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By woolly bugger
#703385
#89

80 Scattered Thunderstorms

Ran up in the afternoon with the intent of catching the evening hatch at Sally's pool. When I pulled into the empty lot I could hear an approaching storm and thought better of crossing the field and headed up the road. Nobody there, jumped in, bugs started hatching, fish started to rise, then refuse my flies. It was frustrating to work a fish, and finally get it to rise and then refuses the fly at the last moment. I changed flies, added tippet, changed flies again, went smaller and then smaller still before finding an old puff daddy that they liked. Caught a few rainbows and browns, before it shut down around 7, and I heded down to the lower river run which has some evening activity. Sung up a nice brown just after stepping into the river and caught a handful more as I moved on down. it was 8:30 when I stopped at the end of the 50 yard run.

This cardinal landed on my wiper and pecked at the car for a while when I first pulled into the MP lot.


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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#703393
#90

93 degrees / humidity 100 = too damn hot

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*50 cents off with Harris Tetter Rewards...

I don't know why they were messing with the flows at the damn dams, the trout killing low flow at the lower dam is mystifying. With gauge tempt reaching 77, you know the lower reaches were into the death zone, fortunatelyy it wasn't too long before they gradually increased the flow and the temps dropped back down. Now on the upper section, the water discharge is still below 50 and several miles downstream it is still only reaching 60. It looks like they are in a 3 hour increased flow again today. This may be in response to the 1.2 inches of rain the other day as their lake level projection is staying on track.


Anyway, I drove on up in the late afternoon. The cardinal swooped in but didn't attack this time as I parked further out from the tree line.  I packed in a couple of warm beers and chilled them in the river which was still falling at 4:00. I saw a few sulfurs, but the fish weren't looking up. I swung a fly while the beer chilled and caught nothing. After waiting 30 minutes, I sat down and enjoyed a beer. Sipping slowly, watching, waiting for fish to rise and the hatch to get underway.

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Not long after finishing that tasty Wicked Weed brew, I saw a splashy rise and went in after it. Punes were caught but it was damn slow fishing. After a half hour I sat down and drank my second beer again sipping slowly waiting for the fish to become more active.

Around six things started to happen, and the catching began. Still a lot of punes but a few better. They may be small, but they are pretty and are fun to catch on the surface. The algae is still a problem and fouls the fly often after catching a fish the fly would be covered in the stuff.

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The sky darkened and a cacophony of thunder booms echoed off the hills as the wind picked up. The fishing was desperate now, trying to catch a few more trout before pulling out.

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I hooked a fish up against the bank, it tangled up under a stick and got off, and my fly was hopelessly slimed with algae and dittymo. I decided this was a suitable time to make a retreat to the car. When I got up to the field, I realized that the storm was staying to the south, but I was done for the day. 3 hours in the car, 3 hours on the water.

Back at the lot, there were a couple of local trucks, but I didn't see the fishermen on the water,
User avatar
By woolly bugger
#703395
#91

blazing hot

It appears that the increased flows were made in conjunction with VDWR sampling efforts on the river. Anyway, the short release gave way to favorable conditions in the afternoon, I headed up late to catch the evening hatch. Arriving at five, the hike across the field was miserable, and I was soaked in sweat by the time I got to the river. I drank an ice-cold beer and watched the river. A fish rose, I went after it. After releasing it, I sat back down, keeping an eye out for rising fish. Dougfish, who had been fishing down lower, stopped by on his way out. As we chatted, we spied another fish rising, and he challenged me to catch it. Eight or nine cast later I got the pune to rise.

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He headed home and I waded up to the upper run. About a half hour later it really started to turn on and I fished until a quarter till eight. In past years, on the old low normal flows of 60 cfs, the frenzy would continue past sunset, now the climax ends earlier.

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The evening, when there aren't thunderstorms, is peaceful with the fog rolling in and the sunlight streaking through the trees illuminating shafts of light that dance on the water.

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#703405
#92

Too damn hot, gas $3.90



For a moment I considered wet wading today, but I was planning on fishing till dark. The lot was empty, and I encountered spider webs on the trail.  The first refreshing cool breeze from the river didn't hit me until I was across the creek. It was damn hot. When I got to the left-hand pool, I waded out just to cool off, it took a while. I didn't mess with fishing there and was soon on the way downstream.

It was just after four and there wasn't much happening on the water, it looked like a desert, void of visible activity. I switched leaders and swung a wet fly for a while, only receiving a few bumps. Bugs started floating by and I saw a trout rise. I took off my wet fly leader and untangled a dry fly leader that I had stashed in the wallet with a puff daddy still on. I unrolled it, but the tippet got tangled and I broke it having given up on untangling it, this allowed the tangled tippet to free, I then blood knotted the broken leader and thought I was done. With all of this done in the middle of the stream I had forgotten to attach the leader loop to the fly line and when I cast the leader and fly went flying downstream. By the time I realized what happened it was too late, and the leader couldn't be recovered. Crap. I blame the heat frying my brain. That was my only dry fly leader. So, I sat down, popped a beer and salvaged a truncated leader that had been used for nymphing adding some 4x, 5x, and 7x tippet with blood knots. By the time this was done the fish were a little more active.


