to fish them is a great way to learn to find trout lies and learn to realllllly watch your line or strike indicator to know when you've been bit.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Challenge for me is im just now delving into submersible flies I've somewhat grasped smaller clouser minnows theyre nice slow sinking and simple to use so I figure a nymph is going to be somewhat similar to small clousers or a little faster sinking. Would you advise a strike indicator for anything subsurface? Definitely only going for catch and release and dont want to risk the gut hook since im gonna be new to it. Also Im assuming to use a strike indicator a nymph would be fished slower than say a clouser jigged for panfish?

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

I wouldn't worry so much about gut hooking fish... smallmouth, trout or anything. I've never really gut hooked a fish with anything other than a live mullet. Only fly caught fish I ever truly hooked deep enough that I couldn't get it out was a northern pike and I had lost my pliers in the drink earlier in the day. The fish tasted pretty good!. Redfish are the only ones who will consistently take a fly fairly deep because they try to get it back to their crushers quickly, but it's still not ever been bad enough that I cant pop it out with pliers.

Guiding for two straight seasons full time with complete beginners in Aspen when we were nymphing 95% of the time and there was never any gut hooked fish, and rarely a deeply hooked fish.

I would start out by fishing with dry flies. If you nymph, use an indicator and a single bead head nymph to start with. Both dry flies and nymphs you will want to dead drift.

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

Its just a small fear I have with smallmouth in my time they love to gulp a worm or helgrammite plastic as fast as they can and thats never fun trying to get them out.
Gonna watch some orvis videos on dry fly fishing their casting videos have been a huge help. What exactly is a nypmh supposed to be mimicking?

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

The juvenile stage of whatever specific insect out of millions of species of them.

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

Makes sense kind of like a worm can imitate a million things from a leech to a helgramite. Also which fly fishing book would you recommend seems to be a few out there.
https://www.amazon.com/Flyfishers-Guide-Virginia-Including-Virginias/dp/...
or
https://www.amazon.com/Fly-Fishing-Virginia-Nonsense-Waters/dp/189246916...
or
https://www.amazon.com/Virginia-Blue-Ribbon-Streams-Fishing-Guides/dp/15...

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

Probably all of them. But I'm partial to Harry Murray's books. I own this one and it's good. He also has one I think called "Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass", can't remember exact title. It's excellent. If you ever get a chance to stop in his shop in Edinburg, do it. Shop isn't much (does have lots of flies), but talking with Harry or his son is well worth the time and effort to stop in.

1st and while I haven't read the 3rd, I'd read anything written by Harry Murray. I'm sure it is good. The 2nd one doesn't cover anything the first doesn't have and has several inaccuracies.

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

I'll be getting the first and third one then and read both since they both look good and will be something to help look for the right spots.

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

I guess I'll have to disagree with flyguy here, maybe for the first time. I have caught a whole lot more trout on streamers and nymphs than on dry flies, and I would urge newbies to learn to fish them as soon as they can for that reason and the simple fact that a dry fly bite isn't on all the time, but if the trout are there, you can usually tempt them with subsurface fishing.
Again, though, different folks have different strokes.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Your four weight will be fine. 7 foot leader, tapered to 5x or 6x. For flies, my favorite is a foam beetle that I tie. But any dry flies size 12-18 with white wings so you can see them will work well. Can't go wrong with an Elk hair caddis. Trout set as explained in previous post. Net helps with landing but not totally necessary. Wading boots help with walking on slick rocks. I rarely wear waders anymore unless it is fall.

You can fish year round for brookies, though June-Sept generally gets too hot. However, this has been the best summer ever for trout fishing with all of the rain. A few trout experts I know are saying it will be the best fall ever. It's a shame I'm so addicted to salt or else I would go crush some nice trout. The only season I would caution you against for brookies is when they are spawning in October. It is best to leave them alone on their redds and let them do their thing.

There's a ton of "blue lines" aka brookie water all over the state. I don't know about camping spots but I'm sure they are there. There's no reason to leave VA to go Brookie fishing. The Rapidan, Conway, Rose, Dry, Buffalo, Moormans.... There are tons of them. Many in SWVA and others around Harrisonburg as well. The Rose is the one I know well and have fished my whole life. The fishing there seems to switch off and on, but its a gorgeous stream. It does get some pressure. Apparently, Moormans is LOADED with fish after recovering from devastating floods, but you have to hike far enough up. I fished it a month ago but we only saw a few fish and couldn't get them to eat. Don't think we hiked high enough up. Keep an eye out for rattlesnakes on Moormans.

If you want the best trout info, go into South River fly shop in Waynesboro. Albemarle Angler is good too. I know you're partial to Green Top and its proximity to you and they have a lot of trout flies, but the guys at South River are trout nuts and know their shit. Tommy is one of the owners and if he is in there, tell him I sent you.

Follow @vatroutjunkie on instagram. Eric is a UVA fan but super nice guy and possibly the best trout angler in the state. His pics will show you what is possible in VA and WV. Most of his fish are from VA.

The book Fly Fishers Guide to Virginia is loaded with trout (and everything else freshwater related) information. If you don't have this book yet, get it, if only as a guide on the public access waters.

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

I'm not planning on camping yet just figure for the spots further into SWVA I'd rather camp near then go hotel room. I'll be doing some looking at the flies at greentop and Orvis to see what they have around and when I get back out towards waynesboro I'll swing by the fly shop any good local advice is worth its weight in gold. Biggest thing for me is finding places where access is decent even if it requires a nice hike that isnt a problem. Gonna be different wading instead of floating a boat but itll be a welcome change. My friend is going to the rapidan this weekend and ill see how he does there he got 20 brook trout on the dry river last weekend and said he was all alone there so I may got try out that river first since its not too far to go and he said had plenty of fish. Gonna buy that book as well ive got one just for river floating that is beyond helpful in planning trips on new water. Might give wandering the state forests a go if I can figure it out since thats always been something I've wanted to try.

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

I definitely second @vatroutjunkie. His trout fishing is epically inspiring. Before seeing him on Instagram, I honestly didn't realize the quality of some of the trout fisheries in our state.

