Monday, April 16, 2012

The Difference A Day Can Make

If you follow me on twitter and facebook,  you know the last few days had been tough fishing on the river. Saturday was no exception. All clients worked their buts off but the fish seemed to be somewhere else or if there, not eating. Carp were jumping in the main current and a few herring schooled around the rocks.

I met client Kyle yesterday at 11am. He was driving his new $800 car.

 We hiked down to the river and crossed Pimmett Run. I wanted to move down from the spot we fished Saturday. The creek was FULL of herring. I netted one to show Kyle what they looked like. It was as if someone had flipped a switch overnight and the fish just came out of nowhere.
 Blueback or River Herring
 I put Kyle out on a point and he tossed his fly downstream. No love from the fish. The guys on the long rods across from us didn't catch anything either. Some guys walked past with a heavy cooler and offered us some cold cans of Coke to lighten the load. Thats some good river karma coming their way. Kyle worked the fish and we saw a huge largemouth that wouldn't eat a fly. We tossed a dry fly over the busting carp and got nothing. I decided we should move upstream and try there before his time was up.
 We met up with Kyle a client from last year. He was out on a rock and was into a nice fish. WTF was going on? This is frustrating when you are a guide. To make the call to move down stream and the fish were where we were the day before. Ugh. Space was at a minimum but Kyle wedged himself in there and then went upstream. He got into igneous fish only.

I then met up with James and his father. They strung up their rods and I put on some leader material and we started to fish. Herring were everywhere around us. The water was black in spots. The fish were swimming between their feet at the mouth of the creek. I was stepping on them.

It wasn't long before James's dad was into his first fish. The fish were taking flies on the swing out in the current. It was a blast watching these guys cast. They are Floridians and know how to shoot line to cruising fish. I got the inside scoop on where and when to fish for peacock bass when in Miami in December.

 Fish at our feet.
 River herring and white perch. This area was barren 24 hours before.
 herring moving up the creek.
 James's feet with fish all around.
 White perch.

 James started to get into fish. His action didn't stop until it was time to get his dad to the airport.
 BENT RODS
 One of many fish he landed. 99% on the chartreuse damsel nymph

 Then people showed up that wanted to take the herring for bait. This is illegal now in DC. I called it in to the feds who said someone was on their way (like they always say) and no one showed up. People were using hands, nets, buckets, and kicking fish to shore.
 Kids double fisting river heerring.
 As I photographed the illegal activities, Kyle hooked into a big fish. The thing was bending his rod double. It turned out to be a monster female American shad. I have never seen one of these caught before and on a fly rod was tops. I netted the fish and we got some pictures.

 Herring on the fly.
 James with a nice hickory shad. Down river was a client from last year. Rebecca D. was hooking up to fish. She couldn't believe that where she was standing was underwater a year ago (we had rain last year)

 I smelled smoke and saw a huge plume coming out from the woods. Someone was cooking fish, sausages, and what ever and left all of their garbage behind and the fire was still going. I used the plastic water jug they left behind to put out the fire. It took 2 gallons.
 I come back and James is on another fish. It ended up to be a big sucker on a shad jig.

 Then more people show up and start stealing herring for bait.
 And more. Not to mention all the hand liners out there. I consider this my office and it really pisses me off to  have clean up after people, cut hand lines from the water, put out fires, and tell people not to take fish that are off limits. The park service rarely comes out.
 And then James keeps getting hits on the swing. One after another. Swing and miss. Then he finally gets the fish on. Its a big hickory shad. We decided to end on a high note and take pics and head back to the cars.


I'm going to say that the water temperature increase was the catalyst for the fish species increase. There is no other explanation. The water levels dropped an inch over night. Still no rain here. The tides were about the same. Just a nice sunny and warm day to warm the water :shrug.

1 comments:

Did you say anything to the offenders? It's obviously not your job to enforce the rules, but I think I would have said something.

Also, how do you actually hike down to the water near chain bridge on the VA side? Where can you park? Thanks!

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