LONG REPORT- Last weekend in the Uwharries - Post Awards - NCangler.com
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LONG REPORT- Last weekend in the Uwharries

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Awarded by , 05-08-2018 at 07:28 AM (494 Views)
Quote Originally Posted by sekod View Post
We finally got to float the Uwharrie River on Saturday, after 2 weeks of failed plans and blown out water. (Checking water levels at the 109 bridge last Saturday, after the rains, with HIGH and MOVING water, we met a group of guys just taking out in canoes that said they had put in at the old Uwharrie Golf Course, nearly 30 miles upriver, and had run that raging torrent in 8 hours! Above Low Water Bridge it gets pretty skinny, and above Burney Mill, it gets REAL skinny! Crazy people...The main crazy man said he even wished it had more water in it!!!) A quick trip was made Friday evening to double check levels, calls were put out, and Saturday's float was ON!!! (First URE float for us this year).

The plan, fluid as it was, was to put in around 10:30 or so, and, being an early riser, I grabbed the 7 wt. and headed down to the pond to hunt a pig, right as it began to lighten up.

I almost wish I hadn't...fishing a Stealth Bomber, about the second or third cast, short, sharp strips, and a sow blows up on it (looked to be one of the 5 pounders);didn't get a good hookset, so she came loose. Dadgummit!!! I don't get many chances at the 5 pound and up girls in the pond, and there went one of them! (It's a C&R pond, and the big ones wise up pretty quick). About 2 casts after that, another pig blows up on the Bomber, and this time I've got a feeling it's one of the two really big girls; if results are any indication, it probably was, because this one took me for a ride and ended up breaking me off and taking the Stealth Bomber! Triple dadgummit!!! She must have run around the whole pond showing every fish there what NOT to bite, because the replacement Bomber didn't get any interest. Finally managed one piglet (maybe 3/4 of a pound...) on a small deer hair popper before it was time to load the boats and head for the river.

Best laid plans? After the inevitable circus of shuttling vehicles and sorting gear and going back to get stuff left in the wrong vehicle, (wives and daughters- need I say more?), we made it on the river around noon, putting in at Low Water Bridge. Conditions were perfect (plenty of water, not too much and not too dirty for fishing, warm but not baking sun, not too many biting bugs, etc. ) and off we went!

Beautiful day on the river. DG started catching sunfish right off the bat on his 4 wt., swinging a black nosed dace streamer. Took me a while, swinging the Stealth Bomber, but finally picked up a few sunfish with big appetites!

DG even ended up with a dink river Largemouth. (Overall, he wore me out in the fishing department. I didn't really fish all that much; the float is so nice I do a LOT of nature watching. Not even a Delia's Ghost of any color could catch me up to DG....) We saw a ton of Gar, some 3 footers or so but most 18-20"; they were jumping and feeding all over the river. Saw some of the biggest turtles I've ever seen that WEREN'T snapping turtles. This one either had no fear, or he was stranded when the water went down and he's waiting for the rains.

There was quite a lot of traffic on the river; counting us, I saw 15 kayaks and 3 canoes all day.

There were several specie of flowers blooming, including trumpet vine and some I couldn't identify...it really is a peaceful float.

5 hours later we reached the takeout at the 109 bridge. It was like the I-77/I-85 interchange in Charlotte! 4 kayaks not counting us taking out, and 5 kayaks and 2 canoes putting in to float down to Tillery, I presume. After the melee settled down, we took our turn. Bringing up the rear, ferrying across the river from where I had backed up in the shallows in the shade to wait, I hit a pair of fish, or rather spooked them and they hit the nose of my kayak and breached about 2 feet away from me on their mad dash upriver. Here's the funny part- these 2 fish, each about 30 inches or so, looked like sturgeon!!!??? Huh??? I had been seeing big and little gar all day, and these were no gar. In fact, if I was anywhere near salt, I'd swear they were shortnose sturgeon, but from what I've been able to gather upon researching the subject, they haven't been found in the Yadkin-Pee Dee chain since 1985, and then in SC nearer the coast. What in the world could they have been? A puzzle...

Anyway, Saturday drew to a close, with us all tired and full of new memories...
Sunday, I flipped the script; I have been tying flies early Sunday mornings and fishing when it warms up, but you can bet that, even with the adventures of the day before, I didn't forget about the 2 missed chances at the pond earlier that morning, so it's no surprise that early Sunday morning, I could be found in pitch darkness at the pond...

The warning the big girl sent to the pond the day before must have still been in effect; caught one small bass on a Stealth Bomber that must not have gotten the memo.

No luck on the sows...oh well, another day...

Not quite ready to quit (in other words, my arm hadn't fallen off yet!) I rolled down the hill to the lake and the boardwalk, still swinging the 7 wt. and a Stealth Bomber. Options 1 and 2 already had guys fishing, so I walked down to the fishing pier and started working the boardwalk, making my way back to the truck. About halfway back, gurgling the Stealth Bomber parallel to the boardwalk with short, 1 foot strips that left a good bubble trail,* this girl gave it a hit-and-a-miss...I stopped dead and let the Bomber sit still for a minute, then started a slow 2 hand retrieve that got the Bomber to dive, and she came back after it! From my vantage point I had an excellent view as she swiped and missed, swiped and missed, and finally caught it good, the hook was set, and the dance floor opened for business. She jumped clear about 8 times in the battle, but she was hooked well in the upper mouth, and I was able to hand-line her up to the boardwalk for a quick picture then back in the water. Yeah buddy!!!

I'd like to say that I caught 5 more, but that was it- 2 bass on the fly in about 4 hours. A beautiful morning for a stroll on the boardwalk, though, even if my feet were wet from the grass at the pond!*

And up the hill, in the storage building, there's gold dust in my wading boots from the day before...

Tight lines, everybody! Headed to Murrells Inlet this coming weekend. I'll let you know if we catch anything. Be good, and be safe!
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