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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, it is not NC fishing, but it is the closest trout fishing for many, and lots of us are regular visitors to the Smith River, just across the NC/VA border in Bassett, VA - This would an excellent time to learn a little more about the river.
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Mark your calendars for Saturday, June 16th when the Smith River Trout Unlimited will host a get together for fishing on the Smith, followed by a picnic at the Corps of Engineers picnic area up near the dam.

The details are still a work in progress but the general plan will be for anyone who would like to link up with a "Smith River Regular" to do so at 8am at the Mirror Factory and break out from there for some exploration and fishing. Lunch is on your own but be sure to save some room for a hamburger and hot dog cook out at 4pm at the base of the dam. We will tell compare notes, tell some lies, try to convince you to lend your support to the Smith River fishery and maybe head out again for some evening fishing if the generation schedule allows.

You do not have to be a member of TU to attend this event.(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.

We are working up the logistics of the picnic. Current thinking is that we will provide the main course, i.e. burgers and hot dogs along with the condiments. We will also provide soda and water (No beer or booze in COE picnic area - O'Doul's or Near Beer ok). Participants will be asked to bring a covered dish or finger food to add to the table. More details to follow. For right now just get it on your calendar so that the day is free for some fishing and camaraderie with like minded folks.

For more information contact Chapter President Robert Woods , (276) 806-0548 [email protected] or Chapter VP Al Kittredge, (910) 868-5235 [email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Just a few more days before the Smith River fishing & picnic on Saturday, June 16th. Hope to see a lot of you folks there.

If this is your first time out this year, don't forget your VA fishing license. Best way to obtain one is online at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/licenses/ real easy to do. If you're a non-resident you can either obtain the short term license or better yet sign up for the whole year. VA licenses are now good for one year from the date of purchase.

BTW you do not need the trout license from June 16th to Sept 30th. (they are not stocking during the summerand therefore do not charge for fishing in hatchery supported waters). You do need a regualr basic fishing license.

See you all at the Mirror Factory on Saturday at 8am. If you can't make it for the fishing, come to the foot of the Dam at 4pm and join us for some food and good talk.
 

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Let me start right off with the bottom line: We had a good turn out for both the fishing event and the picnic. Everyone reported catching fish and if anyone went away from the picnic hungry it was their own fault.

By the time 0830 Saturday morning rolled around the Mirror Factory parking lot was filling up fast. One fellow came from as far away as South Carolina. Several were from the Charlotte and a good number were from the Triad and RTP areas of NC. I estimate the folks from below the boarder outnumbered Virginians two to one.


My guess is that we had about 20 fishermen at 0830 and 4-5 more rolled in late and joined us somewhere on the river. We had a good sprinkling of "Smith River Regulars" who either fished with new comers or lead them to a spot and sent them heading in the right direction at some of the lesser known access points.


We started filtering back to the dam area at about 3pm, where SRTU President Robert Woods and Dan River Basin Association Executive Director Katharine Herbert were laying out all the makings for a good feed. Several people from the DRBA joined us for the picnic. We were also honored to have Philpott Chief Ranger Earl Wright stop by for a hamburger and conversation. Just about the time we were ready to eat, a passing thundershower threatened to put a damper on things. Paul Gruver, from Apex NC came to our rescue with a tent top that soon became the focal point for all the food - thanks Paul.


Thankfully the thundershower was short lived and the sun came back out. Lots of food and lots of good talk. Several folks reported catches that went will up into the double digits. What was really revealing was that several groups reported success by using different tactics - Some caught them on top, others swore by a nymph and some relied on a soft hackle. Everyone who fished reported good success.

Robert Woods did a superb job of soliciting donations from local vendors. These items were raffled off and at least half of the attendees walked a way a winner of something. Robert also did a good job of "selling" TU memberships to those that were not yet members. We hope that those who took applications will follow through and become active members in the chapter.


My thanks to the rest of the SRTU leadership for pulling their fair share. Thanks also to the "Smith River Regulars" for sharing your experience and expertise. Thanks to Katharine Hebert and Wayne Kirkpatrick for your help and generous donation of many of the food items. Thanks to all who fished or just showed up for the picnic. Without your participation none of this would have happened.


In summary, we had a great time. We all made new acquaintances. Several folks experienced the Smith River for the first time. Everyone caught fish and the community received a lot of positive exposure. I heard a lot of the newcomers planning a return trip in the very near future. That has got to be a good thing for the river and the community.
 
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