After arriving in Brevard, NC for the 2012 Se regional qualifier I was feeling pretty confident about placing well again this year. I had an extra day to fish as I drove into town a day earlier than my teammates Josh Graffam, Josh Stephens, Pat Weiss, Chris Lee, and Loren Williams, so I had an extra day to fish. Hoping to get a collective result of fishing the Davidson River, I fished the East Fork of the French Broad river on a rainy Thursday morning/afternoon. Practice went well for me as I caught near 30 fish in my practice session on various flies. It really didn't seem to matter what to throw as the fish were sitting exactly where they should have been sitting. I pumped a few stomachs and got a good idea of what the fish were eating and kick seined and flipped over rocks to see what was actually in the stream that might be of some help if I got into a tight spot.
Friday dawned a new day and my the rest of the team had arrived as I was finishing up an evening session on the Davidson in the practice water behind the shop. We all got together after dinner Thursday night and formulated a game plan for the next day as well as went over what worked and didn't on the East fork. We decided to fish the Davidson as it would prove to be the tougher venue and one that we would need to spend the most time figuring out especially after it had been hit several times. She proved to be a tough adversary, but we all managed to catch some fish and all felt confident about how our sessions would go. We compared flies and made sure we each knew what to do.
After the draw Friday night, I was feeling really confident about my group and that I could possibly pull out another win. Things went well the first two sessions as I had 2 placing points going into day two. I fished the Davidson River Outfitters water directly behind the shop. I had watched the owner of the BBQ joint next door throw crumbled hush puppies in the water and the massive amount of fish that were extremely spooky swarm the hush puppies like hatchery trout on pellets. The session was about to start when just about every fish in that section started rising to micro caddis and midges. I foolishly started fishing for them knowing that they would be extremely spooky. I only spent 10 minutes fishing to them before giving up and reverting to what I know best. I found the smallest soft hackles that i had in my box and decided to fish them on an extremely long leader and decided to wait for a fish to rise and cast above him and swing my fly to him. This proved to be an excellent way to provoke strikes and after the 3rd missed fish I finally landed my first fish. I ended up with 8 including several fish from the top part of my beat in the super glassy water. Session 2 and pictures to come next
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Friday, February 24, 2012
I am just now completing a move back to Colorado. I will now be guiding for Front Range Anglers in Boulder, CO. I am looking forward to this new venture in my life as well as building a life with my fiance Jamie. I will update soon with pictures and results from the SE Regional Team USA qualifier. Thank you to all my friends and family that have supported me in the last few years in pursuing my dreams as a professional fly fisherman. It means the world to me and I can't say thank you enough.