January-February 2018 Fishing Thread

This thread will serve as a catch all for:
A) Winter fishing reports
B) Questions
C) Tackle tips and tactics
D) Fishing potpourri

I just saw photos of my finished Vega rod customized to Hokies colors. I can't wait to get it.

Because of the abnormal cold (40 degree high temperatures in Charleston, SC), my sheepshead run is getting postponed. So no fishing for at least another week for me.

570 D37 F6 1 B18 450 A 871 C 6523 D5 DDD735

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I found an unopened joe's flies pack while cleaning. With windchills just crossing into the positive side, that is as close to fishing as I am going to get.

I haven't fished since Sat and I've started to get cabin fever. All of my tackle is in the house and I've been through everything, sorting and re-arranging. Man, I didn't realize how much bass fishing tackle I bought this summer/fall. It looks like my SML attention will be focused as follows:
Winter - jigging for stripers
Late winter/early spring - pulling big shad for big stripers in the backs of creeks
Spring - more shad for stripers, catching some delicious crappie, fish shallow for bass
Summer - expanding on what we learned last year, deep water bass fishing with Texas rigged worms, jigs with craw trailers.
Fall - big shad again!

It might be 30 degrees here tomorrow......so I might fish!

HokieObsession

Getting some cabin fever myself.
Tenative Plan for 2018
Jan/Feb: Trip or 2 for Muskies
Mar-Apr: Shad run at the James Fall Line, Blue Cats, Smallmouth Float Trip or 2
May-August: Cobia (NC and then the Bay for the Summer), Sheepshead, Specs, Reds
September: Flathead Cats on the James, Smallmouth Float Trip or 2
October/November: Reds, Specs, False Albacore
December: Schoolie Stripers

Going to take a stab at targeting Muskies, Shad, Smallmouth and Sheepshead for the first time this year.

Going to take a stab at targeting Muskies

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where, When and whatcha throwing?

Year 3 is coming up!

Looking at going in two weekends, with my buddy who lives in Giles. So some stretch of the New. I'm unsure of what we are tossing. IfishVTIam hooked me up with some of his old musky stuff but I also know my buddy has plenty of lures. He was telling me about his addiction of buying lures and how much money he had in lures. Sorry I don't have more specifics, just going with the flow.

Super Shad raps have worked well for me in the past. So have double 10's but I believe its much too cold for them at this time. Its hard to beat a Jake. Jakes have a funny erratic retrieve. Yes its easy to spend money. An inexpensive musky lure is 30 bucks!

Musky Stuff

Edit: Maybe a glide bait with a very slow retrieve?

Year 3 is coming up!

Yeah I didn't realize that til recently. Pretty ridiculous! Will keep those in mind. Just trying to soak all the knowledge in.

Jakes work well on the New this time of year and seem to be one of the more consistent lures I've tried. I've caught them on Super Shad Raps as well just slow rolled in - a Super Cisco is nearly identical and can sometimes be found cheaper. It really depends on where you're fishing and what the bottom consists of. I've had a bit of luck with bulldogs in deeper holes but they tend to find the bottom and are tough to reel in slow. I've moved a lot of fish with the big jointed Storm Flatsticks and they are relatively cheap. In my experience, you need something that can get down 6' to 8' but be worked slow enough to get them to bite when it's cold. I'm going to try some Raptor jerkbaits this year as I've heard they suspend really well which I think helps this time of year. Find the deep holes and hit them hard on your first pass - this seems to be your best bet for hooking up.

Suicks and Grandmas work well this time of year as well. Something about that glide bait, and Grandma's mouthful.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Man, it is cold outside. I have been watching OKSt film and spooling up some of my new toys. This is going to be a long couple of months.

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

The really unfortunate part of this cold front is it could kill all of the big speckled trout we had show up in the Bay this year

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

yep

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

Asking out of ignorance...why?

I guess I don't know the first thing about speckled trout but can't they just go some place else or go deeper, etc. to avoid some really cold weather/water? It seems odd that they can't tell poor (unsurvivable) weather is coming and do something about it.

Again, please excuse my ignorance. Just a hillbilly freshwater fisherman with a total of about 9 hours saltwater fishing experience.

Seems tragically inefficient, eh? Unfortunately, specs are apt to stay where they're being well fed and have access to moderating springs that might keep them in marginal water over the winter. Here, they famously hang out in Wilton's Creek on the Piankatank, for one example, and I suspect there are springs up the creek that mitigate the cold. Extreme cold, on the other hand, seems to be too much for them. Same same in the Elizabeth River down Tidewater way. The trout that tend to stay put also seem to be the big breeders, so there may be some connection with size and past experience that encourages them to stay past their tolerance in a crapshoot attempt to avoid exhausting travel and stay in breeding grounds, but that's spec-ulation on my part, if you will. The last big die off up this way was fairly dramatic, with hundreds of very large dying cold-shocked trout floating about and being netted by intrepid commercial guys cashing in on the windfall. I personally saw the result that year down in the Elizabeth where hundreds of trophy sized specs were providing a feast for hoards of bald eagles when they fetched up on shore in a well known breeding hole. Fortunately, specs are pretty good at procreation and the population seems to rebound, but it takes a few years, and the next super cold snap is never but so far away. As for moving, by the time the unsurvivable stuff shows up, the big trout are too far from safety and too reliant upon the few extra degrees their winter lairs have been providing to make the trek to the sea. Who knows, it may be part of some grand design for the species, sorta like it taking fire to regenerate some kinds of trees, etc. Just this fairly new salt water guy's take, perhaps someone here knows more about it and will elucidate us all.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Did not know about springs, but that makes sense!

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

You are one smart dude. I was actually researching this this morning to better educate my own self and your summary reads damn close to the NC fish and game website I was reading. Thanks for sharing this. I'm glad they tend to bounce back. I really want to catch one in 2018, but since I've never targeted them I suppose I have more research left to do.

No worries, I'm not an expert on this but will explain the best I can. Basically, sea trout seem to be more fragile than other fish when it comes to temperature. They also don't move or migrate like other inshore species nearly as much. Redfish will often (but not always) leave summer hangouts and head out to sea to escape cold temps in the shallows. Sea trout head into creeks with large, deeper holes in them in the winter. The water at the bottom actually is warmer than the surface water. They will school up and spend the winter in the creeks. As I understand it, when it gets super cold for extended periods of time, the water on the surface of the creek will freeze or get super cold and actually sink to the bottom of the creek holes. The warmer water that flows up also freezes and then before you know it, the entire water column is too cold for the trout to survive. They will get stunned or die and then float to the surface. If it happens, you can ride around in a boat and just pick them up... perfect for the frying pan because they're still cold. Eagles, birds, otters and all of the other predators like the free meals as well. Unfortunately, these cold snaps will kill a lot of fish, especially big ones and then it takes 3-4 years for the population to rebound. We had this exact same thing happen 3 years ago in the Bay. Finally this year we had a nice trout population grow/return and welp, here we potentially go again.

I just received an email notice from NC CCA to report any sea trout stuns or kills found in an around Cape Lookout. This cold front could definitely hurt the excellent trout fishery down there, which is one of the best on the east coast in my opinion.

Unfortunately, fish like the ones below are what take the brunt of it. These fish were caught in between Christmas and New Years 2013. We landed 18 that day, this size and bigger. A week and a half later, the creek was littered with floating dead ones because the temp dropped into the single digits for 7 days straight. There's a photo that was floating around on the internet of a guy with probably 35-40 trout this size on the deck of his boat. He just rode around in the creek and picked them up before the bald eagles got them. Not sure the legality there, but I bet he had trout to eat for years. Up until this year, it was difficult to get good, consistent trout fishing in the same areas. I hope it doesn't happen again.

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

Thanks to you as well for the educational summary. Seems a damn shame but lots of things in nature can look that way. I hope it's not too bad of a kill.

Are they decent to eat?

Quite welcome. Yes they are!

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

Good post. I agree also about the deeper holes, and I think some of them are fed by, and likely formed by springs. Hoping for all concerned that they make it through this snap. Don't know where the fish would hang out in the winter near New Point. I doubt I'll go looking for them, though I have been intrigued with maybe fishing Wilton or a couple of the others off the Piankatank to see if I could rustle up a winter bite. Just not motivated enough to deal with the elements and absolute lack of knowledge. Right now, I'm getting ready for snow. Whoopee.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Stay warm!

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

I know the exact spot they are at.... problem is, it is too cold at this point and some days you catch 18 and other days you catch one. I'd just as soon sit and tie flies and drink bourbon and save my gas money for when the weather is warm. Unless of course, I know the bite is really on...

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

OK, tell me where they're hiding and I'll let you know if they're biting. Seriously, I don't eat them and likely will not venture out in cold weather, but I have made a New Year's resolution to do more trout fishing.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Also, I know of a certain warm water discharge that I'm sure is holding lots of puppy drum throughout the winter. I would be inclined to maybe hit that....

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

I sure enjoyed the Hot Ditch fishing on the Elizabeth, but don't mind losing the fishery to get rid of Dominion's mess down there. Now, about that discharge you're mentioning...you have my email, let's check it out when things mitigate somewhat. I can cadge my wife's Hobie if it is a kayak thing.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

It doesn't matter now. Virginia just shut down all speckled trout harvest until June 15

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

Solid puppy drum action is always intriguing.

My NC buddy in Morehead City says there are lots of reports of stunned trout down there. The sound in the OBX is freezing. Not good for the specks...

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

The feels like temp hasn't broken positive numbers in nearly 2 weeks here (-25 when I went to work this morning). Good news is there's safe ice on every lake and the ducks and geese are everywhere. Bad news is its way too cold for me to go sit out on the ice.

(-25 when I went to work this morning).

When I say it I really mean it...................fauuuck no!

Year 3 is coming up!

Inlaws gifted me a Penn Fierce II spinning reel mounted on an Offshore Angler Power Plus rod. The reviews for the rod are...not great, so I'm planning to upgrade it. The reel seems much better quality.

I mainly fish when we go to the OBX at The Point, Avon, and Buxton beaches with drum, bluefish, and whiting being the main target species. FiL provides mullet and shrimp. I am open to trying a different bait.

Any pointers for upgrading the rod and what kind of line should I have it strung with? I'm 6'6" and fishing from shore so I need to cast over breakers.

Thanks, guys.

I have this exact reel with a Penn rod I bought as a combo on Amazon. I think I have the 6000 model which has a 9'-0" medium heavy rod. I put 15 lb Trilene Big Game fishing line on it in the green color. I then use about 3' of Berkeley Vanish fluorocarbon in 15-20 lb to tie my own terminal rigs consisting of two dropper loops and a snap swivel for my weight.

I've fished from Buxton, NC all the way to Sanibel, FL from the surf and it has performed extremely well. I'm just a smidge taller than you and I have had no problems casting in even relatively big surf.

I used fresh shrimp with great success but if you get a mole crab / sand flea rake and learn to catch them, they make an even better bait that's free. I usually try both on a two hook pompano rig and then switch if one is getting more hits.

God I hate winter.

What is your budget and what is the typical weight you would throw? I always prescribed to the theory of fishing with as light tackle as you can use and still do the job. For the species you are targeting, especially around Hatteras, the best fishing is usually in the lip of the beach and first slough, so huge casts are not always critical.

For an inexpensive decent surf rod, you can't go wrong with the St. Croix Triumph surf rods. http://stcroixrods.com/products/saltwater/triumph-surf/ Of course, I wouldn't throw more than a 2 oz sinker with the 9 footer, and sometimes 2 doesn't hold.

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

I think we were using 4 oz pyramids this Thanksgiving due to strong currents. Otherwise, i believe 2 oz weights are usually what we use. I'd say my budget on a rod is preferably less than $100 but could fudge it to $150 for the right reason.

My go to weight for surf fishing is 3 oz, pretty much regardless of conditions up to big stuff, when I'll slip up to a 4. The three allows for distance and holding in most situations, and I feel like I can really load up on the cast without worrying about snapping the rod or breaking off the rig. Usually, when the surf is really flat, I'm not fishing surf gear, anyway, but throwing Gulp! on my smallmouth gear.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I am thinking about going to the Richmod Fishing Expo. I really would like to hear Bruce Ingram and Britt Stoudenmire talk about fishing in the area, and check out the tackle scene.

However, I'm not sure if it is worth the 3 hour drive and the $9 to get in, because honestly, I have never been to a fishing/hunting expo before.

Anyone ever been? Is it worth it? Are there good deals on equipment and tackle?

I have been there, and I enjoy the seminars when I can hear them (the acoustics are not great inside.) However there are two types of dealers. 1) Folks selling normal stuff at MSRP prices or 2) Folks selling stuff cheap that is absolute junk and overpriced for what it is.

For Richmond's show, the coolest part is the big bass tank and those lectures. For example, I didn't realize that a feeding bass always eats from the front of the bait (strikes in the back hook are reaction bites.) Then the pro Angler would throw in a Sennko or a plastic worm and I would be damned if every bass didn't swim around to the front of the bait and try to eat it head first.

It is a cool educational experience. But if you are going to buy tackle in the cheap, I'd just stick with the fishing flea markets.

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

Unrelated, I just spent two hours in AllTackle's brick and mortar store in Annapolis. Most of the time was spent eyeballing a Stradic 2500 reel paired with a Trevala rod, already spooked with PowerPro and hooked up with a BDK for jigging rockfish. I didn't need it, but my god it was sexy.

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

I understand!

Year 3 is coming up!

I appreciate the info!

I really want to learn from the expo, so I probably will go. I also like the smaller/local bait companies, so this can give me a chance to try out some things that I wouldn't know of, or would have to pay shipping for.

I'll wait to truly feed the bait monkey on another day.

My buddy that used to play at VT will have a booth at the Raleigh expo next week. There is also a small expo in Frederick MD next week (in case either is closer.) For me, the best educational briefings have been at the Richmond One, especially for bass. Also, VT's bass fishing team has a booth in Richmond.

