Posted by & filed under Fishing Stories.

My friend James Serra, from Georgia, and I planned a trip to Fires Creek, NC on March 3rd. I enjoy fishing with James. We have good chemistry together.

Ladson DuntonThe day was a pretty cold one and the water was high and moving fast. Tough conditions, to say the least. For me, the morning session was slow. Caught plenty of fish but not the usual high count day.(James was doing better than I was) We decided to break for lunch then go back at it for the afternoon session. While looking for a spot on the river, we came across two young couples. Adam Dunton and his wife, Ladson, and Caleb Stewart and his wife. (Ladson is the Marketing Coordinator for SWEETWATER beer company out of Atlanta.) I asked Adam how he was doing, said “ caught a few but my wife hasn’t got anything yet.” I asked if I could assist her. He said yes. Here I go, budding into someone else’s business. But I can’t help myself.

So, I asked Ladson to bring in her line and let me check it out. I changed her fly, put one of mine on, added some weight, and lengthened her indicator. With a little instruction where to cast, Ladson made her first drift. Well, the fishing Gods have always been good to me. On that first drift, she hooked and landed a nice little rainbow. Where we excited? Oh ya! After a quick photo and release, she had some confidence and it showed. A few more casts and she hooked into and landed a Brookie. WOW – this is more fun than me catching fish (well, almost LOL)
I explain that she needed to catch a Brown to claim the Fires Creek Slam. Like I said, I’ve been blessed. Indicator goes down, I yell set, and she pulls out a Brown. SLAM, and She goes on my Wall of Fame – Bronze Status. At this point, I felt like the Lone Ranger. “Come on James (Tonto), our work here is done.” LOL

I love to fish. Always have. But I can honestly say, that when I guide or “bump” onto someone, and put them on fish. It’s the best feeling for me. HOW SWEET IT IS!

18" Brown

Posted by & filed under Fishing Stories.

For those of you that picked up this magazine because you have interest in fly fishing but can’t get started, this article is for you.

Before July 2005, I only tried fly fishing a couple of times by myself. Because I didn’t have any luck, I lost interest. Then in July of 2005, while looking for a log cabin to buy in Bryson City, my wife and I made a side trip to Asheville. While there, I can across Hunter’s Bank Fly Shop. I went in and said I wanted to fish the Davidson River. I mentioned that I had very little experience. The owner said, “ That’s ok, I will set you up with Forrest Marshall. He knows the Davidson real well.

I met Forrest at the fly shop two days later. We proceeded to the Pisgah Forest in Brevard, NC. Once we got there, we started to fish next to a bridge. Right away I started catching fish in the 12-14’’ range. I was having a great time. While this was going on, Forrest kept looking up the river where two other guys were fishing. He said, when they leave, we’re going to take that spot. A half hour later, they left and we moved up.

We fished that spot for approximately 45 minutes and I didn’t catch a thing. ( I was happy where we started, why move? ) Forrest changed the fly to a smaller size. In fact, he changed the fly 5 times. I was a little frustrated, but he was the guide. I really got nervous when he said, “ we are not leaving here until I make the fish eat.”

( What fish?) He changed the fly again, for the 6th time, and on my first drift I caught and landed a 18” Brown Trout. I was excited, surprised, and impressed. That fish made my day! Forrest said, “ what are you waiting for, there’s another one in there. Well, I was a believer so I made my cast and drifted in the same spot and SMASH! Another fish, this time it was a 22” Rainbow Trout. ( I didn’t get a photo of it because while holding it up for the picture, it flipped out of my hands. ~ the one that got away .)

So, a few things I want to share with you about that day:

  1. If you ever wanted to try fly fishing, give it a try ~ SOONER than later
  2. If you are inexperienced, hire a guide that knows the local waters, it makes all the difference
  3. Once you get “hooked” and start to fish on your own, experiment with different size flies, tippets, etc.
  4. Share your fly fishing experience with a son, daughter, or a friend.

I’ve been guiding for 5 years. I love what I do, especially when I have new people that have never fly fished before, have a great time, and want to come back and do it again ~ next time even better. HOWEVER – you must start….

Posted by & filed under Fishing Stories.

Well, It’s about time I tell the story of my trip to Colorado in 2008. That’s when my partner and I hosted a fishing trip with our clients. One in particular, Jeff V. D., had never fly fished before.

He was very apprehensive, but being a great sport, he decided to try it. Jeff asked me for help, instruct him, as I was very familiar with the Taylor River. At dinner the first night we arrived, we discussed our plans for the next day. I recommended we first start out throwing a spinning outfit to get the feel of the water and to locate the trout. Jeff was fine with that.

So the next morning we entered the water, found a good spot and started casting. After several casts, Jeff had a fish on, but it got off. He was excited and said, “this is going to be easy.” ( Little did he know ) After several more casts, same thing. Fish on, but it got off. “What am I doing wrong?” I said keep casting. We moved around and the same thing kept happening. I said, “let me try it”. I told Jeff I was going to change the spinner and maybe that would give us good luck. A few casts in the river and SMACK! A nice 18” Rainbow. A few more casts and another nice fish. Time for Jeff to try it again, but he said he preferred to try the fly rod next.

At dinner that night, Jeff told everyone how he couldn’t catch a fish with the spinner, but I was great at it. ( Oh my ) I didn’t have the heart to tell everyone what I had done.

When we first started out in the morning, I took the treble hook off the spinner and was going to replace it with a single barbless hook. Ah HA! I decide to pull a joke on Jeff and not put a hook on at all…………At the time, I thought it was funny. ( well it is , ain’t it? ) I couldn’t fess up then, but I’m doing it now.

So when this article comes out in the August issue, I am going to send him a copy. I’m sure I am going to get a phone call. However ~ I finally got this of my chest…………LOL

[ PS; Jeff is no longer my client, so I can now tell this story ]