Another Bassclave has come and gone. This is the third year we’ve gathered at the Greenbrier River Campground, and the 14th Bassclave overall. Great fellowship, great fishing, and a generally great time. My fishing partner Sam was able to come with me this time. It’s been several years since he was at a Bassclave, and it was good to spend time with Sam. I don’t get to see him as much as I did when we both worked at UNC-CH. Sam and I drove up on Thursday the 22nd, arriving about 11:15PM. Set up camp quickly so that we could get a few hours of sleep before we hit the river. Floated from the Campground down to Stuart’s Hotdog stand on Friday, taking the boats out about 3PM. Fishing was very good for small bass (up to about 12″), but no big ones. It was so hot we took out at Stuart’s rather than floating all the way down to Alderson, but we decided to cook dinner and go back out on the river as the sun sank, hoping for better topwater action. Did the same stretch downstream, but got out at “Drew’s Rock” about 8:30PM and boy, was it a chore getting up to the road. It was Drew’s idea to climb out there…he said, “oh, it’s just a one-man job to take the boat up” – right… 😉 and ‘nuf said! Fishing was decent, but I didn’t get as many as the first run through.
Saturday, we decided to run from the mouth of Second Creek to the campground. It’s quite nice to end the float at the campground rather than dealing with a shuttle. Very civilized. Last year, we had Virgil drive us over, but this year John said he’d drive the folks over that wanted to go on that float, so, he drove me, Sam, Drew, Mike, Jeff, Chad, Jason (& Riser) over. We did leave Drew’s car as we had too many folks for one vehicle, but he had WV tags, so we thought his car would be safe ;- ) . We sorta knew the way, but I used my iPad and the Topo Maps application to make sure we got all the funky turns on the the little mountain roads. Less than 5 miles as the crow flies, but a 30 minute drive. It was so cool with the GPS showing exactly where we were on the topo sheet. The fishing was the same as Saturday; lots of bass, a zillion red-eyes, but I didn’t get any big ones. Lost the best one I hooked, about a 14″ fish, right in the same spot where Jason landed a 14″ fish. Maybe that fish didn’t get enough the first time! I caught most of mine on Crayfish flies and brown buggers; Sam caught most of his on the same. We talked on the way home, and figured as the other guys were mostly in front using poppers, that by the time we came along, they fish that wanted poppers had been tagged, and we were catching them subsurface. Hey, no problem.
Sunday, we packed up and drove over to the special regs trout water on Second Creek. Fun, but frustrating. Lots of trout, actively feeding, but in about 3 hours, the best Sam or I could manage was a couple of strikes. It was nice, though, to cast with the 3 and 4 weight rods with small flies rather than the 7 weight rods and heavy flies we’d been using for bass.
Drove home into the heat wave, arriving about 5PM…
What a great trip. Already looking forward to next year.