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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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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Event Report: Lyin’, Tyin’ and Fishin’ the Smith

On Friday May 16 we kicked off the event at the Bassett Cabin on the upper Smith River. If you have fished the section between Philpott Rd. and Philpott Dam, you have seen the 1926 log cabin on the south shore. Shane secured us the cabin for the weekend and we just had to do a quick cleaning and then respect the property during the event.  The weather was very favorable for the entire weekend. In fact it was darn cool at night! We awoke to 42 degrees Saturday morning and guys scrambled for jackets and a cup of hot coffee. There were a lot of conflicting events that kept some folks away, some of which were fly fishing related. But we had 10 members and quests who were there at various times who fished, socialized, tied, ate and/or spent the night. A good time was had by all and we connected a few faces to names.

Friday

They generated from 1 – 7pm, so a few us were determined to get set up in time to get a little fishing in before generation and then fish on the falling water and falling light afterward. I got the skunk off the trip after 20 minutes just upstream of the cabin. Al went downstream and scored some, too. We had company for the later fishing and a few guys went upstream a piece, while the remainder fished the water right in front of the cabin. No big hatches, but some bugs were coming off and the fish were eager. Paul saluted everyone upon their arrival, then some ganged up on pizza, some ate on their own. A roaring fire and conversation ended the day.

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Saturday

Up and at ’em! There was some slow movement as quite a few adult beverages were downed Friday night. Paul got the coffee going, Shane shuffled in from his hammock to get some bacon and eggs cooking, and we tied for a couple of hours and talked strategies. We split up and most folks fished as a team. Everyone did OK to great, depending on the location (and expectations!). Hendricksons and Light Cahills popped off all day. The nymphs/emergers took the most fish though. The evening sulphur hatch was OK, not epic. Shane and Al fetched a BBQ dinner for everyone and there was much burping around the fire.

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Sunday

An even slower morning! Coffee and bacon got everyone moving. Some guys broke camp early to head home. Others packed up to fish some more before they hit the road. I tied for a while to have THE right flies for the day and evening. I did not get to fish into the night on Saturday and I was amped up about tonight. Guys trickled out, Shane and I tidied up and locked up and we headed out, too. Unfortunately, he broke his rod tip and his day was done. Not a happy dude. I fished for a few hours and was having my best day on the Smith in, well, maybe ever! But, I hiked out to get some grub and a beer. Scott and Paul showed up as planned and we headed back down to stake out our spots for the hoped for sulphur hatch. It started popping off and then it would stop. The fish were a little harder to key in on than earlier. I worked my way upstream to those two and the bugs really started to blow up then. Really impressive. sight. Scott and Paul had a huge cloud coming off by them. They were probably eating them, too! And then darkness sunk in and the action started to ebb. And I was tired! We eased on home.

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Good times. Sorry a lot of you missed it. Remember, we have two chances to fish together coming up in June. Posts are up on both, don’t miss all the fun!

Doug

Fish With A Friend Report

SRTU hosted an event last Saturday to promote the Smith and the club to non-members and newbies. We had decent turnout, with at least 8-10 members and 5 guests. It was a beautiful day and expectations were high that we could put these guys on some fish. Guests came from Fayetteville, Raleigh and Marion, to name a few.  Club members were there to impart some wisdom,advice, share patterns and techniques, and show stream access points. We met at the Mirror Plant and some teams went upstream, some down and some jumped in from Fish Camp to the Hayfield. Everyone had a good time, but not many fish were harmed on this day. The water temperatures were high, the fish were not very eager, and there may have been some sloppy wading to blame. We met back at the parking area at 1pm for a club hosted lunch. The new folks promised to return and we split up from there. Thanks to Scott Griffin for organizing the day and arranging lunch. Al brought the club tent and tables.  The club officers think this should be an annual event. If you would like to head this up for next year, please let yourself be heard. Maybe more than one day? Spring and Fall?

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2013 Smith River Fest Report

SRTU participated in the Fest and we were well represented.

From the Martinsville Bulletin: http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/article.cfm?ID=38645

Attendance was up, the crew had a great location next to the beer garden. There was tying, lying, casting, fishing and conservation talk. A big thanks to Shane, Al, Scott, Roy, Ralph, Lizz and Neil for staffing our tent and representing us so well. They sold some tickets for our print drawing and conducted a raffle for a donated L.L.Bean fly fishing set. The raffle netted us $75. And it gets better. Ben Crouch held the winning ticket and donated it back to the club. It will reappear at our September 14th Fish With A Friend Event. Also, mark your calendar for our September 5th meeting. Stephen Hiner, aka “Bugman”, will tell us about and show us aquatic insect life on the Smith and other area streams. Wayne Kirkpatrick will bring his “bucket of bugs” to enhance the show. More info in later posts! And who wants to go back to Grayson/Smyth Co. in October? It’s being talked about!

Fly fishing print

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June 14-16 Camping and Fishing Trip Report

Shane, Al, Larry, Scott, Roy and Doug hit streams in Grayson, Smyth and Washington counties over three days. We camped in Grindstone Campground (highly recommend!) just north of Mt. Rodgers. Al, Larry and I fished Friday, we all fished Saturday and I fished on the way home and Larry might have done the same. The weather was great, the fishing was very good to OK depending on the stream. The season is running late there, too. Few hatches yet. A lot of good fishing to be had in the near future! Here are some pictures. Lots of rainbows in the pics, but brookies and browns were caught also. You should have been there!

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