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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Smith River has been fishing very good for folks that have fished with me the past few weeks. On Friday I took a gentleman to the lower end of the Special Regulation section where he did very well. This was his second time on the river. The previous time he had fished near the Mirror Factory which was the only spot he could locate from reading various reports about Virginia's once famous trophy trout stream. Mr. P was a life long fly fisher whose business travels have allowed him to fish in spots many of us only read and dream about. He had recently figured out that the Smith was only a two hour drive from his home in Raleigh, NC and was hoping to make it his new "home water".

We arrived to a bank of fog which is normal this time of the year because of the vast difference in air and water temperatures. The fog hung with us most of the morning.


Casting and wading were not issues with Mr. P. He had them down to a pretty good science. What he hoped to gain for the day was a better appreciation of nymphing techniques and also learn more about the river. After a short demonstration of what works for me, he was tossing the Allieworm in most of the likely looking spots. He soon found that a sure way to miss a strike was to take your eyes off the indicator. Another way was to react too quickly. As any good host will tell you, "It's better to be a little late then too early".


We were soon into fish and Mr. P did himself proud.


He was closing in on double digits when we looked up through a break in the fog and saw that another fisherman had slipped into the water less then a hundred yards in front of us. I am sure the other fellow did not even know we were there because of the fog.


Not wanting to fish "used water" we climbed up a bank and walked the rail road tracks to well upstream of the other gentleman, leaving him with at least two hours of fishing before reaching where we reentered the water. The move worked to our advantage. The fishing was good at our initial section but it really picked up at our new spot. By now Mr. P knew what to look for and was not missing many fish. They just kept coming one right after the other - some were small, but there were also a good mix of 9-10 inch fish.


We moved into some wide and flat sections which were too much water to cover for one person without a lot of zig-zag maneuvering. Mr.P, being the gentleman that has led to success in his business, invited me to fish. I took the lesser water and kept him to what I considered the prime sections. The fishing was so good that we had doubles on two or three occasions.


None of the fish would come close to beating the Virginia Historical Brown Trout record set on the Smith River back in the mid seventies but they were all a delight to catch. A couple of the nicer ones pushed the twelve inch mark.


We reluctantly called it a morning at 2pm in the afternoon. It was tempting to keep racking up another fish, but the generation surge was coming our way and Mrs. K was holding lunch back at our circa 1900's log cabin. By this time the fog had burned off and it was a fairly long walk back down the railroad tracks to our vehicles.

After lunch we piled into my truck. Mr. P sat on the passenger side with map and pencil in hand as I gave a tour of the lower river. Some folks think I provide too much information, but at this stage in my life I don't have many fishing secrets. In my opinion, the more folks that call the Smith River their "home water", and by extension become an advocate for the river, the better it will be for the fishery.

We finished out the afternoon, (actually early evening), down in the Koehler area. The sun was shining brightly on the water and the temperatures had gone up at least 20 degrees since early morning. We were also fishing in totally different water. For whatever reason, the feeding frenzy we had enjoyed just a few hours before did not make it's way down river. Mr. P , being the persistent fisherman that he was, added three more to his catch.


We stopped counting after hitting double digits but my guess is that he brought 25-30 to hand and LDR at least 10 more. We won't even mention the number that he just plain missed. I fished a bit at the end of our morning session and also caught a respectable number. We were both tired fishermen when we finally parted ways. Any day of fishing is a good day but on Friday the Smith made it a day to remember.

While I have your attention I would like to invite you to a free trout fishing seminar this coming Saturday, July 28th from 1-3pm at the Gander Mountain Store off Skibo Rd in Fayetteville,NC. They have asked me to talk about the Smith River, which is the closest trout stream to the Fayetteville area and most folks in Eastern NC. We will assemble in the Gander Mtn "Lodge" where I will use a PowerPoint presentation to give a little history of the Smith, talk about some of it's challenges and spend a good amount of time explaining and demonstrating what works for me. Once again, the seminar is free and I will be giving out a lot of information.

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
OK, Guys & Gals - I need some candid advice here.

About a month ago I received a not so nice email concerning my having the guts to approach a poacher on the Smith. Things like keying my truck or worse if they found it parked along the river - stuff like that. I deleted it and didn't even keep the address (I know mistake on my part).

Today I received this ............"Be wary abt reporting all that you do regarding the dissemination of fishing info. Fishermen are quite greedy when it comes to secret fishing holes and might become quite ugly (ie. your truck, parked along the river), if they feel your ruining it for them. I'm not telling you not to continue doing what you are doing, I'm just saying to stop talking abt it. Just some polite council for the man I consider big brother"........

My initial reaction is that I don't need this aggravation and have probably posted my last fishing report. On the other hand I just about always receive a thank you note from folks who fish with me and kudos from many who are on my "Smith River Fishing Reports" distribution list.

You are all aware that I do a little guiding on the Smith. It is not a money making operation but it does give me an opportunity to test my skills at putting others on fish.

