Monday, September 3, 2012

River Pullage

It had been a day short of two weeks since I dipped my paddle or played a fish on the end of my line.  Unfortunately, a trip to the salt which I've yearned for even longer was not in the cards.  With the weather forecast being as useful as a magic 8-ball, I stuck close to home.  The river welcomed me with a plethora of opportunities spanning a full spectrum of presentations to match the appetite of several species.

I started off with what I left off with last time; the fly rod.  The sun was higher up this time so I switched to a black wooly bugger and sight casted to various sunfish, small largemouth and smallmouth bass.  I had a shot at a decent carp too, but I got a little too close and spooked it.  I had a couple instances where as soon as the fly hit the water a big bronze back exploded on it, but somehow didn't come tight. 

This was the second time on the water sporting my new Maui Jim shades with PolarizedPlus2 rose lenses and can honestly say, they are awesome.  The contrast is simply amazing and definitely helped me see a lot more.  I normally target smallies in pools, pockets, and eddies around structure, but after standing up with the Maui Jim's I found some just cruising the flats.  I was able to get the fly in the path for one and on the second strip it rushed over and came to a halt a few inches away.  Being able to watch it all, including what happened on the next strip, brought on a huge smile. 

It was only 13" but there's definitely something special about being able to visualizing it all.  

From stalking 
to the cast, 
the chase, 
the take... 

Hookset, headshakes... 


After a while, the wind picked up just enough to make fly line management a chore.  I switched to a spinning rod and found a few more little smallies on Husky Jerks and black spinnerbaits.  

As the sun started to fade, I resisted the urge to put on a topwater popper and switched gears again.  I pinned a lively sunfish from earlier to an 8/0 circle hook - carolina rig.  It wasn't long before my kayak was spinning circles as I wrangled some flatheads.  

Biggest of the evening was 36"

From slingin' bugs and sight casting to chunkin' meat, I thoroughly enjoyed reconnecting with the awesome local fishery and finding some river pullage.  

Satisfied... for now. 

But I can only resist the salt for so long. 


  1. Nice flatty! I have recently become addicted to the salt and haven't spent as much time on the river as I did the first half of summer, but what an awesome river to have in our backyard. Thanks, I always enjoy the reports!

    1. Thanks, Matt. It really is a beautiful thing to have so near by.

  2. Awesome Rob - love the underwater shots of the bronzebacks. Sweet flathead - personally can't stand them but still an awesome man. Glad you got on the water!

    1. It looks like the Smallie population is getting better... so that's good.
      Why can't you stand flatheads?

  3. Nice fish Rob - I used to hit the Rap until my son moved, now it's large mouth for me. Check my blog on Virginia Beach bassin' if you get a chance( Liked the American Heroes article in Virginia Wildlife mag.

    1. Thanks, Charlie. Checked out your blog... very cool man. I still have to find that Virginia Wildlife article.

  4. Great pictures Rob. I know you're used to the big fish, but I'll bet that cat still put up a decent fight. The smallies are great and right up there with trout as my favorite to catch. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I appreciate that, Pam. Yeah, the kitty was fun to mess with. Thanks for stopping by again.


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