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Smith River- 20 July 07

Started by Al, July 22, 2007, 16:17:26 PM

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Al

The Smith River has been fishing very good for folks that have fished with me the past few weeks. On Friday I took a gentleman to the lower end of the Special Regulation section where he did very well. This was his second time on the river. The previous time he had fished near the Mirror Factory which was the only spot he could locate from reading various reports about Virginia's once famous trophy trout stream. Mr. P was a life long fly fisher whose business travels have allowed him to fish in spots many of us only read and dream about. He had recently figured out that the Smith was only a two hour drive from his home in Raleigh, NC and was hoping to make it his new "home water".

We arrived to a bank of fog which is normal this time of the year because of the vast difference in air and water temperatures. The fog hung with us most of the morning.
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Casting and wading were not issues with Mr. P. He had them down to a pretty good science. What he hoped to gain for the day was a better appreciation of nymphing techniques and also learn more about the river. After a short demonstration of what works for me, he was tossing the Allieworm in most of the likely looking spots. He soon found that a sure way to miss a strike was to take your eyes off the indicator. Another way was to react too quickly. As any good host will tell you, "It's better to be a little late then too early".
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We were soon into fish and Mr. P did himself proud.
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He was closing in on double digits when we looked up through a break in the fog and saw that another fisherman had slipped into the water less then a hundred yards in front of us. I am sure the other fellow did not even know we were there because of the fog.
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Not wanting to fish "used water" we climbed up a bank and walked the rail road tracks to well upstream of the other gentleman, leaving him with at least two hours of fishing before reaching where we reentered the water. The move worked to our advantage. The fishing was good at our initial section but it really picked up at our new spot. By now Mr. P knew what to look for and was not missing many fish. They just kept coming one right after the other - some were small, but there were also a good mix of 9-10 inch fish.
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We moved into some wide and flat sections which were too much water to cover for one person without a lot of zig-zag maneuvering. Mr.P, being the gentleman that has led to success in his business, invited me to fish. I took the lesser water and kept him to what I considered the prime sections. The fishing was so good that we had doubles on two or three occasions.
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None of the fish would come close to beating the Virginia Historical Brown Trout record set on the Smith River back in the mid seventies but they were all a delight to catch. A couple of the nicer ones pushed the twelve inch mark.
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We reluctantly called it a morning at 2pm in the afternoon. It was tempting to keep racking up another fish, but the generation surge was coming our way and Mrs. K was holding lunch back at our circa 1900's log cabin. By this time the fog had burned off and it was a fairly long walk back down the railroad tracks to our vehicles.

After lunch we piled into my truck. Mr. P sat on the passenger side with map and pencil in hand as I gave a tour of the lower river. Some folks think I provide too much information, but at this stage in my life I don't have many fishing secrets. In my opinion, the more folks that call the Smith River their "home water", and by extension become an advocate for the river, the better it will be for the fishery.

We finished out the afternoon, (actually early evening), down in the Koehler area. The sun was shining brightly on the water and the temperatures had gone up at least 20 degrees since early morning. We were also fishing in totally different water. For whatever reason, the feeding frenzy we had enjoyed just a few hours before did not make it's way down river. Mr. P , being the persistent fisherman that he was, added three more to his catch.
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We stopped counting after hitting double digits but my guess is that he brought 25-30 to hand and LDR at least 10 more. We won't even mention the number that he just plain missed.  I fished a bit at the end of our morning session and also caught a respectable number. We were both tired fishermen when we finally parted ways. Any day of fishing is a good day but on Friday the Smith made it a day to remember.

While I have your attention I would like to invite you to a free trout fishing seminar this coming Saturday, July 28th from 1-3pm at the Gander Mountain Store off Skibo Dr in Fayetteville,NC. They have asked me to talk about the Smith River, which is the closest trout stream to the Fayetteville area and most folks in Eastern NC. We will assemble in the Gander Mtn "Lodge"  where I will use a PowerPoint presentation to give a little history of the Smith, talk about some of it's challenges and spend a good amount of time explaining and demonstrating what works for me. Once again, the seminar is free and I will be giving out a lot of information.


Al

OK, Guys & Gals - I need some candid advice here.

About a month ago I received a not so nice email concerning my having the gonads to approach a poacher on the Smith. Thinks like keying my truck or worse if they found it parked along the river - stuff like that.  I deleted it and didn't even keep the address (I know mistake on my part).

Today I received this ............"Be wary abt reporting all that you do regarding the dissemination of fishing info. Fishermen are quite greedy when it comes to secret fishing holes and might become quite ugly (ie. your truck, parked along the river), if they feel your ruining it for them. I'm not telling you not to continue doing what you are doing, I'm just saying to stop talking abt it. Just some polite council for the man I consider big brother"........

