Posts Tagged With: Sean Abbey

Damn it’s HOTTTTTT!

Man it’s that time of year. You need to be on the water before sunup, at sundown or at night to enjoy yourself fishing. With heat indexes everyday for the last week in the triple digits, you are a real gluten for punishment if you do any midday fishing. Plus the fishing is always slower during the heat of the day.

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If you must go midday find areas of shade and cooler waters. It seems crazy but all you need is a few degrees temperature change and it creates a world of difference. I like to fish under deep water dock ends, skipping deep into the shade, or even a good tree lined creek can make the difference. It doesn’t change the fact though that it is hot as can be. When you are sweating profusely and you have only just taken the boat off the trailer it’s going to be a long hot day.

I really like to fish the early evenings after our afternoon Florida thunderstorm has rolled through. All is right with the world for both angler and fish at this time. If there is a such thing as a happy place in the middle of August in Florida it is at this time. Sometimes it gets hot and just nasty on shore after a rain but that is due to the asphalt jungle we all live in anymore, steaming up our world like the hot rocks of a sauna. On the water though the temp drops a few welcomed degrees, for both angler and fish alike. It is also that quintessentially overplayed, so here it goes again, “calm after the storm.” Nothing quite like a big trout or maybe a tarpon blowing up on a top water or inhaling a fly in the after storm grey sky background. It really wakes you up to see a hole open up from the sometimes vicious eat of a tarpon on the waters slick after rain surface.

The night time bite has probably produced, pound for pound, the most memorable bites of my life. Four of my top ten experiences on the water have come at night. Couple the chance for an insane bite with your bodies heightened sensory perception, due to your lack of good vision, and you will find yourself falling in love with night fishing. I highly recommend that every fisher person spend some time foregoing a little sleep and getting on the water. It is way better than all those lost nights of being in a drunken stupor till the wee hours of the next morning i had as young whipper snapper, and a heck of a lot painful of a hangover.

Morning on the other hand, compared to the long hours of cool night fishing,is typically a quick trip. Here in the good ole sunshine state it will be mid nineties by mid morning and the fish tend to shut down. It can though be a great time to fish, especially if you have the right spots. My knees tremble just thinking of that little pod of tarpon rolling in the light of the suns first rays as you wait for them to get close enough to drop a fly in their path. With a little luck, maybe just maybe the fish gods will smile on you with a hook up. After that though you better be praying to a higher power if you actually plan on touching said tarpon and getting that extreme ego boosting tarpon photo op.

Just because its a scorcher don’t park your ass in the ac. Get out and do something…. A little hint too….if you actually get out in it every now and again you can get used to it.

Capt Sean Abbey
Native Angler Guide Service
Overboard Fishing Rods, LLC

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Mountain Goats

At Native Angler we love to do guided trips at our home away from home, the Greater Smoky Mountain National Park or the GSMNP for the rest of this article. The GSMNP is one of the most incredible places in the world. We all owe a great deal of gratitude to the sacrifice that was made by its one time residents and the founders and creators of the park for bequeathing it to us for our enjoyment.

I found myself mesmerized by its beauty many moons ago and have read almost everything ever written on the park, totally immersing myself in its history. When you hike it’s trails most people miss all the history you are walking by while staring at the beauty of the forest and streams. I love to explain to everyone what they are looking at when you look past the obvious. It is truly amazing to realize that people actually farmed this land at one point and raised their families here. These truly had to be some of the toughest people around. If you ever have the privilege of visiting the park do yourself a favor and read a trail guide and blogs about an area you want to visit before going. You will be amazed at what a little insight will point out to you as you hike a trail, tombstones, stone walls, maybe even an old chimney from a home long since gone hidden in the woods.

While we love the history, that’s just talk to make your hike seem less lengthy and strenuous. When it comes to the park you can make a trip with us as extreme or pampered as you would like. You can camp and fish in areas that trails have long since disappeared or stay in a cottage having steaks cooked for you every night and fish all day. It’s all in how adventurous you want to be. Regardless of which you choose we know the park and will work very hard to make sure you have a good time.

On our most recent trip we had the pleasure of having Andrew, Patrick, and Robert (all brothers) as well as their good friend Matt. I was met by my fellow guide, and brother in law, Max, from Knoxville, at the trailhead to our campsite Thursday afternoon. Max and I then hiked up a goodly, old mountain term, portion of our equipment for the trip and set up camp for the evening. After setting up camp we decided to do a little leisurely fishing to get a feel for the mood of the fish. The stream seemed to be pretty healthy and had a great flow for mid summer in the park. We caught a few decent rainbows and kept one to go with the steaks I had brought with me for that night. If you freeze them they will stay good and thaw that first day of the trip till your ready to eat that night. Nothing better than a little mountain surf and turf. After a few hours of camp fire chat between brother in laws that have known each other for damn near 20 years it was time to call it a day so we could get up early the next the next morning and hike down to bring the fellas up to camp.

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The next morning we emptied our packs the rest of the way and hiked down to meet the guys at 9am. I must say downhill sans 65 pounds in your pack is much easier on the body. After reaching the trailhead we poked around for a few until the brothers Weaver and Matt arrived. I could see in there eyes they were all excited, all a little tired, and that the passengers who were experiencing the dragons tail for the first time were a little car sick. You are lucky to hit 20 on the tail as it winds for mile after curvy mile. We talked for a few about the hike into camp, only 2.4 miles but straight up with no level spots and not easy going by any means, and I loaded Max and my packs with the food for the next few days.

