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  • Matt Reilly

Spring Has Sprung!

When I wrote my last fishing report, I had just finished my last musky trip of the winter season, the nights were still cold, and smallmouth fishing couldn't get here quick enough. In the last month, the trees have leafed out, we've seen our first major insect hatches, and the smallmouth bass have started to nest. Spring has officially sprung, and the fishing will only get better from here.

The wild trout fishing in the mountains has been spectacular as the world warms up, and we've been catching good numbers of fish and some big fish using a variety of techniques. Mike from Blacksburg came out to learn more about the mechanics of fly fishing--casting, line management, fly selection, making on-the-water adjustments, etc.--and had a spectacular day, catching almost nothing but above-average wild rainbows for the water we fish. This really becomes possible as some of our bigger aquatic insects start to stir.

Alec from North Carolina had heard about our fantastic wild trout fishing, too, and decided he needed to check it out for himself. Despite periodic heavy rain, wind, and rising water, we managed to get on some big fish and some great dry fly fishing.

Heading into the smallmouth spawn, the New River and some of our secondary rivers were running average to slightly above average flow, ensuring that the fish set up nests in prime locations. We found several quality fish during the pre-spawn period, and are continuing to get clients on fish despite sub-optimal conditions.

During the first week of May, I guided several trips as part of our inaugural Reilly Rod Crafters hosted smallmouth camp at Fariss Farms and Iron Heart Winery. Again, we were faced with blown rivers thanks to recent rain, but we still managed to get clients on fish and make a memorable week. We even managed to find some awesome topwater fishing. Read more about that trip HERE.

Though I'll still be running some trout trips, for the next five months, I'll be solidly on the smallmouth train, guiding trips on the New River, and a handful of other local options. If you'd like to get in on the action--to experience smallmouth bass on the fly, learn and refine effective tactics, or just float a beautiful mountain river in pursuit of one of the strongest fish in freshwater--give me a shout!

I look forward to fishing with you!

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