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  • Matt Reilly


Though the first day of spring was officially over a week ago, it's now that I'm feeling the seasons change. Water temps on the bigger warmwater rivers are reaching 50 degrees. Musky are moving into their spawning period and the smallmouth bass fishing is beginning to pick up. The first major hatches of spring are popping off of the mountain streams, and the trout are getting fired up. The seasons are changing, and I'm looking forward to focusing on smallmouth bass for the next seven months.

We've enjoyed some fantastic fishing for both musky and wild trout over the last month, with some notable specimens of each hitting the net.

One particularly memorable day, shortly after the river dropped to fishable levels again after the high water in February, I had South Holston River Company guides, Clint and Brady, in the boat searching for their first muskies on the fly. We managed to get two nice fish in the boat, and had another pop off boatside--a fantastic day of musky fishing no matter how you spin it.

March is one of my favorite months for catching large wild trout, and I was fortunate to have been able to touch some awesome fish on the mountain streams. One trip in particular blessed us with a 27" wild brown trout--a beast of a fish for a small mountain stream, but a real possibility on the incredibly rich fisheries southwest Virginia has to offer. Lots of other nice fish have been caught by clients as well.

The wild rainbows are particularly colorful this time of year as they dress up for the spawning ritual which will happen in the month of April. The most prolific hatches now being seen on the mountain streams are Quill Gordons, March Browns, and tan caddis. When numbers of these bugs are seen on the water, great days of dry fly fishing can be had. This should last for another two and a half months or so before summer really kicks in.

I've run my last musky trip of the season, and am now booking heavily for the spring and summer smallmouth season, as well as the fall and winter musky season to come. I've got very few dates left to book for trout fishing this spring, so if you'd like to get on the calendar, give me a call now!

I look forward to fishing with you.

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