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

Hey Ward.....oh I mean Beaver. I go to the Richmond Expo usually out of boredom and it always seems to rain and sleet that weekend. It is hugely downsized from the old bass-a rama that would come to town. French is right about buying stuff. There are no deals and on the boats i think they put a 1.5 multiplier on the retail price.I bought a couple of packs of plastics from North Anna Bait Company just because the guy worked so hard on his pitch! Be sure to catch Brit's talk on musky and smb. He has a booth and does seminars through out the weekend. His musky talk discusses basic equipment and some tactics. Hum...let me see what bass guys are speaking this year,,,,buffering....oh! Gerald Swindle! Do not miss. Not only does he know his stuff he'll probably make you run for a diaper change. John Crews...meh he just wants to sell his lures. Mc Cotter and I believe Favors are Lake Anna guys. She is saltwater but never and I mean never miss Julie Ball!. What day do you plan on coming?

Year 3 is coming up!

Wait, Dr. Ball is presenting? Oh my beating heart...

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

Cabin fever is my main reason for going - I've been going mad during this cold streak.

I don't work Fridays, so I was thinking about going for day 1, but I might change that depending on when Swindle will be there. I know Stoudenmire and Ingram are speaking every day, so I could switch it up. I have tickets to VT/FSU so I probably won't go Saturday.

Thanks for the info!

How long a haul is it to get there? It is about 20 minutes north of Richmond just off 95.

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

From my house it is about 3 hours and a half- which means Saturday is probably out for me if I am going to the basketball game (and that's what my wife will want to do, so...)

If you like I will probably go Friday. Hit me up on walleye0 at gmail

Year 3 is coming up!

Will do!

Britt is also trying to sell his trips, Ingram his books. It's a big shill, pretty much, but there are some nuggets to be gleaned if you feel like the drive. It would be worth it, however, for Dr. Ball's presence.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

She looks talented.

Qualified fisherwoman.

Edit: I like that she has well maintained nails.

Year 3 is coming up!

Holds a ton of IGFA world line class records.

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

She has a nice pair. Of hands.

Those are two robust trigger fish.

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

The way she has those trigger fish lifted and separated, really shows off how nice of specimens they really are.

I hail from the harmonious and hallowed hometown of our beloved Hokies that is Blacksburg, where I came of age pursuing smallmouth on the New and native trout from her headwaters. However, life has recently led me to the far east, to the subtropical archipelago of Okinawa, Japan. While my quest for fish has not waned, my method for procuring them has altered significantly, as I have traded in my rod and reel for a speargun and snorkel, and I regularly sneak down into the shadows of the reef to silently stalk my prey. I hope to provide some diversity to the broader genre of this thread, and I am also curious if any fellow Hokies have experience spearfishing throughout our planet. After all, lets not sell ourselves short as simply Hokie Nation. We are Hokie World. We are Virginia Tech.

Sweet!
Obligatory: We are waiting.gif

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

Sunday morning Outdoor Channel is killing me. I got the bassN jitters!

So bored that I am studying the interwebs trying to find the correct way to tie a perfection loop. And based on that research there are 56 ways to do it. None look alike. And, when I try to emulate them, they look like they will fall apart if I sneeze too hard.

Back to the uni, I guess.

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

Right there with you, just reorganized most of my gear; moving on to cleaning reels now.

Anyone have any decent lightweight trolling rod + reel combos they're looking to get rid of? I'd like to do a little more trolling for striper this year, and don't want to spend a ton on new stuff.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I am going to hit up some of the Maryland fishing fleamarkets in the next couple of weeks to try to find a TLD15 on the cheap. It kills me that I got a TLD20, fully spooled, with a cheap little Tsunami Five Star rod for $119 about 7 years ago, and now the TLD15s by themselves are $150. It is the exact same reel for a huge price increase. For comparison, their economy spinning reel (the Sedona) sold for $59 and is now $69.

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

French, here is the version I use, which happens to be the only version I know. Like most things in life, once you get it, it is easy. Great knot, I use it all the time.

http://howtoflyfish.orvis.com/fly-fishing-knots/perfection-loop-animation

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

Thank you. I will give it a crack. Is it true that the loop knot gives the fly more action, and is it as strong as a uni?

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

We always used to use the loop for popping bugs when smallmouth fishing. Some folks like it for vertical jigging. I've had a few break, but no more than most knots, and a bit more vigilance and checking for nicks would likely have helped with that. Learn it, tie it properly and you'll be good to go.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Quite welcome. Yes, I firmly believe a loop knot gives a fly, and lures/jigs, more action. I use the non-slip mono knot on everything tied on 40 pound test or smaller on flies and lures, except dry fly fishing for trout. I haven't tied a uni in years and couldn't give you an idea as to the strength comparison, but I have 100% confidence in the loop and you'd have to hold a gun to my head to get me to tie something else for 98% of the fishing I do.

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

Thanks! I should qualify this by saying I am using 50 pound and 60 pound fluorocarbon for the knot- this is for a 2 ounce bucktail. I use 50 pound Power Pro (most cobia guys use 65, but I like the smaller reels so I need lighter line to have the capacity.) I tie a double uni (can't tie an FG knot to save my life) and then a uni to the bucktail currently.

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

i usually just tie an overhand; run tag end thru the eye and back thru overhand, and then tie a half hitch above it. i've never had it fail. very fast, minimal loss of leader. if i'm around SAV, then i sacrifice a little more leader and take the extra few seconds to tie the non-slip/kreh. the tag end is less clunky and less likely to catch on anything.

Yep, that's the way I've always tied it. I'll bite, though, and ask. What da heck is SAV?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Submerged Aquatic Vegetation?

Really? Sounds plausible. Like snot algae, huh?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

yup

What da heck is SAV?

Fish, can I interest you in an online course at UM: Limnology 4100?

Year 3 is coming up!

I tie this way when I'm doing 50 pound test and up for muskie and pike. Technically it is called an Arbor Knot.

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

hmmm, the pics i saw of the arbor knot is not what i tie.

it's more like the Homer Rhode knot in Musky's link only with a single half hitch pulled back toward the overhand

in theory, the half hitch could become untied...but it never does

this guy
https://ibb.co/f0pZmm
https://ibb.co/dFCFsR

tension on the loop keeps the tension on the half hitch

Interesting, that is different than what I was imagining. I'll have to try that one

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

one of my fishing buddies way back when, who also had been in the merchant marine, saw me taking forever to tie a loop and said "do this, it will never slip"...25+ years, so far so good

I was kind of wondering. I use an arbor knot to tie line onto my spool. I am not sure how it wouldn't slip down to the bucktail and cinch

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

Also for you walleye (or light tackle guys), the Manassas Cabelas has the St Croix Legend Walleye Tournament rods almost $100 off (retails $249 and selling for $159. I don't think they are advertising it so I am sure it is an in-person thing. All the rods were fast action rated for 4-10lbs in varying lengths up to 7 feet. I won't lie. I walked around with the 7 footer in my hand for about 20 minutes before putting it back.

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

My go to rod for jigging flounder, casting Jerk Shad for trout and reds, and most summer fishing here short of cobia is a Lamiglas 7' walleye rod. I thought it would be too light, too fast for the fishery, but I was absolutely proven wrong. Since I rarely go over 8lb test, and usually go with 6lb, and my lures usually under a half oz, this rod has been a lot of fun to fish with and hasn't seen a walleye in years.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

French, what is your rod and reel setup for fishing the shad run?

I go a little heavier than most. I use my 3000 Stradic FJ on a 6-12lb St Croix Triumph and a 2500 Sahara on a 4-10b St Croix Triumph. Most years, I fish with 10lb mono. This year I am going to try 20lb power pro. I tie on a leader with 12lb mono to the braid with a double uni knot. With the tag end, I tie on a 1/2oz dart. You can get away with a 1/4 oz in smaller tidal rivers. In the Potomac below Great Falls you need the extra weight because of the depth and current. Then on the long end of the leader (about 16 inches below the dart) I tie on a gold (clear water) or silver (murky water) Nungesser spoon. The dart is usually just the weight to cast. 85% of my strikes come on the spoon.

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

For the dart, weight matters more than color. But if you want to get more hits on the dart, I like a red head with a chartreuse body. The best source for darts is Lockett Lures. You can order darts in bulk (cards of 36 darts for $27.00 plus shipping.) They are much better quality than the Marathon darts you find in Dicks Sporting Goods.

http://www.lockettluresoutlet.com/

If you are fishing Fletchers Cove or other big water that is deep and has serious current (like above Fletchers Cove on the Potomac above DC) I would go half ounce. If you are fishing smaller water (like under the walking bridge at Occoquan) 1/4 ounce is fine.

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

Thanks for the advice. I would be fishing on the James in Richmond. So I will probably go on the lighter side. Interesting that there isn't a bigger selection of shad darts. I'm going to try using my ultralight combo but wanted to see what you used.

Back in the day I used to fish the Rappahannock in Fred'sburg at the fall line (pre-Embry dam destruction) and I was using six lb test most days, even down to 4 lb test in clear light flow. There were almost no American shad in the mix, just herring and hickorys, and while I had a few break off, the lighter line allowed for longer casts and a lot more strikes. I caught a lot on French's spoons, and usually tied one on my double rig on the top leader, I also caught a ton of fish on the darts, actually more than on the spoons. We used the red head with chartreuse, red head with white, green head with black and vice versa most often, but some days they liked pink, too. Half oz was usually too big in that water. On a good day, we'd get a hundred or more fish if they were in properly. I would wade the breaks and get out into pockets most folks weren't willing to try to reach. A bit dicey, but worth the effort for me. Since Chesley's (since defunct) was the only tackle shop in the area and didn't open until after we were already fishing, I would scavenge broken off darts from eddy points in the breaks, often coming up with a dozen or more darts. Amazing the numbers of them I would find on some days. We'd try to hit Chesley's on the way out of town or during the morning break to help supplement the darts for the next foray. Lotta fish, lotta fun. Small fish, but high octane performers on light tackle.

Edit: For those of you who weren't around, the fishery back in the 80s was phenomenal and seemed unlimited. Haven't been up there in years, though. Not sure what's left of it these days, but blowing the dam should help.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

For anyone interested, there is a decent little fishing expo at the Frederick Maryland Fairgrounds on Saturday. I am going, weather permitting.

There is a cobia seminar, but generally most of the event is built around the upper-Bay striped bass fishery.

http://mssafrederick.com/?page_id=2859

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

So that I may actually add something informative and useful for a change, I offer this guide to gourmet knot tying:

All kinds O' Knots

Year 3 is coming up!

This is the knot I have been tying. But even with just four loops, the heavy stiff mono gets lopsided when I cinch the knot down. It feels strong, but looks awful.

https://www.netknots.com/fishing_knots/non-slip-loop-knot

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

instead, just tie a half hitch above the overhand and see what happens

Your version of the loop knot and the Palomar knot are about all I use on terminal tackle anymore. I had a couple of loops slip early on in my use of it, but it was because of sloppy tieing. Same with the Palomar. These knots are so simple and yet so effective that I have become lazy about bothering to learn other knots. Properly tied, spit on and snugged, they just don't fail unless there is a line problem or a neglected nick or abrasion. I used to think the Palomar wouldn't work on heavy line, but I was wrong. Pliers and a little muscle will snug the Palomar down pretty well, but I'll still use other knots if the line is 50lb or bigger, or if the lure is really big and I don't want to waste the fluorocarbon necessary to get around the lure. dave's loop, though, is solid and too simple to ignore. It may not be as sexy or complicated as some, but in my opinion it is the only one you need to know for most loop applications.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

i use this knot on all lures and the Improved Albright to attached leaders to braid.

only time I don't want a loop is attaching 1/32 -1/64 oz jigs to tight line with a jig pole around stumps for bream and crappie. i want the jig to stay parallel to the bottom and no slack in the line on the decent. so i'll cinch up an old fashioned clinch knot and slowly work those jigs in and around trees and stumps in the swamps...standard technique in the Atchafalaya way, way back in the day.

Don't forget saliva on it

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Musky, let's go walleye fishing. Bound to be somewhere we can go this time of year without breaking the bank.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Lets go! Let me think on it. Where though?

Year 3 is coming up!

Other than south, I'm semi-clueless. Got anything closer in your pocket? With the ice and stoopid river conditions, not sure I could suggest my old haunts.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Shout at me walleye0 at gmail

Year 3 is coming up!

Done.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

My trout spinning outfit is sitting next to my easy chair waiting to go.
Too darn cold. I'm not wading with this much ice on top of moving trout streams.

The True Meaning of Dork Magic

Year 3 is coming up!

Ugh.

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That is offensive.

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

Whenever I see that, I hope they get a great bite and the entire rod n reel combo goes splash. They have to learn somehow...

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

Had a client that fished that way alllllll daaaaaay looooong. He was an older guy and had been doing it that way all of his life. Nice fellow, and while his more conventionally fishing daughter outfished him a little, he was able to make enough casts and proper retrieves to catch fish and enjoy his day. I soon got over my frustration after he caught a few fish, and it wasn't like he didn't know he was doing it "wrong", he just didn't care.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I've had people with little fishing experience insist on retrieving a spin rod this way because they think that the reel is supposed to be on top. Guess their experience with a Zebco will get after ya

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Working on a 15' boat Fish. I can only imagine your patience. My son and I hooked up with Hutchins on Anna a few years ago and he mentioned that we were his best clients in months. I asked why is that so? He said in a deadpan voice, you can cast. I can only imagine!

Year 3 is coming up!

Not to mention that it could have damaged the rod.

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

It was his rod. I didn't bother to give him one of mine, which I encouraged usually. I had worse fishermen in my boat over the years, though, so I shouldn't say much about him.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Just a little friendly reminder that the Virginia Wine and Fly Fishing Festival is this weekend in Doswell (Kings Dominion exit) for anyone interested in fly fishing. Lots of good presentations and demos on everything from casting to tying to kayaking. I do not have a booth this year but will be wandering around there for most of tomorrow. I'll likely be the only one in a maroon and orange Knot the Reel World shirt, unless of course some of my clients have shown up wearing my gear too.

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Have a good show!

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

Thanks! Trying to cap my spending at $100

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

Your Knot the Reel World shirts are the bomb-diggity, dawg. Truly good lookin' threads.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thank you! I have a friend who told me he wants to get rid of the one he bought for his wife because she wears it so much, often to bed. Apparently, he doesn't like seeing my logo when he wants to have some personal time with her!

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Now that's funny right there!

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I've been trying to plan a trip to the New to chase musky for the last week or so. It looks like next weekend may be a good window with highs in the 50's and lows in the mid to upper 30's. I'd imagine that the water temp last week was hovering barely above freezing, but hopefully with this warming trend and rain all the ice has melted and temps can get back into the upper 30's to hopefully 40. Looking at the streamflow data it looks like they've been keeping the flows below Claytor very low for the last several weeks, which hopefully tick up a bit with the rain we're getting. The plan would be to hit a few deep holes below the dam and around Radford - unfortunately my options are a bit limited with a prop drive.

