Tag Archives: North Carolina

Gear Review: Simms Rivertek Boa Boot

The new Simms Rivertek Boa Boots

I’m that guy. With the Simms gear from head to toe, even I would think I look like a dick. But their gear has proven to me to be one of the best product lines in fly fishing. I have had everything from hats to waders and have never been disappointed.

I bought my last pair of Simms boots a few years ago with felt, and after a couple of years, and countless days on the water, they were starting to wear down. When the new Boa lace system was coming out, I decided it would be between Simms and Korkers. I’m that guy, so I  went with Simms.

The boots have a great fit, and the Boa lacing system really is awesome.  You hate to think yourself so lazy that you can’t tie your laces, but it is so simple and easy.  On cold days with gloves on, or just after a tiring day hiking and bushwacking through the brush, popping these off by just pulling the tab up is extremely nice.  The boot is very light and so far I have not had any comfort problems at all.

The Vibram rubber is another situation all together.  I have never been without felt, and the first trip with these I went sans studs.  Bad idea.  I fell down a lot, and got wet a lot.  Luckily I didn’t hurt myself, but the rubber alone in the Smokies is not a great idea.  The studs were promptly put in, and I still fall. Just not as much.  I’m not sure if this is a byproduct of all rubber soled boots, but I certainly miss the felt on slick rocks.

This is also my second pair of Rivertek’s.  The first pair came up north for a trip to Maine for their inaugural big trip run.  During that trip, I noticed that the Vibram rubber soles had begun to separate at the toe.  Rocks were getting lodged in the gap and you could immediately tell it was a defect.  Needless to say I was a little disappointed in my new fancy boots.  I opened up a warranty complaint with Simms and the entire process was easy and pain free.  Two weeks later I had a brand new pair, and no problems since.  As usual, great customer service from the folks in Montana.

Overall I am very satisfied with the new Rivertek boots, despite of the defect first pair.  I walk a little more carefully and haven’t had any big falls with the studs drilled into the soles.  It’s nice to not have the laces come undone, and get snagged.  I think these are going to turn out to be another great buy!

Thanks for reading!


When in doubt, whip the thunderhead out

Fall if officially here, with summer ending on Friday. Almost as literal as the date, the weather has cooled, some rain has moved in, and hopefully the fishing starts picking up with some fall spawning preparation. You have to love fall fishing coming out of the dog days of August and early September. The last time I fished, I saw barren stream beds and very spooky fish.

With some other things swirling around in life, I hit a familiar stream to get out of my own head and relax. I wasn’t looking for numbers, but for a large brown. I read a lot of blogs and see some very big pigs, but can’t seem to find a 20 incher for myself.  I know they’re out there and I’ve set a personal goal to snag one!

Hitting the stream early I started with a small orange stimulator and got a few hits. Not much after that, so I put on a large orange fly similar to a royal wulff. This got the fish moving, but couldn’t keep many on the line! Was able to land one small fellow that prevented the skunking.  Also, had one very big fish (maybe my fish) follow it, but left it alone.  Pulled out the 4wt with a big streamer on it, but he wouldn’t come back out to play.   After that, nothing.

This little guy prevented the dreaded skunking

Moved up river and still nothing moving much. Looked in the box and found an old friend. Thunderhead. Put her on and finally started catching a few trout. Not many, but a few small browns to get the fall started.  Fish or no fish, the fall weather and falling leaves make for a great experience. Time is running out for fishing, and soon the cold weather will be here, maybe even more cold weather for me than anyone even knows.

Video of that day’s fishing

Thanks for reading!


Into the Wild and on to the Stockers

I had a great opportunity to visit with one of my favorite fishing buddies who lives at the beach, but was in Avery County camping and fishing with some other old friends from the Raleigh area.  When I first moved to North Carolina, this group of guys invited me to their annual Trouttrip where they had competitions for horse shoes and fishing.  I was completely unprepared the first year I went up there as I was not much of a camper at that time.  I grew up spoiled rotten (as I quickly realized) with a fishing cabin my grandfather had on a salmon river.  I didn’t know anything about what that first weekend had in store.  I was quickly initiated, both figuratively and literally to the ways of the trouttrip.  I also found out that me and my buddy from the beach were the only fly fisherman and quickly became quick fishing partners.

My first NC fishing buddy - Big T!

It’s been a few years since I made a trouttrip and I was excited to get back there and fish some of the wild streams.  I left Asheville early and was in Avery Co. by 7:30 and ready to fish.  The water was not so accommodating.  It was the lowest I had seen it, and with temps in the 90’s the last few days, I could believe it.  The stream by the campsite did not look good so we headed down river to fish another wild stream.  With Delayed Harvest opening up, we had a whole lot of company, but the wild stream was pretty bare.  We walked the stream and missed some good looking fish right off the bat.  At the first good hole, I was missing fish on top with a yellow adams, and switched to a fly with some antron that I could strip underneath.  That did the trick and I caught the fish that was missing the other fly.  A nice sized brem.  Oh well, he was a good fighter.

I always catch one a year

Check out that red fin in the back

We made our way upstream and the fish were spooky with the low water and hot temps.  I caught a nice little wild brown with great colors and a nice red fin.  I missed a really good fish in an undercut run across the stream but couldn’t get him to rise again.  It was nice water, but it was getting really hot.

Lettin him go

We then decided to do something we rarely do.  Chase stockers!  We went down to the delay harvest section to this one run we both really like and we have always had success at.  These fish were getting the snot pounded out of them by the corn and worm crowd, so I didn’t think we would hook anything.  Thinking that maybe there were some hold overs, or some that were figuring out the eating of the mayfly, I tied on a big Adams and went at it.

To my surprise I got into some browns holding below the large pool.  I caught 4 or 5 and lost a few more.  They were a good enough size on my 3-weight to bend it over and peel out a little line.  They were fun to fish.  We moved up to another pool and I caught an average size rainbow for an ass backwards kind of smokies slam when you throw that brem in there.  The stocked fish also get a reprieve, as I didn’t put them on a stringer and they probably didn’t take anything again that day.

a stocked brown in low, clear water

It was a nice day and a nice drive.  With the weather heating up, it will probably be a little bit before I get some more fishing in.  Maybe a day for some brookies higher up.  It’s tougher now that the big action of spring is over, especially since I had such a good spring.  You also have to look ahead though to the next trip and that next big trout.


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