The fun is being had
This is a true story of events during a guided trip on the South Holston River in spring 2019.
Gloria is a name you may hear being yelled from any number of rivers surrounding Asheville, NC. Sometimes its a coaxing whisper, sometimes a frustration yell and sometimes a chuckling cheerful G-L-O-R-I-A. My client, a dry fly purist and wonderful person to vicariously fish through is always searching for HER big fish, "Gloria." Today I heard Gloria's name being called several times from the back of the boat on the South Holston River.
The first time, I heard it echoing off the rock bluff to my 9 0'clock, glooooo-riaaaaa.
I turn around and the rod is bent over and the reel is singing. "Oh gloria" she said and I absolutely chuckled and netted a beautiful 18" wild brown trout caught on a size 18 sulfur mayfly emerger.
A few sighs and sips of water later and I hear the name again. Same deal, same fly, same chuckle. She taps her feet, claps her hands and dips them in the water for a quick grip-n-grin.
The FUN is being had.
While these were solid fish I knew they weren't Gloria. Gloria was a mile or so downstream. I saw her there in a particular location I had been two days prior with my client's husband. He and I spent about 2 hours working a big brown trout on dry flies. We trusted the process, rested the picky eater, tried again and again. We gave it our best but the stars just didn't align during that particular 2 hours.
I think many guides could say that women usually out fish men. I am not sure what magic is working there but its real and i've witnessed it time and time again. I will continue to observe and hopefully learn the magic. I say all this because when we pulled up to Gloria's doorstep she was waiting with a red dress on and passing out lemonade. We spent over an hour presenting flies and resting the fish. Of course, Gloria eventually ate HER fly. If we weren't the last boat on the water, everyone on the river would have heard Gloria's name shouted in unison by all three of us at the top of our lungs. It was such a joyful noise you'd think we were at church or a Van Morrison concert.
Cheers to all the G-L-O-R-I-A-S out there!
While your recovering from a food coma in your favorite chair this holiday, take a minute to check out the most recent issue of Southern Culture on the Fly. We had the pleasure of rowing the SCOF crew down the Natahala Gorge on a day off from guiding. We were in aluminum Drift Boats hunting for wild brown trout.
A big thank you to the guys at Southern Culture on the Fly for a great experience. It is always a pleasure with SCOF and we love their magazine.
Thank you to Asheville Fly Fishing Company's guides Zach Bassett and Anthony Esposito for their great work behind the oars and great attitudes.
To read the full article go to www.southerncultureonthefly.com
Here's a few shots from the article...
July was a good month. It was a hot, busy month on the water. While below average water levels and above average temperatures have made the Smallmouth Bass fishing challenging, the tailwaters in East Tennessee have been fishing great! Since the South Holston River and Watauga River are tailwaters (Rivers fed by a dam where the water comes from the bottom of the lake), they stay cold enough and flow enough for the fish to remain happy. We've been experiencing some extra happy fish this summer with the abundance of Japanese Beetles falling out of the trees. Both brown and rainbow trout are looking for them actively and the Big Brown Trout are on the prowl. The Beetles have been on for two or three weeks and we anticipate they will continue through August. If you want in on the action, give us a call! We still have a little availability in August, so book sooner than later!
Here's a few of July's highlights...
Asheville Fly Fishing Company guide Knox Campbell just got back from fishing Canada. His trip was of a "Guide's day off" nature. A little R&R, R&D, and quality time with friends. Upon his return he had a serious case of perma-grin and a skip in his step. We knew what that meant and being Smallmouth Bass fanatics, we wanted details. So we slid to the edge of our chairs and let the good times roll. Here's what Knox shared with us...
I touched down in Toronto just past mid-night on June 18th. Coincidentally this date has a lot of meaning for me, but for this post the most important fact to keep in mind is that June 18 is the opening day for smallies in Ontario, something we don't appreciate here in the south. The plan was set a year before. Ben, a buddy that I had originally met on a flight to Portugal a few years ago, picked my girlfriend and I up at the airport. Once through customs we walked out the doors and immediately saw Ben waiting. Hugs and back slaps were exchanged and then we were off. After a non-stop 4 hour drive we arrived at our destination- a tiny, glacial lake 20 miles from the St Lawrence Seaway that Ben's family had a cottage on and that had no public access.