Has anyone been brave enough to be on the river this winter? I'm a couple hours away and haven't laid eyes on it since I drove by during football season.

Planning on going after musky this sunday on the new. Will let you give up an update.

Its Sunday morning please tell us you did not go! It's 18 in Richmond!

Year 3 is coming up!

13 feeling like 4 in Blacksburg. I really hope he didn't go!

Don't worry, it's a dry cold. And the wind is blowing to help things out.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Lol. Of course.

No response yet ... I think he's dead. Or wishing he was.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

He's an intrepid fisherman, he might not be able to use his fingers for a day or two.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Year 3 is coming up!

Unrelated, the package is in the mail. Also, I will give the rod holder a try when we go chum again. If it works, I am going to get one that holds three. Two down rods and a shotgun with a RediRig float... we are going to get one!

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

Relevant to the New- but not fishing related:

Let us know how the trip goes, could be good with the warming temps!

This is so cool! Is this the New?

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Yes! I figured the text from the FB post would embed but I guess it didn't. I am not sure exactly where on the New this was taken though. *EDIT: I just looked at the original post and it said Mouth of Wilson.*

We drove the river from Pembroke to McCoy after the artic blast ended and it was unbelievable - all kinds of crazy ice structures. The changes in current, boulders, and turns all made for interesting ice "figures?".

I wish I had done the same today.

Thanks for all the concerns. It didn't feel too crazy to go fishing today. Got to the ramp about 10. Had issues starting the engine because of the cold. Didn't leave the ramp til 11. Trolled down the bank in a deeper hole. My buddy was using a jake and got a musky in our first 30 minutes of fishing. I thought he was messing with me and I was turned away for a few seconds. Then he was yelling at me to get the net. He caught another one about an hour later. A really nice 47 incher. No more action. Saw about 5 other boats out on the water. Was very bundled up and didn't feel cold unless we were up on plane.

Oh chi mama

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

Nice tub!

Edit: What type of boat were you on?

Year 3 is coming up!

14' jon boat with a 20 horse mercury jet motor. I don't remember the specific model of jon boat. I can ask the exact model if you are curious.

Nice! I guess I was wrong in assuming the day was only fit for ordering fly lines and tying flies. That's a beautiful fish.

Thanks! Well I forgot to mention two of the reels froze up in the cold. There was ice that would collect from reeling wet line back in.

Like my old buddy Cecil would say, "Ya cain't catch'em sittin' home watchin' Roland Martin on the TV." Congrats on a successful day. I've cleaned a lot of ice out of my guides over the years, but never had a reel freeze up. Y'all's tough!!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Love a good Cecil quote! Tough or stupid who knows but I had a blast!

Nice fish! Glad you guys had a good day. Were you trolling when you picked up the fish? What was the water temp where you guys put in? I was going to make it up this weekend but my plans fell through - hoping to make a trip up this Saturday or Sunday if the forecast holds out. Hopefully the water won't be too crowded.

Thanks. Yeah, we were trolling. About 39 degrees I think.

Wow, nice fish. That is what I have been hoping to find.

Awesome fish! Not sure I'll ever swim in the river again tho! 😅

Hokie fan | W&M grad

You scared bro?

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

Lol. Not gonna lie, swimming in murky water is NOT my thing! 🦈☠

Hokie fan | W&M grad

They like those toes...

In the 70's, I lived in Giles while finishing up at Tech. We were repeatedly warned of the "giant catfish" bigger than a full grown man that lived in the deep holes. It was said that they had eaten more than one unwary wader in the New. Of course, there were also the tales of the "whirlhole" near Eggleston that had swallowed an entire train and that no one had ever found the bottom of. There is, however, at least one train car in the river below the dam above the I-81 bridge, according to some musky fishermen I know who have seen it on their graphs. Supposed to hold big musky, but I wonder if that's where those six+ foot mudcats live, and they drag their victims inside the car to devour them at their leisure.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I remember the stories about those catfish, except divers reported seeing them around the dam in South Holston Lake.

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

Yep, heard the same thing about the divers at the Claytor Lake dam, but you know how fish stories are.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

"Catfish the size of Volkswagens"

Just looked up the US record for catfish was 57 inches at 143 pounds. So that 72 inch catfish would be ridiculously massive haha.

Now, don't go letting statistics and science get in the way of a good winter fish tale.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Haha sometimes my engineer mind gets too logical and in the way of a good fish tale.

they probably didn't pinch the tail.

LMAO! Fantastic!

Year 3 is coming up!

Damn.

Do you have a picture of this "jake" lure? How does it act in the water?

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dunno but it's apparently good enough that if they got hung up, 3rdGen was going to have to go in after it

Apparently one of my buddy's friends had a musky yank the rod out of his hand and he dove in after it in winter water... We only had two jakes luckily it deflects off cover very well. Didn't have to think about jumping in haha.

Thanks! I have gone in after some really good flies before

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Looks kind of like a stretch. The only time I targeted big rockfish out of Oregon Inlet, we pulled giant plugs that looked like that behind the boat.

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

Walleye Toooooooooonight!

Year 3 is coming up!

Re- Richmond Fishing Expo, who else is planning on going on Saturday? Sadly, it looks like Dr. Ball dropped off the speaking schedule. Hokie-owned Bowed Up Lures will be there selling bucktails, zig jigs, trolling spoons, and swimbaits. If you are nice, ask him to tell you stories about Vince Hall knocking him out.

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

I was going today but something screwed that up. Maybe I will see you tomorrow among the masses. I want to see Swindle and the sonar guy.

Year 3 is coming up!

Will do. Should be there mid morning for awhile. Bowed Up with be at Booth 13, right next to the Saltwater Seminar room.

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

Really cool video on the Back Bay fishery in Coastal Virginia. This was released at the Fly Show this weekend.

I hung out with Walt Cary at the show and he was telling stories of hauling in stringers of Largemouth Bass that had 24 fish on them and weighed 140-150 pounds.

Hopefully it can return to that quality on day...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pdg8aqz-Lnw

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The vid ...............yep!

Year 3 is coming up!

went there in '71 or '72. sadly it was a total blowout...literally. storm had blown most of the water out of the bay.

wound up fishing some borrow ditches on the refuge and caught a few bass and some pickerel

can personally confirm the density of cottonmouths

Grew up in Chesapeake and used to fish there in the '60s, wading in homemade tube floats, popping bug fishing for bass. Got separated from my dad up a slough and ended up stranded when a whole bunch of cottonmouths decided to emerge from the tall swamp grasses to sun and swim in a narrow bend of the slough, after I'd gone by and fished to the ending of it. I couldn't get by them, dad couldn't hear me yelling, I was pretty much as scared as a 14 year old could be. Ended up just hiking up the tube and cutting across the swamp in head high grasses to avoid the bend, running and screaming at the top of my lungs, certain that I was about to step on whatever moccasins that weren't in the water. I'm not afraid of snakes, having collected them as a child and handled maybe more than my share of them, but that day, I was truly afraid for my life.
We did catch a lot of bass in those days, though. Glad to hear the fishery is back.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

So jealous that you and Dave (above) got to fish it in the heyday. Cottonmouths be damned, I'd kill to fish it when it was that good.

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There were always a few around, but that day, somebody was throwing a wang dang doodle and they all decided to show up. Seriously, I'd have to say there were three or four dozen of them within a 15' area. Bigguns, too. Never seen anything like it, before or since, but if I had to deal with that every time I went, I'd go bream fishing in a farm pond instead. That was the day that my dad finally got an 8 lb bass on his homemade popper and hand crafted bamboo rod. He was ecstatic, I was shook up.

Edit: Just remembered something else about that day. Dad stopped at the Maple Inn in Currituck and bought four soft shelled crab sandwiches, then at a local store for a six pack. Only time I'd ever seen him drink beer and drive. We got home, beer was gone, and we'd eaten all four crab sandwiches. Momma was pisssssssed!!!!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

MMMMMMMM... Road sodas!

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should have saved her a beer!

i've never seen cottonmouths "congregate", but when I see one every couple hundred feet or so along the bank or roadside, i stay in the boat/car.

Jake 14" : Yaws right to left and rolls back and forth on its axis. Then it will glide right or left before coming back in line.

Year 3 is coming up!

Jakes are pretty handy baits. I was never much of a big crankbait guy but this things seemed to get follows all the time.

Interesting, thanks!

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For the fly fishers among us, looking for recommendations.

There's a Redington fly rod and real combo, 9'-0" 7 weight, with line and a hard case, available at Cabelas right now for less than $200. I'm looking for something between my 5 weight and my 8 weight to use for smallmouth in the river and largemouth in ponds. Any recent experience with Redington?

Also, recommendations for fly line for the above mentioned 5 and 8 weights? Looking for a floating weight forward but having a hard time choosing a price point, make, and model.

Thanks!

Redington makes good gear, but it could be a beginner set up. Do you have a link?

I love my seven weight, I prefer to use a 6 weight for smallmouth. If I'm throwing big flies, I go to a 7.

What current make and models rods do you have? It is key to realize that just because a rod is inexpensive, doesn't mean it will match your casting style or what you may enjoy casting because there are different actions. I get clients all the time that bring new rods to me that they bought without casting just because they were on sale. Come to find out, they like something that has a much different action after casting my rods for a bit.

For fly lines - Rio, Scientific Anglers, Airflo, Orvis. Spend the money on quality lines and take care of them. Lines are the most important part of casting in my opinion and the most overlooked. Folks don't want to spend $70 on a line, but a good line will add several feet to your cast. It's well worth it.

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The outfit I mentioned can be seen here: Redington Path Combo

The two rods I mentioned are St. Croix, can't remember the models off hand. Medium fast action on the 5, fast action I think on the 8. The 8 is pretty stout. Only time I've felt the need was snook fishing on the beach in South Florida. Too much rod to enjoy the typical bass I'm able to fool. The 5 is usually fine but a few times I've felt like a 6 or 7 would help with bigger flies and more insurance with the occasional bigger fish.

I definitely like the casting feel of the medium fast versus the fast.

The advice on the line is what I was looking for. I'm going to not be a cheap ass on that for sure.

Thanks for the advice and your thoughts on this.

Thanks for the link. Not a bad looking combo. You're probably splitting hairs for the 6 versus the 7. If you think you may use this rod in the salt, go with the 7. The line on this is Rio, but it is probably their basic line. You may want to replace it in a few seasons with a better. My absolute favorite line is Rio Redfish. Only drawback to Rio is the coating on them tends to crack and wear off sooner than other lines but they are slick

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

I agree on the 6 vs 7. I'm leaning more towards the 6. I want something just a little more stout than my 5, but if choosing between a little lighter vs a little heavier, I'd prefer to go a little lighter just so the average fish puts up more of a fight. I think the 6 answers the call better than the 7, now that I'm thinking about it.

Good to know about the Rio line. I will take a closer look. I don't mind having to replace it a year or two sooner if the experience during use is elevated. I'll check out that Redfish line.

Thanks!

Perhaps a dumb question but anything wrong with choosing that Redfish line for river smallmouth and pond largemouth? The data on it mentions all sorts of features for chasing Redfish but not sure about that as a choice for potential cooler water. I might end up using this line on a rod that will see some larger trout river action in addition to the bass I mentioned. Still a good choice?

Thanks!

That line is perfect for tossing bigger flies. It will work great for LMB and SMB.

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

NEW TOY ALERT

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

That is a beauty! Looks ready to put the smackdown on some big fish.

naturally, you were getting ready to shower with it

delete, double post

Got your TLD15 I see, great reel!

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

Thanks. It was donated to me late last summer by one of the folks saying thank you for the work I have done to try and keep the cobia season open. I am trying to find another one that is in good shape.

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

donated to me late last summer by one of the folks saying thank you for the work I have done to try and keep the cobia season open

from all of us.

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

I am trying. But, it isn't looking so good this year if ASMFC's technical committee chooses to use the 2015 MRIP data in their averages. It is a significant outlier, yet it sounds like they are going to use it. If they do, I am hearing Virginia's season will get clipped significantly. I hope I am wrong. I hope you guys like to catch and release and eat a bunch of sea mullet.

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

Thank you for your efforts. My uncle was pier fishing off Avon I want to say in early December for the last part of the drum run and also did some sea mullet fishing. He and his buddy caught 370 some odd sea mullets. Can't imagine how long it took to clean those.

VTFIsh and I had one epic day of catching little sea mullets about as fast as you could in our chum slick when the cobia weren't cooperating one day this summer. I love catching them- there is no harder fighting panfish.

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

I haven't ever targeted them really other than bycatching them bottom fishing drifting in the sound behind Ocracoke. Will have to mess around with them sometime on a small rod.

If you can get into the one pounders, it is tough to find a better eating fish. They are much better to eat than croakers, spot, and flounder.

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

Hmm, will have to test that out. Usually have eaten blues, spanish in the past. Recently have eaten more drum, trout, and snapper. Haven't had croakers, spot and flounder in awhile. Mom and Dad don't like eating flounder so haven't targeted them.

If they would shut down the Menhaden fishery for 5 years you wouldn't need a longer cobia season and every other fishery up and down the entire east coast would improve as well.

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

While I don't like what Omega does to the Bay, I have a much harder time advocating for people to lose their jobs so I can enjoy recreation. Fortunately, cobia is one species that the stock is incredibly healthy in spite of the menhaden depletion (in fact, there was a wider catch radius of fish with cobia being caught in greater numbers than ever seen historically in Maryland Bay waters and northern mid-Atlantic states like Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island than ever before.

This issue is that we caught the South Atlantic Council fudging the numbers (a single week where two fish reported as harvested via a phone survey was extrapolated out to over 379,000 pounds in catch.) Not a single other week exceeded 100,000 pounds. For the stats folks, that single week, when compared to the other weekly catch totals that season, was 3 times the standard deviation. It violates every data quality standard used by the National Academy of Sciences to use that data. So, SAFMC admitted it was an outlier, and then transferred management to ASMFC where states can't refuse to comply with their findings. And then ASMFC appears that they will use the tainted data.

