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#11
Local Trip Reports / Re: Smith-Continued
Last post by Dougfish - June 28, 2022, 20:45:56 PM

33

Went up high and found the river full of 4 guys and no bugs happening.
Went back down a couple of miles.

No mow. Again.
A guy from Richmond pulled in and started suiting up as I started in.
Had not been here for 5 years.
Hearing more and more of these stories.  :Dance
I clued him in to the field, the path, etc and bugged out.

Nothing much was happening as I peeked at the water going downstream.
Got to the destination, cracked a beer and tied out a prospector.

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I caught a handful. Saw my Richmond guy working upstream.
Decided to work downstream.
Softhackling.

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Worked back up. Nothing on the big sunken bugs.

Headed upstream to re-investigate upper river spot.
Ran into Troutrus up at the Sally Hole.

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And they started mowing the field.

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Passed WB upstream and heckled him before arriving at the upper target.
And finding no active bugs/fish.
Waded out and up and managed a handful more.

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Waded in and handed it off to WB.

Striped off my very leaky waders and headed home.
Need to rectify this.

 :cheers

#12
The Gravel Bar / Re: January 6th hearings
Last post by Mudwall Gatewood 3.0 - June 28, 2022, 17:37:11 PM
Today's hearing was interesting, for sure. 

I find the entire case personally gratifying.  Witnessing human stupidity, falsehoods, sisyphean behavior, in history (hopefully a singular, unique point in history, and even embarrassing history) has its rewards.
#13
Local Trip Reports / All Over the Map
Last post by Onslow - June 28, 2022, 16:20:14 PM



There are a few beats within an hour from my house that look great, but have access issues.  With determination, anything is possible and these issues can be neutralized. Today's agenda was explore one of these beats.  I've been staring at this section for years, and after some scouting and weighing options, I pulled the trigger. This stream has shown me generosity higher up the watershed, and expectations were high.

I forgot to load the fishing clothes in the van, but there was pair of unwashed coveralls were in the van.  They were nasty, auto oil, red dirt from the crawlspace, and lots of insulation spray foam as well.  I was a sight. A black bear or bobcat would want probably have second thoughts about engaging.

The van was parked down on a small river 4 miles downstream of where the stream of interest flows in.  First task at hand was to bust out a ridge to get to the confluence.

Up and away

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I had no idea how bad the Rhodo was going to be on the other side of the ridge, but I was lucky today.  No issues making it to the starting point.

Rain the afternoon before had jacked up the level a bit, and there was just a tad of opaqueness in the water which obviously is a plus. At the confluence, I looked to the right and wondered, but worked the plan, and stayed left.

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Fishing was slow.  The water was generally shallow, and pools were scarce.  The streambed was largely flat rock/quartz bottom with a few boulders and lots of rocks.  Not much in the way of long running cobble beds which are common a couple miles up, and 10 miles up the creek.  The results are telling.  Fish are skinny, few bugs, ...just generally sucky.

Along with the pictured catch, I caught a couple varieties of suckers, one of which had a well defined black band on its side.  Also caught two varieties of shiners, one of which and crimson fins.  Very pretty fish.

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Oh snap! Smallie on #10 rubberlegs!

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Local landowners way down the river are dumping stocker bows.  This one is finned out, and pulled good.

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After almost 2 hours of nothing, I finally came across a good pool.  The current property owner was napping.  I tried three different approaches and nothing.

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Things started picking up around noon.  Well past the halfway point.

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Odd to see 4 trees growing out of a rock

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I was getting a bit bummed out over the lack of quality water, and about the time hope was lost, I encountered an area of rocks that was jammed up with logs. below this line of boulders was a nice pool, and the logjam was impassible for fish.  I was expecting fish to be stacked up there. They were, and they were big.  I had three fish to get unglued. Two were definitely browns.  I changed things up that had a 1/0 hook. I caught a smallmouth, lost another big trout, then landed this one.

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Missed a couple good fish above the log jam as well.

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I could have gone up another quarter of a mile, and probably should've but I was getting tired.  There is branch on the left, and I would need to bug out at this point.

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It was almost a 2 mile hike back to the van.  I had to bust out another ridge, and traverse land I had little knowledge of in terms of flora.  Opens woods, bueno. A rhodo hell situation would have been dreadful. Some of the hike was a little rough due to dead rhodo, but after busting the ridge, I lucked out.  There was an ATV path that nearly took me back to the van. As I crossed the small river 4 miles down from where I was earlier, and the sight of many juvi smallies lifted my spirits.

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I probably will never fish this again.  I've wasted so much time staring at the maps and imagery wondering.  Another box checked.


#14
The Gravel Bar / Re: Unlimited Fly Fishing News...
Last post by Woolly Bugger - June 28, 2022, 08:39:14 AM
   
The legendary story of the Colonel Potter will get you hooked on the history of fly-fishing in SA



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>>>For close to 50 years, it remained the Potter family's best-kept secret. A secret forged from a twist of a chicken feather, a couple of turns of chenille yarn and a good measure of skill.

Added too are the two cock feathers that make the tail and if all is done right, it transforms into a deadly trout fly. It is called the Colonel Potter and its inventor, Dr Charles Potter, used it to take trophy fish in the streams that cut through eastern Mpumalanga.

When Potter and his two sons went on fishing trips across the country, their fly went too and it didn't disappoint. It kept taking big fish, in the high mountain dams and rivers of the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the eastern Free State.

When Potter's son Luke was 11 he won the South African Fly Fishing Association cup after he pulled a five-and-half-pound (about 2.5kg) trout from the Spekboom River in Mpumalanga. The big fish fell to a Colonel Potter.

