Well a lot hasn’t changed since 2018. The start of 2019 has been very wet and cold. January is always a tough month for fishing. You have to work hard for them with the cold water temps this time of year but you can’t catch them sitting on the couch. I wish I had more to show than I do. It seemed like every time I was going to get on the water more rain or snow would come. My month has been filled with mainly tying flies for the upcoming Spring and Summer. The weather this week is looking pretty dang cold but dry. By weeks end, the rivers should be back in fishing shape but water temps will likely below 40 degrees. Next week looks promising with the 10 day forecast showing highs in the 50’s and low 60’s. I hope its true, I’m ready for Spring or at least a mild Winter from here on out.
I was able to get out on one musky trip this month. Water temps were 39 degrees but didn’t stop us from finding my angler his first musky. He made a deal if he caught his first musky he would get a tattoo done of it. So two hours into our day I was sending musky photos to the tattoo artist.
While the rivers were swollen I got out on Smith Mountain Lake trying to find some hungry stripers. The water temps were very cold on the lake as well, 39 degrees. Myself and a friend rode around slowly looking for fish on the graph. Wasn’t any problem finding them, getting them to eat was hard. After a few hours of sinking flies and a few short strikes my buddy hooked up with a big striper. After a 5 minute or longer fight we couldn’t believe our eyes when I netted the 22 pound striper. I mean I’ve caught some big stripers in the saltwater but never one of this size in freshwater. For a slow cold day fishing it turned out pretty dang good!
It won’t be much longer and we will have longer and warmer days. Hickory and American shad will start their spawning runs up rivers. The Roanoke River near Weldon, NC is one of my favorite runs because it starts earlier than the runs in Virginia. April will bring caddis hatches to the trout rivers and the annual striped bass spawning run will start on the Staunton River near Brookneal, VA. There is a lot to look forward to. February has always been my favorite month to fish for musky. The fish feed more often to get ready for the spawn. Its also a great time to get into a really big female musky. March will be a great time to get after wild trout on the Jackson and Smith rivers. Warmer water temps will wake them up out of their Winter funk. Nymph and streamer fishing these two tailwaters is always a great time in March and a great chance to catch a big brown looking to fill its tummy after being lethargic through the cold months.
I still have spots available for the most incredible fishing experience a fly fisherman can have. I hardly go a day without thinking about peacock bass or the jungle they live in. Hard pulling, jumping, and incredibly beautiful fish. The staff at Nomadic Waters really makes the trip a experience of a lifetime. I am returning for my third trip to the Rio Negro River, Brazil November 8-16, 2019. 7 spots still available for 8 nights and 6 days guided fishing in the Amazon! Price $4950 if paid by April 1st and $5300 after the 1st. Contact me for all the details. https://www.nomadicwaters.com Be sure to check out the video below, this was the week my group was there and my group landed 1613 fish in 6 days by 10 anglers. Be sure to watch it to the end and see how hard the Nomadic Waters guides work for your fish!