Note, if everything is working in your boat don't go looking to change something. I wanted to replace my old steering wheel as it was looking old and ugly. Took the cover off to check the nut size....ultra corrosion. So now I'm putting in a whole new steering helm and wheel...now all my other controls look old and nasty, going to attempt to just refinish what I can, maybe replace some gauges. Will post before/after pics this weekend hopefully.

My daddy used to say if it ain't broke, don't break it. My boat is finally back in the driveway. Only took two months to get it all done for several reasons, not the least of which was my mechanical errors. Oh well, new lights, fully serviced motor, new impeller. Now, I need to panhandle on the corner for gas money!
Good luck with your impending work. I envy you your boat working skills. I'm sticking to lights and wires and such from now on.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

As a full time electrician I will advise the same thing you said on boats to be true for electrical stuff as long as it works dont touch it if you do youll only find more things that "need" to be fixed and a 1 hour job will inevitably be a 8 hour job. As my dad always said growing up, "let a sleeping dog lie."

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

And when you combine it with boat electrical its even more true. I have probably 80ft of unused wire running randomly in my boat but I don't want to touch it cause everything works right now. I really need to make the boat safer and the wiring organized but for now its staying.

I saw the 80 foot of wire unused on my pontoon and stripped it all out when I was redoing the boat. I tied my new lines up properly and no longer had to worry about some of the previous owners half assed wiring.

Yeah when I do tackle mine I'll be putting all the proper bus bars and switches in, probably get away from fuses all together and get some breakers so I can stop worrying about bad fuses.

Yep if you can you can use a hot stick to trace unused wires or find where they terminate to check to be dead first ALWAYS CHECK a guy at work here was taking out old dead cables for safety reasons and managed to mistake a 3 phase 8 ga 480v cable for a bunch ethernet cables bundled in and cut into the cable and blew it up luckily he didnt get hurt but caught the wall on fire and all. Luckily boats are all low volt but still nothing more I despise then redoing old work its never fun.

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

Dude, if you ever want a free beer or three, c'mon over to town and help me figure out how to properly install my Lowrance. The GPS never worked and after a hard knock, the depthfinder quit working as well. I've chased the wires somewhat before getting chased away myself by the everpresent and this year, the overly abundant skeeters and hot sun, and I've gotten nowhere. The GPS installation wasn't done properly, but I should have been able to get the depth finder working again. It's always somethin' though, ain't it?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Never been a beer fan unfortunately but I'm always happy to help out! After working on robotics systems all day every day I can say you can trace wires all day but if its not even powering up you most likely have a split wire thats been nicked or bent and doesnt hold a good connection anymore. Best way to find that is with an ohm meter, some old long piece of wire, gator clamps, and some tiny ass pins incase you have a premade connector that you have to read through on one end. Best case to make sure cables are still good is to read through every wire and make sure its still solid if not the cables junk and thats an easy fix, if the cables read out clean then thats where it gets tricky. Long as the battery is charged and doing what it should typically in boats its the cables that are problems and sometimes depending on quality it can be the plug or terminals if they were done that way I've seen some ugly stuff on old equipment before.

Edit: I'll have to check with my secretary but i should be down that way labor day weekend and could possibly squeak out for a little bit to lend a hand if youll be around.

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

I'd be willing to bet that my cables are ok, but I wouldn't know how to begin if the problem isn't self evident. My plan was to just uninstall the cables at the dash and reinstall in a blind faith maneuver. The GPS thing is beyond my capabilities, but it might make sense to you. Some expert help would be greatly appreciated and the beer offer was figurative anyway. We could always hop down to the Mexican bar and see what they're pouring, or I'd be glad to buy you lunch at the Southwind if alcohol isn't appropriate.
I think I still have your email address, I'll send my particulars just in case you can squeeze a few minutes out of your weekend. We have a crab picking in Deltaville Sunday pm, but otherwise will be around. And thanks for the offer, especially with such a blatant self serving cry for help from a stranger!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Like I mentioned above I'll check my schedule to see what I can manage to do but sounds like some straight forward stuff that shouldnt be too hard to detect unless its an intermittent thing that can be undetectable. Always down for southwinds though that place is too good.

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

Caught my first snakehead tonight. Wasn't trying, and didn't even think they were present. Gotta say, a different bite, one heck of a fight, and fun to reel in and go back and forth with. Hope they don't destroy this pond for me now.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

They are badass. How big is the pond?

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

Maybe 30 acres? Decent size, but upstream of like 5 dams. I reported to DNR and they have a locator map. This one is the furthest east (furthest away from the Chesapeake) on the shore.
Pic of snakehead

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

I can't tell if that's a snakehead from that photo or not. Need to see the side.

I wouldn't worry about it destroying the pond. Evidence is showing that all of these theories about them wrecking largemouth bass populations are completely false and in fact it is making areas the snakeheads have established themselves to have better bass fishing.

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

Interesting. I wonder what the mechanisms are that cause this?

The mechanisms (reasons) that they are not wrecking the environment?

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

Yeah that and why the bass fishing is better not worse.

See my big long comment below.

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

Thanks! Makes sense.

I wasn't sure what to do with a snakehead if I ever caught one, so I looked it up on VDIF + figured I'd share it:
"However, the Department asks that all snakeheads be killed if possible."

And they don't mess around with making sure it's dead either. :)
"Kill the fish by: removing the head, separating the gill arches from the body, or removing the internal organs and put it on ice as quickly as possible."

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I beat the heck out of it on the bridge abutment. Hopefully it didn't survive.
In MD it's illegal to posse one that is alive. And give the teeth and ability to "walk" quite some distance, not sure I want that thing inside a moving vehicle with me.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

That was a fun video. I did notice a white rod in there ... the ladies can get away with one right?

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Anyone who has any interest in snakeheads or thinks they are wrecking the environment should watch videos 3 and 4 of that series. Number two is all about cooking them. That guy interviews a biologist who is studying the fish and shows that they are not harming the aquatic environment like purported by the media.

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

Thanks for calling that out Flyguy. Outside of those videos, are you (or anyone else) aware of any good articles or source docs with research on how they're affecting the fisheries?

