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Started by 5xTippett, June 17, 2012, 16:15:23 PM

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Big J

Quote from: 5xTippett on June 20, 2012, 21:07:30 PM
Jay, I use 12 ft leaders with 3 feet of fluorocarbon tippitt.  I fish flat water.  I walk through water most people fish and I fish water most people walk through.  Other people use different lengths and sizes according to how they fish and what they fish with.  I don't do false casts either.   That river has taught me to never get cocky after a good day.  It will come back and hurt your feelings.  Man, it sure is pretty though.

And that TC is why I'll be fishing a blue line Saturday  ;D
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end." Hemingway


It appears weekend generation for the boaters has begun. 700 cfs 2-5pm Sat., and Sun. scheduled for the same. I would like a trip report if any lucky so-and-so fishes after the generation either day. I'll be there Monday AM if anyone wants to join me.  /'/


They weren't supposed to do that this year, unless the boaters snuck it without telling anybody.  I am hoping it is just a one day thing.  The biologist says it hurts the minnow population, which hurts the size of the fish the next year.   The boaters can use the river anytime they want to with my blessings, but I am not big on them using politics to get the generation messed with.  They generate all week anyway if they need a bunch of water to boat with.  They can leave the weekends for the fisherman.


I agree 100% Ben.  I feel it was related to all the rain they've been getting.  Compared to Farmville, Bassett is a rain forest this year.


Not sure what has happened. Even the folks who should have "been in the know" were caught by surprise. So far no one is claiming responsibility or credit so it may have been just a fluke - we will see what happens next weekend.

I personally don't mind a weekend generation but if it is for recreational purposes they should time it from 9am to 1pm. That would put the slug of water along the river when most folks, including the fishermen could take advantage of it.

While I have your attention there was a letter to the editor in todays MV Bulletin by SRTU VP Lisa Hall about the litter problem and the our commitment to change that - http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/article.cfm?ID=34004+  Need your help on Aug 4th with the clean up and beyond to make sure it does not revert back to being known as a "trashy river"


Four hours is too much.  One to two hours early in the morning would accomplish what the boaters want without hurting the minnows.  Over two hours hurts the minnows which affects the size of the fish and runs out of town fisherman off the river.  The whole idea of the slot was to increase the size of the fish and increase angler hours.


July 23, 2012, 11:52:35 AM #21 Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 13:39:49 PM by Al
Quote from: 5xTippett on July 23, 2012, 11:07:21 AM
Four hours is too much.  One to two hours early in the morning would accomplish what the boaters want without hurting the minnows.  Over two hours hurts the minnows which affects the size of the fish and runs out of town fisherman off the river.  The whole idea of the slot was to increase the size of the fish and increase angler hours.

We'll have to agree to disagree on this one Ben.

I originally thought 2 hours would be plenty but have since learned the paddlers need at least 3 hours.  It takes at least an hour for the water to get up so boats can safely pass over the majority of rocks. They also need sufficient water coming behind them that they don't run out of water before they get to the take out point because that would ground them and make for a lot of dragging.  For example if you're canoing and fishing at the same time and stop to play a fish or pull over to fish a particularly good looking stretch of riffles you could find yourself running out of water. Same thing would happen if you're kyaking and stop to take pictures or dally at all.

Not sure about the minnow issues but don't see how shutting down generation for the weekend and starting it up for 5 consecutive days during the week would make much difference. I do know a slug of cold water on the weekend helps even out the water temp and helps the way-downstream fishery when water temps are pushing 70-80 degrees.

As far as "running the out of town fishermen off the river" - I don't see that. You can easily figure the flow rate and move up or downstream with the flow.  I even see an advantage if they stop generation in the early afternoon - You'd have several hours of "fishing falling water" which is a prime time for fishing the Smith. On other hand, if like last Saturday, they start at 1pm and run until 5pm there is not enough time for anyone, even the paddlers, to take full advantage of it. (Much better to start in mid morning and stop early afternoon - so slug of water passes by where folks can take advantage of it) - We will just have to see what happens this weekend. Like I said, no one at this stage is sure if it was a fluke or something else is going on. If it is "something else" we need to weigh in on the timing of the release.


I'm not certain, but I believe that they direct generation toward peak demand periods. Even last year when they "agreed" to run at the request of the angling user group, the time agreed to was in the PM.

So now, that same group is claiming that the weekend generation is a detriment to the fishery? That's amazing.


