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  • Matt Reilly


As wild as it seems, it's nearly September--my favorite month of the year, and the month when the most giant smallmouth seem to grace the boat, year after year. Water temps are on their way back down, overnight temps are dipping pretty low, and the dog days cicadas are starting to die off and hit the water, creating a perfect storm for great topwater fishing for smallmouth bass.

August is probably my second favorite month for topwater fly fishing for smallmouth, and we had a great one, this year. Though numbers of fish per trip seem to be down a bit, this year, many giant smallmouth and personal best fish have hit the net this month. And that's the great thing about the smallmouth fisheries of southwest Virginia, and topwater fishing in general--every cast has the potential to raise an absolute beast.

Larry proved this fact one day this month, when, after catching several nice bass, a clear bite window opened up, and he had several back-to-back encounters with big fish. I'm glad to say that the most dramatic encounter was also the one that put a fish in the boat--a true fish of a lifetime, and a testament to what the New River is capable of, at 23 inches in length. Though that's about as big as these fish typically come, we usually have multiple encounters with fish of such caliber every season, and many of them come in September.

Around the full moon of the month, I took off for a change of scenery to central Maine, and spent several days in the backcountry camping and brook trout fishing and seeing some classic Maine sights. But from now into October, I'll be all in on the smallmouth train, save for a few wild trout trips, where they've been requested.

As I say throughout the summer, though the "trout season" is out in most of Virginia and the other Mid-Atlantic and Mid-South states, the highlands of southwest Virginia keep our streams cold and running full, making fishing for our robust wild trout fishery top notch through the warm months. So if you're interested in some small stream wild trout fishing, the next few weeks will bring some spectacular dry fly action, with some big fish making appearances.

As aforementioned, September is one of my favorite months, and one of the reasons for that is because it's a month of change. By its end, we'll be musky fishing again and prepping for the fall/winter season. I'm currently taking bookings for that season, and prime dates are starting to disappear.

So, if you'd like to get in on the golden hour of the 2019 smallmouth season, get out in the mountains and chase wild trout, or learn the ropes of musky fishing on the fly and take your chances with landing the fish of a lifetime, let's get in touch!

I look forward to fishing with you!

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