I took the day off from work on Friday, 3/30, and drove from Chapel Hill to Weldon, NC, to fish for Hickory Shad on the Roanoke River. It’s about a 2 hour drive; left home at 8AM and pulled into the parking lot just before 10AM. Rigged up, carried the pontoon boat to the river, and headed out to a spot right at the “big rapid” where the shad bunch up before they continue upstream. The morning was crisp; there was frost in my neighborhood as I left, but it was about 50F when I reached Weldon. I rowed across the river and anchored in the eddy. I first tried a yellow/orange fly, as my nearest neighbor was catching fish on a gold spoon on his spinning outfit. However, I didn’t get a hookup, so I changed to the hot pink fly that’s served me well at Weldon in the past (pink ice chenile body, pink bucktail wing, and pink kyrstal flash on a size 6 or 8 hook, with bead chain eyes). I was soon catching fish! The fish varied in size today, from about 14″ to 18+”. The larger fish were very thick and strong, and jumped and dove when hooked. I managed about 20 fish in 3 hours. The bite tapered off after 1PM, so I rowed back across the river and headed home. A beautiful, bluebird day…light wind, clear skies, spring greens in the trees, fish, and a cold beer at the end of the day. Damn, I need to do this more often 😉
There be shad!
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