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With a newly reconstructed leader attached I waded out to the head of the run and started catching fish. It was awesome seeing them rise off the bottom and follow the fly back and then gulp it in.

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Just the usual small browns and the odd stockbro were caught. The hatches aren't as prolific as I remember from last year, perhaps all the algae is to blame?  It was mostly over by 7:30 and I began to hike out.

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I checked Sally's pool, there were a few trout still rising and I went after them, I caught a couple of punes.

There were at least two dozen deer in the field, they all look like yearlings, most bound away, but there is always one strangler who doesn't appear to be concerned until I get within 30 feet, then they run off to the shelter of the woods.

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#703417
#93 Overcast - then rain, 85 going in 75 coming out Gas $3.80

Listening to The Monument Men on the drive up after checking the weather report and radar. It looked like I would miss the storms and it should be clearing by the time I got there.

So far this is a fascinating story with a lot more depth than I had realized.

I showed up for the second shift around 3 to find an empty lot. Thunder was still booming to the south, but I was confident enough that it would remain clear on the river. As I left the lot a pickup truck drove into the field and stopped to check the farm equipment, I followed it and when the driver turned around, he stopped, "Are you a Philpott?" I asked. He just cuts the hay; they have had some equipment repairs and they hope to get the bales put up soon. I mentioned the high yield this year and he claimed that getting rid of the beavers kept the field from flooding and that led to a vast improvement. He went on to talk about the price of fertilizer and diesel fuel. He said that he had spent over $1,300 for fuel and wrapping for those bales plus another 30 on another field. We talked about how old man Philpott would driver around the perimeter of the field to keep grass knocked down. He asked if I wanted a ride to the end of the field and when I declined, he said, "I guess you want the exercise". Then he mentioned that he had been to Greensboro to have his shoulder worked on, and his doctor, who fishes here often, told him that work was going to start on the dam soon. When I told him that I hadn't heard anything about that, he said that Dr. Lucey was certain that the work was going to begin. We parted and I walked on down to Sally's pool.

I waded out into a slot to cool off, there were a few fish rising, and a smattering of bwo and midges along with the occasional sulfur. I got a couple to fall for a puff daddy.

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Then I moved on down checking spots along the way. I caught some on the surface, but it was slow. It was still early, and I was waiting for the evening hatch when it started to rain.

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Since dry fly fishing was out of the question, I swung flies and picked off a couple of handfuls of punes.

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It looked like the rain was going to stop, but it continued on and off for the rest of the evening and the bugs never got going at all.

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I gave up at 7:30 and hiked out, checking Sally's on the way out, it was dead.

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On the way home I stopped at the Citgo for cheap gas and a lottery ticket.
User avatar
By woolly bugger
#703424
#94

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Since I didn't win anything, I thought I'd try my luck on the river.

I glanced at the radar as I left town and cell service, it looked good. Since it was already late, I headed for easy access up the damn dam road. The skies were clear enough that I left the raincoat in the car and eased on down to the lower run. It was very foggy and difficult to determine if there was anybody else down there or if fish were rising. Fortunately, I had the spot to myself and shortly after I arrived the sulfurs appeared. A trout rose, I cast my fly, fish on! Damn, that was easy.

Then a light rain began to fall, I Thit off. I was certain that the sun would return, and I would dry out. The wind kicked up and the skies darkened, the rain began to fall harder. Still unconcerned I fished on, doing my best to keep a dry fly floating. Then it began to pour and I started thinking about a dry shirt and rain jacket in the car, but I fished on. Thunder crackled and boom, ok, I can take a hint. I made my way out and up to the car as the storm intensified and then just as suddenly as it appeared the clouds broke and sun began to stream in as I reached the car, well damn. I changed shirts and thought about going back out, but the storms persisted, and I tried to wait it out sitting in the car. Time passed.

I headed downstream to catch the evening rise, but thunder was too close for comfort down there too. I waited in the car and was about ready to get in the water as the skies cleared and the thunder was moving off, but then a visible ground strike coming from out of the blue changed my mind and I stopped for the day.

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User avatar
By flashback
#703427
Your reports are really great. Beautifully done.
Nice to see someone able to fish the streams this summer. Up here in WNY trout action is not good, water way to warm, air very hot, catch and release not good, likelihood of trout dying is too high, only real fishing here is bass on big water or going to the only tailwater, over a three hour drive with gas at near 4.50 thank you NY to fish for some of the most challenging trout, watching them bumping a dry fly to see if it is real.
Can’t wait for weather to cool off some.
User avatar
By woolly bugger
#703430
#95



Friday's draw didn't make me a billionaire, so my plans to buy a ranch in Montana are on hold.

blazing hot and humid on an afternoon hike to the river. I had to stop half-way and cool off in a shaded pool. Dougfish came along with a beer in hand as I watched for a fish to rise. They were in the far run and I waded out as far as I could without topping my waderpants.  With long hero cast, I managed to catch a fish and a little later we doubled up on pune brown trout.

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Having cooled off enough, I said goodbye to Doug and headed downstream.