But in January 2019 tragedy struck the Potter family when Luke, their eldest son, was killed in a terrorist attack in Nairobi, Kenya. Following the death of his son, Potter decided he would reveal the.


https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2022-06-27-time-and-ties-wait-for-no-fisherman-the-lure-that-tells-the-story-of-fly-fishing/
#15
The Gravel Bar / Re: unlimited it's the water, ...
Last post by Dougfish - June 27, 2022, 18:55:04 PM
Oliver delivers.
#16
The Gravel Bar / Re: unlimited it's the water, ...
Last post by trout-r-us - June 27, 2022, 17:46:34 PM
Quote from: Woolly Bugger on June 27, 2022, 16:01:10 PMJamie Oliver decided it was time to talk about the Colorado River


John Oliver discusses the water shortage in the American west, how it's already impacting the people who live there, and what God has to say about it.

Wow!  I don't know which god that was at the end, but he seems really pissed. 😳
#17
The Gravel Bar / Re: Bees (for Ken)
Last post by trout-r-us - June 27, 2022, 17:44:52 PM
From the article in post #28.
"Regulatory approvals were partly based on industry studies now considered unreliable, and sometimes despite the concerns of the EPA's own scientists."  b';
#18
The Gravel Bar / Re: Bees (for Ken)
Last post by Onslow - June 27, 2022, 17:34:39 PM
I'm a third generation beekeeper, and I started in 2002. My wife had relatives that were large scale beekeepers in the 60s-90s.  I experienced colony collapse first hand.  I've divorced myself from the beekeeping scene, and currently do no know if CCD is a thing.  It isn't for me, and hasn't been since maybe 2006. I quit all treatments cold turkey.  If mites could adapt in 2 years, the bees could adapt quickly as well.

The initial wave of CCD occurred in September-October. Peak varroa mite loads peak in most areas around August if one is running Italian bees, and of course this depends on where one lives. This points to mites, disease, and yes, poison.  Beekeepers of that era were putting all kinds of things in their hives to try to kill the varroa, but this mite would adapt in a matter of a couple years to most treatments, and keep trucking. Some of the poisons used were not authorized for use on bees.  While CCD was incredibly freakish, I believe it was self inflicted by the industry due to poor management, and the lack of understanding of the mites, and how problematic they were.  During 2005, beekeepers were breeding virulent mites, and crappy bees designed for industry, and not nature.

If neonicotinoids are the primary driver of declines, why then is CCD no longer an issue?  Yes, beekeepers have bad years, but this is mostly due to bad bee breeding, starvation, and weather.  Weather is a HUGE deal, especially in the Winter. Wacky Winter weather kills bees.

I have multiple bee yards, and the most productive, and the one with the highest rate of survival is located in heavy ag country. There is a mix of pasture, ~30 percent/forest ~15 percent/~55 percent no till round up ready fields.  The bees where no farming takes place has the worst survival record.  These facts speak for themselves.

Some key relevant factors

1. The non farming bee yard location has limited Dutch clover, and very little area for Winter weeds to grow.  This means there is near zero pollen available in the Winter for late Winter buildup.  This also means the nectar flow is fragmented after the Poplar bloom. There is also stiff competition for forage from native bumble bees.

2. As for bee yard in ag country, the no till fields become populated with chickweed, dead nettle, and gill flower, some of which blooms most of the Winter on south slopes.  The bees located at the farming area can be seen carrying pollen every day it is warm enough to fly. The pastures are full of Dutch Clover.  This provides a very reliable source of nectar all Summer except for periods of exceptional drought.

3. Forage and weather are everything. Overarching poor forage will result in starved out colonies. Wacky Winter weather can trigger activities that compromise honey stores, and cause starvation.

4. Some of the brutally cold Winters experienced around 2016-2017 caused massive bee mortality. Lost many hives due to them no able to break cluster to eat.  They starved with honey an inch away from the cluster.

The observations above are Surry County specific. When travelling in the mid west, one will encounter expansive fields with little forage for bees, e.g., rice fields in Missouri. There is no way any insect or bird can survive in the mid west farm country, or where mega orchard operations spray trees when in full bloom. Yes, neonicotinoids are used in ag heavy areas, but the loss of bees and birds I believe this is correlation, not causation.

Farmers in America are a sacred cow because they are important. It is easier to boogey man the pesticide, but the party of fault is mostly the American public.

Solutions?  Perhaps the American public should start growing more of what they eat, and a yard be damned. The reliance on industry to provide us with every food item places unsustainable demands on the environment.  Flora diversity is a huge deal.  Every yard should have a bed of either Milkweed, or butterfly weed. Dutch clover in lieu of grass helps bees. Every yard in the SE should have Echinacea, Sunflower, zinnias, and other flowers that make seeds for birds to eat. Bumble bees adore blueberries.  Where azaleas grow, so will blueberries.  Yank those worthless azaleas out, and plant blueberries, and plant enough to share with the birds.

#19
The Gravel Bar / Re: Corona Virus
Last post by Phil - June 27, 2022, 17:05:06 PM
I'm not going to fly anywhere, mask or no. If it's not within 2 days driving distance, I ain't gonna go.
#20
The Gravel Bar / Re: Corona Virus
Last post by greg - June 27, 2022, 16:54:28 PM
I'm flying twice this summer. I think I will get second booster this week. Plan to wear a mask. Sister-in-law got Covid and pretty sure she got in plane. She was not masked and said no one else was. Every time I think this shirt is about done it comes raring back. Pediatrician says grandson will have a rough few days but should get better pretty soon. Said the he hasn't had any little ones to have any big problems yet.
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