I apologize in advance for the lack of reports this week. I’m on the water 10 hours/day and when I get back, I’m not too eager to pick up the laptop. I’m much more likely to pick up a cold beverage and a scrub brush to get cleaned up for the next day.
This season has been excellent fishing all around. The keeper season has been extended to May 6, which is nice for those of you who want to take home a few. This past week, we were thrown a curve ball with the big rain, and the river rose to a rarely seen 35,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) from the Roanoke Rapids Lake dam. The pure volume of water and the velocity of the current is very impressive, especially upriver of the ramp. LOTS of rain fell in the upper river basin above the lakes. To mitigate the excessive water, the stakeholders managing the spring flows are trying to get all the water through as quickly as possible, hoping to promote a productive spawn once the flows are stepped down at the end of the this coming week. A very few of the fish had already or were starting to spawn before the water came up, but the vast majority of them haven’t yet conducted their spring ritual. Hopefully we’ll start to see some heavy spawning once the river comes back down. My guess is we’ll probably see some of out best fishing of the season, although it can’t get too much better.
We’ve been consistently catching 50-120 fish on our 5 hour 1/2 day trips. Rising or falling water usually hurts the fishing, and on the day the water rose dramatically from 18,000 to 35,000 in just a few short hours, our numbers dipped to 30-50 for the 1/2 days. That’s pretty darn good by any standards. After the water leveled off at 35k, we were back to 80 fish half days. During the third week of April (our first full week in Weldon), we were catching fish any way you wanted to catch them (live bait drifting, live bait anchored, topwater, jigs, fly). After the water came up, it turned into more of a live bait bite, although we’ve caught some on jigs when we found the right school. Although a few have been caught on fly with the high water, most of that has fallen off, but that will change as the water comes back down. Get ready for some good May fly fishing.
I think these fish will be here for a while this year. I have one more slot I’ll open up for Monday, May 15 in the afternoon. In many years, we’ve had 100+ fish half days in mid to late May with virtually no one else of the river.
As we move into late May, we’ll be back on the Pamlico and exciting about a great spring and early summer. The spring mixed bag fishing has been outstanding so far, and I expect it to continue. I think we’re going to have a great year on speckled trout and slot drum.
Here’s what I have available for the Pamlico: May 16, 18, 29-31 June 3, 7, 14, 21-24, 26-30.
Let’s go fishing, and enjoy these pictures from last week in Weldon. Great family fun!