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  • Matt Reilly


Last weekend and the early part of this week, we enjoyed a short respite from the high water that's been plaguing the early spring. The larger rivers were in good shape, and slightly stained and clearing water clarity made fishing good. The mountain streams remain cold, but are settling into the low-water season, making hunting big fish tough.

Mountain stream trips produced some good fish last week, including Cindy's first trout on a fly rod, ever, and her first fish on a rod she built with Project Healing Waters.

Early in the week, I managed to get my first few smallmouth floats of the year in. The first day I floated solo, which I will do from time to time if the conditions are too good to pass up, and I was rewarded with a big smallmouth in the 20-inch class, as well as several smaller, chunky males. On day two, I fished with guiding mentors Chuck Kraft and L.E. Rhodes. The story was the same. Several 16-18" fish graced the boat, and a grand day was had. We even had the opportunity to watch a coyote drink from and swim across the river while enjoying a shore lunch. These are the things that truly make a day on the river. Unfortunately, a camera malfunction prevented me from collecting photos from the day.

Topwater action on the New River is happening and producing some good fish on days with a few feet of water clarity and dropping flows. But streamers continue to produce fish day in and day out.

Rain storms in the last few days have blown out the smallmouth rivers, returning us to a state that's been too familiar this year, already. The mountain streams are swelling, but should drop and clear much quicker than the bigger rivers, allowing us to get on them for guide trips next week.

My schedule is filling up for the early summer, but some great dates during smallmouth topwater season remain. Give me a call, or send me an email soon if you want to get in on the action.

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