Explore, Experience and Enjoy the Beautiful Smith River in Southern Virginia

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Warm day Brownies help shake off winter blues

" Old Man Winter...I hereby banish you from the kingdom of springtime...do not return for at least 8 months"
                                You're outta here, end of season....game over.

The trout lilys and bloodroots are in full bloom and that means are the days are getting long enough to get on the river after work !

The generation schedule has been tricky the past week due to Philpott releasing water almost all day every day to lower the pool level in anticipation of coming rain.  So you have to take your best shot at getting in just the right place at the right time.

On Tuesday the generation schedule was 5 am - 3pm then 6pm - 11pm.  That left a little window of opportunity and in the evening and Cricket and I took advantage of the slack water to get in a few cast near Rosemont.  Due to the water drop time, we would be getting in just as it was going down and still have a couple of hours before dark.  We would beat the water rise by 30 minutes if we got out at dark
No one else was to be seen as we slipped in the water at the "poacher hole" near the big sycamore.  The water was still dropping and it wasn't long before we spotted the first rise and then a decent size hatch started up and we had big mayflies flitting all around.   The evening started off kind of crappy when I lost my first rig to the sycamore at the poacher hole then lost another one upstream, but I finally dialed it in long enough to stay out of the woods and get some drops in the actual river.

Cricket steps up to the plate......

She shoots....she scores (the crowd goes wild)

The first hook up was an 8 inch little brown right in the deep section....and yes folks...she nailed him on the "red cricket"  This little gem of a nymph is still batting .1000 !!!
They may be small, but there's nothing like a wiley Smith River Brownie to get the juices flowing again and paint over those winter time blues.
Soon we were back at it and we had some competition from a bait fishermen who walked in behind us and was so we headed upstream to the next lane.  I think Cricket could have caught more there but I wanted to hit some of the better water upstream before dark.  We only made it to the next hole and I hooked up with a small rainbow that cleared the water several times and put up a nice fight....you guessed it, hauled him in on a "red cricket"   I love that fly !

Since Lisa was downstream from me, she cradled him for a quick picture
The bow fell to the "bead-head red cricket" this time instead of the goggle-eyed one she had been using.
A couple of these would be mighty tasty after sunset but I just don;t have the heart to keep any of them.
A quick kiss for good luck and back in the water it went.  
On upstream we moved to the next set of riffles as the sun was getting ready to take that long trip around the backside of the planet.  Time for a few more cast upstream..
One final hook up was this tiny little guy who hit my indicator fly.  I had just cut my thumb and didn't stop for a bandaid as it was getting dark too quick to stop fishing and repair myself, hence the red stain.
So its not quite summer yet and that big orange ball drops way too fast this time of year but summer is coming and evening on the Smith is the best fishing there is.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

SRTU March Meeting and Fly-tying

Uptown Maritnisville...( 2 miles from the Smith River) 
SRTU Meeting March 2011

Well it was the first meeting with our New president Darrin Doss undertaking his official duties and it was really a great meeting, fly-tying, food and good friends.  David Jones said it best, “this is kind of meeting I like, just a bunch of us hanging out tying flies and having a great time.”  I will second that and add that we are making progress as we all work together to solve the real problems and  issues facing our area and our beloved fishery. 
We even had a long distance visitor from South Carolina who fishes the Smith on a regular basis and one of our North Carolina fellow chapter members.  We appreciate the efforts of Laura and the programs they are working on down south of us, including a brand new trout in the Classroom Program with 3 tanks already !   We also had a couple of new visitors and we welcome them as they begin their journey of personal and financial ruin on the road to the pursuit of fly-fishing 

For someone like myself who has been around fly-tying events a 100 times, and never have bothered to learn how to tie a fly, I feel like we definitely need more meetings like this.   If I can have the opportunity to rotate around and learn just one thing from each person, its awesome.  As many times as I have seen Al tie an "Allie worm", I have never bothered to sit down and learn the technique from the master.  Seems when we do the volunteer events, we each have our own responsibilities and I just have not had the time to learn so, Darrin, please have some more fly tying meetings !
Thanks to everyone in SRTU that loves the art of flyfishing as much as I do and thanks to this group that is always willing to show a newbie just exactly what it takes to consistently catch our beautiful Smith river browns !
The grandmaster of SRTU, Al Kittredge tutors some newbies on the delicate art of tying the world famous Allie-worm

 Everybody’s favorite flyfisherwoman ties her famous “Red Cricket"  Its 100% so far !
 Here’s our new President Darrin Doss working on…well, I don’t know what hes working on there but I am sure its the next greatest thing for the Smith.

And lets not forget our Own Paul Fogle as he ties a….”what the hell is that giant white thing anyway Paul ?”  I know what it is, its one of those sycamore seed pod imitations, you know those big white "fluffies" that  always look like mayflys out of the corner of your eye…Maybe he knows something we don’t ?
What a great evening , thanks to all who attended.  See you at the Smith River Clean-up on March 19th.  If you have any other event updates, send them to Darrin to post to the group.  See ya on the River