Grindstone Camping Trip, May 15-17

It was a small group that checked into the campground this year. Some guys had some health situations that kept them at home. Others had family and other time conflicts. But the ones that showed fished long and hard. Eric, Dean, Darrin and Doug were joined by a couple of guests from NC, John and Chuck. Roy drove over early Saturday for fishing, too. When I arrived a little before noon on Friday, Eric and Dean were set up and gone fishing. I got my hammock up and unloaded the truck and was off to find some fish before long. I found those two not far down the river on the Whitetop-Laurel. I backtracked a good bit and hopped in the water. I got into rainbows and lost a decent brown, but the numbers were not as good as I thought there should be. There was not much bug activity and the water was a little lower than it was last year in June. The guys caught up and passed me, so I finished my run and hopped out to go around them and up Green Cove. It treated me a little better. Including a surprisingly large brown.

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After a good dinner, some beverages beside the fire and a few tall tales we all slept well. Got up Saturday and headed out to do it again after breakfast. Some of the brave ones had the eggs with locally gathered ramps. Most of the fellows headed back to W-L, then ended the day on the upper South Holston. Everybody got rained on at least a little bit. Darrin and Doug hit up some small streams. The action was hot and heavy with probably 60 fish to hand. Here’s some pics from that.

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John had to bug out before dinner and Roy was already gone. Dinner was easier and that was good, because we were all tired.  Sleep came easy and Sunday dawned very damp. Packing up wet gear is not much fun, because you are going to have to set it all up again at home. Chuck, Eric and Dean headed home. Darrin and Doug decided to fish a few hours before doing that. Darrin had a much better day than Doug. And he didn’t blow out a boot, either.

Join us next trip!

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Smith River Cleanup Report

Brrrrrrr, it was chilly but the Smith River Trout Unlimited (SRTU) river clean-up on Saturday, March 28th was a huge success. The weather kept attendance down but those who did show up pitched in and got the job done.
Our goal was to clean the road and river banks along Shady View Lane and The Great Road downstream from the canoe ramp. These two sections are divided by Highway 220 Bypass.
We ended up cleaning the length of Process Rd., also.
Some very chilly folks left after we finished up, others gathered for some dogs and burgers from the grill.
Thank you one and all. We made a difference one trash bag at a time. When all were collected in one spot they totaled close to 50 bags of  trash – that’s pretty impressive.

Some fishing was done afterwards, too!

 

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Re-Scheduled Meeting w/Musky and Striper Program, April 2

The  Musky & Striper program  which was scheduled for last month was cancelled due to ice storm. Thankfully Matt Miles was still available and willing to reschedule for Thursday, April 2nd.  I’ve  attached a couple photos to show what you’ve been missing if you have not fished for these species.  . Details below:

With prime time fishing season just around the corner Smith River Trout Unlimited (SRTU) will host a  “How to” Musky & Striper fishing program  at Rania’s Restaurant on Thursday, April 2, 2015 at 6:30 pm. Well known musky & striper expert and Orvis indorsed guide Matt Miles will shorten your learning curve on these two hard fighting species. You do not have to be a member of SRTU. Anyone with an interest in regional fishing opportunities is encouraged to attend.

Our regular meetings will now feature a “swap shop”  set up in the back of the room. Bring what you want to sell or trade. Slap your name and a price on it and recycle the stuff you don’t use or need. Look around for those “it was a good idea at the time” purchases you made but now reside in the back of your closet or garage. We already have an Orvis Sling Pack and several other items ready for new owners.  Be ready to haggle. Bring some extra cash and walk away with some neat “I need one of those” items!

Rania’s is located in the uptown or historic district at 147 E. Main St., Martinsville, VA  24112.

 

For more information contact SRTU President  Doug Jessie at 549-874-6560 or SRTU Secretary Al Kittredge at 910-624-3457

 

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Smith River Cleanup!

