Saturday, July 25, 2009

Neuse Wading

A quick thanks to my new buddy John, the Neusewader, for a fine Saturday morning fishing the Neuse River, my first time on that waterway. We waded about a half-mile of the river, a bit downstream of Falls Lake Dam, chasing largemouths and any overly aggressive, and unlucky, bream that could handle a 1/0 hook. With a hot day on the way, we took advantage of a perfect North Carolina morning, fished a few hours, and called it a day before the summer sun settled in.

Wading the Neuse is a breeze, especially after navigating the Haw, as it has a fine sand and silt river bed and is only broken by the occasional blow-down instead of rock escarpments. The Corp of Engineers also helped by ratcheting back the lake discharge, making our entire trip manageable straight down the middle of the stream, allowing us to fish both edges with plenty of casting room. There certainly were deep pools and runs here and there, but John expertly navigated us around them, probably saving me from floating my hat a time or two. It's great fishing with someone who knows the waterway.

We did encounter a couple of kayak/canoes hatches but they were orderly and polite, even to the point of repeatedly apologizing for floating through our fishing. The apologies were unnecessary, though appreciated, as the river is as much theirs to float as it is ours to fish. As long as they are not tossing Hardees cups into the flow, they are okay with me. Besides, I'd rather see folks out enjoying our natural heritage than sitting in their houses watching TV as, I hope, it breeds better conservators.

In the end, we caught several largemouths, all in the 9-12 range, nothing big, but all healthy and feisty. Mine were all on my favorite Gully Fish while John had success with a number of streamer patterns. And, like a good host and guide, he let me lead most of the morning, no doubt spooking all the holes ahead of him. What a guy!!!

It was fine, laid back, casual fishing. A perfect summer morning wade.

Thanks John.

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