Sunday, November 20, 2011


( Joe with the perfect doe and buck chrommies that assassinated the Pantano "hang time' leech)
After two nasty days of cold, snow, ice and 60 mile winds , yesterday was a "bite is on" day! I really didn't think it was gonna happen given that the last day of their 7 day swinging trip, Phil and George, despite having some "hot fish" days, desperately tried to hook-up- but the winds spooned the jet boat in circles and the barometer dropped like hell..not good!
 So enter Joe Hovious from Connecticut and Jim Gilzow from West Virginia. They are avid steelheaders and just came from fishing the Catt and Niagara in New York. They were part of the Casters group from North Carolina that came a day early to fish with me.
 As we walked to my jet, I apologized for the crazy Saturday morning river traffic- sounded like the starting flag at the Indy 500 with all sounds of 2 and 4 stroke screamers heading up and down from Thorny Apple landing- it was a mess and a cluster duck to say the least. I told  the clients that Saturdays in deer season can be ugly and we will have to fish "tertiary water", which makes it a challenge for me -which I like - but a total uncertainty. I hate to fish next to other people and decided since I'm a 'steelhead hommie', I'll do just that, stay at home in the two pools of my backyard till river traffic dies down in the afternoon then venture towards farther destinations.............BOY WAS THAT A SMART MOVE AS THE PICTURES SURE TELL THE STORY!............there is an old saying about "diamonds in your backyard" and that is what we found!!!!
 Joe was swinging with his 13'6 TFO spey with 570 Rio Skagit and 10-16 feet of T-14..........Jim used the Helios switch nymhing and swinging iceman minnows. We never left more than 200 yards from the lodge and had the place to our selves, with the lovely sound of screaming 2 strokes jockeying for position fro Henning to Pine st. in the background morning air.
 Phil...........your "hang time" blew off the charts today and you and George left a day too early- I didn't expect what maddness happened today to say  the least! Those big hog's were sleeping under our beds, not down by Bigalow! ........that's the way she rolls brother!

Conditions; as the water drops, the steelhead will be shifting daily from the shallower 3-7 feet lies, to winter pool/gut holding water. Cold nights has them moving and shifting daily. Since there are very few eggs in the system, the bigger and aggressive fish are looking for "road-kill" animals with flash to play with. Joe's big buck struck his'hang time " three times before he ripped the string leech a new asshole!

This morning as the guys chatted around the breakfast table, they were all part of the North Carolina Casters group organized by Dave Hise. Funny!.........nobody there was from North Carolina! That's a testimonial to Dave's international following and fan club! Head count was from Atlanta ,GA, Colorado, Connecticut, West Virginia and Florida............and who says steelhead aren't the international diplomats of tourism.....they are our N0#1 resource and need better care and management...........IMHO!.............which I have been logged and documented to say so in the past my brethren!

 Saw a huge lake -run brown moving upstream yesterday- more will come after Thanksgiving..........enjoy the fish porn!