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Catawba River Float

Started by uppercreekangler, January 19, 2015, 22:38:59 PM

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uppercreekangler

Squeak and I labored much of last evening over whether to go float the Catawba or South Holston.  Given that we'd not been down the Catawba in quite some time (and it's in our backyards) we decided to forgo a four-hour round-trip drive and see what was going on close to home.

We both came prepared with lots of big black stone flies....

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^^I got up extra early to tie a new dozen of these guys.  Turns out I only ran nymphs through a few deep runs...as I spent the day chunking tandem streamers.

The fishing left quite a lot to be desired, but we managed to bag a few.

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^^Squeak's first fish of 2015

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^^Fish of the day taken on a big orange and black double bunny.

We both threw big hunks of meat most of the day.  Lots of follows (many follows by fish about the size of the streamers)...fewer takes.  We only dropped one fish--it was a PIG that Squeak hooked on a big black streamer in one of the boulder gardens.  24"+ easy.

All in all a rather typical (at least according to the reports we'd been hearing from the other guides who were floating the river regularly) day of a dozen or so fish to the boat with a couple of bigger fish hooked/caught.  The ~18" fish I brought to the boat would have been lunch for the fish Squeak hooked up!

The generation went from 6:00am-3:00.  We got to the take out about 4:45 and we'd lost at least 6" of water.  Another 30 minutes or so and the recovery would have been a little bit more interesting.

This higher cfs generation schedule covers a lot of rocks that I've had to dodge in previous trips.  Several spots that I've had to dodge in the past looked fine to go right over...most went without touching.  Bumped a couple rocks at the end of the float that looked "over able"....but we went over fine...G4 bottom on the boat = no worries.

We saw good bugs for about 200 yards.  No clue whether or not it was the stretch or the timing.  We stopped for lunch and a beer around 2:00.  I didn't see any upclose enough to distinguish between them.....but there was a pretty strong hatch of some smallish (16s) black/gray stone flies or caddis flies.  Couldn't see well enough or have one come by close enough to differentiate.

Got home and tied a few more two-tone double bunnies.

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It's to the SoHo tomorrow.

All in all....some good evidence that there are many fish of many different ages across the river, even if the numbers of fish could use some work.  And aside from one raft, a canoe, and a kayak...we had the river to ourselves.  I'm sure there were 10,000 people on the SoHo today!


Onslow

Cool man.  More Catawba reportage desired.


benben reincarnated

Cool.

I think I had asked Ken this before, but how much of the fish in that fishery are stockers and/or holdovers versus wild fish?  I know they stocked it heavily a while back to bring it back as a viable trout fishery but I assume they used triploids.


Woolly Bugger

sweet, assume that was a "high water" float!

p;-

ex - I'm not going to live with you through one more fishing season!

me -There's a season?

Pastor explains icons to my son: you know like the fish symbol on the back of cars.

My son: My dad has two fish on his car and they're both trout!

Transylwader

Quote from: benben on January 20, 2015, 09:05:25 AM

Cool.

I think I had asked Ken this before, but how much of the fish in that fishery are stockers and/or holdovers versus wild fish?  I know they stocked it heavily a while back to bring it back as a viable trout fishery but I assume they used triploids.

http://www.northcarolinasportsman.com/details.php?id=770
http://www.ncwildlife.org/News/NewsArticle/tabid/416/indexId/3302/Default.aspx
Remember, assume makes an ass of you and me (mostly you)


benben reincarnated

Quote from: Transylwader on January 20, 2015, 13:57:27 PM

Quote from: benben on January 20, 2015, 09:05:25 AM

Cool.

I think I had asked Ken this before, but how much of the fish in that fishery are stockers and/or holdovers versus wild fish?  I know they stocked it heavily a while back to bring it back as a viable trout fishery but I assume they used triploids.

http://www.northcarolinasportsman.com/details.php?id=770
http://www.ncwildlife.org/News/NewsArticle/tabid/416/indexId/3302/Default.aspx
Remember, assume makes an ass of you and me (mostly you)

I think you missed my question Mike.  I know the state only breeds triploids.  I was just asking in the sense that from what I've read online they are wanting to create a true, long-term viable trout stream.  I don't understand how that can be done when you are just putting stockers in a stream.  It is then just another Tuckasegee River.  I was curious if there are stream-bred fish in there too that can be sustainable long-term if they were to stop putting stockers in.