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I'll see if I can dig some up. This article is good background info on snakeheads, but is definitely old. It is from VT of all places.

https://www.fishwild.vt.edu/snakeheads/Facts.html#01

Here's my take from being on the water and talking with other snakehead/bass fishermen in the area. Snakehead populations are down from several years ago and they are now much tougher to catch. People are keeping and killing them via bowhunting or regular fishing. They are invasive and they are delicious after all. This is making them harder to catch, but like any fish they get smarter and harder to catch the more pressure they receive. I used to be able to catch 5-6 in a few hours with maybe 10 bites. Now I'm hoping for three bites from them. Their numbers are clearly down from what I am experiencing.

There is also a large population of snakeheads in the canals in Florida. However, those canals are unnatural anyways and are littered with fish from South America, which does create a unique fishery. Chichlids, Peacock Bass and Clown Knifefish.

LMB levels are fine in the Potomac, I have not seen down downtick in their numbers. Plus the bass I'm catching in Aquia creek are bigger than I had caught 5 years ago. Reason being, they eat baby snakeheads. Snakeheads are not fast fish. They are explosive attacking a lure, but they don't swim like a mullet away from danger. Bass, gar and catfish are chowing down on them. Snakeheads also reproduce up to three times a year. That's a lot of baby fish for bass to eat.

Bass themselves are not natural to the Potomac water system. They were introduced a long time ago, I don't specifically know when. I realize the bass is the trophy fish for most people and especially the glitter boat crowd, but LMB won't ever be in danger of getting eradicated. They are basically everywhere. Throw another predator into the mix and you never know what is going to hit your lure. Makes it more fun, at least for me.

Getting riled up about the snakehead species harming the local fisheries is pointless. They aren't harming it as expected, and if they are, the ecosystem is already screwed from many other non-native species and pollution. If you want to get riled up about an invasive species, do so about the blue catfish that were introduced by VGDIF in the James, 30 years ago. They are one of the reasons the James is in the worst fishing shape it has been in the past 25 years. They are devastating the smallmouth, what few ones we have left. They have pretty much wiped out all of the sunfish. Any blue cat should be killed and donated to a homeless shelter for food in my opinion, but then again, its probably not safe to eat catfish out of water that Dominion Energy has been pouring coal ash into for years.

If folks are worried about the health of the Potomac ecosystem and fishery, then they need to start looking at the biggest problem, pollution. The Potomac used to be an exceptional bass fishery. It's polluted as all hell now and in bad shape. One example is there used to be a white mayfly species that would hatch on summer evenings on the Potomac in DC and above. Apparently, there were millions of them (and they are harmless). They would cover cars and supposedly people couldn't drive there were so many of them. Well, it doesn't happen any more. You don't see any of them at all. Insects are some of the first creatures affected by pollution and are a great indicator of water health. With insects, you have insect hatches showing the water health but in this instance, it's all gone. The cause? Pollution.

One of the worst polluters in the state is Dominion Energy. They have been dumping coal ash into the Potomac, unchecked, at Possum Point since 1988 according scientists/local officials. Finally, they got caught (no punishment rendered) in 2013 and essentially told to slow it down due to new EPA regulations. FYI coal ash is really bad and contaminates the water supply both in rivers and underground, the drinking variety.

Dominion is also currently in the process of raping Virginia with natural gas pipeline running through SWVA, that the state doesn't need and doesn't benefit VA residents. They are building this pipeline as quick as possible and usurping construction standards, causing massive erosion and sediment to wash into many streams, home of brook trout, the state fish (and native) of Virginia. This is definitely a fish worth defending. Dominion is building these pipelines through National Forest and now attempting to go under the Blue Ridge Parkway. Dominion has huge citizen backlash against them, but due to money and greed, seem to just be able to do what they want. They are not being punished for the lack of erosion control, because they are checked upon by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, who Dominion pays off via sending them to the Masters. Interestingly enough, every head member of the VADEQ also owns stock in Dominion and one of them is married to a Dominion employee. If anyone has any further interest in that entire bullshit situation, look no further than the Washington Post article from a day or two ago.

Finally, if you are concerned about the health of the Chesapeake Bay and its former amazing fishery, Omega Protein is where to start. They have been netting as many menhaden as possible for years and have crushed the population to minimal levels of what it should be at. That company too continues to pad the pockets of politicians. Luckily the Bay isn't under threat of invasive species, but the pollution from the James and Potomac washes into it and without the main fish that cleans the water (and provides food for striped bass, reds and trout), the Bay isn't nearly as healthy as it should be. I will say that I'm seeing more and more grass flats on the Bay in recent years and this is a good sign of increasing health. I think the oyster growing fishery is really helping that out.

Sorry for the soapbox stand up. I'm not a tree hugger by any means but I am someone who enjoys the outdoors and makes a living off of it and I am learning to focus my efforts of change at true problems, rather than false ones. If you have an interest in improving your local bass, trout or saltwater fishery, focus on the bigger issue. Snakeheads aren't a problem to worry about with regards to local fish species' health and they are very fun to catch and good to eat. Pollution and overfishing of the most important fish in the Atlantic Ocean are what you should be concerned about.

Rant over, Snakeheads are not bad and they are fun to fish for. Fuck Dominion and Fuck Omega Protein.

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

Give 'em hell, frat boy. I appreciate your passionate take, and share your feelings.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

LOL thanks. I love how many Dominion employees call me to go fishing in the James and then ask why I won't fish in it any longer...

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

Agreed. Watched them this morning, and it appears that the anti-snakehead contingency hired the Pork-the other white meat ad agency to defame the fish. Yes, it is still invasive, but some of the research (assuming the guy is telling the truth) shows that other species are rebounding with the snakehead present. Might be linked, might be coincidence, but numbers are going up. So, tie on a chatterbait and get ready for a good fight. And a tasty dinner, from what they say.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

I know zero about snakeheads and unless I catch one, I probably won't bother to learn.

But I know a bit about ecological/natural systems and love or hate snakeheads, the waterway you catch one in probably supports a fairly finite standing crop of fish in terms of pounds/acre.

There is no free lunch. Anything that is a snakehead, isn't something else.

If you can train snakeheads to eat stuff you don't like and and teach things you like to eat snakeheads instead of the stuff you don't like, then you've really got something!