Virginia, in essence, is being punished for adopting much more restrictive creels than the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida. Those states are hoping that by restricting our catch, it will help recover the stock. Unfortunately, the science seems to indicate that the stock is moving further and further northward, not southward. In essence, they are attempting to "solve" the wrong problem and circumventing the legislative intent (to rebuild overfished stocks) to solve it.

If anything, the cobia stock is damaging other species. They gorge on blue crabs, baby flounder, puffers (Bowed Up started selling puffer colored bucktails when the first round of fish appeared with their guts filled with puffers) and other panfish. The cobia numbers (along with the increased number of big red drum) will hammer the crab population, while boats that can't harvest cobia will put more pressure on spadefish, flounder, sheepshead, and spanish mackerel.

I like to eat cobia, but I am a catch and release guy unless I have friends that want to eat it. I released my biggest fish last year. I have harvested three fish over the last three years. I would imagine that I am much more typical of the average angler's success rate with cobia than the charter guys limiting out. Given how fast cobia grow, how they spawn year-around (another thing the last SEDAR stock assessment got wrong), and the fact that the increased size limit in Virginia allows for a full additional year of recruitment, the Bay is going to be filled with cobia as long as they have a food source. In my experience, while they will eat menhaden, that is much less critical to the health of the population than crabs.

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

i've been in natural resources management for nearly 40 years and am currently consulting on water and wildlife issues in FL. i never did figure out whose job was more important, so i always tried to stick to the x's and o's of maintaining a sustainable resource, and applying the law the way it was intended. when i had a chance to change rules and apply some common sense, i did.

it seems kind of heartless, but all these issues are some form of public policy about how we use commonly held resources, and i tried to let those processes play out. in the many thousands of public statements I read or heard over the years, no one ever said, "hey Dave, you seem like a good guy, why don't you just go rogue on this one!"

French, thanks very much for your efforts on the cobia front. I'm sure the folks who depend on cobia fishermen for a living appreciate your work.
However, the menhaden issue is much more important to many Chesapeake Bay fishermen, and since most predators in the Bay target menhaden at some point in their lives, perhaps the menhaden stock means more to the livelihoods of many more people than the cobia fishery. While it is true that there are a relative few (I've heard around 300 or so, but have heard a few more or less as well) folks actually work in the industry in Virginia, every person who fishes in the Chesapeake is impacted by the harvest of tons of the very basic building block of the ecosystem for the profit of a relative few and the manufacture of fertilizer, cat food and fish oil capsules. The fact that the menhaden fishery was taken out of the control of the fisheries management folks in Virginia and given to the state legislature for political favors should tell you something about the whole stinking mess. No other state is doing that, for good reason, and I would posit that the relatively few jobs you are talking about are not reason enough to essentially denigrate the resource for millions of others. Yes, if it were my job, or my family's job I might try a little harder to make sense of it, but since I'm speaking as a recreational fisherman, I'll throw my lot in with the fish, birds and millions of affected fishermen who are crying out annually, and mostly in vain, against the practices Virginia allows for the profit of a few wealthy people and a very few hundred probably mostly lower wage jobs in Reedville.
And while a mature cobia is likely not too fixated on eating menhaden, most, if not all of the fish they do eat depend to some extent on menhaden at some point in development to attain and maintain a healthy population, so in the end, menhaden are still important to cobia and cobia fishermen. Speaking from an economic perspective, the health of the Chesapeake and the millions of dollars spent by recreational fishermen who fish the Bay, is responsible for many more jobs in many more ways than the few menhaden processing jobs in Reedville.
Just my take, but I'm not alone in having this mindset. Some jobs just aren't worth the cost to the rest of us and the health of the Bay, I'd posit.

Edit: Sometimes I shoot my mouth off without checking more into my claims. According to Google, those Reedville jobs are incredibly lucrative for "watermen's" jobs. Either they're inflating the salaries, or most of the jobs are administrative managerial type affairs. Not sure what's what, but it doesn't change my argument.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Like I said, I would rather Omega not be there to make the Bay healthier. However, (and we have discussed this) I start to get ethically compromised when I suggest a fix where I am not negatively impacted and someone else loses their ability to pay their bills based on something other than the supply and demand of the product they deliver. That crosses a Rubicon for me. Hence, I sit on the sideline on the menhaden issue and hope that some kind of palatable solution which allows for the economic viability of the commercial fishermen and the health of the Bay to both be achieved.

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

As always, I respect your position while disagreeing with your reason for it. I do believe the negative impact is more negative than the few jobs is positive, and supply and demand have very little to do with the essential question of why Virginia allows the misuse of the menhaden fishery to the detriment of the peripheral livelihoods that depend on a healthy Chesapeake Bay, and that includes those whose livings depend on recreational fishermen and the larger bulk of commercial fishermen that don't rely on the menhaden harvest to make a living. I will leave it here, though, and agree to disagree with you on this one. Leg for your explanation, anyway.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I take it that Omega is the new Zapata-Haney?

Year 3 is coming up!

And therein lies the rub.

Edit: And please understand me that I don't begrudge those folks their jobs. I mainly begrudge the politicalization for favors of a natural resource that belongs to all of us in order for a few folks to make money from something that should not be political, but science based. This is way more than an economic issue, and should be treated as such.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

French, thanks for all of your work with the cobia and the intel on them. I'm going to start tying some puffer colored flies.

IFish is absolutely correct, the menhaden are the most important food source in the Bay and the entire east coast. Look at the records of the Native American tribes in libraries in West Point. 90 pound striped bass used to be caught. Ninety. They just don't have anything to eat any longer and current fish have legions on them. They have to turn to other food sources, i.e. blue crabs, and thus hurt that population even more. This overfishing of menhaden is killing the Bay and probably severely harming the Atlantic Ocean.

As a fishing guide who takes clients to the Bay, this menhaden overfishing harms my business plain and simple. It isn't just about any of us catching 30 inch stripers for fun, it's millions and millions of dollars that pour into other businesses around the Bay as well. I understand the concern about those Reedville jobs, but does Omega care about us guides in the Bay? Since I know they don't, it leads to my next point...

I'll agree to disagree as well, but I do begrudge those jobs. I know three of those guys that harvest menhaden and they don't give two shits about the environment. Ask them about the numbers and all they do is proclaim science to be full of bullshit and that it's always been this way, and there's tons of fish in the ocean so it should continue to be so. They could care less about data. If they want to provide me with a legitimate discussion on numbers and science in their favor, I am all ears. Still they refuse to do so. The ironic part, one of the menhaden fishermen that I know is also a striped bass guide. I went out with him once and we didn't catch anything. Ironically, he bemoaned the lack of striped bass. Hmmmm.

I saw a tv show recently where a company took 15 or so coal miners from West Virginia and in less than a month had them trained to work in the IT industry from their homes in West Virginia. They were making more money, in normal hours and much safer conditions. Why can't these Reedville guys do the same? In today's age there are a ton of ways to make a living, particularly online and it is not that hard to do. I have no qualms about those jobs being erased. Hell, I've been laid off and I didn't think twice about it.

The kicker in all of this? A good portion of those menhaden are harvested to be fish food for farmed fish like Tilapia. It's not being used for anything special.

The politicization in this state is atrocious. Virginia is the only state left on the East Coast allowing this practice. Dominion bends us all over and does what it wants to the environment to make money at our expense and Omega is just as bad.

Sorry for any political talk, Omega sucks, end rant.

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

Wow, looks amazing! I'll eagerly await the sequel - the one where you land a citation cobia on it ...

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Hopefully, I'll be behind the camera when he does.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Checking the Expo schedule and I don't see Brit scheduled for anything. Bummer. BTW, the website is crap.

Year 3 is coming up!

Musky, one of these days I'll unload some of my New River guiding days experiences on you. Suffice it to say, no love lost between me and some of the guides down there.

Edit: Unnecessary snark. Let it go, fish, let it go.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Dr. Ball vanished too. I am going because I need to head to Richmond anyway and Bowed Up got a booth very late in the game.

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

I'm gonna hit the New River on Saturday in search of some musky. Will probably get the boat in the water around 9 and fish until early afternoon. I'll try to post a report when we get back in.

Catch them up. At least it shouldn't be so frigid.

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

Good luck!

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

Fishing Saturday was a swing and a miss. Got on the water about 8:30 and had about a half hour till the wind became pretty brutal. Boat position was a nightmare. The flows were very low so we stayed put in one area. Didn't see a single fish and called it quits by 1. Water temp started out 32 and ended up about 35. Tough day. Hopefully the weather perks up and we can try again in a few weeks.

VT's Bass Fishing team has started selling some gear to help support the team. I picked up a hat and sticker at the Richmond show.

https://www.vtbassteam.com/

They also had a sweet Hokiestone fishing buff for raffle. I told them they needed to start selling those. Apparently their vendor already jumped on it. http://www.gofanfaces.com/ $25 is a bit steep for a buff, but it looks pretty sweet.

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

We bought a t shirt online. Plan on doing something else to support their team, any ideas?

HokieObsession

Notes from the Richmond Expo:

Could not even get in to see Swindle. Quite the zoo.

Met Jim (?) at the Bowed Up booth sorry French he said I had just missed you. He told me about getting his shoulder caved in. They produce some nice looking stuff.

VDGIF had a booth and talked to Scott who manages both Little Creek and Chesdin.
. Great news! LC is stocked every year with walleye and or saugeye. It is a tier 1 lake gets fish every year including rocks. Chesdin is tier 3 and only gets walleye when there are left overs. We talked about 20 minutes and he gave me a bunch of tips for both places. Need to get down to LC soon.

For those of you in NOVA, Burke still has some 25-30 lbs musky.

Year 3 is coming up!

Found a good deal on Abu Garcia Revo 4 SX, seems to be what I am looking for to do vertical fishing and could always use messing around at local ponds. Anyone have experience/opinions on this reel?

No, but I'm gonna go broke following this thread. Anyone have any good recommendations for a decent travel rod/reel (e.g. - 2 piece rod)?

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Bass pro makes a model called an Ocean Master I think. I bought two of them two years ago to take to Costa Rica with me and I was quite pleased. (Yes, I will throw a spin rod in the salt on rare occasions.) They are 3 piece.

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

Can you give some parameters? What species are you wanting to target? Are we talking fresh or saltwater? Surf, pier, river, or lake?

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

I'm mainly thinking of something to keep in the car, so that if I have some free time when travelling, I can pull it out and drop a line in. Small bodies mostly - ponds + rivers, so LMB + SMB primarily.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

St. Croix Premier rods are nice and not too expensive ($120ish I believe.) I do know they sell the 6'6 spinner in UL, ML, and M strength in 2 piece form. The Triumph's aren't as good quality, but they also have two piece versions in the $90 price range.
http://stcroixrods.com/products/freshwater/triumph

I have two Triumph's and they are ok. The butt cap dislodged from my 4-10 ML one though.

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

Thanks! I'll have to check out the Premier's. I've had 2 Triumph's - both had great action and caught a lot of fish, though I had to retire my ultralight after catching too many smallmouth with it on the Rivanna (became too soft + I couldn't get a hookset). Granted, that was my own mistake - I pushing its limits anyway, and using something short and light for the canoe, and that would be fun to hook up smallmouth with.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I'm biting on this. I switched out some of my older St Croix for Fenwicks last year because I could get them at an unreasonably good price. I ended up with 2 HMG, 1 HMX, and an Elite Tech River Runner. I love them all. I like my St Croix's still but for the money I'll pick these up every time.

the HGM 70 M FS is an inshore saltwater beast.

Versatility often equals compromise. So if you are going to take one rod, 6'6" is a good length. Oddly, in the Premier line they don't make a Light Fast 2 piece like they do in the Triumph line. 1/16 -5/16 is a nice bandwidth for lures. Being able to throw small light lures is going to be important in freshwater scenarios. You can go after everything from panfish to redfish.

This is true. In saltwater especially, the action, weight, and feel of the rod makes a huge difference with different applications. Hence, dumbass French buying a CarrotStix and it becoming a really expensive rod for catching spot and sea mullet.

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

Third time I used my CarrotShits it broke in half. Had a friend's father attempt a stent and repair only to have it break again on the second cast. It looked comfy in the construction waste bin that took it to hell, I hope. Total waste of money for me.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thanks to all for the feedback. I do love Fenwick, but was curious to try something new. Actually, does anyone have any thoughts on the Shimano's? Looks like they have a 'Crucial' series with a 2 piece that's close to that 6'6" Light/Fast combination. I have one that's probably 15 yrs old, and its been great, but I'd honestly forgotten about them for rods - haven't used anything other than St. Croix and Fenwick in a long time.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I've owned a couple. Great balance/feel but never really abused either of them. No idea how they would hold up as a travel rod.

Have beat the hell out of All Star, Fenwick, and Falcon with no issues.

I can't speak to that model. I LOVE Teramars and Terez Waxwings by Shimano.

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

Oh wow, thanks for sharing, that might be too good to pass up!

Hokie fan | W&M grad

i can't vouch for the site or what they are selling but if that is the real item, it's a very good price

My thoughts exactly. Going to see if I can find some reviews on the site, and then order if legit. You'll never find a better rod for $60.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I may try to target some yellow perch in Maryland this weekend. Any pointers on getting them on lures? I'd prefer not to fool with minnows.

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

Small gulp on a jig.

Edit: Might want to try a small (6") suspending jerk bait. You can get them that will dive to 16-18' which means 12". As we all know.!

Year 3 is coming up!

Yep, good call if you don't want to use minnows. The little gulp straight minnow, not the curly tailed grub, worked best for me, on a 1/8 oz chartreuse jig with feathers or a little bucktail like a doll fly kinda deal. Have also caught them slow trolling or retrieving a Southern Pro Acid Rain curly tailed grub on a small jig head.

Edit: The specific Southern Pro grub I use is their Hot Grub.
G'luck!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

does anyone fish in line spinners anymore...like a mepps, shyster, or roostertail...or have all of the life like soft plastics and crankbaits rendered them obsolete?

growing up, i caught bass, bream, crappie, catfish, and rainbows on roostertails.

I know a guy who made them for years, specifically for catching big trout in tailraces. Also had a tough day guiding on the New, and we were in a low water cycle with a ton of algae making anything not moving impossible to fish. One guy in the other boat had a pink "hybrid" roostertail and was just nailing nice smallmouth on it. He only had the one, so he started retying after every fish he caught so he wouldn't lose it. He was getting 16-17" smallmouth and the rest of us just stopped fishing and watched, after we tore up our tackle boxes looking for something even remotely similar with no results.
I'd still use shysters for white perch if I could find schools of them, since it worked so well when I was growing up.
Of course, musky hunters still use in line spinners routinely, and trout guys also still use Panther Martins and Joe's Flies.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Of course, musky hunters still use in line spinners routinely, and trout guys also still use Panther Martins and Joe's Flies.

