November hasn’t been as sweet as some in the past. Mainly due to the rain fronts we seem to have every week as soon as conditions approve. I swear it has rained once a week since April this year. This is the wettest year on record but I definitely have never seen a Fall with this much water. The only benefit from the rain is the trout rivers have more than enough water. Instead of light presentations due to the clear low water, its more like smack a big fly down and make some noise. I have never seen a flows higher than 300 cfs on the Jackson river tailwater until this season. Lately flows have been at 1200 cfs, which is a streamer fishing only flow. If you enjoy throwing trout streamers with sinking tips, this Fall is right up your ally. Fishing streamers is generally not a numbers game, its all about finding the brown trout that want to eat big.
I was really excited to fish for smallmouth bass this Fall. I usually quit about mid October but the Staunton river being a tailwater the water temp stays much warmer. Unfortunately with all the rain I haven’t been able to fish the river since Summer. Finally we had a dry spell and the flows lowered to a great Fall level. Water temps were close to 60 degrees and with a air temp of 23 degrees when we set off that morning. It didn’t take to long to start hooking some bass with streamers and sink tips. I was surprised how many we found still in a Spring and Summer lie instead of deep Wintering holes. I was thankful to get out for the smallmouth bass but the very next day we received over a inch of rain and high flows returned. That was likely my last time out for smallmouth bass for 2018.
Musky fishing has been, well musky fishing. If you don’t know what I mean you haven’t tried fishing for musky. I have only been out two days this month for musky, but had success one of those days. A great angler from upstate New York drove 9 hours to VA with hopes of that first musky. This guy was a very accomplished pike fly fisherman, so I knew he had the tools needed for the job since the fish are in the same family. First day we fished in the rain all day with only moving two fish. We moved both those fish back to back but could never get anymore interest. Next after the front it was very windy and much colder. The first four hours of the day we saw no glimmer of hope with seeing a fish. After lunch we made a move to a different area and a few cast later in a blink of the eye we had his first musky in the boat. Most of the time it happens so fast and you have to be prepared for the opportunity at any moment. If you have a never give up attitude and the mindset of it will happen at any moment you will have success with musky.
We are just a few days from Thanksgiving now. Its hard to believe how fast the year has gone by but I guess I better get use to it. I hope you and yours has a wonderful Thanksgiving!