Crazy Weather

April 30, 2023
Matt Miles

The weather this Spring has been crazy. Hot a few days then back to 50's and 60's. All the temperature swings doesn't help fishing thats for sure. Here in Virginia we have been very dry with river flows a lot like Fall. Thankfully we got hammered this past Friday with inches of rain. Rivers are blown out right now but we need the groundwater to help keep our flows more normal. Downside is the smallmouth bass spawn, hopefully this doesn't just destroy our chances at a good spawn year.

The Jackson River tailwater section near Covington, VA fished fickle mainly due to flows being low and clear most trips. The caddis hatch that I look forward to every year came a little early with warmer water temps and about the time it got going good that area was hit with a big rain and flows went up which hurt chances at dry fly fishing. We did catch some great browns on dries but never saw the hatch come off strong while I was on the water. Nymph fishing was best but my clients had to work for them on the blue bird days with lower flows. Hopefully with the recent rains flows will keep up and make the fish less picky during the bright sunshine.

Spent a few days on the Staunton river for the annual striped bass spawn run out of Buggs Island Lake. Decent amount of fish found on those trips but dealt with lower flows which can kept the big schools from coming up river. So low flows made fishing more challenging this Spring for everything. I'm currently guiding the striped bass run in Weldon, NC for the next couple weeks. Fish numbers are high but we have had water temps in the 62 degree range this week. The striper's metabolism is low so fly bite has been tough. We need some warmer weather to get those temps higher. With May starting tomorrow hopefully some warmer weather will arrive soon!

When I return to Virginia in a couple weeks. I will resume trout trips till the end of May along with smallmouth bass. Looking forward to warmer weather and topwater eating smallmouth bass!

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