Smith River Trout Unlimited (SRTU) is calling on all members, fishermen and civic minded volunteers to help with our annual Smith River Cleanup on Saturday, March 28, 2015. We will meet at 8:30 am at the old church at the end of Shady View Rd, Fieldale/Bassett VA and concentrate our effort on both sides of the Hwy 220 Bypass Bridge. This is a good time to bring your friends, neighbors and anyone else who loves the river and hates litter. We can all help make a difference, one garbage bag full at a time.  We will have “SRTU River Clean Up” directional signs at major road junctions. Participants should to bring gloves, hats, sunscreen and a canoe or kayak (if you have one).  We will provide water and plastic bags. Wear waders if you are willing to get in the water.  All trash will be consolidated for eventual pick up at the turn around at the end of Shady View Road.

The cleanup with be over at 1:00 pm. Lunch will be provided by SRTU once everyone is accounted for. Bring your rod if you want to go fishing with a knowledgeable “Smith River Regular” afterwards.

March Meeting Info and More

Smith River Trout Unlimited (SRTU) has a great “How to” Musky & Striper fishing program lined up for you when we meet at Rania’s Restaurant in uptown Martinsville, on Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 6:30 pm. Musky & Striper expert and Orvis indorsed guide Matt Miles will shorten your learning curve on these two hard fighting species.

We’d also like to remind you about two other up coming events:

Smith River Clean Up is on Saturday, March 28th. We’ll meet at the old church at the end of Shady View Rd at 9:00 am and concentrate our effort on both sides of the Hwy 220 Bypass Bridge. This is a good time to bring your friends, neighbors and anyone else who loves the river and hates litter. We can all help make a difference, one garbage bag full at a time. We will host a cookout and fishing after the cleanup.

Grindstone Fishing and Camping Trip, May 15, 16, 17 – Stay at Grindstone Campground on the North side of Mt. Rodgers and fish Smyth, Grayson and Washington Co. streams. We have had a blast the past two years we did this trip and you could join the fun. We eat good, stay at a great campsite, fish great trout waters and have a great weekend in general. The club covers the campsite fees. We split the food costs and chores. Campsite accommodates 12. Tent sites and good trees for hammocks, too. Club members have first dibs. Sign up before we open it up to guests on April 6. Contact Doug Jessie @ d.jessie81@gmail.com 540-874-6560

You do not have to be a member of TU to attend our meetings.(You must be a member in order to vote on chapter business). Anyone who has an interest in the Smith River Fishery is encouraged to attend.

Rania’s provides us with a nice meeting space with the expectation that the majority of attendees will purchase a meal. (Good food, moderate prices). Address is 147 E. Main St., Martinsville, VA 24112. It is in the historic district of Martinsville known as uptown as it sits on a hill.

2015 Events, Mark Your Calendars!

Hi folks – The Smith River TU leadership met recently to come up with an agenda for the 2015 calendar year. We have an exciting year ahead with something for everyone.  Other items may be added as well. We would love your ideas and energy to spearhead a project or your favorite program.

 

 

The following calendar events were proposed, discussed and agreed to by the SRTU Board of Directors.

 

  • March 5, Regular Meeting – Musky & Striper fishing. Presentation by Orvis indorsed guide and regional expert Matt Miles.

 

  • April ??, Philpot Expo  – Set up table with fly tying demo, casting demo, talk up SRTU.

 

  • March 28, River Clean up – Concentrate on section both sides of Hwy 22O Bypass Bridge. Meet at old church end of Shady View Rd. Cook out and fishing after clean up.

 

  • May 15-17, Group fishing/camping trip to Mt Rogers / Grayson Highland  / Grindstone campground area.

 

  • June 4, Regular meeting – “The Joys of Fly Fishing for Warm Water Species”. Presentation and fly tying demo by well known fly fisherman and tier Anthony Hipps.

 

  • June 12-14, Fish, Lie & Tie, Bassett Cabin, Modest fee for campers so we can have dinner(s) catered, supply food, etc., excess funds to the treasury.