I use Joe's flies almost exclusively when I'm after trout or panfish.

Trout go-to is a super duper, with a brown rooster tail second. But, nothing beats the old meal worm drift in the current.

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

When I was a teenager it was almost unfair how easily a limit of stocked trout could be had with a meal worm drifted in a seam in the creeks where I grew up. Between that and my great grandfather's trick of a single piece of corn with 1.5" of nightcrawler right behind it, no chance.

And now that I fly fish 98% of the time, don't think I don't tie up a bunch of "flies" that look like the above whenever my mom makes a last minute request for a few for the pan.

But, nothing beats the old meal worm drift in the current.

This makes me want to vomit.

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

When I was about 6 years old my dad took me out for my first opening day of trout season (back when trout season was a thing). It was pouring rain, buckets at a time. Fishermen lined up around the stocked pond eager for the first bite. I can still smell the older fella's pipe smoke beside me. How he kept it lit in such a deluge I'll never know.

After 15 minutes of fruitless effort using bait of all manner, my Dad realized that he needed to create some action soon or risk a 6 year old having a rough experience the first time out. He proceeds to tie on a black rooster tail (black blade and black feathers on the hook) and throws it out in the pond, showing me how to retrieve it, etc.

We proceeded to catch a limit of very hefty rainbow trout in less than 10 minutes, much to the surprise of everyone nearby. My Dad, in another great life lesson, bit off the lure and handed it to the fella with the pipe as we headed to the truck.

I've been a fan of inline spinners and especially Rooster Tails since that day. They almost never fail to catch a fish at least in my experience.

Growing up a Mepps Spinner in brass with little red tubing on the hook was killer for smallmouth.

If I am blind casting for redfish in off color water or too windy to fly fish, I throw a Redfish Magic, which isn't inline, but it's a clip on spinner.

Believe it or not I've got a fly that is tied with a French Blade spinner. Yes, it is really pushing the envelope of "fly," but I tie it so it passes my test.

I'm not the first to do this and it works when nothing else is.

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

I've caught a lot on Lake Erie using a gulp minnow or dimiki armor shad. We were fishing shallow water using drop shot rigs. Seemed like a good way to catch them if they were holding a certain depth off the bottom above the grass. Kept the bait right in front of their nose.

Fish were caught today on the devil sticks. I threw flies for a bit once we located where they were eating. Three stripers to the boat and two small redfish. This striper was FAT, circa 24 inches.

My fishing partner hooked two very nice fish on rattle traps. Both pulled drag and then headed into the rocks and broke 30 pound braid. We had a third rattle trap, but it was green and orange, not blue and orange and apparently they only wanted the LOLUVA color. We never laid eyes on the big fish.

Pretty crazy to be catching redfish, in Virginia, in the middle of January.

I'm hardcore tying for the next 5 days in preparation for The Fly Fishing Show in Atlanta next Friday and Saturday. If anyone wants to see flytying porn, I'm happy to share.

EDIT: My photos won't show up for some reason. If you want to see the fat striper (and deduce where we were fishing) check out my Instagram: knotthereelworld or find me on Facebook: Christopher Siess

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

Nice report. That is pretty cool about catching the reds. That striper had been eating good for sure.

Would have been but striper season is closed. Still swimming!

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

I think his comment was meant to point out how well the striper had been feeding to produce that bigfatbelly. I was also wondering about keeping the striper, though I don't care for them myself. Seems like since you have to have a freshwater license to fish there, it might not be under saltwater restrictions, but I wouldn't know without research.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thanks, that is what I going for. Interesting thought on freshwater versus saltwater regs.

Tidal water is a weird deal. Striped bass is closed in DC waters. No idea how freshwater/saltwater coverage impacts it from Alexandria to the 301 Bridge.

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

I use Post Image a lot and my pics now only show on the thumbnail for websites linl. Any ideas?

Caught a fat ring perch today and a 2 lb bass off the bank today. Both on a suspending 4" rapalla jerk bait. I was barely moving it. So slow it was painful.

Year 3 is coming up!

I do as well. Not sure why it stopped working

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

I added on IG. That was a nice chunk.

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

Thank you! I don't keep fish often but I would have kept that one had it been in season.

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

That's a fat and fabulous striper! To break off 30 lb test on something ... if it had been me, I might of cried a little.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I'm still crying about breaking off that cobia last summer on 50lb test. The rest of the cobia I lost the last couple of years just pulled off, but the one that broke the 50.....that was a beast.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

There are no words my friend. My condolences.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I heard about it all summer. Devestating. I have noticed over the years, cobia fighting technique is almost provincial. The Virginia guys seem to want to get them in the boat fast and green. The North Carolina guys want them to run with minimal pressure way out, and then bring them back slowly and gassed. I am guessing that comes from where the king mackerel were more present inshore in NC. My first trip with Fish, we were with a friend of his. We had a cobia on, and Fish's friend was going crazy to get the fish in the boat as quickly as possible. It freaked me out a bit.

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

It's a learning process for me, but I couldn't have let that cobia get much farther away from the boat, it was already getting too close to another boat and was a loooooooong way out. It was big and frankly, I felt a bit overmatched tackle wise, so I tried to stop the run and get it at least looking my way when it jumped and ran and snap....excuse me while I reach for the tissues.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Some of them don't give us a choice!

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

Had you engaged the drag at that point? Or were just thumbing the line with the reel disengaged?

Yeah, drag was engaged, fish was obviously well hooked. I don't break many fish off, and when I do, it is usually at the knot. This was in the middle of 50# fluorocarbon leader. I suspect the fish may have hit it with its tail or fin or something when it jumped, thrashed about and started another run, plus, I cranked down another click on the drag to try to keep it from running to Yorktown. 50 just ain't enough for those big cobia. No margin for error.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

That amount of power is just nuts. The small cobias I caught last summer didn't do any justice for how powerful they are.

Yeah, I could see that. First time I fished a tournament with a friend, he was super jumpy about 'GET THE NET' and I was thinking 'chill my man. That's a 2lb bass on like 12 lb test.' 😂

Hokie fan | W&M grad

The competition pumps you up. Its a buzz! No different than before a football game. Fist pump and lets catch some bass. Then you bust a hole shot.

Year 3 is coming up!

I like that KnotTheReelWorld hokie colored hat...

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

Good eye, I had to take a second look, but I like that hat too.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

His T shirts are the coolest.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thank you as always!

For anyone wondering what they look like...

http://www.knotthereelworld.com/apparel/tech-fishing-shirt

You may have seen me rocking this shirt in Lane the last three years.

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

That's pretty 'fly' right there!

And seeing myself out now. 😁

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Looks like a I might be tripping to the UP in Michigan in early April and might have a spare day to possibly fish any suggestions or is it too cold?

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

The Menominee River which splits Michigan and Wisconsin is probably the best smallmouth river in the country. OMG is it good. Not sure if it is fishable that early but I highly highly highly recommend it.

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

any particular region...or guide recommendations?

i have family anchor points in Milwaukee and MSP and a B-I-L always looking to get together for some kind of fishing trip

I stayed in the town of Crivitz, WI last summer and fished near the town of Wausaukee and an area known as Ruby Corner. Both were about a 45 minute drive to the river. This was on the lower end of the Menominee about an hour and a half north of Green Bay. Upper Michigan is on the top side of the river. I also fished the town of Marinette (right on the lake) which is known for 6-7 pound smallmouth. I didn't catch anything and I didn't like it, I am not a fan of urban fishing. My three floats were DIY trip so I don't have much in the way of guide recommendations but I do know that Tight Lines fly shop in De Pere does guide trips on the river. I'm sure there are several spin guides up there.

http://tightlinesflyshop.com/

I know the Menominee flows from much further "up nort," as the local Sconnies say. I can't imagine it having less good fishing than what I experienced. The Peshtigo River is a much smaller river in the same area I stayed and looks fishy as hell and would be another great float. I wade fished a stretch of it west of Crivitz and caught some serious smallies.

The smallmouth I caught up there were unreal, average in the mid teens and all shaped like footballs. Biggest was 20 inches and 5 pounds and mind you I was fishing post 100 year flood when everyone told me the fishing was awful. I can't wait to hit it when it is "good."

My full Wiscy fishing report was in here:

http://www.thekeyplay.com/content/2017/june/1/summer-fishing-report-and-...

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

If he is in the UP he won't be a troll.

Year 3 is coming up!

Alberto Knot

Just tied 80# braid to 17# fluro-carbon and it's the bomb. On the second attempt success. It is not as intricate as some. I hung 20 lbs of static weight with no problems.

Year 3 is coming up!

Also called the "Improved Albright"

I use it exclusively to tie braid to flouro

Anyone have any fly tips for trout this time of year around Blacksburg? Went to Toms and Big Stony and cannot get a fish to move on any of my flies.

"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.

You have to be there the day they stock unfortunately. Too many old retirees who fish it out in about a day. I'm being somewhat sarcastic, but truthfully there is a legion of guys who sit around at the country stores waiting on the stock truck to pass then they call their buddies.

In my experience, if you can find sections away from the road a good bit you will do better. I usually fish an orange or chartreuse stimulator with a hares ear or pheasant tail dropper. They'll often hit the brighter fly up top, but if there's any holdover fish the more natural nymph patterns do well also.

Good luck!

Also, try fishing downstream from the stocked trout sections, particularly if there's been a recent rain to increase flows. In my experience, a good deal of trout can get moved downstream over the course of a stocking season, and they typically aren't fished near as hard as those in the stocked section. Just like in hunting public land, the further you get off the beaten path the better your chances unless you're lucky enough to be one of the first to a hole.

100% accurate.

You could also try some of the other creeks. Little Stoney has special regs trout fishing, and if you hike in past the Cascades, there are wild fish up there, too. Not stocked, no bait allowed, keeps those pesky "retirees" that suck stocking truck fumes for their kicks from even getting involved. Venture a bit further to Dismal Creek in Bland. Remember also that even when those stocked areas seem fished out, they usually will hold a few fish that were too traumatized to eat the crowd's offerings. They'll bite after they acclimate themselves. Fish the little spots, the small runs between the big holes, often there will be a trout where you might not expect one. As mentioned above, don't be afraid to get off the path, get wet, or do some hiking to get to tough lies. The trout will definitely move downstream after high water, and some will actually move upstream in the same conditions.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

THIS is why I love this site. Thank you all for the generous info and will post if I nab a fish.

"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.

Make the drive to the Smith for brown trout.

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

Is Smith River still good? I remember buying those Bruce Ingram books as a kid and fantasizing about fishing Smith Mountain, Moomaw, Smith River, Briery Creek... like they were magic spots. And I was stuck with the worlds greatest carp lake in South Holston.

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

Any resources on public access or where to research and learn more before going? I've been reading about how great this is but I don't have a boat or anything I can float it with. Public wading access would be sweet.

I have never been down there. Honestly until today I have probably gone 20 years without hearing someone mention Smith River.

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

I have never been down there either so here is what I have been told... One guide in Blacksburg that I fish with tells me it sucks. My good friend that has fished it multiple times says it is full of 8 inch brown trout. Mike Smith, guide in SWVA that I work closely with, tells me it used to be full of MONSTER browns twenty years ago but no longer is. He also hasn't fished it in years. One of my clients, who is a novice, took a handful of Woolly Buggers down there last summer and sent me photos of two, very nice, mid-teen size, native brown trout.

I believe it's got 30 miles of fishable tailwater and I've heard there is a lot of public wade access. No need to float it apparently. Based on what my good friend tells me, he has caught a lot of fish at the base of the Philpott dam. That area is most definitely public. Where others access it, I'm not exactly sure. I haven't fully researched it yet because I haven't picked a day to drive 3 hours from RVA and go fish there. It's on the list, like many other places.

One thing I do know for certain... little brown trout grow into big brown trout. If there are lots of little ones in there, then there are going to be at least some big ones in there. I'm sure they are hard to catch as all big browns (except Patagonia) are, but I'm positive there are at least some good fish there.

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

No worries. Thanks anyhow. Maybe when it warms up some and I have some time, I'll take a trip over and report back anything noteworthy.

I have fished it a few times, but it's been a while since I have. The issue of power generation is a serious one. I almost lost it all one day when the water got up and I couldn't get out fast enough. Ended up holding on to a limb to get my breath and strength back for the climb out. No loss or injury, but I'm still amazed I kept hold of my fishing rod. There are several public access spots along the river. The last time I fished it, I caught a ride with a friend who had business in Bassett. He dropped me off near town and I waded into some junked up water...industrial "stuff" here and there, behind some factories, just a fairly trashy place. Thing is, though, I caught at least 8-10 fish, a few between 14-16".
Back in the days of the monsters, folks fished right below the dam when it was generating. They fished with surf casting rigs and big spoons trying for the pigs that sat around waiting for bait to be chopped up by the generators. Those days were over long ago, but the river has pretty much always held browns, and likely still holds enough to be worth fishing.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thanks for the info. Definitely sounds worth a trip one day.

I have fished tail waters before and I know the risks. But your story sounds insane! It must rise faster than the middle Tennessee tail waters I have fished on occasion. Glad you survived relatively unscathed.

When I got caught, I wasn't too far downstream from the dam. The rise wasn't what got me, however, it was the swiftness of the water. It just started motoring and I couldn't keep my feet. I wasn't in panic mode, but I was starting to get pretty concerned.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Definitely know the power schedule. I'm located nearby in Martinsville and you can live and die (fishing and literally) by the power schedule. It becomes more important the closer you get to Philpott Dam.

Smith River Info

First thing to know about the Smith if you are going to wade it is the power generation schedule. You do not want to be in the water when they release and the level goes up. They had a major generator issue and have been replacing equipment for many months now so the water release schedule has been erratic. If planing on being in the water, then year round you will want to be in waders. That water coming out of the reservoir is very cold even in the summer. You can fish the upper section in July and August when all the mountain streams are too hot and dried up because there will be water and it will be cold.
A little info about the river from the DGIF.
You can find more if you do some goggle searching.