I didn't see any birds or fish working, so I drank a beer.

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Doug said the best chance for a thunderstorm was around 4:30 and he wasn't far off. Fortunately, it stayed south.

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I swung up a few and even managed a couple on top, but the hatch never got going like I remember last year.

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It was just a feckless day on the river, but oh so slow. I finally began to hike out, checking spots along the way. Nothing. Last stop, Sally's, nothing, oh, wait, a rise. hmmmm. I'll give it go. Well, it turned on for a bit and some good fish were caught, but as usual, the best one didn't make it to the net.

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It slowed down as the sun was setting.

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#703432
#96



Ran up late to catch a hatch

85 some clouds — gas $3.72

Went directly to Sally’s - didn’t look like there were bugs yet, so I cast where I’ve found them before… three cast laster - fish on!

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That first fish came easy, things got tougher for a while, but more bugs started to appear, and the fish began to show themselves
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Got a number of fish to rise and miss or refuse the fly at the last moment. Most didn’t take a second look.

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The sulfurs came in small, short waves cycling on and off.

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There were fish rising under the rhodo, I caught a couple, then snagged the fly and waded out into that deep fast run, almost topping my waderpants while getting pushed downstream.  Next to my fly was a tangle of leader, large yarn indicator, pheasant tail nymph and shot on what felt to be 2x. I yanked it out and packed it out.

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Pretty time of the day, but it became too foggy to fish around 7:30

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I had caught enough to satisfy my tug addiction.

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#703438
#97

Hot - clear skies - Gas $3.68

Went in early, saw the smithfly guide and his dudes at the lower lot.

I was on the water by 10:30.

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It looked like a desert, quiet and lifeless, but hidden beneath the surface pune trout were feeding and I swung up a few. It was so slow that I finally switched over to nymphing with split-backs. I got a couple of browns and a stockbro came to hand. In the big pool I hooked a good fish that gave me some trouble on the one wt., probably a big stockbro, but I won't know for sure 'cause the sumabitch wrapped up in a submerged limb and broke me off.

A pair of yakers came down, both hit the same rock in the middle of the river the women almost got pinned.

I moved on down to lefty and dredged up a few more, then headed on down to the lower pool.  When a saw a few fish rise I switched back to a dry, actually a sulfur emerger that can be fished wet or dry. It worked both ways.

There were bwo, midges and occasional sulfur, but it was slow, slow slow, I took a break and waited for the evening hatch to get going. The troutpros came by at 3:30, chucking bobber rigs. Lots of false casting and not much catching.

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I decided I better take some fish pics despite the diminutive size they still are colorful.

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Waited until 6:45 at the lower pool, still not happening, so I hiked on up to Sally's.

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Whole different ballgame up there, bugs, fish, fun, which lasted for about an hour.

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I fish 7x with the dries and popped off a good fish (rewarding cast if nothing else) with a little too much pepper on the hook set.

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They were working up in the field today. Progress.

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#703445
#98, 99

Hot, Thunderstorms, Gas $3.72

I didn't expect all the rain on Sunday. I waited out a storm along with Doug. While driving through town I noticed the river had muddied up, so when the rain stopped, I went upriver.

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I swung flies and caught nothing. Are the sulfurs done for the year? The hatches this year were not as prolific as years past. I moved again. After I waded down into the riffle, thunder boomed loudly, and I got out and sat in the car waiting for the storm to pass. I finally gave up and drove home.

Looking for revenge, I packed the euro rod. I was getting ready to gear up when a storm blew up and I sat in the car for a half hour. There was still some thunder in the distance, but I hiked in anyway.
Swung up a few before switching over to nymphing.

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After cleaning up at Sally's, I moved on down to see if I could get into some dry fly action. Unfortunately, the bugs never really got going and the fish were pretty darn picky, but I managed to pick of a couple of handfuls before heading back upstream.

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Back up at Sally's at 7:30, there was a bit of bug magic and finally I had some satisfying dry fly action before it shut down at 8:00.

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There was a flock of ducks in the flats above the run, but the fog was too thick to identify them.
User avatar
By woolly bugger
#703453
#100

80 - still humid as hell, gas $3.42

Stopped at the boat ramp, watched a wet wader flog his way across the river, getting hung up on a tree and wading after the fly. He caught nothing and came back to shore, I drove on.

A SC Rubicon in the lot. Yesterday, I thought I had lost a fly box, after getting a fly out I tucked it into the waist of my waders and then it was gone. I thought it must have fallen out, but that seemed odd, as I surely would have noticed. Today I was putting my waders on, and my foot found the fly box in the bootie. I don't know how I didn't feel that fly box in the leg, but I was ecstatic having found that lost box. I finished gearing up, hiked in, found the fisherman at the head of Sally's. He saw me right off, and apologized, not knowing that I had just walked in. We chatted, he has placee north of Charlottesville and spends some time there as well as coming to fish the river a couple of times a year. I watched him fish through the pool, he caught nothing. I moved on down.



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I nymphed up a bunch of punes.

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The water was heavily stained. I waited for a hatch to start. I saw very few bugs, and left early.

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