This is my second trip with Robert this week and the third within the past few weeks. Robert was also joined by Mike who is the pastor of his church, so it was my hope that it would be double trouble for those river smallies today. During his first two trips Robert had a fish hit on his first cast of the day for both trips. As I positioned the boat for his first cast I mentioned that the pressure was on for him to maintain his streak. His bait landed near the same spot where he had gotten his strikes on his first two trips. It spent quite a bit of time ambling its way within the current where he had caught many fish before with no takers this time. Now that the probability of that first cast jinx had disappeared we had to get serious because within the first few minutes it was becoming apparent that the fishing was going to be tough. The weather had been stable for the past several days, but the generation at Douglas Dam had been variable. That inconsistency at times can negatively affect the fishing. After spending the first couple of hours on the French Broad with little success I decided to make a run up the Little Pigeon River where Robert had caught some good-sized smallies just a few days before. As I eased back on the throttle and the boat came off plane as I approached the hole I could see that the water had dropped about six inches since Tuesday. As I looked it over, I thought it now might be too shallow at the upstream side of the hole where we usually catch the majority of our fish. Unfortunately, that assessment came true so they spent more time fishing the slightly deeper water at the tail end of the hole. There were a few fish there with Mike landing a scrappy seventeen smallie in the swift current. We eased our way downstream and fished a few more spots with Robert landing a nice catfish, but no smallies. We decided to end the day where we started on the French Broad because sometimes that particular spot fishes extremely well right before dark.┬áThe hoped for evening bite in that spot did not materialize, so I decided to fish around a small hump that was in some swifter water. That small hump is exposed and bone dry when they are not generating at Douglas, but they were running 15,000 cfs and it was now covered in about four foot of water. I don’t fish that spot a lot and we were going to be losing our light soon so I figured it was worth some attention. Fortunately, there were some active fish using that hump and they were on the feed. Robert and Mike caught five smallies in the waning moments of the day with the largest being a hefty eighteen inch fish that preferred to be in the air more than in the water. I enjoyed watching Robert keeping the tip of his rod on the water to stop this fish from its repeated attempts to grow wings and shake the hook. The picture of that fish is included in this report. It was a challenging day on the water, but that final flurry of activity came at the right time and left me with the sense that we had finished well.

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