Thanks. Sounds a lot like the Caney Fork in Middle Tennessee. Fished that a few times. Wet waded it once in August. Came out with bright red skin head to toe. Top half sun burnt all to hell, bottom half so cold I was borderline hypothermic. Interesting day for sure.

The power generation down there was no joke either. Have to be cautious.

Appreciate the info.

If planing on being in the water, then year round you will want to be in waders.

And a wading belt.

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

OK, I'll add another iron to the fire. My daddy had a method for gaining permission to hunt back in the days of quail hunting in Va. He'd dress in his Sunday best and knock on doors in likely areas. He had a homemade "card" with his name, phone number, what he was looking for and a promise to treat the land and land owner right...ie, not trashing his field by driving on wet ground, not bringing anyone with him but his kids and dogs, promise to close gates, and not messing up fences, plus the standard offering of sharing game with the landowner if he wanted him to.
All that to say, Sinking Creek in Giles County, above and just below Newport has a surprising population of now wild rainbows. Used to be a special regs section, but that all went away, I believe. Still, there are trout there. You might consider starting at the convenience store there at the intersection of 42 and 460 and ask Aiden or whoever is there about where you might start knocking on doors. They may or may not be of help, country folks can be closed mouthed about such things, but that shouldn't stop you from heading out and just trying to get permission. Most of the creek is on private land, though there may be a few places that you can access from the road. Not stocked by the state anymore, but that's not to say some landowners might not still do so. I know a guy who feeds trout in his section of the creek and there are some good sized fish there year 'round. I'd give you names if I could, but I really shouldn't. It could, however, be worth your while if you get lucky.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I still have a stack of those cards that I used to get permission to hunt a track of private land in Craig County where French's had hunted for over 80 years. Always leave it cleaner than when you arrived, my dad used to say.

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

Yep. It may be "old school", but a lot of landowners, especially in rural areas, graduated from and still attend that particular school. Dress nicely, be liberal with your use of "sir, or ma'am", please, and regardless of the answer or reception, a hearty "thank you, may I come by and ask again later in the year?" I owned a quarter mile of a privately owned spring creek in Giles, loaded with rainbows, a couple of my pets pushing 10 lbs in a creek you could almost jump across. Needless to say, I guarded it with serious zeal, but once in a while, a polite and respectful person would hit me on the right day and I'd let them fly fish it if they promised to never return, not fish in one particular hole, and to not harm or take any fish. A local police chief and a couple of members of a fly fishing club at VT lucked out by catching me right and saying the right things. The rest of the folks who tried to fool me, or get around me, got short shrift and some fairly aggressive protection. I had a reputation, richly deserved, for running folks off. But those few...they got a unique experience.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Great advice. Didn't know that about that creek. Thanks for sharing.

I never got a chance to fish John's Creek behind Looney's Store, but it always looked small-water fishy.

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

I am so bored. I would do horrible things just to catch a smallmouth right now.

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

Right.
There.
With.
You.

Picked up some of that stealth braid last week, and now I want to respool everything with it.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I'm with ya. I think next year, I need a warm weather winter fishing week. I am planning on going to Morehead City for a full day Saltwater seminar put on by Fisherman's Post in late February. Will mess around surf fishing on Sunday since the boat is winterized.

This is where living in DC is brutal. I know there are largemouth around at the warm water discharges, like Four Mile Run. However, those places are incredibly crowded and often have some unsavory folks around. What I would give for a large private pond with 1-2 pounders and a bag of Zoom lizards, or a stretch of small water where smallmouth are around.

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

ive for a large private pond with 1-2 pounders and a bag of Zoom lizards

Come on down! Though I would suggest a sus. jerk bait.

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Year 3 is coming up!

You might have 30 people showing up.

For Sure! BBQing rabbit now. Got some bourbon!

Year 3 is coming up!

Wait, now. You're BBQing rabbit and drinking bourbon before 8 in the morning? Oh, yeah, it's Super Bowl Sunday, so
I guess that's a great way to start the day.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Parboil and then grill with sauce?

Yes it is too tough if you don't. Used the crock pot with some chicken broth and garlic. Slap them on the grill for a few. I like Sauer's for the grill. It came out tender as chicken. Took it to the He Man Women Haters Club wild game cook out today. Very exclusive group. /s

Year 3 is coming up!

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

Would you eat cheese?

And what are your feelings on cheese as bait?

Only for a free amberjack trip on a really big boat on a very calm day.

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

This is where fly tying gets me through the lulls. Since you don't tie flies, how about making bucktails and jigs?

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

Has anyone ever targeted bowfin?

Everything I'm reading is that Chickahominy Reservoir is full of them, but I've never caught one there. I'm dying to stick one on a fly and if I can figure it out well enough, guide for them.

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

might need kevlar flies

I never fish for them but when they hit a lure in a bass tourney you believe you have the biggest bass on your line. Last one I caught was on the river not the lake but they are in the lake too.

Edit: Bad Link

Year 3 is coming up!

Thanks, I needed to check my email....
That link won't work.

Dammit! I'm a veg! Try this!

Coolest Lure Contest

EDIT: This is for you Flyguy.

Year 3 is coming up!

I've caught several in my life, always on large bass shiners. Maybe a decent sized streamer of some sort? Caught them in the same close to shore line places one might look for largemouth. They do put up a good fight, though.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I think I can offer some help here, I was fortunate enough to help DGIF shock large stretches on the Chick and can tell you youre definitely in the right spot for BIG bowfin everywhere. Best advice be ready for alot of 4-10 pounders the small ones are fewer that weight seems to be the most common with a few over 10 by a bit. Stick to the channels looking for the grass shelves. Its tricky to explain its almost lie weed lines in the ocean but on the edge of the rivers main channel they really like hanging in the weed wall along the main current waiting for bait to float by and theyll lunge out into the current briefly to eat. Id reccomend anything a big bass would eat jigs have worked but anything to immitate a fluttering shad/minnow dying or floating along the weed line crippled will draw good bites, I've had luck late evening throwing big 6 inch metal lined jerk baits and just ripping them across the surface to get good top water hits but thats trickier and can cause more spooking if they arent really biting. Like I said theyre not too picky I've accidentaly caught all kinds on so many different baits while bass and crappie fishing even caught them on crickets while trying to get a mess of panfish so you should have a smorgasboard of flies to pick from just bring heavy gear they fight like a horse and dont use anything for bait you might have an affection for they will destroy whatever they bite and bring good pliers and gloves they are strong as crap in a boat and them teeth will get you.

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

Thank you much good sir, very helpful. Are you referring to the Chick river or the Reservoir? I've never caught one in the reservoir and I fish it pretty often

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

Chick river up near providence forge area is where I've found them in bigger numbers there they can be tricky eaters but they're common in that stretch obviously the further from normal traffic paths you can go the better your luck will be so I'd advise canoe or kayak and long sleeves long pants and plenty of bug spray in warmer months

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

Great thank you very much

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

I'd reccomend finding a private place to put in if you can or go on weekdays the chick has gotten wild on weekends I used to have a spot to put in in a nice area but owners changed and no longer have that access so going back has been tricky

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

Cobia update-
ASMFC approved several options for a Virginia season. Worst case (unless VMRC lowballs the options they submitted to ASMFC) will be the same season and rules as last year (June 1-Sept. 15 3 fish per boat limit.)

North Carolina got screwed badly. 1 fish per boat for recs and 3 for charter boats. There is already rumbling that NC will pull a NJ flounder deal and not comply with ASMFC. SC and GA got 6 fish boat limits yet didn't submit any data to be considered by the Technical Committee to be considered and their plans got approved. It is a mess.

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

Thanks for the update and your efforts! Definitely messed up that SC and GA limits got approved with no data.

Concerning Dax's decision, this is from the Tar Pit board:

It is a great class considering it was a 3 win season. However, the best comparison is fishing. We caught a lot of good sized fish, but the line snapped on 2 monsters that were from the pond in the backyard. To make it worse, your next door neighbors caught the 2 monster fish you missed

Year 3 is coming up!

Good catch!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Loomis 6.5' Med / Hvy fast tip

Good Gawd!

Year 3 is coming up!

Welcome to the world of high end fly rods....

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

I could never justify paying that for a fly rod. My less than $200 fly rods work fine for me.

Cast a Sage versus a TFO and you'll notice the difference. Not saying its worth an extra $300-$500 for most people though. I have bought $850 rods, but when I do, it's at a severe discount, and then I resell them.

I do fish a $650 Sage Bolt six weight in Hokie Orange that I LOVE. (They are on sale online for $300 now, which is what I paid.) My friend John Mauser started a rod company and sells his in the $600-$700 range. They cast like a dream and I'm considering getting one to help the guy get on his feet.

Interestingly enough, my favorite Redfish rod costs $180. Colton Tradewinds.

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

Met a guide on the San Juan River in New Mexico several years ago who was guiding the editor of Flyfishing magazine in Japan. He was wading a hole and the guide set him up and came ashore to talk with me since he'd seen me catch several fish on one of Chuck Kraft's big Kreelex (he was still calling them Rollexes at the time before commercially selling them). He wanted to see what I was tossing. Anyway, while we yakked, he showed me a really sweet custom bamboo 7 wt rod, even let me cast it a couple of times. It was magnificent, better than anything I'd ever had me mitts on. Then he told me it was just your basic $5,000 flyrod. Gulp! I verrrry gingerly handed it back to him and asked why his client wasn't using it. Guide informed me that that was his guy's backup rod, and that he was out there using his $10,000 even sweeter custom bamboo rod. We shared a laugh, but I was suitably impressed, and knew damn good and well I'd never use something like that, even on a dare. Thing is, even blindfolded, I'd have known that backup rod was unlike anything I'd ever cast. If he'd given it to me, I'd never have taken it out of the tube before selling the hell out of it, but wow, I honestly didn't know quality like that was available at any price.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

As long as I can consistently put the fly where I want it, then I don't need a higher priced rod. Granted, I am 95% of the time fishing Brookie water so my fly rod performance requirements aren't high.

I had a client in Aspen who showed up with a bamboo rod and Islander reel combo worth a few grand. I didn't want to touch it either for fear of dropping it on a rock. I did cast it a bit, it was nice. Didn't need to write home about it and I wouldn't have paid for it.

Bamboo as a whole has a different feel than graphite. If I want that slow action, I'm throwing glass.

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

Amen, my brother throws old glass exclusively now. He has an obscene collection of it.

That is an awesome story. The inshore saltwater guys are the opposite. The guys I hang with use really nice stuff when they are out scout fishing or they are doing the testing. When the client wants to flip an eel though, you can bet they have Teramars or Ugly Stick Tiger Lites ready to go.

I am always mixed. Some inexpensive stuff is awesome. I landed the second biggest cobia of my life on a Teramar, and even though people make fun of Shakespere stuff, every charter captain that targets cobia said if they only had $200 total for a cobia set up for flipping an eel, a Battle II and the Tiger Lite will get the job done every time. You just lose a little bit of feel.

For me, save on the rod, spend on the reel is the balance I strike. The reel seems to make your experience better than the rod.

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

I'm the same way. After 2 decent rods got broken in one trip by a friend (one of the rare times I bought insurance on rods, and did it for both) I keep a cache of ugly stik elites on hand.

I buy mid level stuff for myself, I think there is a huge difference between the cheap stuff and the next step up. On that note, I'm gonna pick up a Jonny Morris Carbonlite 2.0 combo (MH 7ft, 8.3.1 reel) at the BPS spring classic. If you buy the reel, you get the rod free (both are 129.99).

I admit, I haven't had the best history with BPS stuff. Rods have been ok. Reels have not been kind to me. The drag washers have worn out in two Ocean Masters in two weeks of catching drum when I first started.

If someone told me I could buy a half dozen rods, couldn't spend more than $800, and had to get the same make in different sizes, I'd get Teramars. They made a believer out of me.

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

The key is to research them before you buy. People are nuts about tackle and a thorough google search will lead you to who makes X BPS reel.

Basically, 3/4 companies make all the reels we use, and sell them under different names and platforms. For a short time, BPS made and designed their own, but they are back to using a slightly altered model of popular reels.

For example, the Carbonlite reel is an exact copy of the Lews Tournament MB. Doyo makes both of those reels and most people feel confident about Doyo as a company. BPS does use other manufacturers and some are much better than others.

I'd be willing to bet those reels/rods that you had issues with came from a time when BPS was using their own line or from a less than quality manufacturer, which without research (esp. a few years back) would be hard to find out.

You would be correct.

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

In ten years of guiding, I only had two of my rods broken by clients. One was a misstep by a lady who'd never been on a boat before. As big as my Maravia was, it was still cluttered with tackle and gear, and it wasn't a big deal. The other was by a regular client who, in low water and heavy algae, kept slapping the tip against the water to dislodge the algae. I warned him several times that he'd break the rod doing that, and in the end, he broke the rod tip doing that. Worse than that, he never offered to pay for it or even acknowledged that he did anything wrong. Unlike me, I held my tongue. I consider myself lucky to have had no more breakages of my rods than that. The two Loomis rods broken on my boat were not mine, and part of the reason I'm not high on them.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Do not get me started on clients and gear. There's a reason I own 25 rods. 6-8 of them are client rods and the rest are for me and me only unless I'm fishing with someone I trust.

Two summers ago I had a client bend a fly reel spool. "Hey man, this thing won't turn any more!" I didn't say it out loud but I almost did... Holy fucking shit, how hard were you slamming it on a rock?

Like you, I have basically called it when clients have broken rods on several occasions. Funniest was last summer a friend/client of mine cast the fly into a tree and was very forcefully yanking back with the fly rod to free it. I told him to stop, we looked at each other and I said "If you do that one more time, you're going to break that rod." He looks back at the fly, yanks again and POW! The ferrule on his $700 Scott blows up. I burst out laughing. "Fuck this, I'm not fishing any more, I'm just floating the rest of the way, you fish." I was happy to oblige catching several fish while he sulked on the last hour and a half of the float. Good thing most fly rods have warranties.

