Gauley River today, but I can't deny looking longingly behind more than a few boulders and thinking about how much I wished I could work them with a popper or a little plastic craw. I've fished the same waters before, and the smallmouth fishing was spectacular, and at today's water level, I think the fish would have bitten aggressively. Not that I really could have had a rod on a regular whitewater trip. I needed my paddle and full attention on rapids. Still, some of those spots looked so, so good!
Tomorrow is all about fishing. Nathaniel and I are doing a full-day float on the New River, and catching smallmouths is the main objective. Of course we'll still enjoy sliding through some rapids and taking in the site of New Rive Gorge. We'll be in an rowed raft, though, so our hands will be free for casting. Shawn, the guide we are going with, said that the river is in really good condition and he feels like it's going to be a great day. He also said that he's going to bring a fly rod because the river is just right for the long-rod approach right now, and apparently he has a specific little fly that he believes will be the ticket.
I do have my starting line-up selected and tied on; however, I'm already debating changing one of the baits. One will remain a little gold Zell Pop. That much I know. I won't say what the other will be, just in case I change what is tied on now between now and tomorrow morning.