 

  • August 8, Smith River Fest – Fly tie demo, talk up TU, casting demo.

 

  • September 3, Regular Meeting. Salt water fishing. Guest speaker TBA

 

  • September 12, Fish with a friend & cook out. Meet at Mirror Plant parking lot. Scott Griffin is lead on this.

 

  •  December 3, Regular Meeting, “Health of The Smith River” report from VDGIF.  This is VDGIF annual summary of It’s sampling which occurs in late July or early August.

 

Other items of interest:

 

Darrin Doss is working on an update to SRTU website http://smithrivertu.com/index.html and needs feedback on what we want to see and ideas on how to present it. He also needs material, links, photos etc to insert at appropriate places.  While checking things out click on over to our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SmithRiverTU and let us know what you would like to see there as well

 

Everyone is encouraged  to look through their gear for items they no longer use or have a need for. Bring these items to our meetings where we will set up a swap or for sale table. As the saying goes, “one man’s trash, another man’s treasure

 

Reminder there is a Fly Show in Winston Salem  on February 6-7 (Friday & Saturday)  Many of the regional folks also hold a Lying & Tying event at the Marriot Hotel each evening once the show closes down. This is a good chance to meet local fishermen and have some one on one fly tying instruction.

 

Nat Greene Fly Fishers is holding their Annual Spring Banquet & Seminar on February 28th at the Bur-Mill Park Clubhouse, Greensboro,  NC.  Tom Rosenbauer, well known fly fishing author, Orvis spokesperson and TV personality will be the keynote speaker. Contact Laura Kennerly 336-707-7665 for details.

December Meeting Minutes

On Thursday, Dec. 4, we meet at Rania’s Restaurant in Martinsville. We had two speakers, at least two guests, and over twenty members in attendance. It takes a good program to draw a crowd, huh?

The meeting was called to order by Shane and after recapping the club events (Grayson Highlands Camping and Fishing Trip, Fish With A Friend Day, Lyin’, Tyin’ and Fishin’ Weekend, Smith River Fest, River Clean-up) over the past year, he reminded everyone that we had elections to hold for new officers after the presentation.

And yes, we had a great program. George Palmer and Scott Smith from VDGIF gave us a presentation on the stream sampling that they did this summer on the Smith. It was a very entertaining and informative presentation with a lot of questions and answers throughout the session. Here are the highlights that I came away with.

Following comments are from Philpott to Martinsville Dam:

  • they samples 8 sites above the Martinsville dam. All together, they totaled about 8000 feet of river sampled.
  • 2300 fish were collected. 70% were Brown Trout, 2 % were Rainbows, 13% Darters, 5.5% Chub. and the other 9.5% were other baitfish, bass, sunfish, etc. They estimate that they only collect about half of the fish in the sampled areas using the barge technique employed on the upper river.
  • They have collected an average of 11 trout/10 meters over the last ten years. Last five years have trended higher.
  • The average fish size above Martinsville dam was 8.3″. This is also trending higher.
  • Higher numbers of trout were collected from the Mirror Plant to the Philpott Dam. Numbers collected fell of dramatically below Bassett. But baitfish numbers were reversed. The waters below Bassett become harder to samle and the sampled areas were smaller, but is something else going on?
  • No trout over 14″(I think?) were sampled above Martinsville.

1300 brown trout were moved from the upper river to the waters below Martinsville after they had their adipose fin clipped. They were released in three+ locations.

Following comments are from below the Martinsville dam:

  • They sampled 11.1 miles of river below the dam. The technique, equipment and measurements were different because of the different river conditions.
  • They used one raft with a rower, a shocker and one dipper. They could only sample the water right around the raft. They could not cover the width of the river as they can higher up. Deeper holes were also harder to shock and sample.
  • Fish sampled are measured in fish/hour, not fish/meter or feet. This is the sampling and measuring system used on most larger rivers.
  • Much more chubs, bass, sunfish, darters were sampled
  • 175 brown trout were sampled. Most fish were 12-20″.
  • 43/hour were sampled. They were impressed since it was the crews first time on this stretch of unfamiliar water. By comparison, George said that smallmouth sampling on the upper New River, a premier water, averages about 88/hour. Musky sampling is less than 5/hour.