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

I had two twins for a two day booking. One of them was a surgeon. Now, I love me my doctors, and respect their education, training and dedication and all, but this was my equipment and my boat, and my charter, dammit, and I'm the captain, and he was my client, not my boss. He repeatedly overcast the rig and did like your guy, hanging in the trees. He yanked and pulled and yanked, despite my constant warnings about breaking my rod. Finally, after one more hang up twenty feet up in a tree, I took the rod from him and carefully got the lure out of the tree and he melted down. He ranted about being an experienced fisherman and how he knew what to do when hung in a tree and asked me if I thought he wasn't able to replace that rod if he did break it. My response was that it was indeed, MY ROD, and at best, he had rented my services, not bought them, and that if he could get a replacement overnight from Washington state for my Lamiglas rod that they had quit making three years before, I'd not say another word to him about it. His brother was a decent peacemaker and we got through the two days without breaking a rod, but also without any meaningful conversation between doc and I.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

we got through the two days without breaking a rod, but also without any meaningful conversation between doc and I.

Sounds like win/win to me under the circumstances.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

And you, sir (and/or madame) would be correct.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

The reel seems to make your experience better than the rod.

Very interesting because it is the exact opposite in fly fishing. Unless you are going for big fish, the reel is a glorified line holder.

I've got a few expensive spin rods and I can't tell the difference from my $50 ones. As long as it is fast action, I'm happy. Then again, I'm not spin fishing very often...

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

Agree about fly reels, they just need to work. As for your $50 spinning rod take, I would argue that issue with you till the cows come home. The difference between cheap spinning rods and decent ones, not top of the line, just better than average, is humongous. If you can't feel the difference, then it doesn't matter, but if you can, it is all that matters.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Oh I'm sure there's a huge difference. However, it just doesn't matter to me because all I'm ever doing is going for distance when I spin fish.

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

Better spinning rod, even more distance, in my experience, but I get your drift. Since my fly fishing has devolved into poppers for bream (Powell, 6 wt.) and the rare New River bugging (Lamiglas 7/8 wt) or even rarer out West special regs trout try, I am satisfied with low to midline fly stuff. Threw my glass stuff away a long time ago and never wanted to go back there, graphite is just fine by me. No matter, though, I wouldn't spend dick on fly stuff at this stage, anyway, since nobody told me you needed money to be retired.

Edit: To continue the discussion, the methods are so different that one can influence the other if your preferences are weighed in. Fly rods are for using length and heavy line to throw lures too small, or too light to be presented any other way. The rod does fight the fish, but it seldom is part of the strike, feel-wise anyway. The spinning rod, and bait casting rod, is used to detect strikes in many situations, giving rise to the need for sensitivity in addition to strength and ability to cast distances. Just a whole different ball game. You are not the first fly fisherman that doesn't seem to put the same interest or intensity into spin fishing, and the converse is true as well. It can carry over. One of my long time fly fishing enthusiast friends was anal to the max about sharpening the hooks on his flies. On a walleye trip once, he was missing strikes inordinately. I asked to look at his jig, and the hook was bent sideways at the point. I asked him if he'd even checked it, and he admitted that he'd never sharpened a hook that wasn't on a fly, and didn't even think about it. I, on the other hand, am still struggling not to set the hook like Roland Martin when fishing streamers, without doubt due to my spinning/baitcasting predilections.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

"I, on the other hand, am still struggling not to set the hook like Roland Martin when fishing streamers" :)

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Hey, now. I resemble that remark!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

You can never set the hook too hard!

Year 3 is coming up!

Its definitely better than trying to set it too soon.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

I'll say on my guided trip on the new the rods Mr. Richmond had me using felt totally different to my TFO he said they were orvis so I took exquisite care using it cause at the time my car was worth far less than that rod. That being said my companies owner saw the picture and the exotic fly fisherman he is asked if that orvis combo was mine as if I had that kind of money to get that level stuff and joked he must be paying me quite a bit, laughed it off and explained my stuff is cheap TFO and now he comes to talk fishing all the time

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

Yeah, Jim loves him some fly rods, and he's definitely into getting quality, but at a price. Not sure what his personal stash includes, but I'd bet there are some even better than Orvis stuff in his collection. Thanks for mentioning him, I owe him a call, and the mention will jog me into it today.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Spent some savings for a new fly tying vise recently. Decided on the Peak Rotary vise. While it's not a Regal or Renzetti, it is more than what I will probably ever need. I won't do a full review, wrong audience, but if you are hesitating on this one, don't. It's quality with a lifetime guarantee I believe.

I'm no fly guy, at least anymore, but I can say that the cheapest Renzetti, one that was gifted to me by a client, was better than anything I'd ever had. That said, it was obvious to me that there were others just as good without the cost of the name. Thanks for your take on the Peak.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Glad to offer it.

I am sure the top brands got that way for a reason. But you are correct in saying that "good enough" can be had for far less investment. At least as far as vices go.

Edit: and vises, as it were.

You were right the first time. Top of the line vices, if you can afford them....

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Have heard good things about Peak. I'm Regal all the way and just bought a top of the line Custom Regal Revolution with Big Game Jaws. It was expensive as all hell, but ordering it in person from the Regal owner with cash in hand, I got a discount. He also replaced one free of charge that I had tied so many flies on over 20 years that it cracked. Unless you are getting into commercial or super hard core tying, a top of the line vise isn't needed. I tied for 22 years (until literally 3 weeks ago) on the basic Regal Inex, I believe it is called. It's not much more than $100.

For Renzetti, I know folks love them. I had the Traveler vise for about a year and tied some on it. Disliked it so much that I gave it to a friend who was getting into fly tying. I just don't like having to tighten screws to set the hook in the vise.

What's great about the fly tying industry is the amount of lifetime warranties, whether it be on vises, rods, reels, waders, clothing or whatever. No other company/industry that I'm aware of, other than Craftsman tools, will simply replace something because the owner used it up or broke it.

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

Back in the day, Buck knives would replace a knife even if you lost it. It was never clear how to demonstrate if you lost it. Always figured I'd take pictures of me looking in various places and not finding it.

Lol. But definitely accurate. My dad found one in the parking lot of the plant he worked at and it had been run over about 5,000 times. Barely recognizable. They replaced it no questions asked.

Dang. I really wanted a Regal but decided I also wanted rotary. Couldn't afford both right now. You are right though about the warranty situation in this industry, very advantageous for those of so afflicted. Agree on the tightening of screws to grip the fly, not my favorite solution. Really slows you down to.

So I caught a boat ride on Little Creek Res. on Sunday. I will let you know what happens. Probably nada!

Year 3 is coming up!

Think positive, Musky man, think positive and answer your cell phone when I call to see how you're doing!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Trout fished Poverty Creek for about 4 hours today. Saw 4 trout, hooked three, only netted one. Fun day though. Caught on fly rod.

I honestly don't know why they stock that stream. 98% of it is garbage water less than a foot deep. Holes are extremely few and very far between. The entire thing is choked with laurel and rhododendron.

Anyhow, hoping to get out to Big Stony Sunday if I can.

That creek is suuuuuper tricky with the water; it is almost like you want it to rain so there is enough water. I haven't fished it in two years almost but I think I remember seeing stock signs deep into the creek.

"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.

Also just stocked Big Stony at the forest waters yesterday from what I was told.

"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.

Accurate. Definitely tough during low water. Just no water that holds fish. Lots of walking through pretty shitty thickets.

I heard the same thing about Stoney.

Been itching to head down to the Smith River, heard the numbers are good right now. Life is tough as a student to make a day trip out of it since it is over and hour away. Stony has been reeeeealllly hit or miss lately based off of the weather. Hope you have good luck!

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

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

I've never been over there but I plan on it this spring. Suggestions on where to start?

I have never been either, just heard good things about it.

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

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

It was great to meet Tom (fish) and Scott ? correct me if I'm worng (M something something Kevin) at the Little Creek Res. ramp today. They pulled in right behind us. Nice boat Scott! The place is deep and clear. So clear that I was dragging weeds up from 30-35 feet. We got skunked. We did all the things the "in the know" people told us, but nada. Blue bird skies and that damn front that came through yesterday did not help.It was surprising how many fish we DID NOT see on the graph. After hearing all the hub bub. We did see some here and there but only found 1 ball of bait fish with some fish below it. Its a cool place and I'll go back for sure.

Year 3 is coming up!

Likewise, Musky. Agree with you on Scott's boat, it's the tits for sure. Tough fishing because of the things you mentioned. We managed on nice crappie and a small pickerel by going shallow into a couple of coves and trolling Southern Pro Hot Grubs (acid rain) on 1/8 oz jigheads, but that was it. Tried a little while jigging with minnow tipped jigs for walleye, but even though it is not a big reservoir, absolutely no knowledge other that a vague suggestion made for a tough, sorta low confidence endeavor. Beautiful day, though and a really pretty lake. I will also go back when things might be more active. Not a bad way to spend a day, though, and I appreciate Scott being willing to try it.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

It was great meeting you as well. Glad you spoke up, so we didn't completely bypass each other! I'll definitely head back too, if nothing else to go after some more crappie with the kids. Nice, quiet and beautiful out there, we just needed some better conditions. All good though, once the water starts warming they'll be plenty activity in a place like that. My brother in law (OSU grad, God forgive him), mentioned Diascund reservoir as a good place to check out as well. It's another of those trolling motor only kind of places, but supposedly with good numbers of bass, crappie + yellow perch.

Wow, I saw one of those Bowed Up Lures in person, with the VT design scheme, and they are absolutely amazing. So nice, it doesn't feel like you should fish with them. I'll have to check out their facebook page - those things are legit.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I wish I could have joined you guys. While Diascund and Little Creek have been mentioned, in that area I have always been fascinated with Chickahominy. I grew up with stories of my dad going on his little Ted Williams Sears boat to bass fish in Chickahominy while he was in dental school in the early 70s. He caught bass up to almost 9 pounds, which to a kid growing up on South Holston Lake seemed like an absolute monster. Catching a bass on Chickahominy, no matter how inconsequential, is on my bucket list.

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

Is that the river? I did the lake once and it seemed more like a crappie/bream fishery. It was beautiful with all those big cypress tees though.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I believe he fished the lake out of Ed Allen's. He would use heavy baitcasters and fish 8-10 inch jelly worms.

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

I'm probably only an hour from there. You ever wanna go, just ping me. Happy to take you out and see what we can drum up.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Hey Fish....I just upvoted French!

Year 3 is coming up!

Is that... abnormal?

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

You are not privy to our conversation at LC!

Year 3 is coming up!

Attempt at going Musky fishing on Sunday was a fail. Got some casts in but motor was having issues. So we took it back to the boat ramp and were off the water by 10 am. My buddy was working on it some yesterday afternoon. Don't know when I will be back but am really looking forward to the weather warming up for some saltwater fishing.

I'm looking forward to that warmer weather too!

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Not me, man. I love rainy cold windy shitty depressing weather. Fishing? Who cares. Pointless exercise, often in total futility. Of course, I am on track to have read 100 books by spring, and I may be slightly ahead on my attempt to drink 50 cases of beer between Christmas and the end of basketball season. Yipppeeee!!!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Sounds like a productive winter for you! I got to step my winter goals up to your level next year.

Priorities, young man. It's all about priorities!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

gave my boat/outboard a quick shakedown right after lunch today

waiting for winds and tides to cooperate

Nice! Are inshore fish starting to bite down your way?

While it's sometimes too cold for me, it rarely gets too cold for the fish here. Some of the very best fishing is in Dec and Jan. That said, I've heard ONE good inshore report since Irma. And that was with live bait...which I don't do (not philosophically opposed, I just just hate it). I'm basically hoping the winter cool down and spring warmup will reboot the system.

I can see a tidal flat from where I'm sitting right now and have a pretty good handle on the density of baitfish. Bait was basically gone after the hurricane...and I mean gone, gone...zilch. Presently, there is a little movement of bait but nothing is getting chased on either end of the tide cycle.

I have a friend with fairly unique access to a creek and he picked up a few undersized reds a couple weeks ago. That's logically where the decent fish should be right now. So we'll see when I get out...

Glad to hear the bait is moving back into the regular patterns. It is crazy how much a hurricane can affect things and for that long a period of time. That sounds like a dream to be able to have solid fishing year round. Hope to hear a good report from you soon!

Some friends of mine are finding a good redfish bite in the backwaters north of you (up in Charleston.) But, they are small and everything else is pretty slow. The speckled trout really took a hurting with the freeze.

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

with the weather we're having right now, I'd expect the spring trout bite to be on earlier than usual

You missed out. A friend of mine drove from RVA to the New around BBurg and fished one of my fly designs. Both of them had never fly fished for Musky before. They caught 6, yes, SIX, Musky on the same damn fly over two days of fishing, Saturday and Sunday.

Unreal beginners' luck.

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

Dang, that is crazy. Congrats to your buddies and you for the fly design! Wish I would have been able to really get after them on Sunday.

That's good muskying there. I had a few days where we saw 9 or 10 muskies, but never actually boated more than two in a day except when bottom bouncing Claytor for walleye. Had a few three and one four musky catch days but they weren't the target. Not on flies, though. 1/4 oz jigs tipped with minnows on 8 lb test mono. Fun, but we were always hoping for it to be a big walleye, not a little toothy.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Post a pic of the fly! I'll steal the colors and build an Insane Anna with them! Nice haul.

Year 3 is coming up!

I'd love to but Postimage doesn't show my photos any more in TKP for some reason. Anybody have a new program that will work?

Here's a link to a fly with the same color combo... I call it Roast Beef and Horseradish

https://www.instagram.com/p/BcH-ZS8AwUr/?taken-by=knotthereelworld

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

I approve of that name.

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

Thanks!

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

So I see orange, black/white hackle, hint of purple and the white tail. I might have to make the blades orange because I have never found orange flashabou. This should be good.

Year 3 is coming up!

It's a weird dark pink to tan to white with grizzly hackle (black/white). There's some purple flash in there because everything eats purple.

Eager to see what you come up with!

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

If there are any Saltville area readers who could spare some fishing info, please let me know. If you don't feel comfortable posting, email me at french60wasp@gmail.com. Thanks! I am trying to find a safe spot to take my niece and nephew when I get home in a few weeks.

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

I've never fished it that far upstream, but in my neck of the woods the North Fork of the Holston is one heck of a smallmouth fishery. A bit early in the year but I know it runs right by Saltville. Also may want to check out some of the trout streams around the area. I believe there is some fee fishing areas in Brumley Gap that are stocked daily. Laurel Bed lake is at the top of the mountain and would offer some easy bank access. They used to stock it with fingerling brook trout and no trout stamp was needed, however the regs may have changed. It's a heck of a smallmouth lake too but the bite may be tough right now.

