On May 5 - 7, 2019, Reilly Rod Crafters hosted its inaugural Smallmouth Camp at Fariss Farms and Iron Heart Winery on the banks of the New River. Eight clients from across the country converged on the cabins at Fariss Farms for two days of guided smallmouth fishing, casting instruction, and fly tying. Clients had the opportunity to fish and learn from some of the foremost authorities on smallmouth fly fishing, including Brian Shumaker of Susquehanna River Guides, L.E. Rhodes of Hatchmatcher Guide Service, William Heresniak of Eastern Trophies Fly Fishing, and Jim Richmond of Appalachian Outdoor Adventures. In the evenings, after spectacular, home-cooked meals, guests had the opportunity to learn fly tying from the legendary guide, Chuck Kraft, and take casting lessons from world-class casting instructor and guide, Joe Mahler. It was a pleasure to guide these fine guides on my home waters in preparation for the guests' arrival, and to guide alongside them during the hosted trip.
Despite heavy, heavy rains two nights before the camp that resulted in a blown out river, we were able to put clients on quality fish all week. On day two, we found viable topwater fishing, and caught dozens of smallmouth, including some 18 - 19" specimens, on topwater flies.
It was an incredibly enjoyable weekend of fellowship, fishing, and learning. Talk is already happening regarding the next Reilly Rod Crafters hosted smallmouth camp, perhaps as early as September 2019. If interested, get in touch, and we'll keep you in the loop!