Striper season is coming to an end as we are chasing the bulk of the population back downstream towards the sound. We had an excellent season this year on the Roanoke with a very healthy population of fish. Everything seemed to be a bit earlier this year with very low water and warm temperatures in mid April. We saw spawning fish from April 19th all the way through to last week. The past two weeks we have been seeing the hungry post spawn stripers making their way into the middle and lower river and we have been having successful trips using both fly and light tackle. These fish should stick around for a few more weeks before making their last push to the sound.
I have been spending a lot of time showing folks our incredible warm water fishing opportunities that are often over looked this time of year. We have hundreds of miles of water in eastern North Carolina that provides great fishing for Largemouth Bass, Bowfin, & Gar. These rivers are wild and the fish have rarely been targeted by fly anglers. Whether it’s frog fishing for Largemouth Bass, sight fishing for Bowfin, or popping bug fishing for panfish these rivers offer a beautiful setting to experience of native fishery.
Currently the Largemouth Bass fishing has been great- streamers & frogs have been our primary tactics as the water is warming at the fish are aggressive. May into early June is also one of my favorite times to target both Bowfin and Gar on the fly. Many of our rivers and creeks offer opportunities to sight fish these prehistoric critters. It’s an exciting experience to coax these fish into eating your fly in clear water. Not to be forgotten is one of my favorite types of warm water fishing- popping bugs for bedded panfish. Throwing a 3 or 4 weight fly rod and a floating fly to super aggressive pan fish is a ball for anglers of every skill level. Even after years of fishing all over the country it is still something I look forward to every year.
I have a few open days for post spawn Striper and Warm water fly fishing before I make my annual migration to Tikchik Narrows Lodge in Bristol Bay, Alaska. I’m also beginning to book for our fall Largemouth season from September 20 - November 15. The fall is my favorite time to target trophy size Largemouth is our rivers.
A big thank you to all the awesome folks that came out to fish with Capt. Caleb and I this spring. I am grateful for the opportunity to show both our new and returning guests our incredible freshwater fisheries in eastern North Carolina.
Capt. Will Paul