Fortunately there is a nice little detour spot on the way up to camp for those cool group photos and just the spot to shoot the obligatory for the wives and family photo shot. Other than that its just a walk uphill loaded down wondering how anyone ever lived out here. Then you realize why, you just look and listen. You hear the sounds and sights of pure nature; streams, cascades, frogs, birds, grasshoppers and even the wind blowing. The only sound you will hear that doesn’t belong is the sound of the feet and voices of your party. It is in one word, incredible!

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Reaching our campsite after a solid hour of uphill climb, everyone jubilantly dropped their packs to the ground. We scouted out the tent sites for the guys and set up the rest of camp. After getting everything ready for the weekends stay it was time for a little debriefing, if you will, about water filtration, camp etiquette ( bathroom etiquette ), and a little refresher on what to do on the stream; we hold a intro to fly class with the group before we go but nothing is better than on stream instruction. Now it was time to fish. Generally it is better to strike out in different directions broken down into two man groups with a guide for each group for better fishing success, but this was a group of old friends and brothers, they wanted to experience it all together. Besides you can’t rib your brother or lifelong friend when your miles apart on a mountain stream, so off we went.

That first day we actually had a some success. Not a lot of fish were caught, but the GSMNP truly is an area where the old saying “if you can catch fish here you can catch them anywhere,” actually is the gods honest truth. I’ve always said you hear of plenty of people from this area heading out west to Montana or the like to chase trout, but you never hear of someone out west heading to the park to fish. A fish caught here on a little 3 or 4 weight fly rod, whilst jumping around from boulder to boulder, fishing small pockets of water that you can barely dabble a fly in due to the thick rhododendron canopy is quite the accomplishment for beginners to fly fishing. It is an even more impressive feet when your brother decides to tromp through the spot you ever so sneakily crawled into just to be a wise guy.

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Fishing these small streams is also quite taxing. It is honestly the most fun you can have while physically exhausting yourself. So after four or five hours of fishing it was time to head back to camp and get some dinner. For meals on our trips I like to prepare good food that is high in carbs, no Atkins going on in these hills, and flavor. I will gladly weigh my self down with unimaginable hiking weight, I am a mountain goat, in order to not feed my guests and friends disgusting high sodium backpacker meals. So we had homemade chili mac for dinner that night, followed by a little ribbing around a camp fire and bed.

Even in August it gets cool enough in the mountains to slide in your sleeping bag at night, so to warm our chilled bones I prepared hot pancakes for breakfast Saturday morning to get our bodies fueled for the days fishing. I am glad we did fuel up cause the fellas really charged it this day. We worked into some impossible pockets and slid down the side of mountains to reach perfect little pools at the base of a small fall or cascade and it paid off with everybody getting into fish but Robert. I typically wouldn’t call out the name of anyone who didn’t bring a fish to hand but I can honestly say Robert was the best fisherman of the group, yeah I said it, deal with it you guys. Robert put in tons of effort and made great casts and presentations with a great positive attitude but it just didn’t happen. Damn you trout! I really think he took it with the best attitude though and truly understood that it really isn’t about the catching up here. Catching is a bonus, getting out of you comfort zone and truly immersing yourself in the experience is the part you’ll never forget.

After a successful days fishing we went back to camp and munched on a late lunch and packed up for the hike down. In true Florida boy style I put on my flops, hoisted on my every bit of an 80 + pound pack,
and started the glorious down hill march to the cars. I truly enjoyed myself on this trip, as the company was perfect. You really can’t ask for a better group of guys to share in this experience in one of Gods true wonders, the GSMNP. Thank you!

Our new website is just about done but if you would like to book a trip similar to this or one to many areas in the state of Florida give us a shout at…..nativeangler3@gmail.com

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What to do when the wind has been honking for days and its either pouring rain or frigid?

Need your fishing fix and you just can’t justify going out in miserable weather, there is plenty to do that will curb that itch and make you better for it when the weather clears.

Turn on some of those dvr’d fishing shows and try some of these:

Tackle maintenance: There is nothing you can do to have you more prepared to fish than readying your gear. Clean your reels and lube them, from deep cleaning to just a good surface hit, take care of your reels. Also a great time to get your tackle box back in order and organized, maybe even change out some treble hooks, or at the very least, give them a good once over with a sharpening file.

Tie some flies: Tying flies in miserable weather while watching the Spanish Fly or Flip Pallot or pretty much any fishing show is a right of passage for a fly fishermen. So stock up on those flies for the next trip and maybe tinker with a new one.

Catch up on your Journal: As I have gotten older I wished I would have kept better records of my fishing adventures. A fishermen’s journal is an incredible tool, especially to those of us that may not have the sharpest minds anymore 🙂

These are just some of the many things you can do and all will help you to be a more prepared fisher person. As Captain and working guide it is a must that I am prepared at all times. Nothing can ruin a trip more than a guide who is not prepared and readied for what the day may have in store.

Capt Sean Abbey
Overboard Fishing Rods, LLC.
Native Angler Guide Service

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