Float Trip Watauga River 8-16-12
Had a great trip a few weeks back with an awesome guide. Just wanted to share.
I had the pleasure of fishing with Ollie Smith of Blue Ridge Anglers on this trip. This was a very emotional trip for me. Ollie was my father in laws favorite fishing guide and also very close friend. This trip was Christmas gift to me from my father in law two Christmas's ago and I was of course supposed to go on the trip with him. Sadly, he passed away in November of last year. So, I instead went on the trip with his friend King of 48 years as that was as close to going fishing with my dad in law as I could get.
Ollie Smith-Blue Ridge Anglers
Ollie is an amazing guide! Very professional, and has a wealth of knowledge about the area's entomology,trout locations,feeding habits, and what flies worked and what wouldn't. He handled his Hyde low profile drift boat like a pro always positioning us for the perfect cast, and he knows the Watauga like the back of his hand. Mid-day he served up a great shore lunch of homemade fried chicken,various chips,pimento cheese, and a ton of other items. He just kept pulling and pulling food out of the compartments in that boat. Which was good,because King and I can eat!
Ollie offers half day and full day trips on some of North Carolina and Tennessee's most scenic rivers. He tailors each trip to meet his clients' desires and skill levels. Blue Ridge Anglers also offers cabins for rent at The Watauga River Lodge located right on the bank of the Watauga. You can see rates and pictures by clicking on the hyperlink to The Lodge above.
I've never gone fishing with a guide and not learned a lot, and Ollie was no exception. He knows more about trout behavior and feeding habits than anyone I have ever encountered. Although I've fly fished for years, Ollie noticed some bad mechanics that I had let creep into my casting. He helped me correct them, and I was casting better right away. I think that is one of the most valuable things about fishing with a good guide that people often don't think about. Just like Major League hitters have a hitting coach there to let them know when they start to make mistakes or have bad mechanics with their swing. I think it's a good idea to have someone who really knows a lot about casting to look at your cast every now and then. Don't let your ego get in the way of fishing better.
How did we do?
We put the drift boat in at 8:30 in the morning and took it out a little after 4 in the afternoon. The trout weren't biting that well. Due to it being late in the summer and they have been fished hard for months. However, we still had a great time. We started out stripping size 14 olive and white bead head Wooly Buggers from the bank and started getting takes right away. Later Ollie switched us to a Stimulator size 12 with a Quasimodo bead head pheasant tail #22 dropper that we caught several more on. We also saw some action on a pink Salmon egg pattern. Altogether caught around 30 Rainbows Which wasn't a great day on the Watauga. Ollie said a good day earlier in the season is around 60-70 trout. King pissed me off by catching the biggest of the lot!
My one that got away story is this. I was high sticking a San Juan worm in fast moving water and hooked a HUGE slob brown. I played him for five minutes before King started filming this video. I made the mistake of thinking he was through fighting just as he went on another run and broke the tippet. I wasn't giving him my full attention and that big brown made me pay! He lulled me to sleep, and yes I'm still kicking myself!
It was great day still. I plan on taking another trip with Ollie next year much earlier in the year like around May, and have one of those 70 trout days!
Hope you enjoyed reading
Re: Float Trip Watauga River 8-16-12
i fish this river regularly also, awsome river, especially the trophy trout section. i know you guide, he is agood friend of the guide i use, jasop reep, east tn fly fishing. both well worth the money---
Re: Float Trip Watauga River 8-16-12
Nice to read about your day on the Watauga. In mid-August I fished it with Jason Reep. So here are three of us who would recommend the Watuaga to anyone!
PS: I missed my big fish too - a huge take while I was looking at a bird or something....
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