July 23, 2012, 19:06:59 PM #23 Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 19:09:48 PM by 22midge
I guess there has to be some middle ground but it seems no one is looking. ;D ;D ;D For those that fish the upper river it can be a problem.I think it is great to get some cooler water down stream and I believe it made a difference down stream last year.Its my understanding that the VDGIF thinks the 4 hour burp can cause some damage.We need to share with the boaters and they can be a great source and a voice when time to make changes and asking for help to make the river better.I personally liked the flows that were coming down river while they were working on the dam.I saw lots more bugs and fish on the feed.Keep it around 100---150cfs during non-generation and do the ramping and take away some of the surge and temp. spikes..... ;D ;D ;D mid-- river and down stream will become a better river.Just my opinion but I never saw enough boaters last year to wonder who was taking advantage of the flows.
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


July 23, 2012, 19:40:04 PM #24 Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 19:50:48 PM by Al
PeeWee has it about right. There is black and white and somewhere in the middle there is gray. No one, including DGIF is certain what the ideal is. The only certainty is right now we have turbines which only go "full on or full off" and the intake is at the level where water coming out of the turbines is 44 degrees. Until the turbines are changed and they put in a mixing tower,  the fishery will continue to struggle. They can tweak it with ramping and slot limits but even DGIF admits it is a holding action at best. We may be able to increase the growth an inch or two but that is only speculation. New turbines and a mixing tower would leave enough water behind the dam so the state could mandate a minimum flow of 100 cfs like PeeWee suggested instead of the present 20-30 cfs. The water temp could be adjusted to 55-60 degrees which biologist say would increase insect and forage fish proliferation.  You've heard DGIF Biologist Scott Smith say this many times, "little fish don't get big eating midges".

We have studied this to death and know with scientific certainty what must be done.  (yes, even that may not be correct but do you have a better solution) What we need now is the political will power and clout to move things forward. We need you to help by talking it up with folks who may have political influence - it will not happen otherwise.


I talked to Scott this afternoon and he said I could post our conversation on here.  He said 1 to 2 hours generation on a Saturday morning would probably not hurt the minnows.  Anything over 2 hours would probably hurt the minnow population which would hurt the size of the browns the following year.  He has charts showing the correlation between low generation during the summer and the increase in the minnow population.  Also, he is hoping for an increase in the average size of the browns of around 1/2 inch just for the slot limit being in effect.  The effects of the ramping of the generators is not known, but if it increases the amount of insects we should see some more improvement in average size.  If people will remove some of the browns under the slot we should see even more increases in the size of the browns.  That pretty much wraps it up.


   1. The River
   2. The Fishermen
   3. The Boaters
Ok to me the river is most important.The opinion of the VDGIF should not be ignored if it effects the river.
The fishermen can be mobile and move to fish the down water or the dropping water but if they are to be asked to ride the wave then why not ask the boaters?
I would say the boats are looking for motion and can ride the wave downstream.Why not ride the two hour burp to the next launch site and move to the next as we ask the fishermen to move down river or up to fish the falling water ?
I dont know the answers but if one does not join the other then there is no common goal by either and then the river will loose.The middle river and lower is a dangerous place if you have water rising because of the deep cuts and banks.I know of lots of water that you can get out only at a few locations and then there is no access to get back to your vehicle.I personally have no problem with the release because it helps the mid and lower river but it takes the river away from the fishermen that fish from mid river up to the dam.Damn all I see in this post is black and white  b'; b'; b';
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


July 29, 2012, 16:13:34 PM #27 Last Edit: July 29, 2012, 16:16:11 PM by 5xTippett
I went back Saturday and fished for about 4 hours, more or less.  I stayed in Bassett rather than going way up or downstream.  As I was rolling through town I saw a group of wild looking characters heading for the river, Al and crew!  I had fun and caught about 10 or eleven, of which 2 were rainbows.  I had 4 browns in the slot and the rest were dinks.  I hooked one grown one which swam right at me and escaped.  One of the rainbows was fairly small and had par marks.

The rainbow with par marks which I am reasonably certain is wild.

The decent browns

After I quit fishing I stopped by Al's and ate kebabs and visited.  One of the guys with Al who had never caught a brown trout before caught a 17 incher that afternoon.  i saw the picture!


Good to see ya Ben. I'm home now and will get my photos and a little report ready as soon as I put out a few "fires" :o.  Took 4 guys who had never fished the Smith before there for the weekend. Everyone caught fish. Not a whole lot but no one got skunked. As been said, one caught a real nice brown.  They all promised to come back next weekend for the Smith River Clean Up  -  You folks should plan to join us - Aug 4th.  See a post elsewhere for details.


Nice lookin' fish Ben. 
"Thou shalt know thy waters and be wise about those things upon which thy prey doth feed."  4th Commandment of The Eleven Commandments from the Curtis Creek Manifesto