Your point is well taken. Thing is, in freshwater particularly, folks have been tinkering with the natural order of things for so long, they've forgotten that they did it. I know you guys down there do have a ton of invasive species to deal with, but people around here introduced what they liked to catch and now get upset if something they haven't warmed up to shows up. Lots of people up North think of smallmouth bass as an undesirable species, and when I was in Canada, I read in a local paper of a lake that was having a smallmouth eradication weekend with prizes for most, biggest, smallest, etc., with the expressed purpose of cleaning them out as much as possible. But we have also screwed up the natural environment so much, we need to import species that can thrive in the "new world" we've created so I suspect this stuff will continue on. Now we need to train people to like to eat stuff like snakeheads, or around here, maybe cow nose rays.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

People are just crazy and more so than crazy, flat out dumb. A smallmouth "eradication weekend" would make me sick to my stomach.

My friend in Wisconsin wants to kill every northern pike he catches because he claims they are a trash fish and kill too many of his precious walleye. He wants them all gone. He can't wrap his head around the fact that they are a part of the natural order up there.

The one fish that does need to be eradicated is those Asian jumping carp that are threatening the Great Lakes. I have read nothing positive whatsoever about them.

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

Yep. And the flatheads and muskies have eaten all the redeyes and bream in the New, too, while seriously depleting the smallmouth population. Not noticing the quantum leap in numbers of people using the river and blaming it on anything but when they can't fill their stringers like they used too. While there has been a serious boom in musky numbers in the past decade there, science has shown that muskies eat relatively few "game" fish, preferring the rough fish like suckers and carp, especially when they grow up. Now growing up, they do compete with smallmouth for foods like sculpins, crayfish, minnows and the like, but in general, it's competition more than predation.
In Europe, those riverkeepers there assiduously hunt and kill pike in their precious trout and salmon streams, but I can't say I blame 'em. Smoked pike is pretty good. So is musky, but don't tell anybody.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays


Thing is, in freshwater particularly, folks have been tinkering with the natural order of things for so long, they've forgotten that they did it.

No doubt...and plants as well...maybe more than anything...my dad worked for NC game and fish in the 1950's planting multiflora rose for small game cover, lol!

Problem is when something takes over a niche and you lose that part of the system. Sometimes you are at the end of a game of Jenga...and sometimes you aren't.

On a semi-related topic, I am blessed to say I've caught non-hybridized hand painted bluegill (1970's on St Vincent Island off the panhandle...on a flyrod). Gorgeous fish.

Anything that is a snakehead, isn't something else.

This is a very valid point. Some species seem to fit into different ecosystems better when introduced. Blue Catfish have been bad in the James. Snakeheads not so much in the Potomac. Asian carp are terrible in the Midwest. Brown trout in many brookie streams seem to co-exist fairly well in Virginia.

Brown, Rainbow and Brook trout were introduced throughout the Rockies a long time ago and pushed out the native Cutthroats. It's hard to find any left except in high mountain lakes.

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

In the end we are in a way like wildlife and spread stuff whether it's intentional or not like say a deer trasnports hitch hikers along in the end it happens more than you realize. Sickening part is when people screw stuff up and pretend it's not their fault ala Dominion and dgif with the James becoming worthless unless you love whitewater or blue cats.

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

ability to "walk" quite some distance

This is completely false. They do not have the ability to walk or travel over land.

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

By all the accounts I've been reading about them, they are delicious table fare, so maybe a knock on the head, into the cooler, then fillet that darned thing. Don't fillet the fish and throw the carcass back without killing the fish first, though. Read in the paper around here a few years ago about someone catching a striper that had been filleted by a neighbor a few docks down, and I have heard the same of a bluefish, sometime in my younger years.
If anyone here does eat a snakehead, please let us know how it measures up.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I do. Taste great. Just like rockfish.

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

Trying to decide to fish the South Fork of the Shenandoah near Elkins or the gorge section of the James River on Sunday for smallies. Has anyone fished either section recently? I've never floated the gorge and am really excited to see it, but a buddy fished it last year and said the fishing was terrible on that particular weekend. Thanks!

First Buzz then Coach Fu - In Whit We Trust

South Fork of the Shenandoah near Elkton is running a little high and stained this week. Since we have not had any rain since early in the week, it hopefully should be clearer on Saturday. What section were you thinking about fishing?

We ended up fishing the James on the Gorge float from Glasgow to Snowden. It was a pretty amazing place and a really fun day on the water. But, the fishing wasn't great. Me and my buddy each caught 7 or 8 smallmouth. The biggest was 14.25 inches. We should have fished the Doah! My last several trips there have all be 75+ fish days.

What section of the Shenandoah is your favorite?

First Buzz then Coach Fu - In Whit We Trust

Thanks for the report on the James. It's sad, but that river seems to be doing worse and worse.

On the South Fork of the Doah, I do Alma to Whitehouse, which is 6 miles. There's a put in above Alma about 2.5 miles up so you can make it a full day float if you want.

Only issue is it gets a lot of tubers during the summer, so I prefer to fish it during the week if possible.

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

That extra section is Newport to Alma and it is very rocky which is why I like to fish it. Lots of ledges so don't run it if the water is low in the late summer as you will be dragging a lot. Yes, lots of tubers and because of those, the game warden will be out in his jet boat so make sure your legal in all ways, license, vests.

Newport to Alma is a great little stretch. I actually caught my first citation smallmouth there on a day were I easily caught a 100 fish. What a day! The only downside is all the kayak and tube traffic. The perfect day on the water to me is to not see another person the whole time and get on 'em.

First Buzz then Coach Fu - In Whit We Trust

I agree about the James. The past two years have been really off. It's sad to see. Even on this trip, the most bites and the largest fish were caught right at the confluence of the Maury and the James. It seemed like the fish preferred the water of the Maury over the James. I'm not sure if that's a water temperature thing or a quality of water thing? Either way, I'm probably done fishing the James for a while until it bounces back. It sucks b/c I've had some great days on the James. I live in Richmond, so it's a pretty big time and effort commitment to fish in the mountains, and I want to catch fish (obviously). So, I'll continue to focus my efforts on the Maury and the Doah, where we always seem to slay. Also, I've been dying to fish the New, but never had the chance.

First Buzz then Coach Fu - In Whit We Trust

I have yet to fish the Maury but have heard good things.

Yes, the James water quality is not good, though I can only speak to it from Bremo Bluff and downriver to Richmond, since Dominion has been polluting it for a few decades now with coal ash. No need for me to get riled up any further on that subject...