Thanks. I actually grew up not to far from where Route 80 crosses the North Fork. I love fishing it (and plan to visit it when I get home.) I am trying to find a little safer place for to take my niece and nephew. We tried Hidden Valley last time and it was pretty abysmal.

When I was a kid, my "starter lake" was Clear Creek. That was before they built the golf course. The whole area down lake was chock full of small and medium sized bluegills and small carp. I really wish that kind of option was still available.

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

I have to re-learn the river fishing. The only river fishing I have done since I moved to northern Virginia has been the hickory/american shad run every spring.

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

I've got a 2 acre pond in my yard you guys can wear out, but I'm 2 hours from Saltville. If what's happening here is happening there, the bluegill and bass are pretty active with this warm streak, so try and find some shallow water adjacent to some deeper water with a southern exposure and you may be able to kept some tight lines if you can find a spot. Good luck.

Doesn't work out for you since they don't open til April, but this could be a future option.
https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/waterbody/big-tumbling-creek-clinch-fee-fi...

I've never gone, but I've heard of people going there.

I used to catch small trout, bass, and redeyes on the river in Chilhowie during lunch breaks. There is a good stretch of frontage in the park near the schools. I've always heard there are mudpuppies there. I want no part of that, and luckily never hooked one. The fishing is pretty wide open. Few trees to snag, slow spots. Should be good for kids for the occasional excursion. I wouldn't hit it daily.

Thanks! I have fished Big Tumbling before. I always preferred White Top Laurel (easier pools to read, plus no timber rattlers!)

I never have fished the river up in Chilhowie. Thanks for the tip!!!!

I saw a Youtube video of a guy catching a MONSTER BROOK TROUT somewhere on the South or Middle Fork up near Marion. I have no idea where they are fishing, but it should be easy to find (distinctive bridge and buildings in the background.) Any ideas?

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

Nothing that looks familiar to me. I only worked down there for a couple years, and haven't traveled much up and down the river. Looking at maps, it doesn't look like there are that many bridges, so it should be easy to track down. The water flow and level looks a lot like a stretch at Holston Hills golf course in Marion, but I don't think the scenery is right.

I never caught anything over 8 or 9 inches in Chilhowie. But it was a nice spot for fishing as a break from work, and should certainly be entertaining for kids. I don't think I ever went out and got skunked. I was using an ultra light and joes flies. I switched colors from time to time, but I don't think it really mattered. I got hits either way. The area I'm talking about is in behind Berry's metals. Turn on railroad ave (or street) at the McDonalds. There is a place where you can park, walk across the open field and put in.

Apparently, I lied. I know exactly where that is.
Map out 637 Riverside Road, Chilhowie, VA. It's the South Fork and the building in the background should be Riverside UMC.

The crazy thing is that I used to drive all around the middle fork and south fork looking for access as a kid. And I never stumbled upon that spot.

My go-to was just north of the Rt 80 bridge near Hayters Gap. However the bank was way too steep to take young, inexperienced kids.

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

I only remember it because of the abandoned mill looking thing that is nearby. I used to date a girl on that road. Liked cruising past that building.

South Fork Holston, he says that in the comments below the video.

That's a toad!

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

With this warm weather over the last few days I made a lap around my pond with a spinnnerbait yesterday. Managed to pick up a couple of bass, mind you they were my first fish of the year so I was grinning from ear to ear. No idea what the water temp is but the bluegill and bass were cruising shallow like it was mid spring. Probably not gonna last but I'll take it while it's here.

I'm hoping to hit the New up one last time for a winter musky trip. Tomorrow would be a phenomenal day but looks like I'll have to chance the rain on Saturday. May not make it but I'll post a report if I do.

Average fisherman here. Haven't even been out more than a handful of times the last few years. Any recommendations on an unforgettable fishing trip I could take with my dad later this spring or even during the summer (2-4 days). Ideally east coast but could go anywhere. Thanks!

Ontario. Just do it. Fly in. Drink. Catch. Eat.

Eastern Canada was my first thought too.

Can't go wrong with Florida, depending on the time you go there will be tarpon migration, snook, reds, trout for inshore stuff. During the summer, dolphin (mahi mahi) fishing is better. Assuming you will be looking to charter your fishing trips.

Louisiana, hands down. The BEST redfishing in the world. 20-30 pounders and they are not very hard to catch. Guides are not cheap but I promise you it is unreal fishing. Crevalle Jack up to 40 pounds there will also totally wear your ass out.

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

If I had one shot, and wanted to be close to guaranteed big fish, I would go to Morehead City around Memorial Day. I would book Captain Brian Harrington. And I would tell him I want to catch amberjacks until I can't move my arms. They won't be blue marlin sized, but when I did it I had to stop after two hours after catching 25-30 pound fish as fast as I could put a bait in the water.

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

I might be able to hook you up with a group to go here.

CIS

Web Site

Year 3 is coming up!

For anyone interested, the walleye have been biting pretty well in the upper New.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Annnnnnnnd they still aren't biting at Little Creek....................

Year 3 is coming up!

Well, Musky, according to the Richmond Times' Green Top report, Little Creek has turned on with the warm weather. Uh-huh, sure. That is a tough nut to crack, I think, but sometimes that's the fun of it...if eventually you do get to taste the nut, metaphorically speaking, of course.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I heard the same thing...

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

Seriously, Chris, while it's still a bit on the chilly side up in the mountains, they're getting some nice ones all the way up to Ivanhoe. Since I've given up on trying to post pictures (yeah, I know how easy it is for everyone in the whole wide world but me), I'll send you one from my phone to yours just to give you a look at what my friend up there sent me the other day. Maybe you and the good Dr. Smith can get out and get that flyrod bowed up on some good grunts. I do hope you'll forego your normal CPR approach and get out the filet knife.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thanks for the pic, that was a serious fish! Mike fished yesterday for walleye and said it was a zoo. Water temp was way high, around 60, so the walleye shut down according to him. They did catch 5 smallmouth up to 17". Also hooked a monster muskie on another one of my flies. It bent and threw the trailer hook. I'd go down to Blacksburg and hardcore musky fish this week, but I'm heading to Costa Rica with my family instead.

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

Guy who sent me the pic (his buddy caught it) went Thursday and only got two dinks. 60 degree water in the New in Feb is pretty unusual. Not sure why that'd shut down the walleye, but they're pretty mercurial anyway, so I'm not all that surprised. We used to routinely catch big smallmouth and muskies while fishing suspending jerkbaits (Rattlin' Rogues, mostly) floating the upper New this time of year into April, but in addition to the walleye which were the target, not in lieu of them. Go figger.
Costa Rica, huh? OK, now I'm officially jealous all over again. Hope you enjoy the sunny climes.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Looks like I'm hitting up Rudee Inlet tomorrow with a couple coworkers. Hoping for something to put a bend in the rod. Will let y'all know how I do.

Most definitely interested in your report, Gen. I have a friend down there that I've been trying to get with on the James' warm water discharge, but he lives near Rudee. Good luck!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thanks! Hoping the warm weather will heat up the flats. Never fished there before but with a smaller area to attack seems manageable. My buddy from work has fished there some before. If I can score a fish or 2, I would be a happy guy.

Edit: Coworkers bailed on me. Reconsidering where to fish. I have heard striper fishing has been good in some spots in NC but a bit of a haul.

Nevermind.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Got back last night around 5 p.m. from a 6 day jaunt to fish the White River in Cotter, Arkansas with a new friend I met at the Atlanta Fly Fishing show. It ended up being a 14 hour drive one way from Charlotte in Ben's ride towing his Clackacraft drift boat.

The White is one of the best, if not the best, rivers in the country to catch massive brown trout. 30 inchers have been caught on fly. They have a shad kill every February when temps get too cold for the shad to survive in Bull Shoals Lake. These small shad die, sink to the bottom of the lake and then get spit out of the generators when they run the water flows. The trout gorge themselves on millions of these 2 inch shad.

We found this to be a double edged sword.... it's awesome that trout are feeding like crazy. But you've got to be there within a 3-4 day window, because the trout will actually fill themselves up on it, then they don't eat. The key to this fishery is the water release flows. The powers at be release water from the dam at different times and thus greatly raise the flow of the river when they do so. This pushes the trout to the swollen banks, and the browns will nail a well placed large (5-8 inch) streamer.

We arrived Sunday and floated a short section below the dam Monday. The generations were small and we didn't end up with a single fish. In retrospect, we should have been on the water as the generation began and floated 7-8 miles, pounding the banks, but this was new to us.

Tuesday they didn't generate at all, so we drove in Missouri and fished the Upper Norfork, which Ben had hit years ago. This river is stocked with lots of browns and has large rainbows. Smaller river and very pretty, but a 100 year flood had absolutely crushed the valley last May. It was unreal looking. I'm talking houses wiped out, car doors and matresses in trees. I think the flood probably wiped out most of the resident fish, but I did hook a few stocker browns, landing one. Again a slow day.

Wednesday had everything timed out right to do a 10 mile float from White Hole to Cotter. Solid generation and we were going to put in 8 miles below the dam to avoid everyone else. All of the locals have 20 foot john boats and 40 horsepower jet drives, which is needed to properly fish this river. We hit the water and had good flows and my purple Swingin D fly got whacked by a 15 inch brown a mile into the float. Great sign. An hour later the water fell out and we were stuck floating low regular flows in 33 degree temps, rain and a vicious wind. I couldn't feel my hands the entire day. We ended up finishing the float in 6 hours, which was surprisingly quick given the water that was supposed to be there and then wasn't. A few more hits, one stocker rainbow landed but no more browns stuck. The fly shop later confirmed that the dam released the water two hours early, which screwed us. If we had the jet boat, it would have been much easier to chase it downstream.

Thursday everything lined up PERFECTLY. Huge flows for 5 hours and overcast weather. We got on the water at 8 am, along with a floatilla of other drift boats from Michigan guides. A local guide said to me, "There will be huge fish caught today." The water was up higher than we had seen prior and we pounded the banks. Hours into the float, I had used every fly in my damn box. Nothing. Ben finally got a small 13 inch rainbow to eat halfway through the trip. I was getting frustrated and hangry, we had forgot to put our lunch in the boat. We continued pounding the banks, switching flies, losing flies and pondering what the hell was going on with these fish. Last half mile and Ben said I could have the final stretch. I put a purple and copper Swingin D back on and started working stretch. 5 casts later I stuck one. Turned out to be a 19 inch snake of a brown trout. Saved the entire day and pretty much trip. 5 more casts later and a I hooked a stocker cutthroat. This fish looked like a native from Wyoming, he must have been lost. Gorgeous Snake River Fine Spotted Cuttie. Nothing further in final few hundred yards. We hit Dally's Ozark Fly Fisher on the way out and several guides in there confirmed slow days as well. What happened was there was another shad kill with the huge temp drop on Tuesday night and they released a huge flow of water in the middle of the night Wednesday. They guides said the trout had been gorging themselves for hours and thus were likely full and less likely to eat streamers. It was a bit of a relief to hear that it wasn't us and our fishing techniques, just sucked that both Wednesday and Thursday, primo days, didn't work out to full potential.

Overall the fishing was slow. This trip reaffirmed a few things for me...

1. Do plenty of research before you go anywhere. I had fun, but had I known they weren't generating big flows due to drought, I would have likely skipped and waited for better conditions.

2. Even if you are good at fishing and have all of the proper equipment, a guide is much more likely to put you on fish in unfamiliar waters. The cost ratio of catching fish and figuring it out quickly to not spending the money and figuring it out over several days is unreal.

3. No matter what, fishing/nature is choas and there is so little you can control. That's what makes it insanely frustrating and fun at the same time.

If anyone can tell me a program that works for posting photos on here, let me know I have several. Postimage has stopped working for me.

Link to my big brownie...

https://www.instagram.com/p/BfhAucTAi9C/?taken-by=knotthereelworld

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

At the beginning I'm sitting here thinking, man, I wish I was doin' that. That lucky flyguy gets all the fun trips. Why can't I motivate myself to do that. Damn.
At the end, I got another pre-game beer, fixed French up some tubes to smallmouth fish with down in the Holston, and counted myself lucky to be reading about it instead of writing about it.
Long way to go for another of those all too many fishing lessons, but that brown is nice, and again as usual with you, nice picture.
Agree with the guide thing on unfamiliar waters, or even on waters you fish but aren't doing what you know can be done.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thanks! I guess all my trips can't be super successful...

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

Hey, at least you got off your duff and went for it. I'd have done it in a heartbeat myself, just for the experience of fishing famous far away water, my protestations notwithstanding. In a way, your trip was quite successful. You learned a lot about the fishery and managed to catch the targeted species. I've had my share of trips where I could manage neither, and if it didn't come through, I'm envious of your intrepid travels.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Ended up going to Rudee Inlet by myself yesterday. Fished from about 10 to 2:30. Saw people catch some fish. I was fishing in those similar areas. Used a 1/8 oz jighead with a bunch of different soft plastics. I think I might have needed to slow my presentation down some. I was getting snagged on oysters a good bit so next time I might get some weedless hooks. It was cool to use my kayak some more. Got to mess around standing and paddling.

Thanks for the report. What were those people catching? I have a bunch of weedless (sorta) 1/8oz jigheads I'll give you next time we meet. They're made for tubes, with a single strand of weedguard, and they'll not eliminate hangups, but they will mitigate them somewhat. Anyway, glad you got out, and again, thanks for the report.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

You're welcome. It looked like puppy drum. From the distance away it looked like they were 15-20" fish. I talked to a guy at the ramp waiting for his buddy that was saying they had been catching quite a few puppy drum.

I have had really good luck with suspending jerkbaits, lucky craft pointers specifically, on winter reds when I fished the Elizabeth back in the Hot Ditch days. Medium sized baits, fished fairly slowly once jerked to depth worked for us.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Yeah I was thinking a mirrorlure would have worked well.

MSMCFA! Hit me up ar walleye (the # zero) @ g mail. I have a question.

Year 3 is coming up!

Tag, you're it!

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Anybody here used the Crappie Maxx Baitcast reel BassPro came out with they got a new light weight one for jigging and trolling cranks for crappie I might get one just interested if anyone had tried one out?

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

Neat, curious on this too ...

Hokie fan | W&M grad

New fishing thread time?

Did anyone have any luck last weekend with the warm weather?

Hokie fan | W&M grad