Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Split-trip on the Run Off with Capt. Brian Harrington

I've got a couple of openings on a shared trip that Down East is putting together on the Run Off for May 12.   $300/person.    E mail me to sign up.   Dolphin and wahoo anyone? 

Those crazy it comes

OK, so three of those crazy storms, many of them stalling out on the Kerr Lake watershed has resulted in a deluge of water that has got to come through those dams.  Water levels have been ideal for the last week, both for catching stripers and for the conditions they need to spawn.  

The water is going back up in the bushes and that may not be good at all for spawning conditions, but for catching stripers, that's going to work out just fine.   We were catching 'em a week ago when the water was just as high and we'll be catching again this week after the water levels stabilize.  The only difference is that they are going to be a lot bigger and there are going to be a lot more of them. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

"Haven't seen it like this in years, the flooded timber fishing is awesome!'
Capt. Mitch says that there are a lot of fish still coming up the river.   He'll be up here waiting for them to get here.   Let us know if you want to get out there, still a few half day openings.



The Temples had some great fishing…….jigs, live bait, cut bait, whatever.   The fly bite was slow but I’m sure it will come around soon.  The bite kicked back in high gear after the slow morning fishing (although we beat out 25-30 in the morning) following the heavy storms the night before.  We caught our limit of keepers on each trip.  See the attached pictures from our trips.

Capt. Richard 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

crazy storm last night

sure did shut the bite down this morning.....4 inches of rain has the water like chocolate milk, hopefully things will clear up soon.

Friday, April 25, 2014

They can't bite all the time.

Sounds like it was a little tough yesterday afternoon, fish were probably on the move, charging up the river.

Got this report from Anna in China, should make for some interesting discussion when she gets home:

"On boat. Going through lower gorge this morning, middle gorge about 2 pm and arrive at the locks tonight. Do the tour of the dam tomorrow. They did not build swim through for the fish populations so most of their fresh water spawners are dying off.   They have killed off their local river dolphin ...probably ate them. In addition they are talking about 3 huge pipe lines to divert water away from the river to bigger cities.........most of the towns are new since the old ones are now under water. The Chinese  government relocated 1.3 million people from homes that are currently under the water along the river. The damn went online in 2009....... also drowned villages that had been around for 2000 years without giving archaeologist time to protect artifacts.   They are talking about building 14 more dams....... No forest because they cut them down for firewood, no guessed it...they ate all the local critters.
Our future is in the hands of these guys?"

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Sunday, April 20, 2014

All you need is a Down East t-shirt to get your keepers


Roanoke Report

All good here on the Roanoke, I had Ben, Andy, Josh and Jason for a couple of days and they helped keep it real.   We didn't catch a lot of keepers and we didn't crush them, but for the day we were well into the triple digits.  I was a bit disappointed that the fish weren't any bigger, these guys have seen the best of it during the herring and rainbow trout days.   

Maybe it is because I just got back from Costa Rica and the cold, dreary weather has got me down, but these guys reminded me that they were thrilled to have caught more fish in a day than ever before and it just didn't matter how big they were.   As I started to look at the glass half full, I was reminded that right now, instead of fishing on the Roanoke River,  I could be on a romantic vacation with Anna and her mom, sharing a cabin on a slow boat in China.  

 I'm going to drop the boat in the water and get back to basics, enjoying a solo day on the river, catching lots of little stripers on my fly rod.   

Friday, April 18, 2014

If you are reading this blog to find out how good the fishing is on the Roanoke.......'s pretty good, but it would be a lot better if you knew what you were doing.   It has been a long time since the water has been this high, this late in the year.   Things are set up to be "epic", with every striped bass in the Roanoke coming all the way up to Weldon.  But when they get here, the river is going to look a lot different.    Be careful, there are still plenty of rocks to hit, the high water just makes them harder to see.   Bring a lot of jig heads, you'll be fishing in the trees.  Look for pockets of fish in the eddies and work them hard.   The drifters are going to be dead and only catching the little guys.   Hope this helps, but the best information that I can give you is to hire a guide who is on the river every day.   The investment of $500 is the best money that you can spend if you want to learn how to repeat success.  