If you're looking for a fun river to float or wade and get away from people and only want to be an hour from Richmond, I'd recommend the Rivanna. The put in above Palmyra is a 6 mile float to the Palmyra take out. Flows do get low this late in the summer, but I'd imagine it is pretty good this year. Apparently, the mouth of the Rivanna at the James is an excellent place to fish prespawn in April. I would imagine the same for the Maury.

Edit: Just checked Rivanna flows. They are 300 CFS above normal. It is definitely floatable.

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

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll gve that float a try sometime soon.

First Buzz then Coach Fu - In Whit We Trust

The James is toast youre in the same boat im in what used to be a nice easy trip to the james every weekend has turned into a get up early to haul ass to the mountains every weekend since the James hit the fan, especially the last few years I go once a year to see if anythings changed and usually end very dissapointed. That said Ive done the New a few times now and if you think the Doah is nice you have to give the New a run I'd advise a weekday trip down there to give ya some space but the footballs in the river there are well deserving of the reputation the new has earned. I've never tried the doah though thats something we may try the next few weeks.

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

I can't wait to get out on the New. What are your favorite floats?

First Buzz then Coach Fu - In Whit We Trust

Although you didn't ask me, I'll chime in here. Ripplemeade to Bluff City is the all 'round standard for the New. Beautiful scenery, cliffs, mountain views, pretty water, not too much in the way of rapids, though there are a couple of good ones. I've seen bears swimming the river, deer and turkeys, geese and ducks, otters and mink. Can be crowded on weekends, especially now with improved access, but still my favorite. Eggleston to Pembroke is a good float, the Palisades cliffs are really cool, long slow ending above Pembroke, though. There are several more, depending on your craft and time constraints. Below Bluff City to the WVA line there are a couple of floats, much of it along 460, with serious falls in Narrows, no problem in my big raft, but more trouble than most folks want, and Shumate Falls near WVA, which can be nearly unrunnable in low water, and can be dangerous if you don't know it well.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Those Bluff and down floats were my favorite. Fished those floats as often as I could. Shumate can definitely get dangerous even in a raft, I think its the river left "run" that has rebar that is just under the surface at certain water levels.

Biggest mistake of my guiding career was at Shumate, in a raft, in water too low to go left. I miscalculated the water level down there and ended up getting sucked right toward a "mixing bowl" on river right with a big boulder right in the middle of the only way through. Since almost all of the river was going through that slot, it caught us when I went to scout a way through. Luckily, I hung up on a rock just above it long enough to prepare my clients for our impending doom. We dropped in and smashed the front of my raft straight into that boulder, bending and folding the front of the raft up almost enough to hit the man in the front seat. We bounced off, spun and were through. My clients thought it was a hoot, I thought it was bordering on negligence at best. Luckily Maravia makes a hell of a whitewater raft, and it just got a little scuffed up, but I could see how someone could have died trying to do it in a canoe or kayak, or even a lesser raft.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Every stretch is good but a few good ones are McCoy to Pembroke or whitethorne to McCoy and as fish said above go on the weekdays for best results.

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

I agree with everything above but will also add that Pepper's Ferry to Whitethorne is a good float too. Most of it is through the RAAP so there isn't a lot in between put ins. There's some great fishing above and below arsenal falls (portage right unless you're in a better craft than my jon boat) and also in the riffles around the burning grounds. Lots of fishy water and not many dead spots. Can get a bit crowded below the burning grounds as you near Whitethorne. I've seen a couple of citations come from the pump intake above arsenal falls. I've also seen two boats sink trying to navigate the falls. Be careful and wear a life jacket.

Loved this float, but there are some caveats. First of all, the length. Do it on a calm day and you'll be ok, but it is a full day's float if you're fishing hard. Do it in a headwind, and you'll wish you'd stayed home and watched Roland Martin on TV. This is no exaggeration, and I'll not hyperbolize about it, but unless you're motorized, you can very easily add a couple of hours to the already long trip just trying to get that last two miles accomplished. There is decent fishing in those ledges above the falls, sometimes really good fishing. We've caught several citations on the left side in early spring in high water, and unless the otter family is around, we could always catch decent numbers of fish all across those ledges. The otters ruined the fishing for me five or six times in there, but hadn't seen them for a while before I left the area. Arsenal falls is not a horrible falls, just stay right and shallow and you can get through ok. I used to run it through a break in the rocks to the left, but even my other guide friends were too chicken to do it even after me showing them every time that it was easy...in a raft. The burning grounds can occasionally be a problem if they're flashing the lights and yelling at you through a loudspeaker to vacate the area for their burning. I once got held up for an hour there. You also must realize that you cannot legally get out of your boat through the arsenal. One of my guide friends was accosted at lunchtime with his clients when they got out of the raft on shore, downriver of the falls. Three MP types, auto rifles included, pretty much got in their shit about being there. One day, I'll tell the stories of the locals that pretty much said ''screw you'' to the Army and broke open the float, which used to be prohibited (National Security, don't you know), and also the scrap that developed after 9-11 when the commandant of the Arsenal decided to try to close the river again. Still, it was one of my good floats if conditions were right, and we caught a bunch of good fish.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Note Arsenal falls is nearly impassable at low water. The right side loses almost all water, the left shot becomes too narrow for a lot of rafts, kayaks can still do it (it's really not bad at all).

+1000 on the head wind. I took my dad out on his first musky trip on that float. Didn't check the wind. Dropped the raft in, was giving him the rundown on casting a bait caster, figure 8, typical musky stuff. Looked up and I was being pushed up the rapid above the ramp...that was a miserable day of rowing.

Excellent points by you guys on the wind. I've navigated past the island above Whitethorne after dark on a couple of occasions and do not recommend it. From what I recall it's about a 9 mile float and definitely an all day affair. Access is pretty easy in and out, but definitely watch the flows and the wind.

