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04/17/92, 04/18/92
New River, Prince to Thurmond, WV
Mark, Greg, me & Ed Boyd, Rick Knotts
50s to 80s, Sunny to Rain

New River float trip in Mark's raft. Prince to Thurmond. Water temp @ 55 degrees. Lots of sun, lots of rain. Fish biting. Oh my!

Greg with smallmouth We left from Prince around 12:30 on Friday, 04/17/92. I had never floated the middle section of the New River, although I floated the upper from Meadow Creek to Prince twice last year. I took the Lightning rod with the Penn 430SS and 6 lb. test.

As we were setting up the raft it began sprinkling a bit. Ed & Rick, a couple of Mark's friends, brought a small raft and tagged along with us. Thirty minutes to an hour into the trip I landed a nice 12-inch bronze back with a chartreuse grub on a 1/8 oz horse head jig. Mark duplicated the feat and the fish minutes later. I picked up another 10-inch smally within another hour.

Mark with smallmouth Around 3:00 pm or so, the rain began with a vengeance. The temperature dropped and the winds blew cold. Thunder rolled and lightning flashed. The Cabela's rain suit and half finger wool gloves were awesome. The Gortex booties and thermax liner socks were wonderful, as well - my feet never got wet. Greg caught 2 excellent fish back to back before we stopped to set up camp.

We got to the famous three-sided building around 5:00 pm and set up camp. Dinner consisted of smoked brats and hot dogs. After significant effort expended in nighttime fishing, Rick caught a water dog.

Loren with smallmouth We broke camp around 8:30 am and hit the water. The temp was in the high 50s to low 60s but by 10:00 am was in the low 70s and in the low 80s by noon. The fishing started off slow but picked up in spurts throughout the day. I started with a nice, feisty rock bass around 9:30 am and then hit a long slump. I switched to a Wee Craw and landed about a 10-inch bronze back after lunch. Around 12:30, 1:00 pm I caught a pig, and absolute football ready to spawn. Like Al says, pre-spawn bass staging on the pea gravel. I also caught a smallmouth trolling through a long pool. Throughout the day I landed 6 smallies and the rock bass.

The most memorable rapid of the trip was Silo. Greg nailed it perfect.

Mark out fished everyone as usual and Greg did about as well as I did. It was an excellent trip and a good time was had by all.

Summary
  8 Smallmouth Bass, released
  1 Rock Bass, released

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