Thursday, June 12, 2008

6.12.08 New River Smallies

Having just returned from a trip overseas and still firmly in the clutches of jet lag I had no business getting up before dawn this morning to go fishing. Alas, the call of the outdoors is ofttimes greater than the restraint of common sense. So at 5:30 I pulled into a Krispy Kreme parking lot, the designated rendezvous point for myself and Jeff of Jeffrey Wilkins Flyfishing. Jeff and I were soon zooming down the highway in his Honda Accord (like many other sportsmen his SUV remains parked as fuel prices continue their climb) chatting like old friends and laughing and smiling like all men that are about to fish laugh and smile.
The ride up I-77 was great. Beautiful mountainous surroundings coated in morning fog and shrouded in spring green amplified by recent rainfall. Even at 70 mph the view was unbelievable. Around 7 Jeff pulled off the road into a narrow make shift parking spot. You could smell the river before opening the door instilling a sense of urgency in two anglers. Immediately we began putting on wading boots and throwing gear together. My arsenal included a 7 weight flyrod and and 6 foot ultra light spinning outfit. I crammed a box of lures a box of poppers and various flies, some granola bars and peanuts and a bottle of water into my vest while Jeff emptied the contents of the Honda's trunk into his William Joseph pack. For some reason I'd opted to leave my waders at the house so when I reached down and dipped my fingers into the New I was pleasantly surprised at its temperature. Rather than cold it was instead luke warm, almost bath water tepid.
We waded to almost the middle of the river spooking baitfish and baitfish eating bass along the way. Perched upon one of many rock outcroppings I made my first cast of the day. My fly rod felt awkward, almost foreign to the touch but after way to many false casts my Anthony Hipps soft bodied popper landed with a satisfying kerplunk into the deep green waters.
We fished all day and caught more fish than I can remember. Jeff knew this section of the New like the back of his hand and was gracious with his knowledge. With the blink of an eye we were back at the Honda, storing away wet gear and driving back down the mountain.
Prior to departing we stopped to give thanks to God for a great day in the outdoors and great fellowship among brothers. I look forward to fishing with Jeffrey again and chasing those New River smallies.

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