Funny story from my not so glory days, we made this float once in a 12' aluminum v-hull that I had and didn't get to Whitethorne until after dark. By then we'd drank most of the beer we brought and didn't think we could make it back to Peppers Ferry to get the other vehicle, and the one at the ramp was a small suv and we couldn't load the boat. We decided to go back to the house (I lived on the way to McCoy just about a mile or so up the road) and convince someone to go get our truck and boat. Needless to say we continued to drink beer and forgot, and I woke up in the morning just in time to make it to my 8am class. I was sitting in class hungover when I realized I left my damn boat, so I ran out of class, stopped by the house and got my buddies truck, and made it to the ramp. When I got there two old men were staring at my boat tied to a tree with nothing but beer cans in it. One of them said something like "hell I guess they drowned" right before I wrestled the boat into the truck and got outta there. I still have the boat and think of that story anytime I take it out.

Trout leader weights for brookies or in general small fish like bream and trout? Was gonna run to greentop to get some dry flies and bugs to go bream fishing to teach the gf some more fly techniques and work on my stuff so was gonna try bugging for small bream as practice and was wondering what leaders people use so I could get some tippet material. Maybe 10-15 for the stiff end then work up to 4-6 pound?

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

Trout leaders are a pain in the ass to build because they have such a steep taper. When I guided out west, I built my own. Now, I just buy for the sake of saving time. Store bought ones also have some stretch in them, which I like for trout.
For brookies, 7 foot long, 5x tippet. You may want to buy some spools of 3x, 4x and 5x tippet to rebuild the small end of the leader as you go. I do recommend buying actual tippet material for trout fishing versus standard fishing line.

You should also get some floatant. I use two kinds. The small tube that squeezes out as a gel to put on my fly initially before fishing and then a dry shake one for use as I'm fishing further along in the day. Eventually the dry flies will become water logged and sink and floatant helps them float.

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

May stick with just store leaders for the base leader and just get the fine tippets material for the ends. Also does mono float better than flouro?
Also thanks for the info on floating dry flies I had heard it before but didn't get what the gel and powder was all about I had always been curious how they floated so well.

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

If anyone has any favorite spots / ties / tips for fly fishing in ID, mainly Stanley and ID Falls, I'm all ears (and legs)!

I've heard the Snake is good in ID, but that's all I got. Never set foot in that state, but I want to!

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

So I'm a pretty novice fly fisher, my game is more LMB and deep sea, but a new job allows me to get from DC out to ID quite a bit so I'm determined to at least get competent. Fished the Salmon and the Big Wood (phrasing!) this weekend, and didn't catch anything, but the views! It's...stunning out here, highly recommend.

Had the joy of snapping a rod today. Granted it was a cheapo rod, but that 4lb large mouth put up a fight. Totally worth it! (Wanted an excuse to get another one anyway...and at least it went out fighting.)

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Welcome to a club I wished I'd never joined. I think I've broken probably 15 of 'em in my 60 years of fishing. Never had a fish do it, though. Braid and hangups got two of them, all the rest were pretty much my fault. Did have a client snap a Loomis rod on the New River once when he set the hook on a redeye that may have gone 8 oz, but usually broken rods are the result of hangups, carelessness or accidents.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

It was an el cheapo rod/reel combo from Walmart. My boy and I have been bit by the bug hard this summer, so I went low cost while I still have my spots. It was a 4+ lb largemouth that caught me fully by surprise in a tight spot so I'm not shocked the rod snapped. I'm out under $20, and the reel is still fine, so I'm not that upset. I may have contributed 25% to the issue...but almost a better story to blame it on the fish.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Glad to see you are getting out with your boy, and it is always a better story if you can blame it on the fish. While I wish they wouldn't, expensive rods will break about as easily as cheap ones, too. Ugly Sticks don't seem to break, but they sure aren't much fun to fish with.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Went to greentop to arm up for some trout and got a batch of size 12-14 elk hair Caddis and an assortment of other dry flies along with a few nymphs all similar size I tried to get a spectrum of colors to help match best I can to what's around. Then took the girlfriend out to work on teaching her how to fly fish which went okay not great. Is there a good way to teach someone to keep their wrist firm while casting her biggest issue is the flails the rod tip all over which makes it a big mess. Caught some nice bream on poppers and dry flies yesterday since it was perfect for fly fishing no wind at all and 78 degrees is nice. Pics below of the fly bin I have atm probably need a propper fly box to keep everything neater.

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


Is there a good way to teach someone to keep their wrist firm

work on her tomahawk chop?...nah

I saw a carpal tunnel hand brace that might fill the bill. It's definitely a basic necessity for a decent cast. Flyguy is the man for this, but I have taught more than one person to fly fish, despite my lack of credentials and I'd be glad to give her a quick tutorial. With my white hair and beard, maybe she'll take me seriously? (just kidding) The basic techniques are simple, it's the advanced stuff that starts to get technical.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

carpal tunnel

Reading this sends a tingly feeling down my hands... But actually, I've spent so much time fly fishing that I have developed really bad carpal tunnel. I wear those braces to bed every night. If I don't, I wake up with pain and numbness in my fingers, hands and wrists. I'm already over due to surgery at the ripe age of 33. It is not a joke. However, if that was the worst thing to happen to my body for the rest of my life, I'd take it. But I know that isn't true...

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

I had a three year fight with tendonitis from setting the hook so much (yeah, that's what the Dr. told me), so I know that old repetitive motion thing, but I got over it after a while. I also now have permanent arthritic thumbs from gripping the oars for ten years, and shoulder damage from a collision with a former VT receiving leader on the softball field. Sooo, fishing and softball have hurt me seriously, but I wouldn't have missed either even knowing the eventuality.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

With my white hair and beard, maybe she'll take me seriously? (just kidding)

or better yet, take pity on you and give you money...

it's a bendy stick and a string. don't try to set any long cast records and after 2 or 3 trips she'll get it. my dad, who had neither technique nor patience, taught me at age 7. as long as i didn't hook him, he was fine with it.

Money's fine, better than blind respect, anyway. You are absolutely right about fly fishing. It is a simple mechanical process that only becomes art at the farther ends of the spectrum. Usually, women are better at learning the technique than men, though, probably because they will actually listen to instruction. Like driving and some other things, however, sometimes it's maybe best to have someone not their spouse teaching them.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

It is a simple mechanical process that only becomes art at the farther ends of the spectrum.

Careful. You're going to offend the Orvoids, because when you fish a $900 rod that looks like a golf club, you damn well better believe all aspects of the mechanical process are more artsy than even how Norman Maclean described them.