Considerations/plans for above Martinsville:

  • More extensive testing/sampling from Collinsville/Fieldale to Martinsville Dam. Why low populations? There is more food available. No spawning habitat, high water temperatures, fish not moving down from higher water, past/current pollutant issues?
  • Relocate clipped adipose trout from Philpott area to this stretch below Bassett. Study growth and survival of these fish.

Considerations/plans for below Martinsville:

  • Continue to move more fish from Philpott area.
  • Stock sterile Brown Trout fingerlings (George has requested 11,000 for 2015). They will OTC marked so they can examined for growth in future years. Sterile fish do not waste energy on reproduction, so growth rates are higher.
  • More extensive sampling and testing. Especially of the trouts’ diet.

That concluded our program. George and Scott stayed through the meeting and talked with us more after the meeting. They were extremely generous with their time and knowledge and we are very grateful for them spending the time with us. And we’re glad to have such good guys in the positions they are in. Thanks again.

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We moved on to the nominations and elections.

We had a proposed slate prepared and Al received no new nominations from the floor. Al called for a second and then a vote to accept and it was a done deal. New officers for 2015 are: President, yours truly. Doug Jessie; Vice President, Eric Tichay; Secretary, Al Kittredge; Treasurer, Scott Griffin, for his third term.

Next meeting is scheduled for March 5, 2015.

Hope everyone has a great Christmas. Maybe Santa will bring you some new gear? And go fishing!

Notify me if you have corrections/additions, please.

Doug Jessie

Secretary

d.jessie81@gmail.com

Grindstone Camping and Fishing Trip Report


On June 20-22 we journeyed to Smythe, Grayson and Washington counties for a great weekend. 8 of us made the trip which included great food and drink, fishing on a wide variety of streams, fishing with new partners, getting rained on, campfires, tall tales, and general fun. The pics tell the story! If you missed it, you missed a wonderful trip.

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June Meeting and Fish With A Friend Report

On Saturday June 7 we met at the Bassett Mirror Plant parking area. We had a quick little meeting to cover upcoming events and answer questions.

Here is what’s up:

June 20-22      Grindstone Campground Trip      Camp and fish

July 19              River Clean Up                                 Upper river and road, dam to Philpott Rd., lunch served

August 9           Smith River Feast                             Sports Complex, tent display, fly tying, casting

September 4    Meeting

December 4     Meeting

We had 7 members and two quests in attendance.

The meeting was adjourned and fishing began.

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Scott was the lead on the vent and he had brought his grill. We met back at the parking area for burgers and dogs and lies. After that we broke camp. Some went on their ways and others fished. Wish we had seen more of you there! Some spots are still available for the Grindstone event!

 

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Grayson Highlands Area Trip – June 20-21

Hey sports fans! Back to Grindstone Campground we go.
Friday and Saturday dinner together, Saturday and Sunday breakfast, too. On your own for lunches.
Limited to 12. 12 sane people. The campground will be full and shenanigans will need to be toned down.
We still plan on having fun, though!
Same large campsite. 30D.
Cost is $15 each.
Limited to four, that’s 4 tents. Hammocks are overlooked (so far).
Parking for four cars at the site, others in overflow area 150 yds. away. Carpool if possible.
Fishing was very good last year on this same weekend, I expect the same.
No trout stamp is needed for any waters since it’s after June 15. Get a NF stamp, though.
If you go into Grayson Highlands State Park, they will charge per car.

SRTU members have first dibs on spots until June 2.
If others want on the waiting list, I’ll start one now.
Contact me to sign up and for questions.
Looking for volunteers to provide dinners and get reimbursed. Pre-prepared for the most part works out great.
Need volunteers to help with breakfasts, also.

Doug

d.jessie81@gmail.com

 

 

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