Wild and native fish in world-class waters
A WARMWATER MECCA
As much of a Mecca as southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee is for the trout angler, one could argue that it's an even greater destination for the smallmouth bass angler--and we certainly do. With well over 300 miles
of floatable, world-class smallmouth river at our disposal, ranging in character from the large, ancient New River, to younger tailwater fisheries and small, remote tributaries and stillwaters, the diversity of smallmouth bass water in our neck of the woods is second-to-none.
This diversity allows us to chase ideal conditions and stay on trophy fish for most of the year, while tailoring experiences to the wishes of individual clients.
Float trips targeting smallmouth bass are one of our specialties, and we pursue them 12 months of the year. Conditions and client goals dictate where we fish from day-to-day, and some fisheries shine during specific seasons.
Float trips are conducted out of a 15-foot raft, and generally cover between five and 10 miles of river to give clients access to as much water as possible in a given day. Our 16.5-foot Hog Island Skiff is sometimes utilized to gain access to hard-to-access reaches of river. If you want to comfortably cover miles of river while casting streamers and topwater bugs to some of the gamest fish in fresh water, this is the trip for you.
When water temperatures warm into the mid- to upper-40s in late-winter, smallmouth begin a seasonal movement from winter habitat to feeding and spawning zones, and begin feeding heavily and stockpiling calories in preparation for the spawn. We kick our pre-spawn season off in early March, and until the fish begin spawning in mid-April, the focus is targeting the heaviest, most aggressive fish of the year.
Targeting large, pre-spawn smallmouth often comes at the expense of putting numbers of fish in the boat, but can produce some monster days. Whether fishing large streamers on 7- and 8-wt. rods, or working suspending jerkbaits and tube jigs on a spinning rod, this period sees some of the most massive fish of the year hit the net.
Summer on our smallmouth rivers begins after the fish have recovered from the spawn. Feeding and growing becomes their primary concern, and they diffuse throughout the river. This is one of our favorite times of the year to
be on the river, for the comfortable weather, generally willing fish, and the visual topwater fishing that dominates. Annual cicadas, damselflies, dragonflies, June bugs, and a host of other insect food sources emerge, causing big fish to orient to the surface. The water is
generally low and clear. Those that enjoy sight fishing to big, cagey fish will thrive during the
FALL AND WINTER OPPORTUNITIES
Summer for the smallmouth ends around the first of October when a series of cold fronts pushes the fish from their summer haunts into a feeding binge in preparation for winter.
The first half of fall is characterized by usually low, clear water and a continuation of the summer patterns. We have some phenomenal topwater fishing for large bass in October.
As fall matures into winter, and throughout the depth of winter, we continue our smallmouth fishing with active streamer fishing strategies, utilizing the warmest waters in our region to put numbers of big, fat smallmouth in the boat, most days. This winter steamer fishing opportunity is a great way to beat cabin fever!
RATES & POLICIES
Full Day Trips
Single Angler: $450*
Two Anglers: $550*
A $100 non-refundable deposit is required at the time of booking, and can be paid by check or Venmo towards the total cost of the trip. The remainder is to be paid on the day of the trip by check or cash.
In order to better serve you, in the event of inclement weather or poor water conditions, as determined by Matt Reilly, deposits can be
put towards a rescheduled date within a year's time. Cancellations made by the client within 48 hours of a scheduled trip forfeit the total
cost of the trip.
*Listed rates do not include gratuity