Transylwader

Who cares what the state wants to create? They are after REVENUE. Can't blame em. Can't feed baby on that dope money, might not always be sufficient. If the water is good habitat for them trouts, then so be it. Not sure if they will be able to replicate the Soho, but that would save Woolly a crap ton of donkey not having to purchase TN license and drive only maybe 30 mins. Maybe he could advocate why these A-Hole TU peeps want to have a NC license plate with "back the brookie" but the only efforts I see is stuff in GSMNP and they continue to stock fucktards on native populations in the name of tourism and "catchable fish programs" and so on.

Read the article Benson. Triploid trouts have only been around since 2007. CTW has seen stockings going back to the 1940's. Viable fishery? I think so, and you should know this. Where do you think the nice browns come from up on Natures' Secret Agent creek? From a prior stocking? No Sir. Browns swim and swim those fuckers will, I am surprised that the headwaters don't have browns, just pune rainbows, because the creek looks virtually the same (no brookies sadly b'; )

Jah praise them British/Euro slappers. They provide hours of entertainment, like link the dots...

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benben reincarnated

Yeah fuck Tom and his fucking creek.


Big J

*Yawn* My that photo has been overused.  Twice just this month.


Transylwader

Oh dear, I just realized, Blow J is here to MODERATE :o


Big J

Quote from: Transylwader on January 20, 2015, 15:57:19 PM

Oh dear, I just realized, Blow J is here to MODERATE :o

I like the original post more before you edited moderated it.


Transylwader

 :P
There's your tonguing emoticon...
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And a lil something something


DRIFTS

I'd like to float that...drink a beer or three

l><))))))))))))))))),/*>~----------------------dave

uppercreekangler

January 20, 2015, 22:30:41 PM #13 Last Edit: January 21, 2015, 08:57:47 AM by uppercreekangler

A brief history on river born fish in the Catawba.  Late 90s/Early 2000s there was a big push to stock half-wild browns in the Catawba to try to turn it into a trophy brown trout water.  The NCWRC were stocking 10,000 fingerling half-wild browns along all 26 shoals from the dam to Morganton.  In hindsight, a better approach (although a much more expensive approach) would have been to grow the fingerlings so that they'd be stronger and more apt to survive in the river.  Neither here nor there, but that is what they did two Novembers ago--all of the fish that were allocated for that river (the half-wild browns) were held in stasis while they were working on the dam.  They were released two Novembers ago, and the fishing has (by report) been better the last year or so.

During the period when they were annually stocking the 10,000 half-wild fingerlings (these were fertile fish that would and did spawn), there were annual shockings on the river to determine survival rates, growth rates, etc., etc., All of the fingerlings were tagged.  After a while fingerling/1-year olds started shocking up that had no tags.  I.e., :  the fish were naturally spawning and the river was gaining traction.  Summer of 2005:  hurricane comes through, spills tons of hot water over the dam into the river and themoshocks an kills fish every where along the river.

My gut says that if there were river born fish then there should be river born fish now.  I do not know if they are clipping/tagging the half-wilds they are stocking now or not.

Who knows if it will ever be anything like the TN tailraces.

Yes....this float was one generator.  The old generator system did 1,000 cfs with one wheel, 2,000 with both wheels.  The new ones run 1,500 cfs with one wheel and 3,000 cfs with both wheels.

The original work with Duke asked for ideal generation to run 750cfs-1,000 cfs.  Doing so would allow for both floating and wading.  Many of the shoals are wadable with generation at 750cfs to 1,000cfs.  But at 1,500cfs.....there were only two or three shoals that I'd have parked the boat and waded, if we had been inclined to.  It is "floatable" with no generation, but it means a lot of walking and dragging.  And it's a LOT of pushing and rowing through dead water. 


Dougfish

Sounds a bit like the upper Smith. Same , but different. Hmm.



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