Fuel on the river, $40, lost jig heads and weights and hooks, $50, 10 dozen shad minnows, $100.  So three of you are actually paying $100 each to learn how to do it?   Pretty good bargain.

Great Down East Guides such as Capts. Justin Haddock, Mitch Blake, Richard Andrews, Ray Massengill and Greg Voliva still have openings on the river.   This is going to be the best year for numbers of fish in many years and the season is going to last well into May.

E mail us with when you want to go and we'll make it happen.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The report that I sent to James.....

I put my skiff in the water this morning and not shit, the boat was frozen to the trailer.  I fished late last night, off the water after dark and it was cold and the boat froze to the trailer before the water could drip off of it.  How bout that?   Caught 70 small striped bass this morning, only 5 of them were keepers, not more than 20 inches.  How did your day go?


Hey boss, 

Fishing is still good here in Costa Rica, we saw about that many sailfish today.  When you coming back? 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I'm baaaaack

Will give you a Roanoke report after I pry my frozen ass away from the computer.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Dad getting into the New Bern striper action

The Roanoke isn't the only place that you can get into the stripers.
Although the speck trout season is closed as a precautionary measure due to the hard freezes and scattered cold stuns, the reports coming in are extremely positive about fishermen seeing large numbers and good sizes of specks in most of the creeks of the Neuse.    Thanks to Capt. Joe Ward for taking my dad fishing for a day.  

"Hey George, only open for a few more days for the rest of this month.....had a great time with Doc last Sun afternoon...15 trout & 7 rock." ----Capt. Joe Ward

Saturday, April 12, 2014

They have arrived.

"Hey, I fished with Hugh today and two others out of Weldon. We went to shad fish but ended up catching 54 stripers and 20 or so shad! Not too bad for a half day trip! We had a steady double and some triples. Fishing is great up there already. We had a bite for every bait, and the shad we caught in less than an hour.
  Come getcha some!!!"  -----Capt.  Greg

Friday, April 11, 2014

Capt. Greg and Capt. Mitch on a guide's day off

"Absolutely crushing the Stripers casting and on the fly!"
Capt Mitch

Thursday, April 10, 2014

quick report

Sorry for the lack of report yesterday, for the 2nd day in a row, TEAM Dragin Fly returns to the marina on a different boat from which we left, more engine problems on our designated boat for the day, but at least this time the break down was on the run home and we had gotten the best of the day on the water and the bites we had.

TEAM Dragin Fly had a great hook up rate and managed to squeek 12 releases out of 15 bites.

Our boat, the Dragin Fly also had 12 sails, but we beat them on time.   At the end of the day, the TEAM was pretty far down the list, but the boat Dragin Fly was still in the hunt, 2nd place behind another Maverick from Quepos, the Frenzy.

Today, the last day of the tournament, was memorable.   We were on a boat that was born well before I was, but the crew was doing the best they could with what they had to work with and they wanted us to be successful.   They were also good mechanics.   With about 30 minutes left, we do something on the Black Topper Fly (seriously, that was the name of the boat), that we have not done yet on the Dragin Fly, catch a quadruple header in a tournament.   As we're backing down on the 4th fish, we blow a water hose on the engine and smoke is pouring out, but we get the release.   Team Dragin Fly has now broken the 3rd boat in as many days......but the mates/mechanics did get the water hose changed and an impeller replaced and got us home safe and sound before sunset.

Meanwhile, the Dragin Fly and the Frenzy are scrapping for first place.   When it's all said and done, after 4 days of fishing,  the Dragin Fly and the Frenzy have the same number of billfish points, but the Dragin Fly caught and weighed 2 dorado, worth a point/pound.   The Frenzy only had one dorado, so after 4 days of fishing, the boat Dragin Fly had more points.     Unfortunately for us,  the Top Captain/Boat award is given to the captain with the most points for his best 3 of 4 days of fishing.

