May is over and I am looking back on a great Shad & Striper season this Spring. Despite the COVID complications this season, I was still able to get a lot of local folks safely out on the water to experience this wonderful fishery. Thanks to everyone who came out and kept me rolling this season! I am now starting to look towards the summer season; sadly Tikchik Narrow Lodge, my seasonal home, will not be in operation this summer. It will be very strange not to be up North this season targeting Rainbow Trout and Salmon, but I am looking forward to a summer season on North Carolina's coastal rivers. It has been a few years since I have had the opportunity to show folks our amazing summer fishery here in Eastern North Carolina, but I am excited for the opportunity to be back on my home waters.
The warm water fishing program on the Tar this summer is a very unique fishing experience. Summer flows tend to be low & clear giving us opportunities to target a number of different species. The main target during warm water trips is Largemouth Bass. Tar River largemouth are lean and mean. We'll target these predatory game fish with large streamers and topwater flies throughout the summer season. Longnose Gar, Common Carp, Bowfin, and a ton of panfish species can all be targeted as well throughout any Tar River warm water trip. I will be running both power drifter and raft trips this summer, opening up a whole lot of water that rarely sees a fly rod. I gave a presentation this May for Triangle Fly Fishers outlining the fishery on the Tar River, the link will be included below for those interested.
The season has been off to a great start on the upper river. The topwater bite has just started to get going and should only get better through July. The streamer bite hasn't been great the past few weeks, but I am hoping to see improvement with the bump in water level this week. The sight fishing game has been off to an incredible start, guests have had a lot of shots at big bowfin and gar last week. The river has leveled off to ~230 CFS but I am expecting it to rise to 900-1200 CFS over the next few days of rain. This will throw off the sight fishing game for a couple of days but the topwater fishing should continue to produce, even in dirtier water. I am hoping to be back on the main river by next Thursday depending on how these weather systems develop.
I will be based out of Rocky Mount this summer and running trips on the Tar River as well as some other surrounding waterways I am excited to show y'all. The Rocky Mount Mills is still in operation and makes for a great weekend getaway. The tiny homes at River & Twine have wonderful lodging options and are within walking distance of great local restaurants and breweries. There are links below to a few of the great folks in The Mill. Give me a call or shoot an email to get your summer trip planned!
Capt. Will 904-382-2277