I'm not much of a writer but I enjoy weaving my escapades into a story. I know a lot of you think I am full of it. You are probably right. I do enjoy talking about fishing - I have no problem telling you they were not biting or that I fell in right along with how great the fishing was - Last and probably most important, because very few others are doing it, I also feel a need to speak up for the river.

I guess my question is, am I boring all of you or worse yet, based on what I have recently received, am I alienating some of the folks that I thought were friends and fellow sportsmen.

As I said in the beginning, I am asking for some candid advice here. If you feel so inclined I don't mind it being in open forum. You can also PM me or use my regular email [email protected] if you like.

I'm going to copy and post this on two other forums which I frequent because I really need some feedback before I do any more "story telling".
 

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Al, this if very disturbing. I for one love reading your reports and your photos are excellent. What really bothers me about this is the "encroachment" of neanderthals that do not understand that public waters belong to the public, just like public airwaves and the Internet. While I would not encourage you to do anything that you feel uncomfortable with doing that might cause you or family risk, I would personally be inclined to thumb my nose at this person's threats and would concentrate on bringing them to justice should they violate my constitutional rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I would make the local authorities aware of any threats and would keep any correspondence related to them. As taxpaying, law abiding citizens we cannot allow ourselves to be intimidated by law breakers and thugs. This person sounds like a thug and was probably a childhood bully. Whether it is a poacher, a ******* down the road or a high-minded politician in Raleigh or Washington, DC...I'm getting tired of folks pushing us around. We need a heavy dose of common sense and plain old neighborliness (lack of selfishness) or our country is in serious trouble. :mad: Of course this person may just fall into the category that my grandfather simply referred to as "sorriness". There is a lot of that going around too.

Al, if you decide not to post anymore fishing reports here I will understand and think no less of you my friend. But know that we support you and your right to freedom of speech. Anybody agree with me?

Blessings,
Randy
 

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Al, I saw your presentation at Tom Morketters place the other night and at Smokey Bones and I am sure all enjoy like I do. I love your knowledge of the river and your stories that take our minds to the river while listening to you and looking at your pictures. Personally, I would not let any jerko intimidate me unless I felt I was putting my loved ones in danger and then I would also approach the proper authorities and take their advice and apply it. I feel you can't give the bullies or like Randy said "********" the approval to bullie you. What you could consider is doing a video recording with a hidden camera on your vehicle whilst fishing. If you feel they know what you drive, consider changing your ride to another vehicle. Just my 2 cent opinion. I also agree with Randy that everyone would understand if you stop posting or maybe just take a break for awhile.

Jim
 

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al k--- Your narratives coupled with those beautiful pictures puts me there fishing with you while sitting here at my computer. I enjoy reading each and every post. Personally, I have ZERO tolerance for poachers or any other low life scum bags that don't respect our environment, rules and regulations. The fact that you are receiving email sent by anonymous person or persons pretty well sums up their intelligence and courage. Thanks for your fine reports and I look forward to many more in the future.:)
 

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I guess my question is, am I boring all of you...
(speaking for myself) NO! I love the reports. I don't have any trouting or fly-fishing sensibilities, just not my cup of tea. But am gaining an appreciation for what would make somebody drive 3 hours to catch a dozen sub-12" fish in a day from your reports. Its not about the size of the fish, its about the challenge, the place, the solitude and the beauty - all that comes through so clearly in your reports and pics. I prefer to see them continue, but understand that there are more factors involved than keeping me entertained.

...or worse yet, based on what I have recently received, am I alienating some of the folks that I thought were friends and fellow sportsmen.
Can't speak for that personally. You're new out here, Smith River is a pretty far haul from most of us, and the general tone here is different from the "mine's bigger than yours" brag boards. I'd be surprised (and disappointed) if NCangler was the source of problems. But I'm no longer surprised at the shallowness and pettiness of some of my fellow men, card carrying "sportsman" or not. More and more I find that people derive value in their lives from a false sense of entitlement and/or superiority. Your actions by working with the State Fisheries folks on the posting of regulations and calling out the poachers have stepped on somebody's inflated sense of entitlement. Your posts which demonstrate knowledge and skill and an ability to pass it on to true sportsmen (and ladies) have intimidated somebody with lesser skill.

Sorry to hear about the nuisance. I'm glad to support whichever decision you choose but I'll be rooting for you to seek help from the good folks in Virginia who appreciate positive publicity of their natural resources and tourism dollars from NC.
 

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Al- I believe that it would be a great loss for us not to receive your fishing reports. I can't imagine how anyone could find fault in the help that you provide your fellow anglers. I will agree that the motivation is obviously greed. Which is exactly why participation in both the hunting and Fishing community is on the downswing. However, this appears to be simply threatening by a bully. IMO, it would be a mistake by anyone of good character to back up for a moment from this creep. I wish more people were like you and took more interest in our outdoors. These are people who only take from the resource and they deserve to be treated with disdain. Al you add much more to your Friends and fellow fishermen than any of these type will ever add to society let alone the sport that we enjoy. So, please continue your reports. The greatest thing that any of us can do is to share the joy of the outdoors with someone that we may not even know.
 
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