Congrats to the Frenzy for winning Top Captain/Boat over the Dragin Fly in 2nd place.   I think that team Dragin Fly ended up tin 14th out of 64 teams.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bragging rights for a day

Yesterday, Team Dragin Fly had bragging rights over boat Dragin Fly, we beat them by one sailfish.

Today, the boat Dragin Fly has bragging rights over the entire fleet.   They had nearly 100 sailfish in the baits and their South African fishing team caught 36 of them, enough to win the daily.  To make sure they had the daily secure, they added a blue marline

Team Dragin Fly, representing Costa Rica, well, we had a little trouble staying in the meat.  Although we had bites throughout the day and ended on a double header, our boat was having electrical problems and we were trolling towards home without a radio and had no idea what was happening offshore.....but even if we did know about it, if we had to have a GPS to get there, we would have never found it.   We caught 12 sails and a 40 pound dorado.   I have no idea what place Team or Boat Dragin Fly is sitting in.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Day 1 Report

James would be proud, we were OK with our hook up ratio, catching 19 on a boat that we had never fished before......I guess the numbers don't matter unless you are in a tournament.  I have no idea what place we are in as Team Dragin Fly or boat Dragin Fly, but we've got to be pretty close together in the standings.  The Dragin Fly cuaght 18 and a dorado today......

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Capt. Bubba Carter Milestone on the Tijereta

If you read my reports, you know that I'm not a fan of measuring success by the numbers.   What is a successful day for one person may be something totally different for someone else.   For this reason I usually give reports in "handfulls" and "double digit days".  That usually says enough.  We don't want to set unrealistic expectations......

But every once in a while someone does something remarkable.  I don't know his customers, but over the past couple of years I have had the pleasure to get to know Capt. Bubba Carter who is now fishing on the Tijereta out of Los Suenos.   Two days ago, while Anna and I were soaking in the hot springs, Capt. Bubba Carter put his customers on 151 sailfish bites in one day.  From which the Tijereta caught 85 sailfish......that's about twice the boat record for the Dragin Fly. 

For whatever reason, this whole season has been spectacular and it shows no signs of slowing down.   If you have ever considered going to Costa Rica, it would simply be foolish not to consider taking advantage of upcoming Green Season discounts and get down here.  

This bite is showing no signs of slowing down to the point that it's not worth being here.   

Not a bad view

I haven't gotten much done the last couple of days.....  How's this for a room with a view?  As long as the volcano doesn't wake up.  It's been pretty quiet the last two years, but the springs are still hot and this is a beautiful place to decompress for a few days.   That's exactly what Anna and I were doing for our 9 year anniversary...

Saturday, April 5, 2014


Offshore World Championship is hosted by Bonnier Group, the publishers of Marlin Magazine, Saltwater Sportsman, etc.    This is a 4-day invitation only tournament in Quepos starting on Monday.    We received our invite for winning the Los Suenos Signature Series Leg 1 last year.   All the other teams participating, 70 in all, have also won fishing tournaments from around the world.   To level the playing field, each team fishes on a different boat each day of the tournament. Although the Dragin Fly is one of the charter boats in the tournament, Team Dragin Fly will not be fishing with our familiar crew.

The fishing has been excellent and we have had a team from Brasil and two teams from Europe practicing with the Dragin Fly.

I'll keep you updated on how Team Dragin Fly and The Dragin Fly fare next week.   Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Larger fish are running hard, triple digits casting!
Capt Mitchell Blake

Too many fish not to get messed with

Anna and I were enjoying one of our last sunsets in Costa Rica when it was interrupted by a school of little jacks chasing bait in the suds.   We were right in front of the house and I just had to go to the car and get my rod, already rigged up with a mirror lure on light braid.    Five minutes later and about as much exercise that I've had in a while, running up to the car and back, and I've got a little 2 pound jack on my first cast......then another....then Anna gets in the action, catching one as the last sliver of sun sets off of Cabo Blanco.    It was just too many fish not to get messed with.