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

like a golf club, the rod doesn't know or care whether your wrist is bent or not.

Oh I know. I'm making fun of Orvis for trying to sell me a $900 rod and claim it is the most accurate fly rod in the world.

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

accuracy of a fly rod, lol. there isn't a whole lot of torque going on in the rod blank during the cast of a wisp of a fly... unless something is horribly wrong.

torque in a top end graphite driver shaft is what...2-3 degrees?

And back in the day, they shot par with wooden clubs, and caught a ton of fish with fiberglass fly rods, too.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Jim Richmond has a friend in Roanoke who made (and customized) nice fly boxes. Pretty flat with dense foam for hooking flies into. Keeps them apart, legs from tangling, etc., and stow nicely. If I can, I'll get the skinny on it and pass along to you.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Biggest thing is just amassing a collection of what works I guess just gotta go do it a bunch and then go from there hopefully the bunch of 12-14 dry flies with nymphs can get me going

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

Seriously, even if I get my depth finder working this week, and I am trying, I have several poppers and flies I'd like to give you since they're not likely to find their purpose sitting in my shed.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Hopefully we can get it working if you want to email me the specs or models of what it is so I can look up somce schematics for the cables and any connectors so I can do a little looking about for any useful stuff before hand that could make it an easier fix! I think I'm gonna try teaching her to cast by tying a rubber band around her forearm to the butt of the rod so she can let her wrist roll all the time which will help her grasp the motion better.

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

Will do, thanks.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

The flies in this two middle slots will catch the most and biggest fish.

I'm sure you didn't know this, but I would be very hesitant to teach someone to fly fish sitting in a canoe or kayak. It is MUCH easier to learn standing up. You're better off taking her to a field or open lawn and teaching and then moving the water.

As far as the wrist goes, have her place her index finger on top of the cork handle as she grips the rod, instead of the thumb. This would rotate her thumb "inside" towards her body. This grip can help stop anglers from breaking their wrist.

The other thing you can do is take a long piece of velcro and velcro the butt of the rod around her wrist.

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

Went to replace my steering wheel and just kinda randomly started a new project. Got kinda tired of the outdated console look.

Now: Stripping it all down, color matching the console to the hull, adding a brushed metal backing, adding tilt helm, replacing steering wheel, replacing steering cable, new Blue LED courtesy lights.

Future: New switches and panel, new throttle control, new Merc SmartGauge.

Progress Pics:
https://imgur.com/a/rRtzo1m

Got the color match painted on last night. and took some terrible picture with my sweat on the lens:

nice work dude!

I dunno man. Your sticker doesn't line up properly with the letters there! Seriously though, that is some fine work.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I don't want to talk about my registration stickers, they look like a drunk 12 year old put them on. While I was drunk, I'm 25

i'm giving you credit for making it much less likely your boat will be stolen..."we can't steal that blue boat with the blue console, everyone will notice the letters!"

Yeah if you notice any newer picture of my boat purposefully leaves the letters off, I'll end up redoing them this winter, Pro tip spray a little bit of water soap combo on the boat before so you can move the letters into the right orientation.

lol, i have no room to give anyone shit on boat lettering. There is no method that I can't defeat.

You should see mine. And to top it off, one my registration stickers got rubbed off and the other one is in tatters. I wasn't giving him shit, however, just a little elbow to the ribs as I drooled over all of that fine work.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

i was, lol!

Finished installing the new steering wheel, backing, and blue courtesy LED deck lights so my dash is done for stuff I'm going to do now. Just need to find a new switch panel that isn't going to cost me $800. Also I have pictures but imgur will not let me upload for some reason.

Love the wrapping on the steering wheel

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Thanks, I decided to do it myself..I've never wrapped anything ever, I learned slowly the thirds section I did is noticeably better than the first section. Side note that steering wheel goes for about $115 for the wheel, there is a guy out there who will wrap it (much better than I did) and puts an insert in the knob, charges $300. Think I saved a few dollars doing it myself.

I spent some time in Madison County, VA saturday evening and all day yesterday with my parents and the family Border Collie, Rocky. Yesterday I headed to my favorite brook trout stream, the Rose, and arrived to see six other vehicles in the parking lot, all with trout and fly fishing stickers adorned to them, so I lowered my expectations. We hiked in the first section and I fished for an hour. Didn't see a single rise and didn't have a single eat. The water is at spring levels. It is going to be an amazing fall trout fishing across the state. I'm sure the fish in the Rose have been hammered over the past several weekends. My mother enjoyed just sitting on the rocks and not doing anything (she's a workaholic) and Rocky loves to fly fish with me. At 14, his four wheel drive doesn't work like it used to and he was slipping on a lot of the rocks, but he did go for a swim in one hole and definitely had fun.

One the way back to the family farm I stopped at the water ford across the Robinson River and fished in a few holes there. Ended up catching two smallmouth, several large creek chubs and a 12 inch stocker rainbow. It was snubnosed and had rounded fins but good coloring. Had probably been in there since the spring.

Ended Sunday bush hogging the field on the new tractor while drinking Budweisers. It felt great to not hardcore fish every off moment I get and just be lazy.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bm9sXaYH-dF/?taken-by=siessel4

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

Yesterday was my 3rd time out fly fishing, 2nd time on Mossy Creek, and had a fun evening. Still learning how to cast and all of that, but I'm having some fun nonetheless.

I was dry fly fishing (I think thats what its called) with a beetle on top of the water and very early in the evening a very large brown trout surfaced, bumped the beetle and took off to the bottom. Never saw it again.

After a while with no action, I put a wooly bugger on and caught a little chub. Not a trout, but it is my first fish on Mossy Creek.

Not sure how to post the picture.

Is it football season yet?

Mossy Creek will make you a humble fisherman.

That's the truth. I got so frustrated there one day I put on a small popping bug just for something different for them to turn down. Caught a 19" brown and had a really big fish examine it before retreating back under the cut bank. Only trout ever on a popping bug (I mean, who would try?) and biggest one I ever actually landed from Mossy.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Any tips for lake fishing for trout? Gonna be camping on Moomaw in two weeks and was wondering if its possible to catch some of the trout in the lake from a kayak by jigging spoons or any other deep water trick to find them since I assume the trout would be deep this time of year? Gonna bring some ned rigs and other deep water stuff for the smallies as well.
Also may try wandering to a creek to look for brookies in the area if I have time if anyone knows anywhere close Im gonna avoid the Jackson for the reasons posted earlier.

