After last week's cold front, the majority of fish moved down river, getting further pushed by the hundreds of boats looking to catch just one fish. After the keeper season, the waters warmed back into the mid to upper 60's and the striped bass returned to the boat ramp for their afternoon spawning drifts, now molested by only a dozen or so boats. The long runs down river to find the mother load no longer needed.
Also arriving for their spawning run is a flock of tiny skiffs with their useless platforms above the motors. These boats apparently make their way from the south, appearing when the internet reports that anyone can catch a fish on the Roanoke. The pair of anglers perched on these little dingys are primarily throwing fly rods with improper lines that rarely catch fish. Occassionally one of the anglers will be surprised by a bite as he quickly retrieves the fly to make another ten false casts before hopefully launching the line 30 feet from the boat.
As part of their spawning ritual these tiny bewildered boats mark their territory by scaping their fiberglass bottoms on the rocks barely visible from the surface. Each year these boats spawn in different locations, but always prefer to find the faster water where they have no business going. Occassionally one of these brave little crafts will make an aggressive charge up through the rocks in order to secure the best place to display their pathetic casting skills. If theye don't launch their anglers into the water, these hard charges will certainly be effective at scarring the submerged boulders and logs not only with fiberglass but also with parts of lower units and props.
Fortunatley for the more experienced guides with years on the river, these little skiffs don't stay in the way long. The anglers are tired from hundreds of fruitless casts, fiberglass and props need to be repaired and the yellow stain left by the river must be removed by their pastel apparelled operators.
As the peak of the spawn fades and numbers of fish in the river dwindle to barely 100 fish days for the more experienced anglers, these little boats return to their southern flats and ponder the use of that platform above the motor.