Flyfishing for Hickory Shad…

I don’t get out to fish as much as I’d like, but I did get a chance to wet a line today (even if I did spend an hour on a conference call while driving home). In March, Hickory Shad (an anadromous fish that comes up the rivers to spawn) fill many rivers in eastern North Carolina. The Roanoke River has a large run, and the fish move upstream until blocked by the dam at Roanoke Rapids Lake. They are great fun to catch, concentrating in large numbers and providing acrobatic fights on light tackle.

I drove from Chapel Hill to Weldon, about 110 miles. I got to the Weldon ramp about 10:30AM. The wind was really howling, since a cold front came through during the night. The temperature was in the 50’s and the sun was bright, and the water level was perfect. Without the wind, conditions would have been ideal. As it was, casting was quite a challenge, as was staying anchored in my one-man pontoon boat, as the wind was swirling me around my anchor, making it difficult to cast in a consistent direction. However, the fish were there! I caught a few, then it slowed down. I realized that I was not getting my fly deep enough, even with nickel eyes and a sink tip line. I finally got the boat stabilized, and started catching them again. Caught about 25 or so, and about 2:30PM decided that casting a heavy fly into the wind was a lot of work. Rowed across the river to the ramp, loaded up, and headed for home.

A great day! Stopped by the wine store on the way home to pick up an Aussie mixed case; will open one up shortly!

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