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

if the lake is stocked, look for the closest cover...logs...moored boats...to where the stocking truck was most likely to use. end of season stocked fish may not move very far in a lake...or so i may have noticed once upon a time. back in the day (summer of 1976, iirc) this concession moored its rental row boats to buoys...lol
https://www.google.com/maps/uv?hl=en&pb=!1s0x54bf7b44add58387%3A0xeb3929...

I assume its stocked but no idea where at I'll try a little jigging and plastics and if no luck just go find a stream somewhere around there to fly fish in. Never tried for trout or smallmouth at that in a lake setting always been a river person.

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

Spoiler Alert- VTFish whacked the cobia today. I got to see some video of the party while waiting to board a flight at Westchester/White Plains NY airport.

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

7 in the boat, 3 in the box, 1 release citation. More to follow after I recover. It was a trifle warmish today out there, and I am wrung out. G'night all.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Where was this? I'm thinking about going to York Spit next Monday for cobia.

804

I was fishing with Salt Treated Fishing, a charter boat out of Seaford that French turned us onto. We went out into the Atlantic about three miles out from the CBBT. My boat is a York Spit at best kinda boat, but this was a 30' Privateer with a really good cobia captain. They spotted a lot of cobia that wouldn't bite, but the captain kept thinking and working and we had a really productive hour or so on eel, jigs and live menhaden. If I can ever, ever get my boat back on the water, I'll be back to the Spit to chum for them, but the sight fishing thing is way more productive than anything I've seen chumming. Thing is, it takes a boat I ain't got and never will, and if someone gave it to me, I wouldn't be able to afford to run it. I wish you great luck, and I'm sure I'll be back out there soon myself. Please give us a report, would you?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I'll definitely provide a report. Last time I went for cobia I snapped an anchor line, snapped my winch line on my trailer, and my trim wouldn't work. I can only go up from here! I have thought about adding a tower to my boat. I have a 22' CC. If the cobia keep up into next summer then it might be worth it but for now I don't go out for them often enough to warrant it.

804

I feel your pain. Last time I was at the spit, the waves got up so stoutly that my anchor quit holding, and on the way out my depth finder stopped working when we hit a hard bump. We did catch a keeper that day but it wasn't the smoothest of sailings. My boat is an 18 1/2' Scout with an open bow and split cockpit, no ocean craft.
As for the tower, out by the CBBT yesterday, we saw two guys in about a 21'er with a step ladder strapped into the front of the boat. Looked squirrelly as hell, but the guy was standing up a good ways. I guess where there's a will.....

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I'd say it was a heck of a day. Tom you guys definitely got on some toads!




Hokie fan | W&M grad

Damn! That first fish is a P.I.G!!

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

I see you all had a good photographer that understands just how to get a good picture but lord have mercy that first fish is unreal.

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

The released fish was bigger than all 3 on the deck by a wide margin. I got to watch the other fisherman get worked by it pretty good live on Instagram while I baked at an airport gate that didn't have any AC. It was not only big, but it also got a real mean on after he got it close to the boat.

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

The first and third pictures are of the same fish, so you see the perspective that different angles can give you. Add another angler in the picture, and somehow it even looks bigger. French is right, that bigger fish was a whole 'nother beast in terms of size and fight. The relatively light tackle made it even more fun for my buddy, even with the captain and mate shouting over each other telling him what to do. I'll say this about that, my buddy had to sit down and take a moment when we finally got it in, photoed and released.
Not sure what the rest of the instagram said, but we weren't ready to quit catching cobia, but the captain wanted to head back toward the barn and we were happy enough with the results to head in. We declined to troll for Spanish on the way back in, I mean, I can catch them here from my Scout and neither of us was meat hunting. We did split one of the kept fish and gave capt. and mate the other two, by prior arrangement. Good day, despite debilitating heat and humidity.
I thank my Hokie friends for helping me get these pictures up, knew you'd all enjoy them.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Headed down to Sunset Beach, NC for the long weekend. Hoping to have some luck inshore fishing in my kayak. Have been doing more scouting on google maps to be more productive than last year. Also, bringing my surf rod to work on my casting for more serious surf fishing later in the fall at Hatteras.

Keep me updated on this. I go down there pretty frequently. Haven't had much success fishing but I've only thrown a few bottom rigs off the pier.

804

Will do, my strategy is to fish around the inlets (Little River and Tubbs). We are staying on 40th street so I will probably surf fish around there.

picking up on the trailer stories...i sold my old boat trailer to an older-than-even-me guy who lives in the neighborhood and likes to fish (i see his old car down at the corner park all the time). more importantly he also had just caught 2 smallish slot reds! so i need to get off my ass and bum knee and fish!

Has anyone fished Claytor Lake recently? Never really fished it that much

Got two inches of rain in Blacksburg just as the New was starting to get good again.....super bummed

"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.

FUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK.

I guide there all next week.

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

You will be fine I was out on it this morning. Dink city

Me too; water clarity was good and I thought it might be a great day.

However, I seemed to have visited dink city as well.

Thanks gents.

Were both of you guys upstream or downstream of Claytor?

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

Downstream - we did Egg - Pembroke. Went for a drive on Sunday and the closer you got to the WV line (basically after Rich creek enters the New), it was a little more stained, but fine for fishing.

Great, thank you!

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

Yeah, the SF Shenandoah feeder rivers got dumped on too. The 'Doah went up 4 feet so tomorrow and Sunday will be muddy.

The videos of Mossy Creek are insane.

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

Yup was thinking of sneaking to the mountains for either smallie or trout fishing but that storm last night done ruined those plans.
My buddy showed me the videos from the mossy creek fly shop of the shed floating by which is nuts.

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

I was sitting in my F150 in a Foodlion parking lot waiting for the rain to slow down when the hail started and the wind picked up strong. I thought to myself, "Oh shit, not the place to be." Big long gust comes and shakes the truck bad and I watch several big trees come crashing down. Getting back home through the mess and high water roads was fun.

Got a link? I've got some weird fascination with flooded rivers.

Everything I saw was on Instagram

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