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

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter weekend on the Smith

Easter weekend means egg hunts for the kids hunts and chocolate bunnies ( I like the chocolate bunnies too).  But for some it means turkey hunting and for some…fishing.  And for most of us, it means spring is really here to stay.  The flowers are being pollinated, the air has that cool spring fresh smell, mayflies are hatching  and the land is washed in all shades of green.

Good Friday typically starts the weekend but Saturday was my favorite day this time around.  The Morning started out fantastic as I got the DRBA display tent and banner set up and ready to go for earth day at Smith River Sports Complex.  I had to be at PHCC a little later that afternoon for rehearsal for an upcoming play but before that I had an opportunity to fish a couple of hours and when Cricket called to say she was getting ready to hit the river, how could I resist ?
It was one of those days when the river was packed with all kinds of fishermen in just about every section and this was no exception.  There was another flyfishermen just downstream and a spin fishermen not too far upstream.  We would be sandwiched in on a small stretch but I knew there were plenty of fish right there.  I was ready to go before Cricket so I stepped in the water just upstream from Bassett Historical Center floating a red cricket under a parachute adams.   Wasn’t but a few cast and I had my first little brown for the day.  He slammed the red cricket of course !
After another brown, and then losing my entire rig to the tree across the river, Cricket decides to finally wade down to show me how its done.

And of course it didn’t take long for her to school me with a couple of fish from the spot I just left !
But I bounced right back with a couple of little bows to match.  They sure were loving some red crickets this morning. 
We saw quite a few rings but only had one or 2 rise to our drys. 
We worked out way upstream through a few more bows and browns
One little brown just couldn’t stop coming out of the water and flipped a 5 or 6 times  as Cricket was bringing him in to the net.
Fish on !  Another hook-up for Cricket…can you tell she gets a little excited when a smith river brownie gets fooled by one of her creations ?
And to the net he comes….. 
 A kiss for luck….and then freed to fight another day
A brand new family of Geese were testing out their new found watery playground under mom and dads watchful eyes…and protective beaks !
Man those rainbows were really kicking it today and even with the river full of fisherman Friday and the all morning, there were still a few stockies around to catch.  I much prefer the wiley browns but its nice to have the variety.
One bow kept jumping in the shallows right near Crickets feet.  We investigated further and noticed he was stressed and breathing hard.  I finally figure out he was attached to 10 lb test line and a string or split shot that had hung on a rock.  I cut him loose and he was happy to be swimming free once a again
Time for a few more cast and then I had to get to rehearsal. the sun was getting high anyway and the fish had moved up in the shade and slacked off from feeding

And a couple more bows
No doubt we could have caught more but we did make it up to the water intake below Genvas tax prep and then climbed out and headed back to our cars on the road
Later that afternoon around 7 o’clock I put my kayak on the lower Smith to do a little evening paddling.  I decided to grab a spinning rod to bring along and paddled upstream so I would have an easy ride back. 
Even though the mayflies were all over the water, hardly any rises at all
Its amazing to watch a mayfly drift for 100 feet and nothing touch it at all.
But at least one fat brown was hungry enough to grab an offering I was throwing as I glided downstream.

 A couple of quick pics and back in the water he went.  Amazingly this brown was in the slot limit.  I wander how many people realize that even though we have over 100 signs posted in a 20 mile stretch of river?
And then it was time to head home before it got to dark.  The cool fog was lifting off the water as I made my way downstream glad to have the longer daylight hours but wishing there were more hours in the day !

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