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  • Matt Reilly


A few weeks ago I woke up to see the field outside of my window coated in an even coat of frost for the first time this year. The season has changed, and fall is solidly upon us. Until spring, we'll be focusing our fishing efforts on wild trout and musky in southwest Virginia, and hopefully putting the regular high water events of the summer behind us.

The same rains that kept the New River high and dirty for much of the summer kept the mountain trout streams full and flowing, and they're in great shape heading into the fall and winter. I've run several guide trips in the last few weeks, and all have been blessed with great water levels.

Tom and Bill, old college room mates, came up to fish with me last week with the goal of learning something new. We spent all of the day using techniques that were outside of their comfort zone, and ended up catching several nice fish and taking home some lessons and ideas that will hopefully help them in their own fishing.

The wild brown trout in several of our streams are becoming more and more aggressive as we get closer to their spawning period in late November. Ali found that out last week while fishing a stream heavy with brown trout, hooking and landing her biggest--a healthy male decked out in spawning colors--on her third cast!

Another trip this week with Jeff from Richmond produced a southern Appalachian trout slam--a rainbow, brown, and brook trout, all in the same day--including his personal best rainbow--a tank of a fish that measured just under 26". Several other really nice fish were caught, and he went home with a memorable lesson on streamer fishing small streams!

I'm hopping a plane to Hayward, Wisconsin this weekend to spend a few days chasing musky in the Midwest before diving into Virginia's own musky season and continuing to run trout trips through the winter. We have plenty of fantastic fishing ahead of us in the fall and winter, two of my favorite seasons to be in the mountains, both for the quality of the fishing and the solitude and beauty.

Shoot me a line if you want to get on the calendar. I look forward to fishing with you!

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