It was 4:15 and the sky was just turning grey. Rod, reel, and fly box had been stashed strategically on top of the food rations in the back of the car for easy retrieval, and withing 10 minutes of pulling into the drive we were in the Lund, cutting through the morning air with me standing at the bow, 8 wt in hand, fly line lying at my feet, a freshly tied yellow popping bug on the leader, and the unforgettable feeling you have just before doing something you'd been envisioning and anticipating for a long time. The outboard was silenced and the boat went into a quiet glide. Before Ben even had time to point out a rocky reef I threw my first cast. One pop. Two pops. Pause. Rod tip just over the water. Boom. Big eat and even bigger fish. That first fish of the trip came just as the warm colors of morning bled across the horizon. There were countless fish caught on that trip, but that first fish, and that first morning in Canada, blending with all of the emotions of the past year and a half, was one of the most powerful moments of my life. I said a silent "thank you" to no one in particular, and for a few moments, even with my hands still wet and fishy, forgot about the fishing. I took in the lake and the light, looked at my buddy, and smiled. He knowingly smiled back, and without a word and with eye brows raised, pointed to a rise ring behind me.
Read more about Knox Campbell here
FISHING REPORT: Smallmouth Bass in Asheville
The Smallmouth Bass fishing has been above average this year. Currently we are getting rain and cooler temperatures and the fish are happy. Guided trips have been producing trophy fish on the fly and spin tackle. We target these fish by Drift Boat and Raft and offer all inclusive full day and half day trips. Here's one from last week...
BOOK A TRIP BY MAKING A RESERVATION IN ADVANCE: (828) 779-9008
We've been busy guiding and making memories on the rivers of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina. Spring fishing has been great so far and its just getting started.
Thanks to all our recent guests for making our jobs fun!
Here's a few pictures from this weeks guided trips.
Book a Trip: (828) 779-9008
Give the gift of Fly Fishing this holiday season by purchasing a Gift Certificate for a friend or family member. We'll send you a physical Gift Certificate that can be applied to a Guided Fly Fishing Trip of their choice. Expiration dates are 1 year from purchase date, so they'll have plenty of time to schedule a trip at their convenience.
Happy Holidays from all of us at AFFC!
We look forward to getting on the water with you.
S.C.O.F (Southern Culture On the Fly) is an online fishing magazine filled with informative articles, fishy humor and vivid photography. So when they told us they wanted to do a an overnight trip for Smallmouth Bass on the Nolichucky Gorge and feature the story in S.C.O.F's Fall 2015 issue, the perma-grin set in.
Three rescheduled dates and seven months later, we were packing the boats and checking water levels. For good fishing and easier rowing, we typically run the gorge between 700cfs and 1600cfs. The water level was a boat-dragging 350cfs the morning of the trip. This is an extremely low level, making it hard to navigate anything bigger than a kayak. At this level, the rapids grow teeth, the slots become cracks, broken oars are common and dragging the raft is sure to occur at least once. We were running rafts with fishing frames and oar rigs. Each boat carried one angler, one oarsman/guide, fishing/camping/camera gear and a cooler. Three rafts, eighteen rods and reels, enough food and flies for six adventurists and every smallmouth bass in the gorge, we headed north from Asheville to bring it all down 9 miles of class III-IV water 2,500ft down in the Nolichucky Gorge. The "Noli" gorge is sacred to many, loved by more. If you go, please treat it with respect, play safe, and practice catch and release so that others may enjoy its splendor.
In the end, memories were made, fun was had, many fish were caught, oar blades got broken and lessons were learned. We safely made it out of the gorge wishing we could immediately do it again. Thanks to S.C.O.F for bringing us on board for this one. Thanks to everyone involved for making it an epic trip. That was fun! ~ Galen Kipar
- S.C.O.F Writer - David Grossman
- S.C.O.F Photographer - Rand Harcz
- A.F.F.C Guides - Zach Bassett, Knox Campbell, Galen Kipar
- Crooked Creek Holler
Read the article here... S.C.O.F 2015 FALL Issue #17
Since the article came out, we have received several inquiries about fly patterns and the smallmouth in the Western North Carolina and East Tennessee mountains. If you have questions or are looking for info, contact us anytime!
Asheville Fly Fishing Company / 828-779-9008 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Galen Kipar casually refers to himself as a “trout ninja.” But his real art is the musical blending of folk, classical, jazz, and blues into what one might call neo-bluegrass or Appalachian jazz. Nathan Oravec profiles Kipar on Gazette.net, where the musician and fly fisher describes the link between water and music: “’Water, particularly rivers, have many different currents. Music is the same way,’ he says. ‘Music has many different currents, and they all work together. Maybe that’s a little far-fetched, but it’s something that’s always fascinated me.’”
Be sure to listen to some of the extraordinary .mp3s on the GalenKipar.com Web site.
The Climate Listening Project (CLP) documents stories from everyday folks—from farmers to business leaders to outdoor enthusiasts—and encourages communities to share their experiences of climate disruption.