Awesome day chasing musky on the James River.
It’s been awhile since our last post. A lot of exciting stuff has been going on. Water levels have come up, more fish have been stocked, spent a week in Belize, had a great musky trip, got to demo some amazing gear and much more.
Starting off with our local fishery and waters. The rain was very welcome and much needed. We could definitely use more but, are thankful for what we got. It has really helped our native brookie streams. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the low water we had for most of the fall did not have to much of a negative impact on their spawn. Only time will tell. Larger rivers are in great shape. The Jackson, Cowpasture, Bullpasture, and South River have been fishing well.
If you enjoy having to spend time figuring out exactly what the fish are eating this is a great time of year. Weather in Virginia is anything but predictable. One day it’s in the 30’s the next it’s 70’s. One day small midges and deep nymphing the next big dries and streamers. The best tip I can recommend is, if what you’re using isn’t working, keep changing until they eat it. Be sure you are covering the entire water column. On the subsurface days don’t be afraid to keep adding weight until you feel it ticking/bouncing along the bottom.
Private waters: Big Bend and Big River Farm are open and fishing well. GT will be stocked on December 1st and we still need more rain before we can open Sugar Hollow Farm. Trout Unlimited has stocked their stretch of the Moormans a couple times and it’s also fishing well. As mentioned above if what you are using isn’t working keep working your way through the water column until you find the fish.
Shenandoah and James River: Water levels are still a little low but they are floatable and producing some great musky. Congratulations Robbie O, Awesome fish. Robbie caught this fish last Saturday on a Sage X 9wt, 9+ Hatch reel, and a fly pattern he tied.
Off to Belize. We had an amazing hosted trip this year to Belize River Lodge. This was our second year running this trip and everyone that was on it can’t wait to return next year. The ease of travel from the East coast and the two for one special make Belize River Lodge a great location for a fall trip, not to mention the amazing fishing. All anglers caught a personal best whether it was their first saltwater fish, their biggest, or first of a species. If you’d like to experience Belize River Lodge or join us on a hosted trip give us call.
It’s not often I do a gear review. Well, Its never. This is my first one. The truth is, I’m not a big fan of gear reviews because they are so often subjective and bias. With that being said, here’s my two cents. Steve S, my Gloomis rep wanted me to try a couple rods. He let me barrow a 8 and 10wt Asquith to take to Belize and Gloomis’s LHP, Long Handle Predator rod in the #10/11 for musky. I had never fished any of those rods. I do fish the NRX in a 4wt for trout, a 7wt for bonefish and smallmouth and 10wt in the standard 9′ 4 piece for tarpon and the Pro 1 piece for musky. I love the 4wt for trout, the 7wt is a great smallmouth rod but I find tough for bonefish if it’s blowing 15mph+. I find the 7wt has a tough time unloading when casting into wind. The 10wts are just work horses. The main reason I love the NRX is the tippet protection and fish fighting ability.
Okay, on to the Asquith. One word, amazing. I fished the 9′ 8wt for bonefish and permit using a Hatch 9′ 12# leader and stretched it out to around 12′ with Hatch 12# tippet. It did great and was a lot of fun on the bonefish. Both the permit I caught on it required around 90-95′ backhand casts. The fish pictured below was in very light winds. The first fish a couple days before came in pretty windy conditions. The rod had no issues in the wind and unbelievable tippet protection.
I don’t have a review on the 10wt. It cast great. I had it setup with a large popper that I was hoping I could convince/trick a tarpon into eating. No luck. All I can say is it handled that popper well and was nice to cast for the short time I played around with it.
The musky stick/LHP #10/11. Well, I took it musky fishing so, I did cast it a lot. Great rod. I hate to say it but, I like it more then my NRX pro 1 and at $470 love it over $895 or there about for the pro 1. The ease of casting made a day of chasing musky very nice and believe it or not put one in the net with it. It cast like a dream and handled the fish with no problems. As for tippet protection? Can’t speak to that. I just run about 3′ of Hatch 60# tippet for musky. I will say the #10/11 handled 500gr sinking line and 12″ musky flies with no problem.