My initial reaction is that I don't need this crap and have probably posted my last fishing report. On the other hand I just about always receive a thank you note from folks who fish with me and kudos from many who are on my "Smith River Fishing Reports" distribution list.

You are all aware that I do a little guiding on the Smith. It is not a money making operation but it does give me an opportunity to test my skills at putting others on fish.

I'm not much of a writer but I enjoy weaving my escapades into a story. I know a lot of you think I am full of it. You are probably right. I do enjoy talking about fishing - I have no problem telling you they were not biting or that I fell in right along with how great the fishing was - Last and probably most important, because very few others are doing it, I also feel a need to speak up for the river.

I guess my question is, am I boring all of you or worse yet, based on what I have recently received, am I alienating some of the folks that I thought were friends and fellow sportsmen.

As I said in the beginning, I am asking for some candid advice here. If you feel so inclined I don't mind it being in open forum. You can also PM me or use my regular email aakitt@earthlink.net if you like.

I'm going to copy and post this on two other forums which I frequent because I really need some feedback before I do any more "story telling".


lepomis_mcro

i love the reports AL.. im glad you turned in a poacher.

as for someone sending nasty e-mail. are they nuts or what. i mean come on, its the smith. i love the smith but it is a river full of 7-12 inch browns. yes there are a few biger boys. but not enough to get upset enough to mess with someones truck , or causing bodly harm. because someone gave the river some much needed good press.

i could see it if that person hiked 10 miles though brush. to find a river that the smallest fish went 20 inches. and it had a bar with a brothel on its banks, and both let you have credit. then i would see being mad about that getting out... but the smith, the best thing in my opinion that you can do for it, is  letting people know about it.

so i say keep up the great reporting

thank you AL

(mark 6:41)"Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then said to the crowd amassed before him. I have mine the hell with the rest of you."

taken from the christian conservative handbook.  how to deal with modern problems.

peter p

Al

We got your back!  You are a steward for the water.  Do not let them get to you.  You knwo what you are doing is right and you care about the Smith more then most.  If there is anything we can do to help, do not hesitate to ask.  Keep up the good work.   

Peter

Woolly Bugger

Nice pics and report as usual Al

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!

Fire-Fly

Al,

I am a local on the Smith and i hope you dont give this person the credit of listening to what they have to say, you know as well as me there are no secret holes on the Smith, the fishing is the same throughout much of that river, granted there are some large fish on the smith you are not telling people any secret spot, and so what if you were, the last i checked it is still public waters. Please dont let some idiot destroy something that you love so much, because that is what they are trying to accomplish. I would be very disappointed in you Al if you let that happen, someone who has fought so hard for the Smith to let this stop you, this should just make you louder and stronger. And from one Smith regular to another keep up what you are doing for me and all of us who love that river, it is people like you who are making it a great place to fish.

Your friend

B.J.


Al

I did not mean for this to end up in a "I love Al" thread, but I do appreciate the support and kind remarks. Between what I have seen here and on the other forums, plus a few private emails  I am ready to say "you're right - to heck with them and their selfish or narrow view". You can't please everyone and I probably shouldn't even try.

The season is fast coming to a close for me. Hunting season is right around the corner and I will soon be switching gears. In the meantime any more reports from me will be toned down a bit.

Based on what some of you have said in private I am thinking that you are probably tired of hearing how many fish I or someone else caught. From now on, unless I say it was a lousy day of fishing, which I will continue to report if that be the case, you can assume we caught a bunch. You can also assume that all fish were caught on the Allieworm unless I say otherwise, which I will if the AW is not working that day. -- We will see if I can weave a story and not make it sound so self serving.

I was holding on to this secret spot but LM called me on it so I need to come clean.
Quote from: lepomis_mcro on July 23, 2007, 18:56:00 PM

i could see it if that person hiked 10 miles though brush. to find a river that the smallest fish went 20 inches. and it had a bar with a brothel on its banks, and both let you have credit. then i would see being mad about that getting out... but the smith, the best thing in my opinion that you can do for it, is  letting people know about it.

I found this place up in the special regs section that is about to open up as a spot to let your hair down, wet your whistle and just plain have a good time. The grand opening will be just as soon as they can get a telephone line in which will allow them to operate a credit card and ATM machine.
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Last time I was by there I met the manager. Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login
Best part of it is it sits on one of the prettiest fishing holes in the river. The manager showed me a photo of a nice brown trout caught by one of the recent guests.
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Hope to see you all on the river.

22midge

thats not a hook jaw....he bent it running into a rock watching the manager mow the lawn ;D Hang in there AL you know its the point man that is first to draw the fire.

never let a day go by without telling your children how special they are----make a child smile today and gain a friend for life


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